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View Poll Results: Firearms or Not? What Do You Think . . .
Yes, I think it's a good idea 108 36.36%
Bad Idea 96 32.32%
Not sure, both have merits and faults 93 31.31%
Voters: 297. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 25-04-2006, 17:44   #181
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Nothing wrong with that route of a decision, Chris31415!!

I know that in my past posts. I mentioned myself off. Like I'm a pirate. Or just some pure "gung-ho", ex-military type. Who just loves guns around!!

Actually, I don't. There are times like what Chris said that I totally agree with. But, I have always been the type. That if you cross my little invisble circle barrier, that surrounds me. And you intend to hurt me. I "will" strike back immediately!!

That has always been "me". I can't really change for what instinctive urges that helped me survive all these years. It really helps me out every time.
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Old 26-04-2006, 18:04   #182
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"If there is a problem and it seems that a flare gun is needed to get assistance why not use it as a flare gun?" No offense meant, but have you ever fired a flare gun? Even the expensive SOLAS-rated flares are not going to get much attention unless you use them as they are intended to be used. That is, when a rescuer is NEARBY and LOOKING for you and you just need to highlight your position.
The 12-gauge pistol type commonly sold and carried (because they are so much cheaper than SOLAS flares) are a joke. Here in the US, they are actually far less noticeable than common fourth of july fireworks.

Some years ago I had the pleasure to be talking with someone whose name was nationally recognized in sailing circles in the US. A gentlemen who was also a retired USN officer. He mentioned that during a delivery off the mid-atlantic states they responded to a distress call from another sailboat that claimed their engine was disabled. They came nearby, discussed the situation, and advised the other crew to strip naked and swim across to come aboard. Meanwhile, the shotgun was ready but out of sight below.
There was some dickering and then the shotgun was brought on deck. And a miracle happened, the "distressed" boat immediately fired up its engine and motored away at full speed.

Yes, there are bad people out there, and yes, sometimes simply showing a weapon will send them away. Which is not to say that weapons in the wrong hands, in untrained hands, or in violation of local laws, won't be more of a problem than a solution. But a double-barrelled shotgun is most likely to be considered a "sporting" weapon and most likely to be legal, if you need to carry something.
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Old 07-05-2006, 23:24   #183
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Yes, but...

As I've read along in this thread, one thing I've noticed is that I see a lot of anecdotes about how someone with a gun was able to scare off so-and-so by brandishing the gun, or some attack was fought off by someone with a gun, and I don't doubt that such stories are true, and that these things happen, and that the outcomes in these cases could well have been vastly different, and likely worse, had there not been guns on board.

What seems to be conspicuously absent, however, are all the anecdotes about how so-and-so landed in jail because they took their gun to the wrong place, or how someone got shot in a quarrel, or managed to shoot themselves by accident or intent (over half of US firearm deaths are suicides).

I'm not anti-gun. I've owned a few myself, and don't object to using them for hunting or for sport. Neither do I object to brandishing them to scare off people that are getting a little too hot under the collar, or even to using them for putting big holes in people with criminal intent. But the simple facts are that if you have a gun, it's far, far more likely that the gun will be used to shoot someone in your family than to shoot a criminal intent on doing you harm.

So, if you need or desire to travel in pirate-infested waters, and feel the need to carry a gun, by all means do so, but please do so knowing that the gun you carry is more likely - statistically at least - to harm you than to protect you, so take all possible precautions. And please don't tell me how you're more careful than all the fools that get killed by their own guns. Behind every gun tradgedy is someone saying "I never thought this could happen to me."
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:20   #184
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Simple reply to that, how's someone that got shot or is rotting in a jail somewhere, going to tell
Actually we do have one case here in this part of the world. An Ozie fellow got in big trouble in Thialand by arriving with undecleared guns onboard. He got to stay as a guest of the countries Government for a while, untill it all got sorted. Their Jails are not someplace I would like to stay for a sleep over.

This is an argument that I don't think could or can ever be resolved. The views are too Polar. There are as many arguments for as against. Those that are brought up in a society that guns are the norm and common place, seem to be more at ease with the gun. Those of us that have grown up without that, seem to be more at ease without. I really don't think either side is right or wrong.
Ultimately, it will always depend on the situation at the time.
I just have that saying in the back of my head, "those that live by the sword, Die by the sword".
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Old 08-05-2006, 08:58   #185
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"What seems to be conspicuously absent, however, are all the anecdotes about how so-and-so landed in jail because"
I don't think that's missing, haven't a number of us said to beware local regulations?

<<how someone got shot in a quarrel, or managed to shoot themselves by accident or intent (over half of US firearm deaths are suicides). >>
That changes the topic from sailing to politics, and I'm not sure how the moderators would feel about it. There are plenty of statistics available concerning gun use, gun abuse, casulaties and deaths from all points of the issue. And the not-so-funny thing is, the way those numbers are so often manipulated and distorted to "prove" points. I won't touch that without express permission from the moderators.
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:59   #186
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And the not-so-funny thing is, the way those numbers are so often manipulated and distorted to "prove" points. I won't touch that without express permission from the moderators.
The stats aren't hard to find (or to use to "prove" your point, whichever side you're on). What's missing are the actual stories. It's something I've noted that seems unusual about the debate - the pro-gun side seems to mainly provide anecdotes, while the anti-gun side seems mainly to rely on stats. That's a somewhat gross generalization, but I think it's a reasonably accurate picture of the overall debate.

Also, I'm not sure the public as a whole is as polarized as the debate would make it seem - both in terms of gun regulation in general or in terms of carrying guns while cruising. I think a lot of people would like to find some sort of rational middle-ground. It seems like it's the advocates that are highly polarized more so than the public.

Personally, I probably would choose not to carry a gun unless I had the need to travel somewhere unusually dangerous, but I don't object to the idea either. As someone that's somewhat "on the fence," it would be nice to see more hard data from the pro-gun side of the debate, and a little more in terms of real-life stories from those opposed. It would help balance the two arguments.
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Old 09-05-2006, 05:19   #187
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”... What's missing are the actual stories ... the pro-gun side seems to mainly provide anecdotes, while the anti-gun side seems mainly to rely on stats ...”

Interesting stories* (“anecdotal evidence”) are often used to illustrate or “prove” one point of view or another. Anecdotal evidence can seem very compelling, especially if the audience wants to believe it, and the conclusions it purports to substantiate. Notwithstanding, they are NOT evidence, nor do they establish any probability of the truth of any claims they may be put forth to illustrate. Often the argument draws a conclusion from cases specifically chosen to support the conclusion (while ignoring cases that might tend to undermine the conclusion). In short, anecdotes represent an inherently problematic (non) argument, and are usually impossible to test for accuracy.

Stories are not evidence, nor logical argument, and add little to the debate.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with presenting representative cases to illustrate an inductive conclusion, properly drawn from evidence. I’ve read the stories of a man who met Elvis in the supermarket, but those who haven't had the same experience might require more than the National Enquirer’s anecdotal evidence to convince them.

* I suspect not many of us would find "nothing much happened today" to be an interesting or compelling story, which may partially explain why the "unarmed" community doesn't present much anecdotal evidence.
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:42   #188
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JG, the dual problem with asking for statistics that prove both points, is that there is no agency, no body, no central keeper for incidents of "gun good". That is, if someone breaks into my home, attacks my wife, and I rack the chamber of a shotgun to get their attention, the incident is only recorded as a burglary and assault. No mention is ever recorded that "A gun was used to end a crime."
On the other hand, if I shoot a burglar, that is recorded as a "gun death".

So the problem becomes, how can you prove a negative? How can you record the sound of one hand clapping in an empty forest?

And the answer is, that you cannot be sure, but you can get a good idea of the real numbers. There are estimates that "gun good" happens two million times a year in the US. No, I can't back that up with numbers. On the other hand, over the past 30 years, every jurisdication in every state that has gone from "no carry" to "shall carry", requiring the issue of concealed firearms permits when they are requested, has also gone on record as showing a LOWER rate of violent crimes, including gun crimes, afterwards. The source is the US DOJ in their uniform crime statistics, the Broward County Sheriff's Office, the state of Florida, and many others that have changed their carry permit laws in the past decades.
This can also be correlated directly with the recorded gun crime in various jurisdictions that effectively ban civilian concealed carry or gun ownership completely. Highest gun death/crime rates in the US? Chicago and DC, where you aren't legally allowed to have one. Lowest rates? That's right, places where people are allowed to be armed. This has also been confirmed with interviews 9from multiple sources) with convicted burglars and felons. They've all said the same thing, "We don't know who is carrying and might shoot back, so we'd rather rob empty homes (burglars) or foreign tourists (who have just arrived at the airport, ergo must be unarmed). Yes, this is documented.
Gun good? Well, about the only central repository is the NRA, where the magazines carry newspaper clippings from all over the US, every month, that individual readers have sent in. "86 year old man shoots burglar, saves wife" would be the typical headline. They get at least a dozen a month published, you could ask them directly how many get submitted.

The funny thing is, HCI (Handgun Control Inc, which had to shut down and re-open under a new alias) used to claim 10x the number of "child" gun deaths that the NRA and DOJ claimed every year. In fact, they had the Postal Service audit the NRA magazine in an attempt to shut them down for "fraud". Funny thing...the NRA's citings matched the DOJ and other documented sources all the time. HCI eventually shut down because they had lost all credibility. You see, the DOJ defines "child" as 14 and under. But HCI redefined it to mean "21 and under" neatly including all the 17-21 year old gang bangers who were anything but "innocent children", who accounted for 90% of the deaths.
You can play all sorts of games with numbers, but the funny thing you keep hearing from all sorts of unlikely people is "I couldn't believe the numbers so I started to research them....and then I realized the NRA was right and the anti-gun quotes were simply wrong."
Like the crew who showed a 12-guage and saw the "engine failed" vessel suddenly start up and motor away with no problem. Or another fellow I spoke with, who said that after he found a burglar in his living room, the biggest problem was cleaning the pee stains out of the carpet. You see, he also had a 12-guage, and when he told the man to stay down and wait for the police, he walked over and stuck the barrel in the man's crotch and told him to just make sure to STAY down. Didn't fire, didn't have to. And the police report? Only says "Attemped Burglarly". No "good gun" listing to be made.
So, who knows?

But it gets better, the DOJ also publishes nice thick studies about gun violence and safety. One of the most effective solutions that they have found, to stop gun violence, is a program called Project Exile. Sponsored, in part, by the NRA. The key feature of Project Exile? Really simple, just require prosecutors to prosecute under the existing laws. Often, they can require a 15-year MINIMUM sentence for a crime committed while carrying an illegal gun. And often--those are plea bargained away into 6 month sentences. Gun crime? No, budgetary crime. No one wants to budget for prosecution. But when they do, again, the statistics prove gun crime doesn't just happen. "Gun safety" policies actually HELP it happen.
"New lamps for old" has always been a popular con. Don't let the "Violence Prevention Center" types pull it over on you, they have other agendas. Like HCI's *documented* secret agenda, of banning all civilian gun ownership. That's been done many times, in many places, over many years. And it always ends badly. Historical record. Not anecdotal.
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Old 09-05-2006, 14:34   #189
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Stories are not evidence, nor logical argument, and add little to the debate.
...
* I suspect not many of us would find "nothing much happened today" to be an interesting or compelling story, which may partially explain why the "unarmed" community doesn't present much anecdotal evidence.
Gord -

You don't need to convince me that stories aren't evidence, but they tend to be more convincing than hard data for many people (perhaps most people). Wasn't it Stalin that said "one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic." He didn't have much going for him, but he knew how to manipulate people's emotions, and that you can't do it by quoting the number of suicides and accidental shootings there are every year.

The stories I would expect to hear, but don't, are the tales from people who had guns that were used by a family member to eat a bullet, or the stories of the kids that got into their dad's gun cabinet, or even the stories from people that discovered at the moment of truth that they weren't natural born killers and would rather be robbed than have a death on their conscience. We all know these things happen and hear about them on the news, but nobody makes it personal by saying it happened to someone they know. That's the way gun advocates make their stories personal, and likely more compelling for their audience.

Hellosailor -

If there isn't hard data, then the gun advocates should lobby to start collecting it with crime data, or put together documented evidence of their own. Clippings sent to the NRA - no matter how many there are, are still just anecdotes in another form. Also, I personally wouldn't put a lot of trust in anything the NRA tells me - it's a bit like asking the wolf about the best methods of guarding sheep. Nor would I put a lot of trust in any evidence coming from an anti-gun lobby. I'd rather get my data from someone who doesn't have a horse in the race. Regarding concealed carry - I've read plenty of evidence about it - both for and against - and a lot of it is flawed.

And folks - stop trying to convince me about how great guns are (or aren't). My interest in the debate is purely academic. I'm more interested in why the arguments are framed the way they are than I am in advancing either point of view.
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Old 09-05-2006, 15:06   #190
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<If there isn't hard data, then the gun advocates should lobby to start collecting it with crime data> What planet are you on? What federal agency is going to mandate that local law enforcement agencies all over the country spend more money on paperwork, when none of them has enough budget to do their jobs? Collecting facts on "non-crimes" just is so far outside of conventions and norms, that it ain't gonna happen unless someone pays for it. And the only billionaire willing to spend his own money on gun issues has been George Tsoros. (sp?)

<or put together documented evidence of their own.> Ah, but then the evidence is called unobjective and self-serving and dismissed as even the DOJ statistics are.

<Clippings sent to the NRA - no matter how many there are, are still just anecdotes in another form.>

<<Also, I personally wouldn't put a lot of trust in anything the NRA tells me - it's a bit like asking the wolf about the best methods of guarding sheep.>> Generally that's true. But the NRA was started to provide a pool of trained draftees for the military, not to protect gun rights. They've bent over backwards to make sure every fact can have a source cited, because they are aware how easily they can be ruined by a mistake in that. Like I said, they were audited by the Postal inspectors and all charges against them were found to be untrue. (HCI tries to shut them down for mail fraud.)
News articles being anecdotal? Gee, I guess that makes the DOJ statistics anecdotal also, since they both come from the same sources and the same incident reports.
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Old 09-05-2006, 15:08   #191
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In 1977 I survived an attempted kidnapping. He had a gun and I didn't. He got shot and I didn't. I own a farm in South Texas, grew up with guns and wouldn't bother to take one out of the case much less take one to my boat. It is just too small for such nonsense. It is not that I can't use one, I just have no use for them (a movie quote). But I have to admit reading all the paranoia is entertaining.
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Old 09-05-2006, 17:30   #192
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What federal agency is going to mandate that local law enforcement agencies all over the country spend more money on paperwork, when none of them has enough budget to do their jobs?
That's true, of course. But on the other hand, how are we, as a country, supposed to come up with a rational gun policy without having hard data to support it.

We collect hard data on guns used by criminals. If a police report is already being generated for a crime, it's a trivial amount of additional effort to note whether or not a gun was used in defending against that crime. In fact, that information is probably already included as part of the narrative in the report, but not systematically tabulated.

Have a look at the data submission guidelines for the FBI's Uniform Crime Report. Adding an element for a gun used in defense against the crime would not be an overwhelming task. If collecting that sort of information would be too much for all crimes, then the National Crime Victimization Survey could be updated (if it hasn't already been) to include data on the use of guns in defense against crimes.

The point here is that if we had hard data instead of file folders full of news clippings, we could make policy decisions based on real information, not estimates or emotionally powerful but statistically weak stories.
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Old 09-05-2006, 20:16   #193
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"That's true, of course. But on the other hand, how are we, as a country, supposed to come up with a rational gun policy without having hard data to support it." Oh, that.
We have a rational gun policy, based on repeated historical fact documented back further than the Roman Empire. Studied even by Machiavelli. It's called the Second Amendment, and the ugly purpose of that amendment, documented by many contemporaneous writings, is to ensure the people have the power of armed insurrection against a government gone wrong--again. Emphasis on the word "again". One of the founding fathers wrote that the only thing more frightening than the thought of having to ovethrow a repressive government, would be the thought of having to do it AGAIN AND BEING UNABLE TO DO SO.
From that original and authenticated point of view, the only question is, does anyone want to open the can of worms and call a Constitutional Convention to change the law? Especially, since it is also documented that some of the orginal colonie refused to sign the Constitution unless that amendment was assured to follow with it, as a condition precedent to signing.
Big can of worms.

Adding a line to reports? Sure, great idea. Assuming the reports are made. Apparently a number of gun owners have been interviewed and stated that they believe they avoided becoming a victim by simply brandishing a weapon. And then they made no report, assuming it would be a waste of time and resources. (Everyone doesn't have a police station around the corner, or the hour to invest in paperwork that can't be closed.) And adding a line to forms? Changing databases? Again, all requires money.
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Old 09-05-2006, 21:42   #194
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Again

Again I say that the last posts are repeating American history which is only moderately related to the original question. If a small town in Montana enacts a law that says " Thou shalt carry a gun " and the crime goes down for a while, do we use that logic to address the question ? Which I believe had something to do with guns on board and visiting other countries, that frankly do not give a hoot about what happens in Montana. The fact that the US has more people in jails and more people killed by guns, does not make them the leading authority on this subject. ( My opinion only ) Usually more lateral thinkers look at places where guns are not common and crime rate and murder is low to gain some insight. They do not look at the US because there is not a lot to learn. When the capitol has more deaths from guns per month than Iraq we can only wonder. Those of us in other places can only hope that the average gun toting US boater, does not export that thinking to other places. My neighbourhood does not have the problems that a similar type of place in the US has. Why would I be interested in following their lead ? Please call be back when you have lowered your overall crime rate and I will listen. Please tell me that you felt safe in a foreign port and did not feel the need for a gun.
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:15   #195
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Adding a line to reports? Sure, great idea. Assuming the reports are made. Apparently a number of gun owners have been interviewed and stated that they believe they avoided becoming a victim by simply brandishing a weapon. ...
We're back to relying on anecdotal evidence with no hard data to back it up, but with plenty of excuses why actually collecting the data is unworkable. So "a number of gun owners" say they've prevented crime by brandishing a gun. OK. What number? Five is a number, so is two. None of this is evidence.

If the gun-brandishing non-victims are responsible citizens, why wouldn't they call the police and have an officer take a statement if they felt threatened enough to merit drawing a weapon? By not doing so, they have contributed to letting a criminal run free. It may or may not be required by law, but isn't it every citizen's civic duty to report crime or criminal behavior when they see it. Not to do so is, in my opinion, to say that we have no responsibility to our fellow citizens. Who might be the next victim of the criminal the gun-brandishing person scares off?

Regarding data collection, we already gather a virtual avalanche of crime data. Adding one element isn't going to overwhelm the system or overburden any local governments. In the meantime, if you're unwilling to collect the evidence to support the theory that guns prevent crime, then you should stop presenting the theory as argument.

As for the history lesson, thanks, but it's not relevant to the discussion. We're not discussing whether or not the Second Amendment does or does not grant citizens the right to start an armed insurrection to overthrow the US government, we're trying to determine whether or not it's a good idea to carry a gun on a sailboat, and if so, when, where, and under what circumstances. Evidence of guns being used to prevent crime is relevant to that discussion, the US Constitution and the meaning of Amendment II are not, especially considering that most of the discussion concerns territory outside of US waters. Needless to say, the Roman Empire is also largely irrelevant as well, having been overthrown almost a millenium before the invention of the first handgun of any kind. I don't think Machiavelli has much relevance either, having been born roughly four centuries before the invention of the revolver. Perhaps he wrote about single shot pistols, but not likely in the context of recreational boaters using them for self-defense.

I'm really not interested in gun politics. I'm interested in actual evidence that would demonstrate whether someone is safer with or without small arms on a sailboat, and why the arguments have been framed the way they have, so I'll respectfully decline to be drawn into arguments about the Second Amendment and US gun rights.
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