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BS: Guns & laws in the US

Bill D 20 Mar 12 - 05:39 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 12 - 05:46 PM
Lighter 20 Mar 12 - 07:00 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 12 - 07:28 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Mar 12 - 07:54 PM
Rapparee 20 Mar 12 - 08:34 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 12 - 08:37 PM
catspaw49 20 Mar 12 - 08:39 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Mar 12 - 08:45 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Mar 12 - 08:47 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 12 - 08:57 PM
Rapparee 20 Mar 12 - 08:59 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 12 - 09:08 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Mar 12 - 09:09 PM
Rapparee 20 Mar 12 - 09:10 PM
Lighter 20 Mar 12 - 09:24 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 12 - 09:24 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Mar 12 - 09:24 PM
Rapparee 20 Mar 12 - 09:31 PM
Rapparee 20 Mar 12 - 09:34 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Mar 12 - 10:01 PM
SINSULL 20 Mar 12 - 10:30 PM
John P 20 Mar 12 - 11:33 PM
Ross Campbell 20 Mar 12 - 11:47 PM
Will Fly 21 Mar 12 - 05:13 AM
JohnInKansas 21 Mar 12 - 08:09 AM
Lighter 21 Mar 12 - 09:02 AM
Rapparee 21 Mar 12 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,olddude 21 Mar 12 - 10:00 AM
Greg F. 21 Mar 12 - 10:01 AM
Bill D 21 Mar 12 - 10:09 AM
Bill D 21 Mar 12 - 10:26 AM
olddude 21 Mar 12 - 10:35 AM
Bill D 21 Mar 12 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,olddude 21 Mar 12 - 10:48 AM
catspaw49 21 Mar 12 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,olddude 21 Mar 12 - 11:19 AM
Greg F. 21 Mar 12 - 11:29 AM
Bobert 21 Mar 12 - 11:40 AM
Lighter 21 Mar 12 - 11:43 AM
Greg F. 21 Mar 12 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Raparree 21 Mar 12 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,olddude 21 Mar 12 - 12:20 PM
Amos 21 Mar 12 - 12:34 PM
Stu 21 Mar 12 - 12:59 PM
Lighter 21 Mar 12 - 01:06 PM
Lighter 21 Mar 12 - 01:20 PM
Bill D 21 Mar 12 - 01:50 PM
gnu 21 Mar 12 - 02:04 PM
Greg F. 21 Mar 12 - 02:14 PM

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Subject: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 05:39 PM

Because it is so easy to morph a thread on a particular tragedy into a general debate on weapons, perhaps we can, as Jeri says, try to confine it to one place.
(There are, of course, many other threads where the topic is beaten to death...but some are quite long... and this title is pretty specific)

Perhaps some posts can be moved here....


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 05:46 PM

Several of our members are competent, qualified and trustworthy gun owners...who mostly think that control can be achieved by better laws & strict enforcement.
Others feel that something approaching total bans...except for 'officials' in law enforcement... should be attempted.

There is obviously no easy solution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 07:00 PM

Bill, has anyone ever explained the incredible disparity between the per capita gun-assault rate in Canada and the US?

Only about 25% of Canadian households own a gun vs. 50% in the US, but that alone doesn't explain the difference. Could it be because most of the shootings in the US are committed by criminal types with illegal handguns and that actual handgun ownership in the US is far higher than what's reported because of illegal ownership?

Also, why do Canadians want to own guns at a rate half that of the US?
Are Americans really that much more violent at heart? If so, why?

Obviously more is going on here than the simple availability of guns. As I noted on the other thread, few licensed gun owners ever shoot anybody, no matter how many weapons they own.

And while I don't think anybody needs to own an assault rifle, they seem to be used only rarely to commit crimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 07:28 PM

I'm not sure...does Canada's constitution have anything like our 2nd amendment?

Also, the US had all these wars with England--1776+ and 1814...just to BE the US...and with Spain...and to 'conquer' the West. Canada didn't have to deal with Indians in order to move West...as far as I know.

History tells you a lot... attitude is trickier.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 07:54 PM

Canada certainly had numerous Indian tribes, they just weren't so quick to slaughter them I suppose.

The English in Canada would probably have simply ordered them to behave and the French wouldn't have noticed whether they did or not.

But a better comparison would be between the US and the UK, where ordinary citizens neither have, nor want, guns.

Although gun crime has increased with the influx of drugs and drug dealers, it is still probably true that we have fewer murders (of all types) nationally each year than New York or San Francisco.

Also, we have proportionately, many fewer cops killed on duty.

When the idea of arming our police came under review, the vast majority of the public were dead set against it, with the result that only a few specially trained officers have guns.

This also means that there are many fewer mistakes made in the UK, though the only acceptable number would be zero, which is virtually impossible with human beings.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 08:34 PM

Do not assume that a UK/US comparison is valid. Moreover, the UK has no codified (written) constitution -- that is, there is no one single document that IS "The Constitution." Basically, the governance of the UK is based upon two principles: Respect For Law and The Primacy Of Parliament.

The American colonies did NOT want to separate from Britain, but as they wrote in 1776:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

Whether or not the reasons following are true, they were believed such at the time. Thus later we have statements such as:

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
       -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, vol. 1, p.334

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
       -- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188

Men trained in arms from their infancy, and animated by the love of liberty, will afford neither a cheap or easy conquest.
    -- From the Declaration of the Continental Congress, July 1775

"To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                        -- George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788

Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defence be the *real* object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?
                        -- Patrick Henry, speech of June 9 1788

That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms....
-- Samuel Adams, in "Phila. Independent Gazetteer", August 20, 1789

There are more recent statements, from people such as John Stuart Mill, JFK, Hubert Humphrey, and Mohatmas Gandhi, which I could also quote.

This is for discussion, not polemics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 08:37 PM

It seems so simple... in the UK, most "ordinary citizens" don't WANT guns....so why would they here? I suggest there are many historical, demographic and cultural explanations as to why this situation developed, but understanding the complexities gets you only so far.
We can 'understand' how & why tobacco got such a foothold in the world, but getting people to reduce or stop using it is another matter.

What we have now is a gun culture where many treat firearms as 'just part of daily life'....then, with huge metropolitan areas in several parts of the country and a rise in crime (you have serious urban crime in the UK also) guns were touted as item for "defending ones family"

We have also had many millions of men with military service who spent years being taught that guns were a way to uphold goodness and punish the bad.

A few years ago, I read an interview with a young kid from the inner city of Wash. DC who said (paraphrased) "It's just too much trouble to settle scores by fighting...etc. With a gun, you just find the guy and blow him away!" This says a LOT about the general regard for human life and the hopelessness of poverty...but it is what it is. And of course, it says a lot about the *business* of selling guns...to anyone with the money to buy them.

So many causes... so few easy solutions...


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 08:39 PM

The differences between the two countries is great.....in every way. Geographis size, population, history, form of the government, and about 101 other things. Now for all of those who are so gleefully asking why we are so fucked up....Well, see, folks like Bill and I would agree with you. But we are not necessarily a representative sample.

There are some good guys around here at the 'Cat who are responsible gun owners and enjoy assorted shooting sports. Guns, as Bill tried to pont out, are ingrained, a part and parcel of this society, taking different routes through geography, heritage, qnd times lived in. Because weapons were such an integral part of the very formation of this country, they have become a part of the tradition and culture. It might well be that Americans cannot understand worlds where guns don't exist. Not all Americans, but probably a number that is in the majority.

So some of you from other countries think we're nuts here and you may be right.......but you have not been born and raised in this place and as I can't have knowledge of what its like to be you, there are elements of this country that defy description.......at least in our ability to explain things like gun ownership.   I can't understand the UK fascination with Cricket and gawd knows its capable of killing people through sheer nonsense and boredom.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 08:45 PM

"the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms..."

ROTFLMAO.

It's simple arithmetic. Right now, far far more people in the USA are unlawfully killed by guns than are lawfully killed by guns.

Far far more people in the USA are killed by lawbreakers using guns as adjuncts to some other type of lawbreaking than are killed by "respectable citizens" using guns in self defence.

Moreover...

The rationale for the constitutional right to bear arms was the need to be able to raise a well-armed militia against foreign armies. The arms even in the USA in private hands are a broken reed in any military conflict in today's world.

The US is inanely attached to a period in history when as a result of a civil war a large part of the USA was a failed state where the writ of government did not run.

It is time to grow up and put away dangerous toys.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 08:47 PM

I'm not armed, nor am I a slave, and I can say what I like about the government of MY country.

The argument is specious!

The founding fathers had no idea at the time that a majority of Americans would regress to the point that they couldn't be trusted to tell the difference between Burgers and Food, let alone distinguish a tyrannical government from a hole in the ground.

Bread and Circuses my friend (actually burgers, hotdogs, NASCAR and basketball).

The US is back to the Roman Empire, with all the same urges to pacify the known world.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 08:57 PM

The quotations from the 1700s were about a time in which most people lived in rural areas, with Indians & wild animals and hunting as a major means of support.

When defense of the new 'country' was involved. they NEEDED every adult male who could obtain a weapon... and the weapons were non-standard, usually hand-made. Conscripted or volunteer soldiers needed to bring what weapons they had. It was almost 100 years before the army was able to standardize and issue weapons in any number.
The 2nd amendment and the views of the founders were written with that situation prevailing. When the demographics and the technology changed, the constitution and the attitude did not. Everyone who liked or was seriously involved with guns interpreted the Constitution to mean "You can STILL have almost any weapon you can get a hold of 'legally'"... as if frontier rules still applied.

As demographics & society and urbanization changed, so did rationalizations for why the 2nd Amendment should not be changed and should be interpreted as freely as possible. (I still believe that the 2nd Amendment should be held to read that "the people when in a militia...or army should bear arms"...but we see how THAT idea is treated by the NRA...etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 08:59 PM

The rationale for the constitutional right to bear arms was the need to be able to raise a well-armed militia against foreign armies. The arms even in the USA in private hands are a broken reed in any military conflict in today's world.

No, it wasn't. Read the quotes I included above. It was to protect the people from their own government.

As for "arms...in private hands" -- the Vietnamese vs. the French and later the Americans, the Afghans vs. the Russians, the Zionists vs. the British, the Libyans vs. their government, the Syrians vs. their government, the French Revolution, the 1916 Easter Rising, the revolts of 1848 and many more incidents give lie to that thought. A person with a rifle CAN stop a tank, a person with a handgun CAN take out a helicopter. Hell, if you know how (and the information is out there) you can do either simply by using your brain. No rational person is going to use nukes or nerve gas on their own citizens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 09:08 PM

"Bread and Circuses my friend (actually burgers, hotdogs, NASCAR and basketball).

*grin*...this from a country where 'football' (soccer) fans regularly attack other fans.

I see folks from the UK reduced to simplistic insults about our **collective** consciousness... as if there were any such thing!

I realize that MOST folks in the UK don't attack each other over football... and I wish it were easier to explain how this HUGE country is not homogeneous and has a wide variety of cultural areas to try to appease.

If *I* could push a 'sanity button', guns would be uncommon.... but....


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 09:09 PM

"".then, with huge metropolitan areas in several parts of the country and a rise in crime (you have serious urban crime in the UK also) guns were touted as item for "defending ones family"""

For defending one's family, we use the police force, which is trained to use guns responsibly.

I know from watching reality TV that the majority of your cops use guns responsibly (a pity sheriff John Burnell can't manage to do the same with commentary). Perhaps it is time that somebody told your citizens that.

Our cops have, to a reasonable degree grown out of institutional racism, misogyny, corruption and indifference,and in the main, do a pretty good job.

We leave that to them except in extremely rare circumstances.

It is also true that up until about 1900, many British people went armed with handguns for self defence against a very real possibility of violent attack and robbery.

However, the gunfighter mentality never took hold and as Robert Peel's invention, the police force, made the streets safer, the majority of the public left their guns at home and gradually got rid of them altogether.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 09:10 PM

Sorry, Bill. The record is against that.

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."
                                  -- Abraham Lincoln, 4 April 1861

"Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."
                                             -- John F. Kennedy

Every Communist must grasp the truth, 'Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.'
                                             -- Mao Tse-tung, 1938

Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon -- so long as there is no answer to it -- gives claws to the weak.
                   -- George Orwell, "You and the Atom Bomb", 1945

Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. [...] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.
                                  -- Hubert H. Humphrey, 1960

To make inexpensive guns impossible to get is to say that you're putting a money test on getting a gun. It's racism in its worst form.
   -- Roy Innis, president of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), 1988

Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power.
    -- Yoshimi Ishikawa, Japanese author, in the LA Times 15 Oct 1992

Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.
                            -- Edward Abbey, "Abbey's Road", 1979


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 09:24 PM

>"It's just too much trouble to settle scores by fighting...etc. With a gun, you just find the guy and blow him away!" This says a LOT about the general regard for human life and the hopelessness of poverty....

It doesn't say that much about either, though it says a lot about the individual who's being quoted.

You don't have to be poor to lack a conscience. Furthermore, if the speaker is serious, I doubt that he'll purchase a firearm from a legal gun dealer. He's at least as likely to buy (or borrow or rent) it from the guy down the block so it's harder to trace.

But people with a real criminal mentality often can't imagine getting caught. That's part of the overall crime problem everywhere. Anyway, I don't think this guy is representative either of Americans or of poor people. (Of course, law-abiding poor people want guns too.)

The most important question is not why Americans want to own guns; it's how to keep the criminal and/or short-fused minority from shooting people - sometimes many people at once. (The Florida stand-your-ground law is obviously not helpful. I can only imagine that it was passed because there's a lot of crime in cities like Miami and Jacksonville, and a lot of people are scared stiff.)

But taking away all the guns is simply not going to happen, any more than banning cricket in the UK.

As I understand it, there is no comprehensive "second amendment" style legislation in Canada *guaranteeing* the right to bear arms, but gun ownership in Canada has been regarded as legal, with some restrictions, for a hundred years and more.

I don't know the ratio, but plenty of Canadians also served in the World Wars and were taught how to shoot and kill. Even a peacetime military teaches that.

Finally, except for some NRA members, I doubt that many American gun owners know or care anything about those statements by the Founding Fathers. They simply believe that guns are good, or at least necessary. And they know their Second Amendment rights.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 09:24 PM

Oh my, Rap..it is way too late here in the east to point out all the flaws in logic and relevance in those new quotes... maybe tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 09:24 PM

"AMENDMENT II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Read it and weep Rap.

I do actually bother to read stuff about the US constitution sometimes.

There is a very simple answer to your suggestions about hillbillies with colt 45s defying armies. 1794.

And the power of the armies has increased exponentially since then. The places today on the world stage where ragged rebels are defeating armies depend not on sidearms or rifles but bombs (or IEDs) - and foreign governments riding in with modern technology to sterilise the armies and airforces.

Don, I think you over-egg the position about how wonderful our UK police are but they do generally make a nice contrast to what appears to be a very widespread US belief that might makes right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 09:31 PM

.. a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen...
         -- Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181)

I live in a county that comprises 1,147.46 square miles (2,971.9 km2). Great Britain comprises about 229,848 km2 (88,744.8 sq miles). GB has about 60,000,000 people; Bannock County has about 80,000. Our population density is about 79 per square mile (most of the population is concentrated in Pocatello/Chubbuck, adjacent cities); the population density of Great Britain is about 717 per square mile. The Sheriff's Department has about 120 people on the staff, this includes jailers, dispatchers, and others who are not out patrolling.

Granted, the cities and towns have varying numbers of police officers and the Idaho State Police are also around. But these are limited in their jurisdictions -- only in "hot pursuit" or during a "mutual aid" situation can they cross their boundaries.

Nearly everyone is law-abiding; I doubt that they are less so than other, similar areas in the US or the UK.

But there is A LOT of space between people, and it can take the cops quite some time to get to you.

This is not an apologia, just a statement of facts here in the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 09:34 PM

I'm not taking any side here. If it were up to me ALL legal gun owners in the US would be licensed, after extensive training and testing. But it's not up to me.

Bye.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 10:01 PM

""Don, I think you over-egg the position about how wonderful our UK police are but they do generally make a nice contrast to what appears to be a very widespread US belief that might makes right.""

Perhaps you and I view our police from different angles Richard.

I judge their qualities based on what we might expect our country to be like were they not as effective, or even not there. The fact that they are essentially unarmed by choice is a significant factor in my judgement.

One last comment on a subject which is, I think, worn out.

The only man who accidentally kills his wife, friend, or child while cleaning a gun is the man who is armed.

The only man who executes a harmless child for ""walking while black, in my neighbourhood"" is the man who is armed.

The only man who shoots and kills a woman who knocks on his front door to ask for a drink of water, or directions, is the man who is armed.

It's not rocket science.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 10:30 PM

I choose not to own a gun though I grew up in a home with guns and hunters and was trained in their use. Jacqui and Kendall sigh with relief at this fact.
However, I think of the courage of the US woman who, about a month ago, called 911 re: a break in while she was alone with her children, reported the situation and asked if she should shoot - she had a legal gun. The dispatcher told her that if she was in danger for her life she could. She did after he broke the door down and attacked her. The nut case who was breaking in died. Had she not fired the gun it is likely her stalker would have harmed her and her family. She was found completely innocent of any charges.
Interesting that the US is not even in the top 40 of countries when compared by Murders per Capita.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita
Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, Italy and others have higher murder rates. Wonder why guns in the US is always such an issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: John P
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 11:33 PM

I live in Washington state, where there have been four instances in the last few weeks of children getting their hands on their parents' guns. Two fatalities and one injury that will cripple a little girl for life. According to the Seattle Times, it is not specifically illegal in Washington to allow your children access to a loaded gun. And the parents are not responsible for what their children do with the gun. There are no repercussions to them at all - there is no crime to charge them with. I know that banning guns completely is impossible, but those who say we don't need more laws and stricter regulations about them are nuts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 11:47 PM

You can't be serious, Sinsull? USA not even in the top 40?

Could it be because the USA is not a European country and therefore doesn't feature in the survey in the first place? The website cites its source:-

"Murders (per capita) by country", European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control International Statistics on Crime and Justice, 2011.

Doesn't explain why Australia and New Zealand ARE listed.

From http://www.angelfire.com/rnb/y/homicide.htm

"Western and Central Europe homicide rate = 1.5 per 100,000 people.

USA is 6.1 per 100,000 people.

Canada is 1.85 per 100,000.

Handguns only increase the murder rate. Canada and much of Western Europe effectively ban handguns for the most part."


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 05:13 AM

Here's an interesting article from "Der Spiegel" - written in 2007 but worth a look:

De-quilling the porcupine: Swiss mull tighter gun laws

It's often assumed that Switzerland is proof that really tight gun controls and regulations work in a population which has a high percentage of gun ownership. However, as the article makes clear, Switzerland, with all its regulations, has the second highest rate of death by gun <>per capita in the world - next to the US. So, not quite the perfect solution to gun control.

To update the article, in 2011, the Swiss voted against tighter controls.

I make no comment on the everyday living environment of the US, or on the historical and social pathways that gave rise to the current state of affairs re guns and gun control there - it's no business of mine to pontificate on that. I also enjoy target shooting and, in earlier days long ago, shot Lee Enfields, Belgian FNs, Bren guns in indoor ranges and on the Army ranges at Bisley. But I don't own any weapons greater than a .177 gas pistol, and rarely use it these days. I do believe that no guns = no deaths by guns. The problem in Britain is not death by legal guns, but death by illegal guns - and that's where the initiative should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 08:09 AM

If it were up to me ALL legal gun owners in the US would be licensed.

There are few places in the US where any gun OWNERS are required to be licensed. The license refered to in US debates about "gun licenses" are a license to carry a concealed gun in public places.

Even in most places where a license is required for concealed carry it is still legal for a person who legally owns a gun to transport it, provided that it is "not immediately accessible," and in most cases is unloaded. Some states require that it be "cased," and some require that it have a "trigger lock" installed, with other rather inane and mostly useless additional provisions.

Having done some hunting and casual target shooting as a youngster, I was still required to obtain a license in Boston which was one of the two places requiring a license to have a gun in possession outside ones own home at the time. The license was needed in order to participate in the Faculty Pistol Club matches that took place at various club locations scattered around the area. I achieved (barely) an NRA Expert rating in gallery pistol during my second season.

In Army ROTC, I happened to be at the only University ROTC allowed to assign an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty Rating) to newly commissioned officers and was certified in Ammunition Maintenance when I was commissioned.

A delay for a couple of years for a Masters Degree resulting my arrival at Basic Officer Training when there was no need for Ammo Maint Officers, so I was retrained as an Armament Maintenance Officer, theoretically qualified to repair and maintain all individual weapons used by the US Army up to and including 155 mm guns and the couple of "portable nuclear armaments" (excluding nuclear ammo) then in the inventory.

On assignment, I was sent to active duty in Arizona where I was "retrained" as a Technical Operations Officer in charge of testing existing and experimental/developmental vehicles and weapons, including trucks, tanks, and armored personnel carriers and all the weapons carried by any of them.

I subsequently held a couple of "official positions" in company "gun clubs" after completing my military duties (7.5 years of them, including Reserve time).

I've done small amounts of hunting since, more for the purpose of helping some "less experienced friends" than for the purpose of taking game.

I DO NOT HAVE A STATE LICENSE TO CARRY A CONCEALED WEAPON, because the state statute imposes a requirement that you must complete a training course with a statutory minimum fee of $500 in order to get a license. Prior experience can't be counted, and you can't take a test to show that you know anything. A license is not necessary for any use I can envision, although it would be a significant "convenience" to be able to show complaince with a law that doesn't apply to my use rather than having to explain to the "authorities" what law does apply.

When the states in the US began passing their "concealed carry laws" the information pamphlets provided by the US Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, listed more than 32,000 separate, disparate, and conflicting state and local ordinances supposedly regulating possession, storage, and transport of "weapons."

To a certain extent, the only thing accomplished by "new regulations," specifically including the Federal "Brady Act," was to supercede many of those local ordinances, which was a great convenience to some legitimate owners and recreational shooters.

Prior to the Brady act, there were slightly fewer than 1,200 licensed fully automatic weapons in the US outside of the military. Most of those were in the possession of Police Departments (who were, and are, required to have a separate license for each one in their possission). Two years after the Brady Act specifically spelled out the requirements for licensing the possession of full automatic weapons, there were more than 18,000 legally licensed, with the difference mostly in private citizens' control. (FBI and BATF quoted nearly identical numbers at about the same time.)

Now that the anti-gunners have demanded "clear and specific rules" anyone with enough money can probably have a real "machine gun" or an "antitank gun," with a clear conscience and little fear of being accused of violating some trivial requirement that would previously have been "exceedingly troublesome." (For recreational purposes, of course.)

The "clear and specific" codification of requirements for licenses to carry concealed weapons has encouraged a mass demand for the licenses, and it's impossible for anyone knowledgeable of firearms and their legitimate uses to believe that the majority of these "new licenses" are held by people actually capable of knowing when and how thier "arms" can be effectively used, and when they are best simply left concealed (or at home). The principal effect of "more restrictive laws" has been to vastly increase the number of marginally qualified (but legal) persons who now feel compelled to "always have their toys close at hand."

The "clear and specific" codification of requirements for licenses has also made it significantly easier for criminals persons not qualified to legally buy and possess guns to know exactly how to "play the sytesm" to make ILLEGAL purchases successfully.

While many argue that the police here are armed and one should rely on them in any case where a weapon is necessary, it is probably difficult for many elsewhere to understand that in many places the driving time alone, for a police response, can exceed an hour. It is additionally a well confirmed fact of life that the "cops on the beat" are no more expert in the use of their weapons than many of the citizens who might feel the necessity of defending themselves (especially in areas that lack immediate local police, which are often rural with strong hunting and "varmint control" traditions.).

The police generally do have requirements for "marksmanship training," but it's simply impossible to learn much from an hour per year and 100 rounds. (I shot more than 3200 rounds in each season of the Boston Pistol League, and still barely got into consistent Expert ratings - which really aren't all that demanding.

I had occasion once to shoot a "casual match" against a relative who had just completed the FBI Marksmanship School with an "FBI Expert" rating, and on the first gallery round I doubled his score - without having fired one of my guns in the previous year. When he complained about his "issue gun" being rather poor, I traded guns and still beat him by 80 points (out of 300 possible).) I was far from able to shoot to my prior NRA Expert rating of a few years earlier at that time.

US Army training instructors have consistently agreed that it's virtually impossible to "make a marksman" out of anyone who lacks a basic familiarity with firearms prior to entering the service, and fewer than 1 out of 300 recruits is able to show the "basic abilities" for training as an "elite shooter." (And fewer than 10% of those are really "trainable" even after being offered the option.) In real marksmanship training the rule is that it takes 1,000 rounds per year to approach basic competence and maintain it. And that's just against things that don't shoot back.

In several notorious "shootouts" police or FBI have fired more than a thousand or two rounds without hitting anything. (It is difficult under pressure, but ...)

In my present urban area the Police are nearby, and I can rely on them. And there are lots of things more important than "shooting" in the business of protecting the poeple.

I've fired 3 rounds in the past 12 years, and with each of the three I humanely dispatched the varmint that was attacking a pet. The dozen or so that didn't attack went wherever they went, unmolested. (I firmly believe that at least two of the three ('possums) probably were rabid, as their behavior was "strongly atypical." The animal control people - the only ones who can legally dispose of dead animals here - didn't report whether they checked them, although I suggested they might want to.)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:02 AM

A US homicide rate more than three times that of Canada (and homicide doesn't just include guns) suggests a deeper cause than simple gun ownership is involved.

Maybe Americans just tend to be angrier and crazier or inclined to crime than most other people. Or they believe deeply in their action movies. How does one legislate against any of these things?

And as John suggests, it isn't the "gun culture" that's a problem. People with rifles and shotguns and collections of historical firearms don't generally commit gun crimes or shoot each other by accident. It's the "handgun culture" (which can't come directly from traditions of hunting game). And it's ironic that some gun-control efforts have apparently made the overall situation worse.

A lot of people must want to pack iron while walking down the street. How many actually need to? Not many, I hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:42 AM

I cannot leave this discussion (which I will after this post) without urging you to read this article. The author is required reading at the US military academies, St. Cyr, and Sandhurst as well as numerous police departments. If you wish to read more deeply, I suggest his "On Combat" and his "On Killing."


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:00 AM

Its all about no consistent standard across the states. Even so however those legally owning weapons are not of any concern to me as most are trained (usually) and also enjoy target shooting at qualified ranges etc ... not all but most.

It is the weapons in the hands of the criminals. No felon can legally own a gun .. so what do they do, go to a gun show and walk out with enough weapons to arm a small country. Take them to a city and sell them for 10x the money ... at the gun show, no background check, none. If a dealer has a federal firearms license, yes they are still required to do the check, however, private sales are not covered. What do you find at gun shows? 90% private sales cause ... no paperwork

Get rid of that loophole, we will all be safer


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:01 AM

I hope Rap has his underground shelter all dug & equipped and has been stockpiling drinking water, MRE's and most importantly lots of ammunition and guns, so that he's all set for Armageddon and the Race Wars. And maybe The Rupture.

Which millenialist/militia group does he belong to, anybody know??


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:09 AM

*reading Rap's post again this morning*

"Sorry, Bill. The record is against that."

I'm trying to figure out exactly what of MY post 'the record is against'. Do you mean that since the 1700s and early 1800s, various famous & semi-famous folk have seemed to support private ownership of guns? If so, that's not a direct reply to my point.
I argued that: ... as society changed, so did the need for private ownership of weapons...and I mean specifically handguns and semi-automatic 'super' weapons. A short list of quotes from the likes of Lincoln, JFK and HHH do not, by themselves, disprove my assertion.

I find it somewhat .... looking for right words... scary & disingenuous? that we should keep laws & arrangements that allow so many incidents like the school shootings and neighborhood drive-bys, just on the paranoid 'principle' that we 'may' need guns ...someday... to resist our own government.

That sort of reasoning--in many cases- 'feels' to me like a cover-up for just liking to mess with guns....


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:26 AM

If Rap is indeed leaving this thread (he was posting as I was typing), I don't suppose I'll get a direct answer.
But I put for the record, that I divide the issue into 2 parts...

1)What SHOULD we have as a sane, reasonable situation

2)What should we do, considering the facts about how many weapons are already IN private hands.

I think that olddude is on the right track regarding #2.... it is just too easy to GET guns.... but I also believe that tightening laws about gun shows will do very little to control access to guns by the seriously dangerous folk who intend to commit violence. It may make it harder for the average guy to buy a gun on a whim, and thus might limit some in-home tragedies...but there are always guns available. The prices might go up.... but really crazy folks will raise the money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: olddude
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:35 AM

Oh Bill, crazy folks will get guns no matter what country or what laws. Hell I can build one from scratch myself if I wanted to and it would be a fine weapon ... We can't do anything about the crazies. We can make it harder for felons to get and distribute weapons via gun laws. The Mexican drug guys get the weapons from the Texas gun shows 1 mile from the border. They use our own weapons against our border agents and police. Nuts ain't it.

Greg
Rap is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. He likes his firearms so what .. Some folks like me also like banjo's ... that was uncalled for and I would expect better from you


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:45 AM

Yes.. what olddude said...*I* have met Rap... and he IS a good, sensible, honest guy. We have different opinions on part of this issue, but I would trust him with my life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:48 AM

Well if I had to go back into a spider hole, I would want Rap next to me for sure, I trust him with my life any day


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 11:00 AM

How about we go back to Atlatls?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 11:19 AM

Spaw
I am still laughing about that cannon last night on Top Shot ... OMG
every year they come up with something else ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 11:29 AM

Rap is one of the nicest people you could ever meet.

Never said he wasn't, Dan, he likely is. I don't know him so I can't - and wouldn't - say one or the other.

He likes his firearms so what...

So do I "like my firearms" & have quite a few & a NY concealed carry permit.

But if you read the whole collection of the quotations he posted, you'll have to admit that the impression given was ..... well, lets say, oa bit fanatical??

I'm with you- nuke the gun shows & have a uniform, federal carry permit process instead of the hodge-podge of State regs that run from New York's to the ridiculous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 11:40 AM

100,000 Americans will be shot in 2012 by other Americans with handguns...

America has the highest per capital murder rate of any civilized industrialized nation in the world...

Yet, we aren't allowed to have this conversation because those who ***profit*** from the sales of handguns have enough money to out-shout any sensible, adult conversation about guns because, in their very narrow view, the 2nd amendment says so...

Problem is that the 2nd amendment says no such thing... It is a single sentence and ***not*** two... That meas it has a subject and a predicate... The subject of the amendment is "well regulated militia" and everything else, including the "right to bare arms" is in the predicate... But basic English doesn't enter into either the NRA or the Supreme Clowns thinking because of the $$$ and power of the NRA...

So we don't have that sensible, adult conversation...

And the beat goes on... As well as the carnage...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 11:43 AM

It turns out that 21 states now have "stand-your-ground" laws. (According to CNN.)

The Florida law apparently states that you can only shoot *if* the other person was the first aggressor and *if* you believe that your *life* or someone else's is in imminent danger.

It turns out, again according to CNN, that of the 40 cases of "stand-your-ground" shootings in Florida, most or all involved unarmed victims.

In legislative debates on such laws, law enforcement (a conservative bunch, no?) has opposed them while the National Rifle Association has vigorously supported them. Despite its large membership, the NRA functions essentially as the lobby for gun dealers and manufacturers.

The gun-show loophole is big enough to drive a tank through. It's vigorously supported by the NRA.

Since they don't seem to care who buys a gun at a gun show, NRA members who support the loophole must be crime-proof.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 11:59 AM

What's the problem? Worked for the Earp brothers & Doc Holliday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: GUEST,Raparree
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 12:16 PM

The only "gun group" of which I am a member is the National MUZZLELOADING Rifle Association. They compete with matchlocks, caplocks, flintlocks, and so on.

The only "survivalist" group of which I am a member is...none. Never have been, never (as far as I know) will be.

Yes, I have firearms. I enjoy shooting them at PAPER TARGETS -- not silhouette, not pictures -- circles within circles. I might try my hand at Cowboy Action Shooting this year as they have very, very strict rules on safety and don't tolerate among them gun crazies. They also limit the types of firearms you can use to originals or reproductions of originals which date prior to 1899 (with one specialized exception).

I posted the quotes, as I noted at the time, to facilitate discussion. They may or may not demonstrate my own beliefs and anyone who thinks otherwise had too many courses in literary criticism and/or watches too much television.

Bill, my point was that the thinking of the "Founding Fathers" carries over to the present day. Nothing more.

A final farewell to this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 12:20 PM

You are on a roll today Greg :-)
Lets do another watch wind off .. my 992B can beat your 992B :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 12:34 PM

Bobert:

Actually, the subject of the sentence is NOT "militia", which appears in an adverbial clause. The subject of the sentence is "right". The predicate of the sentence is "shall not be infringed", a passive verb construction.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Stu
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 12:59 PM

A written constitution is an albatross around the neck of any modern democracy.

I have to say I walked into a gun shop in the US 18 months ago and it was a scary and sobering experience for a hayseed from the UK like wot I is . . . I really didn't feel at all comfortable. I put it down to cultural differences and squeamishness (I'm happy to be that way, as there are more than enough guns in the world as it is).

Never mind. More than made up for by the fact the US is the best place in the world to get brekkers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 01:06 PM

The "problem" is in the intended relationship between the two clauses.

Does it mean that the right shall not be infringed *solely* because of the need for a well regulated militia? Or because that need is just one good reason?

The Supreme Court has decided on the latter interpretation. Had the Founders meant otherwise, it would have been easy enough to be more specific, like granting the right only to active members of such a militia.

And homicidal shootings were so rare in the eighteenth century, when firearms were clumsy, that the Founders may not have considered them a serious objection to the right to hunt and defend onself without interference.

Anyway, "the right of the people...shall not be infringed" seems pretty unambiguous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 01:20 PM

And dig this:

http://news.yahoo.com/holding-gun-may-think-others-too-221346341.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 01:50 PM

"Does it mean that the right shall not be infringed *solely* because of the need for a well regulated militia? Or because that need is just one good reason?"

It means that in 1789, there was no confusion. If the country needed to be defended, all male citizens who had weapons WERE the de facto militia! They had an odd assortment of weapons, and it was presumed that when not defending the country, they used them for hunting and VERY occasionally, self-defense or settling scores..(dueling did exist).
When writing the 2nd amendment, they had no idea we'd have either the social problems, or the weapons technology we do today.
'Interpreting' what they meant now is done by deciding what you'd LIKE it to mean, then constructing an argument to fit. What is needed is a revision based on current issues....... fat chance! (Bobert explained it quite well)


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: gnu
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 02:04 PM

Maybe the citizens of the USA reserve the right of revolution if their government starts killing them for political or economic or other "reasons"?

Murder (rates) among the general populace being associated with gun ownership as a standalone hypothesis is absurd. Crime, poverty and lack of education are at the heart of all of the woes. As Dan said, he can make his own gun. So can every machine shop in the world. Therefore, I would suggest that unless these statistics are broken down into sub-categories, they are meaningless. At least three are required : crime related, domestic related and nut related. The only one that counts is domestic related and even that isn't 100%.

Spaw hit on a very important point. History and culture. You Brits that have chimed in just don't understand. Yanks do NOT TRUST their government. They remember the Boston Tea Party, slavery, Viet Nam... they WILL NOT give up their right to bear arms, nor should they HAVE TO DO SO. It's perfectly legal to bear arms IF they are not doing illegal things. And, it's up to the GOVERNMENT to stop crime, alleviate poverty and educate people. BUT, here's the deal... the US government isn't (able to?) doing these things.

So, in the end, the right to own a LEGAL gun in the good ol USA shall not be infringed... and they don't give a shit who don't like it for ANY FUCKING REASON, especially for a bunch of statistics which are not analyzed in a way that any conclusions can be drawn with accuracy to support people who say Yanks are gun crazy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Guns & laws in the US
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 02:14 PM

You are on a roll today Greg :-)

Ah well, Dan, some days start out badly & go right downhill from there.

Lets do another watch wind off .. my 992B can beat your 992B...

Well, you win hands down! My best Hamilton is a 992- don't have a 992B.
You'll have to give me a little time to get one & send it to Mahlon for a tune-up. ;>)

Be well-

Greg


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