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Author Topic: Gun Control  (Read 943 times)

Dolcejn

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Gun Control
« on: March 12, 2005, 05:59:53 PM »
After the tragic events in Atlanta and in Wisconsin, and of course remembering tragedies like Columbine, I can't help but feel more pulled toward gun control than ever before.  When I was younger, I was anti-gun control, for various reasons.  I suppose I believed people were the problem, not the guns.  I even owned a gun at one point. 

But of course, it's easy to be against gun control when you're sixteen and don't have a very good sense of what's going on in the world around you.

Here in England, with the exception of special police units and special permits, no one is allowed to own a gun. 

In America, on the other hand, it seems all too easy to purchase one.

I was just wondering what people think about this issue.  I honestly don't know where I stand, at the moment.  Why is it that some of the most important issues are also the toughest?
HLS

WKRUSE

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2005, 06:07:31 PM »
Guns are very much a part of our culture.  Before this thread got too far, I just wanted to point out that the gun was not brought in by the shooter, but taken from a cop on the scene.  I don't know how this happened.  One of the first things we are taught in LE training is weapons retention.  All the gun control in the world would not have kept him from doing what he did.  What would have was an officer who wasn't lathargic.

Dolcejn

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2005, 06:10:04 PM »
What about gun control that prevents cops from having guns as well?  That's the case in England, at least, and it seems fairly effective (although I found it weird at first).

I'm not arguing for gun control, really.  I was taught to use and clean a gun when I was 12.  But my boyfriend is very pro-gun control, and he has made some convincing arguments, especially being from a country like England where the system has fared well.  I just don't know, really.
HLS

mercutio_13

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2005, 06:14:06 PM »
It's regulated well enough.

If someone REALLY wants to get their hands on a gun, they can, regardless of reg's

And if they can't get a gun, they'll find another way to hurt someone.

Guns aren't the issue.  "Humans" always have been, and always will be the issue.

.02

ilsox7

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2005, 06:16:14 PM »
OK, quick hijack: how was this guy not in shackles going into court?  The day before he smuggled in makeshift, sharp weapons and the judge even raised concerns about him.  How do they now shackle him?  I think there will be a major investigation into Fulton County Court procedures and they will be found to be seriously flawed.

WKRUSE

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2005, 06:18:47 PM »
People are usually quite decided on this issue.  It is one of those where people don't change their mind very often.  I don't believe in fairy tales.  If I did, I might conclude that a world without violence or guns was possible.  Even if it was possible, I enjoy shooting.  I do it for work and for fun.  Most of all, I am glad I live in a country where I can legaly have a home defence weapon.  We have seen stricter gun control laws in the last twenty years, but crime has continued to rise.  I have to say they are mutually exclusive, since criminals aren't the ones getting permits and obeying gun control laws.  There are also fifty seperate states in the union, with a broad range of gun laws.  If you really are interested, look into their crime stats.  It may surprise you when you find out that states and cities with the tightest gun control laws often have the highest violent crime rates as well as gun violence.  

withj

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2005, 06:48:30 PM »
If someone REALLY wants to get their hands on a gun, they can, regardless of reg's

Guns aren't the issue.  "Humans" always have been, and always will be the issue.

.02

I don't have a settled position on the gun-control issue, but I do want to contend, mildly, with the "if people really want to, they can" argument. It's the resigned-shrug, why-bother approach.

"If elementary kids really want to smoke they can steal cigarettes from their (mom's purse, dad's coat-pocket). Why bother having stricter regulations, harsher punishments?"

"If people really want to throw themselves off the Golden Gate Bridge, a preventive barrier won't stop them, and it will only ruin the view of the skyline. Why bother?"

Sure, the guy who is really dead-set on getting a gun and using it illegally will be able to. What excuse is that not to try and make it harder on him? Won't it do ~anything~ to restrict the other type, the guy who lashes out in the spur-of-a-moment? It's hard to ignore the dramatically lower rates of violent crime involving guns in countries that have strict gun-control laws, and strict enforcement of those laws.

On the other side, there does exist a large population that love guns and use them legally (hunting, shooting-ranges, etc.) who are no threat to anybody. My brother-in-law, who is the salt of the earth, loves guns, and is raising my nephews to love hunting and what-not. You couldn't find a more responsible, pillar-of-society type if you looked a month of Sundays. I'd hate to see his rights restricted in this area.

So, yea, I "feel strongly both ways" as the old cop-out cliche goes. If I absolutely had to choose, I'd probably come down in favor of stricter gun-control laws and enforcement, but it's one of those issues I've skirted, and I'd want more time to think in-depth about it.

BTW, the Brother-in-Law I mentioned, and my sister and their family, live in the Milwaukeee suburbs, and go to church in Brookfield. When I was back there visiting last Spring I attended Easter services with them. When I saw an Internet news item this morning about the attack, my heart literally stopped beating. I made a hasty call, not breathing the whole time the phone was ringing. It turns out it wasn't their church, and they're all safe. Whew!

giffy

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2005, 07:33:50 PM »
People are usually quite decided on this issue.  It is one of those where people don't change their mind very often.  I don't believe in fairy tales.  If I did, I might conclude that a world without violence or guns was possible.  Even if it was possible, I enjoy shooting.  I do it for work and for fun.  Most of all, I am glad I live in a country where I can legaly have a home defence weapon.  We have seen stricter gun control laws in the last twenty years, but crime has continued to rise.  I have to say they are mutually exclusive, since criminals aren't the ones getting permits and obeying gun control laws.  There are also fifty seperate states in the union, with a broad range of gun laws.  If you really are interested, look into their crime stats.  It may surprise you when you find out that states and cities with the tightest gun control laws often have the highest violent crime rates as well as gun violence. 

Crime has actually been falling. However fear of crime has been rising, mostly due to the 24 hours news cycle, and politicans.
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict.htm

I am one of those people is is in favor of restriction and registration, but not banning. Gun registration and tracking helps fight crime and gun licensing and registration makes it more difficult for criminals to get guns. Especailly casual criminals.

By the way it may be the case that places with the high crime rates have more gun restrictions becasue of fear of crime, not the other way around.

Dolcejn

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2005, 07:53:10 PM »
Thanks for the responses, guys.  I guess the past few days have just been a bit overwhelming -- all the violence is so saddening.  But blame needs to be placed where it deserves to be placed: bad people and bad preparation (Wisconsin).  The man had apparently brought hand-made weapons to the court before in his shoe.  They should have been on higher alert.

Edit: Meant Atlanta, not Wisconsin.  Sorry!
HLS

ilsox7

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2005, 08:00:32 PM »
OK, quick hijack: how was this guy not in shackles going into court?

... as not to prejudice the jury.



Wasn't he being held in custody?  Also, he overpowered the guard in the elevator, not i nthe court room.  It'd be easy to unshackle and escort into the court room.  I thought this was common practice in other jurisdictions.  Not to mention the fact that he smuggled homemade weapons into the court the day before.