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BS: I'm scared of Americans and Guns

X 04 Aug 02 - 01:38 PM
Catherine Jayne 04 Aug 02 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,peglenn@bellsouth.net 04 Aug 02 - 01:17 PM
Kelida 22 Apr 00 - 12:27 AM
Gary T 22 Apr 00 - 12:14 AM
Kelida 21 Apr 00 - 11:51 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 21 Apr 00 - 10:59 AM
Gary T 21 Apr 00 - 10:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Apr 00 - 09:15 AM
kendall 21 Apr 00 - 08:00 AM
Kelida 21 Apr 00 - 02:58 AM
Gary T 21 Apr 00 - 02:55 AM
Kelida 20 Apr 00 - 11:02 PM
GUEST, Saddam Hussein 20 Apr 00 - 10:08 PM
katlaughing 20 Apr 00 - 10:01 PM
Amergin 20 Apr 00 - 09:30 PM
MarkS 20 Apr 00 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 20 Apr 00 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,cara 20 Apr 00 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Cara 20 Apr 00 - 05:13 PM
Peg 20 Apr 00 - 04:10 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM
Homeless 20 Apr 00 - 03:38 PM
Jon Freeman 20 Apr 00 - 03:36 PM
Homeless 20 Apr 00 - 03:34 PM
Melodeon 20 Apr 00 - 03:33 PM
Lonesome EJ 20 Apr 00 - 03:32 PM
Kim C 20 Apr 00 - 03:15 PM
Peg 20 Apr 00 - 03:14 PM
Lonesome EJ 20 Apr 00 - 03:11 PM
Peg 20 Apr 00 - 03:07 PM
Homeless 20 Apr 00 - 03:07 PM
Peg 20 Apr 00 - 03:01 PM
Whistle Stop 20 Apr 00 - 02:56 PM
GUEST 20 Apr 00 - 02:53 PM
Homeless 20 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM
SINSULL 20 Apr 00 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Rana 20 Apr 00 - 02:23 PM
Jon Freeman 20 Apr 00 - 02:05 PM
Jim the Bart 20 Apr 00 - 01:58 PM
Whistle Stop 20 Apr 00 - 01:46 PM
Mbo 20 Apr 00 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Paula 20 Apr 00 - 01:43 PM
Wesley S 20 Apr 00 - 01:41 PM
Ely 20 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM
kendall 20 Apr 00 - 01:30 PM
katlaughing 20 Apr 00 - 01:21 PM
Kelida 20 Apr 00 - 01:15 PM
Caitrin 20 Apr 00 - 01:15 PM
catspaw49 20 Apr 00 - 01:13 PM

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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: X
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 01:38 PM

Here we go again. Oh-Hum.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 01:31 PM

I'm British and I have grown up around guns. I am NOT scared of Americans or guns themselves. I am scared of the damage that guns can do if they are in the wrong hands. Any person of any nationality can cause irrepairable damage. Guns can be used for sport, hunting and used as a deterrant but they are used for killing by all nations not just the Americans.

Cat


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: GUEST,peglenn@bellsouth.net
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 01:17 PM

Lizzie

This thread seems to have run itself out .. howerver, there is one thing that remains to be addressed....

I'm afraid of hair brained Brits that come to America and try to import their tyrannical Parliament's equally hair brained ideas about gun control into this country.

My reasons for bein scared are well founded ... dispite your near complete "gun control" in un-merry old England, your crime rate has soared to new heights, in that your Parliament has now provided the common criminal with no more than a victim-rich, risk-free working environment, where in your citizens are six times more likely to be murdered, raped, robbed, assaulted, or to have their homes invaded than we are here in the good ole gun-totin USA.

Considering that England is only about the size of our State of Oregon, that's a pretty pathetic record ... you in fact now have more crime in England than we have in the entire USA ... a record that most recently has been proven to be even worse than originally believed, in that the law enforcement agencies in Britian have been caught "cooking the books" concerning their methodoligy of keeping track of their soaring crime rates, which they have proven incapable of coping with.

The Brits, by US standards have always has a reputaion for being a "little slow and totally bass-ackwards" and you have proven it admirably, by recently earning the title of "The Crime Capitol of the West" in that your criminal activities, in light of your citizens inabilities to protect themselves, has now exceeded that of every other industrialized nation.

In that you seem to be totaly unaware of these FACTS, obtainable from your own government crime statistics, via Interpol and elsewhere ... then I must assume you are equally unaware of the FACT that in the USA, in those municipalities, counties and States which have the most liberal gun laws, such as the "right to carry" (concealed firearms), that our crime rates are the lowest on record.

You may "feel scared" of Americans and thier firearms ... and that is primarily YOUR problem ... most people indeed feel afraid of things that are ufamiliar to them ... and you obviously know little or nothing of the issue of "gun control" and the horrible results it has had on the people of many nations down over the past century, when they found themselves unprotected from tyranny and genocide.

But rather than "scolding you" I'd like to suggest that you contact someone here in the States and go to a gun range with them to become familiar with that which "scares you" so darn much ...

You will find that we American gun owners are by and large some 80 MILLION strong ... 5 million of which belong to the National Rifle Association and NONE of which are ever engaged in any illegal, or dangerous activities with our estimated 250 MILLION privately owned firearms ... some of which are legally registered and (horrors) fully automatic sub-machine guns and (golly jeepers) even some fully automatic .50 Calibre machine guns.

So go out and have some fun ... knock down a few metallic targets with a hand gun ... punch out some minute groups at 50 feet with a .22 target rifle and a high powered scope in gallery shooting ... hit a running deer target at 100 yards with a high powered rifle ... put together a quarter inch group of shots with a varmit rifle ... bust some clay pigeons at the trap or skeet range or better yet the newer "sporting clays" games ...

If you want to be scared of American's ... then let me suggest American Motherhood in conjunction with bathtubs and swimming pools ... where more of our infants drown each year than are ever killed or injured with firearms.

The main point is this ... become informed ... and become involved ... even if you never take up firearms, at least know what you are talking about, and your fear will leave you ...

Except for one small problem ... once you find out what the whole story is, I doubt that you will want to go back to England ...because you are safer here than you ever were there ... but then we are used to it ... the doors have been open to your "muddled asses" ever since they put that proclaimation up on the Statue of Liberty a number of years ago.

Papa


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Kelida
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 12:27 AM

Hmmmmm. . . They don't spend those tax dollars fighting crime. It all goes into the CIA's drug business. . . and to keep the aliens a secret. . .

:^)--Keli


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Gary T
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 12:14 AM

But Keli, if you can create more crime you can then get more tax dollars to spend trying to fight it. You just aren't a big thinker, eh? (VBG)


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Kelida
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 11:51 PM

I'm not normally a violent person, much more of a pacifist, but sometimes I honestly think that there are some poeple who are completely useless as human beings and would maybe be more useful as, oh. . .say, fertilizer? There are only going to be lazy, irresponsible people as long as people themselves take no action. Big Brother only has so many eyes and arms, so no matter how much legislation gets passed, there are never going to be enough people to enforce it all. The problem is (and I will always maintain this) that the government doesn't have enough conviction to enforce the laws that already exist, and their theory seems to be that making more laws will prevent the old crimes from happening. Well, it won't. It only creates more crime, and sometimes makes criminals of honest people (especially all the gun legislation going around). The way to stop crime doesn't lie in creating more of it--in fact that seems a little counterproductive. . .

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 10:59 AM

I agree with those who commented about the priority of money over human lives.

The problem is with the theory that the Government is too invasive for me is this. Who will reform if the Government doesn't do it? The "Churches" haven't managed to accomplish this. State Governments are just as corrupt as the Feds are perceived. Many gun-toting parents don't seem to have taken the responsibility for keeping guns away from kids. The NRA surely isn't helping. The issue has reached an impasse.

How do you legislate responsibility? It's a big problem.

The problem of gun owner responsibility is tied into other issues such as stewardship of the Earth, child abuse, corrupt elected officials and campaign contributions, abusive practices by the police, disenfranchisement and marginalizing of poor minorities, civil rights etc. etc.

I read somewhere that America is a low-context culture. The tendency is to focus on one issue without considering the other issues that impact upon the one. We have created for ourselves, in the words of Erich Fromm, "logic-tight compartments" where we can focus on a limited aspect and evade other issues.

Frank

Frank


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Gary T
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 10:34 AM

Could be, McGrath, especially if "that's no ordinary rabbit!" (a la Monty Python)


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 09:15 AM

"it's a bit difficult for a hunter to bring down a deer by shouting "Bang! You're dead!"

Robin Hood never had a rifle...People have been been hunting deer for thousands of years, and it's only the last few hundred years anyone's had guns. A few years on and the National Raygun Association will be saying we need disintegrator pistols to hunt rabbits...


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: kendall
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 08:00 AM

Some years ago, here in Maine, I was reading the court news. A man was fined $25.00 for carrying a concealed weapon, and, in the same court another was fined $50.00 for driving an overloaded truck. The state will always have enough people, so, I guess it's ok to knock off a few, but, it will never have enough money. It's really sad that it is more serious to screw the state out of a few tax dollars than to carry a concealed .25 automatic.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Kelida
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 02:58 AM

And some people think I'm strange. I swear it's not me, it's the rest of the world!!!

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Gary T
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 02:55 AM

Sometimes it is crazy, Keli. There are places where it's easier to get out of a murder charge than to get out of a traffic ticket. Doesn't make much sense.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Kelida
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 11:02 PM

Thank you, Saddam. However, I am still going to shamelessly throw a few more thoughts into the ring.

1. For everyone that thinks that crime in America is going up. Yes, it probably is. This, however, is because the bozos running our country keep making more laws. Almost everyone is a criminal these days if you get right down to it. Maybe the answer isn't in the creation of new laws, but in the enforcement of the old laws?

2. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Now to explain that trite, cliche little statement. Yes, yes, I know that eliminating guns completely would eleminate the problem of gun violence, but the complete elimination of guns is a very unrealistic hope. Personally, it breaks my heart that people in general are so obsessed with killing machines. If we're not killing other people, we're killing animals or the environment. I would love it if EVERYONE believed in all that "love thy neighbor" bs, but that is soomething else that is unrealistic. I admit freely that I don't love everyone, and there are some people who I would shed no tears for if they ceased to exist. However, something that IS realistic is justly punishing EVERYONE that is convicted of a crime. The biggest problem with the American justice system is that they keep trying to reform everyone. Mostly, though, they only succeed in reforming criminals into bigger, tougher badasses than they were before. Oh, some people do reform, but most people don't, and even if someone does become a reformed, upstanding citezen after murdering or raping someone else, it doesn't negate the fact that they committed a crime and should be punished for it. 25 years should mean 25 years, but now it means 7 or 12 or some other ridiculously low number. Life should mean LIFE. If someone is reformed after 10 years of a 20-year sentence, they should still be reformed (and maybe even more reformed) after finishing out the rest of their time. If they aren't reformed, that's 10 years longer that they won't be out on the streets committing more and maybe worse crimes.

3. Now for something I've always wondered about: why is it that someone who embezzles $300,000 spends more time in jail than a murderer or rapist? Is money really that important in today's society? Hackers and phreaks also spend an exceedingly long time in jail compared to killers. What's with that? Is the entire world just crazy?!?!?!

Peace--Bridget


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: GUEST, Saddam Hussein
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 10:08 PM

I think you should all be put up against the wall and shot.

That'll stop you arguing about it


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 10:01 PM

Homeless, you said, " a gun is only a tool, like cars, knives, computers, fire, sledgehammers." The difference is that cars, knives, computers, fire, and sledgehammers are not made specifically to kill

Kim C....I live in Wyoming, have lived in the West for all but ten years of my life. Noone HAS to hunt here to get their food; a lot of us are vegetarians. (Ya ever tried to rope a wild carrot?*BG*) We know a lot of people who live out in the boonies, used to live out there ourselves. The poeple who do live out, relish those weekends when they come into the "big city of 50,000" to go to the stores and buy all the grub they need to fule their bods for the next month or so.

As for crime, not a day goes by that I don't read about another drug bust, usually involving weapons; or a wacked out spouse shooting up their partner; or any number of other violent crimes, right here in lil ole Wyomin'. I don't know how long ago you visited Cody, but there is death and destruction a'plenty, esp. in the domestic violence department and don't you know...most of 'em have a gun they can turn on the one they love.

Sorry, Kim, I don't mean to pick on you, these are just subjects I write a lot about and see, firsthand, everyday out here.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Amergin
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 09:30 PM

Forgive me for being rude or anything but, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............................


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: MarkS
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 06:32 PM

I was all set to jump in with a response to Lizzies comment on "wanting the right to own guns" but I figure this thread is long enough already! Peace MarkS


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 05:23 PM

Not all Americans like guns or own them. Not all Americans defend the use of them under any circumstances. Americans are deeply divided on this issue.

I feel that guns are unnecessary in the hands of most people. Because they are owned, they get stolen by criminals who have learned how to use them for the greatest harm.

I believe in gun control because I don't feel that those who believe that they use them properly are capable of doing so. This has been proven time and again by the deaths created by accidents, kids and/or criminals that get ahold of them. The NRA is unwilling to police itself.

I think that Lizzie's fear is not unfounded but I would like to reassure her that this American believes in gun control no matter how much it's detractors attempt to dissuade through the politicians whose palms are greased with NRA money.

Frank


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: GUEST,cara
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 05:15 PM

My html tag for the Salon article ceased to exist, mysteriously...here it is...http://www.salon.com/politics2000/feature/2000/04/03/nra/index.html


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: GUEST,Cara
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 05:13 PM

Hhmmm. Guns outlawed after one little massacre. Those crazy Brits.

To respond to Kim, I submit this article from Salon magazine which talks at length about the issue she mentioned regarding the rise in crime in Australia after the gun buyback program there, which happened as a result of the Port Arthur killings. Apparently the Attorney General of Australia disagrees with her interpretation, because he wrote a letter to Heston denouncing the NRAs false use of the Australian situation as support for their (the NRA) crazy ideas about gun ownership. Read all about it. I think Rick Fielding brought this situation up in a thread a while back.

Also, I live in Washington, DC, and while it is true that we have gun violence problems here, they have sharply declined over the last decade or so, and are largely a function of the drug trade (America's War on Drugs being an entirely separate unsavory issue). And, while it is true that there is a ban on handguns in the district, they are very easy to procure in nearby Virginia, which has very lax handgun controls, and has therefore been flooded with weapons, as have so many loosely controlled markets, especially those near a major urban area. This is one of the main issues cited in the spate of recent suits against the gun industry brought by many U.S. cities.

I read a travel article not too long ago about British Columbia. The American author described going into a cafe and having a dishevelled, disturbed person who was fidgety and muttering to himself sit down close by. He said it made him nervous, and he was looking to move, when he remembered that he was in Canada and tat therefore the person in question was pretty unlikely to be armed. The realization shocked him. I think a lot of Americans don't realize that that sort of freedom from fear is something we are all missing out on as a result of our insane gun laws.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Peg
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 04:10 PM

Homeless; you can't coerce someone if your arguments make no sense.
you wrote: "I'll agree that if someone wants to do it they can kill more people faster with a gun than with a knife/axe/what-have-you. But being able to do more, faster, does not make it dangerous."
huh??? It doesn't??? since when? are you high?
You also wrote: "No disrespect intended, but I don't see the logic in "Guns are a problem precisely because they are implements of mass destruction". Bulldozers, wrecking balls, jackhammers all fit that criteria but aren't a problem."
this is just plain nonsense. Those items are not intended to be used as WEAPONS! Guns are.
You also wrote: "And I thought the problem was usually one person being killed at a time, not simultaneous mass murder?"
who said this? and who says mass murder is not a problem? on this anniversary of the worst school shooting in history, that statement is just plain disrespectful. what about Paducah, Kentucky? Springfield, Oregon? Pearl, Mississippi? mass murder is the problem, that is the point most people in this thread are trying to make. You seem to be playing at being too dense to pick up on this, I am not sure why.

You also wrote: "Other than the military, the press I usually see about mass murders involves bombs, not guns."
see above. The paper I read every day, the radio I listen to, talks about shooters and multiple victims; two dead in an old age home just yesterday in fact.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM

A little honesty on both sides might go a long way. Frankly it is not sensible to point to the need to hunt for food as a justification for possession of firearms. Mankind evolved out of the "hunter-gatherer" stage many centuries ago. But equally the "ban guns and gun-related crime will stop" argument is not on the level.

It is trite that one man's freedom may impinge on another's. THe central issue here is the legitimacy of the resort to force - whether with a gun, or another weapon, or even the inherent power of a majority to oppress a minority in a democracy. I suggest that the measure to apply is the risk of wrong you create.

Take away firearms and you leave the physically strong (or the mob-handed) as empowered, or almost as empowered, as the armed used to be. But how much ahve you harmed the disempowered?

Think before you kneejerk.

Think about why the kids at Columbine might have felt oppressed. THink about the fact that the effectiv e power rstructure there left them hopeless. THink about what would have happened to TOny Martin if he tried to stop 3 burglars with 114 (yes114) convictions between them without a gun.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Homeless
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:38 PM

After re-reading my last post, I can see that I'm subconciously trying to coerce someone to change their stance on an issue. Since that is against my values, I will bow out of this thread.

I do hope however that I've given people on both sides some food for thought.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:36 PM

One thing that bothers with guns is how quickly they can be used. I have seen talk here of psyhcopaths and even in the UK, we have wittnesed what destruction somebody going beserk with a gun can cause but what about normal stable people? I'm sure that most of us, if we are honest have had at least one point in our lives where we have been driven into an ablolute rage what the hell happens if there is a gun to hand at that point?

The self defense bit also bothers me slightly. How many people have fired guns in unneccesary panic? I used to walk home at night along dark lonely roads and paths and I used to get nervous at times and considered carrying a knife for protection. I decided against it not for any legal reasons but because I was more scared of the thoughts of what I may do if somebody startled me on my way home than I was about the thoughts of being attacked.

Another thought on defending things: I am not defending burglars but if a burglar suspects that owner of the place he is goining to rob has a gun, rather than preventing the crime, doesn't it simply increase the chances of him carrying a gun to defend himself?

Jon


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Homeless
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:34 PM

Peg - I can see we are talking about two different things. You say, "Semi-automatic weapons shoot lots of bullets in short periods of time," which I agree with. But, it only takes one bullet to kill someone in the same way that it only take one knife slash. I'll agree that if someone wants to do it they can kill more people faster with a gun than with a knife/axe/what-have-you. But being able to do more, faster, does not make it dangerous.

No disrespect intended, but I don't see the logic in "Guns are a problem precisely because they are implements of mass destruction". Bulldozers, wrecking balls, jackhammers all fit that criteria but aren't a problem. And I thought the problem was usually one person being killed at a time, not simultaneous mass murder? Other than the military, the press I usually see about mass murders involves bombs, not guns.

I don't agree that "a killer with anything other than a gun tends to be a lot easier to disarm." Again, it depends on the wielders knowledge of the weapon and state of mind of both attacker and defender. Outside of movies (where all fights are choreographed), do you have much firsthand experience witnessing disarming scenarios?


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Melodeon
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:33 PM

I am terrified of guns, I am also terrified of the people who carry them, whatever Nationality they happen to be. I would not however presume to criticise another culture, particularly as that other culture happens to be my host on this forum. However, over here in the UK it is difficult for some of us to understand the whole thing about the right to own a gun, probably because it is so alien to our own culture. Having read with interest all of the above threads I can only say that I am glad that I do not have to decide whether or not to own a gun ( hand guns are illegal over here because of the Dunblane tragedy) because I can understand the logic that if everyone else has got one then I had better have one too, is that not what brought us the proliferation of atomic weapons in the world. I can only hope that more Americans ( and others) decide to be responsible gun owners like the ones that have written here so that there are no more senseless killings of innocent people in schools, supermarkets, retirement homes etc. In the meantime look after yourselves.

Viv


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:32 PM

Peg, you are right about the ability of guns, especially semi-auto and automatic weapons, to wreak wholesale slaughter in seconds. This is why the "if you outlaw guns, you must outlaw knives and cars" argument is such a specious one. By extension, grenade launchers don't kill people, people with grenade launchers kill people. If you out law grenade launchers, you must also outlaw cans of baked beans since you could kill someone by hitting him on the head with a can of Campbell's. Dumb.

Let's instead recognize that a flintlock musket is not a 12 ga shotgun is not an AK 47, and make the restrictions that common sense would advise us to make.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:15 PM

I like to shoot, too. That doesn't meant I WANT to shoot anyone ---- but I would not hesitate in defending myself.

The weapons are not the problem. Someone has to make a conscious choice to use a weapon; the weapon doesn't just jump into their hands of its own accord. What we have to do, as good people, is stand up against evil - against those circumstances which cause someone to believe they need to use a weapon against someone else.

Are guns dangerous? Well, even a pair of scissors is dangerous in the wrong hands. We're going to ban scissors now? I think not.

There are people in the United States who still have to hunt for their food. They live in places like Alaska, Montana, Wyoming... out in the middle of nowhere, where they can't just bop down to the market for a snack.

I think you will find that in the US, the greatest pockets of crime are concentrated in very highly populated areas... New York City (although theirs has gone down lately), Washington DC (where handguns are illegal), Los Angeles... The crime rates in these concentrated areas cause the average for the whole US to go up. More people, more crime. Put two rats in a cage together and see if they don't get along okay; crowd a hundred of them in there and watch what happens.

I visited Cody, Wyoming several years ago, and read about the recent crime wave in their local paper: one bank window broken out, and a backhoe stolen from a construction site. Big contrast to what happens in the big city.

Like I said, if you don't want a gun, don't own one, but don't even think about telling me I can't. I do wholeheartedly agree, though, that guns need to be taken away from criminals. And when that happens, I'll think about melting mine down. But you don't see the President asking the Secret Service to disarm, do you?

Regards ------------- Kim


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Peg
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:14 PM

Homeless; I respectfully diagree. Guns are a problem precisely because they are implements of mass destruction. Semi-automatic weapons shoot lots of bullets in short periods of time. I could kill a lot more people a lot faster with a gun than I could with a club, or a couple rolls of quarters in a sock. Good ole Dylan and Eric could not have blown away all those kids that quickly with knives, rocks or aarsenic...and a killer with anything other than a gun tends to be a lot easier to disarm than someone with, oh, a 2x4, or a hypo full or potassium...
I myself would be likely to try and disarm a psycho with a knife, risking injury to myself, if it meant helping someone else. There is a chance I would be hurt or killed, but the risk is worth it. If the psycho has a gun, I could probably not even get close enough to him to do anything...he could kill me from a few feet or yards away. Knives are not projectiles; bullets are. I really do not see how you can argue that guns are on the same level of lethal effect as any other weapon.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:11 PM

Gun ownership in America is not a black and white issue. Most Americans have little sympathy for either the NRA and their "only an ARMED man is truly free" bullshit on one side, and the gun-control extremists and their "All guns are EVIL" crap on the other. We know better.

But progress needs to be made. Gunshow loopholes need to be closed. Gun crimes need to be vigorously prosecuted. Many types of weapons currently legal need to be banned. I don't buy the "Guns are necessary to fend off an oppressive government" argument, nor the "an armed citizenry is the greatest deterrent to crime" argument, but I know that many intelligent folks do believe these things. Progress in the control of guns here, and throughout the world, will be made when individuals sit down and hammer out difficult compromises with respect to each other's points of view in a rational manner. Statements such as "I am afraid of Americans and their guns" do not advance this cause. I believe in your earnestness, lizzie, but I do think your statement reveals an ignorance of the status quo re guns, and does not move it toward an improvement in the situation.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Peg
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:07 PM

...are idiots.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Homeless
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:07 PM

anonymous Guest - I maintain that a gun, in itself, is not dangerous. I've had a variety of guns, and in the years I had them not one ever killed any mammal of any type. I also own knives (including ones for the dinner table) and have killed animals with them.
Q. Which one was more dangerous?
A. Neither - it was my action that was the danger to the animal - the implement didn't matter in the end.

A gun is no more dangerous than a knife, rope, car, axe, table saw, drill, sledgehammer, clenched fist... Should I go on?


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Peg
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:01 PM

Guns Don't Kill People.
Schoolchildren With Guns Kill People.

Peg (who grew up eating plenty of venison, some killed with guns, some with bows and arrows, and who thinks all meat eaters should take responsiblity for acknowledging the sacrifice of the life of their dinner, and who almost had a heart attack the first time she ever killed an animal with a gun--age 12 or so--and who would never have one in the house, and who has the utmost respect for the way her father taught his children that guns are not toys and who punished any of us who even pointed a toy gun at anyone, even in fun, and who thinks people who point to the arcane, ridiculously out-of-date Second Amendment designed to arm civilians with muskets during wartime two hundred damn years ago as some proof that people have the right to buy guns and keep them in their homes for any stray child or psychopath or disgruntled husband or wife to pick up and blow someone away by accident or in an unthought-through moment...)


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 02:56 PM

A background check also doesn't tell you much about a person's stability or rationality -- it really just tells you if they got caught doing something bad in the past, not if they are likely to do something bad in the future.

I agree with people who say that irresponsible people are the danger, and that if there were no irresponsible, irrational or violent people, guns wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, the world is, and has always been, chock full of irresponsible, irrational and violent people -- the only difference is that now they have ready access to technology that allows them to present a much greater danger to the rest of us than they used to. If somebody knows how to get rid of all the irresponsible, irrational and violent people, I wish he would enlighten the rest of us. Myself, I don't think it can be done -- so I'd suggest that we go with the second-best option, and get rid of the guns.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 02:53 PM

Homeless,

"To say that a gun is dangerous is ridiculous" hmmmm

If an implement specifically designed to kill mammals isn't dangerous, it must have been very badly designed...


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Homeless
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM

I'm willing to throw a bit more fuel on the fire.

I've owned, over my life, a shotgun, a rifle, and a handgun. I only used them for target shooting, don't see any compelling need for any of them, and no longer own any of them.

I, personally, see a strong need to hunt my own meat - that supplied by the supermarkets is pumped full of antibiotics, hormones, and other nasties I don't care to have in my body. However, I don't believe I need a gun to hunt - a bow or crossbow does just fine, thank you.

As stated above, the feeling of being invincible once you start carrying a gun is a dangerous thing. If someone were to pull a pistol on me, and I pull mine out too, we shoot each other, does that stop the violent crime? And would the cockiness that goes along with knowing you can "defend yourself" possibly prompt a confrontation that might not have otherwise occured?

It seems that everyone wants to regulate guns in one way or another, but no one seems to hit what I think is the strongest point - a background check doesn't tell you if the purchaser knows how to safely handle a gun. The venetian blind is a case in point. The people who scare me are the ones who own a gun(s) but haven't the slightest bit of knowledge of them. I won't be around those people - I've had too many guns accidentally pointed in my direction.

I spend a lot of time around the ER at our local hospital. I saw many more deaths from car accidents than I ever did from gunshots. To say that a gun is dangerous is ridiculous - a gun is only a tool, like cars, knives, computers, fire, sledgehammers. It is irresponsible people who are dangerous. And not just with guns, e.g. people who drive after they've had even 1 drink. You can harm (kill) people with any of the above named implements, but only cars are regulated in any way.

If you want to quote statistics on murder and try to compare them with stats on guns, you should at least use the figures on murder by gunshot.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 02:24 PM

Yeah Jon. I feel the same about people with fireworks. Lots of flash; lots of noise; hardly worth losing a finger over.

But why fear only Americans with guns?

I live in NYC and am far more afraid of Americans with cars.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: GUEST,Rana
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 02:23 PM

From the BBC Online webpage, re. Farmer found guilty of murder in "defending his property":

------ Jailing Martin, Mr Justice Owen told him householders could use reasonable force to defend themselves from burglary.

But Martin's actions in tackling the burglars were given support after the verdict by chocolate heir Sir Peter Cadbury, who told the BBC it was legitimate for a householder to use force against an intruder "if the householder himself feels threatened".

He told BBC Two's Newsnight programme on Wednesday: "A lot of my friends sleep with loaded guns under their beds and I don't think they can be criticised for doing that, because if they ring the police, it will be 35 to 40 minutes before a car gets there.

"I have had a loaded gun by my bed for the last 40 years, but in July last year, when a burglar took every piece of jewellery my wife had and my wallet and a lot else, he took the gun too." ----

This could have back-fired on Sir Cadbury (pun not intended) had he or his family had been in the room. Which is one danger in protecting yourself.

Can't discuss the above (Tony Martin) case since don't know any of the details, though it would appear that the judge and jury felt excessive force was used in the act of "self-defence" -

Hope I haven't opened another can of worms, but having weapons can often bring more harm to the victim.

Rana


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 02:05 PM

I still can't understand the thrill some people get out of shooting guns. I have used a 45 automatic, a 38 special and a couple of rifles but I found that once I got over the initial thrill of hanling a gun and finding out that I could hit things, the whole thing got very boring - each to their own I suppose...

Looking back, what we did was stupid as well. A group of us met in a pub before going off to an old slate quarry that was used as a shooting range with the person who owned the guns. There were about 8 of us and I for one would have drunk about 6 pints before going there...

Jon


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:58 PM

Didn't want to say anything, but good lord you just can't help it sometimes. I neither condone nor condemn owning guns. Would I like Lizzie (and my lovely family, friends and self) to be free of the fear of guns? You betcha! But that just ain't in the cards.

I believe someone used the words "Pandora's Box" before in this thread. The box is open - the guns are out there. Outlawing them doesn't make them go away. Can we control them better? The debate rages on and, once again, it runs in all the wrong directions. Humans need to learn to control themselves (and I'm not talking about mudcatters here, the self-control in this group is admirable). What if nobody felt the need to shoot anything? Or oppress anything? Or marginalize anything? We, as a species, will do and allow the most outrageous acts, justifying all the way. . .

It's religion, and economics, and nationalism, and all kinds of fear-driven weirdness that scares me - not Americans with guns (and I walk among them). It's not insame to own a gun; it's not insane to oppose gun ownership. And it's absolutely necessary to continue to talk about all of this uncomfortable stuff.

How do you stop people from killing each other? Refuse to do it yourself. Refuse to brutalize another human, physically, mentally, psychologically . . . Figure out what is really important to you and refuse to deny it to someone else. Itmay not seem like much, but it's a start.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:46 PM

Everyone has a right to think what they want, and to express themselves, regardless where they stand on any particular issue. I wish people would stop with the "shut up, you idiot" messages.

I've spent a lot of time with guns -- eight years in the military, expert marksman with an M-16, 45-caliber and 9-mm automatic pistols, extensively trained in law enforcement procedures, riot control, etc. My dirty little secret is that I LOVE guns -- I love the way they feel when I shoot them, I love the way all the moving parts work together, and most especially I love the way a gun makes me feel like a tough guy. I am not alone, and anyone who is experienced with a gun (particularly a handgun) and is honest will tell you the same thing. Start carrying a gun, and right away you feel like John Wayne. That's why we need to get rid of most of them, and tightly control the rest. Gun control may be difficult, but if we want to stop the insane escalation of violence, we have to either tightly control the guns or tightly control the people -- all 300 million of them in this country, for starters.

The whole "assault weapon" thing is basically a red herring; only a very small percentage of the gun deaths in this country are caused by assault weapons. The Second Amendment argument is bogus -- the Supreme Court has consistently and correctly ruled that the Second Amendment protects local militias from having their weapons taken away, but does not confer an automatic, inalienable right to individual gun ownership. Besides, the Second Amendment refers to "the right to keep and bear arms" -- which is pretty broad, and includes nuclear bombs, nerve gas, and virtually any other evil device known to man (or as yet unknown). Anybody care to argue that the Constitution says we all are allowed to stockpile nuclear weapons? Anyone want to continue living in this country if the answer to that question is yes?

We in America not only HAVE the most guns, we also MAKE and EXPORT the most guns. Given the economic interests involved, banning them wouldn't be easy. And no, it isn't a stand-alone remedy, and it wouldn't prevent every crime. But it would substantially reduce the level of violence in this country, and for that reason it's worth doing. Either that, or let's learn to live with the high level of violent crime that is such an unfortunate byproduct of our American society and culture


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Mbo
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:45 PM

Wes, can you play some George Winston on yer mandolin for us? That would be COOL!!!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: GUEST,Paula
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:43 PM

Lizzie, I'm from Glasgow. I lived in England for three years and now I live in Ohio, America. Let me tell you that Americans are the most generous, kind, well mannered people I have ever known and,in my seven years here, I haven't met many that I don't like.

Of course there's problems with guns, as there is all over the place, Britain included. However, I'm more afraid of being chibbed with a knife in Glasgow than I am of being shot by a gun in America.

Maybe you have to visit the country before you decide you're afraid of Americans. Besides, if it wasn't for the courage and generousity of Americans saving our cans during the war, we'd all be German!!! Have gratitude.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Wesley S
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:41 PM

Sorry Spaw - No can do. They've won for now. The GKT have already cost me too much - including the love of a good dame. As I said before - Dallas is too hot for me now. But someday - somehow - they'll slip up. And I'll be ready for them. Until then I'll keep my mandolin in tune and wait.

{ Really - I have to wonder why people post to these types of threads. Usually people are on one side of the issue or the other and there is nothing any of us can say that will change their minds. There is nothing any of us can say about gun control, abortion, or Elian that will make us slap our foreheads and say "Oh my God - I was wrong - and they were right all along. I've been such a fool . Thank God I checked into the Mudcat to get straightened out on this issue". To me it's a big waste of time. But that's just my opinion. Heard any good CD's lately?? I'm looking for something new that features the Irish Bouzouki}


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Ely
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM

Now I'm going to put my foot in my mouth.

Anyone who grew up in a house with bullet holes in the venetian blinds was not the child of a responsible gun owner, and should have been scared.

I know plenty of people who do not own guns, would not own guns, and are in favor of gun-control laws (and I'm from Texas). Unfortunately, it's the really nasty stuff that gets all the attention.

My brother is a Civil War reenactor and owns a rifle and a handgun, so I don't feel that I can fairly criticize those who see gun ownership as a right, even if I suspect that our reasons for owning guns vary a lot. Frankly, even if we did own these guns for protection, I would not be willing to bank on them to protect me in the panicky heat of the moment.

I will never be comfortable with the "Constitutional protection" afforded gun ownership. Individuals carrying weapons for personal protection are not a well-regulated militia. Most Americans are no longer at risk of attack by wild animals or Native Americans (not that the Native Americans weren't amply justified). Most Americans don't _need_ to hunt for food, either.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: kendall
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:30 PM

Canada is not free of gun violence in the past. The government wiped out the Metis at a place called Batoche in Saskatchawan in 1885. There is a song ..and never mind their Gatlin guns, if we lose this time, we've lost forever..its by Bill Gallager called, The Last Battle. It's on Gordon Boks new cd, In The Kind Land.


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:21 PM

Right on, Harpgirl and here's to well-aimed can of spray paint for non-lethal self-defense!

Yer right, Spaw, sorry I did get sucked in, again!


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Kelida
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:15 PM

Obviously, guns are always going to be a big debate, but I'm going to add another 2 cents to the conversation here.

I know I trivialized being robbed at gunpoint, but here's a better account of it. I used to work at the local Subway restaurant, and I had been closing the store at 10 or 11 at night by myself for close to 6 months, just as other people had for 13 YEARS with no incedent. Two guys came in and pulled a gun on me, tied me up with some tape, and proceeded to take the $134 that was in the register. It only took about 1 minute, and they were gone. By this time, I was hyperventilating and pretty much just freaking out, but I managed to call 911. Now, over 2 months later I haven't even HEARD from the police in 6 weeks, and those 2 men are still on the loose. I could have been killed!

In any case though, what's the point of dwelling on it? Just because I was a victim of someone holding a gun doesn't mean that I think my grandfather should give up his gun collection, which incedentally, I have never touched or wanted to touch, for all that they have always been in easy reach. I myself have a rifle and a handgun that I only vaguely know how to use, and have no desire to use. I have grown up in a family where guns are always around, and several of my family members collect weapons.

My philosophy is that the way to stop violence is to punish the perpetrators. If you take away guns, what about all the other things people could use as weapons? Knives, forks, pencils, clubs, cars, sticks, rocks, bare hands? If people want to harm someone, they will use anything. The problem isn't that weapons are available, the problem is that they are available to the wrong people--people who are out on the streets when they should be behind bars.

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: Caitrin
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:15 PM

Right on, harpgirl. I may disagree with people, but I believe they're fully entitled to their opinions. (Of course, they're wrong, but I'm willing to let them be wrong. Note presence of tongue in cheek.)
Ok, Aldus, let's say we take your word for it that the murder rates are lower. Has gun-related crime stopped? Is it appreciably different from before guns were banned?


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Subject: RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:13 PM

Wesley it is important that you come forward with whatever you know regarding the GKT. It is the right of everyone to know exactly what went on that day. As an American and a Texan you know as well as any that the people of this country have been seriously duped and your knowledge could result in the truth finally coming out, not to mention a lucrative book and movie deal.

(and folks, give it a break........This subject has been hashed over ad infinitum and I have yet to see anyone suddenly change their mind in either direction. As folk1234 said, its great we can discuss this without rancor, but things are getting close to an uncomfortable edge here and regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, it is most important that we can still "sing" together)

Spaw


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