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Is it time to change the European view on U.S. gun ownership?

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As a European, I have always had a strong view that gun ownership laws in the U.S. are wrong and that guns should be banned.

But I think we are also entering into uncharted times when it comes to the social and economic upheaval that is to come. Yesterday's industries will be laying off and tomorrow's will not have had time to recruit.

We're likely to face severe economic dislocation. Unemployment and poverty will mean that people who otherwise would not use their guns to seize money etc. will now be tempted to do so.

In countries where guns are widely available (especially the U.S.) I had always said that I did not think having one was worthwhile because the statistics on:

  1. Deaths by accidental discharge
  2. Deaths by suicide
  3. Deaths of people who are close to the gun owner

All suggested that the defence benefit was outweighed by the above.

But given the possible risks to property etc. I now wonder whether it's time to revisit that anti-gun thinking?

Where there are few guns widely available e.g. Europe, my anti-gun stance remains.

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I think the 'good guys' have the right to owning a deterrent equivalent in strength to that of the 'bad guys' in order to protect themselves and families. This is a general principle that I believe is reasonable especially when one cannot rely on authorities for protection and order. 

As for something like mass shootings which seems to be one of the most prominent arguments against gun ownership, I think deranged individuals and criminals will always find ways to act out and they can turn anything into a deadly weapon. As brother @Mahdavist alluded to, we should look at and address the root causes of such crime rather than the tools used to commit them.

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1 hour ago, Moalfas said:

I think the 'good guys' have the right to owning a deterrent equivalent in strength to that of the 'bad guys' in order to protect themselves and families.

 

My view is based on this. As I see it the danger from the wide availability of guns is not necessarily in terms of strangers killing each other, but the good people shooting themselves, their families and their kids firing off by mistake.

 

1999-_Gun-related_deaths_USA.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States#/media/File:1999-_Gun-related_deaths_USA.png

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1 hour ago, Haji 2003 said:

but the good people shooting themselves, their families and their kids firing off by mistake.

One could argue that corrosive substances or rat poison for example also pose such risks. I'm all for responsible ownership and handling of anything that can be deadly, be it a firearm, a car, medication or bleach. 

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1) The federal assault ban signed by Bill Clinton had very little affect on the crime statistics, and it lasted for 10 years.

2) The bad guys will not hand in their weapons. Gun violence will continue because guns are widespread anyway.

3) Gun violence in the US has actually been decreasing even though gun ownership has not declined, mainly because of success in law enforcement and the fact that gangs are less powerful than they were in the 80s/90s inside the US.

4) Americans keep guns for a variety of reasons, one of them is so they can protect themselves from a tyrannical over-reaching authoritarian government. An unarmed populas is easier to control than an armed one. And democracies have turned tyrannical in the past, so it is very possible, in fact one can argue the current US Government is already too authoritarian compared to what the founding fathers envisioned, especially when it comes to things like NSA unwarranted spying programs.

5) Switzerland is an armed nation, and has a much better rate on homicide and gun violence than many unarmed nations even in Europe. It does have more regulations than many US states, but it really shows that the argument of more guns = more crime/death is nonsensical.

My belief is there is cultural and economic problems in the US, which if you get rid of, crime will decrease noticeably. Particularly the culture that makes people think joining a gang is cool, which to me is a result of poverty, negligence and family/communal issues.

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I've owned guns in the past. I see absolutely no problem with people in the US owning guns, nor do I see a problem with people in any other country owning guns. People should have a means to defend themselves from attackers and thieves. However, I have given up my guns because I bought them for the wrong reason.

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There's been a mass shooting in a medical building in Tulsa. At least 4 dead and the shooter committed suicide? My Christian in-laws who are hunters are pushing my Muslim relative to get a pistol for protection. Having a gun in your possession is like waiting for an accident to happen. It seems people have forgotten Murphy's Law. 

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If you keep it locked up and not loaded, it's pretty safe to have.  But those fools who daydream about "saving" their family during a house break-in don't tend to keep their firearms safely secured.  

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I would guess that most weapon related violence is driven by poverty and population growth. Things that are going to be near impossible to fully eliminate anytime in the near future.

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Just now, iCenozoic said:

I would guess that most weapon related violence is driven by poverty and population growth. 

I suspect your guess is incorrect.  My guess is that most gun violence is related to fear of and disconnect from society.  

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23 hours ago, notme said:

I suspect your guess is incorrect.  My guess is that most gun violence is related to fear of and disconnect from society.  

What does poverty do but cause fear and disconnect communities? Most fun violence, as far as I am aware, occurs in inner city ghettos. So it seems sensible to consider poverty as a major factor.

What do you think this fear and disconnect stems from?

Edited by iCenozoic
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1 hour ago, iCenozoic said:

What does poverty do but cause fear and disconnect communities? 

What do you think this fear and disconnect stems from?

Poverty, like all trauma, brings people together.  Have you ever lived in a poor neighborhood? It's so much better than this bleak middle class suburb where I've been residing this past 6 years.  

Fear and disconnect comes from isolation.  We need walkable and diverse communities.  

Edited by notme
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20 hours ago, notme said:

Poverty, like all trauma, brings people together.  Have you ever lived in a poor neighborhood? It's so much better than this bleak middle class suburb where I've been residing this past 6 years.  

Fear and disconnect comes from isolation.  We need walkable and diverse communities.  

Have I ever lived in a poor neighborhood? Yes, I have, section 8, poorest of the poor (at least in northern states, poverty in the deep south is very different). As a kid, I grew up listening to gunshots in the night, joking that they were celebratory fireworks. And let me tell ya, nothing breeds hate, distrust and fear, more than an empty stomach (figuratively and literally). At least in my experience. Poverty will drive people to lie, to steal, to seek relief through drugs, organized crime, petty crimes of theft etc. I can't even trust my own family because I know they're hungry and would take advantage of me at any turn. I know this because it's already happened, numerous times.

She asked if I've lived in a poor neighborhood. You don't even want to know the heinous things I've seen in the hood.

Now, I'm sure some people are like a phoenix who rise to the occasion. But I've seen many broken in spirit, and they will destroy their neighbor, it that's what it takes to put food on the table.

Poverty may not be the only source of gun violence. But when you grow up in a desperate environment. Maybe you are hungry, the store has food and you need it, you might just take that chance. Maybe someone stole from you, you want to pay them a visit. You're suffering in poverty and maybe you want some drugs to release that pain. You lash out in violence, perhaps even at times, as a desperate call for help.

I would say, there must be a link between poverty and gun violence. Maybe not for all people, but I don't think there is any question that the two are linked.

This reminds me of Tupac Shakurs old song, well that's the way it is.

It's right there as soon as he opens:

"I see no changes, wake up in the morning and I ask myself

Is life worth livin'? Should I blast myself?

I'm tired of bein' poor and, even worse, I'm black

My stomach hurts so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch"

 

Tupac of course had a vision, sought to bring people together, but he was also grappling with this reality of desperation infused with violence.

"And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do"

"And as long as I stay black, I gotta stay strapped

And I never get to lay back

"You gotta learn to hold your own

They get jealous when they see you with your mobile phone"

'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the payback"

"Sellin' crack to the kids, "I gotta get paid" 

Well hey, well that's the way it is"

 

The song is all about a feelings of distrust, struggles with things like systemic racism, pain with struggles of poverty and how it correlates with stealing purses, selling drugs to kids to survive, doing crimes that have to be done to survive, staying strapped because people will come for payback. Gangs thrive in ghettos where people feel desperate for family, for financial success, for protection etc.

Its a song that I would say encompasses this discussion relatively well.

 

Edited by iCenozoic
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@iCenozoic my experience in southern small towns has been very different.  I'm glad you survived your traumatic upbringing and hope you never have to go through it again, and that your family members who are willing to be lifted up are lifted up.  

Where I live, it's the middle class and rich folks you gotta fear. They're constantly afraid and fear makes them dangerous. Where I have lived in the past, poor folk stick together and help each other.  

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On 6/1/2022 at 9:13 PM, notme said:

If you keep it locked up and not loaded, it's pretty safe to have.  But those fools who daydream about "saving" their family during a house break-in don't tend to keep their firearms safely secured.  

It's a conundrum. An intruder isn't going to wait until you go unlock a safe, remove a trigger lock, and load a gun. Even if you're ready, what you gonna shoot, as in, what's behind the intruder? Fridge? Stove? TV? Could be major clean-up, and then you get to live with your actions.
In Canada. When the new gun laws pass my BB guns will be illegal.

 

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5 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

In Canada. When the new gun laws pass my BB guns will be illegal.

That's a bit extreme. Do these laws apply to people who live among wildlife too? 

I grew up around securely locked hunting rifles. I've known people who felt like they needed a gun to protect themselves against humans, but I can't relate to their thinking.  I'm not afraid of people. I'm just not, and hope I never am. 

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3 hours ago, notme said:

That's a bit extreme. Do these laws apply to people who live among wildlife too? 

I grew up around securely locked hunting rifles. I've known people who felt like they needed a gun to protect themselves against humans, but I can't relate to their thinking.  I'm not afraid of people. I'm just not, and hope I never am. 


Our PM is extreme. He wants to totally disarm the population. This is just another step in that direction.
I have guns.
A 30 cal. for hunting large game, which I haven't done in over 30 years. I put two rounds through it about 5 years ago at a farmers range. Hit the target twice, impressed everyone, didn't take a third shot, figured I'd probably miss. 
I have a shotgun I also haven't used in as many years. I also have a .22 which I have used for vermin. My dogs don't like it. They would rather get sprayed by a skunk while chasing it away than let me shoot it. 
Even being in the country, I can't just shoot anywhere. I have neighbours within a mile, so whatever I'm shooting at, has to be in a safe range at the right angle. 

BB guns that look like real handguns will also be banned, even in the country. 
I use them mostly to scare off coyotes and magpies but I bought them for home security. 
CO2, 19 shot clip, steel BBs, semi auto, 480 fps, no recoil, very accurate within 30 ft. (farthest distance inside the house). Will penetrate denim, will not kill but will hurt a lot. Enough to make an intruder wonder if it was a good idea. Two shots to the chest will stall him long enough to take better aim. Crotch, leg muscles, face, head, whatever is available. 

We had to come up with a plan for intruders. The cops are 20 minutes away if they're sitting, waiting for the call. Crime happens within minutes. Too many decisions to make in an instant without a plan. Wife runs to the bathroom, closes door and pulls out the drawers which block the door, calls cops. 
 First BB gun is in my desk with a clear line of sight to the door. I have two routes of escape if needed. One is down the stairs, where the second BB gun is, the other is the bedroom closet where the shotgun is. It's not locked or loaded but close to the ammo. A break action single shot is a quick load. I also have a really big firecracker taped to a lighter. Flash-bang, small grenade. Get caught in the hallway, sorry about your eardrums, you won't see or hear me coming with a baseball bat.
How's that for Christian love?
We can talk about it after he's zip tied and waiting for the cops.

Rural crime was a big thing here a few years back. 

I've had two encounters in the last ten years. The first didn't get any farther than the lane. The lights came on, the dogs came out, Not sure why I was in the greenhouse after midnight that night but he saw the light on, maybe some movement, turned around and left.
The second drove in looking for "help" mid day. He "lost the 4" hose clamp off his intake". (If you have 4" hose clamps on hand you probably have many things worth stealing.) I gave him 2 X 2" clamps, and questioned him while he put them on. Disturbed dust on the intake told me he'd done this a few times. There was a second pickup stopped on the road which he waved in, "for tools". A greasy looking meth head with a skeleton of a girlfriend drove up to give him a screwdriver. I gave him a friendly but firm handshake. He got back in his truck.
They were from "out of province, just cruising". I don't know anyone willing to "cruise" 500+ miles in an F350 with no luggage. 
I kept him in check by telling him, "Don't let her get behind you." and continually calling my dog, as if to protect him while he worked. My girl is 130 lbs, has a mouth that can hold a soccer ball, totally harmless, just wants to get petted but he didn't know that. 
When he left, I noticed an Alberta plate on the truck, which means he's not from out of province. I reported him to the cops as he was driving away. No idea if they were caught. 

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It's interesting to note that history's biggest murderers, such as Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot confiscated the weapons of the people. Confiscation of weapons were one of their first acts after they got to power.

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On Gun Registration, the NRA, Adolf Hitler, and Nazi Gun Laws: Exploding the Gun Culture Wars

Bernard E. Harcourt, Columbia Law School
Document Type
Working Paper

Publication Date
2004

https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/1327/

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After seven people at a parade were killed in the Highland Park suburb of Chicago on July 4, CNN had a news story about two men arrested for planning a mass killing in Richmond, Virginia

during the past 186 days, more than 300 mass shootings have happened in the US

Edited by ShiaChat Mod
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I saw a video from my hometown of police shooting dozens of rounds into a suspect who had put away his gun and had his hands in the air.  

Definitely we need fewer guns, and we should start with disarming the police.  

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Shouldnt USA do something about it? Im glad i dont live there. Even my non muslims friends who are americans prefer to live in arabian gulf countries because they know its safe. 

Edited by Diaz
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On 7/7/2022 at 3:30 PM, Mahdavist said:

So criminals keep their guns and the police hand their guns in? 

No we don't stop there, but it would reduce violence. It would be a good start. 

Police are the cause of most gun violence in the United States.  Police are probably the cause of most violence overall,  but i don't have statistics on that.  

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9 hours ago, notme said:

I saw a video from my hometown of police shooting dozens of rounds into a suspect who had put away his gun and had his hands in the air.  

Definitely we need fewer guns, and we should start with disarming the police.  

? I agree that there are some bad police officers, they should be prosecuted. But to say we should take away guns from all police officers I think is a little extreme. 

I think we need to ban assault weapons and have strict background checks for those purchasing guns and raise the age limit to 25 for purchasing a gun. If you can't rent a car till your 24, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun until your 25. I am against them monitoring social medial accounts and banning based on that, as this is slippery slope. Sensible gun control laws would solve at least 50% of the problem. 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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24 minutes ago, Abu Hadi said:

I agree that there are some bad police officers, they should be prosecuted. But to say we should take away guns from all police officers I think is a little extreme. 

The "training" that they go through ruins them.  No doubt most start out with good intentions and are probably decent people as long as they aren't challenged.  As it is,  though,  I stand by my extreme position.  

Police using guns should be a last resort,  not a first. 

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