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You guys have probably heard about the Virginia shootings (32 dead at a Virginia university today). This is going to bring up talks of whether to do away with gun ownership or not again in America particularly. So I thought this was a good time to bring up this issue as any. I'd like to hear about:
Your government's policy concerning gun ownership and whether you agree or not - or want some changes?
Feel free to throw in your own opinions about guns themselves and any experiences, direct or indirect, you may have had with them, too.
Also keep in mind - since you may have been in an army and had direct contact with guns - this isn't about the military, but citizens having the right to own guns.
I always believe that gun ownership should and must be limited to law enforcement and military personnel. And not just firearms that needs to be controlled, the distribution of other deadly weapon such as taser or even hunting knife should be controlled too. It's not just about registering your firearm(s) or training yourself to use it. People makes mistakes, and innocent people will fall victim to that mistake.
I tend to agree with you, Ichi. I've never really understood why people need or want to own them, but I've been lucky to grow up in a low-crime area, and I'm a total idealist, not a believer in war or violence. (Weird that I love shonen manga and action movies? Yup, I don't get myself ) I guess maybe it's better to say that I don't understand why we must resort to war or violence, because I realize the world is more complicated than everyone just joining hands and singing campfire songs.
However, in the US there would be many who would take great issue with a ban, even partial ban, on personal weapons. It's protected by our constitution, and that's not easily messed with. Realistically, I don't think it will ever change, in this country, anyway. The important thing is to stop violence where it starts. We can ban things left and right, but the problem of violence will continue if we don't address the underlying issue. Why did this kid in Virginia decide it was ok to kill people? What made him want to do it? What could have been done to prevent it? What can be done to stop others from doing the same? I think those are the more essential questions.
teasers have been deadly? when? i mean, cops have to shoot each other with them once a year, and i don't think they'd do that if they were deadly....
ok next, the bill of rights wasn't meant to say we all get to have a gun, it means we get to have a "well regulated militia". the National Rifle Association, how ever, says that it means we all get a gun, and their lobbying power is not something to be trifled with.
now there are two ways to make an amendment null and void. one is with a law, the other is with another amendment. in order to propose an amendment, either 2/3 of both houses of senate must agree to the amendment, or the legislators of at least 2/3 states (33.3) must convene and "ask" senate to approve of a national convention, whereupon ideas for new amendments. from there, 3/4 states (37.5) must approve of it. congress will decide if the states are represented by their own legislatures, or by a convention specified by the state. basically, the only difference is whither the people of the state's actually voted for the people deciding, or those people pick someone else.
either way, i doubt this will happen. the NRA spends to much time and money lobbying. on top of that, republicans are too supportive of the old ways, and there are too many of them to saying "no" for this to work. even if in 2008 we get a democrat for president, and enough democrats to pass this, i doubt they'd go with it. the government would be forced to pick up millions of guns from private owners. some of which are the crazy old guys that would go out firing if you tried to take their guns. also, in the cities, the gangs with guns get all of them under the table. if you take away the guns of the store owners, there would be a huge rise in crime, and the store owners, among many others, would vote back a solid republican senate, and another George W Bush like president in office. getting rid of guns would basically be political suicide for an entire party. about the only thing senate will be able to do is vote for tougher gun control laws.
Well let's see what US history has to say about fundamentally changing the constitution when there was enough political will to do it.... (but with an unwilling populace)
First, emancipating the slaves....objective? free the slaves, make them "equal as human beings"! result? objective achieved with the side effects of a civil war and an assasinated president! oh, and the proliferation of the kkk and the birth of US imperialism!
Second, the prohibition...objective? ban all alcoholic drinks. result? was a flop! ammendment repealed. the black market just flourished and crime increased with the mafia in control!
oh, and everybody got depressed in the "great depression".
Third, civil rights movement...objective? equal rights and desegregation for "coloreds" result? objective achieved with the side effects of mass riots/lynchings and assasinations of a president, his brother and a civil rights leader. with the complications of the vietnam war, cold war, space race, the hippie/flower power revolution and a presidential scandal to boot!
Now take your pick!
Oh btw, i think what they (government) just did was to put the spirit of the constitution/declaration into letter for all the people in the majority to finally see loud and clear! but with these great changes, there are still people who refuse to budge from the status quo...
e.g. like for the all men are created equal but "slaves" are "not men/human" kind of mentality. and when the government finally specifically legislated "coloreds" are human, these "coloreds" must have different rights and must be segregated mentality kicks in! and when they finally have equal rights, there are unequal opportunities and living conditions for the minority!
you can almost never get these kind of changes for the better right as long as these kinds of people are around!
Well where i live, this argument is just moot and academic since there is a proliferation here of an underground industry of "home-made" handguns.
regulating/restricting that is almost similar to legislating on the home-made apple pie industry there in the US.
Last edited by TechnoMagus; April 17, 2007 at 02:13 PM.
I had always thought that there should be a big restriction on gun... that they should have a law to at least keep track about the people that own guns and also a law require personal info when buying a gun... so that it would not fall into the wrong hand... especially those who mentally ill....
even though there are conservative's view to keep the original amendment the right to bear arm... but i see there is no benefits in bearing arms...
If it for hunting and other purposes, then we should using the idea of renting in those hunting places...
It will be impossible to banned gun or prevent shooting incidents in the USA... but at least some prohibition (or restriction) should be made for security purposes...
Here in Denmark (and probably in Scandinavia as well) gun ownership is limited to the police and the military. I really prefer it this way since citizens with guns can really get dangerous and can easily cause civil war or if anyone just goes crazy all of a sudden, he or she can go nuts with a gun. However, in the US there are a lot of ghettos and criminals that the police have no control over :S So I don't know if gun ownership removal would be a good idea.
ibra87 made a good point, and that what the conservative's view is (gun for protection)
But at least there should be a restriction on the distribution..
Technically, there are restrictions on gun sales and ownership in the US. Retailers are held to strict standards in who they are allowed to sell to, and gun registration is required. Unfortunately, there are ways around this, and someone who wants a gun badly enough can find a way to get one. As I said before, I think Denmark and other countries who limit gun ownership to the military and police have the right idea, but my opinion is in the minority here in the US. Creating stricter standards and cracking down on illegal retailers is a start, but I don't think it's the only answer.
Here's an interesting article on the subject, specific to US policy.
Last edited by PaperYomiko; April 17, 2007 at 09:22 PM.
As an idealist, I prefer no guns, the world will be a safer place without it. However, as a person living in the U.S.A. where guns are owned by millions of people, it would be difficult and impossible to ban guns entirely. How will they collect guns from every gun owner? It’s simply unrealistic. And just as what happened with the 1920’s Alcohol Prohibition, banning guns will only make gun sales in the black market more profitable, and ultimately will worsen the situation. In addition, it will be very difficult to amend the “right to bear arms” in the Constitution, as already explained above by rabb. In poll studies done in America, when asked whether “you support gun ownership”, the majority will say “yes”, that it is their “right to bear arms” on the basis of self protection/self-defense (other reasons would be for hunting and sports related gun activities). (Source: "Up in Arms" by Nancy Gibbs). Moreover, the NRA lobbyists are very influential in legislation making, as far as gun related policies are concerned.
I think it’s too late in America to ban guns, since it’s all over the place. Wether they are legalized or banned, I’m sure that criminals will always find a way to obtain guns. I’m not sure if gun control will really do much. The other extreme solution to this is to “arm every citizen”, so that we get the scenario of everyone vs. the criminal (although I doubt this will work, either. It will probably make the situation worse). (Source: "Up in Arms" by Nancy Gibbs).
I think the best way is to impose some sort of gun control, but not absolute gun control. For example, eliminate as best as possible all assault firearms. I believe the guns used by the Virgina Tech gunman were semi-automatic. I’m not an expert on guns, but from what I’ve heard, they are extremely dangerous weapons that can shoot maybe multiple bullets within seconds (as in time). These guns are unnecessary, and you certainly don’t need this powerful weapon if all you want to do is hunt.
I think the government should exert a lot of their energy in going after the organized crime gun-trade, such as gang communities. The majority of gun related violence in America and homicide, as shown in studies, derive from gang activities. (Source: “Gun Violence in the United States”).
I’m not sure if this is a possible solution, but in war, one tactic that is usually used when crippling an enemy is by “crippling” their economy. Why not “cripple” the gang communities economy? This will eventually weaken their power, they’ll be forced to comply with authorities.
The next step would be to offer incentives outside gang life. Help out the economy of high-crime neighborhoods, improve their education, monitor gang rivalry and ensure that they don’t “fight” each other. Oust the top members of each gang from power, by putting them in confinement (aka prison). Lengthen jail sentences for crime, so that criminals who are in prison are less likely to come back to the streets so easily.
Tackling the problem of gang violence in America is only a fraction, but an important one. Crime rates will drop, gun possession and it’s circulation in the black market will drop, and it will overall benefit the whole nation. There will be less gun owners breaking the law, and in turn, the majority of gun owners in America will be law-abiding citizens.
Another problem in America is our infatuation with violence in our culture. Let’s take serious steps to tone this down. I recognize the importance of “free speech”, but with free speech there is a consequence. I’m not suggesting that there ought to be absolute “censorship” in this country, but the least we can do is regulate it a little bit so that children will not be exposed to it at such a young age. Let’s shift more focus on positive things, as opposed to violent-content material in our art (which includes music, movies, radio and television, etc.). These are small steps that involves sacrifice of “free speech”, but in the long run it will decrease violence in America.
I also heard that a possible factor that could have provoked the gunman was the drug called Prozac (Source: Fox News Article). There have been studies done since it’s release in the market, that this anti-depressant drug have “troubling side-effects” that includes the increased violent behavior. In fact, there have been a lawsuit in the late 80’s about this, but Prozac apparently won the case. (Source: Prozac Article).
Although a lot of legal drugs are usually beneficial, there are also some that aren’t “honest” products. In other words, they don’t perform as well as they claim, and in some cases, the side effects are even more “troubling” than its benefits. These drugs make money, and so I think of them as really “shady” business oriented products. I think Prozac ought to be closely examined, as in further clinical testing, so that it will be confirmed whether this drug’s benefits outweighs its harm, otherwise they should be outlawed.
But back to guns. As much as I prefer no guns, which is an unrealistic “idealist” concept, let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment. If you were in a similar situation as the Virginia Tech incident, wouldn’t you have wished you had a gun to protect yourself with, and possibly take down the gunman, if you had the chance?
I know I would.
In sum, I think the best we can do, at least in America, is impose some sort of gun control, try to limit gang activity in high crime neighborhoods, lengthen jail sentences so that it will “deter” criminals from committing crime, decrease violent content material in the media, and lastly, review drugs such as Prozac more closely.
You CAN NOT take guns away from Americans. They see it even more important than their fourth amendment. Sorry everyone, nice ideas and creative writings but in a few weeks everything will be forgotten and there won't even be a debate about gun control anymore.
NRA has too much power, American public has no interest. End of story.
Be careful not to generalize, inana. America is filled with many different people and opinions. And while the lobbyists do have a lot of power, and make it very difficult for productive legislature to happen, there is quite a lot of public interest on the subject, and bound to be even more after this event.
Fourth Amendment - the right against illegal search and seizure? Or do you mean the First Amendment - right to freedom of speech, religion, press, etc? Either way, I don't think I know anyone who values the right to bear arms above all other constitutional rights. It certainly wouldn't be my pick for the most important - that honor would go to the First, without a doubt. Granted, I've been raised in a very liberal background, but I can't be the only one...
You're free to express your opinion, and I will respect it, but please don't assume things about people, especially if you can't back it up.
well well, friendly, aren't you?
My mistake about the first amendment. I was writing something in my own Blog that's probably why I made that mistake. However that does not justify your rude comment. It is my right to write what I want, where I want and when I want as long as I don't insult anybody (which I Did NOT). Too bad you don’t like it. If you hate it that much, then don’t read it.
Fact 1: I said Americans love their guys more than anything else.
Accurate figures on firearms are scarce, but there are an estimated 200 million guns in circulation in the US, a country with a population of about 300 million.
According to a Harris poll conducted in 2001, approximately 39% of all American households own at least one gun.
Fact 2: I said Americans are not interested in changing the law in regard to gun ownership or any other materials related to Gun control.
2-a) NRA claims its political activity on gun ownership being a civil liberty protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Thus the right of every American to own a gun.(taken directly from their website- citation below)
2-b) a recent poll for the organization suggested that 52% of people had favorable views on the NRA compared to 32% who did not.
Fact 3: NRA has too much power.
Help yourself, from their own website:
“...proud to have one of the most powerful lobby groups in the United States.”
Now, unless you have something very interesting or valuable (with legitimate sources) to say, don’t even bother replying to my post.
Last edited by Athena; April 19, 2007 at 11:15 PM.
The fact is, gun control wouldn’t really do much when guns are already in wide circulation everywhere. I’m sure a significant number of Americans would prefer to do away with guns because they are dangerous. However, when mostly everyone owns a gun, paradoxically everyone else would rather they own a gun, as well, for self protection.
What is most likely to happen, however, is for government to take serious steps in trying to eliminate all assault firearms off the street, and whether the NRA is in opposition to this, I don’t know. Especially after this horrendous Virginia Tech incident, the general public would demand this sort of thing to happen, and pressure the Government to do something about gun control. Remember, these politicians are in office because of the people, and despite their usually extremist political views (either very conservative or very liberal), politicians are willing to make compromises with the people and serve their interests.
It is not that Americans don’t care and we love guns so much. And I’m sure the NRA members are feeling very sorry about the school shooting, as badly as anyone.
If you really want to know why I think gun control will hardly do anything to improve the situation in America, read my earlier post in page 1. Some sort of gun control will help, but there are other solutions possible. For example, which I forgot to mention, is “early intervention”. That is, helping “troubled” students before they have the opportunity to go on a rampage. Maybe this situation could have been prevented if an adult “intervened” with Cho and tried to help him out. Unfortunately, Cho himself was very unwilling to cooperate because he refused to communicate with anyone. But “early intervention” is definitely possible, besides gun control being an only solution.
I would like to remind everyone to keep this discussion clean and always try to respect each other. You're all intelligent and civilized people and i suggest to act accordingly.