Various Stances on Gun Control Policy

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How much control of privately owned firearms should we havein the USA?

None at all ( Bring on the Rocket Launcher!)
6
21%
Handgun licenses
1
3%
Licenses for ALL guns
13
45%
Nothing except hunting guns
6
21%
Spitball shooters make me nervous
3
10%
 
Total votes : 29

Postby dutchroll on Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:29 am

Just as with alcohol and tobacco, while prohibition doesn't work, neither does legalisation! Alcohol causes massive crime problems whether its legal or not. Assault. Drunk driving. Stealing. Vandalism. Rape. There have been alcohol related crimes in the papers every single day since newpapers were invented - but hey, it's legal.

Likewise, with guns neither prohibition nor complete legalisation will 'work'. It's a matter of trying to strike a balance. Licencing (and enforcement of that licencing - which includes doing PROPER background checks) is a must. As are certain selling restrictions & half a dozen other things I could probably reel off.

Just as an idiot driver behind the wheel, or an idiot consumer of alcohol is a danger, so too is an idiot (say, for example, a Vice President) with a gun. 'Most' of society I would hope expects reasonable attempts to be taken to prevent such idiots (and I've seen more than one of them) getting their hands on these things. So, no, prohibition won't work, but there have to be some sensible controls.
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Postby anon1mat0 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:17 am

Hey, simple things should do, the same way it is illegal to drive under the influence it should be illegal to carry a gun under the influence. Back home a good number of shootings happen because the gun owner is drunk.
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Postby boghog on Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:00 pm

LibraLabRat wrote:Which is one of my main points. The anti gun lobby has made this stupid crusade seem like it is going to save millions of innocent lives. More people die in MVAs every day than die in accidental and intentional shootings every month, and that includes the police shooting people.

That's an apples-and-oranges comparison, unless gun use approaches that of automobiles. Most people I know spend at least 15 hours a week driving. What proportion of gun owners spend 15 solid hours a week shooting?

Most of North America has a collision rate of around 1-2 per million vehicle-km (or 0.6-1.2/million veh-miles for the Americans :wink:). What is the proper unit of measurement for accidental (or intentional) shootings that we can use for firearm incidents to make a comparison? Accidental shootings per million shots fired comes to mind - do you think that's appropriate? How do you think gun safety would compare to auto safety when you take into account level of use?

More people die exercising than BASE jumping, but which one is "safer"?
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Postby Dr. Otis Lansa on Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:40 pm

boghog wrote: What is the proper unit of measurement for accidental (or intentional) shootings that we can use for firearm incidents to make a comparison? Accidental shootings per million shots fired comes to mind - do you think that's appropriate? How do you think gun safety would compare to auto safety when you take into account level of use?


You'd have to sort statistics out by purpose. If you had a group of drivers who drove professionally several times a week (target shooters), a group of professionally trained race drivers in high-risk situations (military and police), a group who made semi-regular or seasonal grocery runs (hunters) and a group who never drove unless there was an emergency ("protection" carriers), you'd probably be looking at different accident rates. Start overlapping these groups (e.g. a race driver who does grocery runs in his off time, a trucker rushing his wife-in-labour to the hospital, etc)... it gets nutty.

See also Spatula's navy picture a page or two back... probably a low accident per round rate there. :wink:
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Postby Capellini on Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:42 pm

Dr. Otis Lansa wrote:While we're at it, can we ban cocaine (including crack), heroin, and methamphetamine, too?

It would cut the crime rate if they weren't available because they were illegal.

:mrgreen:

Seriously, Cap, it's a cost/benefit analysis here... how many deaths would be prevented if (not sure what your actual plan for gun control is) was implemented, and how much would it cost?

Canada brought in rifle/shotgun registration, at a cost of $2 billion, and it did nothing except convince the shadier gun owners to NOT register their guns.

(I know y'all spend that on the military every day before lunch down there, but that's big money up here).

To go back to the ever handy automobile industry, how many deaths are caused every year due to poor vehicle design and inadequate quality control? LOTS. Let's see government regulation on those items first. There'd be a bigger return in terms of death reduction there. Or in the Canadian example, we don't need more policing to prevent murders, we need more resources for councilling the suicidal.

In a society where violent assault is a real possibility (for both you as a NY'er, and LLR as proven by past events), this split in opinion seems to come from what end of the gun you see yourself being on. To shoot straight from the hip, in terms of random muggings in a city environment, it's my opinion that a well-trained gun owner has a higher chance of preventing a mugging, but probably also a greater chance of being shot by a twitchy mugger with a gun. Unless you're Clint Eastwood.


So we should eliminate all gun laws? Let anyone who wants a gun have one, free - we can hand them out at the supermarket. No licenses, no background checks. Guns for 6 year olds, guns for convicted rapists. I mean, since gun laws aren't 100% effective, why bother to have them at all?

If an individual can't be bothered to wait long enough for a background check to get a gun, and can't be bothered to prove they know how to use it safely, I DON'T THINK THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO HAVE ONE.

For the record, I don't really care about the possible increased risk a gun owner faces of being him/herself shot. That's a risk you take on yourself. My concern is limiting the number of OTHER people who get shot. Pretty much everywhere in the country, restaurants are broken into smoking and non-smoking (don't get me started on the ridiculous smoking bans in NY). This allows anyone who wants to poison there own lungs to do so, and gives me the opportunity to limit my contact. How exactly do I limit my contact from people carrying concealed weapons? Where's my chance to make myself safe? Knowing that everyone who owns a gun legally had to undergo a background check and appropriate training is at least SOMETHING, as is knowing its equally as difficult to get that gun anywhere in the country. Smoking vs. non-smoking sections don't guarantee I won't get lung cancer. It just gives me a bit of a better chance. That's what I'm looking for from federal gun laws. A better chance someone isn't going to shoot me with a legally purchased firearm.

Is it only logical to me that the harder it is to legally purchase a fire arm, the fewer nut jobs who want to shoot people in defense of there lawn will have one?

People keep talking about how gun laws won't effect the illegal guns on the street. That is just blatantly false. I've said it before, and been ignored - MOST OF THE GUNS ILLEGALLY IN NY WERE PURCHASED LEGALLY IN ANOTHER STATE IN THE UNION. If it were equally difficult to purchase a gun in the U.S., illegal guns would have to come from another country. That's already harder than driving from Georgia to Jersey.

I'm not an all-or-nothing person. I think that something is still SOMETHING.
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Postby Dr. Otis Lansa on Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:59 pm

Capellini wrote:Knowing that everyone who owns a gun legally had to undergo a background check and appropriate training is at least SOMETHING, as is knowing its equally as difficult to get that gun anywhere in the country.

Is it only logical to me that the harder it is to legally purchase a fire arm, the fewer nut jobs who want to shoot people in defense of there lawn will have one?

People keep talking about how gun laws won't effect the illegal guns on the street. That is just blatantly false. I've said it before, and been ignored - MOST OF THE GUNS ILLEGALLY IN NY WERE PURCHASED LEGALLY IN ANOTHER STATE IN THE UNION. If it were equally difficult to purchase a gun in the U.S., illegal guns would have to come from another country. That's already harder than driving from Georgia to Jersey.


:( Something it took me a while to clue in about... gun laws are a federal matter here, so even though it's been mentioned, I sort of glossed over the implications of State laws differing. Setting standards at a national level seems... well, natural to me. Obviously some states will have different circumstances due to demographics, but a weapon brought into a state should fall under the posession regulations of that state, no?

Agreed on background check, waiting period, and appropriate training, none of which would discourage a legitimate gun owner. Part of the reason I don't have a gun right now is because I haven't bothered to get the necessary permits since the new system came in (also because I live in an apartment and it's tough to stuff a moose in a Pontiac Firefly).

Training courses for non-restricted weapons up here is 10 hrs, with an additional 6 hours of material for restricted weapons, although the exam can be challenged without taking the course. You need a Possession and Acquisition licence to own or buy a gun legally up here, though there are many rural owners that never take their gun off their own property and haven't bothered getting licenced. Hunting licences fall under provincial jurisdiction.
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Postby Wolfenstein on Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:13 pm

[sarcasm]

I feel so sorry for murderers, rapeists and all other criminals that I think that it is good to have laws that make the victims defenseless.

[/sarcasm]
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Postby Capellini on Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:36 pm

Dr. Otis Lansa wrote:
Capellini wrote:Knowing that everyone who owns a gun legally had to undergo a background check and appropriate training is at least SOMETHING, as is knowing its equally as difficult to get that gun anywhere in the country.

Is it only logical to me that the harder it is to legally purchase a fire arm, the fewer nut jobs who want to shoot people in defense of there lawn will have one?

People keep talking about how gun laws won't effect the illegal guns on the street. That is just blatantly false. I've said it before, and been ignored - MOST OF THE GUNS ILLEGALLY IN NY WERE PURCHASED LEGALLY IN ANOTHER STATE IN THE UNION. If it were equally difficult to purchase a gun in the U.S., illegal guns would have to come from another country. That's already harder than driving from Georgia to Jersey.


:( Something it took me a while to clue in about... gun laws are a federal matter here, so even though it's been mentioned, I sort of glossed over the implications of State laws differing. Setting standards at a national level seems... well, natural to me. Obviously some states will have different circumstances due to demographics, but a weapon brought into a state should fall under the posession regulations of that state, no?

Agreed on background check, waiting period, and appropriate training, none of which would discourage a legitimate gun owner. Part of the reason I don't have a gun right now is because I haven't bothered to get the necessary permits since the new system came in (also because I live in an apartment and it's tough to stuff a moose in a Pontiac Firefly).

Training courses for non-restricted weapons up here is 10 hrs, with an additional 6 hours of material for restricted weapons, although the exam can be challenged without taking the course. You need a Possession and Acquisition licence to own or buy a gun legally up here, though there are many rural owners that never take their gun off their own property and haven't bothered getting licenced. Hunting licences fall under provincial jurisdiction.


But in the U.S. right now, they are mainly states rights. So, while in NY there is a seven day waiting period and background check for a handgun, many other states will sell a handgun to anyone, the minute they walk through the door. So, if you're looking to make a fast buck, you buy a crapload of handguns in, say, Missouri (or somewhere else in the U.S. with little or no restriction), you drive to New York (and, in case it needs saying, there's been no border control between states), and then sell those guns illegally on the streets of NYC. There is no way to stop this other than increased patrolling and crackdowns on actual gun deals, which is a circumstance very likely to lead to the shooting of police officers. So what we have are a bunch of people in Missouri who don't care that NY cops are being killed with there guns, and a bunch of people in NY who can't keep guns from Missouri out of NY, and just have to deal with them once they get here. It's a lot cheaper to make gun restrictions federal than it is to create border control of NY, inspecting all vehicles on the way in for weapons purchased out of state.
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Postby LibraLabRat on Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:20 pm

Gee Cap, I forgot that you are the resident expert on gun sales nation wide.

I have lived in several states over the last several years. I bought two guns in Oklahoma. My information was run through the NICS system, it shows I have an FFL licence and have purchased guns legally in the past. IF you are a felon, it pops up on there, hence, no gun.

In Colorado, no wait for long guns, seven days for hand guns. Some states have a "one per month" rule on buying handguns.

SOme states such as California limit nearly everything about legal firearms.

In short, you cannot EVER just walk into a gun store and buy a gun with no check whatsoever. You must be 21 to buy a handgun. And there are many levels of checks a legal gun buyer must go through.

Now, finally. I have NEVER claimed that there should be no regulation. Felons should not have access to firearms, nor should sex offenders, nor should kids under the age of 18 without parental guidance.

Other than that, I could honestly care less what a New Yorker thinks about my rights to own a gun. Also, HAD YOU BEEN LISTENING, AND WOULD DO TWO SECONDS WORTH OF RESEARCH, NO PERSON WITH A CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT HAS EVER COMMITTED A GUN CRIME. EVER.

So you want to know how to protect yourself against someone who may have a gun? If they are a CCW holder, nothing. They arent a threat. However, if you need to protect yourself against a violent criminal, I recommend you just either run, or lay down on the ground and hope for the best. That is what the VPC reccomends.

OH, and by the way, there are already many federal laws in place that make it very illegal to transport firearms across state lines with the purpose of selling them to people you know are not allowed to legally own guns. And you can do up to five years for EACH AND EVERY GUN YOU SELL.

What you want is enforcement of existing laws, not more laws.
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Postby Web Stailey on Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:23 pm

I don't like sex-offenders having guns, but you may want to re-word that to be violent sex-offenders?
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Postby LibraLabRat on Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:25 pm

Web Stailey wrote:I don't like sex-offenders having guns, but you may want to re-word that to be violent sex-offenders?


Nope. Any convicted felon is already prevented from firearm ownership as part of their parole. I see no reason to alter that law.
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Postby Web Stailey on Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:27 pm

What about a man convicted of having sex with a minor consentually? That's still a sex-offense. Should they also be banned from owning guns?
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Postby LibraLabRat on Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:29 pm

Web Stailey wrote:What about a man convicted of having sex with a minor consentually? That's still a sex-offense. Should they also be banned from owning guns?


Statutory rape? Sorry pal, but a sex offender is a sex offender in my book.

Read the main thrust of my argument. I think that we need actual enforcement of current gun law, not more laws. ANd sorry, but sex offenders are part of a group who loses their right to firearms ownership by committing a crime.
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Postby LibraLabRat on Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:36 pm

Here is a good website. Now, how do you counter this?

http://www.pinkpistols.org/index2.html

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Postby Chimaera on Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:31 pm

Many years ago there were a couple of Americans in our office. One was pro-gun and the other anti-gun. We'd take them both down to the pub where they would entertain us by going purple in the face and yelling at each other. It was often hilarious. The anti-gun guy was a farmer and he would tell (I have no idea if this is true) that the hunting season meant vast numbers of people with over-powerful weapons and under-powerful brains shooting everything in sight, including a lineman high up on a pylon (thought he was a bear). He claimed he painted "COW" on his animals with a whitewash brush to help out hunters who had trouble identifying deer.

Just trying to lighten the tone a little here.
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