Loc: Florida, USA
I would like to say that the shootings at VT yesterday was insane. I have a few friends that go there and I have no idea if they're alright or not.
Also I would like to point out the government has no idea about the motive and they should shut up and let the police and FBI that is there handle it. Yesterday on the news some congressman was saying it had to do with video games. From other school shootings the shooters had DOOM on their computers and clam they were using it as a "simulator" to "train" for the shooting. 70% of teens to young adults own some sort of copy of DOOM. Also you can't use DOOM as a sim because from some one like me that plays a lot of airsoft and paintball can't use a keyboard and mouse as a alternative use for "training". In a video game you can hit on target easily but with a real weapon or even with a toy weapon you have little chance of hitting the target unless you trained with them a lot at a gun range.
Over here the coverage has almost completely bypassed the 'shock horror' bit you usually get on news coverage of things like this. UK agencies just went straight into the whole gun law angle and has started bashing the NRA, and saying "even a tragedy like this isn't going to change the [stupid] American's opinions on gun control."
There were guys for and against tighter gun controls in the US on Newsnight last night. The anti-gun control guy really did look quite foolish to me. The presenter seized on his remark about how it would have been much better if the students had been armed themselves, and asked if he thought all school children should carry guns to school. He squirmed a bit on that one before admitting that he regularly carried a gun himself. Refused to admit he had one on him when the presenter asked him to show it though. I can see the 'logic' in his argument, but I use the term very loosely. Its short sighted logic at best. He argued that in the UK, all the guns were in the hands of criminals, and the innocent could not defend themselves. The facts say that we have a consederably lower annual rate of gun murders/deaths (both) per head than in the US. In truth, so many deaths just would not happen if people just didn't have guns. The criminals are going to get guns if they want them, legally or otherwise (they are criminals remember). If they couldn't steal or buy them, they'd make them. Having more guns in circulation simply creates more criminals. How many people ever get angry enough to want to shoot someone? And how many of them get over it fairly quickly if the opportunity to do so does not readily present itself? How many of those annual US gun murders are by jilted lovers who keep a gun in a drawer in their house for emergencies or self defence. No one here is questioning the motives of the many non-criminal gun owners in the US, (hell I enjoy firing guns when I get the chance, but I am happy enough with air guns and inanimate targets. And I could own an airgun if I wanted, yet I don't) it just that we feel very strongly that the numbers speak for themselves, and that the resulting loss of life is simply a ridiculous price to pay. For a geeky student with questionable social skills, plucking up the courage to go buy a gun over a counter at a shop or a show (where apparently no background checks are required in some places) is a far cry from trawling a seedy and dangerous criminal underworld for someone who will actually sell you a gun in preference to just pointing it at you and taking your money. Apparently a guy once bought 1100 handguns at a gun show for cash. For me, that sets alarm bells ringing. Big ones. With smaller bells on. What does everyone here think about it? Will America ever ban gun ownership? And should they?
As long as America is more rural than urban, no, we won't ban gun ownership, at least not rifles/shotguns. As a Virginian (I'm at school at UVA, but plenty of my friends go to VT - they're all ok, but friends of friends were killed yesterday) its hard for me to objectively weigh in on gun laws right now, but I'd say there is pretty much never any need for handguns.
On a related note, there was a lot of talk yesterday and today criticizing the administration for not warning people earlier, the quote floating around is something like, "The administration has blood on their hands." Excuse the french, but that is f***ing ridiculous. You can't shut down everything every time a gun is fired, especially since the jilted lover killing, as Waragainstsleep points out, is all too common, and who is going to think that that is going to turn into a shooting rampage? And even if the administration had sent an email saying that someone had been shot in what appeared to be domestic violence, there is about a .0001% chance that anyone would go about their day differently.
Anyways, the whole thing is way more than I can comprehend or put to words - just so messed up. Keep everyone involved in prayers and thoughts.
__________________ 15" MBP late 2008
There are many factor that contribute to these senseless shootings, but availability of guns just make it easier for stressed and confused kids to do stupid things...
My father was a hunter, so he tought me how to handle guns and knives since I was a little kid, he gave me a .22 magnum caliber with a sniper scope for my 15th birthday...
He told me that guns shoul ALWAYS be pointed to the ground or preferably high up, don't have a round in the chamber until you must put it in; but most importantly that guns belong either in the shooting ground or a gun locker...
never keep a gun readily available (as in your car) a bad situation can make you loose control and reach for it, even if you are a calm person you CAN loose control...
Rifles and shotguns shouldnt be banned, assault rifles and certain short arms certainly should... a rifle or shotgun is made to hunt and is not easy to conceal... a small arm (9mm gun) or submachine gun are easily hidden and are only meant to kill people; why in the world would a regular person need one of these guns for? they belong to trained, controlled soldiers and law enforcement officers only.
The asian kid WAS NOT a criminal, until he made a HUGE, ENORMOUS mistake, hurting many many people in a deep way, if the guns had not been at his disposal his rampage probably would have resulted in a fistfight and perhaps his arrest, and he as well as 32 other people would have lived to see a new day.
I feel very sorry for all of those involved, my condolences to everyone
My usage of the term ban was a bit over generalised. I should point out that many people in the UK still have rifles and shotguns to hunt with, but I believe they are required by law to be kept in a locked metal cabinet, and also require a license.
The vast, vast majority of our gun crime is comitted in our cities. Most of the legitimate gun owners are of course in the countryside where you find things to hunt.
I imagine that like Kisin, most US gun owners are taught to use and keep their weapons properly, but like he says if someone really pissed him off, how long would it take to get a gun out of a cabinet and load it up?
The real tragedy is that this will happen again before anything happens about it.
Loc: Florida, USA
Here in the states you have to go though a 3 to 5 day process for a background check. 9 times out of ten the gun is registered to the owner. The serial numbers are also log so they know where the gun was bought from and so on.
The NRA is just a gun club that fights our right to bare arms but it's not like we can go buy a cannon and stick it on our door step. were only limited to small arms and semi auto rifles.
The NRA doesn't go around and tell people to shoot others or anything. Besides we all know guns don't kill people, people kill. Have to realize guns isn't the only weapon in the world. Theres knifes, swords, bombs, tazers, etc etc etc.
I live in a city that has the largest murders Yet most of them aren't from shootings but from blunt objects, cars and stabbings. The police are trying to do away with guns and use tazers but lately they have been killing people due to hitting fatal spots on the body.
The gun laws here or pretty simple. When the gun is not in use it can't be loaded and must locked in a gun cabinet with a trigger lock. If you have a gun in the car then the gun must be out of sight (glove box) and the ammo kept in the trunk. Most people here have guns for home protection and hunting. We have a few people that have concealed weapon perments due to a small police force but you go under a psychiatric test. A patently im what they call a socialpath (not a psychopath) so I can't have one although I never planed or tried to get a perment. I own a colt 1911 that was my grand father's from WWII. I have one clip for it but no ammo and I never shot it and it sits in it's holster in a metal box under lock and key.
When you get down to it were all crazy but not enough to kill people for no reason. The only time I would ever think to kill some one is if say I was in Iraq.
Once some one break into my home once when I was 17 and I beat the crap out of him but never got to the point of wanting to kill him or anything. Just broke out a metal pipe that went to a shelf and hit'em in the back and hit him twice in the back of the legs then me and my dad tied him to a chair until the cops showed up. Funny thing was the guy tried to sue me for beating him up but the courts ruled in my favor since the guy had a knife (not in hand but in his pocket). If I didn't get to the guy first my father might of kill him with a 12gauge mosseburg shot gun slug.
If they were to change the gun law they should add a psychiatric test and if they pass they have to take a weapons and firearms class like what the NRA offers.
You make some very good points, those laws are quite sensible on paper anyway. (I think that maybe guns should only be allowed in cars if you intend to use them to hunt or on a range). But your penultimate sentence says it all, despite all those precautions and your own very responsible attitude to gun ownership and presumably your Dads, he still might have killed that guy.
Its not that we all think that the NRA are killers, but their arguments don't often come across very well. If people were not allowed to own handguns and automatic weapons, and controls were tighter on the rifles and things you were allowed, then many if not all of the deaths at VT, Colombine and numerous other single and multiple killings simply would not have happened. For me thats a no brainer.
I am fairly biast as I am an avid gun-rights supporter, shooter, collector, and trainer. I have studied tactical shooting, military history (in college), and worked for a gun store for 2 years, dealing with the best and the worst of the gun community. As a gun owner I have friendships with people of all political motivations, sexual preferences, religions, and races.
I will never "blow up" or insult those who fear guns, or even those who wish them to be melted and destroyed. I understand your anger is directed towards tho hope for a more peaceful country, and I support your right to voice your opinion. Here's mine:
Gun crime certainly is a problem in the United States, as knife crime is a problem in Great Britain. Handguns do NOT require 3 day waiting periods in many states, and the FBI NICS or State Police officers that conduct gun "background checks" do not often consult any information regarding psychological health- ie documentation from courts regarding non-criminal/non-commitable mental illness. In fact there are many peopel that can procure guns that should not own even a child's bolt action .22 rifle.
"HANDGUNS ARE UNNECESARY". In America, I would truly wish for a day when a peaceful society could live in harmony. These, unfortunatly, are not days of harmony, and disarming the greater proportion of law-abiding handgun carriers would send a message to criminals that "business is open" just about anywhere. Remember, banning handguns will not ban the millions of handguns illegally on the streets aready. Perhaps we should have nipped this problem in the bud years ago, but that time has come and past. Ther ewill ALWAYS be handguns in America, be them legal or not.
I legally carry my handgun in my car on road trips. This was spurred by a 2001 incident when an armed robber at a Love's in Arizona attempted to carjack my then-girlfriend. She was able to protect herself with her legally owned handgun, and when the state police showed up 40 minutes later, she leared that the man in question had been wanted for multiple counts of rape. This is the day in age we live in, and it is truly unfortunate that there are those in our society who would choose to pray upon folks that simply want to go about their lives. I believe that those who would liek to carry their handguns legally shoudl be allowed to do so- after all, the permitting process required to conceal your gun requires in most cases a face-to-face sit down with a Sherrif or judge so you can be sized up given a chance to prove your good willed and law-abiding nature. Again, criminals do not care about laws, and will carry their guns anywhere. When their guns run out of ammunition, they will pick up lead pipes and baseball bats.
"ASSAULT WEAPONS ARE POINTLESS". I understand people's fear of "evil" guns. JFK was killed with a bolt action Italian 5 shot rifle designed in the late 1800's. Martin Luther King was murdered with a Remington pump-action rifle that was, at the time, available at Montgomery Ward's and Sears for under $100 with scope. 168 civilians and government workers were killed in Oklahoma City with cow manure and gasoline. Assault rifles may look "mean", but honestly, their high price and harder-to-find ammunition force common criminals to seek out a cheaper means of commiting their heinous acts. The common semi-automatic AKM-47 is available in a Romanian variant for $400, the ammo is purchased in 20 round boxes for $6 or more each. A 9mm handgun can be purchased in a gun store for as little as $75, ammunition is available at Wal-Mart for $14 per box of 100.
I own many "assault rifles" and enjoy their mechanics, their historical significance, and the great fun that can be had shooting them at paper targets or a disfunctional television set on a shooting range. There have been two crimes commited with "assualt rifles"- the LA Bank Robberies that involved illegally procured and illegally modified weapons, and a smaller multiple-murder in Seattle last year involving an angry youth and a rave party. The greater portion of gun crime is commited with inexpensive HUNTING weapons, namely the Mossberg 500 pump shotgun in 12 gauge, the Marlin Model 60 .22 rifle, and the "Hi-Point" C9 9mm pistol (a cheap gun that is designed to be sold for under $99, and a bad idea in my opinion).
"GUN CULTURE CAUSES GUN CRIME". This is as vacant a sentence as "DOOM CAUSES GUN CRIME." In the 50's, 60's, and 70's in Canada and the US, 4H students would get on the high school bus with their rifles for target practice with the team after school. "Assault weapons" such as the FN-FAL and M-16 and others could be ordered from catalogs for $50-$200, and NO crimes of substance enough to record them in news print were commited. NO school shootings, NO mass gun murders. Suddenly, the 1990's come along and kid's start popping each other off in school. Why is that? Guns have always bee naround, kids have always been around and have often been angry, but what has changed?
Is this rise in shootings caused by Gun culture as popularized by the media? I don't believe so. Sure, we have The Matrix, Resovoir Dogs, and other such gun-glorifying movies that show off the newest and baddest technology of modern guns, but what of youth in the 50's running about the backyard with chromed toy revolvers, reinacting the great gun battles of John Wayne and the Magnificent Seven? Every child inthye 1950's must have yurned for a Tommy Gun liek the great hero's of the Mob films and the Beaches of Iwo Jima, hoped for a sawed-off Winchester 92 lever rifle like the cowboys had... Surley gun culture was as relevent then, and I don't remember children taking their readily accesible weapons out and pretending to "kill Injuns" in real life?
I love my Macintosh computers. I have spent years fine tuning my collection. Each one has a history, a story of those that worked to fuse life into plastic and silicon. I would shudder at the idea of someone insulting me or berating me for my love of these fine machines. Likewise, I love my guns, care for my guns, and believe that they have made me a more responsible person. "With great power comes great responsibility" in my opinion, and every true lawful gun owner and good human being understands that owning a device of power -be it a knife, a gun, a broadband internet connection, a fast car...- does not mean the power is yours simply to abuse. Knife crimes, Shootings, Hacking, DWI, all are part of a greater problem that we as Americans and humans need to address before attacking the devices that might be only "enablers" of these crimes.
After all, the Ford Taurus was once the most frequent vehicle seen in fatal DWI wrecks, but we will put that knowledge aside and try to come up with better ways to prevent DWI BEFORE the car gets involved rather than just taking Ford cars off the market.
Your point about the number of guns already in circulation is very interesting. I suppose one could argue that it is similar to the western worlds attitude to tobacco. Too many people have been smoking for too long to get away with banning smoking, but we all know its bad for us and it probably should be banned. Please don't think I'm some kind of hippy, I have been known to smoke on occasion. The only problem I see with your arguments, or rather your analogies, is that guns cannot drive you to work, or slice vegetables for your dinner (I guess you could shoot them up, but lets be reasonable here). If you want to you can kill people with all manner of frankly silly objects which are considered non-lethal and not even dangerous. Guns however have no other purpose than to kill things.
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