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suze
834732.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:46 am Reply with quote

Bealzybub wrote:
I just wish the gun laws were a little different over where you guys are. I'd be there in a heart beat but I do love my guns.


You are of course entitled to that opinion. Just be aware that most people in the UK do not share it; few of us want gun law to move anywhere close to that which obtains in the USA.

 
Bealzybub
834781.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:46 am Reply with quote

Which part do you consider "opinion"?

I just wish the gun laws were a little different over where you guys are.

Or;

I'd be there in a heart beat but I do love my guns.

Gun control law in the USA is a complex issue. To state a true "opinion" I would say that those outside this country arent getting an accurate picture of the true goings on here in that regard.

For example, since Obama was elected here, years 2009 and 2010 were record years for gun sales. The FBI report dated early 2011 shows that overall gun crime has dropped nearly 5% nationwide. Bear in mind our laws prevent private citizens from intervening in any crime in progress unless its upon their person. I believe the 5% drop is due to the fact that the perpetrators of those gun crimes are becoming aware there are less targets of victimization.

Criminals here are armed, yes. That is a fact that we here are all too aware of. Another "fact" is that here in the USA, when seconds count the police are only minutes away. So in that instance you can either be a victim that believes there are too many guns, or still have your life after the fact.

 
Neotenic
834789.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:57 am Reply with quote

Quote:
I just wish the gun laws were a little different over where you guys are.


That looks like an opinion to me.

Quote:
Gun control law in the USA is a complex issue. To state a true "opinion" I would say that those outside this country arent getting an accurate picture of the true goings on here in that regard.



I don't think it's a complex issue, tbh.

On balance, I think it's better that Joe Q Average can't wander into a shop and wander out again with the means to kill me at 20 paces.

Quote:
The FBI report dated early 2011 shows that overall gun crime has dropped nearly 5% nationwide


True - but it has an awfully long way to fall to compete with us.

According to the Wiki, there are 15 gun related deaths per 100,000 citizens in the USA.

In England, it is 0.46.

 
CB27
834792.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:00 am Reply with quote

May I suggest debate on gun ownership get more views and participation in the "What Fresh Hell" forum?

 
Efros
834806.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:27 am Reply with quote

Bealzybub wrote:
Bear in mind our laws prevent private citizens from intervening in any crime in progress unless its upon their person.


Citizen's arrest is legal in the US.

 
suze
834807.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:27 am Reply with quote

OK, I'll move over here!

Bealzybub wrote:
Which part do you consider "opinion"?

I just wish the gun laws were a little different over where you guys are. or; I'd be there in a heart beat but I do love my guns.


The first bit. I'll take the second bit as fact.

Gun control in the US certainly is complex and emotive; it's nearly as complex in my native Canada. (I live in England, but spent the first thirty years of my life in Canada.)

Canadian gun law is a complete mess, and I certainly don't advocate replicating it. Oversimplifying somewhat, the Tories would like American gun law, the Grits and the NDP would like British gun law, and neither group will ever have a big enough majority to get its way.

Bealzybub wrote:
Criminals here are armed, yes.


And that, surely, is the thing which needs to be addressed. The USA's rate of homicide by firearm is ten times Canada's and one hundred times the UK's (Krug; 7.1 per 100,000, 0.76 per 100,000, and 0.07 per 100,000).

I've never had a gun pointed at me in anger. In fact, I've never even seen a gun in the UK, except in the hands of a police officer on non-routine duty, and in the hands of a Scottish gamekeeper. (As I'm sure you know, police officers in the UK - except for Northern Ireland, where I've never been - do not routinely carry guns. Until 1998, they didn't in Newfoundland either, and even among the officers themselves there is by no means unanimity that the decision to arm them was the correct one.)

So I think we must agree to differ on this one. I do not have or want a gun, and I find it vanishingly unlikely that I'll ever wish I'd had one.

 
Bealzybub
834833.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:01 am Reply with quote

Gun control in the US certainly is complex and emotive; it's nearly as complex in my native Canada.

Yes, it most certainly is. Its my belief that here in the USA one of the major problems is political zeal. "Major problems" could be replaced with "biggest issues", they both fit. In that my meaning is that when one commits a crime with a gun here that carries, say, a 10 year jail sentence, some up and coming deputy DA's with political aspirations will settle for any conviction he/she can get in the interests of their political career and just to get a check in the win column. So a person that should be spending ten years in jail gets pleaded down and is back out on the street in 9 months knowing that the next time it will only be the same. All the while most of those with those political aspirations are advocating for stricter gun laws for those that have never comitted any type of crime whatsoever.

I've never had a gun pointed at me in anger.

Unfortunately, I have. In that particular instance I didnt have a gun with me because it is of course against the law to carry one without a special permit. That didnt seem to bother the guy that had his 357 magnum pointed at my gut in a situation where he was clearly mistaken about the circumstance at that moment. Without going into details I'll simply say that at the end of that confrontation I did have a weapon and he no longer had his. No one got shot and he ended up disarmed.

I've been an avid shooter for most of my life. Hunting, shooting sports, to me its just fun. Weapons handled safely and legally arent the problem here. I dont know what the rest of the world sees of the goings on in the USA so I really cant comment on that but I will say this, if ever there were anyone with a nefarious felonious intent that were to threaten me or mine with a weapon I simply wont think twice. The loss of a father, mother, sister or brother to me just isnt worth the weight that I would have to bear should I have to take the responsibility of ending that life. I will live with it. I know it would be hard, but to me it would be much harder to live without that father, mother, sister or brother knowing that the perpetrator will be back out on the street after cutting some sweet deal with a greasy politician just so that politician can forward their personal career.

This is all just personal opinion. Know that I relish diversity and strongly feel and respect that everyone has the rights to their own feelings, opinions and their own personal choices. I would never fault anyone for any one of those. Its called "freedom", and thats what its all about.

 
CB27
834860.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:04 pm Reply with quote

I think far too often we lump the idea of gun ownership into one group, and do the same to gun crimes as well.

As mentioned above, guns can be used for recreational purposes and sports, as well as necessary tools. I personally have never felt the urge to hunt animals, and I think that's a separate debate, but I don't think stopping people frmo keeping guns means you cannot hunt with your own rifle. A law can easily include the facility for hunters to store their guns in a controlled environment like a ranger's office or something similar so they don't need to carry their weapons outside the area where they hunt.

Equally, it makes sense for some rural workers to have a weapon, and in the UK the law does allow many farmers to keep a gun, as long as they stick to certain rules.

And when it comes to sport and leisure, I'll admit I've been clay pigeon shooting and enjoyed it, and it is perfectly legal in the UK. There's no need for participants to own a gun and/or have one outside where they are competing.

The main difference between the UK and US is not that gun ownership is illegal, but that you need to give a more precise reason for your gun in the UK, and the rules are far tighter than in the US. I personally think it's a sensible solution, but I think it comes across with the wrong message to many people in the US, which gives the illusion of contravening the constitution if employed there.

As for gun crimes, as often cited it's far lower here in the UK, but it misses out a couple of very important points. The first is that gun homicides were already low in the UK compared to many other countries even before stricter laws were introduced, and the second is that overall homicide in the UK is lower than most countries as well. It's not just gun ownership that affects crime, culture and the structure of society help shape it too.

As an example, using the stats from 2000, which were neatly compiled (so there may be some changes since), while gun homicides in the UK was only 0.12 per 100k, they represent 8% of all homicides, because the total homicide rate was 1.45.

Ukraine, for example, had a far lower percentage of firearms homicides, at 4% of all homicides, but they actually accounted for 0.35 per 100k because the homicide rate there was 9.27.

We can surmise two things from there, the first is that murder is more frequent in the Ukraine, but if you're murdered in the Ukraine, you're less likely to be killed by a firearm.

When you look at the US, the story changes completely. The overall homicide rate was 8.55, which was lower than the Ukraine (but still much higher than the UK), but the percentage that were gun related was a staggering 46%, which meant gun homicides were 2.97 from 100k, much higher than both the UK and Ukraine.

Gun ownership alone cannot account for the differences in homicide rate or the percentage of gun homicides, it's one factor. It also needs a change in the politicial and social leadership.

I think there was a real shift in the political and social structure in the US in the 90s, though I won't rush to credit it to individuals or Governments, I think it was a combination of events\technology change\communications\others things. It's noticeable that with that shift the rate of homicides, and in particular gun homicides, started dropping.

Since the mid 2000s there seems to be another shift which has seen the rise of certain politicals and social groups who were not as prominent and/or succesfull as before, adn I can't help feeling this will affect society in a number of ways, including crime, I just don't know ni which direction.


Last edited by CB27 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
rewboss
834862.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:04 pm Reply with quote

Bealzybub wrote:
In that particular instance I didnt have a gun with me


And you lived to tell the tale; I wonder if you had done so if you'd tried to pull a gun on your attacker.

Of course, the reason so many American criminals have firearms in the first place is because in some areas, they have to assume their victims are likely to be armed. Far from that thought dissuading people from committing crime, it's more likely to encourage them to carry their own weapons and use them pre-emptively.

Record gun sales and falling gun crime rates: on the face of it, that doesn't disprove your hypothesis. Neither does it prove it; there may be other reasons gun crime has fallen (changes in reporting methods, economic factors, better law enforcement, and so on), and for me "since Obama came to office" is too short a time span to draw any definite conclusions. Note that gun-related deaths in the US also dropped 27% between 1993 and 1999. I haven't the time to look at all the figures in detail, but it appears that the record number of gun sales may actually have coincided with a slowing-down in the fall of gun crime.

There's also the consideration that most of the biggest mass shooting incidents in the world involved legally-held firearms.

Another very important point is the high rate of accidental gun deaths. In 2001 there were 0.36 gun deaths per 100,000 head of population attributed to "other (including accident)" -- "other" meaning not suicide or homicide; the corresponding figure for England and Wales in 2002 was 0.03.

 
Bealzybub
834870.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:47 pm Reply with quote

And you lived to tell the tale; I wonder if you had done so if you'd tried to pull a gun on your attacker.

In that instance there simply wasnt time to do anything but react.

Of course, the reason so many American criminals have firearms in the first place is because in some areas, they have to assume their victims are likely to be armed.

I beg to differ on this point. The areas with the highest gun crime and murder are areas where gun laws are strictest. Gun laws arent all federal, states and cities have the right to enact there own gun legislation. Chicago in particular, as well as Washington DC and California all have far and away the strictest gun laws in the country but also have the highest murder/gun crime rates. In the case of Chicago and Washington DC it is extremely difficult to say the least for a private (law biding) citizen to purchase and keep a handgun yet those two areas are record setters in this country for murder and crime both trading places year by year as the highest murder rates in the country.

Neither does it prove it; there may be other reasons gun crime has fallen (changes in reporting methods, economic factors, better law enforcement, and so on), and for me "since Obama came to office" is too short a time span to draw any definite conclusions.

I dont mention this as a political point only to emphasize a stigma here that "all democrats want to enact more gun legislation" as is the feeling of a large percentage of the population here. The gun sales started skyrocketing after the election in '08. Personally I feel it has affected the gun crime rate but only in that small percentage due to folks being able to prevent being a victim as opposed to curbing overall gun crime. If I am correct I would expect a slight downtrend in guncrime for the next years to come.

Note that gun-related deaths in the US also dropped 27% between 1993 and 1999.

In those years another democrat, Bill Clinton was in office. His administration enacted significant gun legislation which caused a sharp increase in gun sales through those years also starting in 1992. A pattern?

There's also the consideration that most of the biggest mass shooting incidents in the world involved legally-held firearms.

I would say that here in the USA it would be more accurate to say "legally purchased yet illegally owned" due to straw buyers purchasing weapons for others. I cant speak intelligently as to worldwide mass shooting as I am not as well informed of the events in other countries. I do however feel its fair to say that other than war most of those mass shootings have been here in the USA.

There are huge societal issues here that I believe contribute to all of this. Most of those issues for the most part are being ignored so my outlook is not hopeful except in the sense that a larger percentage of the population here is now realizing that law enforcement simply cant protect us anymore.

Another very important point is the high rate of accidental gun deaths. In 2001 there were 0.36 gun deaths per 100,000 head of population attributed to "other (including accident)" -- "other" meaning not suicide or homicide; the corresponding figure for England and Wales in 2002 was 0.03.

Know that there are "other" others here aside from accidental shootings. These all get lumped in to that category. As one example there have been probably a half dozen killings that were executed (excuse the pun) by the police in the city I live in involving people who were unarmed in almost the same number of years. Thats just one example of the "others".

 
sjb
834889.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:14 pm Reply with quote

Bealzybub wrote:
There are huge societal issues here that I believe contribute to all of this. Most of those issues for the most part are being ignored so my outlook is not hopeful except in the sense that a larger percentage of the population here is now realizing that law enforcement simply cant protect us anymore.

Just throwing this out there: the police where I live are an absolute joke/nightmare. I am told by reliable sources that this is a direct result of the city/county merger in 2003. And we have a fair amount of gun crime. (Actually, I'm trying to find statistics for my city aaaand maybe I'm just having a bad day but I'm having trouble finding any gun-specific stats.)

 
rewboss
834925.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:14 pm Reply with quote

Bealzybub wrote:
The areas with the highest gun crime and murder are areas where gun laws are strictest.


And yet, zooming out of the US and looking at the world in general, leaving aside those countries in a state of armed conflict of one sort or another, those countries with the strictest and best-enforced gun laws have the lowest rates of gun crime.

 
Sadurian Mike
834932.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:31 pm Reply with quote

This story from 2007 illustrates just one reason I would not like increased UK domestic gun ownership.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/11/27/shooting_of_burglars_in_texas_draws_debate/

Burglary and trespass should not be capital crimes, even unofficially.

 
Bealzybub
834969.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:04 pm Reply with quote

those countries with the strictest and best-enforced gun laws have the lowest rates of gun crime.

Therein lies the key. If we had better enforced laws rather than the situation now which is create more laws and dont enforce the ones on the books then gun crime would drop off significantly.

Example; In 1999 under Bill Clinton the democrats created the "N.I.C.S." or "National Insta-Check System". This law we were told would keep guns out of the hands of felons. As a "B" felony it was punishable by a five year prison term. After the first year and a half there were over one million attempts to buy by felons and not even a dozen of those got prosecuted. Whats to keep those felons from recognizing their error in their attempt to buy and going back and trying again?

Additionally, you may have heard of the "Jerrod Laughner" case. It happened about a year ago where he shot about a dozen people including congressman Gabriel Giffords and killed six. Now, when you go to purchase a weapon anywhere in this country you have to fill out a form 4473. There are ten questions on that form having to do with your personal background and once filled out a phone call is made to either the FBI or the state police as per the N.I.C.S. system to verify the information provided. In Laughners case he was known to be deranged, he was known to have been a drug user and at some point addicted, yet the same people that created the N.I.C.S. background check successfully advocated that all that personal information be held in confidence. So in essence they created a law that couldnt be prosecuted AND wouldnt detect the disqualifying factors of any given person attempting to buy a weapon.

This could in no way come anywhere near "best enforced" gun laws.

The private legal citizens that own guns here are not the problem. I know that no one is saying they are but I was just sayin.

Complex indeed.

 
Posital
834972.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:14 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Bealzybub wrote:
Which part do you consider "opinion"?

I just wish the gun laws were a little different over where you guys are. or; I'd be there in a heart beat but I do love my guns.
The first bit. I'll take the second bit as fact.
Surely that's the other way around.

I think it's a fact that he wishes things were different. Can't see why he wouldn't be telling the truth about his own wishes.

But it's his opinion that he'd be here in a heartbeat - as he'll never know until he tries (he may be refused entry, for instance). It might be a fact that "he would like to be here if..." but he doesn't say that.

 

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