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Thinking about gun control - Drinking from the Fire Hose — LiveJournal
and trying not to drown

Date: 2013-02-06 17:19
Subject: Thinking about gun control
Security: Public
I have *very* mixed emotions about gun control. Do I own a gun? Not any more. Did I feel safer when I had one? No, not at all. I never carried it, which meant that unless I was home in my own bedroom there would be zero chance of having it on hand if it was needed. And there were quite a few people knew I owned a handgun and also knew where it was kept it. I think I was more worried it would be stolen than I was about stranger danger or whatever.

As it turns out, owning that particular gun made me less safe -- when I took it in for inspection I discovered it was very poorly made. The officer labeled it "a cheap knock-off Mexican Saturday Night Special" and said the odds were 50/50 as to whether a bullet would exit the muzzle or the barrel would explode in my hand when the trigger was pulled. I signed it over for destruction and never regretted doing so.

Anyway, today Leslie Fish posted this on her blog. What she says makes sense, but I'm still up on the fence. Too many nuts have guns and too many good people are killed by gun violence every day.

If any of you read what Leslie Fish wrote, I'd love to hear what you think.

This entry was originally posted at http://mrs-sweetpeach.dreamwidth.org/716745.html.
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User: maddiec24
Date: 2013-02-06 22:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm not sure that is a fair comparison, when you take into account the population difference, not to mention other factors. What we're doing now is not working. We hear about more and more shootings every day. I don't see how any reasonable gun owner can object to banning assault rifles, closing the gun show loophole, and stricter background checks. The whole thing just makes me angry and depressed.
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lamardeuse: Ann-Margret
User: lamardeuse
Date: 2013-02-07 01:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Exactly. It's a ridiculous comparison, and since there probably are no accurate stats on gun deaths at that time anyway, it's inaccurate. And using the argument that strict gun control regs in a place like Chicago don't work is similarly bullshit - of course they don't work. You can't have gun control be effective in a city unless you build walls around it and check everything and everyone who comes in and out.
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User: lolabobs
Date: 2013-02-06 22:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I read it -

First off, I guess I have to admit that I have never been on the fence, I'm born and bred in the UK, therefore guns are not part of my daily life and I wouldn't want them to be.

In my view arming people raises the odds of someone getting shot. To me it's the same as knife crime - we ban people from carrying bladed articles, because if they have them they will use them. The only difference being is you can do a lot more damage, from a much greater distance with a gun.

So that's my starting point. Not neutral.

And having declared my bias - well I wasn't a hundred percent sure where she was going with her argument - arguing for or against gun control? The starting anecdote seems to support gun control - everyone had guns but behaved recklessly with them, so voluntarily submitted to restrictions limiting their liberty which reduced incidents except when someone chose not to comply.

The latter half goes against that, stating that everyone had guns and less people got shot etc etc - well I think it's completely impossible to compare then and now. We have a different mindset now, different attitudes, beliefs and respect for life. It's not a valid comparison.

Plus she lost me with the initial argument that 'everyone had guns and nobody minded when people shot each other, except people and property got caught in the literal crossfire and so that was bad', contrast with the latter statement 'guns are okay, because if people are stupid with them they'll get shot themselves soon enough and no one else is affected'

so hmm. my thoughts. And again, I admit I was biased from teh outset.
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Thistlethorn: FIAWOL
User: thistlethorn
Date: 2013-02-06 23:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Mostly, I'm all "Leslie has a husband?" Who knew! :-)

I think that background checks and waiting periods are not unreasonable things. The general population no longer needs guns as everyday tools. Assault rifles? Leslie didn't address that, but...just, no.

I'm always delighted, though, to see Leslie write something. This post, on an issue that I know is a hot button for her, was astonishingly mellow. *g*

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Polly: Spring Flowers by Betagoddess
User: polly_b
Date: 2013-02-07 01:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Spring Flowers by Betagoddess
It's a subject I struggle with, as well. I feel as though a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity rapid-reload magazines is completely reasonable. Why the government can enforce liability insurance and driver licenses on car owners, but not regulate the same sort of restrictions on gun owners, makes no sense to me, so I do think background checks should be more thorough and mandatory, no matter if it's a private, retail, or gun show sale.

On the other hand, I like to shoot, I did the instruction, took the test, and qualified for a conceal carry permit although I never pursued it; I believe I have the right to own a gun if I so choose. I don't happen to be a gun owner, only because I have never believed in mixing guns and children, and up until fairly recently, I have always had children in my home. Hubby owns a high-velocity pellet rifle meant for hunting small game; that's the only gun in our home. But we also have a shitload of knives and a couple of baseball bats. *shrugs*

I think there will always be evil and/or crazy people who commit murder with impunity, no matter what the laws say. But I don't think we have to make it easy for them to obtain weapons. That being said, I don't think any kind of gun control is going to make much difference as long as mental health services are limited and/or widely unaffordable; I think universal health care (and improved social services) would do more to curb gun violence than gun control laws would/will.

I've been told that the only reason the 2nd amendment was added was so slaveowners would have the right to form militias to hunt down runaway slaves. I've also been told that the government confiscated all the weapons from the Hunkpapa Lakota at Wounded Knee and then the 1890 massacre happened shortly afterward.

So, as I said, I struggle, too. The subject of gun ownership and gun control has a lot of facets that make it hard to decide.
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lamardeuse: Private Roy CWAC by Molly Bobak
User: lamardeuse
Date: 2013-02-07 01:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Private Roy CWAC by Molly Bobak
I'm Canadian. I've also handled and shot shotguns, rifles, and handguns, for target shooting and skeet. I don't own any myself, but I know people who do own them. Gun ownership isn't much different in Canada than it is in the States - I think about a third of Americans own guns, and about a quarter of Canadian households have at least one gun (actual gun owners are about 10-15%). Gun violence is still a problem here. Women are still killed by their partners or ex-partners, sometimes with guns. There are regulations in place to help prevent this, but they're not foolproof.

There are more regulations, though if the current Tory government has its way, this could sadly change. Everyone in this country who wants to own a gun has to obtain a license and take and pass a course on gun safety through the federal government. There are limitations on the types of guns people can buy (some classes of short-barrelled handguns, for example, and certain assault rifles are "prohibited", which means only people who owned similar guns before a given date are allowed to own them), and magazine capacities. You can't buy a handgun unless you belong to a range and have a reason for buying one, such as being a collector or a target shooter; if you say you want it for self-defence, you ain't getting one. There are country-wide laws governing safe storage, and no civilian is allowed to carry a weapon either concealed or openly for self-defence.

The main difference, IMO, is that in Canada, gun ownership is a privilege, not a right. And I think it's that fundamental difference that keeps our gun violence stats proportionately much lower than that of the States. Well, that and the fact that our media doesn't ensure that we walk around terrified that some faceless criminal (who is often depressingly black or brown in people's imaginations) is going to jump out of the bushes and attack us. And while greater regulation doesn't render tragedies like this impossible, they make them rare enough to be remarkable.

Edited at 2013-02-07 02:11 am (UTC)
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