How do you feel about guns?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by lixluke, Jul 31, 2006.



  1. Have no place in this world. Should be abolished like slavery.

    33 vote(s)
  2. Are every human's right.

    57 vote(s)
  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Laugh it up, eh!

    Actually, Baron, what's really sad is that the issue you raise does have its own value. Let's see what can be found rather easily:

    - The Victim Survey (NCVS) estimates that there were 341,000 incidents of firearm theft from private citizens annually from 1987-92. Since the survey does not ask how many guns were stolen, the number
    of guns stolen probably exceeds the number of incidents of gun theft ....

    .... Reports of stolen guns are included in the NCIC files when citizens report the theft to law enforcement agencies which submit a report to the FBI. All
    entries must include make, caliber, and serial number. (BJS, 1995)

    - The National Tracing Center of ATF traces firearms to their original point of sale upon the request of police agencies ....

    Trace requests represent an unknown portion of all the guns used in crimes. ATF is not able to trace guns manufactured before 1968, most surplus
    military weapons, imported guns without the importer's name, stolen guns, and guns missing a legible serial number.

    .... Traced guns come from many countries across the globe. However, 78% of the guns that were traced in 1994 originated in the United States and most
    of the rest were from--

    Brazil (5%)
    Germany (3%)
    China (3%)
    Austria (3%)
    Italy (2%)
    Spain (2%).​

    Almost a third of the guns traced by ATF in 1994 were 3 years old or less. (ibid)

    - During the 1987-1992 period, offenders fired their weapons in 17 percent of all non-fatal handgun crimes, missing the victim four out of five times. In 3 percent of the non-fatal crimes committed with handguns, about 21,000 annually, the victim was wounded. In addition, an average 11,100 were killed each year.

    During the same period an estimated annual average of 62,000 violent crime victims (approximately 1 percent of all violent crime victims) used a firearm in an effort to defend themselves. In addition, an annual average of about 20,000 victims of theft, household burglary or motor vehicle theft attempted to defend their property with guns.

    In most cases victims defending themselves with firearms were confronted by unarmed offenders or those armed with weapons other than firearms. During the six-year period, about one in three armed victims faced an armed offender. (BJS, 1994)

    - BJS estimated that more than 340,000 crimes annually involved firearm thefts. During the period almost two-thirds of such losses occurred during household burglaries and almost one-third in larcenies. The survey does not report on thefts or burglaries from stores or other businesses. (ibid)

    Well, that was easy. Finding it, I mean. The hardest part was cleaning up the line breaks from a sloppy text file.

    Given the sheer number of firearms thefts that are reported (would you call the cops to report that some idiot had stolen your stolen firearm?), would you at least consider the possibility that some folks obviously don't protect their guns well enough? That's part of the point. Obviously, there comes a point when enough is enough, and you can't fault a gun owner if the gun is stolen. But what degree of security is proper?

    What else is easy to find?

    - Of 626 shootings in or around a residence in three U.S. cities ... for every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides. (WebPath)

    Of course, that page is very poorly typed, and I'm not sure what to think of the tutorials in that system. But here's the thing: at some point, we must ask how someone got hold of this or that particular gun. You are trying to laugh away a very real issue: If gun owners wish to pretend that securing their own weapons is a "non-sensical" expectation, yes, there is a problem.

    Just give it some thought, Baron. For once, just give anything relevant some thought. Please. Because I really don't see the point of people who don't like or want to possess firearms getting guns in order to protect themselves from the people who like and want to own the things. After all, such a condition only means that even more of my neighbors will live in fear.

    Perhaps it would just be easier for gun advocates to address the general question: What does it mean to be a "responsible gun owner"?


    Zawitz, Maryanne R. Guns Used in Crime: Firearms, Crime, and Criminal Justice--Selected Findings. U.S. Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics. July, 1995. See

    Press Release. Record Number of Handgun Crimes--Nears One Million a Year. U.S. Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics. May 15, 1994. See

    WebPath. "Statistics, Gun Control Issues, and Safety". Firearms Tutorial, Univ. of Utah. See
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  3. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Ya' know what's interesting, Tiassa ....that you've found all that info, yet somehow can't see what it says! It's basically saying that criminals steal guns, and that criminals use guns in crimes! And you act like I didn't know that! ....LOL!

    But for all of that bullshit that you found and posted, you still haven't given me one single, solitary, workable method for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals ....other than the idiotic idea of taking guns away from private citizens! Ye're punishing gun owners for the acts of the criminals ...for the thefts of the guns and the use of guns in crimes!

    News Flash: Criminals steal cars owned by private individuals, then use them to commit other crimes. Therefore we should take cars away from the innocent, private individuals.

    Criminals steal guns, then use them to commit other crimes! Wow, what a revelation! Thanks, Tiassa.

    Hey, Tiassa, why don't we pass a law that says stealing guns from private gun owners is illegal? Geez, that'd stop a lot of gun crime, wouldn't it?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Baron Max
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    "Responsible" gun ownership is a lie

    You know, Baron, I found myself in an interesting situation last night. I was hanging out at a friend's, and somehow found myself watching Dukes of Hazzard on HBO. Damn. That movie's worse than I thought.

    But there's a scene where the Duke boys steal a safe from Boss Hogg, hauling the thing wildly down the road behind a towtruck. I must admit there was some humor there that made me recall the infamous bowling ball scene in Dazed and Confused. But, as I noted previously, "Obviously, there comes a point when enough is enough, and you can't fault a gun owner if the gun is stolen." Seriously, if someone manages to steal a weapon from a safe, well, there's not much to be said about securing one's weapons. But when I think of those gun cases with glass panes and locks that can be easily picked ....

    There was a strange burglary in my neighborhood about a year ago. I only found out about it because I ended up having to vouch for the whereabouts of one of the suspects. According to the neighborhood inquisition, a couple of thousand dollars were missing, as well as unspecified damages to exotic animal cages and, as the scuttlebutt went, firearms missing. Here's the strange thing, though: the homeowner didn't file a police report. And yes, we all wondered why.

    But let's think about it: if an eleven year-old boy can break into a house and walk out with, among other things, guns (as the accusation went), I wouldn't call those guns secure. If we consider what we might agree is not legal or responsible gun ownership, such as the tale of the six year-old who lived with his crack-smoking uncle, a boy who picked up a handgun from the floor of the house and took it to school ... well, can we agree that such conditions do not constitute "responsible" gun ownership? Now, if we remove the obvious criminal element--a crack smoker and dealer, &c., &c.--and look at a case from Oregon that I've already mentioned, when the parents left the children home alone and the five year-old got the loaded rifle from under the bed and shot his three year-old sister in the face for disobedience, can we at least say that this does not represent "responsible" gun ownership?

    Should we pretend that 340,000 gun owners who report stolen weapons (as per BJS figures) all had their guns stolen from safes? I know that securing a firearm in my home against my daughter would render the thing ineffective in the event of an invasive crime unless the crooks entered so slowly and obviously that, frankly, other options than gunning them down would suffice. It would seem counterintuitive to suggest that these 340,000 guns were stolen from secure sources.

    That criminals steal guns? Hey, fine. It just seems convenient to the politics of fear invoked by gun advocates that the gun owners are making it so damnably easy to steal the guns. In addition, looking at the 4:1 ratio of accidental to self-defense shootings, it would seem that the gun owners also make it damnably easy for accidents to happen.

    So let's start with the general question: What is "responsible" gun ownership?

    Really, Baron, I don't see why the question is so scary. What is so difficult to stomach about the notion that "responsible" gun ownership obliges the gun owner to be responsible?

    If we revisit my four points of gun control, we see this situation addressed:

    (1) Licensing ownership of guns.
    (2) Registering all firearms.
    (3) Mandatory education for shooters.
    (4) Absolute responsibility of registered and licensed owners.

    See point (4)? A gun owner is absolved of criminal liability for acts committed with a stolen gun. But combined with points (1) and (3), there is an inherent demand that the gun owner is responsible for the security of the weapon. If reasonable security measures are in place, so be it. But if not ...? Seriously, if you leave a loaded gun under the bed where your unattended children can get hold of it and cause grievous damage, are you really being responsible? If you leave your gun unattended in your car and it gets stolen, have you really been responsible? I don't see why advocates for "responsible gun owners" have such difficulty with the idea that responsible gun owners ought to show responsibility.

    In the meantime, either show me how you can ride your gun to work, or some documentation establishing that, say, a Chevy Aveo, is designed with the specific purpose of killing something, and perhaps your sarcastic news flash will bear some credibility. Nonetheless, you raise an interesting issue: automobile drivers are expected to be educated in the conduct of their vehicle, and furthermore are expected to conduct that vehicle responsibly. How is it an infringement of your right to keep and bear arms if you are expected to understand how to operate a device designed to kill, and, furthermore, to possess and operate that device in a responsible manner?

    Perhaps the "honor system" for "responsible gun owners" would be more viable an idea if the phrase "responsible gun owners" actually meant something.

    It seems terribly convenient and circular: Own a gun for protection, make it easy for criminals to steal guns.

    Why don't "responsible" gun owners want anyone to know what it means to be a "responsible gun owner"? Perhaps because the gun-advocacy rhetoric is a front, an excuse, a complete snow job? Couldn't possibly be the case, right? So what is it?
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  7. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    I would respond to that except for the nasty little dig of using "...the politics of fear.." It's not fear and you know it, yet you continue to use it! Instead of responding to it, I'll just say ....fuck you!

    Would you also demand the same responsibility for your stolen car being involved in a deadly accident? ...if you'd locked up the car securely?

    See? You can't do that! If the gun is locked in the car AND locked in the glover compartment, how in god's name can you expect the owner to shoulder the responsiblity of that gun being stolen and used to kill someone? That's not only idiotic, it's irresponsible to even suggest it!

    I think that there are more accidents in bathtubs, so are you going to require any special legislation to ban bathtubs? How 'bout knives in the kitchen? And, ooooh, there are many, many "accidents" involving booze in homes are you also gonna' ban booze consumption in the home?

    I know a lot of gun owners and users, and I don't know a single one of 'em that I'd call "irresponsible" gun owners. People like you like to throw that term out so as to create a better atmosphere for you bullshit, but it's simply not the case. Most gun owners are responsible.

    No, I think it's because they, like anyone else, don't like to be singled out from the herd! Just like cigarette smokers don't like to be the brunt of new taxes on cigarettes ...which the non-smokers of Texas just passed recently. That sucks ..they're singled out and made to pay for things that no one else is liable for. That sucks!

    I'll tell you another thing ...which I think I've already mentioned; I don't like nor trust that bullshit statistic that you posted earlier about the number of guns stolen from private owners used in crimes! There's something that stinks about that, but I think it's the term "family and friends" or something like that. A criminal buys a gun on the street ...and he tells the FBI that he got it from a friend they put it in tha statistic????????

    And I'm still now back to my original point: If you can keep guns out of the hands of criminals without fuckin' with my rights to own and use them, then I'd be open to a discussion about it. But not with that bullshit stat that you posted to be used as your evidence of criminal possession. That stat just can't be right!

    Baron Max
  8. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

    How do I feel about guns?

    They're usreful and empowering. I like 'em.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    God Gun?

    When you figure out how to ride your gun to work, or carry your car concealed with the intent of killing someone, let me know. In fact, if you try the experiment, you might figure out the difference between a gun and a car.

    However, since it seems a difficult point for you:

    - Guns are not designed as transportation.
    - Cars are not designed as lethal weapons.​

    I can kill someone with a shoelace, but a shoelace is designed for tying a shoe. A guitar string? Designed to make music. A Diebold voting machine? Designed for something to do with elections.

    A gun? Well, so much for hanging chads, eh? As I recall, Homer Simpson demonstrated that guns were actually designed for turning off the television, turning off the lights, and opening beer containers.

    A gun is designed to kill.

    Being that you have voiced no real standard for what constitutes responsibility, I am not surprised.

    Now that is a hell of an argument.

    I recall not too long ago, I came to the shocking realization that the lives of law-abiding citizens are apparently much more dangerous than those lived in the drug and sex subcultures. Of course, if I thought that depiction of the world "just can't be right", would I be branding gun owners as liars, or maybe hysterical diva freaks?

    My gun is loaded.
    My gun is my god.
    My gun has no sympathy.
    My gun is my god.

    See me bow and pray ...
    See me bow and pray ...

    My gun is loaded.
    My gun is my god.

    And it's with me everywhere I go.
    Everywhere I go.
    And it tells me everything I know.


    Let fear be your guide, and Gun be your copilot. Whatever works, eh? Just as long as you get to be paranoid, lethal, and held to no standard of responsibility whatsoever?
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
  10. TW Scott Minister of Technology Registered Senior Member

    What kind of bullshit answer is that? Oh yeah evading the f***ing question. Answer the damn question or admit that you afraid to.

    Actually, given the particulars, you are the liar. Of course I could be wrong and gun runners hand out lollipops and 401(k) plans, but highly doubt it. If your particualr drug scene was so safe it was undoubtedly so becuase either extreme violence you did not see or the trheat of extreme violence you did not see.
  11. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

    Oh, I agree, and I don't like how in some states, people store their firearms in wood panels or glass cases, but they're at least following the law doing so. However, those are their laws, so if you have a problem with it, take it up over there rather than trying to just get rid of guns out of everyone's hands.

    In California, it's required to have a safe that meets certain anti-theft, anti-bust open, and anti-pick regulations, so display cases such as those are illegal to store firearms in. And if you don't have access to a safe, you just need either a cable to lock it to something (which is basically like a cable bike lock which sucks) or use a trigger lock. But hey, I'm going out of my way to buy a $1000 gun safe instead of a cheap ass lock for your safety even though it's not required of me to do so, and this is on top of tons of taxes and other paperwork I get charged up the ying-yang for.

    I've no problem with making people more responsible in certain states that have lax laws, but if you try and deny everyone the right to firearms, instead of having some people agreeing with you such as in my case with safes, you're gonna have everyone against you, including myself.

    And that's the problem with most liberals. Instead of trying to take baby steps that most can agree on, such as in the example of you mentioning display cases instead of secure safes, they jump straight to the overzealous of practically outright trying to ban them. You're trying to argue too many things at once which just leads to a bunch of crossfire arguments and downright disagreement instead of picking your battles.

    But hey, in the end, laws are just laws. Nobody is required to follow laws. People who break laws have nothing to fear until caught. People won't even know somebody is breaking the law either, and that's the biggest thing you have to realize. This is why criminals do what they do because nothing happens to them until caught. Just because you may make a law that says something, it doesn't mean people will follow them. Criminals with guns are the ones who have to worry about, not regular citizens with them, but unfortunately you're making all the laws target regular civilians and not criminals, which winds up making us look like the bad guys and overtime, people get fed up with it.

    I'll flat out say that there are some firearm laws that I do not follow, nor do the majority of people, because they are some completely ridiculous and highly impractical laws along the lines of married couples not being allowed to sleep in the same bed type laws. But hey, they're laws you don't have to worry about where I may be putting your safety in jeopardy. Most of the people who make these gun laws are anti-gun people who have never touched a gun and are completely ignorant as to the workings of them. Heck, most guns that are banned are banned because of how they cosmetically look, not operate. However, when it comes to safety and those around me, I follow those laws to a tee, and I even do things that aren't required by the law, not because I'm worried about getting arrested for breaking the law, but for the safety of others.

    - N
  12. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Interesting, Tiassa ....I was recently threatened with banning from sciforums for being insulting, yet you seem to to it with impunity. How? Why?

    Baron Max
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Fans of Eric van Lustbader might be able to be more specific, but I recall a friend reading me a passage from one or another novel in which the author made the point that there are something like 175 lethal weapons in an average hotel room. To the other, a telephone cord was invented to connect the components of a telephone. It was not invented specifically as a weapon. Given that I am expected by law to pass a test, carry a certified license, and own liability insurance before I drive a car, I'm not so sure the car and gun comparison is one that serves the gun-advocacy argument well.

    Speaking of answering the question--

    --that's not much of a response. As with life in general, a certain part of safety in the drug subculture comes with caution and vigilance. But you haven't addressed the question except to brush it off.

    Do you feel insulted? Join the club: gun advocates will find less sympathy as long as they act as you do. The inherent dishonesty of your arguments is insulting, Baron.

    Indulge me, though. Please. I might be able to figure out how to either apologize of explain to you the problem. What insult do you perceive?
  14. TW Scott Minister of Technology Registered Senior Member

    Hey, I have passed a test and gotten a certified license to carry my concealed weapon. Sure there is no special insurance for it, but then again to a person properly using there weapon there is no need and to a person improperly using it, the criminal act voids the insurance. So moot point there. Now here is an interesting thing, any one can own a car, and if it only drive on private property, there is not a single restriction. Period. You don't even need to plate it.

    Plus, in America we were guaranteed the right to bear arms, in fact according to the wording any person in the United States should (legally) be allowed access and the right to carry any weapon. Now we have surrendered a few of those rights over the decades since then, and I say it is time to seize them back. I believe that there is no reason citizen should not be allowed automatic weapons. For public safety sake I say keep explosives out of public hands, but by all means if some one wants a XM-214 Microgun they should be allowed to purchase it.

    That's becuase it is so patently bullshit. If it had even an iota of truthfulness to it, people would have to believe that your average drug dealer is Mister Rogers.
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    What about rocket launchers?
  16. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    What about cop killer bullets?

    If you want to resist your government at one point you will need them.
  17. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Slippery slope, James?? ...LOL!

    James, even many of the most avid gun advocates have agreed with many of the gun restrictions in the USA, and so those laws have been enacted. That's the way it works in a representative democracy, James.

    But what you and others are trying to do is something that even the least avid gun advocate is against ...restriction and regulation of all weapons! We just won't accept it, and there's a lot of us, so if those laws are ever enacted, it'll be done by a tyrannical action rather than a democratic action. And that ain't nice!

    Once again, I have no issue and no problem with certain gun control measures that will insure that guns are kept out of the hands of criminals. But I have a great problem with those who would place undue restrictions on peaceful, law-abiding citizens, and do nothing to keep guns from the criminals.

    That is what I object to ...controlling those who can be controlled, but allowing the uncontrollable people to have whatever they want!

    Baron Max

    PS - hey, James, if you wanted to play the slippery slope game, why didn't you ask about nuclear bombs?? ...LOL!
  18. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    How 'bout tanks and fighter jets and howitzers and cluster bombs and tactical nukes and ICBM's and SAM missiles and bunker buster bombs and FAE bombs and.......?

    Geez, Spurious, if you're gonna' slide donw the slippery slope, why stop after only a short distance? Hell, take the slide all the way to the bottom!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Baron Max
  19. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    Clearly I am a proponent of tight gun control.

  20. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    How do those "tight gun controls" keep guns out of the hands of criminals?

    Or do you think that the criminals would suddenly begin obeying laws?

    Baron Max
  21. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    They would if we had competent law enforcement.
  22. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned


    Mr. Ostrich,

    Read the thread. Don't repeat your propaganda over and over.


  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Baron Max:



    Gun nuts are a minority in the US. Most people are for gun control. But the gun lobby currently wields disproportionate political power compared to its numbers.

    Eventually, this will be sorted out, but certainly not while there's a Republican administration.

    I actually agree with this. Note that the key word in that paragraph is "undue".

    Give me a good argument for allowing fully automatic weapons but not rocket launchers.

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