Thursday, April 19, 2007

The problem

One of our biggest problems is that anyone can buy a gun.

Why, oh why, can't we decide to limit guns in the United States?


Paul said...

I agree 100%. Can I agree more than that? If so, I do. And listen, I'm not a flaming left wing liberal, either. Enough is enough! This nation no longer has any reason for private citizens to own guns of any kind.

Oh, and have you heard? The poor Nat'l Rifle Ass'n can't find a presidential candidate to back this time. Maybe this is a light at the end of a tunnel. Maybe???

Rachel said...

Well I think that tighter controls would be okay, but I am against banning guns. I have to disagree with Paul. If someone breaks into my house then I want a gun to protect me and my family. If someone comes kicking my door in at 2 a.m. (and it happens!) he isn't wanting to chat and have tea!! Maybe he doesn't have a gun. Maybe he has a knife? I still want to be able to protect myself. The bad guys would still find a way to get guns if guns are banned. But they should have like a 60 day waiting list for gun buyers and in that 60 days check them out thoroughly. If they don't want to wait 60 days, then make it 90 days and check them out even further. That ought to help I think and seems reasonable. Canada has tight gun control laws but they still have their share of violence with them, because if the criminals want them bad enough they'll find a way to get them. If they couldn't get guns, just listen on the news of all the car bombs they have in Iraq that kills many people almost daily. Criminals will find a way no matter what. What about the anthrax scare we had after 9/11, which did kill people and that stuff is deadly in minute amounts. So if a crazy person couldn't get a gun then I'm sure they would find another way, which actually might kill more people.

Libby said...

sorry, tlp, but i'm with rachel on this one...we're still friends, right?

kenju said...

I agree with you and Paul! How about 150%?

Peter said...

I'll see Kenju's 150% and raise it by 50%.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

I try to understand why some people want to keep a hand gun in their home. But does it have to be a gun that can fire many shots rapidly? Do we have to allow citizens (or in the case of the WVA shooter, non-citizens) to buy the more dangerous hollow point bullets?

Sar said...

I agree guns are horrible, I wish they didn't exist at all and I'll never step up to defend anyone's right to have one.

That said, I think the tragedy at VT has less to do with the weapon of choice than the individual who committed it.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Did you know there are now more whitetail deer in the East than ever before in history? Did you know that some people shoot these things?

But I agree: They should have to rassle 'em, like a cheetah.

Bela said...

Of course guns should be banned.

the amoeba said...

This nation no longer has any reason for private citizens to own guns of any kind.

Say what? You been paying any attention to Our (more or less) Elected Leaders these past six years?

The Founding Fathers inserted (for some of them, under protest) the Second Amendment into the Constitution (under the smokescreen of "the well-regulated militia", perpetrating the Minuteman myth to the present day) to ensure that We the People would forever have the right to carry weapons for protection against our own Government.

I can't think of a time in the history of these United States when we have ever been closer to being directly grateful that the Fathers put that right in there, for the reasons (the protection of Liberty against hostile political Power) it was put there.

What I think we lack is an appropriate "gun culture" in this country. One that insists, with carrots and teeth, that if you have a gun, you tend it properly, use it properly. We lack the kind of culture that (for example) allows the Japanese to view violent animé without acting out the images - because with the images comes a strong message, delivered by people who care and will follow up, that the images are just that, Thou Shalt Not Do These Things.

Without that culture, no amount of gun prohibition will make a difference. A gun ban will only mean, I think, that there will be even less effective resistance than there now is to political despotism.

Sazi said...

First of all, my sympathies to all the families of the Virginia Tech students. This happens too often.

Canada is not exempt from gun violence and we have gun control. What is the most striking differnce, in my opinon, are our attitudes about guns and about percieved threats in the world.

I hate to sound like I'm from a Michael Moore film but you poor folks really are routinely bombarded in the news with fear mongering. It's so bad. We joke about it with the most benign things such as when I tell my son to eat an apple and he replies with "Why the apples in your fridge could kill at 11" Statements like these are routine on U.S. News shows. When you are looking in from the outside, its really bad and quite sad.

In Canada, it is almost an entirely alien concept to want to own a gun for protection. We don't see everything or every stranger as a threat to our personal safety.


Keith said...

As you know, in Britain, we are not allowed a gun of ANY kind, but the burglars have got them when they break into your home.

Recently one enterprising old pensioner had the bright idea of putting a notice in his window stating, "TO ALL POTENTIAL BURGLARS: I have a gun and I shoot to kill". You know what happened then? Right! The police turned up in the wee small hours, kicked the door down, rushed in with assault rifles, wearing masks and flak jackets. They dragged him out of bed and took him away and ransaked the house looking for the "gun".

I beleive that we should have a gun to protect ourselves and family with in this increasingly violent world.

Doug said...

Because leverets have to be able to defend themselves from Willie.

Sorry, but it's a cute picture.

mireille said...

I think Sazi brings up a good, interesting point: the most striking differnce, in my opinon, are our attitudes about guns and about perceived threats in the world ... There is something about the American psyche right now that needs work. Some sort of cleansing, honest self-appraisal, work. As sick as that kid was intrinsically, we helped create him with our culture of violence. Violent tv, violent games, love of violence ... we need to figure out what's up with that. And deal with it. xoxo

The Lazy Iguana said...

I would bet that many of Canada's illegal guns come from south of the border. And by that I mean "Detroit".

We are Canada's Mexico. Think about that for a little bit.

I do not think guns can be banned nationwide. What if I live out on the middle of nowhere Alaska? What if I fish for salmon and may have a run in with a grizzly bear? I may live in rural Montana (is there an urban Montana?!?!). I might have a chicken farm and need something to discourage fox from eating up my livestock. And so on.

And then there are the sportsmen. Hunters are the best environmentalists I know of. Where do you hunt? The woods. So no woods = no hunting. Sportsmen know this and support conservation efforts to protect their sport. Ducks Unlimited, started by duck hunters, has done more to protect and preserve wetlands than the Sierra Club.

Something does need to be done. I own more than a few guns myself, because I happen to enjoy target shooting. I am not interested in taking "combat shooting" training, plain old simple target shooting is enough. It really is a skill.

What the "something" will be is open to debate. However I am not in any way opposed to a lot of stuff the NRA opposed. Like a national gun registration. Fine by me! I also have no beef with waiting periods and background checks. I work for the government - background checks are a way of life for me. Sometimes I go through BG checks just for fun. I like filling out the 10 page forms.

And if it comes down to it and handguns are banned, or severely restricted - then that is the way it is.

The idea of using a handgun to defend myself is kind of nutty anyway. I do not carry the handguns around, and in my home the shotgun is a much better choice.

Tom & Icy said...

If I had a gun, I wouldn't know how to use it and would probably get so scared I'd shoot the wrong person or myself in the foot, or worse yet, shoot Icy by accident.

actonbell said...

Good point, Tom!
That is a very cute and very clever picture.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I think that hamster needs that gun to keep the owls away :)

AP3 said...

Listen, all rodents deserve the right to defend themselves. But definitely, the rodent really just needs a handgun. The machine gun is total over-kill, literally.

czr said...

The only reason people fear guns is lack of familiarity. Remember how nervous you were driving a car around for the first few days? Constantly afraid you'd hit something, or god forbid, someone? If you've never handled a gun, the same reaction is natural. It's a potentially lethal device, that you have no idea how to operate, you'd be stupid NOT to be afraid of it. However, when handled responsibly, firearms are fun, teach discipline, responsibility, and improve self-confidence, much like any other sport. Firearms are also the only thing that allow my 115lb wife to be on equal footing with a 200lb mugger/rapist/whatever. Self-preservation is the foremost rule of life, in all creatures. I find it grossly irresponsible to put the lives of yourself and your family in the hands of civil servants who are understaffed, undertrained (shooting a gun once a year to qualify does not make you a marksman, sorry), and underpaid. I respect police deeply, and applaud their service, but however well meaning, they are not omniscient, have no legal responsibility to defend your life, and are generally trained as a reactionary force. Until I'm strong enough to carry an entire policeman around, I'll settle for just a gun. Until then, stop blaming inanimate objects for crime. Murder is illegal, yet somehow it still happens. What makes you think banning guns will stop gun crime? It hasn't worked in England or Australia, and their culture is commonly perceived to be much less violent than ours.