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  1. #71
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    It is interesting to note that there have been two recent events--Arizona, Virginia, in which a mentally ill (undiagnosed?) has been able to legally obtain a weapon and kill with it.

    It is easy--very easy to get a gun illegally, though.
    Maybe, maybe not. That depends on where you live and who you know. Growing up (through high school, but also since then), I would have had zero clue on how to begin to look for a weapon were they not widely and readily available. Anyone in my high school would/has said the same. Why is that significant? I went to Columbine High School. The gunmen got their weapons from an older friend who bought them at a gun fair (taking advantage of the waiting period loophole). Could they have gotten guns illegally? I have no idea. I know, that, as a senior in the exact same town, I would be able to find out how to make a bomb online far easier than I would know where to start in looking for illegal gun sellers.

    I have read that Arizona actually has no background check and no waiting period, and you do not need a permit to concealed carry a weapon. Since the gun was legal, technically, this guy broke his first law only once he pulled the trigger.

    It is also worth remembering when discussing the Second Amendment that it does not mention guns, but arms. There is little doubt, even among the most ardent defender of the Second, that arms must be restricted. Surely no one wants mustard gas or nuclear weapons available to the general public. After all, it applied at the time to pretty much just single-shot muskets, probably less useful to a mass murderer than the bayonet stuck on the end of it (though I am in no way a Constitutional originalist: it's a stupid position and it makes Justice Scalia say some very stupid things, though he seems not so much an originalist on this issue). It seems a fair way to measure this is practical application of any weapon in terms of self-protection or sportsmanlike hunting is a fair way to regulate this. Anything specifically designed for maximum destruction: absurdly high caliber bullets that can bust an airplane hull, automatic weapons, and oversized clips are unneeded in any regard except that they are useful in maximizing damage, not unlike mustard gas, bombs or land mines (which, again, no one would argue to make legal but very extreme nuts).

    Having said all that: I have seen little evidence gun control, or lack thereof, has a significant effect one way or another on violent crimes. I support the above outlines because, in situations like Arizona or Columbine, they may limit the ability of the individual(s) to do so much damage, but these restrictions will not stop attempted attack or, in any likelihood, murders of individuals. So while these restrictions have some negligible amount of potential good, I'd rather my representatives use their political influence push to revamp the health care system and save far more lives, or to ease systemic problems that lead to violence by doing things like fixing the education system, especially in poor areas.

    EDIT: Also worth noting: Just as legalizing drugs would limit the violence and influence associated with illegal drug traders, or how the Prohibition created violent gangsters and its repeal was meant with them becoming less influential and violent, over-regulation of guns could create a similar violent sub-business. I am not saying all regulations are going to do this, but heavy regulations probably will. Any illegal product brings with it people, looking to make money, who are already outside the law and therefore look at things like murder and violence only in economic terms, not moral or legal ones.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Well, I can be amazed can I? If things are so bad people riot on the streets burning cars, there obviously is something wrong with the system. It's not like this is only about other countries, I actually disagree with quite a lot of what is going on in my own country. It just isn't the kind of thing that would be discussed much here, since I don't think people know that much about what is going on in Finland. So, it will seem to you like I'm all the time like "Oh my gaawd, what the hell is wrong with those people over there!" actually I am pretty critical of politics in general.
    I think there are a lot of common elements in human experience that can cause people to behave in a certain manner, outside of the context of their system of government.

    No, but I can't really say that I understand their system of governing deeply enough to really be amazed about anything they do. Basically, when any country can be said to be truly a democracy, then I expect it to behave in somewhat a similar way to Americans and Europeans.
    But Americans and Europeans actually don't behave all that similarly. I mean we do, but we don't. American mainstream culture is quite different and values different things, actually, though I agree our basic roots are European.

    I think the same could be said about Russians, just from the Russians I've known personally. They're just Eurasian.

  3. #73
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    Marm machine guns ARE illegal (unless you have a class III license which almost no one does).

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    I have seen little evidence gun control, or lack thereof, has a significant effect one way or another on violent crimes.
    Gosh, we banned guns in 1996 and since then we have had not one gun massacre. Yet I regularly read of gun masscres is the USA as I have my coffee in the morning. And I know with a sick feeling in my stomach that I will be reading about gun massacres in the USA 'til the day I die, but none in Oz.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    But Americans and Europeans actually don't behave all that similarly. I mean we do, but we don't. American mainstream culture is quite different and values different things, actually, though I agree our basic roots are European.
    I don't know if it is true, but I've heard that Finland is just about the most American country in Europe (maybe not as much as Norway). We didn't really have a long history as an independent nation and after we separated politically from Russia, there was some sort of a swing to the other direction. So, maybe that's why it seems natural to relate to the US the way I do.

    But, apart from that, I really see people as general very similar to each other, so I always focus on the system. So, if I criticize a country, it's not about the people. People are always good. At least that's my experience.

  6. #76
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    So Finland is a highly competitive, consumer driven country that fought a bloody revolution for independence made up of a diverse group of people from all different races, nations, and cultures?

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    So Finland is a highly competitive, consumer driven country that fought a bloody revolution for independence made up of a diverse group of people from all different races, nations, and cultures?
    Well, if you take away the part about different races, nations and cultures, then yes.

    Tell me, can you imagine watching French tv every day? We watch American tv all the time, we have all the big companies here in one way or another, we even copied the way the American corporations work and try to make our own little world take-overs with Nokia and so on.

    EDIT: By the way, what is the point of this? Are you saying I should not relate to the US? Take you guys off the pedestal? Not expect too much?

  8. #78
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    So Finland is a highly competitive, consumer driven country that fought a bloody revolution for independence made up of a diverse group of people from all different races, nations, and cultures?
    Without going into specific details (unless you want me to) I would say this is roughly accurate

  9. #79
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing the US, I have great affection for that country and you have so much to offer. But that deep-rooted mistrust in the state and each other is something exotic to me. Some skepticism is good, but when it get's to the point of shooting your neigbor because you think he's a burglar, something's wrong.
    RH--you have no idea. Every now and then, there will be a story on the local news about how a home owner or someone else may have shot an intruder or a carjacker. The comment section will be filled with cheers and often with comments that if every packed some heat that we'd have less criminals. Or if they were a victim that they should have had something to protect themselves.

  10. #80
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Gosh, we banned guns in 1996 and since then we have had not one gun massacre. Yet I regularly read of gun masscres is the USA as I have my coffee in the morning. And I know with a sick feeling in my stomach that I will be reading about gun massacres in the USA 'til the day I die, but none in Oz.
    I take your point. Looking at the stats in Australia, it seems there are some gains, though the homicide rate is mostly static. A lot of gun based crimes have gone down.

    I don't think that effect is going to be seen here in America any time soon, though. Australians always had rigid rules for gun ownership, far more rigid than those of us even in America's strictest states. Guns have saturated America, and it would be nearly impossible to remove them from our culture (additionally, the NRA is one of the largest PACs in the country). And for a lot of people here, "you can pry it from my cold dead hands" is not just a cute saying.

    I don't own guns, fire guns, or have any affinity for guns (with the exception, perhaps, of prop guns in movies and shows). And, as I stated, I also happen to think in terms of political issues gun control is something to be settled when we don't have anything better to do, and right now we have a couple dozen better things to do. Despite the fact that I have seen the effects of gun violence in the faces of people I know and in my childhood, I am generally a moderate on the issue because I think the comparative importance of the issue dictates moderation. But a ban of the magnitude of the one seen in Australia (which, as I mentioned was already far more regulated than the US) is not a realistic option in America, it probably wouldn't be if there were a mass murder every day for the next hundred.

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