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  1. #201
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Yeah, I do see what you mean. Although it still doesn't really answer my question...

    The mentality that people need to be able to defend themselves with weapons, even to have major arsenals in some cases, does seem to be very ingrained in the American psyche. I do wonder why, so much more so than other parts of the world. I mean, people have concerns about safety, protecting themselves and their families, possibly not trusting the government, etc, all over the world. In most other countries this doesn't seem to translate into a desire to collect or even stockpile weapons - especially weapons that might look more appropriate on a battlefield.

    There is a lot of rhetoric around a hideous event like this, some of which says that it's all about mental health and nothing to do with guns. Of course it has a great deal to do with mental health issues, but such issues exist everywhere in the world too and nowhere is there the rate of gun homicides (or incidents of this sort) that there is in the US.
    Well the two important factors are motive and access to weapons, maybe prohibiting firearms and reducing the amount of them available in general circulation can take care of access but it does nothing about motive, which could involve mental illness, but I know most people dont care about motive or how much someone is fantasising about weapons so long as they have no access it doesnt matter.

    Although if you consider societies like Switzerland which are heavily armed but dont have a guns culture and dont appear to have the mental health issues or other issues which translate into motive like in the US they dont have an issue with massacres or spree killing. I think the Swiss have some philosophy that all adults are more or less considered enlisted men and women and are not permitted to be a particular distance from an assault rifle at all times. That is something like a US militiaman's wet dream but the difference is there isnt a paranoid or impulsive/compulsive culture or whatever it is which is triggering Americans to engage in spree killing.

    In the UK the last two spree killings were completed without assault rifles and the weapons laws in the UK are very tight, very tight indeed. In Dunblane the target was children in a kindergarden too and the children's carers, it was rumoured at the time that the guy could have been a peadophile but it never was reported completely, which I also think is a difference in reporting coverage culture too.

  2. #202
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    Shooting at unsuspecting, defenseless strangers with guns is one of the weakest things anyone could do. Add children to the mix and it's just unbelievable the scum our (my) country has produced. Unsurprisingly these semi automatic/automatic guns are the go to weapon of choice. Probably because they are so cowardly they just want to do the most damage in the shortest amount of time possible, because even they cannot stomach the depth of vileness in their choice of action. Try doing that at a police station, you coward. Or try going out on the street with just a knife. Then we'd see how powerful you are.

    What an embarrassment to the human race.

  3. #203
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    @Lark - I definitely think the paranoia culture has a lot to do with that. I don't know if Americans themselves feel that they live in a sort of super-paranoid culture (maybe some of you can answer that?) but it is definitely how much of the world perceives America and the gun culture is a big part of that.
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  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Yeah, I do see what you mean. Although it still doesn't really answer my question...
    Haha, yeah, sorry. Sometimes, I get carried away trying to make a point, and end up forgetting to address everything.

    Frankly, that's a question I can't answer. Why do we "need" anything? Most things are more of a want than A need. I personally don't view "assault weapons" such as the AR-15 as being that different than any other semi-auto firearm so differentiating them based on any merit other than the situations which I'd like to have each of them in is something that I can't really do. On top of that, I'm not a gun owner, so I'm guessing about some things....

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    The mentality that people need to be able to defend themselves with weapons, even to have major arsenals in some cases, does seem to be very ingrained in the American psyche. I do wonder why, so much more so than other parts of the world. I mean, people have concerns about safety, protecting themselves and their families, possibly not trusting the government, etc, all over the world. In most other countries this doesn't seem to translate into a desire to collect or even stockpile weapons - especially weapons that might look more appropriate on a battlefield.
    A large part of it does have something to do with the culture. It's simply shocking to me that people in the UK can stand to live in a place where a freakin' pen could apparently be considered a weapon, but they can, and I'm fine with that as long as they don't try to influence us to see things the same way.

    Frankly though, when it comes to self-defense, it isn't a matter of not trusting the government. I'm sorry that most people don't seem to understand this, but if you are attacked, the odds are extremely extremely high that the government (or any form of law enforcement) will not be there. You will need to defend yourself. Even if you manage to dial the cops, what do you think your attacker will be doing for the... what... 4-11 minutes? until they arrive? I simply can't stand when a government tries to disarm a population for that very reason.

    The "look more appropriate on a battlefield" part is kind of important. These rifles are not the same thing that our military uses. They don't have automatic fire capability, nor do they have burst fire capability, and any semi auto handgun you see can fire off rounds just as quickly as these "assault weapons" (You can get high-capacity magazines for handguns as well.). I have seen people calling a .22lr rifle that looked like an m4/ar15 an assault weapon, and that's just stupid, to me anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    There is a lot of rhetoric around a hideous event like this, some of which says that it's all about mental health and nothing to do with guns. Of course it has a great deal to do with mental health issues, but such issues exist everywhere in the world too and nowhere is there the rate of gun homicides (or incidents of this sort) that there is in the US.
    The way I see it, the mental health may not be the only issue here, but it is the bigger one. There are fewer guns elsewhere, so of course there is more gun crime here. I believe someone else pointed to gun crime relative to the number of guns being relatively closer to the rest of the world or something, but you'll have to find them. I don't know.
    ...

  5. #205
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrinth View Post

    Frankly, that's a question I can't answer. Why do we "need" anything? Most things are more of a want than A need. I personally don't view "assault weapons" such as the AR-15 as being that different than any other semi-auto firearm so differentiating them based on any merit other than the situations which I'd like to have each of them in is something that I can't really do. On top of that, I'm not a gun owner, so I'm guessing about some things.....
    See, I think this is kind of what I'm getting at. (Although genuinely I am just interested in information and perspective by asking these questions.) I don't see how this is a "want" that is really justified as it is so immensely dangerous. Ok, massacres like this are not exactly happening every day but they seem to be happening on a semi-regular basis and I don't think most people feel that a bunch of kids and their teachers being gunned down is a sort of manageable, appropriate...uh...collateral damage.

    I'm basically just saying that if people want weapons like this for entertainment purposes or even for self-defense it doesn't seem like the reward justifies the risk (as I think @highlander already said.) To me it's a very individualistic, selfish mentality.

    By the way, I live in the UK, in London and what they really worry about here is knife crime - quite a few kids and teenagers have died in recent years. Although, about a year and a half ago in the neighbourhood I was living in (not that far from where I am now, but my current area is a fair bit safer) a gang member was shot by my local tube station by other gang members on a motorbike, with a machine gun. I could easily have been there when it happened. When I lived in West London, which is supposed to be more upscale, someone was gunned down at one of my local takeaways, a minute from my door, as well.

    I'm not sure about a pen being considered a weapon...maybe in the countryside?!
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  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    @Lark - I definitely think the paranoia culture has a lot to do with that. I don't know if Americans themselves feel that they live in a sort of super-paranoid culture (maybe some of you can answer that?) but it is definitely how much of the world perceives America and the gun culture is a big part of that.
    Well I definitely think its a big part of US politics, the amount of people who I know who honestly believed that Obama's election and re-election would be akin to Lenin's overthrow of Russia's provisional government and the ushering in of a dictatorship was unreal. And angry and well armed with it.

    To be honest its only of the things which angered me the most about radical conservative and libertarian capitalists when I used to spend more time trying to engage them in discussions were that they were all just stockpiling guns and talking about what was their personal "line in the sand" or if it was "time yet" meaning whether or not the Ocklahoma bombings and milita fever of the ninties and noughties wasnt the beginning of a civil war, most of them being happy at the prospect too, that used to piss me off, as much as marxist kiddies talking about economic crisis and collapse as something they were looking forward to pissed me off. It still does. Die Hard 4 did a great job of portraying how dumb that mindset is and how much of a human cost it would involve.

  7. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    See, I think this is kind of what I'm getting at. (Although genuinely I am just interested in information and perspectivey by asking these questions.) I don't see how this is a "want" that is really justified as it is so immensely dangerous. Ok, massacres like this are not exactly happening every day but they seem to be happening on a semi-regular basis and I don't think most people feel that a bunch of kids and their teachers being gunned down is a sort of manageable, appropriate...uh...collateral damage.
    Again, I'm arguing for a side that I don't fully understand, so I can't really tell you what reasons they might have. However, in this situation, would it really have mattered if he didn't have access to a semi-automatic rifle?

    Please don't take this the wrong way... But he was shooting at little children trapped in a building... The human equivalent of fish in a barrel... I think they would be just as dead if he went in there with a single handgun, or hell... even something like a hammer... He was a coward, and he found people who could not defend themselves. You don't need the advantage of a semi-auto weapon for that...

    *sigh*
    ...

  8. #208
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrinth View Post
    Again, I'm arguing for a side that I don't fully understand, so I can't really tell you what reasons they might have. However, in this situation, would it really have mattered if he didn't have access to a semi-automatic rifle?

    Please don't take this the wrong way... But he was shooting at little children trapped in a building... The human equivalent of fish in a barrel... I think they would be just as dead if he went in there with a single handgun, or hell... even something like a hammer... He was a coward, and he found people who could not defend themselves. You don't need the advantage of a semi-auto weapon for that...

    *sigh*
    Yeah. He would have killed a lot of people with the handguns, too. But it's not like the fact he had the semi-automatic rifle helped to alleviate the situation.

    Also, it seems somewhat beyond coincidence that these massacres (like school shootings, theatre shootings etc) have generally been carried out with weapons such as the semi-automatic rifle, rather than just handguns. What that indicates I don't know but it seems to raise questions.


    EDIT: I should maybe add for myself that in a war situation I would be a conscientious objector, and I don't believe in violence except in self-defense. I don't believe that carrying a weapon in preparation for self-defense is something I could do on the basis of my beliefs and principles. But I'm mainly asking these questions just to get some perspective because I haven't spent much time in the US (despite growing up just across the border), and I think this is an area where the mindset is very different between Canadians and Americans. I now live in Europe and a lot of people here basically just think Americans are mad, but European views on Americans tend to be quite close-minded.
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  9. #209
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrinth View Post
    Again, I'm arguing for a side that I don't fully understand, so I can't really tell you what reasons they might have. However, in this situation, would it really have mattered if he didn't have access to a semi-automatic rifle?

    Please don't take this the wrong way... But he was shooting at little children trapped in a building... The human equivalent of fish in a barrel... I think they would be just as dead if he went in there with a single handgun, or hell... even something like a hammer... He was a coward, and he found people who could not defend themselves. You don't need the advantage of a semi-auto weapon for that...

    *sigh*
    Idk how effective the hammer would be in a school full of teachers, but it wouldn't come to that anyway. People like this would resort to bombs in the absence of firearms, but would everyone be calling for a ban on bombs?
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  10. #210
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    See, I think this is kind of what I'm getting at. (Although genuinely I am just interested in information and perspective by asking these questions.) I don't see how this is a "want" that is really justified as it is so immensely dangerous. Ok, massacres like this are not exactly happening every day but they seem to be happening on a semi-regular basis and I don't think most people feel that a bunch of kids and their teachers being gunned down is a sort of manageable, appropriate...uh...collateral damage.

    I'm basically just saying that if people want weapons like this for entertainment purposes or even for self-defense it doesn't seem like the reward justifies the risk (as I think @highlander already said.) To me it's a very individualistic, selfish mentality.

    By the way, I live in the UK, in London and what they really worry about here is knife crime - quite a few kids and teenagers have died in recent years. Although, about a year and a half ago in the neighbourhood I was living in (not that far from where I am now, but my current area is a fair bit safer) a gang member was shot by my local tube station by other gang members on a motorbike, with a machine gun. I could easily have been there when it happened. When I lived in West London, which is supposed to be more upscale, someone was gunned down at one of my local takeaways, a minute from my door, as well.

    I'm not sure about a pen being considered a weapon...maybe in the countryside?!
    I think the pen idea relates to something I mentioned, it was a police officer who stated that anyting could be considered a weapon should they be able to make a reasonable case for it being possessed with that intent when they stopped someone with suspiscion they were in the process of being in commission of a crime.

    Not recently, to my knowledge, but in the early nineties there was a focus or excitement about the idea that a lot of people were carrying household impliments or hair spray or other things which were innocent enough by all appearences but which were intended as improvised weapons, there was an episode of the bill about it in which someone blinded someone asking for directions by spraying oven cleaner in their face.

    I see what you're saying SK, if gun ownership is a matter of personal recreation and excitement it has too much social costs or externalities, consequences are not limited to the individual etc. Its the same argument which is used to support prohibitive laws in relation to narcotics/illegal substances/drugs.

    The US is interesting in that it permits driving and gun ownership at a much younger age than anywhere else in the world but prohibits alcohol until much older than most other parts of the world, although a US friend of mine made a good argument about how the permission to drive or possess weapons are both likely to require or foster personal responsibility while alcohol impairs the very same thing or at least good judgement.

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