Where and when I grew up influenced my basic understanding of guns. Firstly the message I received from an early age, often subtly or subliminally, was that the 'baddies' were the ones with guns. Obvious examples included the fact that 'robbers' and 'thieves' were the ones with the weapons. Police (the protectors and defenders) did not.
Of course there was no right to bear arms and certainly no need to defend yourself from predatory animals and clearly I didn't grow up in an environment where hunting for food or for pleasure ever arose as an issue.
One of the biggest influences on me was probably my grandfather. My grandfather was an army man and served in WWII, yet was, perhaps even because of that, a man who took up a pen first and shunned violence. His counter reasoning of guns being inanimate objects went thusly - most inanimate objects 'can' be put to use as weapons, you could in theory beat someone to death with a teaspoon if the will took you, but what sets weapons aside from inanimate objects is that harm or death are their primary objective, the reason for their creation, other 'makeshift' weapons are being put to use for something other than their intended purpose. Guns, bombs, swords, etc are pretty much redundant for all other uses.
With regards to weapons of defense - for which there are arguements for anything from guns to the Hbomb (the whole of the cold war rested on just such claims and indeed lead to the evenual policy of M.A.D) - and in this respect his reasoning was based on swords and shields. He said that as a defense you chose the sheild - yes, you could use said sheild to inflict pain injury or death, but its primary use was to protect from the sword. If you wanted a 'weapon of defense' the sword would serve as protection only through intimidation - you weapon is bigger or better or you are more skilled in its use - or if you were willing to use it for its intended purpose - to injure or kill your opponent.
Of course we had 'incidents' (take Hungerford as an example) but again my veiw was coloured by the ideas expressed that the incident should have been dealt with by better procedures that would have lead to recognition of what triggered it in the first place. It did lead to much improved telecommunications for the police. It did not result in the question of arming police, or indeed considering the right of civillians to arm themselves so as to have means of protecting themselves in the future. This is probably just as well or its anyones guess how the miners strike would have played out. Heavy handed police with batons is one thing, both sides potentially armed would surely have lead to more than the two deaths that occurred?
Clearly these messages and the environment I grew up in 'coloured' my view of weaponry. Also, and I think very importantly for me, is the question of when or if I would use one, hence my long consideration before posting my thoughts. I have been in situations where I could personally justify the use of one, that said I think I can say in all honesty that I would not have done so. I don't think I have it in me.
So, what is the point of my post then? Well, I guess that it is because I would come across as someone who spouted the rhetoric' guns are bad'. Which is NOT infact my arguement. Guns are simply not something I personally want any part of. That's different to me saying 'no one should have a gun'. The truth is that passing a law that banned all guns would not effect my use of one, so such a law passed wouldn't be detrimental to me in any manner. It would simply, possibly ironically, make me feel safer. This is why the 'anti-gun' arguement sounds like it does. People like myself would have been happy if they'd never existed at all.
On the flipside you could, in theory, pass a law giving everyone and anyone a gun. I still would not get one. I would just feel less safe knowing someone else did.
I guess my real point is that from an 'anti-gun' stance people's veiws are based on the way that guns, any guns, make us feel less safe. Less guns increase our sense of security. In a nutshell.
BUT, and its a big BUT, this arguement is in itself nonsensical, purely for the reason that firstly guns do exist and secondly that many, many people own guns for practical and legitimate purposes. Obviously my ability to understand other's veiws and opinions has grown and matured over the years and I am therefore of the understanding that I, and people like me, are in fact possibly the last people who should be making decisions about rights and laws regarding guns, simply because of my personal notion of them. I lack a true understanding of them which I simply could not get without actually being placed in a situation which would allow me to obtain that understanding.
The peole who, in my opinion, are best placed to determine any future laws, restrictions or indeed allow broader ownership, need to be made by the people who actually understand them and use them for their own legitimate purposes, in essence the people who have posted here who clearly have the knowledge, experience and understanding of them.
I would only ask that those in that position do not take offence at what can be misinterpreted as a naive notion that comes from the opposing veiw point. In other words I hope I have not offended anyone! I can hope that what I have posted is by way of explanation rather than disagreement and also hope that those who are in fact in charge of law making are able to see both sides of the concept and make their judgements taking into account needs, wants and fears rather than making ad hoc decisions on a reactionary basis which in the long run will meet the needs of no one.
I tend to think I do not have any choice in the matter as far as guns go in the US and have to live with their pervasiveness. I am actually not very happy with having a discussion about them because when I look closely, I know I wish there were no guns and wish they did not exist. Their purpose is to kill. So I try to find reasons to be comfortable with this fact. And try to trust my neighbors to be responsible with their guns. That our police are heavily armed and they know there are guns everywhere results sometimes in avoidable deaths.
I think when discussing gun laws and even other continuing legal arguments people sometimes forget we are a Republic and in a Republic, individuals have rights - extremely important. One of the founding fathers can't remember who and I'm paraphrasing wrote, we give you a republic, if you can keep it.
My father who has served quite a bit, and was my designated social studies homework helper when around often reminds me; if your freedom prevents another person from their freedom, it's not freedom at all. That always seems like kind of a simple concept until I begin to think about it.
What Pig Party wrote about the sole use of guns being
was spot on.that harm or death are their primary objective,
Thank you for your views as well, Erin an Meganmarie. It's good to see there really are some people who have healthy attitudes and respect towards guns. It's easy to forget that there still are people who rely on guns for basic living. They seem to get left out of the whole gun control furor - that seems so focus on politics and freedom rights.
However, I will say that when I lived in Nome, and the hunters went out to shoot the reindeer for food for the winter, I was pretty horrified. I actually became vegetarian after that.
I also wish there were never a reason to have guns, or talk about gun control. I wonder how many deaths are attributed to "accidents" or unintentional shootings - stray bullets, overly emotional and over wrought people who should never have their hands on anything whose primary objective is harm and death.
As an aside I have a question one of you may be able to answer. If gun owners are supposed to lock up their guns at home, unloaded, with the bullets in a separate spot - well how is that supposed to help you protect yourself during, say, a home invasion? You wake up, hear a noise in the house, then have to find the key, unlock the gun, unlock the bullets, load the gun, then. . .
Maybe that scenario is totally off base- please enlighten me.
The security measures I spoke of were for when we were little kids. There are gun safes that can be opened quickly, by fingerprint or 3 number punch code, etc. It doesn't take long if you choose that level security. And all of your guns need not be in the same place, you can choose to have one for security that is more accessible. There are levels of security with guns and many options, the level you choose is a personal decision.
In our house it was decided, by my mother most likely, that guns would be secure in a way we, as little kids could not get to them ever, for any reason, which would prevent instant access against an intruder. It's a choice. The security against intruders was secondary to the way they were stored in our house. Some people choose other levels.
I think it is a big mistake for people to think the only reason people have guns is for personal security, some do, some don't, some choose something in between.
The 'shooting baddies' remark was supposed to be slightly sarcastic sounding, with an overlay of humor. I...don't know why i thought i could convey that over writing. Again, i feel like i've met most of you. So...yes.
Haha, it is always interesting to talk about the more 'controversial' topics on here. Everyone's pretty understanding, and it's always nice to talk to other people about it. Also, most of you guys are older than me(not saying that as a bad thing) and you guys do have a great wisdom about you. It's also a good way to dip toes into politics, learn people's different opinions, and the different debates.
We didn't experiance any gun violence to garner that back then. I don't know where her strong feelings would have come from.
I didn't experiance guns until I was 18 or so. I believe in having one tucked away now. It's a different world.
We kept a bat in the closet during my early married years, but these days you wouldn't stand a chance with that. Mr. is a martial arts expert, same thing with that. You almost have to have a gun.
I grew up with guns, using them for target practice, but my dad and older brother hunted for food. Try raising 8 kids w/o some supplementation! My dad took me hunting bear, but I'm pretty sure he knew my shooting anything was a lost cause. I never actually fired anything more powerful than a .222. :o) He used to ask us to shoot the birds eating what little seed we could afford to plant (Alaskan homestead - late 60's/early 70's), and squirrels who we couldn't keep out of the cabin. I doubt we ever hit anything, I know I didn't, but then I was using a .22 rifle. Not something anyone would normally use to hunt birds with! (Example of not using the right tool for the job. Assault rifle for hunting- one of my objections) The one and only time I think I MIGHT have hit something was a squirrel, and I can't swear that I did, I couldn't get close enough to the area he went down in after I fired; s/he just disappeared. I couldn't see it and I couldn't hear it. Since that incident, I've not been able to use a gun/rifle comfortably. In my head I hear that squirrel crying because I only wounded it, and a voice saying "guns kill".
In our house, guns weren't secured, but it was understood that we would get THE BELT if we touched without permission. THE BELT was the one he used to carry his .44 revolver on anytime he thought we might run into a bear, especially sows and cubs. It was also used in cases of extreme transgression. :o} In the early years, I don't think my dad truly felt he needed guns to protect us from people, but I know in the later years he did.
When I left home at the ripe age of 18, I couldn't have afforded to buy one if I'd wanted to. I fell out of the habit of using them. In fact I've not used one since. The only time I've had any kind of firearm in my house since then was the one time my dad gave me a .22 rifle to save for my son. Who was in his 20's by the time I let him have it. ;o) I still have no desire to own a gun, but I can understand the wanting to.
When I say "more gun control", I mean make it harder for criminals to get their hands on them. Make it harder for the mentally ill to get them. Even those with depression (don't be offended, this is where I fit) should have difficulty getting a firearm, because they can, and do, turn them on themselves. If a mental illness qualifies someone for "disability", they shouldn't be anywhere near guns.
I have no solution, except to want more regulation of them. NO private sales. NO less than 2 weeks for background checks (I'm talking about thorough background checks - the talk-to-the-1st-grade-teacher type of checks (joking). I realize that would be more expensive, but what IS a life worth? If we, as a country, can afford to give big business tax breaks and subsidies, we certainly can afford to do a check that might actually save someone's life.
Those who wants to collect (more than say... 3) should have to go through an even more strenuous check AND have regular home (or wherever) inspections for safety. We inspect food service places, elevators and escalators, construction sites, etc. This is a safety issue: unsecured or even secured, guns are an attraction for criminals. The more firearms present in one building, the bigger attraction, and stronger security measures are needed for that.
Ok, I'm through talking now. :-D FOR now.
Part of the problem gun owners and shooters have when trying to discuss "common sense" gun control with the other side is that the other side knows very little about guns - and rightly so, they don't like them, why should they know about them? Some of the background checks in place now are so much more difficult than people realize, some of them. Private sales – what about gifting? If someone wanted to give their husband a gun, pass their guns onto their kids, grandkids, must they have a background check run on them? The majority of gun folks want safe, common sense gun laws and to keep them out of the hands of criminals but we know so many of these things brought up in debate aren’t practical because they aren’t logical.
I could explain to you the difference, technically between the type rifles and rounds for the example I gave above and you could understand, in a broad sense. However, there is much more fundamental knowledge needed for people to fully grasp the “assault rifle” issue, so we just don’t try to explain, mostly. Try to have a discussion about something you love or have as a hobby with someone that might be against you doing it, yet they know nothing about the subject. It becomes frustrating. Just one of the challenges on a complex issue in society.
I’m not saying gun control can’t be better, it should be better, that kid in South Carolina never should have had the gun, the system failed. I know exactly what happened with the NIX system in that case, and so do most gun advocates or those who have gone through the process (I haven’t by the way – not old enough)but the other side, for the most part doesn’t know where it failed. They only know it failed, but instead of fixing the problem people often go in a direction that had nothing to do with how it happened. The argument is difficult when discussing with a side not familiar with the subject matter. Legislators continue to be the ones that pass laws gun people just scoot around because the lawmakers didn’t understand what they were writing about in the bill/law
Not trying to single anyone out, like I said it makes sense that you wouldn't know what I mentioned above, you're not interested – I’m sure you know truckloads more about other stuff that I don’t.
My husband has a gun, I've shot the gun, we used to go regularly and shoot clay pigeons. It doesn't lower the crime rate in my city because people have guns.
Unfortunately, whenever discussing in favor of my right to own guns people somehow assume I'm in favor of allowing every person who wants a gun to have one just for the asking, or that I don't' believe in common sense laws. Never said any of that.
And when it comes to gun control studies, there are just as many with legitimate data that support both sides, depending on pov. That's like me saying crimes with guns are down dramatically in the last 20 years. That is a fact, but what good does it do? People opposed to gun ownership don't believe it no matter how many ways it's shown or data is collected. I't not what they perceive so it can't be true.
Crime rate and gun crime rate are also two different things but again, studies in states that have recently allowed people to conceal firearms have had reductions in violent crime.
"Piggypie, I think it's categorically untrue a gun mages YOU safer."
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I read that to say you believe that guns in the house make you safer.
I believe that an off duty police officer is safer without a gun in the home. I believe that the entire family is safer without a gun in the home. I say that and yet I have a gun in my home.
Please provide some data that shows you are safer if there are guns in the home.