27
Jun
08

On air: Does everyone need a gun to feel safe?

In a landmark ruling the US Supreme Court has ruled that individual Americans have the right to own guns for personal use. It means a ban on handguns in Washington DC is unconstitutional. It’s the first time the court has considered the issue in almost 70 years.

Would you feel safer if you owned a gun? Do you believe it’s your right to have a gun and protect your home and family? After all it’s people, not guns that kill. Or if we lived in a world where everyone was armed would we see more death and destruction?

In March during arguments in this case, Justice Stephen Breyer cited statistics that between 80,000 and 100,000 people in the United States every year are killed or wounded in gun-related homicides or crimes, accidents or suicides.

Here are a few stats on guns, here are the rules governing other countries, here is one argument for the right to bear arms. Whereas US researcher Dr. Arthur Kellerman, says a household with a gun is 2.7 times more likely to experience a murder than a household without one, even while there was no significant increase in the risk of non-gun homicides.

 


255 Responses to “On air: Does everyone need a gun to feel safe?”


  1. 1 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 14:19

    Argh, this is an already biased topic by the title alone. First, this is limited to the US, we have an amendment that says the right to bear arms belongs to private individuals, with some restrictions, such as mental ill people, felons, etc. This is no impact on people in other nations (except Canada, as Will will argue). Does everybody need a gun to feel safe? Obviously not! Everyone is different, and some people don’t want a gun, let alone need one, but why ask such a question like this? I own guns, and I don’t feel any safer, or any less safe, and I don’t have them for any self defense reason. I have them because they are historical pieces, and I like to go to the shooting range. I don’t even keep any ammo at home for my handgun, and I would never use my rifles for home defense because I live in an apartment and the round is simply too powerful and could pass through walls and harm neighbors. I also have a doorman, and have never felt unsafe, though one time since I’ve lived there the police were in the hallways looking for someone, so no place is truly free of crime. Again what happens in the US on domestic matters impacts only the US. You are free to ban guns in the UK. As I stated in the TP for today, there is SO way to get rid of guns without suspending the constitution. So it’s either only the criminals have guns, or we allow law abiding people to have guns. Is it a perfect system? Of course not. There could be more gun accidents, though those are due to negligence. You are usually required to keep guns at home unloaded and locked. If you do that, and you actually hide the key, your kid cannot shoot himself. Will there be more gun related suicides? Sure. But is that any worse than killling yourself with an overdose or jumping off a bridge? If someone wants to die, they will find a way. People have killed themselves for a long time before guns were ever invented.

  2. 2 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 14:24

    The question is wrong.
    How can you ask “does everyone need a gun to feel safe” and then give gun rights in other countries along with gun statistics.
    Additionally your stats are also slanted and prejudiced as you do not show how many crimes were prevented because a gun was used to repel the perpetrator.
    C’mon Chloe I though so much more of you than this.
    Please rephrase the question.

  3. 3 selena
    June 27, 2008 at 14:32

    Safe is only a word.

    There is absolutely no way to be safe in this world. Something or someone can get you when you least expect it. It doesn’t take a gun.

    So, how can a gun make anyone feel safe?

  4. 4 CarlosK
    June 27, 2008 at 14:33

    Hi All

    The simple answer is NO.

    When I read the Supreme court ruling at huffpost.com yesterday I was sadden. Yesterday the Supreme court signed the death warrant for America. Yesterday and every day that America last will be another dark day for America and especially the people of Washington D.C because the local government in D.C. had a big problem of uncheck murders until they banned handguns now these bunch of “knows-it-all” have resurrected DEATH. I think the local government of DC should resign and ask the Judges to manage the city after yesterday’s ruling.

    America seems hell bent on destroying itself. How very sad. Where has common sense gone? The saying is indeed true- common sense is most uncommon.

    IT IS SO SAD TO SEE THE MIGHTY FALLING AND FALLEN.

    Carlos, Kingston-Jamaica.

  5. 5 Moses Magoola
    June 27, 2008 at 14:33

    The ruling is not surprising but just indicates how violent a State America is including its Judicial pratitioners. It justifies why the US has not accented to the Global campaign to eliminate proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons which are responsible for uncounted number of deaths in the world and violation of human rights. As it continues to impose its values on the rest of the world, legalizing individual gun ownership will be the next brand for the rest of the Globe. Watch this space!

    Moses Magoola

    Kampala, Uganda

  6. 6 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 14:34

    @ Selena

    I think she probably meant “safer”. And yes, though I would never walk around with one of my guns and don’t want a conceal carry permit, I would admit there probably wouldn’t be many neighborhoods I would be afraid to walk in if I were carrying. Just like having guns at home, so long as you are careful, and hopefully don’t have kids living there, you feel safer knowing if someone were to break in, you have access to a gun. But on the other hand, if you were suicidally depressed, and you had a gun, I would presume you would feel less safe because of the gun.

  7. 7 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 14:37

    @CarlosK

    You have no understanding of washington, DC. The murder rates were much lower before handguns were banned. I stated this all day yesterday, in 1976, DC banned Handguns. After they were banned, murder rates went up, and the vast majority were with handguns. Back in 1992, while handguns were banned, there was almost 500 murders in a city that had only 600,000 people. Would you care to retract your statement that “D.C. had a big problem of uncheck murders until they banned handguns”. Until they banned handguns? If you look to the murder rates, the problem got WORSE. Far worse after they banned handguns. You should read about the issues before you comment on them so you know what you are talking about!

  8. June 27, 2008 at 14:41

    Look who is talking, people from Africa where the origin of voilence is! Yes, I feel safer with the gun. That was a great ruling, to say that the constitution gives us the right, individual right to bear arms. The bad guys out there having guns and killing people, and the good people cannot have guns, that did not make sense. Now it makes sense.

  9. 9 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 14:50

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    This statement is uncomprisingly clear. It is a guarantee entitling individuals to own, keep and utilize arms AND form a militia. These concepts were supported by the setiments of the Framers of the Constitution. Formulated shortly after fighting off the British, a conflict in which militias formed the core of the American army and indivudals furnished their own weapons, the Second Amendment is the formalization of the memory of the conflict and the lessons derived from fighting it.

    Just as free speech (guaranteed in the First Amendment) formed the foundation of the American Revolution, the Second Amendment was the means through which independence was achieved. Please note the number of the Amendment! It is number two because in the minds of the Framers it was so indispensable and in the practical terms of history, it truly was.

    America has not experienced serious upheaval since then and the people have long forgotten that battle for individual rights, self-determination and liberty. Many Americans have adopted an attitude of false security, cringing at the worrying idea that one must sometimes sacrfice heavily for one’s rights. Since the Second Amendment embodies that truth, many Americans now wish to dispose of it or simply ignore. This is a deadly track to take and one which invariably leads to the loss of liberty which Americans are experiencing today.

  10. 10 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 14:51

    There are those that live in that special corner of Anaheim CA or Orlando FL called Fantasyland who think that if we ban guns all will be sweetness and light cannot understand that if illegal drugs cannot be stopped what makes them think that guns left only in the hands of criminals will be stopped? Why would they surrender their freedom to have the police omnipresent thinking that will make them safe?
    I live in the world as it is and a gun helps me to protect my family. Those that live in a fantasy can who think that by banning guns we can all love each other should remove the locks from their doors.
    The Supreme Court affirmed the most sacred of Constitutional principles in that Government derives it power from the PEOPLE and that the PEOPLE have the right to keep and bear arms. the Supreme Court affirmed that it is the PEOPLE not the Government that have political power.

  11. June 27, 2008 at 15:01

    First, I have to say I am pretty drawn towards the middle on this topic.

    On one side, prior to 2003 I voted for republican candidates, mostly, driven by two issues. Abortion and gun control laws. I have always felt that there are plenty of good laws in place, it is enforcement of the laws and an understanding of what leads to undesirable firing of guns that was the problem. Every time I hear about a large group of repressed people, i think, “Can’t we just give the villagers being massacred guns first and training?” In the end I want the right to own guns so we don’t become the next Zimbabwe, Rwanda, or Darfur. After 2003 the other things seemed more important.

    On the other side of the issue. One thing always strikes me as funny from the people who argue they need a gun for “personal protection”. It is the same thing that bothers me about people who worry about “terrorist attacks”. The have never personally been mugged, had their house assaulted, or been the victim of a terrorist attack. Most go on to die from too many fast food cheeseburgers, smoking, selfish drivers, stress of worrying about trivial things, or liquid self destruction. I have lived in some really rough parts, worked in equally financially repressed areas, yet never have I gotten into a situation where me having a gun would have been the best option. Your chances of needing a gun for protection each year is less then 1/10 of a percent.

    There is some kind of logical irony that people want guns to protect them from other people with guns. For the gun makers it is really a great business plan.

  12. 12 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 15:02

    Dan, I agree with you fully. Many of those who posted on this topic are from Europe or Africa. Europe is gradually giving away the political freedom of individuals to a government monolith and Africa never truly had it. Being an immigrant to the United States, I can attest that it is one of the only countries in which the People have (or rather at one time had) the political power, not the government.

    The latter concept is so alien to them that they cannot comprehend the American mindset. Why would Americans need guns if they are “protected” by the government they ask? I will never accept the kind of “protection” the government provides in Europe and especially in Africa. My safety is ultimately in my hands and my hands alone.

  13. 13 selena
    June 27, 2008 at 15:02

    @Dan

    “I live in the world as it is and a gun helps me to protect my family. Those that live in a fantasy can who think that by banning guns we can all love each other should remove the locks from their doors.”

    I don’t lock my doors; if my husband is around, they are always locked. It is a mindset.

    Also, I don’t think we love each other. We don’t even like each other.The fact is we love only ourselves.

    I live in a rural area where people always saw guns as a right.

    Two of my friends were incensed when the government asked them to give up their guns. They, too, felt gun’s would protect their families.

    In the end one friend’s son jumped off the roof of a university building; the other friend’s son was killed in a car accident.

    So much for protection…

  14. June 27, 2008 at 15:02

    I think the only reason you need a gun is to shoot yourself in the head when the government has made life so unbearable for you that you lose the plot.

    If governments need guns, so do the people.
    But little ones.
    Governments don’t like the people to have big guns.
    That’s their game.
    Sorry, you are their game.

    Malc

  15. 15 CarlosK
    June 27, 2008 at 15:05

    @ Steve

    If banning guns contributed to increased murders in D.C. why did the local government fight “too and nail’ to retain n the ban? How about suicides by the gun? Did they also increase after the ban? What about domestic violence with the gun did that also increase after the ban? What about school shootings did that also increase after the ban?!

    Guns are evil! The good guys (security forces) are already tainted by them. Why should every “Tom, Dick and Harry” have the right to purchase a gun an blow out his neighbours head becuase he thinks it too big?

    Guns should only be issued for work or sport no other reason.

    Gun possession doesn’t make a man or woman its character that counts.

    Carlos, Kingston-

  16. 16 ZK
    June 27, 2008 at 15:06

    August 2007: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2007/08/an_armed_society_is_a_polite_s.html The point Rose from Virginia made back then once more seems apt to discuss.

    Does everyone need a gun to feel safe? No. I feel safe without a gun. Why can’t others?

  17. 17 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 15:08

    I feel far more at risk in a society where guns are uncontrolled (i.e. the USA) than I do in virtually any other western democracy–and statistics back up this feeling.

    In today’s Talking Points I’ve been trying to understand the mind set that dictates it is necessary to have unrestricted access to guns to give people political power. Nobody has been able to explain it to me. The USA may have been the first democracy but it no longer has a monopoly on putting people in control of the government. However, America is pretty well the only country in which the concepts of democracy and the right to bear arms are inextricably linked. It is also the only country I know where usually reasonable people become so defensive whenever gun control is even mentioned.

    The nearest I’ve come to an explanation is that the principle of bearing arms is an archaic notion–but that once this particular genie is out of the bottle it is nigh on impossible to put back.

    However I, for one, sleep better in a country where the ownership and carrying of guns is tightly controlled. Not banned…just controlled.

  18. 18 Ogola Benard
    June 27, 2008 at 15:09

    I personally see nothing wrong with having a hand gun except that one should know how to buldge it on his waist and how to use it. He oe she should know when to draw it and why draw it?
    Those i need of hand guns should not be caught of wrongful confinement for carriage of your hand gun.
    What about the under age and scholars, how would they be treated? There are cases when a child would carry it to school!

  19. 19 Robert
    June 27, 2008 at 15:09

    Does having a gun make you feel safe, proberbly yes. Are you safer? Not sure, on the whole I would say no.

    By introducing guns to an environment you bring all the risks assiociated with accidents with guns in the home.

    Muggers, burgulars et al pick victims and probably don’t know if you’ve got a gun or not (unless you openly show it). So your chance of having a gun pulled on you don’t diminish.

    If you then pull a gun when one is pointed at you this will automatically increases the tension in a situation. This standoff raises the possibility of panicing your attacker which may cause them to fire when a calmer assilent would have simply fled.

    Considering the above having a gun only increases the chances of being shot at. Perhaps it allows you the chance for some vengence. But as for actually making you safer, I can’t see how it works.

  20. 20 Count Iblis
    June 27, 2008 at 15:11

    I don’t understand the Second Amendment:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Isn’t that what the Mahdi Army in Iraq is saying, and don’t you need roadside bombs, anti-tank weapons and SAMs fo that? :)

  21. 21 Venessa
    June 27, 2008 at 15:11

    I posted this question yesterday and no one has answered it:

    Those of you that are vehemently against guns can you tell me how they could possibly be eradicated? I just think it’s a ridiculous notion that it could be done.

    There are just as many things out there that kill more people each year than guns. I agree they are deadly in the hands of the wrong person but good luck prying the gun from their grip if they are outlawed. I think it’s unrealistic to assume that a ban will improve the violent death by guns. Even if it does is it possible that in the absence of guns people resort to more brutal types of violence?

    The reality is that some inventions of man cannot be undone no matter how good or bad they are.

  22. June 27, 2008 at 15:12

    I am surprised that so few people are responding to this debate but then it affects so few in the UK. It is a worldwide platform here so the question is relevant but certainly in the UK no one agrees that to feel safe you have to have a gun. I was interested to read the opinion of a resident of one of the most violent areas of Britain in Scotland where there is physical violence outside his home every night. The reports can be seen on Utube. Google ‘Glasgow violence’. This man stated that if such a law existed where he lives that he would have to move. He would not want a 17 year old having access to his fathers handguns. They fight and brag about it but only occasionally does it degenerate to a knifing. I guess that is the point. They can fisticuff each other fairly safely so they do. They fight each other for manliness initiations. You can see them brag to the camera. Occasionally it will go further. Here in Jacksonville Florida it has maxed itself out. There are huge areas where you don’t go. They are predominately black ghettos. They cant escape from them and ‘respect’ is what they ‘require’ and demand and they achieve it with a gun. They don’t ‘scrap’ anymore. They go out in vehicles and try catch someone alone or in a place that they can ‘win’ a gun battle. They ‘drive by’ shoot frequently. Occasionally they will have a show down like ‘OK Corral’. They will revenge and revenge in a continual cycle of violence. Gordy in Glasgow knows that it will be awful and violent but hardly ever will it be life threatening to live around it. Quite often in Jacksonville, kids are killed whilst sleeping as most homes in that area are timber built. Bullets fly everywhere. Often homes are shot up in retribution. People are not safe to live anywhere like that. Even in the local mall on the good side of town a shootout between a shoplifter (with a shirt) and an off duty paid police officer endangered any one in the parking lot. About 40-50 rounds were fired. I am glad that my two 30 year old daughters are safe in England. There were 150 shootings here in Jax last year and I am sure it will have increased this year. There are nighty reports of shootings. Feel safe now?

  23. 23 Mohammed Ali
    June 27, 2008 at 15:14

    Chloe, this is the American Supreme Court as indicated in its gun ruling. There is no way on earth gun can be a safety material. More guns in a society means more death. If we are to argue that everyone should own gun to protect themselves, then the essence of the army, police and all other security forces has been eroded. Here in Liberia we don’t need a single gun for our safety. The right of a gun in Liberia can instantly traumatize all those that are seeing it especially if it is with a person who is not uniformed. This is so because for 14 years we experience the damage guns can do to a society.

  24. 24 steve b - uk
    June 27, 2008 at 15:14

    Hi HYWSers

    If you have a gun, you can, in a terrible moment, kill someone.

    If you don’t have one and someone annoys you, you will have a smack in the face or the offending person will have a smack in the face.

    Only that.

    OK, this will get me mauled. Don’t care because it is true. When I was ten years old I used to sing in a choir in a church. The vicar was ( I now see ) a complete nutter. He taught us that anyone not in line with Christian values should not be alive. I remember singing in the choir and some people in the church were sniggering and laughing. I wanted to kill those ungodly people. I actually REMEMBER thinking ‘if I had a gun I will teach you ungodly people to behave’.

    Thank God or Buddha I did not have one. They were sniggering because his sermon on why God did not prevent tragedies was so stupid ( details supplied on request ).

    So, the combination of intolerant preachers/ media/ peers is going to produce violence if you have a gun, is it not?

  25. 25 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 15:16

    @ Bob in Queensland.

    Guns are quite tightly controlled in America. Please review its gun control laws. You will see that the concept of a society armed to the teeth is erroneous.

    Bearing arms is not an archaic notion. In fact in this day and age it is more pertinent than ever before. Perhaps you will also argue that free speech is an archaic notion too? Or the right to defend yourself from assults dealt by individuals, organizations and the government, since the government already has police and legal organs in place which can theoretically protect you from harm? You have to realize that it is the government which sometimes causes injury and that the government is not always there to protect and take care of you.

    This mindset is completely incomprehensible to me. How can you entrust your safety in the hands of someone else? How can you give up control of one’s ultimate destiny to another? Is it to escape responsibility and accountability?

  26. 26 Shirley
    June 27, 2008 at 15:18

    The word of the Constitution:
    Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Amendment 3 – Quartering of Soldiers. Ratified 12/15/1791.
    No Soldier shall…be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner…

    Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons…against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…

    Praise be to the President.

    (For all of the non-Catholics, I did a play on one of the liturgies. I need some humour after several failed attempts to post this.)

    I posted this because the context of the 2nd Amendment seems to be protection of the people against a government gone bad, not against each other. In fact, we are supposed to be able to gather ourselves in popular militias in order to defend ourselves against an oppressive government. This does not seem to me an unrestricted licence to stockpile any number and whatever kind of guns that we want, but to have the right to collectively defend ourselves from our own government. The military seems to be a deparate anddistinct Constitutional concept. I don’t see anything in the Second Amendment that gives us the right to have handguns, or much else other than what is ordinarily used for military-type combat. What others have been saying about self-protection makes sense – we should only retaliate to the extent that we need to. The story of the Texan guy who shot dead someone who was robbing his neighbours was definitely overkill. We the people need to be quite a bit more educated about the arms that we bear and how and when to use them.

  27. 27 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 15:19

    @Selena
    The question is WHY do you have locks on your doors?
    Sorry about your friends son’s but anecdotal incidents cannot become a statistical certainty used to make laws.

    @John
    Thank You you have renewed my faith that there are people who understand.

  28. 28 Jonathan (smoky San Francisco)
    June 27, 2008 at 15:20

    This is an unfortunate question, not enlightening and not derived from the case, which was about prohibiting guns, not mandating them. “Does prohibiting guns make you feel safe?” would be so much more promising. You could talk to people in places where guns are allowed, and where they’re not, and whether they feel safe, and why.

  29. 29 Venessa
    June 27, 2008 at 15:23

    @ Count Iblis

    “Isn’t that what the Mahdi Army in Iraq is saying, and don’t you need roadside bombs, anti-tank weapons and SAMs fo that? ”

    I don’t agree with this assertion comparing Iraq’s uncontrollable violence to the US. There is a mighty huge difference in the history of the US and the violent past of the Middle East.

  30. 30 Mohammed Ali
    June 27, 2008 at 15:23

    Chloe,
    This is what the American Supreme Court as indicated in its gun ruling. There is no way on earth gun can be a safety material. More guns in a society means more death. If we are to argue that everyone should own gun to protect themselves, then the essence of the army, police and all other security forces has been eroded. Here in Liberia we don’t need a single gun for our safety.
    The sight of a gun in Liberia can instantly traumatize all those that are seeing it especially if it is with a person who is not uniformed. This is so because for 14 years we experience the damage guns can do to a society.

  31. 31 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 15:24

    @ Shirley

    The constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means. Personal opinions no longer matter. The court said yesterday the right belongs to the invdividual, and until that opinion is overturned, that is what the constitution means. I don’t agree with the draft, and I personally think it is a clear violation of the 13th amendment, prohibition against involutary servitude, but the court has said it isn’t a violation, hence it isn’t a violation of the constitution. It’s now settled law.

  32. 32 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 15:26

    @ Shirley,

    Yes, I agree that the 2nd Amendment supplies the means through which people can defend themselves against a government gone bad. But how can we “gather ourselves in popular militias in order to defend ourselves against an oppressive government” if we do not indivualy own guns and other materiel “used for military-type combat”? Should we keep these in government armories and when the government becoems tyrannical ask its permission to take them out and have defend ourselves against it?

  33. 33 John in Salem
    June 27, 2008 at 15:29

    Guns are simply tools that can easily be misused or abused. A lot of people who own guns have no business owning one and would probably be safer without it, but that doesn’t apply to everyone.
    The only stat that impresses me about firearms is that for every intruder who is killed or apprehended because the homeowner had a gun, hundreds more are killed by homeowner guns through murders, suicides and accidents involving children. If you ask any public safety agency what the best home defense is you’ll get the same answer every time – a dog.
    40 years ago I gave up hunting – gave away all my rifles and shotguns. All I have today is a pump pellet rifle I inherited which is perfectly capable of killing should I need it.
    And I’m far more likely to use it to kill a rabid squirrel than an intruder.

  34. 34 Mohammed Ali
    June 27, 2008 at 15:35

    The US Supreme Court ruling reminds me of the saying of one of Liberia’s famous politicians, Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr. who said that if he becomes president of Liberia, he will give every Liberian a gun. His reason is that when ever a citizen meets a corrupt govenrment official in the street, he/she should gunned him down.
    If that were to be the case, the what will be the essence of the law? So if everyone is to own a gun for his/her safety, then what is the essence of the security forces? What I think the US Supreme Court should do is to ask the Legislature to enact a law dissolving all the security forces and another given the right to everyone to protect themselves.
    How does that sound? I know it is a bit crazy but that will be fine.

  35. June 27, 2008 at 15:37

    Gun possession has been a hot issue in many countries like Brazil and the USA. Each time a crime occurs, especially the one in which there is the storming of building like schools or armed robbery of financial institutions like banks, there is a call for tight control on gun possession and sale.

    A gun can be more dangerous in societies suffering from lawlessness, poverty and Mafia-like groups which controls areas in the country and cities without the long arm of the law being able to reach them. In Brazil there are cases of prisons in which prisoners were armed with guns, which had led to a mutiny. Despite all this, a proposal to ban the sale of guns in Brazil was defeated by a clear majority in a referendum. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4368598.stm

    South Africa is the most dangerous country in Africa with a high rate of gun-related crimes resulting in more than 10,000 death annually. This is far worse than the USA.

    A gun isn’t used just to kill, but also as a threat, a means to kidnap and rob as it is used for celebrations as it is the case in some Middle East countries like Jordan and Iraq where shots are fired in the air.

    There are still those who believes a an armed society is a polite society. As countries with nuclear weapons feel safer than those without them, there are also individuals who thinks feeling safe is to have a gun. At least a potential aggressor will think twice before attempting an attack.

    In the case of the use, gun sale is an economic activity. With tight control, this means this business will go bust. Some will even argue a total ban on gun possession is a threat to American culture where it is as normal and easy to possess a gun as to possess as knife.

    The gun isn’t dangerous by itself. It is as dangerous as it is made to be. The gun doesn’t trigger itself and chooses its targets. It is its possessor or manipulator who makes it kill. So legislation banning or allowing gun possession has to go in line with the fabric of societies. A killer is a killer. If he needs a gun or any murderous weapon he will get it.

  36. 36 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 15:39

    Obama, showing his true colors as a politician. Changing his position whenever it suits him. Anything to get votes. Suddenly Obama is pro-gun now that the Supreme Court made its ruling. I’m so sick of these narcissists, so desperate for power, changing their minds every 2 minutes if it thinks it will get them into power.

  37. 37 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 15:42

    @ John Crichton

    Your opening statement does not bear close examination. In the USA, gun ownership among civilians is 90 guns per 100 citizens. This makes it the most heavily armed society IN THE WORLD. Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/08/29/2018063.htm

    As for the control on this ownership, the details vary from state to state, but there are places where it is legal to own automatic weapons, some where carrying a concealed gun is entirely legal and others where simply showing a state driving license is sufficient to let you walk out of a shop with a weapon.

    As for the rest of your post, this is the part I’ve spent the day struggling to understand. You’re right. I just don’t have the same mindset as many of the Americans I’ve been discussing this with. I don’t feel the same threat to my freedom or safety if the ownership of guns is subject to far more stringent restrictions. Indeed, I feel safer being reasonably sure that the seedy looking drunk staring at me from across the street is almost certainly not armed.

    As for “giving up control of my ultimate destiny”, again I don’t see it that way. I see it the same as giving up my freedom to drive my car at 120 mph with a bottle of beer in my hand. By giving up some of my freedom–be it to drink and drive or to carry a gun–I’m making it less likely that I will either kill or be killed.

    However, what I will say is that, with the number of guns in circulation in the USA, I suspect any attempt at controls is likely doomed to failure. There may be room for tinkering to make some of the worst excesses or risks more reasonable–but as a society you will have your guns for a long time to come.

  38. June 27, 2008 at 15:44

    Venessa,

    “The journey of a thousand miles starts with just one step.” Whether they should or shouldn’t be abolished from our culture is one issue. Should we decide that they should not exist, then removing them from the culture would take a long time, but is completely possible to reduce their existence to a nominal statistic.

    The first step is to correction any problem is to stop making it worse. We would have to stop any further production of guns. Then we would have to formulate laws that would require citizens to turn them in. Last, as they are confiscated during crime they would be destroyed. It isn’t just a gun one needs. Stopping production of bullet casings and gun powder would really hinder the usefulness of a gun. As long as you are not adding to the whole, you can nibble away at the impossible task.

    It would probably take 20 years. There would be many cases where pro-gun advocates pointed out individual incidents where a gun would have been useful. But after a full generation or two it would be completely acceptable to live in a gunless culture.

  39. 39 Colleen
    June 27, 2008 at 15:47

    The problem with this case is that it takes away the right of local governments to make laws applicable to a certain area. You can not compare rural US communities to urban US communities in terms of guns (i.e. density of population, nowhere to hunt, etc, etc).

    Simple logic would say that a higher number of guns sold, would lead to a higher probability of gun-related injuries or deaths. This can be evidenced by the high per capita gun ownership in the US and associated high number of gun-related injuries and deaths.

    Given this, a community should have the right to pass legislation regarding gun control because it can be a matter of public safety in one place and a matter of sport in a another. There is no “one-size-fits-all” legislation.

  40. 40 Zainab
    June 27, 2008 at 15:47

    Salam Alycom,
    Having a gun means one is in danger, and this will not make him feel safer. If one has a gun to protect himself , what does the police do? At that time i think we don’t need police anymore.
    The US supreme court gave the right to every american to have his own gun to protect himself, because the US government is unable to keep its citizens safe.
    Of course this legislation will lead to more violence there. And I wonder, does this legislation include children and teens as well?!!!will they be allowed to have their guns too?!! cuz as i’m watching some of the american shows, i see that teens are always incountering unsafe situations, and sometimes teens themselves, are the criminals, there are many cases in which US teens have their guns, they enter schools and kill some of their friends.
    I believe that the US court wants to increase the number of killers and deads.
    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  41. 41 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 15:54

    @ Colleen

    Are you suggesting that the constitution should vary by where citizens live in the US? If you live in one place, you should have less rights than if you live in other areas? There are supreme court cases on this, stating that you cannot due that in other areas, such as requiring a minimum residency requirement in a place before going on welfare. Sorry, but the Constitution is one size fits all. We are supposed to be equal citizens, within reason.

  42. 42 Colleen
    June 27, 2008 at 15:54

    And how about on a global scale… what are people’s thoughts on nuclear weapons? Do countries need them to feel safer?? Would the world feel safer if every country had a nuclear arsenal all loaded up and ready to go for protection?? The bottom line is that the less tools we have to kill each other, the better… the whole defense argument is based in the culture of fear that we have unfortunately become acustomed to… are we really this scared of each other?!?

  43. 43 Mohammed Ali
    June 27, 2008 at 15:55

    Hiam Chipman says “Look who is talking, people from Africa where the origin of voilence is! Yes, I feel safer with the gun”.

    Chipman your saying suggest your limitation in history and I will suggest that you go back and read history. If you were to do that you will know that violence, I mean real violence here, started in the west. Up to date they are still the major perpetrators of violence around the world.

    Think about Germany waging WW-I and WW-II, the 100 year war led by Joan of Arc, Great Britain waging war on Argentina for an Island, America waging two senseless and baseless wars on Iraq, the Balkan wars, Great Britain waging war on China in order to sell opium and the list is endless.

    If your flippy-logic statement is base on internal violence, I will remind you of the several killing fields you westerners created in the forms of “Revolution”. Please let history be your guide before making flimsy statements on this blog.

  44. 44 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 15:55

    @ Bob,

    That statistic is misleading. Many gunowners, including collectors, own mutiple firearms. Therefore when the statistic is derived the percentage seems so astronomical.

    America is a country in which gun ownership and use has a very long history. Many people grow up with firearms and in order to be licensed for one, one needs to undergo quite a bit of training and examination (in most cases, of course, there are towns in which this is not the case). People in America do not simply start firing at each other when in an argument. The overwhleming majority of gun owners are very responsible with their fire arms.

    As for your comment on your ultimate destiny, with that mindset, you should probably give up the right to vote or express your thoughts freely lest you vote for the wrong person or say something inflammatory or harmful. Once again, it seems that people are shunning personal responcibility and accountability and placing it in the hands of the government. This is a very great folly, one which has been committed throughout history and one which it is evident we have not learned to avoid.

  45. 45 Colleen
    June 27, 2008 at 15:58

    @ steve,

    there are plenty of laws and policies that vary by state, country, etc…. i.e. Why should I have to pay 10% sales tax in one state, and 3% in another for the same exact product?

    it’s not a matter of having less rights in one area… it’s a matter of having laws that make sense in a given jurisdiction

  46. 46 Colleen
    June 27, 2008 at 15:59

    ** i meant county not country

  47. 47 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 16:02

    @ Colleen,

    If you notice, the Constitution does directl govern sales tax rates, but it does grant citizens the right to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment, quite directly.

  48. June 27, 2008 at 16:03

    It seems that the WHYS community is really missing the boat though. This is not only a decision that changes the way guns have been viewed. It is a “decision” that reverses over 200 years of precedence. When electing these last judges they all trumpeted the evils of “legislating from the bench.” Yet this is the fourth time that a split along the idealism line has changed some sort of precedence.

    Since many of the things we do here in the US effect the world at large in at least example if not practice, it is important to consider if justices with life time appointments should have the ability to effect legislation? Really it is the continuous conservative/ liberal court split that seems to jeopardize the integrity of the judicial branch.

  49. 49 Will Rhodes
    June 27, 2008 at 16:03

    You bet your life I will argue, Steve.

    Legal guns bought in the US are smuggled across the border to Canada and kill innocent Canadians. As are illegally bought guns.

    A cache of weapons seized in a raid on a north Toronto high-rise apartment Sunday included a Mac-10 automatic pistol, which can fire up to 30 rounds in five seconds, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition and three sets of body armour.

    A 15-year-old girl was among those charged with numerous drugs and weapons charges.

    The spate of gun violence demonstrates a need for stricter sentences to those committing gun-related crimes, said Toronto police Chief Bill Blair.

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20050728/ontario_shootings_050728?s_name=&no_ads=

    That is just one instance.

    You then have to look at weapons that are smuggled into Mexico.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/28/AR2007102801654.html

    I am sure that Lou Dobbs would like the border fence closing as soon as possible to stop illegal immigrants but will these fences stop US weaponry being illegally exported to these countries?

    The American Supreme court had an opportunity to make a move to removing guns from the streets but didn’t take it – it is shame on them!

    Steve used the prohibition of alcohol in his argument with my wife on my blog – what this proves [prohibition] is that the American Constitution can be changed and that change can be enforced – so anyone who tells you different is basically lying. It isn’t an inalienable right that is applicable today – you cannot stop a tank with a Browning automatic pistol, no matter what Hollywood makes you think!

    And no, it doesn’t make me feel safe – it scares me to death that someone with the rudimentary training can have a gun with them – I just hope that our American friends on this blog do not have to suffer any of the consequences of this idiotic ruling.

  50. June 27, 2008 at 16:06

    @ coleen

    You highlight one of the hypocrisies that turned me away from the conservative movement. “it is good for me because it is good for me. It is not good for you because it is not good for me. “

  51. 51 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 16:06

    @ Dwight:

    LOL. The lefties are hilarious. You said “it is important to consider if justices with life time appointments should have the ability to effect legislation”. You seem to want to limit their power when they don’t rule in your favor, yet I have a feeling you think that Roe v. Wade is brilliant law, where they came up with the right to an abortion out of thin air, doing exactly what you accuse the Supreme Court of doing yesterday. At least the Constitution has something on guns, whereas it is silent on privacy, or abortion for that matter.

  52. 52 Mohammed Ali
    June 27, 2008 at 16:11

    @Steve,
    So it is Obama who influence the Supreme Court decision. You should understand that Obama is a single citizen and the Supreme Court is the final abitor of justice according to your constitution. It is therefore prudent for Obama to go by what the Supreme Court ruling says. Didn’t you learn that long ago?

  53. 53 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 16:13

    Chloe you have illuminated something very interesting. People do not seem to understand the “why and wherefore” of the American revolution.
    In this new form of Government, different from what existed at the time, the underlying theme was that “Government derives its power and legitimacy from the people”. We were not subject to the whims of the Crown.
    It is Governments that need to fear its people so that atrocities such as Nazi Germany, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Darfur etc cannot happen.
    This exquisite and underlying principle is throughout the US Constitution wherein the Federal Government only has rights that we give it, all other rights are given to the States where the average citizen has the most influence.
    The right to bear arms not only supports the right that I have to be secure in my papers and property but is also part of a check against the Government becoming oppressive and dictatorial.
    What dismays me is how many people who will give over their safety to the Government who can never be there to protect one unless they police are omnipresent and then we are in a Dictatorship.
    Zainab in Iraq is typical of the bleeding hearts who will surrender to a dictatorship thinking that will make them safe but as I recall Saddam Hussein was one of the most brutal Dictators on the planet.
    The American experiment did not create a perfect world or solution but this seems to work for us and because we control our Government we enjoy a good standard of living and provide benefits to the world.

  54. 54 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 16:14

    @ Mohammed

    But before, Obama was all in favor of gun control, and now suddenly he changes? people after a supreme court decisions are still allowed to disagree with it, so long as they for the meanwhile accept that the court has ruled. Obama is changing his position to get votes, like all politicians due to their narcissism.

  55. 55 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 16:15

    @ John Crichton

    I think you are taking your point to unreasonable extremes. To date I’ve lived in 3 democracies (Canada, the UK and Australia) and never felt the need to carry a gun to make my voice heard with politicians.

    Indeed, let me turn this one back in your direction. At what stage does your “personal responsibility” to defend yourself against the state kick in? Many people disagree with President Bush. Would it be acceptable for them to resort to assassination? Were the men who killed John and Robert Kennedy merely exercising their right to resist a government they disagreed with? If guns are both an expression of personal responsibility and a safeguard against corrupt government then, by definition, at some point assassination becomes a reasonable course of action.

    I’m sure you’re not advocating assassination–but that’s the ultimate contradiction in your argument. As I’ve said a couple of times, I don’t feel governments in democracies that don’t have the American mindset on guns are any less accountable. I’m afraid that, on this point at least, the USA is out of step with much of the world. Your choice–but don’t expect agreement.

  56. 56 Anthony
    June 27, 2008 at 16:29

    I don’t like the main title either. You don’t NEED a gun to feel safe, but where would America be if civilians didn’t own firearms? Where would a lot of the world be if civilians didn’t own weapons.

    Can someone show me statistics that show places where gun bans are safer than places without? Russia has a murder rate THREE TIMES ours and has ONE-TENTH the amount of guns!

    HAVING GUN BANS are the actual FALSE SECURITY! ;)

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  57. 57 Count Iblis
    June 27, 2008 at 16:29

    Venessa, perhaps Iraq is more violent than the US because people will want to be able to defend themselves against an “oppressive government”.

    So, when a democracy forms from a situation where you don’t have the necessary consensus yet, you’ll have militias. People will demand that the militias have the power to defend themselves against an “oppressive government”. In the 1790s guns were enought, today you need other kind of weapons.

  58. June 27, 2008 at 16:29

    A gun is a lethal weapon and one that empowers people with power to wreck havoc not only on themselves, but also on others.So I don’t see the justification for arming people. I think when such weapons are handy, it empowers people to scheme evil machinations.

  59. 59 Mark Sandell
    June 27, 2008 at 16:29

    A small point here but the mere asking of a question does not imply bias. If i ask you “do you think it’ll rain this evening?” i am not biased in favour of rain. Neither do i have anything against rain, oh no.

    Please, World Have Your Say asks questions to frame a debate.

  60. 60 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 16:31

    @ Bob in Queensland,

    No, I do not expect agreement. The cultures of the countries in which you lived are radically different from that of the United States. The principles upon which the USA was founded are unique in the power which they grant to the citizen. The country is sprung from revolution, and its Constitution recognizes that fact, securing in its Amendments, including the Second, the ability of the People to secure their rights and freedoms by force if necessary.

    The assasinations of the Kennedys is certainly an anomaly and is not consistent with the founding principles of America. Disagreements are first and foremost to be settled with civic action. However if it is impossible to do so, the People are entitled to use force to secure their rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Consitution. At which point does this occur? Certainly we can use history as a standard and the state of affairs in one’s country as the benchmark. Simply because you disagree with the administration of GWB does not mean you have the right to stage a revolution. It is when the government becomes so tyranical that it no longer represents the People, then the citizens have the right to take further action. We all know oppression when we see it. It is all around us. Humans are essentialy free beings and while it is impossible to accurately formulate the equation for when it is proper to defend one’s rights with force, we all intrinsically know it becuase it is engrained in the very basic human psyche.

    The Second Amendment is a natural express of human rights to defend oneself against the aggression of another and of governments. It like most rights, is to be exercised with responcibility and reasonableness and should not be cast down due to the action of a few insane individuals.

  61. 61 graceunderfire
    June 27, 2008 at 16:36

    Owning firearms (some of which are guns) vicious pets, over sized vehicles and modern conservative views have two things in common: They are indicative of an insecure personality. They will not protect you from reality.

  62. June 27, 2008 at 16:37

    @ Steve,

    First, I would love nothing more then to see Roe v. Wade overturned. (See earlier post about how I used to vote strictly republican because of my opposition to abortion and more gun control laws.) It certainly does reference every living American’s right to “life”. For the exact same reason I was opposed to the ruling on Roe is the reason why this ruling seems out of line with what is good for the “system” as a whole.

    I have a psychological glitch. It is not enough to do the right thing for the wrong reasons to me. Allowing bending of good rules sets its own dangerous precedence.

  63. 63 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 16:39

    @John Chrichton
    BRAVO…WELL SAID!!!
    Thank You!!

  64. 64 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 16:40

    @ Bob

    If guns were easier to get in Australia and Canada, do you think the government would have had an easier time taking kids away from their aboriginal parents and put them in schools to deculturalize them?

  65. 65 Anthony
    June 27, 2008 at 16:47

    @ graceunderfire

    That is absurd. I have my guns as a precaution, and because they are fun. My son is 7 and has a huge amount of respect for firearms, and has gun safety burned into his brain. I’d rather have him learn with me, than go over to some idiots house when he’s older, who’s parent has their guns just lying around.

    Saying people own guns because they’re insecure is like saying people don’t own guns because they are liberal wussies. You are generalizing, and it’s an unjust generalization at that

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  66. 66 selena
    June 27, 2008 at 16:49

    No one objected to the government’s taking away the aboriginal children to assimilate them. Shame on us!

    Guns would not have had an effect on way or another. At any rate, people owned guns at that time.

    It wasn’t until January 1, 2001 that all guns , in Canada, had to be legally registered.

  67. 67 Mohammed Ali
    June 27, 2008 at 16:53

    @Steve,
    So are you agreeing that the Supreme Court decision is not in the interest of controlling guns and is a potential pandora box for killing field they are opening?
    On Obama, I am only as a citizen will have to agree with the ruling of the Supreme Court because there is actually nothing he can do about it. All of these arguments we are doing are commentary intended to satisfy our intellectual curiousity, but it is not going to change anything.

  68. 68 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 16:53

    @graceunderfire

    That’s a very silly comment you made. I’m insecure because I’m fascinated by WW2, hence I have WW2 rifles? You left out the bastion of the left, BMWs. You have to be insecure if you drive one of those, especially a three serious, and now that the 1 series out, it’s the insecure person’s dreamcar. The left also seems to have an obsession about McMansions, so you can say “my house is bigger than your house!”. That’s insecurity, not having guns. I suppose if you were 5’3, fat, whatever, and walked around with a .50 Desert Eagle, you are probably compensating for something. But what you drive and where you lives speaks a lot more loudly about insecurity than guns do.

  69. 69 Shirley
    June 27, 2008 at 16:55

    Imagine the following scenario:
    Students are attending lecture at a university. The prof is at the front. All are carrying handguns. In barges a madman with his gun. He shouts, points the gun about, and shoots out one of the lights. Someone screams; he shoots the someone in the leg.

    How does the fact that every single student and the prof have a gun with them impact the situation?

    And the following scneario:
    A mall is filled to the brim with shoppers. The vast majority of them, as well as the shopkeepers, have guns on their persons. From some undetermined direction, the noise of a struggle, some shouting, and some gunshots are heard. The person who shot can’t be sighted.

    How does the fact that everyone is carrying arms impact the situation?

    Are there other ways of dealing with those scenarios? Are there differences in the way that the ordinary civilian uses a gun and the way that it is handled by a law enforcer or security official?

    I’ve asked the above to stimulate discussion. I don’t personally have any stake in how they are answered. My own conention is below.

    A question is being posed about whether it would be possible to eliminate every single gun form the streets of America. Obviously, the answer would be no. And I don’t really care. That should not be a factor against the establishment of much stricter legislation regulating the possession of and use of firearms. The more that the law allows law enforcers to do in the removal of firearms from Joe Public, the better I think things will be. No, I don’t think that we should have to use door-to–door searches; and I think that such would be a waste of their time and our money. But I do think that the laws need to be much stricter, and that resources need to be opened up so that they can be enforced that mush more effectively. Only when some acceptable equilibrium is achieved when rogue ownership of heavy arms is drastically reduced and Joe Public has much more education on how and when to properly use his weapons shoud we the people be able to acquire guns with much ease.

  70. 70 Mohammed Ali
    June 27, 2008 at 16:55

    @Steve,
    So are you agreeing that the Supreme Court decision is not in the interest of controlling guns and is a potential pandora box for killing field they are opening?
    On Obama, I am only saying that as a citizen he will have to agree with the ruling of the Supreme Court because there is actually nothing he can do about it. All of these arguments we are doing are commentary intended to satisfy our intellectual curiousity, but it is not going to change anything.

  71. 71 Justin from Iowa
    June 27, 2008 at 16:58

    @steve: I don’t know about Aus and Canada, but it didn’t seem to help the rape of Native American land and liberties in the US. So I don’t know where your point is coming from.

    Actually, it would probably have had a reverse effect… angry parents perpetrating violent killings would have “validated” the position of those countries in taking young people, and led to even greater travesties in the name of “Public Good”

    On gun possession in general… I’m too lazy to go about the process of a concealed weapons permit, so I never bothered with a hand gun (what’s the point in a hand gun if you can’t carry it around with you. A shotgun would be a preferable home defense weapon anyways.. typical situation where an intruder is about its probably dark, uncertain, and a load of shot is a lot more likely to hit said intruder than a single handgun bullet). But I don’t go anywhere without my “utility” knife, and my home has 6 hunting firearms in it, as well as my bows. And a battle axe.

    I don’t know if I feel safer with all these weapons about… I really don’t think about it where I live – low crime rate. But then, 90% of the houses where I live probably have a gun of some sort in them.

  72. 72 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 27, 2008 at 17:03

    I do not live in the district but I would not feel safe knowing criminals are going around with guns and I can’t protect myself if I were put into a serios predicament. It does not make sense that the law abiding people can’t protect themself but some crook can, and their are many crooks in the district.

    @Anthony

    Although it scares me to here someone say that guns are fun, I think it is good to teach your children about guns. My father taught my brother and I how to shoot when we were younger. He also stated that they are not toys to play with but to protect oneself in a difficult situation. I am not fond of guns because of the hickish people I went to school with and their views and statements. however, I do believe everyone has the right to bear arms.

  73. 73 Paul
    June 27, 2008 at 17:05

    Of course the old argument is that gun restrictions only keep guns out of law abiding peoples hands. I always wonder why in these debates no one ever mention
    Vermont or New Hampshire, where there no restrictions on guns. They also boast the lowest statistics in the country on crime and gun related deaths. The possibility
    that any person may be carrying a handgun would reduce crime, there is no doubt.
    Sure there could be more accidental shootings but what if we applied that logic to evrything. Should we ban cars because of car accidents? What about boats?
    How many crimes and accidents are caused by alcohol each year? The arguments and logic of gun control proponents is seriously twisted and lacks proper perspective. They are detached from reality and THEY should not be allowed to carry guns. By the way I do not, have not and will not own a gun. That’s my choice.

  74. 74 Anthony
    June 27, 2008 at 17:06

    @ shirley

    Wow, those scenarios each happened to me twice last year!!!

    TO MAKE IT CLEAR, WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT CONCIELD WEAPONS PERMITS!!!! There are firearms AT HOME. Please, Chloe, make this clear to everyone!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  75. 75 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 17:07

    @ Angela

    Guns can be fun, like how cars can be fun. Both have the potentiality to be deadly, but in responsible hands, they are safe. My car has the ability to go 140mph, and it would be very deadly for myself and for those who I hit, hence why I don’t drive that fast. But driving that fast IS fun. I did it many years ago. Same way with guns. It is enjoyable going to the shooting range, and if responsibly handled, and they have people working there enforcing the rules, it is very safe and enjoyable to do. I have taken many liberals to the firing range and they all enjoyed it and have been pestering me to take them back. It can be fun. Just like with archery. Bow and arrows are also meant to kill, but shooting a bow and arrow is incredibly fun, yet I would never go hunting, but when I was shooting in high school, I had a blast.

    You really shouldn’t judge people and call them hicks. People who you wouldn’t call “hicks” also own guns.

  76. June 27, 2008 at 17:09

    The trouble with the right to have guns was aptly demonstrated and documented in Jacksonville Florida recently. An Ex Vet had been fighting for custody of his son who had been with him since Katrina. He was determined that his son was not going back to NOLA. He expressed that sentiment openly to all concerned. A judge in New Orleans gave custody to his ex wife. He tried to reverse that decision. Once he had failed in law he put plan ‘B’ into operation, His son went to hospital. The very one I use. His ex wife was to take possession of the ten year old child there and had an officer there to supervise. The VET was able to cleanly shoot his ex and the child was also hit. The ex died later. He then turned the gun on himself. This in a hospital parking garage. Without that clinical tool to carry out his plan it might have been different. This kind of event is happening every day in families all over the world but guns are not a part of the issue? What will the US become if law is just ‘gun law’?

  77. 77 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 27, 2008 at 17:14

    @Steve

    When I stated the hickish people I knew in school, I was using a different term than they used for themselves. I did not mean that all hicks have guns or were the only ones to own guns. My uncles collects all types of guns.

    Since I am from the South and am black, I was around a lot of people that are not over the civil war and discuss what they would like to do with people similar to myself and would then discuss all of their guns. It was just uncomfortable, especially when their parents held high ranking positions. However, that is another issue altogether. I hope I did not offend anyone by using that term.

    I now understand what one could mean about guns being fun.

  78. 78 John in Salem
    June 27, 2008 at 17:14

    I just want to throw this into the mix because of the tone this debate is taking.

    The people who own guns are all… (fill in the blank).

    The people who don’t like guns are all… (fill in the blank)

    The only word that fits in the blank is DIFFERENT.

  79. 79 Colleen
    June 27, 2008 at 17:17

    @ Paul

    No we should not ban cars, but states and local districts set up their own regulations depending on the terrain, traffic congestion, etc… In some western states the speed limit may be up to or above 90 MPH… for that area, that speed limit works. However if you make the speed limit 90 MPH on the Washington DC beltway you’re creating a recipe for disaster. Local areas need to make regulations in the name of the public good that make sense in the specific area.

  80. 80 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 17:18

    @ Shirley

    The hypothetical examples you provided in an effort to support your argument do not constitute valid evidence.

    When everyone is everywhere that everyone else is carrying a fire arm, arguments and squables involving fire arms are much less likely to break out.

    You advocate stricter laws governing gun ownership ignoring the Constitutional provision (Second Amendment) which such a law would violate, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court desicion.

    Moreover, once again in your comments and in those of others from Europe and other parts of the world, it is evident that people have capitulated their basic right to protection against trespasses by government and private individuals.

    Western society has become so spoiled that it forgets the oppression which its ancestors have had to combat and ignore real-world examples of tyrannical government at home and abroad,

    We know we are failing as a society and culture when we are horrified by the idea of defending our rights with force in reasonable circumstances and wish to rid ourselves of this burden as soon as possible.

  81. June 27, 2008 at 17:18

    lol, boy grace you sure stirred up some insecure responses. Again, along the same lines. People seem very willing to protect themselves against a miniscule threat to their life and finance, while taking no actions against the most probable cause of their demise. Most of us here are going to die of heart attacks, kidney failure, auto accidents, and cancer. We will loose more money to the thieves in government and big business. Yet we will continue to eat unhealthy food, drink ourselves silly, drive aggressively, and vomit carcinogens into the air. Most of our buying power will be taken by the government or by big industry.

    Fun- Doing coke is absolutely a thrill, I am told. Yet it is illegal. Nobody gets hurt by my coke habit. that is unless I get so addicted that I am driven to pick up a gun and rob somebody for it.

    Everybody I know living in McMansion are conservative leaning, drive gas hauling SUV’s, and feel robbing you for 10 bucks at the point of a gun is more heinous then robbing you for 100 grand using some sort of fraud.

  82. 82 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 17:20

    I meant to say “when everyone is aware” sorry about that

  83. 83 Justin from Iowa
    June 27, 2008 at 17:26

    Patrick: What was stopping him from getting a gun illegally?

    The fact is, gun control is a joke. If you want one, you can get one. The ONLY time gun regulation will work is when it is universal. Until then, its a difference between the crooks and the lawful folks having them.

    What if a bystander had a pistol and put one in the shooter before he could get his wife and kid?

  84. 84 jamily5
    June 27, 2008 at 17:29

    I have not read all of the responses and am starting to read them.
    But, my first thought is:
    Instead of getting shot with someone else’s gun (maybe illegally boughten, maybe not), victims of crimes can now be shot with their own weapons.
    A criminal who enters your house knows that guns are usually kept in certain areas.
    Now, the trick is to isolate the person, before they reach their weapon, wear gloves and obtain the house owner’s weapon and injur or kill them with their own weapon. No need to involve one’s self in the illegal trade of guns.

  85. 85 Lamii Kpargoi
    June 27, 2008 at 17:31

    I have been through civil war in my country and the only time I feel unsafe around people with guns is when they are unruly rebels or trigger happy soldiers. There were some very terrifying times during the civil war here. Between 1990 and 2003 there were times that one did not know whether he was going to make it through the day without getting shot by some soldier or rebel who was high.

    But that’s besides the point. Despite my traumatic experience with people carrying guns in my country, I would think that in any well regulated society everyone should have the right to bear arms, though I have never owned or handled a gun in my life, and don’t think I’ll ever buy.

    I spent a few weeks in the US nearly three months ago, and the stereotypical image of the place being a gun loving culture where people are massacred on the daily basis simply did not come across to me. I found it rather serene in Brooklyn, NY and Raleigh, NC.

    The constitution of Liberia is patterned after that of the United States and it contains the same provision of the militia being allowed to bear arms. And because we are a common law jurisdiction, it would be interesting when someone some day decide to raise this issue in our courts, especially considering the fact that a de facto ban exists on private citizens owning guns.

  86. 86 savane
    June 27, 2008 at 17:31

    @ Hiam
    Africa is the source of violence?

    That’s an unfortunate statement of arrogant ignorance!

    And equally unfortunate that WHYS chose to include it!

    Shame on you Hiam and WHYS!

  87. 87 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 17:32

    @Jamily5

    Will they use magical powers to read the minds and find out exactly where the gun is hidden and where the key is? Why wouldn’t they use said magical powers to local the silver and the diamonds first so they can get of there more quickly?

  88. 88 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 17:34

    @ steve

    If guns were easier to get in Australia and Canada, do you think the government would have had an easier time taking kids away from their aboriginal parents and put them in schools to deculturalize them?

    The treatment of the aboriginal citizens of Australia, Canada…..and the USA…. would make a fascinating topic for a WHYS discussion one night. All three countries were guilty of atrocities that nobody should be proud of.

    However, I fail to see any connection between that topic and the issue of gun control being discussed tonight. Can we agree that was nothing more than a “cheap shot” (pun intended) and move on?

    One thing that occurs to me is how much the pro-gun side of this debate seem to be treating this as an all or nothing issue. Never have I said I wish to ban guns entirely. In the past I have enjoyed target shooting (even won a silver medal in a provincial championship once!) and have done a bit of hunting. Now that I’m in a semi rural part of Australia in a city with a gun club, I may well take up the hobby again.

    However, if I do I am more than happy to comply entirely with the fairly strict gun control regulations here in Australia. I’ve read up on them and they won’t restrict my enjoyment.

    That said, I will NOT confuse my use of a gun for sport with the preservation of democracy or consider it a way of ensuring personal safety. That’s where we differ.

  89. June 27, 2008 at 17:37

    Justin Comment:
    “Patrick: What was stopping him from getting a gun illegally?

    The fact is, gun control is a joke. If you want one, you can get one. The ONLY time gun regulation will work is when it is universal. Until then, its a difference between the crooks and the lawful folks having them.

    What if a bystander had a pistol and put one in the shooter before he could get his wife and kid?”

    Pat reply:
    The point is that you cannot get hold of a gun easily where I come from. The outcome is that many many more people accept the ‘legislation’ as the spontaneity of ‘controlling’ and ‘winning’ is taken away?

  90. 90 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 17:38

    This is precisely where the American and European mindsets differ. Europeans consider a firearm to bring enjoyment and sport. Many Americans, supported by the principles upon which their country was founded, consider it to be the tool which can bring about the difference between freedom and slavery, liberty and oppression.

  91. 91 Tino
    June 27, 2008 at 17:51

    “If banning guns contributed to increased murders in D.C. why did the local government fight “too and nail’ to retain n the ban?”

    Because reality plays second fiddle to perception. Exactly the reason people still think education and money will fix terrorism, despite statistics ALL showing they do nothing.

    “and statistics back up this feeling.”

    Wrong Bob.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20010223/ai_n14373405

    I will try to find a more recent one later, but crime has only gotten worse there recently. And both of the top spots have banned handguns.

    “The American Supreme court had an opportunity to make a move to removing guns from the streets but didn’t take it – it is shame on them!”

    That is legislating from the bench. They interpret the constitution and did so completely correctly here.

    “Students are attending lecture at a university. The prof is at the front. All are carrying handguns. In barges a madman with his gun. He shouts, points the gun about, and shoots out one of the lights. Someone screams; he shoots the someone in the leg.”

    I pull mine out and double tap them in the chest. Exactly why I want to carry on my campus… bad example. No one but the offender dies, student who was shot in the leg gets medical attention quickly as the threat was neutralized. Of course, he probably wouldn’t have entered the class in the first place if everyone was armed.

  92. 92 Scott (M)
    June 27, 2008 at 17:52

    We don’t allow passengers to carry guns on planes, even if they are flying in American skies. We don’t allow them in the hands of children and certain criminals because we realize we should at the very least draw those distinctions. The “right” to carry a gun means those without guns are at a disadvantage. It MIGHT make people with guns feel safer, but it makes people without guns less safe. So in order to be safe or level the playing field, the logic is you must have a gun! What about the children playing outside or home alone who aren’t allowed to have guns? What about gun owners who happen to not be near their gun? They are automatically at a disadvantage.

  93. 93 Scott (M)
    June 27, 2008 at 17:52

    The hypocrisy of the United States on gun control is overwhelming. We preach to the world and enter wars to allegedly stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction but we allow weapons of personal destruction in our homes and on our streets. We are willing to draw distinctions and say certain countries are not responsible enough to have a right to nuclear weapons but we allow our citizens to arm themselves at will.

    At this point in time citizens do not have guns because it makes them safer or so they can overthrow a corrupt government, they want them because they are symbol of American bad-ass culture. Sure there are exceptions, but these are indeed exceptions. Yes, these are generalizations, but many Americans want their guns because of arrogance, brutish aspirations and because they do not want to be told what to do. Guns are a symbol of this culture and it is reflected all over the country. Americans are an entitled people, entitled to have big cars, big homes, and an always bigger piece of the pie. Guns are the ultimate personal expression of this culture. Taking them away is like robbing a child of candy and toys.

  94. 94 Bob in Queensland
    June 27, 2008 at 17:52

    But John, do you really feel I have any less freedom or suffer any more oppression than you? I can assure you I don’t. Further, if you really view your guns as a political tool, then we’re back to a discussion about when violence–and the use of guns–might be a legitimate political tactic. Do you really trust everyone in those states and cities with lax gun control to make the right choice? Especially when even one case of bad judgement can result in a dead president?

  95. 95 Dolapo Aina
    June 27, 2008 at 17:58

    The word safe seems to be more of a myth than anything else. Globally, gun protection might be right but how many murders has it prevented. If we are to be sincere, it hasn’t impacted that much.
    Understanding each other and more humane measures ought to be found to reduce and curb crimes but in this fast moving world, gun protection seems to be the only option for now.

    Dolapo Aina,
    Lagos, Nigeria

  96. 96 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 18:01

    @ Bob in Queensland

    No, Bob I do not believe you have any less freedom than I do or suffer more oppression than me. However, with the increasing power of the government in the US, Europe and other Western countries, Europeans and those living with strict gun control are less well equipped to protect themselves from oppression and guard those freedoms than those who own firearms.

    Again, the idea of “lax gun control” is a very relative term. It is not very easy to obtain a fire arm. I believe that because of the strictness of laws in Australia you consider gun control in the US to be very relaxed. This is an erroneous view.

    I am also firmly convinced that one should not suspend or abridge a basic right or freedom, as you seem to advocate simply because some lunatic took advantage of it. I am willing to sacrifice my life a thousand times if the right to bear arms is preserved for the American people.

  97. 97 Robert
    June 27, 2008 at 18:03

    If you use the argument that guns are there to protect you from your government, who is to decide what is tyrannical or not? And once you have forced a government to change its mind or force it out, surely by extension you become the tyrant who has acted undemocratically?

    The American civil war should be seen as people (i.e. the South) using its 2nd amendment right against what it considered a tyrannical regime (the North). Nowadays though would you consider the abolition of slavery the act of a tyrannical regime? Wasn’t the black mans right to freedom more important that his white masters right to oppose the government giving it to him?

  98. 98 John
    June 27, 2008 at 18:05

    The Taney Supreme Court ruled that people of African decent weren’t human beings. Later, the Supreme Court ruled that separate but equal treatment of African Americans was constitutional. We can only hope that with time a new Court will have the wisdom to rule in a more civilized manner.

  99. June 27, 2008 at 18:06

    America became America, because some wierd King sent soldiers into Concord, Ma. to seize weapons safely stored in an armory. The King thought it better for the subjects that the subjects should not be armed. The King thought that people and the Kingdom would be safer if only the Kings men had guns.

    Turned out he also thought, the King was a waco and forgot about the idea that the people needed guns because it was a frontier, savage people, highwaymen, and game to be had for the pot.

    The nation that came to be after a revolution was formed with lots of unique ideas completely out of the box using Indigonous native ideas on how to come up with a way to run their own affairs.

    The second amendment was the second most important idea to protect, to have and to hold, as it gave the new citizens the “RIGHT” to be armed to protect themselves from bad humans, and governments that could and do go bad.

    Somehow the Supreme Court of The United States of America got it right this time and the intent of the founding fathers has continued to be respected and be the law.

    There really are savages in the streets of America and they need to run into a decent citizen with a gun as a realistic check and balance. Seems that is the only thing they understand.

    I want rapists, armed intruders, and dangerous criminals killed. Not use up lots of expensive resources and then be let go to continue to endanger innocent people.

    It is truly stupid to outlaw guns so that only the wacko bold enough to ignor the laws to end up being the only ones with guns.

    Outlawing drugs only seems to encourage more people to break the law to do business in drugs. With drugs naturally come more bad people with guns.

    Crime dramatically dropped when concealed carry laws went into effect. There was not the blood bath that all the anti gun people predicted. The facts are more guns in the right peoples hand and the bottom line less crime.

    Go see the movie….”The Brave One”…. justice takes a step forward in that movie and the bad guys get what they deserve.

    There are so many bad people that the innocent almost always end up getting the wrong end of the justice curve.

    True, most of the criminals end up killing other criminals, because they get upset with each other, and that is more than justice, but far too many good guys get victomized by bad guys.

    There are 2.5 million crimes foiled by good citizens who brandish guns to thwart crimes in America by simply presenting the firearm.

    troop

    a concerned, and harmless, (most of the time) concealed weapons carrier

    Nehalem, Oregon

  100. 100 kadee
    June 27, 2008 at 18:07

    Violence breeds violence. The end.

  101. 101 John
    June 27, 2008 at 18:09

    Troop, history does matter, but so do the facts.

  102. 102 James
    June 27, 2008 at 18:12

    An armed society is not necessarily the best society. That being said, it does make for a polite society. On a related subject, in many states where the right to carry a concealed weapon has been extended to citizens (who have gone through extensive background checks and training) violent crime has fallen dramatically.

  103. June 27, 2008 at 18:12

    Yes, but only if you lived in the times of the wild, wild west. The second amendment is irrelevent. It is clear that the amendment refers to well regulated militias. Today we have the National Guard, local law enforcement and the armed forces. Unless the government is going to allow the formation of well regulated militias regular people like myself, then the 2nd amendment should go.

  104. 104 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 18:15

    The statistic that a household with a gun is 2.5 or 2,6 more likely to experience a murder must be considered in proper context. Those who live in a crime-ridden neighborhood are more likely to purchase a firearm. However, due to the level of crime in that neighborhood the household is much more likely to experience the murder than one living in a safer area. Therefore, the statistic simply mirrors the correlation between the two factors.

    Also, due to the high population level of the United States, the murder rate is not as astronimical as it may seem upon first hearing the quoted statistic.

    All statistics can be manipulated for one’s special interest purposes. One must not rely on statistics, one must instead rely on the Constitution to see that Americans are truly entitled to bear and keep firearms.

  105. 105 Biswas Sharma
    June 27, 2008 at 18:15

    It depends! If the gun falls in the hands of an abuser, there is nothing more disastrous. However, a responsible person would not abuse it for any reason. But, I personally think that it’s not so safe to allow everyone to own a gun. Think about the recent incident in Japan…. a man stabbed people randomly for no reason. What if the man possessed a gun?

  106. June 27, 2008 at 18:16

    Steven in Ohio

    One thing should be remembered, the Supreme Court’s ruling did not state that all gun laws were unconstitutional. The ruling allows for reasonable regulations including laws banning felons and mentally ill people from possessing firearms. It also allows for the strict regulation on machine guns and background checks. I’m a hunter, collector and reserve policeman. I support some of the more moderate gun regulations. I don’t support banning them entirely. Now, the supreme court agrees.

  107. June 27, 2008 at 18:16

    Adam and Tracey in Portland, Oregon

    Tracy and I each own firearms. we rarely carry them anywhere but our own farm and when we go hunting. we support the right to own firearms. if there where 100,000 people a year killed or wounded in the US by firearms then I suggest you list the number of people killed each year by automobiles. the number killed by cars is much much hgher, I suggest we outlaw cars instead. people’s lives would be saved, oil prices would go down and global warming would slow not to mention the number of wars we would not have to fight for oil.

  108. June 27, 2008 at 18:17

    James in London

    America’s view towards the level of a society’s freedom directly corresponds to the percentage of individuals who own firearms. It is a right and just assumption, as rising crime rates and increased firearm controls across Europe attest to.

  109. 109 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    June 27, 2008 at 18:18

    This is a right in the USA. There are laws to make sure that people cannot purchase guns that have mental conditions or a criminal background. I know that they can purchase the of the guns on the black market.. I am not sure if making guns harder to purchase will stop that.

    I grew up in a home with guns. No one in my home has died because of the guns. My father educated us on how to use a gun. We cannot take a constitutional right away. Guns do not kill people: people kill people.

  110. 110 John Chrichton
    June 27, 2008 at 18:19

    @John

    The Taney Supreme Court ruled that people of African decent weren’t human beings.

    Actually the Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sandford ruled that they are not American citizens.

    Yes, guns are dangerous. Free speech is dangerous too, perhaps even more so. Maybe it is also irrelevant, maybe we should give that up along with the Second Amendment?

  111. 111 Anthony
    June 27, 2008 at 18:19

    @ Steve(M)

    Once again, this is about owning a firearm on your property. Not about being able to carry a concealed weapon.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  112. 112 Jeff
    June 27, 2008 at 18:20

    People who claim that they need a gun envision a scenario that they will be attacked or detect a break-in to their house and then threaten or kill the criminal with the gun. I’m sure this has happenend, but I’ve never heard of a single case! However, I constantly hear about accidents with guns.

    Imagine all that would have to go right for a person to successfully defend themselves with a gun against an attacker. Then imagine everything that could go wrong: attacker uses the gun against the person, attacker feels more threatened and desides to use his gun, person kills someone besides the criminal by accident, children find the gun, etc.

    I sympathize with the desire to feel secure in your own home, but guns actually increase the danger by orders of magnitude.

  113. June 27, 2008 at 18:20

    KG
    listening on KALW in BC Canada

    Thinking we can maintain law and order by adopting a wild west mentality is naive. Humans are error prone and cant be trusted to be responsible with dangerous technology.

    On the other hand, if some idiot has the right to shoot a deer,then you should be able to have a gun for self defense against the real danger, which are humans.

    Better yet, take all the guns away form humans and
    give them to bears and deer.

  114. 114 L. Walker
    June 27, 2008 at 18:20

    hm.

    i think it’s moronic to think that having a gun automatically makes you safe. but then again, more guns mean more gun crime, and more gun crime means more gun violence in the home, and more gun violence in the home means less people who think that they’re safer by having guns.

    what are we waiting for! pass em out like candy!
    the gene pool is apparently self cleaning.

  115. 115 Guy Tiphane
    June 27, 2008 at 18:21

    The situation is so absurd and hopeless in the US. The defense argument is the same fallacy that has the department of war renamed to department of defense.

  116. June 27, 2008 at 18:21

    Tracey in the US

    When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. i’ve carried a gun for 10 years everyday, never an issue. The key word is…training. cops with guns don’t scare me because they are trained….training required to have a gun.

  117. June 27, 2008 at 18:21

    A gun isn’t the only means to feel safe. It also depends on the effective use of a gun when it attacked. A gun can be for some a means to feel secure. But there are chances to be overpowered with many skilled gunmen and there is nothing that can be done.

    It will be scary if everybody moves around with a gun, ready to reach to it instead of reaching to a (self)- phone for help. People should easy means to live in peace and easy means to gun down for every provocation.

    A society whose members are peaceful needs just the police and the army to protect it and not gunmen who can easily take the law in their hands.

    Abdelilah Boukili
    (Marrakesh, Morocco)

  118. 118 Venessa
    June 27, 2008 at 18:22

    Perhaps if it were mandatory to be trained on how to properly use a hand gun and learn about safety perhaps the crime rates would go down.

  119. June 27, 2008 at 18:22

    Andrew in Australia

    The argument is made that to have guns available to you in your home protects you and provides a sense of safety. To remove guns will leave you vulnerable to criminals with guns obtained illegally. Surely then it follows that easily and legally allowed weapons increases their circulation and therefore use by those same criminals. But the point should be that rather than having guns to protect yourself, to remove guns from all sectors of society, from criminals for use in crime, which would then negate the need to own handguns.

  120. 120 Stephen
    June 27, 2008 at 18:22

    Switzerland is a much smaller country than the US, which changes how effective a “militia” would be.

  121. 121 John
    June 27, 2008 at 18:22

    As one of the participant on the radio, the woman in favor of gun ownership, has said that Switzerland has high gun ownership and a low crime rate. One could conclude, then, that it is not guns that kill, but people, meaning it is the ethos of force and violence that pervades American society. We are still a frontier society.

  122. 122 Peter Noordijk
    June 27, 2008 at 18:23

    2 things. I grew up near Detroit in the 1980s when truck hijackings became popular. Many drivers started carrying guns, so hijackers just shot drivers before they confronted them. Also, as a child I had several guns pointed at me by my neighbors who were either drunk, or confused me for a stranger.

    Finally, those who cite statistics about gun laws reducing crime, very carefully fail to control for other statistics like unemployment, education etc. States with a building crime problem pass gun laws, so real question is does it slow the acceleration?

  123. 123 Justin from Iowa
    June 27, 2008 at 18:23

    Scott, we don’t allow guns on planes in American skies… because planes have thin skins, and if you shoot a hole in the wall EVERYONE dies. The security on a plane is in keeping all firearms out (and the ability to do so. If all society was as closely regulated as a plane, we’d be living in a police state… but gun control would then “work”) and keeping the pilot’s cabin secure.

  124. 124 John
    June 27, 2008 at 18:24

    John C. Sorry to say, the court ruled that they were property.

  125. 125 James
    June 27, 2008 at 18:25

    Linda’s comments are spot on.

    Why on Earth are you speaking to this self-professed murdering convict, “Billy”? What is the value of his opinion? The fact that you have referred to him as a reverend is deplorable.

    The overall murder rates have fallen in every CCW state in the United States as well as violent crime and rape. See the FBI statistics.

  126. 126 Emile
    June 27, 2008 at 18:25

    Just listening to these two american talk about guns, makes me ever so happy i don’t live in the united states.

    they live in a different world

  127. 127 Scott (M)
    June 27, 2008 at 18:25

    Yes, people kill people, that’s obvious, duh—but, guns make it easier. Guns are a tool of violence. There function is to kill or injure. They are not commensurate with cars, knives or candlesticks. They are unnecessary, except for the purpose of violence, even if it is in self defense. Guns and cars are apples and oranges, this comparison is ridiculous.

  128. 128 Justin from Iowa
    June 27, 2008 at 18:26

    In a perfect world with no guns… the 6’2″ bully could get a gang of guys like himself and go smash people around. And what would you do? Pray?

    Also on a point brought up… Kids around guns is GOOD. People who grow up respecting and knowing how to use guns is a good thing.

  129. June 27, 2008 at 18:28

    Tom in the US

    If I had my way, every child would be trained about guns and gun safety every year starting from a very early age for a number of reasons; to take away any mystique, to remove any fear, to have a trained national and self defense populace, and to put the idea in the minds of potential criminals that their intended victims just might be armed, etc.

  130. 130 Chris
    June 27, 2008 at 18:29

    Gun laws empirically have little to do with violence levels. Some countries have wide public ownership of guns, yet have extremely low crime rates. Think of Switzerland and Norway. Other countries sharply restrict private gun ownership yet are awash in murder and violence, such as South Africa, Mexico, Russia and Brazil.

    Britain itself has suffered a dramatic increase in crime following its own blanket prohibition on private gun ownership. Whither the BBC’s silence on this topic?

    Your panel shows a clear bias in favor of British-style prohibition and confiscation, and sadly this episode is little better than a polemic. I expected better of the ‘Beeb.’

  131. 131 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 18:29

    Having guns in a household with children is good ONLY if the parents are responsible. When I was in High school, a friend of mine lived in a neighborhood that was had a military family where one of the kids went ot my high school. They had guns EVERYWHERE. I went over one day, and one of the little brothers, maybe 7 or 8, was running around with a revolver in his hands. I am 99% sure it wasn’t loaded. But they just had guns laying out everywhere. Years later, one of the kids went nuts, and took his family hostage, and a SWAT team had to come in, though it was resolved without anyone getting hurt.

  132. 132 John
    June 27, 2008 at 18:30

    Emile: I couldn’t agree more. Conversation on this topic is nearly impossible. I wish they would move one.

    Scott: Guns do make it easier to kill, however, the point I was making that Americans, because of their history, see the use of force and individual self-reliance as the only remedy.

  133. June 27, 2008 at 18:32

    John in Salem

    I think it would help to mention that no state in the U.S. allows homeowners to kill an intruder in order to protect their property. Lethal force may only be used in self defense.

  134. June 27, 2008 at 18:32

    Hello, I am Lori Lesko from Cleveland, Ohio USA, and on April 7 my sister, a beloved school and dance teacher was shot and killed in her home by an intruder who had access to a gun.

    He was never caught. Even if my sister had a gun, how would she have known to take it from a locked cabinet or purse.

    Too many Americans believe that a gun fight will be out in the open like the OK Corrall. But too often, it is the innocent who are killed.

    This country is violent, unsafe and unforgiving. We are planning on moving to England or Toronto, Canada.

    Thank you,
    Lori

  135. 135 Biswas from Kathmandu
    June 27, 2008 at 18:33

    Past is wild, future is wild! May be Einstein was right. Next generation will be fighting woth stones!

  136. 136 Trent
    June 27, 2008 at 18:33

    Criminals by definition disobey the law, gun laws are the criminals best friend against a lawful population.

  137. June 27, 2008 at 18:33

    Jon

    People all over the world employ locks, alarms, even dogs to protect themselves, without feeling the need to threaten potential intruders with death. Owning a gun would not make the average person into a cool and efficient killer in self defense, even with training. Let’s be realistic; most of us would be more Inspector Clouseau than Clark Kent in a crisis.

  138. 138 Stephen
    June 27, 2008 at 18:33

    I find it unusual that personal gun ownership is a cause that many conservatives, even conservative Christians in America, work hard to champion. It seems like as a pacifist, Jesus wouldn’t suggest that people have guns, since guns have one purpose – to kill, whether it is for defense or not.

  139. June 27, 2008 at 18:33

    Laur in The Netherlands

    I feel safe in the Netherlands where guns are illegal. And fyi, swiss citizens have assault weapons, not concealable guns, and they do not lug them about.

  140. 140 John
    June 27, 2008 at 18:34

    John in Salem: There was a recent case in Texas where a man killed two men burglaring his neighbors house. I’m not sure of the current status of the case, but as of a few months ago there were no charges against the man. If anyone knows more about this case, it would be helpfpul.

  141. 141 Justin from Iowa
    June 27, 2008 at 18:35

    Lets face it. All this screaming about guns, especially guns and childeren, is a smoke screen for the real issue here.

    Bad parenting. Its a fact that more broken homes, less time spent between parents and their childeren, absent role models, poverty… are all creating a culture of young people who haven’t been brought up respecting guns, and what’s more don’t hold their fellow man in any value.

    Its too bad we have to talk about all this gun control crap instead of talking about real problems.

  142. June 27, 2008 at 18:37

    Seth in Ohio

    The two countries Switzerland and US have two very different histories and cultures. Switzerland has a history and a culture of peace and neutrality whereas the US has a military/wild wild west mindset.

  143. 143 Frith Picanso
    June 27, 2008 at 18:38

    I just came back from a walk in the woods with my dog, her in Vancouver WA. USA,,, I brought my 9mm.. I never feel as safe when my gun is locked away some were.
    I know I can defend my self and others.

    Hitler was often proud of proclaiming how he had disarmed the public and how safe they were now,,, Hitler was all about disarming his country,, should I tell you I will shoot every last round I have to keep my family out of anyone’s gas chamber!!

    It’s my constitutional right Just as my Founding Fathers knew it had to be to insure a tyranny free country.

    And one last thing,,, YOU CAN HAVE MY GUN WHEN YOU PRY IT FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!!!

  144. June 27, 2008 at 18:38

    Lynell
    Shaker Heights, Ohio

    The Supreme Court’s ruling on guns totally ignores the reality of illegal gun violence in the US’s largest citites. Black and brown people will continue to be murdered at high numbers thanks to this ruling. The guns are bought legally in gun states and then resold illegaly in inner-city streets. Also, as a person of color, I am troubled that if I ring a doorbell, I may be mistaken for an intruder and shot. This very scenario happened in Louisiana some years back. Bottom line, I’m more afraid know then ever.

  145. June 27, 2008 at 18:39

    -Jon Kiparsky
    Portland, Oregon

    Given the tremendous drop in the resale value of most consumer durables, I would think that a handgun is one of the few portable items that can be profitably stolen these days. Putting an NRA sign or otherwise posting the presence of a gun in the house seems like an advertisement for burglars – “valuable portable property inside!”.

  146. 146 Seth
    June 27, 2008 at 18:39

    So far no one has mentioned the fact that in some 48 or so U.S. states, in ANY incident where your life or property is threatened, you have a DUTY under the law to “retreat”.

    You can not just pulll out a gun like rambo.

    If you do not try to “retreat” to de-escolate a situation, you will be arrested and charded with assult or murder ect.

  147. 147 James
    June 27, 2008 at 18:40

    There are over forty states in the United States that have “right to carry” legislation. The statistics regarding unemployment etc. are not relevant across such a wide demographic and varying state economies. Please, if you want to argue statistics be a little more specific.

    Just as an example of the difference of the states where right to carry is common please compare:

    Florida
    Texas
    Arizona
    Nevada
    Colorado
    Alaska
    Utah
    Vermont

  148. 148 josh
    June 27, 2008 at 18:40

    I’m of the opinion that healthy, educated people tend not to commit crimes. Instead of debating the need for guns why are we not solving the crime rate by educating and healing the people. I have yet to encounter a person who is educated and healthy that wants to rob or harm me. I’d like to see a study that shows the relationship between those countries with good heath care and education vs. the crime rates. This study could even be done at the state and city levels.

    Educate and heal the people of your country and the crime rate will go down and the need for guns will just naturally disappear. After all, don’t those who want guns for protection are just afraid because the crime rate is so high? What if there was no crime rate?

    As a side note, I grew up in the country-side in the USA and we did not have any guns in our house. I have shot many types and understand them. I have no need or desire to have one today and find it sad that there are those that live a life in fear and feel the need to have a gun for safety. I’m all for hunting or sport if one choses that in their life. It is scary that in todays society there are people who find the need to have a gun for their protection. It seems they are living a life of fear and no one should have to feel that way.

  149. June 27, 2008 at 18:41

    Jason says..

    Kalashnikovs for everybody.

  150. June 27, 2008 at 18:41

    ““Students are attending lecture at a university. The prof is at the front. All are carrying handguns. In barges a madman with his gun. He shouts, points the gun about, and shoots out one of the lights. Someone screams; he shoots the someone in the leg.”

    I pull mine out and double tap them in the chest. Exactly why I want to carry on my campus… bad example. No one but the offender dies, student who was shot in the leg gets medical attention quickly as the threat was neutralized. Of course, he probably wouldn’t have entered the class in the first place if everyone was armed.”

    I have a different version. A guy who had a heavy night last night, is in the lecture room dozing. A blackboard falls to the floor. Guy wakes with a start. Guy pulls a gun. Girl next to him screams. Guy on other side of hall stands and pulls weapon. Shots are fired. Another student with very thick lens glasses pulls his weapon and nervously drops his glasses. Do you still want to be in this room with a proverbial ‘gunfight at OK Corral’ about to ensue?

  151. 151 lou
    June 27, 2008 at 18:41

    My grandfather gave my 16 yr old brother a rifle and a handgun (legally). they were being passed down the male family line. months later my brother shot the attic by accident. months after that, the weopons were stolen right out of our house.
    I still believe that everyone should be able to own a gun for their home IF they are responsible with it. in my family’s case… no.

  152. 152 Biswas from Kathmandu
    June 27, 2008 at 18:41

    I’m from Nepal. The maoists (communists; former terrorists) have allowed guns for everyone in the rural areas where they have their influence. I saw in a TV news- a 12 year old girl in maoist school said that her aim was to be a commander in the so called Liberation Army and she would take revenge of her father’s death during the civil war. This is what guns are all about!

  153. 153 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 18:42

    @ Seth

    If retreating would get you killed, then you don’t have to retreat. You also have no duty to retreat while in your own home.

  154. June 27, 2008 at 18:42

    Tim in SF listening on KALW

    More guns – More weapons! As long as the NRA and the weapons industry retain their stranglehold on the legislature then there will be no change in policy (foreign or domestic).

    Ask the woman who lost her husband and 2 sons last week in SF when a gang member opened fire because his car was momentarily blocked.,

    Ask the families of all the innocents in Iraq or Somalia or Zimbabwe (the list goes on – we supply most of the world with plenty of weapons).

    Ask the survivors of home suicides.

    As long as profit is more important than people we will continue to destroy lives. When people with little education and no future has easy access to guns then they will do what anybody would – buy them and use them.

  155. 155 Justin from Iowa
    June 27, 2008 at 18:42

    That failed society comment was the most intelligent thing said here today.

  156. 156 Anthony (Kansas)
    June 27, 2008 at 18:42

    Not everyone needs a gun but denying anyone’s right to possess one is against our constitution.

    Conversely, Switzerland mandating that everyone possess a gun is ridiculous.

  157. 157 Scott (M)
    June 27, 2008 at 18:42

    The problem is not only GUNS, it is specifically Americans with guns. Certainly different cultures use guns differently and with greater degrees of responsibility. But, America is unfortunately not one of these responsible places. The risks are too great.

    This is about ME. ME, ME, ME—I am an American, I should have a gun so I can protect myself, my family! It is utterly self-centered, not for the greater good, but for the individual good. As long as I can have a gun, this is all that matters. It doesn’t matter if they get into the wrong hands, if people without guns can’t protect themselves, if children can’t protect themselves, as long as I am safe. It’s pompous, it’s arrogant, it’s disgusting—it speaks to the problems with American culture at large.

  158. June 27, 2008 at 18:43

    Alan Rutherford
    Portland, OR

    Linda Chavez feels safer with guns, but she hasn’t proven that a right to gun ownership has caused subsequent drops in violent crime. Economic growth may account for it.Here’s another thing to consider: recent advances in trauma medicine have enabled many more lives to be saved, causing murder rates to drop.

  159. 159 selena
    June 27, 2008 at 18:44

    @Josh

    I agree with you.

    Why aren’t we trying to find the root causes of fear?

    No one should have to live in fear. What kind of life is that?

  160. 160 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 18:44

    @ Lynell

    Please, you realize that most of the homocides in the US are black on black, inner city crimes, using weapons that were most likely illegaly obtained. How many instances of a black ringing a doorbell and getting shot have happened yet how many black people will be murdered by other black people in Detroit, Chicago, LA, and DC today? I think we need to focus on the actual problem, which is black on black crime. We need to eliminate this.

  161. 161 Victor in USA
    June 27, 2008 at 18:44

    I would love to hear the gun accident rate or the gun crime rate in Switzerland.
    I have taken gun safety courses and I obey the laws.
    I follow strict gun safety protocols
    I never want to be forced to use one to defend myself.
    I am very glad however to be able to defend myself.

    I think the problem here in the US is the lack of Gun education.

  162. 162 Justin from Iowa
    June 27, 2008 at 18:45

    @Lori..

    My deepest condolences for your sister, Lori, but how would gun regulation have stopped the burglar, with no doubt an illegal weapon, from shooting her?

  163. 163 jamily5
    June 27, 2008 at 18:45

    Yes Dwight,
    americans want “freedom”
    Freedom to eat food that will harm and kill us,
    Freedom to shoot whomever we choose,
    freedom to exploit anyone in the name of capitalism,
    freedom to kill our unborn children,
    Freedom to operate our own business — even if that business might have negative effects on other people and the environment,
    freedom to do what we want, when we want to do it and with whom and use Democracy to justify it.

    What it inevitably comes down to is:
    What do I feel comfortable regulating?
    regulating weapons is something that I feel comfortable supporting.

  164. 164 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 18:46

    @ Scott. Since you don’t care about individuals, why shouldn’t you be euthatnized and your organs harvested? You probably could save 7 people. if you believe in what you wrote, then you would let yourself be killed to save others. Or will you admit you have a double standard?

  165. 165 Craig
    June 27, 2008 at 18:47

    It is important to differentiate that the US has not enacted a law requiring individuals to own firearms; it has maintained that gun ownership is a personal right which Americans may choose to employ. Responsible gun ownership is the duty of the individual such is the case with many activities like driving a vehicle, consuming alcohol, ect.. As Americans we place an extremely high value on the principle of individual rights and responsibilities, not the reliance on governmental agencies. It is the very core of our existence.

  166. 166 James
    June 27, 2008 at 18:48

    Law enforcement cannot always be there to protect you. If there are reasonable restrictions on gun ownership and even training requirements, gun ownership protects civil law-abiding culture.

    Guns protect innocent law-abiding people. If we did not have guns, people would use machetes and sticks to mutilate people like South Africa.

  167. 167 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 18:48

    @ Tim in San Francisco

    Do you think the gang member that killed two in SF was a law abiding citizen with a legally owned firearm?

    I still await from the lefties who hate guns, how do you propose of getting ALL guns? Only law abiding people would turn them in. Criminals wouldn’t. How would you accomplish removing all guns without suspending the constitution, and searching every person, every home, every yard, every car, every bag, at any random time, without any warning. how do you propose to do this? Please, let me know!

  168. June 27, 2008 at 18:48

    Robert

    I kept a gun in my home once to keep wild dogs from attacking my goats. The only time I got it out was in fact to threaten my own family. I got rid of it. Guns may not be the problem in themselves but in the hands of uncontrolled emotions they are. Robert Sent via

  169. 169 Anthony
    June 27, 2008 at 18:49

    I’ve seen 2 people killed with guns in the streets of L.A. County, and the shooters were low life’s, and I guarantee they weren’t acquired legally.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  170. 170 Nick
    June 27, 2008 at 18:50

    This ruling will have minimal effect across the US. 40 States in the US already authorize handguns for the purpose of self defense. Most of these states have implemented this in the last 5-8 years. There has NOT been a ‘dramatic’ increase in crime in those states.
    According to the easily researched FBI yearly reports, States which introduced this authorization experienced a DECREASE in crime. Law abiding citizens will not go ‘western’ and have gun fights in the streets. That is what CRIMINALS do. By definition a criminal is outside the law anyway. Why should the US give the power to a criminal and leave its citizens to await their fate? Will the police get there in time to prevent grievous bodily injury? Death? Sometimes, Maybe. And thats good. But what about the single income mother, living on the outskirts of Chicago? Places where the police do not patrol or have a longer response time?? Will her son or daughter appreciate the fact that the government could not prevent a CRIMINAL from stealing, raping, murdering his/her Mother and abducting the child to a life of despair and misery?

    I am sure that the UK will recoginize that Banned Knife Laws have only highlighted the fact that Criminals have no regard for the law and continue to use knives in violent encounters weekly. Does the UK feel safer banning kitchen utensils? Has banning weapons in the UK resulted in the decrease of violence or threatened violence?? Do the UK police feel that they are able to effectively prevent this type of criminal activity? Has the statistics in the UK proven that BANs are effective? Does the UK experience a decrease in criminal activity due to the banning of weapons of self defense?

    There are THOUSANDS of firearms laws on the books in the US already. This Supreme court ruling will not affect the ‘rights’ of the convicted felon, criminal, who has already been made EXEMPT from those rights. They lose the right to even be in the vicinity of a firearm, to serve in public office among other ceasation of rights. Should that convicted felon make the decision to pick up a firearm he or she is already not in compliance with the law and therefore in violation of the law. Does the criminal care/?? Should the law abiding citizen be forced to watch as a CRIMINAL performs a violent illegal act such as murder, assault and stand by and do nothing to help the victim, while awaiting a law enforcement office to get there? The victim will be severely damaged if one must wait.

  171. 171 Frith Picanso
    June 27, 2008 at 18:50

    If it’s a questions of numbers of deaths,, they why aren’t you trying to take away cars,, cars kill the most people,, how about cigarettes? They kill in public every day

  172. 172 Elizabeth
    June 27, 2008 at 18:51

    I live in the city of Philadelphia. We have one of the highest murder rates in America (406 people in 2007), and nearly every single day I turn on the news in the morning to find that someone else in my city is dead, nearly always because of guns and gangs. The legalization of guns creates a net loss of life. I am completely willing to give up my right to bear arms if it means that I wont be afraid anymore to walk down the street in my city.

  173. 173 Venessa
    June 27, 2008 at 18:51

    I really don’t think suicide should be included in the statistics for guns killing people. Anyone who is determined to kill theselves will just find another means.

  174. 174 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 18:52

    For living in a “red state” where one can easily purchase a handgun, though there have been mass shootings here, the only shooting I’ve ever personally witnessed in my life took place in Denmark, of all places. I was at the airport in Copenhagen in 1996 and two motorcycle gangs got into a shootout, and some people were killed. Something tells me those guns weren’t legal.

  175. 175 James
    June 27, 2008 at 18:53

    Everyone in the U.S. cannot carry a gun. You have to have a significant background check and training. Then the permit is issued at the discretion of a state agency.

    An individual has a right to a fighting chance in protecting themselves.

  176. June 27, 2008 at 18:53

    Tom in the US

    The right to own guns enabled the American Colonists to overthrow the tyrannical Conservative British King and establish the United States of America.

    That is why I believe people should have the right to own guns, to overthrow oppressive Conservative governments or any other extremist tyrannys.

    That is real self defense!

  177. 177 Justin from Iowa
    June 27, 2008 at 18:53

    Actually, side topic, we want smokers to keep smoking. The cost to the public health system if all of those smokers suddenly lived an extra 10-30 years would bankrupt the country. So, be a patriot, smoke a cigarette!

  178. June 27, 2008 at 18:54

    Anton

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    This statement is uncomprisingly clear. It is a guarantee entitling individuals to own, keep and utilize arms AND form a militia. These concepts were supported by the setiments of the Framers of the Constitution. Formulated shortly after fighting off the British, a conflict in which militias formed the core of the American army and indivudals furnished their own weapons, the Second Amendment is the formalization of the memory of the conflict and the lessons derived from fighting it.

    Just as free speech (guaranteed in the First Amendment) formed the foundation of the American Revolution, the Second Amendment was the means through which independence was achieved. Please note the number of the Amendment! It is number two because in the minds of the Framers it was so indispensable and in the practical terms of history, it truly was.

    America has not experienced serious upheaval since then and the people have long forgotten that battle for individual rights, self-determination and liberty. Many Americans have adopted an attitude of false security, cringing at the worrying idea that one must sometimes sacrfice heavily for one’s rights. Since the Second Amendment embodies that truth, many Americans now wish to dispose of it or simply ignore. This is a deadly track to take and one which invariably leads to the loss of liberty which Americans and the rest of the world are experiencing today.

  179. 179 Darren USA
    June 27, 2008 at 18:54

    As an ex-Brit living in the USA I feel a lot safer having a handgun both in my car and house and even in the supermarket with a concealed carry permit.

    The horse has already bolted on gun availability in the USA- criminals are not going to hand them in. Millions of guns are in circulation.
    Law abiding people should have the right to defend themselves and their family. I have a duty to stay alive to support my wife and children.

    People kill not guns.

    The answer is in giving young people opportunity to lead a constructive positive life and not turn to drugs or crime. That is why inner city USA is so violent. If it was not guns it would be knives like it is in the UK-although gun crime is at a high in the UK since hand guns were banned- this proves it does not work to ban guns.

  180. 180 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 18:54

    @ Frith

    Actually if the left had their way, everyone would be required to drive a Smart Car, if at all, and cigarettes would be banned. At least they are consistent. one day, we would all be eating with sporks, because someone might hurt themselves with a fork or a knife.

  181. 181 James
    June 27, 2008 at 18:54

    @ Nick. Absolutely.

  182. June 27, 2008 at 18:55

    The right to bear arms does not translate into the requirement to bear arms. If you do not want a gun, simply do not own one.

    It has already been said, guns do not kill people, people kill people. With no gun and murderous intent, they will use a knife. When we ban knives, they will use a bat. When we ban bats they will use a brick. And when bricks are illegal, they will use their hands.

    I am a Buddhist Vegan in Los Angeles, California and I own a gun. I will always own guns. I have been shooting guns since I was a little kid and personally have chased away burglars TWICE. I know this is anecdotal evidence.

    And I don’t understand why this conversation is being hijacked by the “what-ifs”. What if someone accidentally walks into your house in the middle of the night? Well, they should know better. But how often does someone walk into the wrong house in the middle of the night? We need to focus on the main point of this conversation.

    Yes, I feel safer with guns and I feel safer when other’s have guns as well.

  183. 183 Scott (M)
    June 27, 2008 at 18:56

    Steve, NO I WILL NOT ADMIT I HAVE A DOUBLE STANDARD, because I don’t. Clearly the logic isn’t there to support it. Being for a collective good means I am for the good of everyone including myself—just not ONLY myself. Really, save this third-rate logic for other unsuspecting individuals.

    P.S. I donated a kidney.

  184. June 27, 2008 at 18:56

    Andy in San Diego

    The Supreme Court struck down a D.C. statute banning handguns. It did not legalize handguns for the entire U.S. It simply interpreted the Constitution to mean individuals have rights to guns, individually, and not only as part of a militia. Guns have always been legal in the U.S. This was just a recent challenge to a recent statute.

  185. 185 Seth
    June 27, 2008 at 18:56

    @ Steve

    In the “home” most prosecutors wont press charges, but some will. It depends on the mood of the DA. Then it boils down to a judge or jury.

    Either way, Some one needs to mention there is a very real risk that EVEN IF you act in self defence, and you have a chance to “retreat” and you do not “retreat” there is a very real risk you could go to jail for it, if, in the eyes of the court you did not try to de-escolate.

    Having a gun “on you” outside of the home, is more likely to result in you being charged as an “equal aggresser” rather then a “victim” acting in self defence.

  186. 186 Shirley
    June 27, 2008 at 18:56

    Robert: If you use the argument that guns are there to protect you from your government, who is to decide what is tyrannical or not?

    An excellent point, and certainly something to think about. Thank you.

  187. June 27, 2008 at 18:57

    Mark in the US

    Understanding the gun culture in the U.S. is easier if you take into consideration that America has been a multicultural location since before the advent of the U.S. itself as opposed to a place like Europe, where mass cultural infusions are a more recent phenomena. First, it was one as a frontier movement, where a firearm was a necessary tool for survival and exploration. Next, as an core implement allowing citizens to resist tyranny from a government that most had distanced themselves from for that very reason to begin with. Further, our southern border’s history has always been a sort of frontier. Even today, we have multiple incursions by armed “banditos” (drug runners and attending drug crime). There has always been cross border crime here. Just yesterday was a report of an assault on a home in Arizona by Mexican nationals – allegedly members of the Mexican army, individuals wearing body armor and uniform like camo – where 50-100 shots were fired. The “Wild West” reality has never quite ceased and in fact has increased as immigrant related crime has shot up in the past 30 years. The contrast of all the various cultures that have flooded the U.S. has increased misunderstanding and crime, not decreased it.

    It is cultures that cause violence, not the tools that are used.

    I know that the multicultural connection to crime will rankle those of you at the BBC, but it is undeniable. London, a large city in a country with very restrictive gun laws, has seen a huge increase in knife violence. We have a saying that goes, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” This London example proves it. Violence on the continent of Europe has greatly increased since it has flooded itself with immigrants. Fire is the weapon of choice in France. This is an ugly reality that our governments and large segments of society refuse to acknowledge.

    However, contrast this crime problem in the West with the mass violence in other regions in the world where whole groups have violence perpetrated against them by political or religious groups. The late historian Carroll Quigley noted that the U.S. had the purest democracy when the citizenry was armed similarly as the army. There is something to that observation. Nations that are simmering revolutions like South Africa are not comparable.

    The Swiss example is proof of how culture makes the difference. The remarkable aspects of Switzerland as a small country with heavily protected borders is part of that example.

    Rights come with responsibilities. I believe that any country such as the U.S. that has gun ownership as an inalienable right, must also provide for education and training beyond the home. This, if anything is what may be required.

    Personally, I am glad I live in a country and in a state that allows me to protect myself and my property.

    But I am certain that if we did not host and encourage a popular culture of disrespect and even hatred, our problems with violent crime would not be as great. If we could encourage more public decency rather than continuing the downward moral spiral of Western culture we would be better for it.

  188. 188 James
    June 27, 2008 at 18:58

    If a “Looney” comes in your house to rob you, the reaction is to use your gun and cancel that person’s birth certificate.

  189. June 27, 2008 at 18:59

    Christopher in Ohio, USA

    In the US, the tradition of personal gun ownership is based in the country’s birth when an oppressive government was thrown off by the average citizen. As a direct result of the Second Amendment it is now inconceivable that a foreign power (or even a domestic dictator) might subjugate the population again. No army could defeat 300million armed Americans. The death of innocent people at the muzzle of firearms is the unfortunate price we must pay for our continued collective security.

  190. 190 Craig
    June 27, 2008 at 18:59

    Rebecca has an obvious bias which is fine being it is her show, but beware of the projection of her beliefs on men. Do not discount the ability of the rational and intellegent men and women alike to determine their own beliefs and actions. Statistics and training regarding personal gun usage, the pros and cons of firearm usage, safety of the home. Do not discount any gun advocate as being incapable of logic or an egomaniac.

  191. June 27, 2008 at 18:59

    Pierre in the US

    There is something I’ve never understood. Here in the US, the requirements and regulations to drive a car are much stricter than it is to own a gun. Why does one have to reregister a vehicle, but not a gun? Why does one have to take a class to get a driver’s license, but not to get a gun? It’s ludicrous.

  192. June 27, 2008 at 18:59

    Todd in Ohio, USA

    Societies should work toward progress. Guns are not a part of that process, nor are liberal gun laws logical for permanently shifting the culture of our species from violence to peace and love. Stricter gun laws are not going to solve all of the problems in the U.S., nor will they prevent all homicide deaths, but they are a step in the right direction.

  193. June 27, 2008 at 19:00

    Justin in KALW in San francisco

    Though I’d prefer fewer guns, more legal weapons will lead to fewer criminals and conservatives, and the world will be better for it.

  194. 194 James
    June 27, 2008 at 19:00

    @ Mark. Absolutely.

  195. 195 jamily5
    June 27, 2008 at 19:01

    Steve,
    the most common places to keep a gun
    (statistically)
    are closet shelf, drawer and under pillow.
    Let’s say that most households had guns:
    That would not detour a burglar or another criminal.
    They’ll just get a bigger gun or … …employ other tactics.
    I am not advocating “no guns.” that is unrealistic.
    But, tighter control is a good idea.

  196. 196 grant
    June 27, 2008 at 19:01

    a human can kill with a iron skilet,a rock or a digging tool.should we control these?

  197. 197 John in Salem
    June 27, 2008 at 19:08

    John~
    It is possible that the man in Texas followed the advice I have heard from a local district attorney – if you shoot someone breaking into your house make sure you kill him, then go to the kitchen, get a knife and put it in his hand and then call the police.

  198. 198 Chris B USA
    June 27, 2008 at 19:09

    The Great GUN ownership contraversy ! I am appauled by the comments heard on BBC radio, as well this web page.
    The firearm weather a rifle or a pistol can be a good tool or a bad tool. Sad thing is to hear (announcer from the UK) state how “The People” should not be the policing force. Most of the talk about this issue is out of pure ignorance and thinking there are enough “Policemen” to “Protect us”. That is just not going to happen! The old addage is “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away”.
    A firearm can and does protect individuals from those who commit crime. Take away the guns (would have to be world wide) then what? the knives?, the Bats, Sticks?
    This should not even be a (UK) radio issue; Shut up and go about your “protected” lives. The courts have decided, end.

  199. 199 Venessa
    June 27, 2008 at 19:17

    @ Dwight

    “The first step is to correction any problem is to stop making it worse. We would have to stop any further production of guns. Then we would have to formulate laws that would require citizens to turn them in. Last, as they are confiscated during crime they would be destroyed. It isn’t just a gun one needs. Stopping production of bullet casings and gun powder would really hinder the usefulness of a gun. As long as you are not adding to the whole, you can nibble away at the impossible task.

    It would probably take 20 years. There would be many cases where pro-gun advocates pointed out individual incidents where a gun would have been useful. But after a full generation or two it would be completely acceptable to live in a gunless culture.”
    **********************************************************************

    I appreciate that you have tried to answer my question. As good as your idea sounds I think the entire world would need to be on board for starters. Secondly I would say people know how to make guns and although you may eliminate the production etc. people will find a way to produce one by other means. Money talks and smuggling does occur despite efforts to eliminate it. Essentially I think banning guns would keep these firearms in the hands of the same people we are trying to take them from.

    I’m sure there are also instances of people creating crude versions of a gun that were not produced by a manufacturer. This is absolutely an invention that will never go away no matter how we try. People always find a way and by nature kill with whatever means they have.

  200. 200 Roberto
    June 27, 2008 at 19:21

    America has not experienced serious upheaval
    ————————————————————————————————-

    ——….since the American Revolution? Perhaps you have forgotten about the American Civil War.

    More casualties, 600,000 than all the rest of the US wars combined to date. This primarily fought with primitive single shot cannon and and single shot muskets.

    Of course, this over a 4 yr period. Rawanda not long ago had a similar fatality number in a mere 4 months with the use of machetes.

    Folks, put simply, it’s PEOPLE who scare me. They may bear weapons, laws, contracts, be driving cars, you name it, it’s PEOPLE who are killing and robbing other folks. Guns, laws, ect are just tools. Without the tools they would still be running in packs on all fours coming after law abiding folks.

    And, no, the topic header was never designed to engender rational debate. Obviously not everyone wishes to own a gun.

  201. 201 Dan
    June 27, 2008 at 19:21

    Chloe
    I listened and even called in as I thought the “On-Air” show was skewed and not balanced.
    This is such an emotionally charged issue that an unbalanced on air show does little more than drive the two parties further apart rather than develop any common ground especially since there were so many excellent points made by many people around the world that the show completely ignored and never brought to the attention of the on air guests.
    I am afraid that I cannot give the “On-Air” show today high marks.
    Can we try this topic again at some point in the near future or is it dead?

  202. June 27, 2008 at 19:22

    @ those who say guns belong in the hands of those responsible enough to own them.

    Guess the only way you learn that they are not responsible enough. Guess when we found out the VT shooter, Columbine kids and their parent, the guy who shot up the Amish school (the Amish!! really!! there is an extra warm place for that guy.), the DC sniper, Jame Earl Ray, John Hinkley, and I could go on. Guess when we determined they were not responsible enough to own a gun!

    Every one of these guys obtained their guns “legally”.

    lol, I think citizens at this point should only be allowed to purchase tanks, machine guns, and SAMs.

  203. 203 Venessa
    June 27, 2008 at 19:25

    Roberto I think you nailed it!

    “Folks, put simply, it’s PEOPLE who scare me. They may bear weapons, laws, contracts, be driving cars, you name it, it’s PEOPLE who are killing and robbing other folks. Guns, laws, ect are just tools. Without the tools they would still be running in packs on all fours coming after law abiding folks.

    And, no, the topic header was never designed to engender rational debate. Obviously not everyone wishes to own a gun.”

  204. 204 Julie P
    June 27, 2008 at 19:30

    “On air: Does everyone need a gun to feel safe?”

    As an American who chooses not to own a gun where they proliferate, I feel perfectly safe and do no believe I need to have a gun to protect myself. As a person who has experienced the nightmare scenario of having someone break into my apartment as I slept a gun would have done nothing to protect me. In fact, no weapon would have done anything to protect me. I was my protection, quick to action and quick to self defense. I successfully defended myself. Yes, it can be done. Seven months after the fact the perpetrator was a guest of the state prison system.

  205. 205 Christopher Long
    June 27, 2008 at 20:06

    I am a gun owner. I also legally carry a concealed handgun daily. I have never had to shoot anyone and hopefully never will. I own and carry for the same reason I keep fire extinguishers in my home and car. Not because I am out looking to put out fires, but to protect myself and my family should a fire occur. My life is mine alone to protect and live as I please. As a U.S. citizen I understand this and relish it. For anyone in an other country or even in my own to even question my right to self defense or how I go about it is appalling and does nothing to improve my impression of them.

    We have a dearth of information about gun safety in this country despite their prevalence due to the extreme and irrational fear of guns by the school systems, anti -gunners, and the popular media. If they would simply embrace reality and promote firearm safety instead of suppressing any positive discussion whatsoever out of that fear we would have far fewer accidents. Its just like the failed abstinence only programs promoted by the religious right. Don’t blame the tool or the proponents of the said tool. Education is the answer.

    When is the last time you saw anything in the news about any of the positive roles firearms have in our country? If your answer is that their are no positive roles for firearms then you have a very limited or at least biased perspective. Go to a range, ask someone to take you shooting, try experiencing something new. Are you afraid you might enjoy yourself? Take a firearms safety course at a minimum and expose yourself to the truth about firearms. If you are afraid of guns then at least you will better understand what it is you are afraid of.

    “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” — Samuel Adams

  206. June 27, 2008 at 20:14

    I own guns and I still don’t feel safe. There are awful people in the world with no concept of right and wrong. Governments have all kinds of stupid laws too and those make you feel damned if you do and damned if you don’t, actually use a gun.

    My country and local government are corrupt and liars in groups can present to the courts and public a lie against you but this can happen anywhere. My example is a enemy neighbor because of their actions of harassment on their job (Garbage Collector) and shooting my cat, loose trailers (Deed restriction to only one home on their land.) and a job.

    Then they bring cats and abandoned them. I have to keep my other cat in doors because the sneaky neighbors shot her. I became attached to the cats outdoors and no one else would feed them.. Then the neighbors let loose their dog and I catch it eating kittens. I tell my neighbors I will have to kill their dog if it continues. During the mean time, Packs of Dogs are being used to cull neighborhoods by the county. I see them and shoot to run them off. Then the evil neighbors dog again is caught trying to kill the cats but I am going to stop feeding it cats and shoot it. (Many other times I caught the dog killing and damaging my trailer’s metal under skirting and I can’t catch it without being attacked.)

    I was charged with animal cruelty for protecting my home and the lives of those on my property. The police officer said the dog was not trying to killing the cats when it was. She was one of my enemies friends because they worked in the County’s Utility System and were acquainted in that way. To me only the police officer acknowledged that my evil neighbors had been harassing me and they really would be harassing me now. The police officer was wrong because it was intense and could get no worse, they are drilling drywall screws into the sidewalls of my tires, breaking my windshield, verbal abuses etc..

    My point is this, guns can only kill and they do not change society. The neighbors will not pursue me into my house. They would if they did not know a hand gun awaited them that would be used to kill. I have surveillance cameras now and they work.

    Oh, I bought a very small digital movie camera and it saved me from going to jail. The group came out of no where, when I went to get my mail in. They were verbally abusing me, I got it on camera. I came in and sure enough the police came and were trying to arrest me. I showed them the recording and they left me alone but did not arrest the evil group.

    So some kind of prevention is worth while, just be sure your actions can’t be used against you.

  207. June 27, 2008 at 20:33

    In my humble experience I have found this to be true: the more guns a country has, the more Third World it becomes.

  208. 208 Jens
    June 27, 2008 at 21:02

    a human can kill with a iron skilet,a rock or a digging tool.should we control these?

    Grant,

    we can kill with our hands, by strangling people or punching the tweples or the nose bone into the brain. we do not need weapons. the issue is that a gun leads to an impersonal kill, because you have absolutly no direct contact. this lowers the psycological barrier since pulling a trigger takes a lot less than actually strangling somebody.

  209. 209 Charles
    June 27, 2008 at 21:08

    While I find the idea of every individual having a gun very unsettling – the potential for violence and devastating violence at that is just too high – the DC gun ban was ridiculous to begin with. We are such a small territory compared to most other states in the U.S. and since it is legal to purchase a gun if you are a Virginia or Maryland resident many of our neighbors have guns. While it might be illegal, there is certainly no way to check if people are bringing guns into the District, and if so many people have guns anyway, what’s the point?

    I found one quote by a DC police official amusing. He said that “Of course we would not prosecute someone who used a gun in self-defense.” But for a law-abiding citizen who wanted a gun for self-defense, the chances of them actually getting a gun for self-defense would require so much effort, in addition to the knowledge that they were breaking the law by owning one. The gun ban just seems unnecessary and ineffective.

    That said, I think that reducing the number of guns available to the public would reduce the level of gun violence (logical, no?). If someone owns a gun, then it becomes the first resort instead of a last resort, and while there are certainly situations where people have benefited from having a gun, I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of robberies, crimes, etc. would end in less violence.

  210. 210 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 22:08

    Do you think she would still be dead had she had a gun?

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/06/27/carson.warrants.ap/index.html

  211. 211 selena
    June 27, 2008 at 22:20

    “Do you think she would still be dead had she had a gun?”

    I guess there is no way of knowing that.

    We can speculate but what good is speculation?

  212. June 27, 2008 at 22:31

    Remember folks, Washington DC is a predominantly black city. So, as long as the stats on death by firearms are overwhelmingly detrimental to the black population which needs to be controlled by the NRA and the White establishment, the conservative supreme court will do nothing.

    Change will happen only when whites start dying from gun violence. Simple as that. Drugs are now being regulated because more and more white kids are on drugs. Ectasy? Does it sound familiar?

    Secondly, please follow the money trail. White folks who are flocking the ranks of the NRA profit from the supreme court decision. You want to end gun violence? Blacks, Hispanics and others need to open firearms manufacturing plants. Once this happens, the white supremacists will ensure that minorities stay poor by stoping that line of business all together.

    Guns are not needed in a “civilized” nation. Just look at France and the UK. Please compare the murder rates and you will see there is something wrong with the US. I personally am not surprised since a recent study indicates that 1 in 4 americans (including the WHYS blogosphere) has a mental health problem.

    What America needs for safety is Jesus Christ not guns. Guns are for fearful folks who are devoid of any spirituality. Take comfort in Christ. The country cannot be held hostage by an amendement. The consitutition is meant to serve people and not the other way around.

    Jesus Christ is the One who brings safety.

  213. 213 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 22:46

    @ Patou

    I think you’re a little extreme in your views, but yes, most of the homicides in DC, gun related are blacks, but most are committed by blacks as well. It’s black on black crime. The gun is only the tool. The people in DC still want to kill each other. Why? I have no idea. I remember growing up it was always driveby shootings, drug related. I stopped watching local news so I don’t know what it’s about these days. But Very few people speak out against it. If they do, and are white, they usually get called a racist. But the thing is, they are trying to deal with the horrific murder rates. They are trying to save lives, but it’s not politically correct to say the problem!

  214. 214 Kevin in Oregon
    June 27, 2008 at 23:07

    First, one thing missing from European perspective is the immense space that is in the United States. We live in a county in the west that has 1791 square miles (4638 square km) and only 6 full time patrol deputies. If a home owner has a serious need (intruder or other), and if a deputy is on duty, and needs to come from the center of the county, it could take a he/she 45-60 even 90 minutes to reach the home; even if he were notified immediately, and if he traveled lights siren at high speed. When he arrived, he stands a reasonable chance of being without backup.

    America has been founded on a principal that the government is us; we don’t look to someone else to solve the problems of society. Government is a mechanism for collaboration, but not a sole source of answers. So yes, guns, mine and my neighbors, offer a sense of safety.

    Second, don’t let television influence your perspective, having a gun does not create a swagger, teenagers lolling about with 45 automatics in their waistbands. Even the most rural areas have strict rules about the use of firearms. If a gentleman were spit upon, pushed around, even on the losing end of a fist fight with one or two others, and he were to draw a gun in self defense, he likely would go to prison. To draw a weapon there must be a clear indication that the party you are pointing it at has the means, opportunity, and the intent, to inflict deadly force. If a shooting were carried out, it is intensely analyzed to determine if these elements were indeed present. If they are not, prison ensues. None of the above situations would meet the requirement. One wants to be very sure, before drawing a weapon.

    One neighbor who has carried a concealed weapon daily for over 20 years, has drawn in only two situations, an attempted armed robbery of a retail store where he was a clerk, and when approached by a man with knife in the forest (the later again a concept often lost on Europeans, imagine trees 100 miles in all directions, no paved roads, no cities, likely few people). In both cases harm to himself and loved ones was averted by the act of carrying a weapon

  215. 215 steve
    June 27, 2008 at 23:27

    @ Pierre

    I think the difference in treatment of cars and guns is first, there is no constitutional right to have a car. Second, registering cars is a way for the state to make money. The fund roads and whatever based upon registration fees and sales tax. I also have to pay a county tax sticker to legally park my car in the county I live in. It’s about $$, nothing else.

    And it really wasn’t that much easier to buy a gun than get a driver’s license. Sure, when I was 15.5 I got my learners permit, and learned for 6 months, then when I turned 16, I go in and got my license, and drove home. When I bought my handgun I went to the store, paid for the gun, then had to wait a week for a background check. Despite all the training required for a driver’s license, I have seen some of the most incompetent people on the road, and many people get killed per day in auto accidents. If you ever go to a shooting range, you will notice how strict the safety procedures are. You will get yelled it and probably kicked out if you do anything wrong. At my local range, you had to take a test before they would allow you to shoot. Even if you were a police office, they would make you take the test.

  216. 216 Anthony
    June 27, 2008 at 23:36

    True steve

    At my range, if someone does something stupid, EVERYONE gives the nastiest looks, and we will also comment to someone! When there is a line break (its outside and we set up our own targets, fruit, vegetables, paper based items)and someone doesn’t put their gun on the table with the action open, I’m gonna tell them something, just like I would hope someone would tell me something. It’s like a little community at my range. :)

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    Is you shoot a potato with a hollow tip (even .22), the thing will BLOW UP!!! :)

  217. June 28, 2008 at 00:14

    The link blow describes the first shots of the Revolutionary War. Basically, the British left Boston with orders to disarm the Colonists. I guess we all know how that worked out in the end.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lexington_and_Concord
    I just thought this was relevant to the recent interpretation of the Constitution and the intentions of our founding fathers regarding the Second Amendment. The guns used in this incident were owned by individuals, individuals who were assembled into an impromptu (and according to the ruling Brits ILLEGAL) militia.

    To the people who say times have changed and we don’t need a militia like this, I would like to bring up a personal example. During the 1969 race riot in York, Pennsylvania, my uncle protected our family’s downtown jewelry store and home from looters and rioter by standing guard with a firearm. And during the lawlessness following Katrina I have friends who owe their lives to their firearms.

    I look at places like Tibet, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan, etc etc. where people are not allowed to have guns or only one side of a conflict has access to firearms. It’s so sad, because I believe we should flood those places with as many small arms as possible to at least afford those individuals the opportunity to fight back against their oppressors, like the founding fathers of the U.S.A. did.

  218. 218 Venessa
    June 28, 2008 at 00:58

    @ Anthony

    “At my range, if someone does something stupid, EVERYONE gives the nastiest looks, and we will also comment to someone! When there is a line break (its outside and we set up our own targets, fruit, vegetables, paper based items)and someone doesn’t put their gun on the table with the action open, I’m gonna tell them something, just like I would hope someone would tell me something. It’s like a little community at my range.”

    This is exactly how I was taught and I go target practicing with my husband at his parent’s house and those rules apply. No exceptions. His father also teaches hunters safety. Essentially we have guns in our home now that I am married to someone who has grown up with guns. I’ve never had an aversion one way or the other. We both thought it was important that I know how they work, how they need to be stored, how to load/unload them, etc. to help prevent accidents.

    I think proper education could do a lot better good than trying to ban guns altogether.

  219. 219 Extremely Simple Solution
    June 28, 2008 at 01:23

    The whole issue of gun control and gun ownership is EXTREMELY SIMPLE to solve.

    1. We must all accept that by creating a gun, we have opened pandora’s box. The knowledge of how to make a gun will not cease to exist.

    2. A certain percentage of humanity is by definition, criminal. And they will seek any means to obtain their loot with the highest efficiency, in the least amount of time, with the highest suffering of the victim. Ergo, a gun is a necessary item for a criminal.

    3. People who don’t want to spend 5 hours / day at the karate sensei, cause they have better things to do, need a gun to protect themselves from (2+1) above.

    4. Us normal-non-criminal humans demonize cops for standing behind a tree with a radar gun. This act of cowardice from part of the cops is a direct result of:
    a. lack of funding
    which invariably produces the following effect:
    b. since they don’t get cash by having deadly battles with criminals, they then come to us non-criminals, who earn the dosh by doing constructive things, and try to steal as much cash from us as possible to satisfy (4a).

    I HEREBY PROPOSE THE ! SOLUTION !!!

    Postulate of BobX:

    I hereby propose:
    1. everyone should get a gun, following shooting classes, and the acquisition of a license to own a gun.
    2. 50% of the money earned by the legal sale of any gun, be directly deposited in the police department of the location of residence of the person buying the gun
    3. the state should run an insurance scam, similar to the insurance scam for vehicle drivers, to insure people from accidental shootings.

    WIN WIN: With all of these 3 in place, the cops will finally have enough cash to leave us non-criminals alone, and go chase real criminals !!!!!!!!

  220. 220 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 28, 2008 at 01:41

    Ruling of US Supreem Court sound like declared failour of USA law enforcement agencies in term of safety of a citizen, though its written on every Law enforcement Agencie’s car that “WE SERVE & PROTECT’.
    This issue arises as a monster in every human society without discrimination & so many factors involve & may be discussed commonly:
    First behaviour of a common person is going down with other fellow citizens.
    Second Limited earning’s & over spending.
    Third unsatisfactory Job apportunities with an abusive pressure/harrasment at work.
    Fourth Wife, Girlfriend, Kids & society is so demanding in term of status & spendings.
    Fifth media take us towards a dreem life style, far away from ground realities of sofestification or criminal’s life.
    Infacts this kind of society takes a while to establish & take a while to destable too & may not be wiped out completely dosent matter what ever remedy you apply.
    Govt may not enforce each & every Law completely unless we cooperate with Govt, no doubt media & religion got an ability to play master role.
    Carring a gun will lead you towards crimes, jail & Fugutive life, as tolarace & ignorance power’s may not waite for legal authorites & gun power will try to resolve dispute by way of abiding the law with a new addition among criminals of our society.
    This issue got differant angels & perspectives may be discussed more.

  221. 221 Pangolin- California
    June 28, 2008 at 02:36

    I regret to see WHYS reduced to another internet gungeon. As you can see US gun owners suffer a complete logical disconnect when it comes to the issue of handguns. A handguns only purpose is to threaten, shoot and kill other humans.

    As any reference to shooting statistics will show handguns are primarily used for suicides, criminal shootings and murders. Legitimate self-defense shootings by civilians that aren’t police are extremely rare and probably less than 1% of people shot.

    So what is left are people with stories about how they or perhaps thier third cousin protected themselves with a handgun without fireing it. Stories that are not supported by police reports or any evidence more valid than UFO sightings, conversations with Jesus or visitations by the ghosts of dead relatives.

    In my opinion most US civilians with handguns have some other group that they believe should be shot at will. Usually some group identifiable by skin color.

    The current US Supreme Court reflects on the mentality of the Bush presidencies that appointed it. It was a disaster for the rest of the country and will continue to be for some time. Remember at least one current Supreme Court member believes torture is ok.

  222. 222 Bob in Queensland
    June 28, 2008 at 03:18

    One final comment then I’m “agreeing to disagree” and moving on to the Blank Page.

    A lot has been made of the Swiss “mandate” that every citizen have a gun.

    What actually happens there is that the weapons are part of their unique military structure:

    Military service is compulsory for every male Swiss. There is no
    civil service to substitute armed service (this was refused two times
    in a vote). Every male Swiss citizen has to go to the army unless
    physically or mentally handicapped or unless he can “prove” to a jury
    of officers that he has sound religious reasons for refusing to do
    service (Barras Law).

    In rare cases, unarmed military service (e.g. medical or postal units)
    is available for conscience reasons. Conscientious objectors are put
    in prison. This fact has led to several citations of Switzerland by
    the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, with little avail. For that
    reason, objectors often try to circumvent military service citing
    medical reasons. If declared unable for service, a citizen must serve
    on the civil protection (similar to a fire brigade, however it is
    separate from it and is only necessary in case of war, natural disaster
    (floods, storms, avalanches) or industrial (chemical/nuclear)
    incidents) and pay a military substitute tax (3% of total gross income).

    Every soldier keeps his military outfit, his weapon, and war ammunition
    at home at all times. The ammunition is sealed. The weapon can be used
    for compulsory and voluntary shooting exercises, which are quite
    popular (also drawing large female participation). The ammunition shall
    only be opened in case of war.

    After a basic (Academy) training of 100 days at about age 20, active
    service requires 3 weeks long training courses approximately every
    other year (or two weeks per year, depending on the affiliation) until
    the soldier has served a total of 300 days. In addition, every
    soldier must complete yearly shooting exercises, usually done in local
    shooting ranges.

    This lasts until the “soldier” is 35.

    …so, the “guns” kept in every Swiss home are military rifles, the ammunition is sealed and must not be opened and any analogy with the American love of handguns is spurious.

  223. 223 Tino
    June 28, 2008 at 03:21

    Pangolin

    “As you can see US gun owners suffer a complete logical disconnect when it comes to the issue of handguns.”

    “probably less than 1% of people shot.”

    Your accusation of illogical behavior is followed by….a made up statistic. Why not focus on the argument that every country I have seen statistics for so far shows an increase in crime directly after banning handguns. You know, my completely logical argument backed up with actual statistics.

    Now, prepare to be proven wrong:

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/hvfsdaft.txt

    Average annual # of handgun crimes (where people were shot) from 1987-91: 427,600
    Average # used in self defense: 30,600

    % used in self defense: 30,600/427,600 * 100 = ~7.2%

    An order of magnitude higher than your less than one percent. Since not every person in America has a gun, you would assume the crime rate would drop and the amount of self defense killings would rise with more gun ownership. I will try to find a per state breakdown for places like Florida vs. DC (when guns were banned) or some other tightly controlled area. Every available statistic points to more legal guns => less crime. How is my argument illogical exactly? Because you do not agree with it? Yours is ENTIRELY conjecture, btw.

    In addition, most of the self defense incidents recorded did not even require the owner to fire a shot. Since you made the argument solely based on shooting I pulled only those stats. The average amount of times a gun was pulled in self defense was 82,500 times per year. In more than half the cases, simply pulling it out was enough to end the incident.

    If you run those stats (and making the crime ones match, in other words counting rapes and robberies where no shots were fired also), the % jumps to 12.4%, TWO orders of magnitude higher than your entirely baseless and illogical claim.

    “In my opinion most US civilians with handguns have some other group that they believe should be shot at will.”

    Quite correct, but it has nothing to do with race. I think we call them “criminals”, you know, the guys who would be the only ones with guns if you got your way…

    Please, respond with something concrete this time.

  224. 224 Tino
    June 28, 2008 at 03:23

    To clarify, when I say criminals above I mean people who intend to commit a crime against someone else and that can be stopped by use of force. Not, say, a guy stealing from a company or a guy who is speeding, etc.

  225. 225 Vijay
    June 28, 2008 at 03:47

    No,everyone does not need a gun to feel safe.
    What happens in the USA does effect the rest of the world,guns flow out, drugs flow in(Iran Contra).
    The US gun industry is a powerful lobby group,who want to tie in arms purchases to US aid.
    A lot of countries governments look to the US when drafting laws .Also people in some countries think if something is good enough for US citizens then it is good enough for themselves,whether or not there are checks and balances to moderate their actions which are supposed to be present in the US system.

  226. 226 Jerry Hale
    June 28, 2008 at 06:04

    One of the things I’m telling all my friends is “Do you realize that we only kept the right of gun ownership by ONE VOTE in the Supreme Court?” If the Democrats win this election Obama will appoint 1 to 3 Supreme Court Justices. If you want to keep the court , which has become divided along ideological lines) conservative and if you want to keep your guns you’d better vote for John McCain.

    You damned right I feel safer with a gun in my house. Crime all over America is out of control. Every day there are dead bodies in the streets in major and minor cities. If some SOB breaks down my front door or jumps my fence I want to greet him with the business end of my shotgun.

  227. 227 steve b - uk
    June 28, 2008 at 06:40

    WHYSers

    can we nail once and for all this pathetic pro-gun slogan ‘It’s not guns that kill people; people kill people’. I am in bad temper – I have gun- I kill you. It is BECAUSE I have the gun that this happens. If I did not have it, I would have to do something else – hey, maybe even TALK TO YOU!

  228. 228 Pangolin- California
    June 28, 2008 at 08:52

    @ Tino- Thank you for defending the wonderfulness of handguns. I would note that the so-called statistical evidence you cite is a SURVEY report with no references to methodology. Considering that it is a Department of Justice website, the same DOJ that has helped justify torture against US and international law, it’s validity could be considered suspect.

    @ Everbody else- Please read Tino’s posts on other issues besides handguns and decide for yourself whether his arguments on gun control are made from a solid philosophical foundation.

    Full disclosure- I saw my first shooting when I was eight when a schoolmate was shot by an unknown shooter while playing in a park. The bullet went through her calf muscle. In high school several other boys I knew occasionally brought loaded handguns to school; these weren’t exactly stable kids either. I have known a San Francisco police officer who shot and killed a 13 year old boy holding a toy gun at dusk; due to the prevalence of handguns she put two bullets through his heart when he brandished the toy. She was destroyed by her guilt even though it was a ‘good shoot.’ A college buddy of mine married an FBI agent; she left nine mm ammunition around her apartment like other people leave spare change. Finally, the only person I have known who claimed self-defense in a shooting was a man who shot an unwelcome party crasher in the back. (the victim lived)

    In my opion your average rabid-handgun-advocate is a raving loon. Their babble about responsible gun ownership is as valid as claims of celibacy by teenage girls. They all have fantasies of shooting somebody that have no legitimate foundation in reality. The right wing in the US feeds on those bitter white people who cling to guns, gays and Jesus just like Barack Obama said.

    The facts are that the US shoots more of it’s own citizens than any other industrialized nation. With handguns.

  229. 229 parth guragain
    June 28, 2008 at 12:19

    idea of allowing everyone to own gun is wrong.those who say that having gun make them feel safe is basically wrong.we have seen that what guns can do in virgina tech.what governments and ngos can do is to do intense campaign to explain people that carrying gun will not make them safe but more vunulable.Instead of making loose gun laws,governmants should work toward making police more strong so that crime rate decrease.giving people right to own guns means government is giving liberty to people to take law in their hands.

  230. 230 zeroKnots
    June 28, 2008 at 12:35

    Nope. I need the right to keep & bear arms to “feel” safe.

    Siiigh, is it REQUIRED you be unable to grasp the CONCEPT of a principle to write for media?

    But ok, for the liberals who can’t grasp anything but immediate cause and effect:
    Want to “feel” safe? Go to a shooting range. You’ll NEVER get mugged there. Now before you go googling for statistics, libs, just ask yourself why that might be.

    steve b – uk
    “WHYSers
    can we nail once and for all this pathetic pro-gun slogan ‘It’s not guns that kill people; people kill people’. I am in bad temper – I have gun- I kill you. It is BECAUSE I have the gun that this happens.”

    Sure steve, how about this one:
    “Guns don’t kill people.
    People don’t kill people.
    People with guns kill UNARMED PEOPLE.”

    Pretty uncomplicated, really. It is BECAUSE you presume you are armed and I am not that you get so brave as to make the mistake of taking me on.

    Now stop making that ill-fated presumtion. What’s the new outcome?
    The same balance allowed a COLD war where not a shot was fired.. instead of an EXTREMELY hot one.

  231. 231 Bob in Queensland
    June 28, 2008 at 12:43

    @ zeroknots

    …except your cold war analogy falls down because the homicide rate is far higher in your country with the “right to bear ams” than it is in places like the UK or Australia where there are tighter controls. It strikes me that there’s nothing “cold” about the murder rate in the USA.

  232. 232 Roberto
    June 28, 2008 at 12:54

    I would note that the so-called statistical evidence you cite is a SURVEY report with no references to methodology………………

    …………..In my opion your average rabid-handgun-advocate is a raving loon.
    ———————————————————————————————————

    —— Must be some interesting methodology you personally reference to come up with your opinion.

    I can see it now:

    In my opion your average rabid celebrity chef is a raving loon.
    In my opion your average rabid Tibetan monk is a raving loon.

    People have always used specious logic and rationalized thinking to justify positions they take, especially politicians/voters. Even scientists in spite of a rigorous shaking out process they have to go through fall into the trap.

    Could be it’s time to make the Constitution of the US a scrap, after all there’s the spector of your average rabid revolutionary founding fathers being raving loons.

  233. 233 zeroKnots
    June 28, 2008 at 13:03

    @ Bob in Queensland
    That doesnt make anything fall down but the logic of comparing apples to oranges.

    Within the US, look at Florida where the crimerate around airports (people who are KNOWN to be unarmed) was sky high. A far more reliable comparison.
    My state, Oregon, more guns than you can believe, and very low crime rate.

    But if you want superior countries, look at Switzerland, mandatory firearms ownership and training.
    Norway, mandatory year of military service.. etc etc.

  234. 234 Bob in Queensland
    June 28, 2008 at 13:17

    Sorry. I’m comparing apples with apples. The lax gun laws in the USA make it a far more dangerous place. You need only look at the statistic frequently quoted on last nights show: a home with a gun is 2.7 times more likely to be the site for a shooting death.

    Your Swiss example doesn’t stand up by the way. The manadatory firearms training and “ownership” is, as I detailed above, to do with every male under the age of 35 being in the army. They are required to keep their kit at home, including their rifle, but the ammunition is in a sealed box which they are not allowed to open unless ordered. They most certainly do NOT keep loaded handguns at home.

    As I’ve said several times, I don’t expect the USA will ever be able to effectively control the firearm problem you have–and yes, it IS a problem. The genie is well and truly out of the bottle. However, let’s not pretend that your lax laws make you safer or help protect you from big government. Countries where guns, particularly handguns, are properly controlled (not banned, controlled) are less dangerous.

  235. 235 zeroKnots
    June 28, 2008 at 13:42

    @ Bob in Queensland
    This is why I hate these kinds of debates devoid of original thought. Wiki is there for everybody. It’s just no FUN! :)

    Switzerland
    “When their period of service has ended, militiamen have the choice of keeping their personal weapon and other selected items of their equipment. In this case of retention, the rifle is sent to the weapons factory where the fully automatic function is removed; the rifle is then returned to the discharged owner. The rifle is then a semi-automatic or self-loading rifle.”

    When the checks for “unauthorized use” (of friggin FULLY AUTOMATIC WEAPONS!) stop then and there.

    “There is a regulatory requirement that ammunition sold at ranges must be used there. However, pro-gun advocates David Kopel and Stephen D’Andrilli claim “the rule is barely known and almost never obeyed”.”

    One man’s problem is another man’s principle.
    With that, I concede any further bantying back & forth.
    Good luck with the next yank. He’ll likely be a liberal subject to all kinds of guilt trips and head-games and other fun things. :)

    Thanks
    Good night!

  236. 236 Robert O'Rourke
    June 28, 2008 at 14:28

    ZeroKnots, You (have) obviously has never felt the safety of europe were thankfully we don’t need guns to feel safe.
    Did you ever think that crime in general is related to poverty? I’ve been to Oregan and Florida, its hard NOT to see the difference in living standards in innercity areas, ie: ghettoes. The American dream, what a joke, the USA’s homeless & poverty rates make europe feel like heaven on earth and it certainly feels that way. Your welcome to your living nightmare, I’m just glad that the atlantic is as wide as it is, pity for south & central america. They have my sympathies been neighbours of the Good Ol’ U.S. of A.

    Moderation: Edited to remove personal attack

  237. 237 Mainak
    June 28, 2008 at 15:18

    As fun at is listening to some of you rant about how the Supreme Court is grossly irresposible for this decision or how its trapped within the Constitutional cage, look again, the realities might just surprise you. First and foremost, while gun ownership is a right guaranteed by the Constitution, it is a right guaranteed by an Amendment. What I am getting at is, the right is neither as inflexibly immovable nor as fundamental as we might think. Amendments have been repealed before, and should future Supreme Courts feel that it should be so, it CAN be repealed. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land, but in the end stands as a reflection of the beliefs and values of the Supreme Court at the time. Secondly, those of you simply citing that the banning of gun use in American cities has traditionally resulted in the increase of gun crimes, look at the facts, and draw logical conclusions. You dont start doing something more just because your tools become illegal, that makes no sense. The reason crime rates increase when guns are banned is because services usually provided by the government or private businesses completely disappear, being replaced by suppliers that are, in fact, criminals. Look at the ban on alcohol (1919) in the United States; the fact that alcohol was banned didn’t make people drink more, but the Amendment was forced to be repealed due to how closely one of the most common services in the world became closely tied in with criminal gangs and mob families. So what am I actually saying? Im saying you guys are using one problem to diagnose another unrelated problem. Banning of guns wouldn’t make crime rates go up so long as the Government makes an honest effort to fight crime in the heart of some of the most torn-up cities in America. You CAN say that having taken into account the current prevalance of crime in America (1 / 100 Americans are in jail) it would be irresponsible to ban guns at this time, but you sure as hell can’t say that simply banning guns would single-handedly lead to an increase in gun crimes.

  238. 238 Tino
    June 28, 2008 at 15:37

    Pangolin

    Once again, you come back with nothing but: I think or my opinion.

    The NCVS provides a FAR better idea of reality than you personally due.

    http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/NACJD/NCVS/

    “Twice each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of roughly 49,000 households comprising about 100,000 persons on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The survey is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau (under the U.S. Department of Commerce) on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (under the U.S. Department of Justice).”

    I mean seriously, you’re going to criticize me for using an actual survey of ~100,000 people over my own conjecture (what you do)? And it isn’t even administered by the DOJ. The DOJ during these times, anyway, is not the same one it is now. These stats were from 1987-1992 (Reagan/Bush1), though I am sure you hate them also since they weren’t radical lefties. Btw, I am an independent so your rabid hatred of the right should have no place in this discussion. Once again, concrete evidence to back your position, please. Or at least admit you hold your views despite overwhelming opposing evidence.

  239. 239 Tino
    June 28, 2008 at 15:40

    “The American dream, what a joke, the USA’s homeless & poverty rates make europe feel like heaven on earth and it certainly feels that way.”

    The American Dream was never: “Come here and we will buy you everything”. It is about everyone having an opportunity to do well, they must DO it themselves though. My grandfather came here when Mussolini took power with nothing whatsoever and started in a warehouse. He built his own company later and it eventually was doing $22 million in sales annually. That is the American Dream – it has nothing to do with socialism sorry…

  240. 240 Darrell
    June 28, 2008 at 16:45

    What I see in all the comments is an individual’s attempt to inflict his/her viewpoint on gun ownership around the world not just in the United States. As concealed carry permits went into effect in the United States, the crime rate in states that did not have concealed carry permits immediately increased as criminals fled to states where the risk of being killed was less. The death rate in Dallas, Texas prior to institution of concealed carry permits is an example of what happens when private individuals carry handguns. Criminals go other places to perform their craft. In the United States, a country of over 300 million people, the police and military will never be able to fully protect U.S citizens. As for the rest of the world, look at the middle east, Africa, and southeast Asia, where private individuals have no ability to protect themselves from government run corrupt or rival revolutionary groups. The message is quite clear as one person commented. It is natural selection and those that control and have weapons will control the world. Those that cannot resist when resistance is required will cease to exist. A sad fact but true. As I recall, Adolf Hitler insisted that taking weapons away from the private sector would make Germany safer back in 1935. Let’s ponder where that took his country.

  241. 241 Mainak
    June 28, 2008 at 18:43

    I really hope you didn’t just propose gun control is a precursor to fascism and militarism. That literally make no sense. If you are going to play “5 degrees to Kevin Bacon” with a topic as grave as this, please, save it for another, less serious forum. Canada has the highest consumption of Macaroni and Cheese of any country in the world. Maybe if Americans up their consumption of Mac and Cheese we will have socialized medecine eventually! Right? The reason American’s now protect their right to carry firearms is not to protect themselves from the government, but from criminals. Fix your analogies friend. They are distressingly defective.

  242. 242 Roberto
    June 29, 2008 at 00:38

    a home with a gun is 2.7 times more likely to be the site for a shooting death.
    ——————————————————————————————————

    ** Isn’t this a bit like claiming a person wih an automobile is many times more likely to be involved in an auto accident?

    A home with alcohol in it many times more likely to the site of drunkeness.

    A person who smokes cigarettes is many more times likely to litter with butts and start fires.

    Ladder owners are many times more likely to be involved in a ladder accident.

    It seems to me that the axiom, “There are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,” applies here.

    Methodology of cited statistics is important but almost never given context in hot button issues.

    A neighbor of mine technically committed a murder/suicide down the way many years back. He and his wife were in their mid 80s and his wife an invalid and he was a WW2 vet wearing down quickly. He obviously didn’t want to see his wife in a nursing home to be followed by himself, and chose another alternative, perhaps with her blessings. I don’t know the full details. Terribly disturbing, but worse than the alternative? Is anyone here big enough to put themselves in his shoes?

    Why is this man included in shooting stats?

    DWI auto stats in the US often cite the 50% fatality rate of auto accidents involving alcohol, ignoring the 50% non alcohol fatalities. I’ve seen accident reports where a person running a red light, yield sign, ect who caused an accident, even a fatality, they are too often not ticketed, yet had they an empty beer can rattling around under a seat from years ago in the vehicle, it would be major charges and tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees, fines, plus probations.

    It makes it very difficult to be a law abiding, socially conscious and caring citizen when authorities are constantly harassing you with more laws than in any other time of history based on flimsy stats.

  243. 243 selena
    June 29, 2008 at 01:00

    @ Roberto

    “Is anyone here big enough to put themselves in his shoes?”

    Pretty courageous, I would say.

  244. 244 Patou
    June 29, 2008 at 06:26

    Remember folks, Washington DC is a predominantly black city. So, as long as the stats on death by firearms are overwhelmingly detrimental to the black population which needs to be controlled by the NRA and the White establishment, the conservative supreme court will do nothing.

    Change will happen only when whites start dying from gun violence. Simple as that. Drugs are now being regulated because more and more white kids are on drugs. Ectasy? Does it sound familiar?

    Secondly, please follow the money trail. White folks who are flocking the ranks of the NRA profit from the supreme court decision. You want to end gun violence? Blacks, Hispanics and others need to open firearms manufacturing plants. Once this happens, the white supremacists will ensure that minorities stay poor by stoping that line of business all together.

    Guns are not needed in a “civilized” nation. Just look at France and the UK. Please compare the murder rates and you will see there is something wrong with the US. I personally am not surprised since a recent study indicates that 1 in 4 americans (including the WHYS blogosphere) has a mental health problem.

    What America needs for safety is Jesus Christ not guns. Guns are for fearful folks who are devoid of any spirituality. Take comfort in Christ. The country cannot be held hostage by an amendement. The consitutition is meant to serve people and not the other way around.

    Jesus Christ is the One who brings safety.

  245. 245 Bob in Queensland
    June 29, 2008 at 06:49

    @ zeroknots

    I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make about Switzerland. Yes, some can and do keep their rifles after they leave “the army” but, as you say, they’re converted to be a basic self-loading rifle, i.e. a hunting rifle. Restrictions on handguns, which are the main issue in my mind, are as tight in Switzerland as most of the rest of Europe.

    Switzerland is also not a good argument because of sort of society it is. It’s a rich country with little or no poverty. It’s also a country of extremely law-abiding people. They drive at the speed limit, not 5 kmph over, they never park in no parking zones and don’t argue with waiters. Okay, lots of stereotypes there but you get what I mean! The lack of crime in Switzerland has nothing to do with a rifle under the bed and a sealed pack of ammo in a cupboard–and everything to do with other social factors.

    @ Roberto

    There’s one major flaw with most of your analogies. Cars and ladders all have other specific uses; the deaths they cause are very unfortunate by-products. Guns, on the other hand, have only one use: to shoot things and damage them. If the thing you shoot is a person, they will be badly injured, perhaps die.

    The closest analogy you make is cigarettes. Some say they are a source of pleasure but they have no real function and DO cause a lot of deaths. That’s why cigarette use is now being restricted in a good many countries–including the USA. I hadn’t thought about this before but it’s ironic that the USA is leading the way with restrictions on smoking–which is harmful to health in the long term–but so resistant to gun control when the effects of a gunshot wound are much more immediate and definite.

  246. 246 Kelsie
    June 29, 2008 at 14:13

    @ Patou: Your own racist bigotry is really obvious in this tedious, incoherent rant about “white power” and whatnot. Your “logic” is also more than a little questionable in that respect.

    However, I definitely agree with your statement that “guns are not needed in a civilized society.” The historical underpinnings of the United States point otherwise, but we have (hopefully) progressed beyond our rough beginnings in which the “well-regulated militia” was necessary.

    The time has come for us in America to join the civilized world and give up those “Second Amendment” rights (which do not explicitly protect private gun ownership in the first place).

  247. 247 Bin Ali Gaber
    June 29, 2008 at 15:50

    in my opinion the gun became very important thing inside every home even in the safe countries becouse when the crimers come to the people it is so difficult to them to call the police fastly so by use the gun we can defend our self from them but also we should know every gun should has licinse from the government and must be band from the rouming around the road..

  248. June 29, 2008 at 16:05

    We need the second amendment more now than ever

    The problem may be that the American family has taken the major hit with too many kids being raised by single mothers, and for some reason too many of those do not get raised with enough true love and guidance. They grow up in a world of rage, disrespect, no manners, and revert to animal behavior….quite savage.

    We certainly have heard from a lot of communists and socialists and of course very well meaning, properly going along people…….who really are great citizens of their societies,…..who cannot imagine living in a society that is so busy that it ignores the street clutter and stays out of their way, never dreaming that there are people whose values and way of life differs quite substantially from theirs.

    Guns….If the entire world is so orderly and wonderful why don’t the governments of the world simply disarm themselves and set the example of peace and harmony for all the citizens of the world.

    The reason that is not possible, because there really is evil out there and some people really need and deserve to be shot and killed. Opinions…..those are the facts. There is always some weirdo in a funny looking hat that wants to take over the whole world or kill everyone who does not believe in the here after exactly the way they see it.

    troop

    an old marine who has had to face good people with guns and kill them,
    it is a shame that the really bad people in a society, who deserve killing are usually let go free to continue harming people until another criminal kills them

  249. 249 Roberto
    June 29, 2008 at 17:23

    There’s one major flaw with most of your analogies. Cars and ladders all have other specific uses; the deaths they cause are very unfortunate by-products. Guns, on the other hand, have only one use: to shoot things and damage them. If the thing you shoot is a person, they will be badly injured, perhaps die.
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    ——- Some good points Bob, so launching from there:

    Guns, just a long evolutionary progression starting with kicks, chokes, punches and moving to rocks, sticks, spears, slings, bows, ect. How far back in the evolution of of weapons do you want to draw the line?

    What is the purpose of fortifications and cannon? Just to kill passerbys? Is the gun owning homeowner pot shooting citizens from his front porch?

    No, it’s a deterrent, a protection as used in these examples.

    However, many in history have used the weapons at their disposal for more than deterrence. They’ve struck out on their own or in mutual groups to go find other peoples to plunder or kill. Isn’t this the aspect that you are really concerned about?

    What is the purpose of a corporation? The use the law to join together in a group, raise money in exchange for stock, limit their liabilities and responsibilities to the public at large. Now, they do hire citizens to help them accomplish the above, and some do produce a product or service, but some megoliths are also quite busy using the law and their clout to go out and find other groups of people or corporations to plunder.

    Some would claim it’s an evolutionary advancement to move from weapons to the law and business to do your plundering, and perhaps it is, until you move into a global economy across borders where you constantly have all these outsiders coming into traditional cultures and neighborhoods and ripping up the fabric that binds these peoples together, which brews resentments, which leads to wars, ie, back to deaths and plundering by weapons for one side to prevail, the other to lose, and of course the ever popular standoff or stalemate.

    OK, back to guns specifically. You like stats, so how’s about taking 2002 US stats showing homicides to account for 0.7% of all deaths. Suicides almost double, 1.3% That’s all homicides, not just gun deaths. Heart disease and then cancer account for 50% of all deaths. “Accidents” which presumably includes motor vehicle deaths, ladders, bathroom, ect is 4.4%

    These stats do not include abortion figures which are staggeringly significant in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 854,122 legal induced abortions in the US in 2003. It also doesn’t include mistakes by health care professionals who are estimated to cause 1/3rd of all deaths in the US not including abortion which would be number one if included.

    Gun deaths have been around the 30,000 yearly mark with the majority being suicide gun deaths. Compare to auto fatalities generally around 40,000 yearly mark.

    So, where do you really want to hang your hat, Bob? Is it really guns that are the problem.

    Seems to me like guns small potatoes compared to other causes, but they get a lot of attention because of the way coporations do their news reporting. They are part of the entertainment industry after all, and the more lurid, the more graphic, the more titilating, the more heartwrenching the drama, the better ratings and mo’money into the coffers.

    Me think it’s the structure of the way modern western society has moved to. Pack a bunch of people in huge cities with not enough jobs to go around, produce or smuggle in illegal drugs, smuggle and traffic in human beings in the mix, is it really a surprise we got what we got?

    I would also point out that you’ve indicated you live a pretty comfortable life. What do you think of all the rest of the world trying to emulate your model, which is driving the spike in resource prices and global warming, which of course will lead to more wars, deaths, and destructions?

    Mind you, I’m not blaming you, we, all of us after all inherited the system we live in from our forebears. I’m just thinking there are a hundred or more issues more important than worrying about the right of US citizens to have a gun in their homes.

    Are We The People to be modern day fiddlers as Rome burns?

  250. June 29, 2008 at 22:17

    OOH! goody maybe they’ll all kill themselves (starting with the Mi Lai, Agent Orange war criminals), and the native ‘americans can be free again and get back their country.

  251. 251 Tom
    June 30, 2008 at 02:30

    Going back to the point: “Does everyone need a gun to feel safe?”

    Guns and safety are un-related.

    If the people are responsible, law abiding and has a culture of respect for one another, I feel perfectly safe not carrying a weapon of any kind. Guns will not be necessary, but even if the people are armed, there would be a confidence that the weapons would not be mis-used.

    On the contrary, if people are self-centered and have no respect for the law or for human lives, no amount of weapons I carry will make me feel safe. It will just mean that everyone will be prepared to use their weapons against one another.

    Safety is a product of the people’s behaviour, not how well armed they are.

  252. June 30, 2008 at 17:20

    Roberto…..I really liked your post and points

    Criminals with illegal guns are the problem or at least the major part of the problem.

    All you anti gun nuts out there……dream up a way to get the bad guys with bad attitudes and dangerous weapons to be disarmed and put someplace where they cannot attack any more.

    Do you realize some gangs have initiative rights where you have to go out and kill someone of another race and rape someone of another race before you earn the right to become a full fledged member with high standing. What do you do if you are one of the chosen victoms and you have seconds to act, and cops are several minents away, and the ones looking to get their tickets punched are not interested in your making a cell phone call to the police for help?????

    If a police force were to randomly round up gang members and disarm them and beat them into submission or out fire fight them into defeat…..are the same types that want guns out lawed the ones who will scream police brutality?????

    troop

  253. July 1, 2008 at 05:26

    A Grand Jury just let a homeowner with a shotgun off the hook for blasting and killing two black robbers who were illegal alians.

    The illegal Alians were seen breaking into a neighbors home who was a legal Vietnamese immigrant. The illegal robbers were leaving with stolen items taken from the neighbors home.

    The homeowner who was observing the illegals stealing from his neighbor called 911 and was trying to get the police to stop the robbery and apprehend the bad guys.

    Finally as the bad guys were going to get away. The fellow grabbed his shotgun and said he was going to stop them or kill them.

    He goes out and tells the bad guys to halt. They happen to be running onto the guy with the shotgun’s land. He told them to stop or they were dead. They tried to run away and the homeowner shot them both in the back as they were trying to run away.

    The moral of the story is:

    1. Do not enter the United States illegally

    2. While here do not attempt to do illegal things like burglerize homes or conduct yourself in way that is obvious bad conduct.

    3. When some armed citizen tell you to freeze and not move or he will shoot, better listen to him, and don’t use the old arguement you did not understand English.

    It is clear that the law abiding citizens of America are tired of so many bad people getting away with all these crimes and a legal system that does not work.

    The Grand Jury let the good citizen off the hook. Perhaps because they figured out the burglers should not have been there in America robbing people. The shooter was pretty much not going to go out and shoot innocent people. The bad guys pretty much rated the justice that came their way. The shooter also saved the government a lot of money trying them in a court of law, feeding them and then later shipping them back to where they came from.

    Moral of the story is……….Don’t want to get killed,,,,,,don’t do things where you become a justifiable, moving target.

    this all sends a strong and clear signal to bad people that the easy money is gone in America, that just put up with getting ripped off and endangered.

    shoot’um, tag’um, bag’um, and mount’um as trophies!!!!!

    troop

  254. July 16, 2008 at 01:06

    Washington is the foolish and stupid government that misleading most nations in world. What is the works of policemen(officers)? If everybody with his gun then the policeofficers are in danger and laws and orders will be between fires.

  255. 255 josh
    August 9, 2008 at 22:03

    Here is an America loving Californian’s view, yes that is right, a Californian’s view on things. And yes I hand typed this, none of that copy and paste BS this is just an America loving Californian who truly cares about his country and his rights:

    KELLERMAN STUDY

    “US researcher Dr. Arthur Kellerman, says a household with a gun is 2.7 times more likely to experience a murder than a household without one”

    Bahahahahah, the author is actually using Kellerman’s survey. More liberal BS. Here is a fun fact about this survey, Kellerman failed to mention is that 37 out of every 43 deaths by firearms are suicides/accidents. That’s right, 58% of gun deaths are in the US are by suicide and the other 42% are almost all people who cannot legally own guns in the US.

    The facts remains that gun owners accidentally kill family members less than 2% of the time, or about once for every 90,000 legal defensive gun uses.

    HOW ABOUT DC?

    Lets talk about DC. After DC banned handguns back in 1987 the murder rate tripled in less than 3 years. You think that is a coincidence? Well than lets look at other states shall we?

    OTHER STATES

    City of Chicago requires handgun registration in 1968, crime goes up. In response to the crime Chicago creates a handgun ban in 1982. Whadya think happens? You guessed it, over the next decade crime jumped until finally handgun murders doubled.

    Since 1975, California’s murder rate annually has averaged 32% higher than the country. Even though we have waiting periods, AW bans, ban list, safe list, and tests.

    Maryland imposed AW bans, regulated transfers between family members, had gun purchase limits, and waiting periods? Still think bans work? Well guess what, Maryland’s murder rate has been about 44% higher than the rest of the country and has the highest robbery rate than any other state.

    New York imposed handgun liscencing in 1911, we all know how safe New York is (rolls eyes).

    Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 successfully made this country’s murder rate almost 50% higher for the first 5 years after the law went into effect, 75% higher over the following 5 years, and 81% the 5 years after that.

    Clinton signed the Brady Act in 1993 which added waiting periods, this helped people who were being stalked, robbed, attacked, etc from getting guns when they needed them.

    GUN CONTROL

    You guy want gun control, look at the terribe dictatorships in China, Russia, or Nazi Germany. Maybe the police state of Japan. How about the crime ridden countries of Great Britain or Australia. Ever wonder why the “Palestinians” no longer use guns and now use explosives against the Israelis, it is because when Israelis started carrying guns they would kill “Palestinian” gunment before they could even fire a shot.

    Here in California, crime is ridiculously high as is our gun control laws. And guess what, everytime we pass more gun control laws our crime goes up. We have AW bans, safe lists, ban lists, waiting periods, test, and we are still competing for the highest crime rates in the union. Here in CA, we live in a giant sh*thole.

    Here in CA, our own anti gun politicians like Gov. Swartzenneggar, Feinstein, and Boxer all have assault weapons which they worked to ban as well as carrying a handgun concealed. Even the anti-gun doesn’t really believe the crap they spew. Peter Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign, the largest anti-gun group in the US admitted that the assault weapons ban, magazine ban, and waiting periods don’t work on the radio. You can find this quite easily on Youtube.

    FACTS

    FACT: 99.8% of firearms and more than 99.6% of handguns in the U.S. will not be used to commit violent crimes in any give year. Only a fraction of 1% of firearm owners ever use their guns in crimes.

    FACT: States with more restictive gun laws have more crime.

    FACT: States with right to carry legislation have 24% lower violent crime rate, 19% lower aggravated assault rate, and 39% lower robberty rate, on average compared to the rest of the country.

    FACT: People with right to carry permits are generally the most law abiding people in the country. For example, in Florida only a fraction of 1% of people with right to carry permits had theirs revoked.

    FACT: Criminologist Gary Kleck believes the guns are responsible for protecting their owners atleast 2.5 million times per year. Kleck furth states that 98% of criminals fled the moment they realized their victim was armed.

    FACT: Gun Control Expert John Lott concluded defensive gun uses run anywhere from 760,000 to 3.6 million times per year.

    FACT: You have a greater chance of dying in a motor vehicle accident, falling, poisoning, drowning, fires, choking, or a medical mistake than being fatally shot.


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