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Poll

Into what category would you fall?

I'm a law-abiding citizen who owns a gun and think laws should remain unchanged.
5 (20.8%)
I'm a law-abiding citizen who owns a gun and think there's room for reform of existing laws.
9 (37.5%)
I'm a law-abiding citizen who doesn't own a gun but believes in the right to own one.
5 (20.8%)
I don't own a gun and believe gun control laws must be put in place.
3 (12.5%)
I don't own a gun and believe no one else should have them.
2 (8.3%)

Total Members Voted: 24

Author Topic: Guns, guns, and more guns.  (Read 2823 times)

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Offline AlecWest

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Guns, guns, and more guns.
« on: March 14, 2013, 11:56:16 am »
A week ago, I'd have fallen into poll category #3.  But as of Tuesday, I'm now in poll category #2.  Personally, I've always thought that the 2nd Amendment has been used as a "tool" to authorize citizens to own guns (since, in theory, it only authorizes "well regulated militias" to do so).  But, I'm glad to have that protection since my own personal concerns are not covered by existing laws.  In short, despite worries over government takeovers or foreign invasion, I believe that concerns fall closer to home.  Put simply, I believe that every law-abiding citizen (without mental defect) should have the right to own a personal firearm - up to or equal to the type of weapon a criminal might use in a home-invasion.

So much for philosophy (grin).  The big question in a lot of people's minds now is how they can get a gun.  Nowadays, it's difficult to just walk into a gun shop and buy a handgun.  At best, most prospective gun owners have to put one "on order" and wait for it.  This assumes a gun shop will take such orders.  Most don't because the demand is so high.  This situation was created by the threats of gun-control advocates.  Prospective gun owners flocked to stores and bought up everything they could.  In essence, gun-control advocates created their own worst nightmare.  In an effort to remove many guns off the streets, they've actually created a higher-than-normal demand for them which will eventually lead to MORE guns on the streets, not less.  This is because gun manufacturers are "ramping up" production.  Ruger, for example, only has two plants producing guns.  But they're in the process of outsourcing production to smaller domestic manufacturers and are scouting locations for other plants.  And by year's end, I suspect gun availability will be far easier than it is now.

How did I get MY gun?  Hehe.  Like many others, it was out of sheer luck.  Earlier, I'd wanted to get a Ruger 9mm.  My local shop said they didn't take orders ... and told me to "check back" every few days to have them run a distributor check on the gun.  But after a few of those checks, they finally learned that the model I wanted was being "discontinued" (sigh).  So, I went online to check for an alternative.  The alternative I chose was a Springfield XDM95259BHC (9mm).  I printed out the spec sheet on it and took it to my local gun shop the next week, asking, "Can you check your distributors to see if this gun is available?"  The clerk said, "Just a second."  He bent over, picked up something from a lower shelf, and came up with that exact gun (snicker).  In short, I didn't have to order it because the shop had it in inventory.  But the clerk said I was lucky to get it.  He said that if I'd come to his store a week later, it would have probably been snapped up by another buyer.  Here's a photo of the gun:



It came with a freebie holster, a 2-mag clip caddy, and 3 (yes, 3) politically incorrect 19-round clips (legal in Washington state).  Ammo is also in short supply.  But unlike guns, ammo can be legally ordered through the mail.  So, I've got 500 full-metal-jacket bullets and 100 jacketed-hollow-point bullets coming to me from an Alabama dealer (who, hehe, doesn't charge Washington state sales tax).  The full-metal-jacket ammo will be used for target practice.  The jacketed-hollow-point ammo will be reserved for self-protection (if need be) and concealed-carry.  In fact, I'll be visiting my local Sheriff's office at noon today (an "appointment") to get the concealed-carry permit.

But, I won't fire a single shot until I take a class taught by my local gun dealer on gun safety and care ... and until I read the owner's manual thoroughly and can field-strip the weapon on my own.  I've been around guns all my life and have fired everything from a .22 Derringer to a .44 magnum.  But this is the first weapon I've actually owned.  And I feel it's important for gun owners to "know" their weapon before they use it.

BTW, as a poll category #2 person, I should perhaps define what I mean by "reform."  My idea would probably create shrieks from the NRA (grin).  If you look back at all the massacre-style incidents, you'll find one commonality ... that the lion's share of perps had a mental defect.  So, I wouldn't approve of limiting gun ownership to certain "styles" of guns or certain magazine limitations.  Instead, every person who buys a weapon should (at the same time a background check is done) produce a notarized statement from a mental health professional attesting to the mental stability of the potential buyer.  And if the buyer lives in a household with others, the potential buyer should produce the same statements for them.  For example, the weapons used in the Sandy Hook massacre were owned by a lady who could possibly pass the mental-health screening ... but whose son (the perp) could not pass the same screening.  No screening, no gun.

Regards,
J. Alec West
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 01:19:18 pm by AlecWest »
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Offline MSgtGlennSmith

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 06:13:48 pm »
I own a Smith & Wesson M&P .40 cal compact, I have a concealed-carry permit, and I virtually always carry. With 20 years of military law enforcement in my background I feel naked without it.

I fall somewhere between catagory 1 and 2 above. I believe that for the most part our existing laws are fine. It's their proper enforcement that is lacking... in some cases. I support the idea that if I want to sell my gun to my coworker, he would still have to pass a background check, even though it's a private sale. In most jurisdictions only commercial sales require the check.

I will NEVER, not EVER, support any kind of ban on particular types of weapons or magazine capacities. CONTROLS yes, bans no. For example, special licenses are required for those people, such as collectors, who want fully automatic machine guns. I whole-heartedly support those special requirements. I am a perfectly stable citizen of this country. If I want an AR-15 SEMI-automatic rifle and ten 60-round magazines, I should be allowed to buy them.

I could not support the requirement to show documentation of mental stability. I do, however support not allowing those who have been diagnosed as unstable in some way to own firearms.

What I find most mind-boggling in this whole debate is why ANYONE believes that MUCH stricter controls and/or bans will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and off our streets. The criminals are not goiing to obey any new laws any more than they obey the existing ones.
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Offline warp_10

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 08:50:13 pm »
I own a Smith & Wesson M&P .40 cal compact, I have a concealed-carry permit, and I virtually always carry. With 20 years of military law enforcement in my background I feel naked without it.

I fall somewhere between catagory 1 and 2 above. I believe that for the most part our existing laws are fine. It's their proper enforcement that is lacking... in some cases. I support the idea that if I want to sell my gun to my coworker, he would still have to pass a background check, even though it's a private sale. In most jurisdictions only commercial sales require the check.

I will NEVER, not EVER, support any kind of ban on particular types of weapons or magazine capacities. CONTROLS yes, bans no. For example, special licenses are required for those people, such as collectors, who want fully automatic machine guns. I whole-heartedly support those special requirements. I am a perfectly stable citizen of this country. If I want an AR-15 SEMI-automatic rifle and ten 60-round magazines, I should be allowed to buy them.

I could not support the requirement to show documentation of mental stability. I do, however support not allowing those who have been diagnosed as unstable in some way to own firearms.

What I find most mind-boggling in this whole debate is why ANYONE believes that MUCH stricter controls and/or bans will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and off our streets. The criminals are not goiing to obey any new laws any more than they obey the existing ones.

Amen to that. and P.S. That's the exact same gun I carry on a daily basis. S&W M&P .40 compact.  :)

Offline Gemini1999

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 09:33:03 pm »
I don't own a gun, but I'm trained on how to use one.  I don't feel the need to own a gun and I hope that I never will.  As for what everybody else does, that's their business and not mine.

This seems like a silly thread to post on a Star Trek forum BTW.

Offline startrekphase2DE

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2013, 03:53:12 am »
I have lived in the UK (I am British) and Germany (where I live now) which are both countries with strong gun control laws. In all my life (52), I have never known anyone who has either owned a gun or was hurt by one. Considering how much damage a gun does to the human body, I am personally very pleased to be living in a gunless society and never want that to change.

The main argument I hear from the USA is that you have to carry a gun to protect yourself from criminals. Over here in Europe, gun crime is virtually non-existent and the criminals tend not to have them either.

I know that the USA has a different mentality and the number of people there who are hurt or killed by guns is far higher than anywhere in Europe. Add the fact that you guys do not even have universal health care, I feel really sorry for those people in the USA hurt by guns who do not even have medical cover!!!

There are people here that use guns for sport and I can even support say clay-pigeon shooting for example. The gun clubs here have very strict rules where the guns stay locked away at the club, not in people's homes. If people want to play at shooting, there are plenty of very realistic computer games for them to live out their fantasies without actually hurting anyone.

I recently read an interesting article on the topic written by an American - Michael Moore - who made an interesting movie on gun control many years ago "Bowling for Columbine".

Here is that article which I think raises some very valid points.

I would be interested to know what you guys, in favour of guns, think about the movie and the article I just linked to.

My suggestion would be to take away everyone's guns and replace them with Phaser's with only a "stun" setting. That way, they can be used just as effectively for self defence without actually seriously hurting the victim - just rendering them unconscious for a while so that they can be suitably arrested by the police. Sure, I know that Phasers have not been invented yet, but stun guns have been.

At the very least, there should be some kind of fingerprint scanner on each gun so that only authorized people can fire them. That alone would have prevented the Sandy Hook massacrer as the son would not have been authorized and the gun would refuse to work. The technology for this would not be expensive if mass-produced and might help to reduce the number of gun deaths in the USA.

Just my European point of view.

Regards

Peter
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 03:59:20 am by trekcon »
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Offline Anthony

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2013, 05:18:13 pm »
Fingerprints can be circumvented.  Mythebusters did it in a fairly easy way making a lifted copy of the real print.  The only sure bio lock at this point is retina.

Offline MSgtGlennSmith

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 05:42:55 pm »
Hi, Peter. I would tell you what I think of Michael Moore, but the forum rules don't allow that kind of language or activity.
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Offline AlecWest

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2013, 07:15:13 pm »

Hi, Peter. I would tell you what I think of Michael Moore, but the forum rules don't allow that kind of language or activity.


Hehehe.  Click Here.

Regards,
J. Alec West
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Offline startrekphase2DE

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013, 07:16:28 pm »
Hi, Peter. I would tell you what I think of Michael Moore, but the forum rules don't allow that kind of language or activity.

I did not ask for your opinion of Michael Moore and simply attacking the messenger is just a cop-out to avoid answering the issues raised like:

  • If people were to see graphic images of what guns do to people, would not opinions about guns be very different.
  • Gun violence in the USA is considerably higher in the USA than in almost all other countries
  • My suggestion that stun-guns, or other not lethal methods, could be made available for self defense to replace guns.
    This could fulfil the legitimate need for self-defense without the significant severe injuries and loss of life caused by guns.
  • Modification of guns with fingerprint or iris recognition to prevent unauthorised use of firearms.

As a European, it is very difficult for me to see the advantages of maintaining such open gun laws that results in so many people being seriosly maimed and killed. We do not have these issues in Europe to any extent and if anything I feel safer in Europe than I ever felt in the USA.
The second ammendment is about self-defense - do you really need to be able to have millitary grade automatic machine guns for that?
Would not non-lethal stun type weapons be sufficient for self defense purposes if they worked sufficiently well?

Sorry for my European inabilty to find this gun culture a good thing. I do not see this from a political point of view, but from a humanitarian.

Regards

Peter
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Offline Gemini1999

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 08:07:11 pm »
I'd like to ask a question...

Just what is the point of this discussion?  Is it to have like minded people chime in to provide vindication/support for gun owners and their feelings about possible changes to gun control due to recent events experienced in this country?  Or, is it merely a device to bring out people that disagree with how most gun owners feel and would seek to have controls put in place to restrict ownership from certain individuals, or prevent certain classes of guns to be put in the hands of the average joe?  Once those people come into the discussion, are you proposing an intelligent exchange of ideas and opinions, or is the intent to slag off those folks that don't feel the same as most gun owners do?

As far as the discussion and how it started, are you saying anything new, or providing a unique viewpoint to the topic, or just reciting ad nauseum the same old talking points on why assault rifles shouldn't be restricted, or why certain individuals with backgrounds that would prevent them from owning a gun isn't a good idea or strategy?

All that being said, where do you see this discussion going and what do you expect the end result to be?


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Offline AlecWest

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 08:23:27 pm »

Here is that article which I think raises some very valid points.

I would be interested to know what you guys, in favour of guns, think about the movie and the article I just linked to.


I didn't see the film.  But, I have seen other Moore films dealing with other topics.  And based on those film experiences, I probably won't be watching any of his future films.  He's a poor documentarian and "fudges" some of his data.

However, I just read the article you mentioned.  And not once in that article did he mention a link between the massacre style incidents and the mental impairments of their perpetrators.

In 2010, there were over 31,000 deaths in the US that were firearm-related.  But only 32% of those deaths were homicides.  65% of those deaths were suicides (mental impairment) and the remaining 3% were accidental shootings.  So, why did Mr. Moore neglect to mention the 65%?  And why didn't he even attempt to conjecture how many people in the 32% were killed by a mentally impaired assailant ... perhaps in the commission of a crime (like the kid who perpetrated Sandy Hook)?

It's clear that in this country, we need to focus less on "gun control" and more on "nut control."  But no one wants to talk about the nuts.  Moore obviously didn't.  That's because it's "easier" to legislate laws on "machines" than it is on the people who operate them.  And that doesn't make those laws proper, just expedient.  I'm surprised Moore hasn't yet released a film demanding a ban on motor vehicles because there are so many drunk driving deaths.


All that being said, where do you see this discussion going and what do you expect the end result to be?


I have no idea where the discussion will go nor do I expect any "end result" - other than the exchange of beliefs on a very hot topic.  It's no different than any other PotPourri post dealing with any hot topic.  Sometimes, a discussion like this will give participants "something new to think about."  Sometimes not.  But the topic is a hot one and many people have definite views on the topic.

P.S.  Passed the initial NCIS check for my concealed-carry permit.  Assuming the FBI check doesn't identify me as the Son of Sam (a mentally impaired killer) or a mob lieutenant, hehe, I should have my permit in 30 days.

Regards,
J. Alec West
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Offline startrekphase2DE

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 09:45:53 pm »
Why not combine gun control with nut-control?

You are always going to have mentally disturbed people in any country. The difference is that if they have any kind of access to firearms, they can cause a lot more damage than if they can say not access anything more dangerous than a knife.

If that kid had been in Europe, we would not have been able to get hold of the weapons in the first place as they would have been locked away at the gun club and not freely accessible in his mother's home.

Sure, you can still kill someone with a knife, but with a millitary style machine gun you can kill a lot more people.

There have been such situations in Europe, there was a particually bad case in Norway not long ago. But that was done by an extremest who went to tremendous measures to obtain the weapons he used. Not something a simple kid like in Sandy Hook would have been able to do.

In Europe we have various systems of universal health care so people with mental problems have access to proper medical treatment irrespective of their financial means.

Again, I agree that some kind of stun gun should be available for self-defense, but not the widespead arming of the population with heavy weapons. If the weapons are so easily available, someone is going to use them and innocent people are going to get hurt.

People are always going to have arguments and disputes. In Europe people might have a fist fight leading to a few bruises or even broken bones. With guns around, this can escalate to people getting killed which is infinitely worse.

If someone in Germany (where I live) gets shot, it makes national news and is discussed for days how such a thing can be prevented. As I understand it in the USA, someone getting shot is often hardly reported in the news as it is so common.

I prefer to live in a society where it is highly unlikely to be shot because virtually nobody except the police have firearms. In the UK, most of the police do not even carry guns at all.

Altogether, a much safer society although you can still get run over by a car or bus of course.

Now I know that my opinions are not going to change anything in the USA, but I feel it is important to at least get you guys thinking about the fact that other countries are very different in how they handle gun control and have far fewer deaths because of it.

As to Michael Moore, I have seen his films and they at least put accross an interesting point of view. On his website, be does back up his statements in great detail. Like anybody, I am sure he has made his share of mistakes and misrepresentations. I do not agree with a number of points he makes about the British health service in his film Sicko, for example.

In my opinion, the only way to form a balanced opinion is to have a good impartial look at what both sides of the argument are saying and check any facts you find are important. Once you have understood both sides, you are better placed to form a proper opinion of your own. Be careful of properganda as there is way to much of that out there trying to influence you with stories of extreme cases. One needs to be able to see through the bullshit from either side and get to the established facts.

By refusing to watch Moore's movies for example, how are you going to understand or consider any legitimate points he may be making? If you watch it and then tear it apart because he got his facts wrong, then that is fine and legitimate. However, you might find that at least some of what he says is correct and worthy of consideration. To somehow dismiss the opinions of people like him out of hand, is simply short sighted in my opinion. In the same way, it is also important to look at the arguments put by the gun lobby so you understand those, too.

The important thing is to then check the important points made by either side so that you can filter out the properganda from the facts.

I have certainly read the pros and cons presented by both sides of the argument to try and understand it. My personal conclusion is that I prefer people to settle their differences without guns playing a role in it.

This is not about politics, it is about respecting life.

Peter
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