I live in Wisconsin and many of you are aware that they passed the law that allows any fool to carry a concealed handgun. The premise is the wording of the Constitution that states that citizens have the right to "bear arms."
I was shocked when this was passed. I don't believe that the "right to bear arms" means that any yahoo that wants to can tote around a firearm. I believe that it actually should be interpreted to mean we can take up arms as a nation to defend ourselves against invasion.
What type of person believes that they should be carrying a concealed gun?
I ran into one at the Salvation Army store the other day. He was swaggering around making sure everyone could see that he had a firearm strapped under his shirt. Then the employees asked him if he would leave and not bring the gun in. He proceeded to spout off about his "right" to carry and they were interfering with his rights and all and he made a huge scene. He claimed he had been robbed at home once. Okaaay! So, how is he protecting his home by bringing the gun into the store? Hmmm?
Anyway, I sure don't feel safer these days knowing that every other idiot that I run into has the ability to blow my head off. I certainly don't feel safer knowing that there are far more guns out there for the bad guys to steal. I'm sure the police are now in much more danger every time they make a traffic stop. And the worst thing is that if they change their minds and repeal this law, how are they ever going to get all those guns off the streets?
p.s. I am fine with responsible hunters - the deer population does need regular thinning or they would all suffer. And the bear that shows up at my house - I'd like to be able to call one of my neighbors if he broke in.
Last year, we had a 15 year old take one to school and he shot 5 kids, killing one, plus himself. He used his father's gun. Right after, it was discovered that the father couldn't own a gun due to legal issues. Just recently it was learned he had a whole cache of the things, all known about and available to anyone, except law enforcement.
We definitely need stronger laws, even if they only allow us to shoot the criminals on sight.
Neither of us has the same sort of issues with shootings.
Maybe USA politicians should look to Australia & Canada gun control laws as inspiration?
Weapon types are restricted, background checks and licensing are required, etc.
But there simply isn't any gun crime here.
Of course I can't speak of the mainland but I am told gun ownership is widespread and no one can recall the last gun incident.
I hear what you say Sasha, but that is also more about punishment (withdrawal of permit for example) after the fact - once you have 'misbehaved' with the firearm - which is sometimes too late.
Quite who in normal society would require an assault rifle to protect anything is beyond me.
Pig Party, sometimes they let them keep the gun. (Sometimes) Then it could happen again. At least background checkups when they give a permit. You might as well give someone who just broke out a jail a gun and say "Here you go enjoy that and try not to get landed in jail again." I might be overheating but to many people are dying because of this. I just am tired of walking into a restaurant and seeing that someone got shot and the police put them in jail for a couple months/years. Then they walked out of jail got another gun and the same thing happens.
For the most part, people with MI are the victims of crimes, not the perpetrators of them.
You could absolutely argue that you have to be "crazy" to gun down anther person, but that's not the same thing as being diagnosed with a MI.
The increase in gun violence is so scary. It used to be that the only people who had to worry about being shot to death were criminals and other nefarious types. These days, everyone worries about being gunned down, anywhere, anytime.
One of the problems, it seems to me, in limiting guns for citizens, is that it doesn't address the problem of the bad guys getting their hands on them. Even if you took all the guns away from law abiding citizens, the bad guys would find them still find them and use them
I sure would hat to live in a country where everyone was armed - either to commit heinous acts or to protect themselves from those acts.
Just my own thoughts. .. [/i]
Gun ownership in Canada is a thing - we are a large country, with a significant population who participate in hunting.
With background checks, registration and license renewals, most gun owners are responsible citizens who do things like keep them locked up.
Also, with the legal restrictions on types of guns, etc, we *don't* have things like assault weapons (eg. AKA 47s) readily available unless you are on a military base.
So, most guns that are used for crime in Canada are handguns that have been smuggled up from the USA (or occasionally stolen from someone who had one legally, but that is not as common) OR it is a long gun (rifle) used in a domestic incident.
In essence, the criminals still do get guns, but because there are fewer guns in general, and the guns that are more easily found are harder to conceal for the purposes of crime and they are not assault weapons, gun crime is not as prevalent.
Also, the punishments for gun crime tend to be harsher, that is also a deterrent.
Gun crime still happens, but not like what you see in the USA
Also, in that time, states allowing the carrying of concealed weapons has also risen significantly. So there are more legal guns on the streets and gun violence is down and at a level not seen since the 1960s
I had overheard people talking about this so I did a search and sure enough there are a lot of articles about it. I don't want to post any links but if you google it I got most of the above from cnn story.
- You can quote me
I am an NRA member, so you can probably guess where I stand on this. But the "why" is more important than the stance.
"What type of person believes that they should be carrying a concealed gun?"
That said, this --
"He was swaggering around making sure everyone could see that he had a firearm strapped under his shirt. Then the employees asked him if he would leave and not bring the gun in. He proceeded to spout off about his "right" to carry and they were interfering with his rights and all and he made a huge scene. He claimed he had been robbed at home once. Okaaay! So, how is he protecting his home by bringing the gun into the store?"
-- is inexcusable. Rational, law-abiding, careful and responsible gun owners HATE that sort of thing, because it gives the rest of us (the vast majority) a bad name (and quite understandably) with folks like you.
1. There is no such thing as a legal full-auto firearm in the possession of a civilian. Full-auto is for military use only. Semi-automatic firearms can be illegally modified to fire full-auto, and that is illegal, for very good reasons. The news media loves to talk about "automatic rifles" or "automatic weapons" without making this distinction, and it's an important one. Full-auto: "bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzptptptpt"; i.e., heard and seen in a war movie. Semi-auto: "pow ... pow ... pow ... pow". Big difference in legality, legitimacy, and use. That is not to say that a semiautomatic firearm is not dangerous in the wrong hands; of course it is. But it's not the image your mind conjures of Rambo with ammunition belts draped across his chest in a war movie.
2. There is no such thing as an "assault rifle" or an "assault weapon", again, outside of military use. A firearm may be a rifle. "Assault" has to do with the purpose to which it is put, not with any particular characteristic of its design or construction. There are civilian versions of the M16 (standard US military rifle) and the (dreaded) AK-47 (essentially Chinese make of what was the standard Soviet military rifle). These are perfectly legitimate sporting tools -- when used properly and responsibly.
3. One of the biggest problems we have is that the landscape of law enforcement agencies -- varied, at different levels, with overlapping jurisdictions -- is complex. Not all the information that needs to go into the databases used for background checks gets in (Georgia is a prime offender here); that's wrong, and it needs to be corrected. Law enforcement agency jurisdiction is sometimes unclear. Interagency communication is sometimes unclear and sometimes doesn't happen. Those are wrong and need to be corrected. The background check system works well if comprehensively maintained and properly used. I support it, and support the requirement for background check in all cases except family transfers, gifts, etc. Transfers at gun shows, swap meets etc. should either be subject to background check or prohibited IMO.
4. You all will have heard this before, but a firearm is an inanimate object. It just sits there. It cannot fire itself (and Lord help us if some idiot develops software that makes one that can). A firearm is no more a "weapon" than a kitchen knife, an automobile, a baseball bat -- all of which can be, and regularly are, used as weapons. Guns don't kill, people do.
The tricky part -- and this is where it's going to be very, very difficult to draw lines between public safety and civil liberties and privacy -- is to do a vastly better job of identifying those people with potential to do harm and ensure that they do not have access to firearms to use in (putting it mildly) illegal and irresponsible ways.
Decades, centuries, ago people were committed and incarcerated, locked away in attics, jails and hideous state facilities, at just about the drop of a hat. Got an aging uncle you don't want to bother taking care of? Institutionalize him. Women were put in insane asylums as late as the early 1900's for erratic behavior ... during menopause. Not a joke.
In the 60's and 70's, it became apparent to society that this was not only a horrible, disgusting injustice, it was also proving a very expensive burden on state budgets that could not support it. Hence, many of these places and programs were closed and cancelled, and folks with (hopefully, only minor) problems were "mainstreamed" -- with varying degrees of success.
So now we have more folks out walking around, unhelped, untreated, and maybe most importantly unrecognized -- who pose the possibility of a potential threat to others, no matter what they choose to make a weapon out of. Castigating "mental illness" as some sort of aberration is certainly not the way to help anything. "Invading the privacy" of individuals and families is something that will have to be very, very carefully and very, very cautiously approached as efforts are made to identify troubled potential violent offenders and keeping them from harming others (animals included) with ANY form of weapon.
Taking firearms out of the hands of responsible hunters, competitive shooters, and those that wish to defend their homes and families is not the way to accomplish anything.
I find it very interesting that many of you have cited nations like Canada, Greece and Australia with a high percentage of gun ownership and a low percentage of gun violence. That tells me that 1) there's a lot we in the US can learn from them, and 2) the object isn't the problem. The human holding the object is.
The US congress attempted to call the AR15 an assault rifle during the ban years and came up with, if it has a bayonet it must be an assault rifle. When the bayonet lug was removed they tried,
‘if it has a flash suppressor that must be a bad thing” until that was also removed.
There actually is a fascinating back story of the two schools of thought that designed the spring operated Kalashnikovs vs the gas operated Stoner rifles that is worth reading about if anyone wanted to really learn about mechanics in rifles.
You wrote, "That tells me that 1) there's a lot we in the US can learn from them, and 2) the object isn't the problem. The human holding the object is."
That tells me how we handle gun ownership, registration, restriction, appropriateness of the individual gun, and how it is used in society, is all of the problem.
"and support the requirement for background check in all cases except family transfers, gifts, etc."
This can be subverted too. You don't want one member being a straw buyer for another.
I do think something could be done for passing on antique guns that are not all that functional but might have a family history.
I went looking for what other people think are common sense laws.
A thorough and comprehensive site here:
And this thoughtful article pointing to progress made in some states and closing loopholes that both sides agree on:
And compelling arguments to pass common sense laws on this page:
The last site mentions some insane laws that were passed by some states, such as, " Iowa has passed a law allowing blind people to carry guns in public..."
In what world do you want a blind person carrying a gun in public?
Ironically I've been told 95% of us soldiers are not issued rifles that allow automatic fire. They allow either 1 shot or 3 round bursts. Fully auto is now reserved for special forces, mostly.
I have heard people say no one would ever hunt with a AR 15 with high capacity magazine. Some people do, they are used in many situations as range rifles in rural areas like Alaska Wyoming Montana, etc. My father told me he was hunting wild boar in Florida and was attacked by a (herd?) of wild pigs, previously released farm pigs I think he said, that turned wild (not sure whole story of the pigs but, he had to shoot 14 of them that were coming after him and had he not had high capacity high velocity rifle probably would have been killed. Many people that hunt alligator where it's legal to hunt them with rifle prefer Kalashnikov variants as they are rugged, can get wet and are big enough caliber and work just about no matter what.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/us/arizona-firing-range-in ... nt.html?_r=0
You do know that coming up with a handful of situations (that people put themselves into) where a larger magazine or faster firing capacity may have been helpful, is not a very good argument for making these guns widely available. The whole reason people are talking about common sense gun regulations is so fewer people lose their lives as a result of gun violence.
What kinds of regulations do you think would slow down gun deaths? I'm sure you don't want to see innocent people killed.
To be honest I don’t have the answer that would stop the mass shootings and killings. But I don’t think the big majority of people who own them and are responsible and safe should have them taken away or banned from having them because a small percent abuse the right to have them. I don’t think that will stop the problem, the guns in question are out there and can be illegally obtained by people who want to do stuff like that. There are a couple billion AKs around the world and if we can’t stop drugs coming into country we won’t stop demand for them if they are banned.
I don’t drink and probably never will, but a small percent do and then they drive. I worry about that as I start to drive but know we can’t stop responsible people from drinking. I know that’s a big difference but it’s scary to me. I think more about being hurt by a drunk driver than being shot at a mall in a mass shooting.
I suppose there are lots of arguments like this in society where two sides disagree so much. I don’t know the answer but I know the beginning of how to fix them needs to be everyone has the correct facts and have debate where people are respectful of each other’s right to their opinions and each side be willing to accept things from the other side that maybe they are wrong about. Maybe I’m being naïve but I hope that can happen.
I was thinking of posting another article as I thought the reasoning was quite clear - but could see the solutions proposed were too rigid.
I can't totally ignore gun violence these days though - it seems you turn around and more innocent lives are lost. Where are their rights to life, liberty and freedom?