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Thread: Varying Gun Laws

  1. #1

    Default Varying Gun Laws

    Hey everyone. This is inspired by a recently updated thread regarding the 2nd Amendment in the USA. Although my knowledge of US law is next to none, I understand in a nutshell, that this is the part of the Constitution which allows citizens to own firearms.

    I'm curious just to see what people from around the world think of the way other nations deal with this particular area of life. Ie. how Americans view the Gun control laws of other countries & vice versa. I don't intend to start an argument, merely just to see how different parts of the world address the same topic.

    For my own view, as a Citizen of the UK I've never met anyone who posesses a gun, let alone seen or fired one. And personally I'm glad the control on firearms is what it is here.

    Anyone interested in discussing?

    Cheers all.

  2. #2
    Butterfly Mage

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    The gun laws in Maryland are exceedingly strict for law-abiding citizens, and yet all the dope dealers and thugs seem to have weapons much more powerful than the police service. A gangbanger thug who kills a man might get 6 months in jail for second-degree murder, but if a law-abiding shopkeeper shoots a robber, then all of the sudden the DA gets a special prosecutor to put the guy in jail for 30 years.

    The weapon laws are so strict for non-thugs that it's barely legal for me to transport my Athame to a worship service.

  3. #3
    goodnitesboy1986

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    I'm a gun owner in the state of Virginia, which is a particularly gun-friendly state. the NRA (National Rifle Association - a 2nd Amendment political lobbying organization) headquarters are centered in Fairfax, which also features a very nice historical gun collection. Being a former member of the military and having grown up in a house with guns, I'm comfortable with safely handling and shooting weapons. They're just tools...a shovel or hammer can be every bit as dangerous in the hands of someone who doesn't use them properly, and an automobile is FAR more dangerous than a conventional firearm is. If you don't believe me, compare yearly firearms death and injury statistics against automobile accidents.

    This being said, shooting and firearms ownership is a right which enables people to better equal themselves and discourage others against others who wish to harm or threaten them. Additionally, in the US, the average personal responsibility of gun owners is going to be much greater than the average personal responsibility of automobile owners, because the sub-culture as a whole has a substantial emphasis on safety and consideration. That's not to say that there aren't stupid or dangerous people out there; but as a whole, people act sensibly in the interest of protecting this unique right that we have.

    Hope this helps!

  4. #4

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    I own a 9mm semi-automatic as well as a number of rifles and shotguns. I've had two incidents at the house, and after the second, decided I needed a weapon that I could swing into action quickly. I have been shot at by one of our local thugs while walking into my church.

    The difference between the United States and other places is that we are a very violent nation where our criminals are often armed better than the police. If it became illegal for honest citizens to own weapons, no one would be safe. Criminals would break into houses with complete assurance that they would be the only ones with the guns. For that reason, Americans own guns. Criminals never know what kind of home they might be breaking into, and that gives them pause. I even have an electronic security system, as well as a barking dog. Don't Tread on Me.

  5. #5
    Peachy

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    Statistics show without doubt that the murder rate in the U.S. is twice the rate in other Western countries, and in general, crime rates are significantly higher than elsewhere in the Western world. I can't believe this is not a direct or indirect result of the free availability of firearms in the U.S. in contrast to the strict regulation in other countries.
    Over here, U.S. law enforcement has a reputation for following the idea of "shoot first, ask questions later". In the UK, police doesn't even carry guns. In Germany, officers need to account for every single bullet, and if someone gets shot by law enforcement, it generally makes the national news and incurs a strict investigation.

    I find the whole American argument of "people need to protect their homes" stupid. Criminals in the U.S. are more likely to carry a gun for self-protection because they can never be sure that the home owner isn't waiting behind the curtains pumping 3 dozen bullets into them at the blink of an eye. It's a cold war of sorts: Every side needs to weapons power resulting in death as soon as the tiniest bit goes wrong. I'd rather lose that flat screen TV and playstation (neither of which I actually own) in a burglary than have the buglar spray the place with bullets out of fear after I sneezed in bed.

    Someone has to make the first step in disarming a country - a step the American public still seems to refuse to do. The Cold War was cold because each side knew exactly that pushing that button resulted in total anniliation on both sides. With personal guns, pulling the trigger usually means the other person doesn't have enough time to pull theirs, so people are more likely to turn the cold war hot.

    Besides: We're arguing personal safety here. If I remember correctly, the 2nd amendment was meant to protect Americans from either foreign forces, or their own government. I can't see people's hand guns doing much against a foreign army of today's weapon standards, or having any effect on the government which is already spying on you guys' computers and personal lives already. Maybe you guys should replace the 2nd amendment with something that actually helps in today's computerized world to protect yourselves against the government...something like Data Protection or personal freedom. E.g. companies here avoid American computer firms cloud services like the plague because American firms cannot guarantee that the U.S. government doesn't seize their data under those weird anti-terrorist laws Bush set up that seem to give your government access to anything. Can't shoot government trojans with guns though, so maybe it's time to update that constitution to cater to the digital world?

    Peachy

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    If it became illegal for honest citizens to own weapons, no one would be safe. Criminals would break into houses with complete assurance that they would be the only ones with the guns. For that reason, Americans own guns. Criminals never know what kind of home they might be breaking into, and that gives them pause.
    While I generally agree with your stance, I think real life is a lot more complicated.

    First off, yes, there are plenty of career criminals. But a lot of crime also happens out of desperation. That guy who owes the mob protection money and has a deadline tomorrow is probably breaking into your house whether or not there's a gun in it. This isn't to say I take his side and not yours. But I'd say there are plenty of cases where the deterrent of knowing there could be a gun in the house won't stop the home invasion or protect your family (perhaps your gun only means he doesn't get away alive after killing someone).

    Next, I'm assuming you have the gun in a bedside table rather than a locked cabinet. Did you have it there when your kids were still young? I'm in favor of gun ownership, but responsible gun ownership. Teach kids all you want about the dangers if they take it out to play with it you want. Kids have shitty impulse control and don't truly appreciate the realness of a gun's killing potential until they're not kids or they do something terrible.

    Last, and this is more the general philosophy, I disagree with the standpoint that more guns means a safer world. I keep hearing that the VT massacre would have been over just after it started if every professor and student in that building carried a sidearm. Personally, I think it would have guaranteed that the outcome would have been way worse. Say someone popped out of a room and killed the shooter after he claimed his first victim. Now someone pops out of another room, sees a person with a gun and two bodies on the floor. Guess who's getting a cap in their ass now? Then multiply that by lots of people pouring out of lots of rooms, plus people who just go into panic mode. And when the police arrive, EVERYONE's a shooter. I'm convinced within five minutes. half the building would be dead in such a scenario.

  7. #7

    Default

    I agree with NightFox on this point. This is not something simple where you can point at statistics regarding crime and murder and claim it is because of the right to bear arms. It is a much more complex issue than can be summed up with a simple sound bite. If the rate of gun ownership tied directly to murder and crime rates, then there should be a lot of countries with excessively high rates. Pointing at just the U.S. statistics and drawing a conclusion is a fallacy.

    Additionally, I would argue the reputation of 'shoot first, ask questions later'. If you want to base opinions about the gun laws on this reputation, then we as a community should not be upset about AB/DL's as having the reputation for being fat middle-aged white men who just want to sit around and masturbate constantly in diapers. And we may as well add pedophilia in there.

    I think crime and murder rates are much more complex social, economic, and cultural issues than can simply be pointed at with one finger. While I do not own guns or have any in my house, I understand the background behind our second amendment to the Constitution and the rest of the Bill of Rights as well. There is something to be said for the freedoms and rights that we enjoy as citizens here.

  8. #8

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Peachy View Post
    Besides: We're arguing personal safety here. If I remember correctly, the 2nd amendment was meant to protect Americans from either foreign forces, or their own government. I can't see people's hand guns doing much against a foreign army of today's weapon standards, or having any effect on the government which is already spying on you guys' computers and personal lives already. Maybe you guys should replace the 2nd amendment with something that actually helps in today's computerized world to protect yourselves against the government...something like Data Protection or personal freedom. E.g. companies here avoid American computer firms cloud services like the plague because American firms cannot guarantee that the U.S. government doesn't seize their data under those weird anti-terrorist laws Bush set up that seem to give your government access to anything. Can't shoot government trojans with guns though, so maybe it's time to update that constitution to cater to the digital world?
    We already have that, although our government seems to have forgotten. Yet another argument for the original intent of the 2nd amendment....:

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


    Its a lot less of a stretch to say "papers and effects" should apply to electronic data than it is to suggest that Obamacare is justified by the commerce clause.

  9. #9

    Default

    Interesting dilemma. My weapon is actually hidden and not in a bedside table. In addition, the first round is not chambered. It takes a fair amount of strength to pull the slide back. You do have to know what you're doing. In addition, the safety is on.

    As for my children, my wife is an NRA marksman winner, something she achieved in high school. Her dad and mom both were hunters, as were the family for generations. He actually hunted to put food on the table. Times were sometimes tough and they ate rabbit and squirrel. They grew up knowing and respecting arms. This was taught to my children, though only one of them continues to hunt. My wife's parents have a cottage in Canada and we would go up there every summer. My father in law had loaded shotguns on the wall, something I was never happy about nor happy because of obvious safety issues. For that very reason, I constantly instructed my kids on the dangers of guns. I am not a hunter, but an avid fisherman. My kids shot at targets and were instructed in gun handling, in part, so that I was satisfied that they would not touch my father in law's loaded shotguns. He was old fashioned and grew up in a world of guns used for hunting and survival.

    Virginia is different than New Jersey. We have very loose gun laws and I believe New Jersey has very strict laws. Virginia has gun shows where anyone can purchase a gun without a background check. I would like to see this law changed, but I am a minority in Virginia, being a Democrat. The law will never be changed. The son of a bitch who killed the students at Virginia Tech had been diagnosed as mentally ill, yet was able to purchase a gun.

    I have never been a believer that students and staff at any school should have guns. Everyone knows that students don't always use the best judgement, especially when they have been drinking. The problem at Tech was the rent a cop police that provide "security" on campus. They have been sued as has the university, as they should be. The first victim had been killed an hour before the rampage began. The rent a cops had assumed he had left the campus. After all, who does something so heinous? But Tech and other places have proven that the insane do just that.

    Everyone must make a personal decision to either defend themselves and their homes or not. You have to live with that which you are comfortable. Because of my background and my ability to take care of myself, I am comfortable owning a gun. Not everyone is and that is their choice. To assume that one is always safe in their home, walking on the street can have unfortunate consequences. It pays to look around when you get out of a car. Make sure your doors and windows are not only locked, but secure from being easily broken. As I said, I now have an electronic, wireless security system. I hope I would never have to use a gun and take another person's life. It's a horrible choice to make, but the ass hole who shot at me in front of my own church didn't give a damn if I lived or died.

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by nappieddude1589 View Post
    Hey everyone. This is inspired by a recently updated thread regarding the 2nd Amendment in the USA. Although my knowledge of US law is next to none, I understand in a nutshell, that this is the part of the Constitution which allows citizens to own firearms.

    I'm curious just to see what people from around the world think of the way other nations deal with this particular area of life. Ie. how Americans view the Gun control laws of other countries & vice versa. I don't intend to start an argument, merely just to see how different parts of the world address the same topic.

    For my own view, as a Citizen of the UK I've never met anyone who posesses a gun, let alone seen or fired one. And personally I'm glad the control on firearms is what it is here.

    Anyone interested in discussing?

    Cheers all.
    It's worth remembering that, despite the viewpoints about the 2nd Amendment one side or the other, the Supreme Court of the United States has established precedent on the matter, the gist of which is that gun ownership is an individual right, subject to reasonable regulation. The case involved DC's complete ban on handguns, which was deemed a violation of the 2nd Amendment, and the court's decision essentially set precedent that carry permits and things are reasonable regulation, but a ban on personal-sized arms is not.

    As for some of our views, I personally am on the fence, and I think the SCOTUS decision was a good one. I tend to view guns as simple tools, but I entirely support background checks and other regulations. With that, I tend to favor laws like those in Canada, where you have to get a permit to own guns, and there are regulations on transport and the like as well. I cannot envision any scenario where the onerous gun control laws of the UK could ever work in the United States. The culture here is borne of the ideas of personal liberty and ideals probably left over from the minutemen in the Revolutionary War, when concerned citizens fought off the British with personal arms. From there, you add in the wild west and the frontier mentality, and you have a culture where, even if there was a legal mechanism, you'd still never succeed in getting rid of guns.

    As an example, I'll point to most of my family. My dad, for instance, fully subscribes to the "out of my cold, dead hands" mentality, as do most of my uncles, and my grandmother, and many of my cousins. To them, I'm a nutter because I support the idea of background checks and registration. To them, such ideas are a completely offensive affront to their freedom, and I fully believe that if a government agent showed up to my parents' or some other family member's house, that there would be a shoot-out, and that the government would only get those guns out of my father's cold, dead hands.

    Where I grew up in rural Michigan, their viewpoint is the norm, not the exception. Guns are an intrinsic part of existing there, to the point where my parents have a loaded rifle leaned against the bay window in their living room at all times. You can imagine, then, that given that my dad thinks Canada is a socialist hell-hole that doesn't allow guns, that his and the rest of my family's view of the UK and its gun laws is... how do I politely say the thing that's the polar opposite of good?

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