Nerdfighters

After some very contrasting opinions came up over guns in the recent Conservatism thread, I thought the subject could stand its own discussion. So, what do you think of guns in society, and where do you stand on gun control?

I live in the United States, where the right to own a gun is protected by the constitution. I'm from New York, and here very few private citizens own or carry guns. However, I do support the 2nd amendment and consider it among our most important constitutional rights. What do you think?

Tags: constitution, control, gun, guns, rights

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Well, at least in a country with proper gun control I don't have to worry about being gunned down by a vigilante who thinks my hoodie looks suspisous. An yes, you can kills someone with other means, but it's quite a lot harder.

For you people who live in UK OK so your murder rates are low But how do you know that the people who live in bad neighborhoods feel safe. I would rather own a gun and feel safe ,if I lived in a bad neighborhood. I think forcing those people who have to live in an unsafe neighborhood to live in fear is wrong. I don't livre in a bad neighborhood now but I did growing up. I lived in an innercity housing project in the early 1970's. It was not a good time. We didn't own a gun but I would have felt better if we could have. We had numerous gang fights us against the neighborhood. I was glad as heck when we moved out. 

For you people who live in UK OK so your murder rates are low But how do you know that the people who live in bad neighborhoods feel safe. I would rather own a gun and feel safe ,if I lived in a bad neighborhood. I think forcing those people who have to live in an unsafe neighborhood to live in fear is wrong. I don't livre in a bad neighborhood now but I did growing up. I lived in an innercity housing project in the early 1970's. It was not a good time. We didn't own a gun but I would have felt better if we could have. We had numerous gang fights us against the neighborhood. I was glad as heck when we moved out.  Cool my computer messed up and posted it twice.

For you people who live in UK OK so your murder rates are low But how do you know that the people who live in bad neighborhoods feel safe. I would rather own a gun and feel safe


Here's the thing though, we're talking about the law. The law isn't about how people feel, as much as it is about how the world functions. It is more dangerous for lots of people to have guns than it is for a few people. That's fact.

I'm jumping into this discussion a bit late, but there are a few things that it seems no one has mentioned.

1)  Clarification of the general laws:

     There seems to be a lot of confusion about what is legal or illegal.  When someone fills out the paperwork at a gun shop, that paperwork is a background check (convicted felons aren't allowed to own or handle firearms).  Many, but not all, states also have a waiting period between when you can buy a firearm and when you can take it home.  This is intended to be a "cooling down" period, so that if you've decided to kill your cheating spouse or some crap, you have time to cool off and think it over.

    It is easy to own a gun.  HOWEVER, there are three major legal facets to gun laws.

      a) Owning the gun

      b) Carrying/transporting the gun

      c) using the gun

Walking out of the store, a new gun owner now has two major restraints on their actions.

    Let's examine carrying and transporting a firearm.  Carrying exists in two forms, open and concealed.  Open carry means that the gun you're carrying is visible to the people around you.  Concealed carry means it's well...concealed.  Interestingly some states only allow one or the other.  The permitting programs in most states regulate who can carry concealed.  Open carry is more variable.

     So you have the regulations within the state to consider.  Then there are the rights of property owners.  If a private business has a "No weapons" sign or something of that sort posted, then permit or not, you cannot legally enter that building with a firearm.

     Next, transporting the firearm.  Can you carry the gun in your car?  Does it have to be unloaded?  Does it have to be in the trunk?  Once again, these laws vary from state to state, and it is the responsibility of the gun owner to look them up and follow them appropriately, or face the consequences.

2)  Now the biggie:  USING the gun.

Several posters seem to be under the impression that if you shoot someone in self-defense in the U.S. there are no consequences.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There lot of are specific criteria that have to be met for a shooting to qualify as self-defense.  Once again, these vary from state to state.  In Louisiana, you can only shoot someone if you or someone else is "in immediate danger of severe bodily harm or death."  So if you see someone beating a little old lady with a baseball bat, you can shoot that person.  If you look out the window and see someone stealing your car, you cannot shoot them.  The caveat to this is that once the threat stops, the right to shoot them immediately ceases. So if you shoot someone, and they turn around and run away, you can't shoot them any more.  There are, of course, grey areas, which have to be examined on a case-by-case basis. 

     Also, you cannot threaten someone with a gun (once again, my knowledge is specific to Louisiana).  Either you shoot them, or you leave the gun out of it totally.  The rationale is that if you feel that a mere threat will be sufficient to stop the problem, then lethal force is unnecessary, and the production of the gun will escalate the situation.

   California has an interesting law that gives the citizen a "duty to retreat."  Basically, if someone threatens you, you first have to attempt to run away.  Then, if you are unsuccessful in doing so (say the threatening person blocks your exit, or wounds you in a manner that doesn't allow you to get away) only then is shooting legally permissible.  Can't say I'm fond of this particular idea, but that's California for you.

3)  And finally:  Aftermath

The first thing that's going to happen after a self-defense shooting is that the cops are going to show up.  You, as the one standing, will be immediately taken into custody, and your weapon will be confiscated as evidence.  So now you tell the cops about the events surrounding the shooting .  Say it is the most perfectly textbook case of self-defense imaginable and the police decide that you did the right thing and let you go home.  You could still be brought into court on a civil suit by the person shot, or by their family if the shooting resulted in a death.

This is why the pro-gun saying, "It's better to be tried by twelve then carried by six," is more then just a catchy phrase.  Even in a self-defense shooting, you will most likely end up in a courtroom explaining your actions.

Then, even if you walk away without spending any time in jail, you'll have to deal with the psychological stress of having killed someone.  That person has a family.  Congratulations, you've just made some innocent kid an orphan.

Anti-gun people seem to think that gun owners don't think about these things and are just itching to go out and kill someone as soon as they have an excuse.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and not just because these topics would be covered in any beginner gun safety course.

Those of you who drive, I bet at some point you've thought to yourself "Man, what if a little kid ran in front of my car and I hit them and they died?  How would I live with the guilt, even if there was nothing I could have done to stop it from happening?"  For every kid that's died in the street, there's a guilt-ridden driver out there.  Gun owners think about shooting someone in the same manner, as a terrible and life-changing event that hopefully they will never experience.  However, they also don't deny the possibility that this scenario COULD happen to them.  The macho talk is people gathering their courage to face such a scenario should it arrive, but nobody welcomes a life-threatening situation that would require them to kill or be killed, and possibly ruin their life even if they survive.

I think you are oversimplifying the Anti-gun perception of the pro gun. The fact of the matter is that we in countries like the UK function perfectly well without guns, and we don't see the reason why a country like the US, which is not in danger of the kind of threats that would require a weapon, sees fit for people to have the right to bear arms. Furthermore, we don't understand how little you understand your own laws. The laws say "in keeping with the need of a well regulated militia". WELL REGULATED. You can't just have anyone owning a gun. Even if you put checks in place, you still essentially have it that a VERY large section of the population has the right to own a gun. Can you not see how that might be dangerous?

Vertigo "


Here's the thing though, we're talking about the law. The law isn't about how people feel, as much as it is about how the world functions. It is more dangerous for lots of people to have guns than it is for a few people. That's fact."    

Sometimes its there for the few. Those few who need the gun should have access to it. Since you are caught up on the words feeling safe substitute BEING SAFER because you can defend yourself.

Sometimes its there for the few. Those few who need the gun should have access to it. Since you are caught up on the words feeling safe substitute BEING SAFER because you can defend yourself.


That's the thing though. When you move from feeling to reality, you loose. Why? Because in the UK we ARE safer. We have a massively lower gun crime rate than you in the US.

You say you are safer but those few who have to live in bad neighborhoods ARE NOT safer. Only the lucky few who don't live in a dangerous neighborhood. Have you ever been in a gang fight just because of your skin color? I have. I tell you if we had a gun  we would have been safer. 

How can it be a lucky few that are safe if our gun crime rates OVERALL are much lower? And that's per 1000 people.

OK I should have said the lucky ones that live in better neighborhoods. I am certainly glad I live in the states cause if I lived there and lived in a bad neighboehood I would buy one illegally just to be safer

Because crime doesn't need to involve a gun to be dangerous to the victims. 

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