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Thread: US gun laws

  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    I know this topic comes up from time to time, but I thought some of you might find this link interesting. It explains what's required to own or carry a rifle or handgun, state by state.

    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/1998/schools/gun.control/
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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Interesting. Thanks westmich.

    With no need to own or use a gun, I'm certainly not envious of the USA's relaxed gun laws though the US gun death rate per capita is 14 times that of Australia... certainly don't want to become like America.

    Here's some info on Australia's gun laws, in case you are interested.

    http://www.guncontrol.org.au/

    http://www.wa.gov.au/cof/guncntrl/

    I can predict that this will be quite a hot thread.
    Last edited by mmj; May 14, 2001 at 12:42.
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    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Guns dont kill people, people kill people.

    If you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns.

    I believe both of those.

    The problem is personal responsbility. I believe that if someone isn't responsible with their gun they should be held accountable for any crime committed with that gun (to a reasonable extent)

    For instance if a 6 year old shoots his baby brother because he found his dad's loaded gun in his sock drawer the dad should be tried for manslaughter.

    However if a 16 year old steals his dads keys or picks the lock on the gun cabinet and takes a gun and commits some crime with it I don't think the dad should be held accountable because the guns were locked safely away.

    If you are responsible and treat your weapons with respect then its perfectly safe for you to own a gun. If not, well then its not. The thing is though that being a careless gun owner is not currently a crime. I believe we should make it so.
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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Yes, I believe you should.

    Australia has made it so.

    Guns must be registered. Semi-automatic or self-loading guns are not allowed unless under special circumstances. People who need guns can get them, and the country is much safer. Gun deaths have gone down significantly, and crime rates involving guns have slowed since the introduction of tighter gun control.

    The other Australians on this forum probably know more than me, but I don't think you'll find any that aren't grateful for the extra safety that Australia's gun control laws provide.
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    Next stop: PHP! Marina's Avatar
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    Guns are made for killing. So why buy a gun unless you're prepared to kill? Hunting maybe...?

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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    [hunting] That was the main argument that the Sporting Shooter's Association of Australia put forward, although their agendas were clearly somewhere else.

    More importantly, farmers or animal keepers may need guns to put down animals in a fast humane manner, or to kill wild animals.

    Australia's gun control laws do not affect farmers or sportspeople's ability to obtain guns for serious purposes, unless they are self-loading or semi-automatic, in which case it needs to be a special case. The laws are to try and control the availability of guns to everybody else. They have been successful in significantly reducing gun violence and gun deaths.
    Last edited by mmj; May 14, 2001 at 13:40.
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    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    I don't think outlawing people from owning guns will improve anything. Like illegal drugs, illegal guns will still exist no matter what. As aspen said, people kill people, guns don't. The people who use guns to kill are going to get a gun if they want it enough, again, no matter what.

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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    "Accidental death caused by guns."

    Have a look at your statistics.

    Why do you need a gun if you don't need it for sport or for your occupation (ie farming) anyway?
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    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Originally posted by aspen
    Guns dont kill people, people kill people.
    If you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns.
    I believe both of those.
    Simple words for simple minds eh?

    Westmich, you like bringing up these topics that demonstrate the more extreme and whacko side of your culture don't you? I did think it was a stroke of genius electing Moses to the head of the National Riffle Association though.

    In times of trouble I always turn to McCartney and Lennon:

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    SitePoint Enthusiast Chris H's Avatar
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    A recent item on the BBC news website says that the number of illegal firearms in circulation and also being used in violent crime is rising sharply in the UK, even though handguns are not allowed to be owned in the UK.

    The UK Police Federation have also released figures showing that the UK has very low levels of Police per head of population compared to the US and many European Countries. They also claim that in the UK the Police are now fulfilling a purely responsive role when it comes to crime because they don't have enough officers.

    The UK also has very strange laws when it comes to protecting your property or person.

    Sounds like a recipe for mayhem. Perhaps we're just very nice people in the UK.

    So it makes me wonder who's going to protect my family? The US gun laws are starting to sound very attractive.

    I kinda like Moses.

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    Chikin Choker Hellbent's Avatar
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    Accidental death from guns is a good thing. It eliminates those who are to stupid to properly handle a weapon from breeding. And as for the argument of children getting a hold of their parents weapons and getting killed or killing a brother or a sister..Good .. That keeps the children of those to stupid to properly and safely store a weapon from growing up to further pollute the gene pool.

    Harsh.. Not really, It's called survival of the fittest.
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    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by Hellbent
    Accidental death from guns is a good thing. It eliminates those who are to stupid to properly handle a weapon from breeding. And as for the argument of children getting a hold of their parents weapons and getting killed or killing a brother or a sister..Good .. That keeps the children of those to stupid to properly and safely store a weapon from growing up to further pollute the gene pool.
    This is a troll...but I'll reply anyways.

    What if the gun malfunctions? Is that because the gun user was stupid?

    What if someone in your family was killed "accidently" by a gun? Would your opinion be the same? I bet not.

    In fact, why don't we just see which newborn babies can lift 10lb weights, get a 100% on college-level tests, and speak in all 5,000 human languages and kill the ones who can't? There might be a few people left, and they would be a *perfect* race...

    p.s. Hitler tried this and I think everyone knows what happened.

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    Chikin Choker Hellbent's Avatar
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    Originally posted by qslack


    This is a troll...but I'll reply anyways.

    What if the gun malfunctions? Is that because the gun user was stupid?

    What if someone in your family was killed "accidently" by a gun? Would your opinion be the same? I bet not.

    In fact, why don't we just see which newborn babies can lift 10lb weights, get a 100% on college-level tests, and speak in all 5,000 human languages and kill the ones who can't? There might be a few people left, and they would be a *perfect* race...

    p.s. Hitler tried this and I think everyone knows what happened.
    Okay a few things. First off accident and malfunction although similar are not the same. If the gun malfunctions, No the user is not stupid unless it malfunctions do to improper weapon maintenance.

    Second if someone in my family died due to negligence I would feel exactly the same. As a matter of fact it would strengthen my resolve.

    Never once did I condone killing the ignorant. I just said it is beneficial when they kill themselves
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    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Hellbent
    Accidental death from guns is a good thing. It eliminates those who are to stupid to properly handle a weapon from breeding. And as for the argument of children getting a hold of their parents weapons and getting killed or killing a brother or a sister..Good .. That keeps the children of those to stupid to properly and safely store a weapon from growing up to further pollute the gene pool.

    Harsh.. Not really, It's called survival of the fittest.
    Originally posted by Hellbent


    Okay a few things. First off accident and malfunction although similar are not the same. If the gun malfunctions, No the user is not stupid unless it malfunctions do to improper weapon maintenance.

    Second if someone in my family died due to negligence I would feel exactly the same. As a matter of fact it would strengthen my resolve.

    Never once did I condone killing the ignorant. I just said it is beneficial when they kill themselves
    Hope I'm not out of line, but ARE YOU COMPLETELY INSANE!

    Are you so perfect that you've never made a mistake? You've never had an accident? Does forgetting to lock-up a handgun (most aren't) warrent the death of a child?
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    Chikin Choker Hellbent's Avatar
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    Originally posted by westmich




    Hope I'm not out of line, but ARE YOU COMPLETELY INSANE!

    Are you so perfect that you've never made a mistake? You've never had an accident? Does forgetting to lock-up a handgun (most aren't) warrent the death of a child?
    Insane? Ill leave that for you to formulate an oppinion on. And as far as gun safety goes you bet your *** im perfect. I goto to the range about 5 or 6 times a month. I clean my weapon routinely and I put the ****er away. It's not hard. This is an area where you simply cannot afford to make mistakes. If you "forget" to lock away your weapon and your child kills him/herself with it then you deserve to goto prison becuase you are obviously a negligent idiot. <-- it is 6:00 am here forgive any misspellings
    Straight from the TP! And I don't mean the Trailer Park.

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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Hitler, eh Quinn? If I remember correctly, one of the things he did during his rule was prevent the public from owning firearms! Ironic, isn't it?

    This "accidental death" stuff is nonsense -- the same can be said for a car. Some people use them illegally, and even those who use them legally will mis-use them and get some people killed -- but none of us want to ban them.

    A gun is a tool -- is it for killing? Sometimes. It's also for injuring -- say, someone who attacks you. There are instances of self-defense with a gun everyday. Many lives have been saved this way.

    If you want less problems, simply make sure everyone who legally owns a gun has a thorough background check and has never been in prison, or an insane asylum.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mmj
    "Accidental death caused by guns."

    Have a look at your statistics.

    Why do you need a gun if you don't need it for sport or for your occupation (ie farming) anyway?
    How about PROTECTION? Read just one issue of "America's First Freedom" -- you'll hear dozens of testimonials from gun-owners on how their lives were saved by their owning a weapon, every single issue.

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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Protection?

    I once read a one page advertisment in a magazine. I was a child, but it had such a strong effect on me I never forgot about it, and I still remember it now.

    I think the heading went something like this:
    "Sam's family had their handgun so well hidden, it took him 8 years to find it"
    It went on to say that Sam's parents had hidden a gun in the top of a linen closet, in a locked case. The bullets were hidden in a small cigarette box, hidden in another part of the house, and the key to the case was hidden somewhere in the parents' bedroom. Their child was never told of their existence.
    At age 8 and a half, they arrived home to find their 8 year old dead, accidentally shot by the gun.
    It went on to give statistics of the number of gun owners who have been killed accidently by their own weapon, and more statistics on how those households with a gun for protection are so much more likely to be killed in the event of a robbery. Sometimes with their own gun.
    The article saddened me very much, and although I was not old enough to have formed my own opinions on gun ownership, I realised that owning a gun for protection put one more fatally dangerous object into a household.

    I think that the concept of owning a gun for 'protection' is a laughable concept to many people, knowing of the situation in dangerous countries such as the United States.

    I respect your opinion, TWTCommish, and your right to gun ownership in your country. I am not saying that you in particular are not to be trusted with a gun.

    Furthermore, this doesn't mean that I want all guns to be removed from society. I am satisfied with the current gun laws in Australia, and, to an extent, the USA. I just think they are far too dangerous to own for no reason, 'just in case', and I want to inform people of this. It's my opinion.
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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Laughable? I don't see anything laughable about having a gun for protection. I don't think there's any doubt that a potential thief is terrified to death of a house that may have a gun owner inside. I don't think anyone here will deny that criminals would rather attack and steal from people who do not own handguns.

    Hey, I'll ask you all again: what about a knife? Many children are killed by knives lying around, or large aqauriums. What about cars? While cars are not a weapon, they are widely used and kill many, many innocent people all the time...IF NOT HANDLED CORRECTLY, the same as a handgun.

    And before you claim that the difference is that a gun is meant to harm, keep in mind that it is meant to harm whatever you point it out: meaning it is not only for murder, war and hunting, it is also for protection.

    I'm a little upset by the fact that you consider it laughable to use it for protection, mmj. Like I said: read those testimonials. I believe them -- the same way I believe your story about the 8 year old. Handguns save lives every day, and unfortunatly, they are mis-used and at times they take lives as well. At least in the case of handguns, they have the potential to save a life -- a car only saves time.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    The flaw in those testimonials is that a: they are given by gun lovers and b: there is no "baseline" sample of people in precisely the same situation without a gun. To say "the gun saved my life" is utter nonsense when you have no idea what sequence of actions would have occured had the gun not been present. I have mixed views on gun laws. I used to love to shoot (at targets) and even hunted (although with bows rather than guns) while living in Africa (now a veggie though). I do think shooting is a great skill, but the notion of carrying guns for "protection" is definately laughable. The only range that they are going to be of significant use at is a range where simply walking or running away from a situation is probably the best option.
    Self protection in violent encounters is something I have plenty of real life experience in, and I am of the opinion that people who carry guns to "protect" themselves:

    a: Give themselves an entirely false sense of security, making them a danger to themselves
    b: Are clearly not confident enough in their ability to defend themselves in a confrontation, making them a danger to others
    c: Simply reinforce the desire to carry guns. *If every other buggers got a gun - I gotta have one*.
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    SitePoint Enthusiast DCE's Avatar
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    Do ya think it would be OK for me to have a fully tooled up Apache Attack helicopter?
    I only want it for protection and maybe a bit of commuting. You see, it's not at all dangerous, I truly believe that "Helicopter Gunships dont kill people, people kill people"

    It would as sure as hell make those burglars think twice, if they thought that was going to pop up from behind the hedge just as they were about to force a window.
    It would cut down the drive to work in a morning and I can't see road rage being much of a problem either.

    I feel I have the right to arm myself with whatever weapons of mass destruction I deem necessary to protect me and my cat.

    Well, that's my case stated and I couldn't give a fig what you "pinko" liberals think
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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I do not believe these testimonials are flawed do to gun users giving them -- WHO ELSE can give them other than someone who likes guns enough to own one? I read them, and find it basically impossible to believe that they're ALL (or that even a significant amount of them) are exaggerated for effect, or that they arn't true.

    There are some situations in which the gun obviously saved a person's life -- not always, but you'd be surprised. If a criminal has a knife and wants to kill you, and you have nothing, you're situation is looking pretty bad. In such a situation, having a fun to shoot them with is obviously an X-factor.

    Carrying a gun is not laughable -- how on earth can you possibly believe that a gun is only useful for defense in rare circumstances? The most common use seems to be at night, when someone has broken into your house -- in such a situation it's infinitely better. The thing about a gun is that you don't usually need to use it repeatedly -- as you might a baseball bat, or a crowbar you might keep nearby.

    When you the best option at times is to run away, you're assuming these people are out in the open. What if the criminal breaks into a house, or some other such place? These are situations where you can't just run away -- especially if you have a family. You can't go around and wake them up, and the police are not usually quick enough to be of much help before it's too late.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Chris, if a "criminal" has a knife and wants to kill you then either he's close enough that by the time you have "acquired" and readied your weapon, you are stabbed, or far enough away not to present an immediate danger, which means a multitude of other options are open to you which don't involve having to resort to shooting someone. Like I said, protection of this nature is something I have a great deal of personal experience in "you'd be surprised" how many of these incidents in which a gun was "succesfully" used for protection, are actually incidents where a gun was never needed in the first place.

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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Perhaps I have mis-phrased things. Picture this hypothetical situation:

    You are in bed, and the sound of an intruder wakes you up from a different room. After a quick peek, you see the man (we'll assume it's a man, because it usually is) is holding a sizable knife, is looking around quickly, and starting to steal things.

    At this point, if you have a gun, you can shoot him from a reasonable distance, and if you've been properly trained, you'll probably disable him quickly. If you have only a baseball bat, you're forced to get up closer, within a reasonable reach of his, to stop him. You can't run away in your own home either, if you have a family, which many people do.

    This is only one situation off the top of my head -- I'm sure it can come in handy elsewhere.

    And hey, put yourself in the criminal's shoes: wouldn't every single one of us be less likely to rob or hurt someone in ANY situation if they had a gun instead of a knife? I wonder if there are less break-ins in Texas

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    In that situation, in the circumstances you describe, the gun may be a good option . (Although I suspect it would be overkill to "disable" the intruder, as you point out yourself- he'd probably brick it the minute you raise your firearm). However, I really do consider it a uniquely convenient set of circumstances. In my opinion, the "protection" arguement about guns is very unsound. I have not said they should be banned outright though....as I also said, I really used to like shooting, and find it difficult to condemn that pleasure. Having said that, I am largely happy with the laws in the UK, although I wish the Police resources were sufficient to stem the growing illegal gun market (hey....perhaps if Marijuana were decriminalised they'd have time?......)

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