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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 2777 times)

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Offline AlecWest

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2013, 08:45:53 am »

How much is a human life worth?
How much is the trauma of having shot someone worth?
Hospital bills?
Buying a gun and obtaining suitable training costs money, too!


You probably already know what my answers are.  But in any case, here goes.  The life of a human being who doesn't pose a threat to the life of another human being is worth a lot.  But in my opinion, the life of a human being who DOES pose a threat the life of another human being isn't worth spit ... especially if the human being being threatened is me.  The "trauma of having shot someone" is always brought up by some reporters who interview people who've defended themselves.  It's a mixed bag.  I've heard all different kinds of responses from tearful retorts to people who are surprised the question is even being asked.  In one instance, I heard someone say, "Excuse me - but are you waiting for me to apologize for defending myself?"  Some people would be traumatized.  Others wouldn't be traumatized at all.  One thing, though.  I suspect that in most cases, the trauma felt by people who've successfully defended themselves against an assailant would be short-lived.  People in that situation would likely give an answer like, "Well, nobody wants to kill anybody.  But sometimes, it's all you can do to save yourself."

Hospital bills?  For the assailant?  Depends on whether the person defending themselves aims shots to "disable" the assailant or "kill" the assailant.  If the latter, there are no hospital bills.

Costs of guns and training?  That's a mixed bag, too, and can go from very expensive to not expensive at all.  This is my situation.  I chose to buy a high-end "new-in-the-box" gun.  But that's just me.  I like warranties in case of manufacturing defects.  I live in a studio apartment.  And if the truth be known, I'm better off financially than my landlady.  I live where I live, not because I have to, but because I choose to.  There's no way she could pay even a "part" of a structural upgrade since her only stable income is my rent payment and disability Social Security.  And there's no way I'd pay for a structural upgrade to an apartment I might not be living in 5 years from now.  My landlady owns a gun, too, but she bought it "used" (Taurus) and it's not as sophisticated as mine (Springfield).  Used handguns can be incredibly cheap while still being able to do the job of self-defense.

When it comes to training, that depends on where you live.  In my area (rural unincorporated Lewis County, WA), even police agencies don't have access to high-tech indoor ranges.  So, like everyone else, they practice at one of several quality outdoor ranges.  The range closest to me (2 miles away) doesn't charge any user fee and is maintained by the county.  My gun training from the gun shop will only set me back by $25.  Training on the range?  On any given day, there are a number of county sheriff deputies there, eager to answer questions and give advice (for free).

BTW, just a note on "response times" in rural areas like mine.  Try 30-45 minutes.


In some of your comments, I find your lack of regard for human life and willingness to put yourself at risk, reckless to say the least.


Violent criminals (and nuts) have no regard for my life and, within limits (maybe), are willing to put themselves at risk.  And until cops can be "beamed" to my location in real-time, I'm my first line of defense against these people.  If you can't appreciate that, well, you are entitled to your opinion.

P.S. (just for clarification purposes)  In Lewis County, Washington, the sheriff deputies at gun ranges practice "off the clock."  The county will let them use county weapons and ammo but their practice time is their own - meaning they show up in private autos with no police radios.  I live about a mile outside the city limits of Vader, WA.  There used to be a Vader City Police Department - consisting of one policeman and no staff.  But he found another job and left in early 2011 and they still haven't found a replacement.  The nearest town to Vader is Winlock, 6 miles away.  Vader used to contract with them for service ... but contract talks broke down and now Winlock itself only has one policeman and no staff.  The town of Castle Rock is 10 miles away - but is in Cowlitz County.  And Castle Rock cops (or Cowlitz County Sheriffs) would never serve my area - any more than they'd serve a town in Oregon state.

So, being in an unincorporated area of Lewis County, there are only two "cop" options - Lewis County Sheriffs or Washington State Patrol.  The WSP tends to be on the I5 freeway most of the time.  And Lewis County Sheriff deputies tend to patrol the suburban areas of Centralia or Chehalis, the largest towns in the county.  That's where the 30-45 minute response times come from.

FWIW, when the Vader policeman quit, the town found itself in such a budget crunch that they had to lay off 2 people who constituted the Vader Fire Department.  They had a small fire truck and an ambulance (one of the two firemen was an EMT technician).  A week after I moved here, an elderly woman just across the street from me had a heart attack.  Response time?  Just under one hour.  She was dead on arrival at the closest hospital 20 miles away.  After than incident, Lewis & Cowlitz counties formed a "coalition" for fire and EMT services.  The basis upon which this coalition was formed was the coalition's ability to acquire the small fire truck and ambulance owned by Vader.  Note that this ambulance was only minutes away from the lady who died ... but there was no EMT to drive it.  So, it just sat idle.  Vader agreed to sell both vehicles to the coalition so at least EMT and fire service is now back to normal.  And the money Vader made on the sales is being used to fund a search for a new town police officer (sigh).

Regards,
J. Alec West
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 10:07:01 am by AlecWest »
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Offline qoSagh

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2013, 02:52:10 pm »
Wow so many places to go with this thread, I probably should have logged on before it got to three pages.

As to the initial survey, I was torn between #1 and #2 but only because of the way #2 was worded. There are current laws that I do not agree with, that could use some reform, but I knew that was not really where the questions were going.

As for Michael Moore, I will observe the same forum rules and say no more, other than to mention spoon control would probably save his life.

The well regulated militia at the time the constitution was written was made up of the people. They most certainly did bring their own guns, although there were some stores of guns that the colonists started keeping after the British seized arms and gunpowder in an effort to control the citizens. As a matter of fact the march on Lexington and Concord was for the specific purpose of seizing those privately owned guns. The citizens at that time that did not own guns were the ones who were right enough to buy food from those that had guns. However the 2nd amendment has that all important coma in it so that it does not say the right of the militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. My states constitution does not mention militias but it does protect the right to keep and bear arms. However it should also be remembered that the founding fathers did not see the constitution as granting rights, they saw it is protecting rights that were granted us by our creator.

Someone mentioned that gun control statistically makes for safer communities, well that simply is not true. If it were would Chicago and Washington DC be locked in battle for Murder capital of the country?

Europe has very little gun crime, but quite allot of violent crime. People who want to hurt other people do not care what laws are in place to keep them from doing so. My city recently had an armed robbery occur outside our shopping mall on a crowded street, in the middle of the day. The 16 year old victim was shot in the leg by the 17 year old criminal. Our state requires you to be 21 and have a permit to carry a handgun like he used. Guess what the criminal did not follow the law.

I live in a fairly big city for my state, we have the largest police department in our immediate area, we still often do not have enough officers to respond to calls. Trust me the dispatchers are not just making up rules as they go along, as a matter fact very little of the prioritization is done by the dispatchers. These rules are set by high ranking police officers. I have been a dispatcher for 24 years and it is usually not up to me to delay a call, unless there are two calls of similar priority in the same area of town at the exact same time. Then I have to figure out which one gets the close units.  Even when the decision is mine, it is based on training and experience and ongoing call volume and a number of other factors and is still subject to being overruled by police sergeants both in my dispatch center and out on the road. There are days when no call waits and there are days when every call waits, although most days fall in between. Chicago Police  just announced they are no longer responding to calls that are not both IN PROGRESS and HAVE A SUBSTANTIAL LIFE THREAT. Good thing they have gun control there so they don't need so many police.

Now lets look at this in a Star Trek perspective. The subject is rarely if ever brought up but we do have phasers (and disruptors) so we know that while the federation is supposedly a better place to live in, they have continued to pursue weapons technology. They have even continued to make weapons small enough to fit in the average hand. While I don't know about any episodes that mentioned specific phaser laws, we did see numerous engineers and scientists carry them in the course of their duties, even the pacifist Spock often carried one. We did see a bit of an arms race in the episode "A Private Little War" where Kirk armed the populace to fight off the oppressive Klingon government.

Offline startrekphase2DE

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2013, 03:47:15 pm »
Europe has very little gun crime, but quite allot of violent crime.

Now lets look at this in a Star Trek perspective. The subject is rarely if ever brought up but we do have phasers (and disruptors) so we know that while the federation is supposedly a better place to live in, they have continued to pursue weapons technology. They have even continued to make weapons small enough to fit in the average hand. While I don't know about any episodes that mentioned specific phaser laws, we did see numerous engineers and scientists carry them in the course of their duties, even the pacifist Spock often carried one. We did see a bit of an arms race in the episode "A Private Little War" where Kirk armed the populace to fight off the oppressive Klingon government.

I would dispute that there is a lot of violent crime in Europe. I have lived in Europe all my life and visited many countries. I have yet to be in a place where I did not feel perfectly safe. Sure, if you get involved in drugs, crime or football, then that could be dangerous, but for the average working person over here, you are unlikely to be confronted with violence on the streets. I have certainly never seen any violence at all beyond seeing some football hooligans in the distance (and that was in the UK). There are some countries more dangerous than others, in particular ex-eastern block countries can be dangerous. The western countries I have been to were all safe in my own experience as long as you do not go around hurling abuse at people (then it is your own fault if you get into trouble). I would not want to be a banker in Cyprus right now however, they do have to worry about violence against their person (The Cyprus government wants to confiscate 10% of private funds in bank accounts to pay off national debt).

The only time I was seriously concerned for my safety was when visiting Los Angeles in California. I wanted to walk to a letter box to post some postcards and the hotel owner warned me that someone had just been shot in the area. I decided not to go out that night and let the hotel post my postcards.

Another reason I think Europe is much safer than the USA is because of the social security net which exists here. If you are unemployed, your basic needs are still catered for while you look for a new job for example. I have never seen people in the streets here with signs saying "I am hungry" like I have seen so often in the USA.

To be fair, I am living in Germany which has a strong economy and a good social net, so maybe I am just not aware of the more desparate people in countries like Greece.

As to Star Trek and phasers, who likes my idea of allowing phaser like weapons capable of demobalizing criminals instead of killing or seriously hurting them. I personally think that is the best solution to allow people to defend themselves without actually killing the opponent. I believe it should not be up to the individual to impose the death penalty on others under the guise of self-defense as that opens up the possibility of people commiting homicide and then just claiming it was self-defense. I think that is a very dangerous situation to allow. It should be up to the judge and jury to determine the guilt and punishment to be applied under the law.

For those watching the current series of Dallas, we had the situation of Ann Ewing shooting her ex-husband after a lot of provacation. If he had been faster with a gun, he could have shot Ann instead and claimed self-defense. There would have been no witnesses. In court it turned out that she was granted probabtion which was correct in this case I feel. Had self-justice have been applied, a very different and wrong outcome would have ensued. I hope this example helps to explain why I see self-justice as being very dangerous, whereas simply stunning the opponant is a correctly measured response and should be permitted for self-defense purposes.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 04:05:59 pm by trekcon »
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Offline qoSagh

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2013, 05:13:21 pm »
It is up to judges and juries and courts of law. The question really is who are you punishing. Even in most self defense cases the shooter is charged and has to defend themselves in court. We have had a very high profile case going on for the past year or so in another state that is this type of case and the trial is not scheduled until the late spring.

I have not been watching Dallas but in the basic situation you describe, Ann points the gun at her husband, if he had shot her it most certainly would have been self defense. What makes her any more qualified than him to decide on an out of court death penalty? However he did not, so she is likely not able to use that legal defense.

Your idea of less than lethal devices is an interesting one. We do have a few weapons of that type but they are heavily restricted. Most of them being designed for law enforcement where size was not an issue are not well suited for the civilian market. There is some work to be done before they are ready for everyone, although the basic premise is doable.

As for the safety nets, we have a very unsustainable series of those in place. We still have hungry people. The causes of their situations are many and likely not all correlate to violence. One thing to note is that I have seen quite a few beggars in the street and almost as a rule they are non-violent. They hold signs, rattle their cups, some will ask for help (as it is generally illegal to ask for money) but I have never felt that they posed any physical threat to me and I have certainly never been threatened by any on them. I know there is a correlation between poverty and violence but I find a big difference between those asking for help and those taking what they want by force. So there are other factors than lack of income in why people become criminals.

Offline MSgtGlennSmith

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2013, 06:36:54 pm »
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.

(chop)
Regards

Peter

Hi, Peter. If you are referring to yourself as the messenger, in no way did I attack you. If you are referring to Michael Morre as the messenger, I did not attack him. I simply inferred to you that my feelings of him are not positive. In fact, his films are biased in the extreme. But enough about him. I will address the four points you listed.

GRAPHIC IMAGES: I have seen more than images. I've seen it live, more than I care to remember. That has served to reinforce my opinion.
USA GUN VIOLENCE: Assuming statistics back your statement up, that does not surprise me. There are millions of guns here. Additional controls and/or bans will not change that. Criminals will get guns and use guns anyway.
STUN GUNS: I would love to carry a non-lethal gun that doesn't require that I be attached to my target with wires. Let me know if you invent one (no sarcasm intended).
FINGERPRINT/IRIS SCAN: I'm all for it. If it were to become available (and affordable) I would have that kind of gun.
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Offline startrekphase2DE

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2013, 06:55:39 pm »
Just briefly: For a workable stun gun, how about using rubber or plastic bullets that can be used in existing guns. They are designed to be non-lethal (although they can be) and have been used extensively in many countries for riot control. Now I am no expert, but would not such rubber/plastic bullets serve as a suitable way of  using existing guns non-lethally?

Another alternative would be using an accustic stun gun that directs a how power sound wave.

The electronics for fingerprint recognition are quiet cheap and easily mass-produced. Certainly in new guns, it would not be difficult or expensive to implement. Converting old guns is probably possible, but I am no expert.

Iris recognition is probably a little more difficult, but doable.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 07:17:08 pm by trekcon »
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Offline MSgtGlennSmith

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2013, 10:37:26 am »
Just briefly: For a workable stun gun, how about using rubber or plastic bullets that can be used in existing guns. They are designed to be non-lethal (although they can be) and have been used extensively in many countries for riot control. Now I am no expert, but would not such rubber/plastic bullets serve as a suitable way of  using existing guns non-lethally?
Keep in mind that in riot control situations those rubber bullets are almost always fired at medium to long range. In home defense situations it wouldn't make much difference because of the relatively close ranges involved. To function properly, semi-automatic handguns require a minimum grain count -- too low and the slide will not travel all the way to the rear and chamber the next round. With the minimum grain count, rubber bullets would most likely still be lethal at such close range. While revolvers don't function the same way, if the grain count is TOO low there is a risk that the projectile will jam inside the barrel. Remember, projectiles fit very tightly in the barrel and are forced out by the pressure of the mini-explosion behind them. That's why the barrel leaves marks, called striations, that ballistics experts can examine to match bullets to the guns they came out of.

Another alternative would be using an accustic stun gun that directs a how power sound wave.
But those are not commercially available, at least not in any gun shop I've ever been in.

The electronics for fingerprint recognition are quiet cheap and easily mass-produced. Certainly in new guns, it would not be difficult or expensive to implement. Converting old guns is probably possible, but I am no expert.
Nor am I in regards to that technology, so I can't discuss it from a knowledgable point of view.

Iris recognition is probably a little more difficult, but doable.
Again, I know nothing of the technology.
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Offline AlecWest

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2013, 04:00:13 pm »

Just briefly: For a workable stun gun, how about using rubber or plastic bullets that can be used in existing guns. They are designed to be non-lethal (although they can be) and have been used extensively in many countries for riot control. Now I am no expert, but would not such rubber/plastic bullets serve as a suitable way of  using existing guns non-lethally?


Keep in mind that in riot control situations those rubber bullets are almost always fired at medium to long range. In home defense situations it wouldn't make much difference because of the relatively close ranges involved. To function properly, semi-automatic handguns require a minimum grain count -- too low and the slide will not travel all the way to the rear and chamber the next round. With the minimum grain count, rubber bullets would most likely still be lethal at such close range. While revolvers don't function the same way, if the grain count is TOO low there is a risk that the projectile will jam inside the barrel. Remember, projectiles fit very tightly in the barrel and are forced out by the pressure of the mini-explosion behind them. That's why the barrel leaves marks, called striations, that ballistics experts can examine to match bullets to the guns they came out of.


Exactly.  Rubber bullets are effective at a distance but lethal at close range.  And most home invasion situations are close-range situations.  Acoustic weapons are still in a developmental phase.  But even there, you'd have to make such a sonic weapon "directional" unless you wanted to risk hearing impairments to innocent bystanders (and yourself).  Fingerprint-activated weapons are a good idea ... assuming a person could afford the technology ... but would make further transfers of the weapon between owners and anybody else (son, daughter, mother, father, friend) problematic.  Not sure the gun-buying public would go for it.

Tasers have caused deaths according to Amnesty International.  Any kind of "electrical shock" weapon might work well on one person but kill someone with cardiovascular problems (or not even be felt by someone under the influence of PCP or crack).  "Net-guns" are proficient in stopping a fleeing criminal.  But it would likely tick off the assailant - and an assailant's bullets can breach nets.

It would be nice if we lived in a perfect world where non-lethal weapons worked effectively on all assailants.  Unfortunately, we don't.

Regards,
J. Alec West
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Offline qoSagh

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2013, 05:47:09 pm »
As long as we are talking about living in a perfect world, lets just have one with no criminals and nobody attacking anyone else.  :grhug:

Offline AlecWest

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2013, 07:40:26 pm »

As long as we are talking about living in a perfect world, lets just have one with no criminals and nobody attacking anyone else.  :grhug:


Or ... do you remember the "Outer Limits" episode titled, "The Bellero Shield?"  It dealt with an alien technology where aliens had created a "personal" shield that protected anyone inside it.  Of course, that would only work until criminals acquired their own shields ... making it impossible to capture them and put them in custody.  As Rosanne Rosannadanna once said, "It's always somethin'."  8)

BTW, the Assault Weapons Ban didn't have enough support in the U.S. Senate and was stricken from their proposed gun-control bill today ... which doesn't mean that the remaining gun control bill is any more popular without the ban.

P.S.  Just a humorous aside (crime-related but not gun-related).  Often times when society prevents one crime, another crime pops up to take its place.  When the installation of passive auto alarms became commonplace, the only way a thief could steal a car was by a crime that didn't exist until then - the carjacking.  But when carjacking became a problem, some alarm company came up with anti-carjacking scheme.  If someone held a gun to your head and ordered you out of your car, you'd get out.  But while still in sight of the fleeing car, the owner would reach in a pocket or purse and pull out a tiny control box with a button on it.  Press the button and a radio signal would instruct the car to turn itself off and freeze the ignition.  But knowing that the culprit would likely flee the scene afterward, the alarm company came up with a slightly more sophisticated scheme.  At the moment the car shut off and the ignition froze, a tiny camera mounted near the rearview mirror would take a photo of the person in the driver's seat.  When I heard of this, and as a former alarm company employee, I thought of another sophisticated add-on (evil grin).

As the carjacker is making off with your car, you press the control box button, and the following things would take place in this order:

(1)  the tiny camera would take a "BEFORE" picture of the person in the driver's seat.
(2)  the car would turn off and the ignition would freeze.
(3)  from underneath the driver's seat, a 12-inch pointy hydraulic telescoping stainless steel spike would extend itself upward quickly, impaling the carjacker in a "sensitive area" (grin).
(4)  the tiny camera would take an "AFTER" picture of the person in the driver's seat.

True, you'd have to replace the bloody seat.  And true, you'd probably spend some time in jail for violating the carjacker's "human rights."  But think of all the fun you'd have with friends after you got out of jail - sharing your BEFORE and AFTER photos on Facebook.
 :hyst:
Regards,
J. Alec West
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 07:42:10 pm by AlecWest »
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Offline qoSagh

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2013, 01:18:58 am »
As the carjacker is making off with your car, you press the control box button, and the following things would take place in this order:

(1)  the tiny camera would take a "BEFORE" picture of the person in the driver's seat.
(2)  the car would turn off and the ignition would freeze.
(3)  from underneath the driver's seat, a 12-inch pointy hydraulic telescoping stainless steel spike would extend itself upward quickly, impaling the carjacker in a "sensitive area" (grin).
(4)  the tiny camera would take an "AFTER" picture of the person in the driver's seat.

Or you could just get a TRUNK MONKEY, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee3L9BQQ4Gs

Offline crashpilot

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Re: Guns, guns, and more guns.
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2013, 01:20:23 am »
Alec, if anybody but you would have started this thread that person would have been spanked for trying to incite a riot.
Do not take this comment to mean that I'm agreeing or disagreeing with you... I've just been spanked enough in the past to know what it takes.   ::)



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