The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116335   Message #2499003
Posted By: Rapparee
20-Nov-08 - 09:39 PM
Thread Name: BS: Gun ban - yep already
Subject: RE: BS: Gun ban - yep already
Oh, I don't think people have gotten much worse. There's just more of them.

Bill, this is a very complex issue. It includes the difference between urban (e.g., LA, DC) and rural (e.g., Pocatello, ID; Quincy, IN; Luray, VA; Belle Fouche, SD, even Grand Rapids, MI) culture. The media also have a not-inconsequential part to play from the time of "The Great Train Robbery" to the present in the glorification of violence and weapons as ends in themselves. So does the dime novels of the 19th Century.

The last time someone pulled a gun on the police (or anyone else) here the cop Tasered him (the gun turned out to be a toy from which the orange "tip" had been removed). That was two weeks ago. The last time the police shot and killed someone was about two years ago: police and a probation officer went to check on a guy who had missed his probation appointment and he came out of a room shooting (everyone involved immediately went on "administrative leave" and psychological counseling until the investigation was complete).

When was the last time someone shot at someone else in DC? In South Central?

Where I grew up "a gun behind the door meant meat on the table" and still does. It does out here, too -- there are about 60,000 people in this immediate area, working out to about 12,000 households and it's estimated that there is an average of four (4) firearms per household. No one is afraid of their neighbor, and while there are places I would really rather not go they are apartment buildings and bars instead of entire neighborhoods.

I really think that one of the first things that MUST be done is break up the idea that violence and weapons are a solution and not simply a tool. When a country feels threatened and so says it has the "right" to attack another country that sends the message that violence is okay -- and it contravenes the court case in Indiana (among other places) in which a man who had his car break down in a "bad" neighborhood in Indianapolis shot and killed a man more than fifty feet away because "he felt threatened." When is it correct for a country to do what you as an individual are prohibited from doing? (The Hoosier Supreme Court quite rightly upheld the murder conviction of the shooter.)

As for fearing my government, well, you bet I do! If the USA Patriot Act, the warrantless surveillance and wiretaps, and the other "security" laws don't demonstrate that the government will ride roughshod over the Bill of Rights if it can (and remember, even Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus) you have more faith in the lawmakers than I do.

I most certainly think that it is possible to work the problems out in a rational way which is satisfactory to all but the most fanatical on both sides of the issue.

But it won't be done by screaming at each other.