th3ranger

Fun with Guns!

47 posts in this topic

I did a nowhere near thorough Google search and found these iffy numbers:

In 2006, there were about 16.93 fatalities per 100K registered vehicles (link), with over 251M registered vehicles (link).

Several sites, both far and against gun control, estimated that there are between 238 and 276 million firearms in the US. Several sites claim that there are about 10 fatalities/100K people in the US (link), with most of these fatalities being suicides. If we take the US population to be 300M, and assume that there are 257M firearms in the US, we get [an admittedly questionable] 11.7 fatalities per 100K firearms.

The numbers are closer than I thought they would be.

Thanks, although these numbers don't measure what I was getting at. Maybe the right numbers haven't been researched yet. Of the 257M firearms in the US, how many are sitting on shelves or in cabinets, untouched? And how many gun owners own multiple guns? At least with cars, you know that the vast majority are being taken on the road where risk can be properly measured.

I'll put it a different way, because I generally find statistics unhelpful. Just imagine someone holding a gun. It doesn't bother me if they have a gun at home in a locked cabinet. It's also less threatening to have a gun stored in the car, or even in a holster, than it is to see someone holding one. It can do no harm in a holster; it's when it's transferred to the hand that damage can be done. Certainly who is holding the gun matters. Is it a police officer? I know that police are trained in the use of firearms, and they have sworn to protect me, so it is unlikely I would feel threatened by an officer with a gun out unless he was actually pointing it at me. But what if it isn't an officer? If I saw some guy walking down the street with a gun in his hand, I would stay out of his sight. Would I do the same if I saw the same man holding a No. 2 pencil? It's silly to even ask the question.

What it comes down to is a gun is a weapon, whereas a car is not. A car can do harm, but that is not its purpose, and when I see people driving on the road my first thought is not "are they going to hit me?" A gun was designed to do damage with very little effort. A reckless driver is less of a threat to me than a reckless person wielding a gun. And the gun is a choice tool of criminals, which means if I see someone holding a gun I am going to be suspicious of him (if I don't know him personally).

Anyway, sorry for derailing the thread. I don't think there's anything wrong with admiring the craftsmanship of weaponry, or enjoying shooting a gun at a firing range or hunting animals. I just wanted to explain my own apprehension about them, and why I don't think a risk comparison to cars or other nonweapons is valid.

It's ok. You realize this may be the only place on the internet where a discussion such as this can be had so calmly? lol. Anyway I was simply pointing out that it is the intent not the means that ends a life. Like the joker demonstrated in Dark Knight, even a no.2 pencil can kill, however, it was the joker's intent to flippantly kill the man that was evil, not the pencil. If any given car driver wanted to kill you, he could, easily. This would make the driver inherently dangerous, not all cars. This same poor logic is used with guns. Banning all firearms stops murder- with firearms. If someone still wants to end a life, they will, with something else. Though I would have to admit it would be a worrying sight to see a gun outside of a home or a firing range not in trained hands, but my logic is still valid.

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Some time ago Paul's Here made the point that it's hard to justify owning a firearm that can accidentally shoot a round through a nearby residence. I now think that there should be limits on the types of weapons enthusiasts that live in densely populated can store in their homes.

Two things: Here, I think, something can be said for gun safety. Just follow a few well known rules like never point a gun at anyone, loaded or unloaded, if not pointed specifically downrange, safety on. If at an outdoor range, and it is called to "go cold" so everyone can go out and either check or put out a target, unload your gun and pop out the clip and put the safety on. For every single rule I'm sure the NRA website has them all. Follow these simple and common sense rules and the chance of an accidental firearms related death goes down dramatically I'm sure.

There is a such thing as a "home defense round" that is made specifically to not penetrate more than even one layer of sheet rock (or door,) ideal for an apartment complex setting. There is also a more well known bullet type called a hollow point that "mushrooms" on impact with anything. For a human target this means no exit wound, for a wall this means no penetration, and as such, is the best for not accidentally killing your neighbors. They are a little bit more expensive, but this is a small price to pay if your gun is going to be loaded when it isn't at the gun range.

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I agree. All kinds of reasonable alarms should go off at the sight of an openly displayed weapon. (Dr Binswanger has made the case that when a citizen is carrying a weapon it must be concealed.)

It's interesting to me that Americans' view on concealed versus unconcealed carry has reversed since the 19th century. Then, it was considered suspicious to carry a concealed firearm like a derringer. In fact, many states' constitutions had language protecting the right to keep and bear arms, but that this right should not be construed to mean the right to carry concealed firearms.

Also, I've lived in a variety of places. In some, like Los Angeles, openly carrying a firearm would threaten a lot of people. On the other hand, when I lived in Arizona there were a handful of times where I noticed a man with a .45 strapped to his side. Given that he appeared and carried himself more like the Marlboro Man than a thug, I never gave them a second look and knew that there was no way this store will get robbed while that guy is around.

Some time ago Paul's Here made the point that it's hard to justify owning a firearm that can accidentally shoot a round through a nearby residence. I now think that there should be limits on the types of weapons enthusiasts that live in densely populated can store in their homes.

I'll repeat my same objection to this from the thread you are talking about. What should be regulated is not possession of firearms and ammunition in populated areas, but their discharge. A shooter bears a moral and legal responsibility for every bullet he sends down range. But the government should not step in until that shot is fired, and leave alone those who have never endangered or harmed another with a firearm.

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To European FORUM members:

There has been chatter -- welcome in my mind -- of the merits of bow and arrows in general and on the battlefield. In addition, I mentioned that I might one day get involved in a peculiar American habit: re-enacting our most famous battles. Do ya'll do that sort of stuff across the pond? Getting the English and the French together to re-enact Agincourt sounds like a fantastic idea.

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It's ok. You realize this may be the only place on the internet where a discussion such as this can be had so calmly? lol. Anyway I was simply pointing out that it is the intent not the means that ends a life. Like the joker demonstrated in Dark Knight, even a no.2 pencil can kill, however, it was the joker's intent to flippantly kill the man that was evil, not the pencil. If any given car driver wanted to kill you, he could, easily. This would make the driver inherently dangerous, not all cars. This same poor logic is used with guns. Banning all firearms stops murder- with firearms. If someone still wants to end a life, they will, with something else. Though I would have to admit it would be a worrying sight to see a gun outside of a home or a firing range not in trained hands, but my logic is still valid.

If I could read minds, I would know instantly whether someone was a threat to me whether he was carrying a gun, a pencil, or nothing but his fists. But I cannot. If I were arguing that guns should be illegal, your logic would be just fine. I've used it myself in the past. Clearly you don't need a gun to commit a crime, and guns can be used for defense as well as coercion. What I'm arguing, though, is that I am not personally comfortable with the idea of people I do not know brandishing weapons around me. It does me no comfort to say "well, it's the person that matters, not the gun", if I know nothing about the person and his motives. All I do know is that driving a car, in all likelihood, is not an indicator that someone is planning to hurt or kill. It gives me no clues to his motives at all. But a gun is not a car, it is a weapon and it is only a weapon. A gun is not even like a knife; you don't open envelopes with your gun, or cut your food with bullets. Unless I'm at a target range or in the forest during hunting season, I would take people wielding guns as a potential threat to my safety.

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Do ya'll do that sort of stuff across the pond? Getting the English and the French together to re-enact Agincourt sounds like a fantastic idea.

There are definitely English reenactors of American Civil War battles; I don't know about the French.

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What I'm arguing, though, is that I am not personally comfortable with the idea of people I do not know brandishing weapons around me. It does me no comfort to say "well, it's the person that matters, not the gun", if I know nothing about the person and his motives. All I do know is that driving a car, in all likelihood, is not an indicator that someone is planning to hurt or kill. It gives me no clues to his motives at all. But a gun is not a car, it is a weapon and it is only a weapon. A gun is not even like a knife; you don't open envelopes with your gun, or cut your food with bullets. Unless I'm at a target range or in the forest during hunting season, I would take people wielding guns as a potential threat to my safety.

It is logical to be concerned about people with guns in your vicinity. I wouldn't limit the concern either; there is certainly some danger at a target range and a big danger in the woods during hunting season, many hunters have been accidentally shot and killed by other careless hunters who mistook them for a deer. In today's world I certainly do not trust the cop with his gun either; they are scared little men more likely to shoot first and ask questions later (try getting out of your car to get paperwork in the back seat at a traffic stop to see this fact), and more interested in following orders than independently deciding a rational course of action (as Elian Gonzalez' American relatives could attest.)

That doesn't mean that guns are "evil", or that people shouldn't own them for personal protection or just to enjoy target shooting or hunting, but their ability to damage should not be rationalized away; these are machines designed for one basic purpose: to kill instantly and at a potentially great range.

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If I could read minds, I would know instantly whether someone was a threat to me [...] I am not personally comfortable with the idea of people I do not know brandishing weapons around me. [...] I would take people wielding guns as a potential threat to my safety.

I would also be wary of someone "brandishing" or "wielding" a firearm.

That is why I will be glad to have the legal power to carry a concealed handgun after I get my license.

People who know what they are doing do not "brandish" or "wield" a gun. Are you speaking of criminals?

How does your apprehension (a justifiable one) apply in regard to the right to bear arms?

How do any emotions apply?

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If I could read minds, I would know instantly whether someone was a threat to me whether he was carrying a gun, a pencil, or nothing but his fists. But I cannot. If I were arguing that guns should be illegal, your logic would be just fine. I've used it myself in the past. Clearly you don't need a gun to commit a crime, and guns can be used for defense as well as coercion. What I'm arguing, though, is that I am not personally comfortable with the idea of people I do not know brandishing weapons around me. It does me no comfort to say "well, it's the person that matters, not the gun", if I know nothing about the person and his motives. All I do know is that driving a car, in all likelihood, is not an indicator that someone is planning to hurt or kill. It gives me no clues to his motives at all. But a gun is not a car, it is a weapon and it is only a weapon. A gun is not even like a knife; you don't open envelopes with your gun, or cut your food with bullets. Unless I'm at a target range or in the forest during hunting season, I would take people wielding guns as a potential threat to my safety.

You don't have to read minds to expect that unless you are objectively and knowingly violating someone's rights or property on American soil, there is no obvious need for a stranger to defend himself by wielding his firearm against you. I consider it reasonable to expect encounters with sane and law-abiding strangers without knowing their motives. I think it is also reasonable to expect that strangers knowingly carrying a weapon implies their careful potential use, so their potential negligence or involuntary manslaughter do not cross my mind. Otherwise, I would constantly think through wrong place-wrong time scenarios.

Perhaps by brandish or wield you have a different meaning, such as a stranger actually pointing the potentially lethal firearm at you, or you are worried the bullets fired may ricochet or are frangible? I have an emotional aversion to the improper usage of any weapon for lethality or to frighten or shoot for fun, but a positive appreciation for that same lethality if a stranger simply carries a firearm quietly and confidently.

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In today's world I certainly do not trust the cop with his gun either; they are scared little men more likely to shoot first and ask questions later
I know tons of cops in the NY Metro area from Westchester, to the five boroughs, to the tip of Long Island. This generalization simply doesn't apply. It's also not a position that's substantiated by the number of police shootings per officer engagement.
(try getting out of your car to get paperwork in the back seat at a traffic stop to see this fact)
Most procedures they follow have become procedure for good reason. And whatever maneuvers they may put people through who, out of lack of experience and/or street smarts, don't keep their paperwork handy, can't prove that police officers are "scared little men more likely to shoot first and ask questions later."

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Do ya'll do that sort of stuff across the pond? Getting the English and the French together to re-enact Agincourt sounds like a fantastic idea.

There are definitely English reenactors of American Civil War battles; I don't know about the French.

Being a Welshman, I'd love to do that (Henry's archers were principally Welsh) but I couldn't see too many Frenchies volunteering to be shot down in the mud, before being either butchered by said Welsh or running away.

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Gun regulation is still something that is very scary to me.

In Canada and Europe the fascistsLeftists have made it plainly clear that we can expect the following strategy:

1: One class of firearms at a time, various guns are required by law to be licensed. If they do it one class at a time, not too many people will protest all at once, and the legislating can move forward somewhat silently.

2: Begin issuing bans on one class of firearms at a time. It's not like the gun owners can hide them because the government knows through the licensing process who owns what guns. Once again, take it one step at a time. They can ban all large rifles first, and the pistol owners could possibly shrug and say "well, that doesn't apply to me.."

3: Wake up in a world where repeatedly convicted felons can break into your home threatening violence, and if you shoot them with a gun that has been banned, you will go to jail for a longer amount than the vandals who robbed and attacked you (this is a real story that happened to a man in Canada. He was sent to jail for several years without parole, and the individual who broke into his house and robbed him was released sooner!)

Well said indeed, even our Olympic pistol guys cannot shoot over here! Happily however, the lead politicos are well protected by armed guards, it's just the rest of us left totally disarmed.

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Longbows are much, much more difficult to shoot well than modern bows. I agree that they're pretty cool though.

Sorry, I was being very unclear with my terms, I did mean a modern compound bow.

I was chatting to this guy who is an English civil war re-enacter type after they had just done this battle (I live about 200 yards away from where one of the seiges took place) and he was telling me that the reason that crappy matchlock muskets were favoured over the still more formidable long-bow at the time, was simply a question of training.

You could be more or less instructed in the musket in a couple of hours, but to develop the strenth to draw a really powerful longbow took years.

I guess compound bows do away with that need.

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-------------

I agree. All kinds of reasonable alarms should go off at the sight of an openly displayed weapon. (Dr Binswanger has made the case that when a citizen is carrying a weapon it must be concealed.)

Some time ago Paul's Here made the point that it's hard to justify owning a firearm that can accidentally shoot a round through a nearby residence. I now think that there should be limits on the types of weapons enthusiasts that live in densely populated can store in their homes.

I don't remember making that specific point. What I do believe is that the person who fires a weapon, even if it is in self-defense, is responsible for the consequences of pulling the trigger. If a round is of such high power that it can pass through an intruder and kill a neighbor 1000 feet away, then the person who shot the gun should be held accountable. I have no problem with people owning high-powered guns in populated areas, but there should be strict laws about discharging such weapons, even in the act of self-defense.

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In today's world I certainly do not trust the cop with his gun either; they are scared little men more likely to shoot first and ask questions later
I know tons of cops in the NY Metro area from Westchester, to the five boroughs, to the tip of Long Island. This generalization simply doesn't apply. It's also not a position that's substantiated by the number of police shootings per officer engagement.

Well, I'm sure you know a lot more cops than I do, or ever will.

In any case, I shouldn't have stated it as every cop, but it's certainly true of many. And, I would feel perfectly safe around a marshal Matt Dillon - if such men still existed and they were only tasked with the enforcement of actual rights violations rather than being a major creator of them.

Most procedures they follow have become procedure for good reason. And whatever maneuvers they may put people through who, out of lack of experience and/or street smarts, don't keep their paperwork handy, can't prove that police officers are "scared little men more likely to shoot first and ask questions later."

You could ask yourself to what degree non-objective law has logically led to the kind of society where, analogous to airport checkpoints that pat down little old ladies, the cops see everyone - even blatantly obvious non-threats - as a potential threat and do not know if drug dealers will shoot them as they attempt to enforce a slew of non-objective laws, but based on prior experience that is probably asking too much.

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How does your apprehension (a justifiable one) apply in regard to the right to bear arms?

It doesn't, and I have repeatedly said so in this thread in multiple posts, including the one you quoted (although you edited out the relevant statement). I believe the right to bear arms is absolute, even if I may be uncomfortable with some of the consequences of that right. I also think that abortion should be legal, but it does not follow that I should morally approve of all abortions or want to associate with women who get pregnant irresponsibly and use abortions as a form of birth control. Rights follow from our requirements of survival; to support a right means to recognize a requirement. It does not mean that I have to believe every action protected by that right is rational or in my interests.

In my view, to expect me to be comfortable around people with guns simply because gun ownership is a right is like expecting me to be comfortable with environmental activism because we have a right to free speech.

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You don't have to read minds to expect that unless you are objectively and knowingly violating someone's rights or property on American soil, there is no obvious need for a stranger to defend himself by wielding his firearm against you. I consider it reasonable to expect encounters with sane and law-abiding strangers without knowing their motives. I think it is also reasonable to expect that strangers knowingly carrying a weapon implies their careful potential use, so their potential negligence or involuntary manslaughter do not cross my mind. Otherwise, I would constantly think through wrong place-wrong time scenarios.

The point is that I don't know that they are sane and law-abiding. Nor can I assume that they know how to use a gun responsibly. What I do know is guns are lethal, which means if they aren't sane, or if they aren't responsible, I would be safer outside of their vicinity. I only have one life, so I think it makes sense to want to be careful and not make assumptions about people I don't know. Doesn't it?

Perhaps by brandish or wield you have a different meaning, such as a stranger actually pointing the potentially lethal firearm at you, or you are worried the bullets fired may ricochet or are frangible? I have an emotional aversion to the improper usage of any weapon for lethality or to frighten or shoot for fun, but a positive appreciation for that same lethality if a stranger simply carries a firearm quietly and confidently.

I used the words "brandish" and "wield" (meaning holding or waving around, not necessarily pointing at me) because I didn't want to give the impression that it was guns in themselves that I was afraid of. I would even be wary of someone who wasn't holding a gun but simply had it sticking out of his jeans, but I thought the scenario of someone actually holding a weapon (but not directly threatening me) was more to the point of my concern.

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This isn't a reply to anyone in particular but this link is one of the best sources for the facts on the issue albeit it is obviously partisan

Gun facts

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I don't remember making that specific point. What I do believe is that the person who fires a weapon, even if it is in self-defense, is responsible for the consequences of pulling the trigger. If a round is of such high power that it can pass through an intruder and kill a neighbor 1000 feet away, then the person who shot the gun should be held accountable. I have no problem with people owning high-powered guns in populated areas, but there should be strict laws about discharging such weapons, even in the act of self-defense.

Why is that different from the case of collateral damage during war (or an armed robbery)? It seems to me that the guilty party is the intruder / attacker, not the person who fired their gun in self-defense.

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Do ya'll do that sort of stuff across the pond? Getting the English and the French together to re-enact Agincourt sounds like a fantastic idea.

There are definitely English reenactors of American Civil War battles; I don't know about the French.

Being a Welshman, I'd love to do that (Henry's archers were principally Welsh) but I couldn't see too many Frenchies volunteering to be shot down in the mud, before being either butchered by said Welsh or running away.

I guess I should have included a smiley, but I did mean that as a joke. OK smileys paid in interest and penalties! :D:D:angry2:

Maybe Waterloo, then? :)

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Do ya'll do that sort of stuff across the pond? Getting the English and the French together to re-enact Agincourt sounds like a fantastic idea.

There are definitely English reenactors of American Civil War battles; I don't know about the French.

Being a Welshman, I'd love to do that (Henry's archers were principally Welsh) but I couldn't see too many Frenchies volunteering to be shot down in the mud, before being either butchered by said Welsh or running away.

I guess I should have included a smiley, but I did mean that as a joke. OK smileys paid in interest and penalties! :D:D:)

Maybe Waterloo, then? :D

Great idea! But again, I couldn't see too many Frenchies volunteering :angry2:

And the UK erasure from history of the role of the Prussians might be exposed and we can't have that! You must remember, only we save Europe ever, ever. We beat Phillip of Spain, no other protestant nation played a part, we beat Napoleon and WW2 was Britain vs Germany only ~ kinda.... :D

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