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Old 26-12-2006, 18:41   #16
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It sure is a tough issue. I can clearly see the logic of both sides. I can't say either is correct or incorrect. I'm not even a proponent of either side. Everyone should do as they see fit on this one. There does not appear to be a "right answer" to the question.

However...

I posted this because I saw (and felt) a connection between all of those crimes taking place while Christmas shopping and my own need to have a backup plan for if someone were to try and forcefully board my boat, and continue boarding despite my pleas for them to stop and/or identify themselves.

Yes, Pura Vida: I am proposing that the media images have some part in the vulnerability one feels that makes them choose to defend themselves. The media, past experiences, etc... all play a part and I thought this *might* explain why some of us in the States are more pro-gun. I have no wild west type ties. I hate westerns, I'm not such a "manly man" in terms of thinking I'm a tough guy or whatever, and I prefer comedies to action films. I don't like violence, I have never been violent in any way, and I'm a computer programmer... enough said! ha ha

I looked at what has happened to me in my life, what I see in the media, how people are treating each other in general, etc... and came to the logical conclusion that it is better to have an option than to sit there and hope the other guy is going to be nice enough not to hurt me or my wife. Instead, I have an option. I like options. Even in my defense plan, I have a non-lethal first round (bean bag), followed by a real round. More options.

(Bad guys with guns boarding me... don't read the last paragraph.. ha ha)

By no means am I suggesting that anyone should choose the same path. I was merely suggeting a possible reason that Americans are more "gun happy" than others. It's simply a theory that could easily be proven wrong. I thought it was an interesting discussion point, since I happened to notice the connection between those stories and my own feelings on the matter.

I'm not pro or anti gun. It's just become another tool on the boat. It's there like my life vests. It can be readied and donned if need be, but probably won't. I even plan on doing a lot of hunting for our food with it. It's a tool and nothing more.
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Old 26-12-2006, 21:51   #17
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The problem with guns is it's too EZ for the nutty COWARDS to hit and then run. Look what's going on in the middle East. If they had to use a knife or sword, a whole lot less hit & run events there would be! A hand to hand conflect would frighten the COWARD.

I'm not against guns, just how they are managed. Bombs are EZer to make then guns. I'm surprised there aren't more bombings here (US of A). Chemicals can do a lot more damage then a single piece of lead. If one wants to kill people, chem's are more effective. Some people even kill themselves with chem's.

So, what's the big deal. Control the nuts, register them, lock them up. "Turn in a nut today" that should be the motto! It's seems politically correct to have nuts running around but not to own guns.
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Old 26-12-2006, 23:41   #18
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Even the most reasonable and calm person gets angry. Even the most responsible person has one too many on occasion. That is reason number one in my book, not to arm everyone. I understand the thought behind this thread, but I respectfully disagree. True, the world is becoming a more dangerous place. Also true that gun violence is increasing. If not in numbers, definitely in it's boldness. The only thing the two articles brought to my mind is the need to stop spending billions of dollars each year to lock up 20 year old pot smokers, and start pouring that money into some real efforts to get guns off the street. I suppose you could arm everyone, after all, we know how well vigilante justice works <G>, but wouldn't it make more sense to stop the problem at the source? We have effectively eliminated most of the activities that we enjoyed in our youth. We lock kids inside and allow them to use a computer for sanctioned activities, but how often do we go to the park and sit on the swings with them? Teens used to cruise. I have many fond memories of driving around in circles for hours on Friday and Saturday nights. Sure I did a few stupid things, but it was in the pursuit of fun, not with the malicious intention of "protecting my turf". If we continue to encourage our kids to sit inside a house, and play video games all day, of course they are going to look for a release. And, as we continue to create latch key kids from our need to have both parents working 80 hours a week just to pay for outrageously priced real estate, you can count on our kids looking for that feeling of family that gangs use as a sales pitch. RANT RANT RANT!!!
I'll leave it be. I said my piece. It just really bugs me when people try to justify a need to arm themselves by using examples of situations created by our own actions or inaction.
Sean, I understand how your experience would get you thinking. My thoughts would be to make a chance to spend 10 minutes in a locked room with that turkey. But, that's me
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Old 27-12-2006, 05:33   #19
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I wonder if people would be so willing to start shooting if the bullets cost $1000 each.

I'd reckon they'd put a bit more thought into it before pulling the trigger.

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Old 27-12-2006, 06:28   #20
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Ahhh... two very insightful posts just above. Wow.

Kai Nui: I agree 100%. The solution is to fix these problems at their root.

Dave: Also a good solution. Tax the ammo up to $1000 per shot. While we're at it, fresh water could be 10 cents a gallon. Would solve a lot of problems and create some new revenue for possible health care in the US?
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Old 27-12-2006, 08:56   #21
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Sean, Thanks for the clarification. I wanted to understand if two shootings were meant to be justification or if the news reports themselves were the issue driving public fear.

As for personal experience, Fort Worth, Texas in the ‘70s and ‘80s was a troubled place. It is still used as a case study for racism, poverty and related crime for undergrad Social Science and Criminal Science students (See ‘Left Behind In Rosedale’, Scott Cummings). During those years a man attempted to carjack me at gunpoint not far from TCU. I got beat up but kept my car. He was shot but got away. I wagged a gun around for a very long time after that. But securing it from children, being limited to where I could take it, and realizing that even if I had it that day I couldn’t have used it, lead me to give up firearms as a practical means of protection.

In any case it is easy to find anecdotal examples to support one side of the story or another. But there is a ton of information about what criminals really avoid and the actions that are corollaries to crime. But it takes a LexisNexis or Ebsco subscription to find it and the articles will not sell news papers.

Later
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Old 27-12-2006, 13:42   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do
I wonder if people would be so willing to start shooting if the bullets cost $1000 each.

I'd reckon they'd put a bit more thought into it before pulling the trigger.

Dave
A lot of us ole timers, and maybe some young, manufacture our own ammo. It's very common amoung the wild bird hunters.

At $1000 a shell, the black market would go wild with ammo. And that's why recreational drugs cost so much. All that would do is create another group of criminals to supply other criminals. Not a good plan!
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Old 27-12-2006, 15:15   #23
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And Del's point is very good as well. It's no wonder we haven't solved this thread, or this issue in Western civilization. I wonder how safe one would be in a place like Palestine, where everyone has not only a gun, but a machine gun, apparently. It would be interesting to contrast that with a place that has no guns at all. I still think it is not a good solution for real cruising though... the anti-weapons laws would be worse than an uncharted reef to run afoul of.

At the same time, how do these megayachts do it? I know they don't declare them, but are they just risking their crew's lives by having weapons aboard? I mean, it would be the captain and crew that go to jail as opposed to the owner who is back in his mansion, right?

Another article...

Murders up in New York, other big cities - Yahoo! News
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Old 27-12-2006, 15:33   #24
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Possible Insight Into Why Americans Want to Carry Guns

Could it be because they are afraid?
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Old 27-12-2006, 16:44   #25
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The only reason to carry a gun is to shoot some.....

moron who can't understand that what is mine is mine. My peace and quiet, my family, my life, my children and the safety of each is not up for grabs. The big mistake we are making in the free world is not teaching proper and safe gun use to all citizens and allowing all educated citizens to arm themselves. How many home invasions do you think would take place if the average citizen was armed. None is a practical number. The police want to take arms from the average citizen so only members of law enforcement and the criminals have guns. Great theory! Has it worked?
Well, the word NO creeps into my mind. Crime would decrease if everyone was armed. Would the criminal in Sean's letter have robbed the folks waiting in line if he had an idea that everyone was packing a gun. Again that word comes to mind........NO! It is time to get the liberal heads out of their a$$es. Guns don't kill, only the uneducated, unlawful fool behind it does.
Well, that is enough rant for today.
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Old 27-12-2006, 21:16   #26
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Possible Insight Into Why Americans Want to Carry Guns

And angry. Afraid and angry, give the man a gun...
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Old 28-12-2006, 03:34   #27
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Quote:
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”... The big mistake we are making in the free world is not teaching proper and safe gun use to all citizens ...”
A bigger mistake may be our collective & individual failure to learn and to teach RESPECT (for ourselves and for others, etc), which is the basis of ETHICS (moral philosophy).
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Old 28-12-2006, 05:40   #28
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Hi All,
Appreciate it may seem easy for a non American to stick his nose into what seems to be a domestic issue - but as an outsider I can't help feeling Gord has hit the issue right on the head.
It does seem that those who have the least respect for life - be they perps or so called 'good guys' - both seems to subscribe to the belief guns are OK.

Fortunately sailing is a great way to go places where the majority do respect life and guns are a rarity........

Cheers
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Old 28-12-2006, 07:21   #29
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Yes, Gord's short, but incredibly accurate post is certainly the reason for many of life's problems today. It applies directly to my want to be at sea. In all honesty, my wife and I have lost all hope in our fellow people. I could go on for hours but I'll spare the board any long, boring recollecitons about our experiences with people. Suffice to say, they have very rarely been positive - from friends to family to co-workers. The lack of moral fiber and common human decency is just astounding.

I grew up in a time and place that seems to have vanished. I grew up in NH when there were still old "New England" ethics. You didn't steal, you didn't lie, you didn't purposefully cause trouble for people. You DID respect others, help others and trust others. This type of life has even vanshied from where I grew up. I don't know what happened to our country, but it's just vanished. Is this what it's like to get old?? I yearn for those better days?? ha ha

Anyway, the idea for defending one's self (paranoia?) does come from the knowledge that "out there" on land, there is a deepening trend of disrespect and disregard for fellow humans. People would kill over an Xbox. People would kill over a boat or its contents. Given that a sailboat doesn't have much of a front door lock, I essentially live outside (and in a bad neighborhood right now too). It is indeed the decay Gord speaks of that is the root of the little news clips I linked to, as well as my own need to defend my peace, quiet, life, safety, etc.. as Jim put it so well above. (Jim's a fellow New Englander - he probably understands the "old New England ways" I mention above)

Anyway, I think this has been (for this most part) a productive discussion on the subject. Much less extremism, which is always a good thing.
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Old 28-12-2006, 08:13   #30
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Jentine wrote: "How many home invasions do you think would take place if the average citizen was armed. None is a practical number."


Hmmmm. Trying to think this through.

Is the average citizen armed at all times? If not, the whole proposition falls to the ground.

Scenario: You're sitting around, as might be at a Christmas dinner, and the door is kicked open by gun thugs. You go for your weapons, but they are .... in a storage cabinet somewhere, if you have any sense.

But suppose you're packing heat at the dinner table. You probably have something made by Messrs Smith and Wesson. The gun thugs, meanwhile, have been to the neighborhood arms bazaar and have AK-47s, Tec-9s and the like with a rate of fire that dwarfs anything you are likely to have.

Is a shoot-out in those circumstances gonna help matters? I think not.

But, I hear you say, we may not survive but taking down a few of these guys will deter the NEXT gang of thugs form the NEXT home invasion.

To which I respond, what makes you think these guys read newspapers? How will they find out? My reading of gangbangers is that they are young ignorant testosterone-fueled men, with all of the disregard for risk that that description implies. Sure, you took down the others (and perhaps persished in the process) but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts your exploit would make no difference at all to the other thugs.

I think this stuff actually may not be so prevalent as we think. The news, of course, is fuelled by the unusual. Definition of the beast -- and I speak as a former newspaperman. So if events such as the ones Sean reports were indeed common, they'd be on the back pages or not even reported.

In Toronto -- where in fact the only people with guns (pretty much) are the cops and the crooks -- we have relatively little gun crime, most of it gang on gang. Last year, though, there were a lot of incidents and much hand-wringing in the newspapers about the wave of gun crime.

(By "a lot" I mean we had more than the normal number of reported crimes in which guns were used. Can't recall the exact numbers, but it was still pretty low. The murder rate was up a tick to about 70 in a city of 4 million-odd, not all of which involved guns. But there were some high-profile incidents (see my previous post) (and now I've lost track of the brackets) which sparked a lot of concern.) (Got the brackets right, I think.)

Today's paper's, though, are reporting things are pretty much back to normal -- wave of gun crime subsides, that sort of thing.

YMMV, of course. I live in what one author called the "peaceable kingdom" and even the crest of the "wave of gun crime" I have never felt unsafe.

I do think the big thing is to stop making weapons, combined with a consistent effort to recover them and destroy them. Over time, this would result in fewer weapons on the street.

Easy to say in Canada, of course, where it's only legal to possess a handgun in fairly restricted circumstances, so that really only the cops and the crooks have them. Get 'em away from the gangs and the problem(?) goes away. We also have no large gun-makers lobbying the government to stay in business, so all of our illegal guns come from --you guessed it -- the US. Tough sanctions at the border also help the problem.

Dunno how you'd even start in the US

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