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Thread: Gun Holders tend to think others are armed as well.

  1. #1 Gun Holders tend to think others are armed as well. 
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    "Wielding a gun increases a person’s bias to see guns in the hands of others, new research from the University of Notre Dame shows.
    Notre Dame Associate Professor of Psychology James Brockmole, who specializes in human cognition and how the visual world guides behavior, together with a colleague from Purdue University, conducted the study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance."


    Psychologist James Brockmole Researches Impact Holding a Gun Has on People's Perceptions // News // College of Arts and Letters // University of Notre Dame

    No surprise really because our own perceptions in other areas are heavily biased by our views of the world and our own situation. It does however cast a shadow over broad laws such as Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law in the news this past week after a community watch group member shot an unarmed 17 year old.


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    Executed by an armed thug for the crime of "walking while black".


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    This part kind of gives the impression the finding may have a broader scope.

    The researchers showed that the ability to act is a key factor in the effects by showing that simply letting observers see a nearby gun did not influence their behavior; holding and using the gun was important.

    “One reason we supposed that wielding a firearm might influence object categorization stems from previous research in this area, which argues that people perceive the spatial properties of their surrounding environment in terms of their ability to perform an intended action,” Brockmole says.


    It sounds like a big part of the problem is people preferring to believe that they are in a situation where they would have the power to act. If you don't have a gun, you prefer to believe (hope) that nobody else does either. If you do have a gun, you prefer to believe that it will be of some use to you to have it.

    You see the same kind of thing happen when discussing politics, or even worse: conspiracy theories like 911 or the Kennedy assassination. At some point in the conversation, a person who is extremely skeptical will almost always point out that it wouldn't matter anyway, because neither they nor you could do anything about it if there were something sinister behind it. I wonder sometimes if they would be so certain of their perception absent this effect.



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    I agree with this psychological phenomenon in addition to the idea that someone picks up a gun because they expect to encounter deadly force.
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    "With great power comes great responsibility." **

    Holding a gun gives great power. It follows that a person so empowered must exercise great responsibility, meaning restraint.

    The recent killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin reflects a sickness in attitudes to self defense. The murderer claims he felt threatened, which made it OK to shoot the poor kid out of 'self defense'.

    Where was the restraint? Where was the responsibility?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury View Post
    Executed by an armed thug for the crime of "walking while black".
    So, you feel you know all the facts of this incident then? Why don't we just have a necktie party and string the guy up?
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    Harold

    There was no real investigation.
    We are not calling for a neck tie party. What I would like to see is a proper police investigation, and a proper trial in a proper court. Regardless of the circumstance, if one citizen shoots another citizen dead, an investigation and court action is called for.
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    Reading the notes of the survey, I note the participants of the survey were all undergraduate students. It isn't clear if any of them had any prior experience with firearms, were firearms owners or possibly concealed weapon carriers.

    I'd like to see the results of the same survey given to people between 30 and 40 years of age who have been concealed weapon carriers for a minimum of five years. Perhaps a different test group of sworn law enforcement officers as well? How different would the results present?

    Also - and not particularly repeated - is the test subjects all had a 'gun' in their hands, not merely on their person or holstered.

    The surveyers made a disclaimer this experiement was NOT for the purpose of advocating more gun control. Of course, every gun control group and ninny in the nation has seized upon it as 'proof' citizens should not own weapons, let alone carry them in self-defense. Typical anti-gun, pro-criminal rhetoric.

    The shooting in Florida of the young man Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is horrible at best. More horrible is how the left has jumped on the incident as political provender. For instance, the labeling of George Zimmerman as a 'white latino'. No such term ever used prior, oddly. Of course, if Mr. Zimmerman isn't portrayed as 'white', the fuel of 'racism' doesn't exist, does it?

    I don't know the details and neither does hardly anyone else. Most assuredly Al Sharpton knows nothing, other than he can profit by the tragedy. There are investigations pending and none of them will be aided by public furor, on either side.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Harold

    There was no real investigation.
    We are not calling for a neck tie party. What I would like to see is a proper police investigation, and a proper trial in a proper court. Regardless of the circumstance, if one citizen shoots another citizen dead, an investigation and court action is called for.
    And you feel there was not a proper police investigation? Based on what?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archie View Post
    Of course, every gun control group and ninny in the nation has seized upon it as 'proof' citizens should not own weapons, let alone carry them in self-defense. Typical anti-gun, pro-criminal rhetoric.
    This statement, Archie, makes it clear that you have a strong pro-gun bias.

    I am not American, and lack the bias that close proximity to the problem would cause. Yet I can see very clearly, that hand guns being made widely available is causing a big problem in the USA.
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    First, I agree that the liberal media wants to video lynch the guy in Florida that shot the teenager. I don't know the circumstances of the case; however, I think the police should be allowed to do their job without mob influence.

    On the other hand I don't know the answer to the gun issue. I have helped with caring for a lot of shot people, so the idea of a gun under the shirt of ___% of the teenagers in a city is not appealing to me.

    However, as an American I value my freedom. Also, I don't totally trust government. I also hold a concealed weapons permit although I don't currently own a gun. Since one of my areas of interest is the science of accident prevention, I think I should get more training first.

    I wonder if a reasonable solution for Americans is to reduce guns in circulation by having a tax at the level of the manufacturer. Then use the tax $ to buy back and destroy used guns. This would not effect anyone's freedom except that guns would cost more. However, there would be less guns in circulation, and the cost of the freedom would be shifted to people that want to buy guns, and away from people who don't want to own a gun.
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    Tax the ammunition.
    Bullets should cost $ 1,000 each!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    First, I agree that the liberal media wants to video lynch the guy in Florida that shot the teenager.
    Not sure they do....

    I'd like to see the police chief and others taken down though. The fact one was armed and the other not should have, at a minimum, led to an taking the weapon, suspending Zimmermen's hand-gun license, and perhaps even arrest until an investigation could be made.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; March 25th, 2012 at 11:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    First, I agree that the liberal media wants to video lynch the guy in Florida that shot the teenager.
    Not sure they do....

    I'd like to see the police chief and others taken down though. The fast one was armed and the other not should have at a minimum led to an taking the weapon, suspending Zimmermen's hand-gun license, and perhaps even arrest until an investigation could be made.
    I agree with suspending a hand-gun carry permit pending an investigation. I don't agree with arrest, then investigate, because I think it could bias the investigation to justify the arrest.

    This is a tragedy and highlights the risk of engaging in high risk behavior (gun carry) with minimal training. I don't know what happened. However, if the teenager wanted to fight, and the shooter was ill prepared for unarmed combat, he could have over reacted / panicked. That is why I don't currently carry. The risk of a situation spinning out of control seems too high. I have carried in the past though. I have also had an accidental discharge from a gun that "slam fired" (discharge on round chamber without trigger pull). Fortunately, no one was hurt. You could also argue for higher fees for concealed weapons permits that could be reduced with extra training.

    However, Skeptic's comment makes me think about joining the NRA (National rifle Assoc.)
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    My comment on $1,000 per bullet was ironic.

    However, there is little doubt that hand guns cost human lives. The USA has a murder rate of about 5 per 100,000 people per year. While there are a number of worse countries, like Mexico, Russia, and Afghanistan, the USA is massively worse than any other developed western nation. It is more than 3 times as bad as my country.

    Hand guns are used in more than half of all murders in the USA. The problem is that, a situation that leads to a murder when someone has a hand gun, will lead to an assault only where no gun is available. Hand guns are much, much worse than rifles or shot guns, because they can be concealed, and are very portable. Thus, criminals carry them around where they could not carry a larger weapon.

    For the same reason, hand guns are used in a very large percentage of other crimes, like muggings and hold ups.

    Good citizens do not use hand guns in crimes. But they are the source of a flow of illicit weapons, through burglaries or through second hand sales of guns. If hand guns were not readily available to good citizens, neither would they be readily available to criminals.
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    The recent killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin reflects a sickness in attitudes to self defense. The murderer claims he felt threatened, which made it OK to shoot the poor kid out of 'self defense'.

    Where was the restraint? Where was the responsibility?


    And the worst part was, it was a 1,000% innocent kid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    The recent killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin reflects a sickness in attitudes to self defense. The murderer claims he felt threatened, which made it OK to shoot the poor kid out of 'self defense'.

    Where was the restraint? Where was the responsibility?


    And the worst part was, it was a 1,000% innocent kid.
    Where exactly did you collect all of the facts about this incident?
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    Where exactly did you collect all of the facts about this incident?
    I'm not American and even I know that the poor kid was on a quick shopping trip to pick up sweets and a soft drink for his brother. He was on the phone to his girlfriend the whole time the bloke was following him. They even had a bit of a disagreement about whether he should run or just walk quickly. He was scared for his life, quite justifiably it turns out.

    And the perpetrator was following him despite being told, explicitly, by the police phone operator not to do so.

    There are several reports in international newspapers on the subject.
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    Trial by newspaper.
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    Trial by newspaper?

    Not so much for the perpetrator, but the so-called law enforcement officials could do with a dose of reality acquaintance.

    Merely taking the word of someone that they were 'Standing Their Ground' is totally inadequate. The law exists for reasons which entirely escape me, but they could not possibly be intended as a means of eliminating paperwork. A death by gunshot has to be properly investigated. Not just written off as justifiable because the person responsible says so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    A death by gunshot has to be properly investigated. Not just written off as justifiable because the person responsible says so.
    What about the investigation do you think is improper?
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    I think that even federal police (FBI) are looking into this case. However, calling for removal of presiding officers / officials until you get the result you want is a form of mob action, in my opinion.

    The community sets the standards for self defense in the law. Feeling threatened does not constitute self defense.

    If you don't trust local or federal police to reach a fair conclusion, who do you trust--the mob?

    Which mob?
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    As a Florida resident who is also licensed to "carry concealed" weapon permit for years, I find the politics and media circus of the tragedy of death Trayvon Martin has no bearing on the "stand your ground" Florida Laws (776.012 and 776.013).

    All those seeking a "carry concealed" permit must take a he gun safety class which specifically points out this law. I received a copy of Florida statues relating to this this privilege. There is no language which relates to pursing or instigating a conflict. My own instructor also made it clear that when using deadly force to protect yourself or others, there would still be an investigation. There have been people who have simply committed an "assault with a deadly weapon" (e.g. Neighbors feuding) who have been convicted and imprisoned.

    It is puzzling why the investigating police didn't make an arrest, since the deceased had no weapons on his person.
    Last edited by MrMojo1; March 26th, 2012 at 11:50 AM. Reason: grammar
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    You cannot overstate the gravity of a case where there is a killing. As I said before, both investigation and court action should be automatic.

    That is, if person A shoots person B dead, even in a fully justified self defense, person A should face a police investigating team, and then a judge in court. Possibly a jury also. If it turns out to be a clear self defense case, then person A gets found not guilty and released. Where there is a killing, you do not fool around, and neither do you go easy on the killer, regardless of whether you think it is self defense or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury View Post
    Executed by an armed thug for the crime of "walking while black".
    In April 2011 two Brits were murdered by a black teenager in Florida. They were executed by an armed thug for the crime of " walking while white "

    Witness: Fla. teen said he shot 2 U.K. tourists as they begged to ‘go home’ - The Washington Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury View Post
    Executed by an armed thug for the crime of "walking while black".
    In April 2011 two Brits were murdered by a black teenager in Florida. They were executed by an armed thug for the crime of " walking while white "

    Witness: Fla. teen said he shot 2 U.K. tourists as they begged to ‘go home’ - The Washington Post
    You misunderstand, Dave. A hate crime cannot be committed against a white person. Got it? You must be a racist for bringing this up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    You cannot overstate the gravity of a case where there is a killing. As I said before, both investigation and court action should be automatic.

    That is, if person A shoots person B dead, even in a fully justified self defense, person A should face a police investigating team, and then a judge in court. Possibly a jury also. If it turns out to be a clear self defense case, then person A gets found not guilty and released. Where there is a killing, you do not fool around, and neither do you go easy on the killer, regardless of whether you think it is self defense or not.
    In USA, police and prosecutors have some descretion about whether to charge a person with a crime. That is a good thing. This is part of the investigation process. If the police / prosecutor do not believe that the evidence supports a crime, then charges are not brought.

    One reason for this is that there is a major chance of being convicted if charges are brought whether a person is guilty or not. Innocent people have spent many years in prison, and have even been on "death row".

    We each have our biases based on the environment where we live. You must live in a culture without guns. Whereas I grew up around guns. Hand guns are dangerous; however, outlawing them will only take them away from honest citizens, not criminals. There are some situations where a rifle will not do such as hiking in remote areas. In my state, I can legally carry a concealed handgun if I do this.
    When my wife used to do real estate, I would try to be present at all open houses. I always wore a sport coat so that any unsavory visitors would have to think about two things: 1. two people 2. What is under the sport coat?.

    I never actually carried in this situation; however, I would have if I thought the risk warranted it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    You must live in a culture without guns. Whereas I grew up around guns. Hand guns are dangerous; however, outlawing them will only take them away from honest citizens, not criminals.
    I live in a culture where hand guns are a rarity. People with a need for a rifle or shotgun, for hunting or pest control, can get a licence to own such, if they pass a test, and show the police they are responsible and they have good secure gun storage systems.

    Outlawing hand guns will reduce the problem. There is no chance of "solving" the hand gun problem 100%. However, there are measures that will reduce the harm they do. It is a bit like the problem of motor car fatalities. Nothing you can do will stop people dying in car accidents. However, a lot of measures, like safer cars, safer roads, better road rules, better policing of road rules, will reduce the death toll very markedly.

    In the same way, the 8,000 hand gun homicides each year in the USA will not reduce to zero, but they can probably be reduced by half or more with good new laws, and proper policing.

    In the USA, more than half of all murders are with hand guns. Two thirds with firearms of all kinds. In other developed western countries, like my own, England, Australia etc., firearm murders make up less than 10% of all homicides, and the total homicide rate per capita is a third to a quarter of America. The USA, like other western nations, could reduce the firearm death toll very drastically, if it had the political will and courage.
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    In USA, police and prosecutors have some descretion about whether to charge a person with a crime. That is a good thing. This is part of the investigation process. If the police / prosecutor do not believe that the evidence supports a crime, then charges are not brought.

    One reason for this is that there is a major chance of being convicted if charges are brought whether a person is guilty or not. Innocent people have spent many years in prison, and have even been on "death row".
    You skipped over a bunch of stuff there. There's little to no connection between a departments willingness to actually investigate a crime and whether they eventually end up on death row. Even with the few facts we already know in this case, any reasonable and unbiased and objective police department would have confiscated Zimmermen's gun and likely charged him until the facts came in--such as review the phone calls, survey the neighborhood for witnesses, get drug results from both involved, cordon and collect evidence at the scene etc. You're right about police having discretion about whether to charge a person with a crime, but they seldom reach that decision until the evidence is in--in this case we know it was not. They also have options to detain or impose restraints on people until they decide. I hope the Florida district attorney turns that department upside down.
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    any reasonable and unbiased and objective police department would have confiscated Zimmermen's gun and likely charged him until the facts came in ...
    And anyone with common sense would have gone through the motions of this sort of approach - even if they always intended to let it lie.

    They've displayed gross incompetence either way. Whether it's the downright stupidity sort or the fail to cover our own backs sort.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury View Post
    Executed by an armed thug for the crime of "walking while black".
    In April 2011 two Brits were murdered by a black teenager in Florida. They were executed by an armed thug for the crime of " walking while white "

    Witness: Fla. teen said he shot 2 U.K. tourists as they begged to ‘go home’ - The Washington Post
    You misunderstand, Dave. A hate crime cannot be committed against a white person. Got it? You must be a racist for bringing this up.
    Yes, you are quite right Harold. I was not thinking straight.
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    The other side of the story.

    With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who eventually shot to death the unarmed 17-year-old, then climbed on top of Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times, leaving him bloody and battered, according to an account released Monday by authorities.

    That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say.
    Zimmerman has not spoken publicly about what happened, but that night, Feb. 26, and in later meetings he described and re-enacted for police what he says happened.
    Police disclosed to the Orlando Sentinel that there is about a one-minute gap, after Zimmerman called police and before he fatally shot Martin, during which police say they're not sure what happened.
    In Zimmerman's version of events, he had stopped following Martin and had turned around and was walking back to his SUV when Martin approached him from behind. The two exchanged words, then Martin punched him in the nose, sending him to the ground, and began beating him.
    Then, Zimmerman says, he began yelling for help.
    Several witnesses heard those cries, and there has been a dispute about from whom they came: Zimmerman or Martin. Lawyers for Martin's family say it was Martin, but police say their evidence indicates it was Zimmerman. One witness was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.
    Zimmerman, who claims self defense, then shot Martin once in the chest from very close range, according to authorities.
    When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head. He was given first aid by paramedics but refused to go to the hospital.
    New background information on Martin emerged Monday. He had been suspended from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School three times, most recently for possession of an empty bag with marijuana residue and a "marijuana pipe," according to a school's report obtained by the Miami Herald.
    Civil rights leaders and thousands of others have demanded Zimmerman's arrest, calling Martin a victim of racial profiling and Zimmerman a vigilante.
    Martin was an unarmed black teenager who had committed no crime, they say, who was gunned down while walking back from a 7-Eleven with nothing more sinister than a package of Skittles and can of Arizona iced tea.
    Supporters have held rallies in Sanford, Miami, New York and Tallahassee, calling the case a tragic miscarriage of injustice.
    Zimmerman has gone into hiding. A fringe group, the New Black Panthers, have offered a $10,000 reward for his capture.
    The Department of Justice last week opened a civil rights investigation into what happened, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed a special prosecutor.
    Read more: Police: Trayvon Martin beat man before being shot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archie View Post
    Reading the notes of the survey, I note the participants of the survey were all undergraduate students. It isn't clear if any of them had any prior experience with firearms, were firearms owners or possibly concealed weapon carriers.

    I'd like to see the results of the same survey given to people between 30 and 40 years of age who have been concealed weapon carriers for a minimum of five years. Perhaps a different test group of sworn law enforcement officers as well? How different would the results present?

    Also - and not particularly repeated - is the test subjects all had a 'gun' in their hands, not merely on their person or holstered.
    Good point. Also the fact the test administrator has given you a gun to hold might influence your perception of the likelihood of them putting guns in the items you are viewing. If they don't give you a gun, you might think they intend the study to have fewer guns in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

    Good citizens do not use hand guns in crimes. But they are the source of a flow of illicit weapons, through burglaries or through second hand sales of guns. If hand guns were not readily available to good citizens, neither would they be readily available to criminals.

    Perhaps a smart direction to move in would be to make theft of a registered gun be considered different from other kinds of theft. Have it carry a very very long sentence. Most criminals put some thought into how many years they want to take the risk of serving. As long stealing a gun in punished the same as stealing a car stereo (despite the fact that guns have a much higher street value), criminals who steal will continue to focus their efforts on them. On the other hand, if by stealing the gun they just moved their likely prison term (if caught) up from 2-3 years up to 10-15, they'd probably leave the gun behind.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    As a Florida resident who is also licensed to "carry concealed" weapon permit for years, I find the politics and media circus of the tragedy of death Trayvon Martin has no bearing on the "stand your ground" Florida Laws (776.012 and 776.013).

    All those seeking a "carry concealed" permit must take a he gun safety class which specifically points out this law. I received a copy of Florida statues relating to this this privilege. There is no language which relates to pursing or instigating a conflict. My own instructor also made it clear that when using deadly force to protect yourself or others, there would still be an investigation. There have been people who have simply committed an "assault with a deadly weapon" (e.g. Neighbors feuding) who have been convicted and imprisoned.

    It is puzzling why the investigating police didn't make an arrest, since the deceased had no weapons on his person.
    The problem is that, once you draw a gun, if the other party doesn't immediately back down but still tries to attack you, then you now risk the possibility they might get it away from you and shoot you with it. Essentially, once they attempt to engage you in hand to hand combat, you're now both armed.

    I'd say the smart move if you are ever in a security role is to carry mace and/or a tazer, so as to avoid this problem altogether. (Carry a gun too if you like, but keep it concealed until they draw.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I'd say the smart move if you are ever in a security role is to carry mace and/or a tazer, so as to avoid this problem altogether. (Carry a gun too if you like, but keep it concealed until they draw.)
    The other alternative is to carry a personal alarm.
    Personal Alarms - Safety and Self Defense

    These little beauties are small, cheap, fully legal under all circumstances, and bloody effective! Some are small enough to clip onto the side of a lady's hand bag. They do not need to be kept hidden, and being clipped outside the bag, they are very quick to draw. They produce a terrible screeching noise of up to 130 decibels - equivalent to a jet engine.

    It is almost impossible for an attacker to maintain an attack in the face of that noise. They tend to walk or run away with hands over their ears. The noise also travels, so that anyone within several blocks knows there is a problem, and come running. The attacker will not hang around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    In USA, police and prosecutors have some descrition about whether to charge a person with a crime. That is a good thing. This is part of the investigation process. If the police / prosecutor do not believe that the evidence supports a crime, then charges are not brought.

    One reason for this is that there is a major chance of being convicted if charges are brought whether a person is guilty or not. Innocent people have spent many years in prison, and have even been on "death row".
    You skipped over a bunch of stuff there. There's little to no connection between a departments willingness to actually investigate a crime and whether they eventually end up on death row. Even with the few facts we already know in this case, any reasonable and unbiased and objective police department would have confiscated Zimmermen's gun and likely charged him until the facts came in--such as review the phone calls, survey the neighborhood for witnesses, get drug results from both involved, cordon and collect evidence at the scene etc. You're right about police having discretion about whether to charge a person with a crime, but they seldom reach that decision until the evidence is in--in this case we know it was not. They also have options to detain or impose restraints on people until they decide. I hope the Florida district attorney turns that department upside down.
    See Harold's version of the story. In that version, the shooter was about to have his brains bashed in. Police and prosecutors do not bring charges if the evidence favors self defense.

    If we are going to have video / technology mobs make the final decision in cases like this, lets at least agree to use the Fox news crowd.

    However, I think Kojax has a very good idea to either carry a non-lethal device instead of a firearm, or always carry non-lethal if you carry a firearm so you are less likely to be forced to use the firearm if you are on the losing end of unarmed combat.

    If I ever do carry again, I will remember that tip. Although in general if a place requires a gun, then it is place I will avoid going to. The portable siren is better than nothing; however, it will not stop a criminal from sticking a knife in you. You cannot be certain a criminal will just "run away". Studies on violent criminals show that they have a much lower threshold for using violence to solve a problem than an noncriminal. So the criminal might hear the noise and immediately see a violent solution. A taser would stop most criminals in their tracks. Fortunately, tasers are legal here also.

    We are all biased. From my perspective, the no-gun states and countries should be free to have their no-gun policies. However, my CCI (concealed carry permit) should apply in those places as well. Only people who choose to live in such situations should have to obey the liberal manifesto. Fox news watchers should be exempt.
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    I don't think the issue is about carrying lethal or non-lethal is the issue. It gets back to Lynx_Fox original post relating to poor decision making. Many gun owners do have a "solution searching for a problem" mindset. It is like carrying a hammer and thinking all problems are nails, is what my instructor used as an example. The best way to avoid a fight, is to not go looking for one. I highly doubt that there will be enough evidence from an further investigation that will dictate an arrest. George Zimmerman will likely be a pariah for a while, and then fade into the background.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    I don't think the issue is about carrying lethal or non-lethal is the issue. It gets back to Lynx_Fox original post relating to poor decision making. Many gun owners do have a "solution searching for a problem" mindset.
    Do they? How many is many? Where did you collect this data?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    The portable siren is better than nothing; however, it will not stop a criminal from sticking a knife in you. You cannot be certain a criminal will just "run away". Studies on violent criminals show that they have a much lower threshold for using violence to solve a problem than an noncriminal. So the criminal might hear the noise and immediately see a violent solution.
    Neither will having a gun stop a criminal from killing you. In fact the reverse is likely to be true.
    Carrying a gun increases risk of getting shot and killed - science-in-society - 06 October 2009 - New Scientist

    In this study, the researchers found that those who carry a gun are 4.5 times as likely to get shot than those who do not. Of course, part of this is due to the fact that more criminals carry guns. However, the researchers did a demographic study on their subjects, and most belonged to demographic groups that are not criminal. So, overall, even good citizens who carry guns are far more likely to get shot than good citizens who do not.

    Anyone who expects that carrying
    - a gun
    - mace
    - a taser
    - an alarm
    will provide perfect safety, is living in fairyland. If you encounter a criminal, there is a very good chance you will get hurt. Certain actions, like a personal alarm, will reduce that probability. Carrying a gun is an action that will increase, not reduce, your chances of getting shot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    I don't think the issue is about carrying lethal or non-lethal is the issue. It gets back to Lynx_Fox original post relating to poor decision making. Many gun owners do have a "solution searching for a problem" mindset.
    Do they? How many is many? Where did you collect this data?
    Yes they do. I'd estimate about fifty from my range experiences. I have family members in law enforcement and they have noted the same.
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    I agree with Mojo on the mindset problem. I blame Hollywood in part. We end up with the "Dirty Harry Syndrome", in which people think the answer to crime is to 'blow the bad guy away', and they get a gun and look for an opportunity to do just that. They ignore the fact that making guns more available for good citizens ends up making even more guns available for criminals.

    Some of you may have seen the film Bowling for Columbine, which is perhaps a bit over the top. But Michael Moore does point very clearly to a rather unfortunate mindset shared by many Americans.

    The following cartoon is also definitely 'over the top', and exaggerates the problem, but is pretty funny anyway.
    Bowling for Columbine - YouTube
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    I agree with Mojo on the mindset problem.
    ditto
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    It is not just criminals that people own guns to defend against. Some people are concerned about social disorder from national disasters, or the risk of the anti-gun crowd trying to install a "Hunger Games" utopia style of government.

    Our region had a hurricane last summer. On t.v. they said to have batteries, water, candles, etc. At work it was these things + AR. I think I was in the minority because I didn't own an AR (semi-auto assault rifle).

    In the US, we care about about our freedom. I don't know anyone that believes that Michael Moore, or his buddies, are the social architects of anything we want to be a part of.

    However, I think that "decision making" related to gun ownership could be a legitimate concern for individuals (not governments), to consider regarding whether to exercise their right to bear arms.

    I have been trying to learn "present moment" thinking and I think that imagining "threat - response" scenarios is an impediment to this. Personally, I think failure to achieve this state may be associated with a whole range of maladies. Thus, if I hold off on a gun purchase, it will probably be to aid this sort of understanding.
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    Whooopeee I can finally post something!

    ...sorry; it took me nearly two days to register; I'll say something meaningful next time...
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    My personal opinion is that guns should be abolished for anything except war or rare (and important) cases.

    Back here in Britain, gun crime is so much lower.

    But - if guns are abolished, why would you need a gun to defend yourself? Nobody else has a gun, and firearms would be illegal in all cases.
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    To Dedo

    Who thinks guns are needed to oppose social disorder or a government gone wrong.

    Whether that is right or not (seriously unlikely to be correct), hand guns are the wrong weapons. Rifles would be far more effective in either such situation. So you cannot justify the widespread ownership of hand guns by suggesting they are needed in times of social disorder or to oppose a hypothetical government gone wrong.

    Rifles, and even semi-automatic weapons, are a small part of the homicide/suicide by firearm problem in the USA. Two thirds of firearm homicides, and half of all suicides in the USA are by hand guns. So the focus should be there.
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    Whether that is right or not (seriously unlikely to be correct), hand guns are the wrong weapons. Rifles would be far more effective in either such situation. So you cannot justify the widespread ownership of hand guns by suggesting they are needed in times of social disorder or to oppose a hypothetical government gone wrong.

    Rifles, and even semi-automatic weapons, are a small part of the homicide/suicide by firearm problem in the USA. Two thirds of firearm homicides, and half of all suicides in the USA are by hand guns. So the focus should be there.
    nods. The remaining accidents by long rifles could be dramatically reduced by teaching our children to safely use them.
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    It looks like the Martin kid was acting under the Stand Your Ground law, Zimmerman failed to reveal that he was Neighborhood Watch, Martin stood his ground, and Zimmerman then killed him. Did the Florida legislature ever think that two people on opposite sides might stand their own ground? How do you think gang fights happen? They're standing their ground. Duh!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    It looks like the Martin kid was acting under the Stand Your Ground law, Zimmerman failed to reveal that he was Neighborhood Watch, Martin stood his ground, and Zimmerman then killed him. Did the Florida legislature ever think that two people on opposite sides might stand their own ground? How do you think gang fights happen? They're standing their ground. Duh!
    Why do you say that? Somebody threw the first punch.
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    That is an interesting point you raised Jrmonroe. It will be difficult to determine who threw the first punch, since there is only one person alive to give testimony.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    That is an interesting point you raised Jrmonroe. It will be difficult to determine who threw the first punch, since there is only one person alive to give testimony.
    Nothing new about that. People are innocent until proven guilty, which means sometimes murderers get away with it. (cough OJSimpson cough)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    That is an interesting point you raised Jrmonroe. It will be difficult to determine who threw the first punch, since there is only one person alive to give testimony.
    Nothing new about that. People are innocent until proven guilty, which means sometimes murderers get away with it. (cough OJSimpson cough)
    Correct. This was one of the valid criticisms of the "stand your ground" law when it was being legislated in the state legislature. There was concern that criminals would commit murder, but claim self defense and use the law to be immune from criminal and civil prosecution. With the original OJ Simpson case, there was at least a remedy in civil court after the prosecution botched the criminal trail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    It looks like the Martin kid was acting under the Stand Your Ground law, Zimmerman failed to reveal that he was Neighborhood Watch, Martin stood his ground, and Zimmerman then killed him. Did the Florida legislature ever think that two people on opposite sides might stand their own ground? How do you think gang fights happen? They're standing their ground. Duh!
    Why do you say that? Somebody threw the first punch.
    I said that because Martin stood his ground, he felt threatened because in his eyes, Zimmerman was stalking him. Florida law says it's okay to use force if you feel threatened. Unfortunately, Zimmerman stood his ground too. He was the aggressor; he caused the encounter. Without Zimmerman, there's only an innocent kid going to the corner store for candy and a soft drink.

    There is ample evidence that Zimmerman was thinking/acting strangely because he saw suspicion in Martin's innocent behavior of walking home from the corner store with Skittles and iced tea. Zimmerman'd paranoia is clear. In his call to the police,
    Zimmerman described Martin as a "real suspicious guy" ... "up to no good" ... "on drugs or something" ... "has his hand in his waistband" ... "something's wrong with him" ... "he's got something in his hands, I don't know what his deal is" ... "these a**holes, they always get away" ... "sh*t, he's running" ... these "f***ing punks". Zimmerman made himself quite clear that he supposedly "knew" Martin was a criminal, even though there was absolutely no evidence of such behavior.

    I wonder, would anyone want Zimmerman as their neighbor (in a gated community or not)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    That is an interesting point you raised Jrmonroe. It will be difficult to determine who threw the first punch, since there is only one person alive to give testimony.
    That's why a case like this must go to trial.
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    I don't get it. You are saying that guns are 'needed' to prevent a government from being in a place of control or as a self defence system. But the UK has not been corrupt for years (not that I can say the same for some parts of the US!) and gun crime is at a minimum. Firearms are illegal in England without a permit. Surely it works? People don't need guns - all of these 'self defence' claims are basically c**p because nobody needs guns. People just want​ them.
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    The big issue is the USA's disparity in its status as the leading first world country - but with the highest murder rate among the OECD countries. Even Turkey has a lower murder rate. The only attendee at OECD meetings with a higher murder rate than the USA is Russia. List of countries by intentional homicide rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There's something seriously amiss here. From an outsider's point of view, the glaring difference is the gun culture. I know many USAnians don't see it, let alone grasp it, but it needs to be examined. But we can't do it for them.
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    Surely it works?
    Or it has until now. Many Americans aren't that confident that government will always be one "of the people" or become tyrannical arm of the majority against fundamental individual rights we treasure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To Dedo

    Who thinks guns are needed to oppose social disorder or a government gone wrong.

    Whether that is right or not (seriously unlikely to be correct), hand guns are the wrong weapons. Rifles would be far more effective in either such situation. So you cannot justify the widespread ownership of hand guns by suggesting they are needed in times of social disorder or to oppose a hypothetical government gone wrong.

    Rifles, and even semi-automatic weapons, are a small part of the homicide/suicide by firearm problem in the USA. Two thirds of firearm homicides, and half of all suicides in the USA are by hand guns. So the focus should be there.
    Skeptic:

    I agree that rifles are more effective against tyrants. However, to remove the handguns from the US population by force of law would require such draconian, police state measures that going after rifles would be a simple "next step" for the tyrant.

    I have already given two examples of situations where a rifle will not work, that you have not refuted.
    a. A real estate agent is in an open house in an isolated property. If two thugs come into such a situation and your closest female relative is the real estate agent then: Would you prefer that she have your little siren, or a 9mm Sig and be fully trained in its use.
    b. You enjoy hiking in the wilderness. So do serial killers. You encounter such an individual while hiking with your wife in the woods. You have the same choice. You each have a little siren, or you each have a Sig.

    In reality, I don't know the answer to the gun issue. I would only support solutions that do not cross what I believe is a constitutional right in this country to bear arms. Most of the examples I choose are slightly "tongue in cheek" designed to choose the opposite point of view to what I perceive is a flawed perspective that government can social engineer every problem when governments have a long history of becoming tyrants. If you can find a couple examples where this has not occurred, then great, there is hope for the world. However, if someone believes that the US should outlaw handguns, then I will take the position that we should have the legal right to carry handguns everywhere, including New Zealand and UK.

    However, if measures could be enacted that would give people incentives to own fewer guns, lock them in safes, and get extensive training, then I am most interested in such measures. Also, I think weapons may contribute to "threat response" thinking as opposed to "present moment" thinking which is my main interest right now. That is why I am hesitant about going down the gun road at this time.
    (However, after seeing "Hunger Games", I might need a bow.)

    Seriously though, I am curious if learning to be "in the moment" can enhance perception of hidden or impending danger, (as well as opportunities) then I might not need a gun. If something bad is coming, your intuition, or God directing you through your intuition, might allow you to avoid the situation. That is my interest.
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    I hope you don't mind if I point out a basic flaw in your examples.
    That is, the idea that you can achieve some kind of absolute safety. You cannot. Guns will not do it. Lack of guns will not do it. However, you can work towards improving relative safety.

    For example : we know that the chances of someone in your family dying from a gunshot wound increases dramatically if you have a hand gun in the house. The reason being that the hand gun is the ideal weapon for suicide. 90% of suicide attempts with a hand gun result in death. (What the other 10% result in, I shudder to think. Death would be better!). if you keep a hand gun at home, and a family member gets the urge to suicide, then almost certainly, there will be a death. If there is no hand gun, statistics show the urge to suicide will probably pass and there will be no death.

    Relative safety is better served by having no hand gun at home.

    In the same way, the Brabas study showed that carrying a hand gun in public 'for defense' actually increases your chances of getting shot if there is a confrontation.

    On real estate - my wife worked as a real estate agent for some time, and often was alone in isolated spots. Not only did she never encounter a security problem, but it was never even mentioned as a risk by the parent office. I strongly suspect that this example of yours is one where the chance of getting killed will increase if a hand gun is present.

    If you are walking in the woods, you fear a serial killer, then you are seriously losing your sense of perspective. The odds against it are so low.

    Either example is about a risk that is way lower than merely minimal. There is no absolute safety, and the search for that chimera is no excuse to hand out hand guns.

    The American constitutional right to bear arms is kinda bizarre. No other western country has that, and no other people believe it to be any kind of right. The United Nations Charter of Human Rights does not mention it, and nor should they. It is weird to think that carrying a tool for committing murder is a human right. However, if you insist on it, then there is no reason to stop reasonable ownership of sporting rifles. It is hand guns that are the biggest killer in the USA.

    When you say you do not know the answer to the gun issue, you are speaking a universal truth. None of us know. And the reason we do not know is that "the answer" does not exist. However, there are a large number of strategies for reducing the problem caused by guns. No one thing that gives a 100% cure, but a lot of things that help.

    If I had the power, I would immediately outlaw hand guns in private ownership. I would set up a moratorium for hand guns to be handed in to the police, with compensation paid, and the guns immediately destroyed. When the moratorium was over, owning or having possession of a hand gun would be a crime carrying a prison term. This would have the effect of reducing private ownership of hand guns by a massive percentage. In line with that, suicide rates would immediately fall.

    Homicide rates would fall more slowly, since criminals are the main culprits and they would not hand in guns. However, if possession is an imprisonable offense, criminals would be much more reluctant to carry hand guns. In addition, the flow of hand guns to criminals from burglaries and from buying from gun shops in states with lax gun laws, would drop substantially. Over a longer period of time, hand gun homicides would drop very substantially.

    The real problem would be political. All the hand gun enthusiasts who share your weird view, that carrying a tool designed for murder and suicide is a human right, will kick up a hell of a fuss. I doubt that your politicians have the courage to carry through on the best policies.
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    "If I had the power, I would immediately outlaw hand guns in private ownership."

    Skeptic:

    The main difference between our views is what we would do if each of us "had the power".

    I hope that I would be extremely cautious about trampling on the freedom of others for some "grand purpose".

    Although I don't currently own a gun, if a politician even hinted about this sort of thinking, I would own an arsenal within a week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    There are investigations pending and none of them will be aided by public furor, on either side
    As far as seems visible, there would be no investigation whatsoever - not even one botched as badly as this one - without the public furor.

    btw: We know who started whatever happened. Following someone and blocking their path on the sidewalk is the first blow - a threat, a crime in itself. Had Martin been armed, he probably would have been justified under Florida law in shooting Zimmerman.

    If Zimmerman feared the kid, it may very well have been from his own carry gun projected under the kid's hoodie or into a pocket with a vague shape in it - that would explain much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post

    The main difference between our views is what we would do if each of us "had the power".

    I hope that I would be extremely cautious about trampling on the freedom of others for some "grand purpose".

    Although I don't currently own a gun, if a politician even hinted about this sort of thinking, I would own an arsenal within a week.
    The "grand purpose" is to stop the pointless deaths of 18,000 people each year by bullets from hand guns. The "freedom" you talk of is the freedom to own a weapon designed purely to kill people. In most advanced nations, owning such a weapon is a crime in itself.

    Your last paragraph (and I apologise if this offends you) seems to me to be a symptom of the wider gun culture sickness in the USA. When a person's immediate reaction to something they don't like is to get a gun, it is no wonder that America is such an incredibly violent and unsafe country.
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    If I had the power, I would immediately outlaw hand guns in private ownership.
    I wouldn't go quite that path. In Australia, the laws we passed restricting gun ownership and strongly regulating storing and handling are a bit different from that.

    If you're a registered member of a gun club, you're allowed to own a gun or two but it must be stored securely at the club itself. I'm pretty sure there are still certain exemptions for carrying. A couple of blokes I worked with in a public service agency carried handguns for a while when they were the unlucky ones who had to interview a couple of gangland figures - and upset them a bit by imposing fines for various infringements they'd committed quite apart from their overtly criminal activities. When the death threats arrived, the cops hastily arranged the necessary permits - because it's never, ever been legal to carry a handgun concealed in South Australia, even though it was legal to own them. (I knew one bloke who often left his on the hall table when he got back from a night at the gun club. Fortunately they didn't have any kids, but I was pretty shocked. I thought it spoke poorly of his training in the armed forces, USA not Aussie I hasten to add. Though it's possible he had a bit of PTSD from Vietnam - most of them did, but we didn't have the name for it back in the 70s.)

    The same rules apply to a couple of competition standard shooters I knew. Even when they're on the Olympic training squad, their gun security is pretty tightly controlled.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post

    The main difference between our views is what we would do if each of us "had the power".

    I hope that I would be extremely cautious about trampling on the freedom of others for some "grand purpose".

    Although I don't currently own a gun, if a politician even hinted about this sort of thinking, I would own an arsenal within a week.
    The "grand purpose" is to stop the pointless deaths of 18,000 people each year by bullets from hand guns. The "freedom" you talk of is the freedom to own a weapon designed purely to kill people. In most advanced nations, owning such a weapon is a crime in itself.

    Your last paragraph (and I apologise if this offends you) seems to me to be a symptom of the wider gun culture sickness in the USA. When a person's immediate reaction to something they don't like is to get a gun, it is no wonder that America is such an incredibly violent and unsafe country.
    America is a free country. So far, we have resisted socialism, or the other "isms" of social tyranny.

    If you are concerned about gun violence, great. However, if you compare deaths from suicides and accidents to the deaths from 20th Century tyrants, then there is no comparison.

    However, I think we are missing the most important point made in this thread. The initial post proposed that guns can change the way people think. I think this is correct.

    How people "think" may be linked to a whole range of problems. A recently read a book that proposed that WW III will come because of faulty "thinking". There is a diet guy that wrote a book called "I Can Make You Thin" that works just by changing the way people think.

    How many people are hurt or killed from inattention while driving? In my work I have talked to numerous people who have broken their ankles (myself included). I would say 100% of these people were injured because they were not paying attention to what they were doing.

    So I would say that we have not explored the original point of this thread--faulty thinking. Guns contribute to this among many other causes. There may be solutions.
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    America is a free country. So far, we have resisted socialism, or the other "isms" of social tyranny.
    And so are Australia and New Zealand. The one thing that's always amazed me about the USA is the constant talk about freedom and the evils of socialism - my grandfather regularly corresponded with a fellow POW American for 35 years after WW2 so I got a direct example of this thinking. (I thought his nagging about communism was a bit weird. Each letter started with the usual enquiries about the family's health. 2 paragraphs later we were into the marvels of capitalism and the evils of communism, and continued for 3 more pages. Mad as a cut snake I thought, until I met a few more like him but my own age. Lovely people, so long as you could keep the conversation off politics.)

    So why oh why did you freedom-loving lot happily accede to a regime with an all encompassing identifier - your social security number?

    When some political drongo suggested a similar system for Australians, the authoritarian, invasive, regimented, tyrannical, communist, fascist, bureaucratic, heavy-handed - choose any political insult you can think of, anti-freedom if you like - proposal was resoundingly rejected. Everyone hated it, including the members of this bloke's own party. I think every sub-branch in the country put up motions opposing it.

    We don't talk much about freedom here. We just do it.
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    That is interesting. I never thought much about social security numbers, although I would need to see more evidence that they effect freedom.

    However, I hope at least you see from this thread and many if not the vast majority of other threads that no one really changes their position in these debates.

    If you are really free, then I challenge you to prove it. For example, this thread introduces some interesting concepts including:
    1. Guns may change the way people think.
    2. So, are there other things that change the way people think in a negative or positive way?
    In my opinion, if you can take a step beyond the circular debates that never change anything, to advancing understanding in something that is unknown, then at least your mind is free, and that may reflect on your society.

    So I suggest that you try that somewhere, if you are really free.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The big issue is the USA's disparity in its status as the leading first world country - but with the highest murder rate among the OECD countries. Even Turkey has a lower murder rate. The only attendee at OECD meetings with a higher murder rate than the USA is Russia. List of countries by intentional homicide rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There's something seriously amiss here. From an outsider's point of view, the glaring difference is the gun culture. I know many USAnians don't see it, let alone grasp it, but it needs to be examined. But we can't do it for them.

    You just have to understand that Americans do not, in any sense, value life over liberty. We have a high murder rate because high murder rates don't scare us into action.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post

    Skeptic:

    I agree that rifles are more effective against tyrants. However, to remove the handguns from the US population by force of law would require such draconian, police state measures that going after rifles would be a simple "next step" for the tyrant.

    I have already given two examples of situations where a rifle will not work, that you have not refuted.
    a. A real estate agent is in an open house in an isolated property. If two thugs come into such a situation and your closest female relative is the real estate agent then: Would you prefer that she have your little siren, or a 9mm Sig and be fully trained in its use.
    b. You enjoy hiking in the wilderness. So do serial killers. You encounter such an individual while hiking with your wife in the woods. You have the same choice. You each have a little siren, or you each have a Sig.
    I think this typify's the perspective of American gun owners. They'd rather die themselves in a gun confrontation than be helpless and watch something happen to their wife or kids. -- Even if whatever happened to their wife and kids wasn't going to be lethal.


    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To Dedo

    Who thinks guns are needed to oppose social disorder or a government gone wrong.

    Whether that is right or not (seriously unlikely to be correct), hand guns are the wrong weapons. Rifles would be far more effective in either such situation. So you cannot justify the widespread ownership of hand guns by suggesting they are needed in times of social disorder or to oppose a hypothetical government gone wrong.

    Rifles, and even semi-automatic weapons, are a small part of the homicide/suicide by firearm problem in the USA. Two thirds of firearm homicides, and half of all suicides in the USA are by hand guns. So the focus should be there.
    It's not a question of the government itself becoming formally tyrannical. In many countries, the government is democratic, but the police force is corrupt (which means in de-facto logic, it is as tyrannical as any government could be.) If the people own guns, they're in a better position to deal with stuff on their own, not needing to call the corrupt police and get abused by them. A corrupt police force can resist all attempts to weed out that corruption so long as the citizenry has to choose between them and nothing, but if the citizens are capable of meting out their own vigilante justice, then there's always an alternative.

    And, if an armed public tells it's police force to disband..... that police force had better disband. In the USA, this usually takes the form of electing a new sheriff. If the public is armed, and on that guy's side, then he doesn't have to worry about getting killed by the old members of the force before he can fire them and start over. He can replace them instantly by just standing in the middle of a public forum and saying "I need deputies."
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    Do you not think, Kojax, that if you are dissatisfied with your police, it would be better to come up with a better system?

    I know that the police in my country, who are largely unarmed, are respected, largely non corrupt, and do an excellent job in maintaining law and order. If we can do it, so can you, and without hand guns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Do you not think, Kojax, that if you are dissatisfied with your police, it would be better to come up with a better system?
    Even in situations where one if totally satisfied, a lot of people would rather not be in a position to have to call them anyhow. I've deterred several potential crimes without calling anyone, just by showing I was armed (long rifles). I saved myself a long wait and probably a lot of hassle and paperwork and took care of the situation before it escalated. I don't want a huge police force that I have to completely rely on for basic protection in my home, nor one so large they can respond in a minute or two no matter how rural my house is (I always try to live off the beaten track). Government is too damn large and expensive already.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Do you not think, Kojax, that if you are dissatisfied with your police, it would be better to come up with a better system?
    The system is fine as long as we have good officers, but when a police force does become corrupt, it's important to be able to remove them conveniently. The ability to remove bad leaders is part of any good system.

    I imagine that the UK has different kinds of safeguards. Having royals might be an advantage, because you've always got someone the people and military alike are willing to rally behind. And royals know not to push their position too far, or the British people might decide to go to a more pure democracy without them in it. Every system needs checks and balances. Guns are just one possible option.

    I know that the police in my country, who are largely unarmed, are respected, largely non corrupt, and do an excellent job in maintaining law and order. If we can do it, so can you, and without hand guns.
    Maybe, but Lynx makes a good point. Decentralizing the law and order effort saves money.

    I like criminals having to face the uncertainty that their next victim might shoot them dead in their tracks. Sure that means they're more likely to arm themselves as well, but I don't think unarmed criminals are any less annoying. Either way, they're going to steal, and vandalize, and sell drugs. If some guy is mugging you, what do you care if he's got a gun or a knife? Either way he's going to take your money and leave. If he wanted to kill you he'd also kill you either way.
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    Re the cost of law and order.
    I think you Americans have a long way to go. Your prison population is around one prisoner for every 150 citizens. Here in NZ, it is 1 for 500. Face it. Your law and order costs under your current system are out of control already.

    On the business of shooting criminals.
    The Brabas study I quoted earlier shows that carrying a gun for self defense increase, not reduces, your chance of being shot by 450%. I do not think that the idea of having a gun to defend yourself is actually a good one. And remember that the American system results in a homicide rate 3 to 5 times as high as other advanced western nations. Your current system is failing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Re the cost of law and order.
    I think you Americans have a long way to go. Your prison population is around one prisoner for every 150 citizens. Here in NZ, it is 1 for 500. Face it. Your law and order costs under your current system are out of control already.
    I agree, but that's not an argument to make the situation even worse. About half our prison system is for victom less crimes anyhow--but that too is another issue.

    Right now, if someone at my door threatens me, and I call the police, it will take at least fifteen minutes for a response. I'm still fit and pretty capable so have better options then say my 70+ year old neighbors who lives just out of earshot.

    On the business of shooting criminals.
    The Brabas study I quoted earlier shows that carrying a gun for self defense increase, not reduces, your chance of being shot by 450%. I do not think that the idea of having a gun to defend yourself is actually a good one. And remember that the American system results in a homicide rate 3 to 5 times as high as other advanced western nations. Your current system is failing.
    Couldn't find a direct link to the study. I'd guess it was mostly about handguns which I've already said aren't worth the danger even in the hands of trained professionals--such as myself. Also the arguments for gun ownership aren't' about homicide rate--I'm perfectly willing to at least a slightly higher homicide rate the that deters and prevents someone from stealing my stuff, raping my wife, or a tyrannical oppressive government doing some crazy shit unopposed. Some things are worth the risk of dying for (the whole Patrick Henry thing)--and that's a philosophy central to the American mindset.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Couldn't find a direct link to the study.
    My apology. That was my fault. A typo. I should have said the Branas study.
    Carrying a gun increases risk of getting shot and killed - science-in-society - 06 October 2009 - New Scientist

    It is simple, really. The more hand guns, the more crime - homicides, hold ups, muggings, suicides etc.

    I have no problem with people owning rifles. But a hand gun, being portable, and easily concealed, lends itself to crime. A rifle is a better self defense weapon anyway, and the Branas study shows that carrying a hand gun for self defense is self defeating, since it increases, rather than reduces your risk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

    It is simple, really. The more hand guns, the more crime - homicides, hold ups, muggings, suicides etc.
    This claim isn't made out in the study. Do you have a separate reason for believing it?

    Also, I don't consider gun suicide to be a problem. If a person wants to die, they should be free to do so. Outside of mental insanity, preventing them would be an imposition on their personal freedom of choice.


    I have no problem with people owning rifles. But a hand gun, being portable, and easily concealed, lends itself to crime. A rifle is a better self defense weapon anyway, and the Branas study shows that carrying a hand gun for self defense is self defeating, since it increases, rather than reduces your risk.
    What I like about handguns is criminals may not know who's carrying them. I was talking with my 2nd cousin about the issue of concealed weapons permits one day and he pulled his out. It totally surprised me. I'd been hanging out with him all day and I didn't know he had it on him. Turns out he carries it with him pretty much everywhere he goes.

    I think the main problem is that most of the people who carry them are not cold blooded killers. They draw them, but then they aren't prepared to use them, and they don't shoot to kill. I understand that in police training that's one of the most important things they reinforce: not to shoot to wound, and not to miss.

    A rifle, on the other hand, has considerably more intimidation value. I'm not sure why that is (because both are equally lethal.)
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    I understand that in police training that's one of the most important things they reinforce: not to shoot to wound, and not to miss.

    A rifle, on the other hand, has considerably more intimidation value. I'm not sure why that is (because both are equally lethal.)
    And that's where cops and current models of gun training are probably woefully wrong. Even an expert under stress is going to miss more often than not using a handgun. With a rifle and training even a piss in your pant nervios and scared person is much more likely to hit what's aimed at. And as you said the deterrent value of a rifle or shotgun are significantly stronger--I'm convinced it saves millions of home owners from damage and personal harm every year in incidents the cops never hear of because there's no need to bother them once the situation is handled. (I never reported my two events either).
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    To Kojax

    Re other crimes and their relationship to gun ownership

    : LCAV - Gun Violence Statistics

    I
    quote :

    "In 2007, nearly 70% of all murders nationwide were committed with a firearm.
    In 2007, 385,178 total firearm crimes were committed, including 11,512 murders, 190,514 robberies, and 183,153 aggravated assaults."




    Not cold blooded killers


    Your comments about people not being cold blooded killers are very correct.Soldiers in war are reluctant to kill. A study in WWII showed that only about 15% of soldiers in the middle of a fire fight actually fired at the enemy. To deliberately attempt to kill a fellow human is a terrible and difficult thing for non psychopaths.
    http://www.military-sf.com/Killing.htm
    In addition, anyone who actually does kill another human, in war or in self defense, is liable to suffer a terrible psychological price. Ordinary decent humans are not killers.

    On gun suicide.

    I fear you are labouring under the burden of a logical fallacy - that if a person shoots himself, he is destined to die anyway. Not true. The vast majority of would-be suicides do not succeed, and they go on to live relatively normal lives. However, of those who pick up a hand gun to commit suicide, 90% will succeed. The vast majority of those deaths would not happen if a hand gun were not present.
    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/359/10/989


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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To Kojax

    Re other crimes and their relationship to gun ownership

    : LCAV - Gun Violence Statistics

    I
    quote :

    "In 2007, nearly 70% of all murders nationwide were committed with a firearm.
    In 2007, 385,178 total firearm crimes were committed, including 11,512 murders, 190,514 robberies, and 183,153 aggravated assaults."

    On gun suicide.

    I fear you are labouring under the burden of a logical fallacy - that if a person shoots himself, he is destined to die anyway. Not true. The vast majority of would-be suicides do not succeed, and they go on to live relatively normal lives. However, of those who pick up a hand gun to commit suicide, 90% will succeed. The vast majority of those deaths would not happen if a hand gun were not present.
    MMS: Error
    Didn't you see some huge problems with that study...such as their catagorization as deaths as " homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. " how about intentional shootings by people protecting themselves...or are we to assume it's automatically homocide everytime a wife getting the crap beat out of her for the 15th time finally loads that gun and blows her SOB husband away. Just saying the study as quick glance appears to have some strong inherent bias that might make it garbage. The parts that are probably credible are the high ratio of hand-gun to rifle accidents and crimes. I find the accident rates of kids always the most disturbing--we just lost a daughter of a Seattle police officer who left his hand gun in a glove box--her little brother shot her while he was buying some milk.
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    To LF

    It is normal in these debates that when I quote data to someone who does not want to believe it, he or she tells me that the data might be misinterpreted. OK. That is always possible. But good data is better than no data, even when another interpretation can be manipulated out of it.

    On the idea that a wife may shoot an abusive husband.
    Sure, it might happen. Statistically, though, more women are shot by husbands in America with hand guns than the reverse. I doubt these are cases of self defense.

    Let me try reposting the reference for the psychology of killing.
    Psychology of Killing

    It is worth reading.


    Note :
    This is a topic I know a little about. In another forum, I was involved in a very vitriolic debate about guns. I was forced to do a lot of research. Thus, I am in a position to quote facts and figures. The data should not be rejected out of personal bias.
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    The data showing that the natural state of man is nonviolence, means that violent behavior comes primarily from the environment.

    If nonviolence is the natural state, then it should be possible to combat / reverse whatever the variables are in the environment that contribute to the change from the "default state" to the "prepared for violence" state.
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    The data showing that the natural state of man is nonviolence
    Does it?
    I had the impression most tribal groups such as the Yanomimi were quite violent, in their case 50% of the men get killed in disputes with others. Yanomami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Our youngest males, even if they've never seen violent act will destroy the favorite toys or hit their baby sisters in uncontrolled anger.
    Much of our energy in developing societies seems devoted to controlling violent tendencies.
    (I'll split this off into our anthropology section if it sprouts.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To LF

    It is normal in these debates that when I quote data to someone who does not want to believe it, he or she tells me that the data might be misinterpreted. OK. That is always possible. But good data is better than no data, even when another interpretation can be manipulated out of it.
    Ow believe me, I totally appreciate the study and hard numbers. This particular one just raised an eyebrow because it seemed to neglect an entire catagory of gun deaths. I understand some of the reasoning for that....for instance the FBI does not go back and change homicide death data two years later after that angry spouse is acquitted for killing the wife beater for example. Self-defense is of its own right often hard to determine--as might be the case for this killing where both of them in their own minds might have thought their actions were in self-defense. I'll also concede and have mentioned already that some of the numbers, such as proportion of hand gun to rifle accidents and murders are so overwhelming that even a really bad study couldn't' mask the reality that hand-guns are really bad new (as well as not supporting the broader 2nd amendment defense from government arguments).
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    and the Branas study shows that carrying a hand gun for self defense is self defeating, since it increases, rather than reduces your risk.
    It increases one's risk of getting shot and killed, maybe (they haven't controlled for behavior and environment), but it may still decrease the risk of getting robbed or assaulted - a far higher and more prevalent risk, even in gunhappy US neighborhoods.

    Hand guns are a psych problem, and have been ever since they were invented and little guys tired of being thwarted and picked on realized that Samuel Colt had made everyone the same size. But in the US there really isn't much you can do about them, reasonably, except hold their employers accountable - we have been living awash in the things for more than a century now, and it turns out that we can afford the price. We have bigger problems, and ones with better solutions than anything other than benign neglect that will actually work for hand guns.

    As soon as we don't have a black President on TV any more the hysteria level will dial back some, anyway - all those guns will go back into the drawers and closets and begin to quietly rust into their natural state of curio.
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    Just a few comments.

    Handguns are not purely for killing people. Plenty of people use them for recreation such as target shooting and hunting. I even know a fellow who carries a small handgun with him on fishing trips. He doesn't hunt, only fishes, but it the middle of nowhere, when a dangerous animal attacks (coyote, badger, feral dog, wild pig, rabid animal, buck in heat, etc), he wants protection.

    And actually, having been nearly murdered by a crazy with a knife, I'd rather be shot than stabbed. Knives are available to everyone, you can buy them in many stores, virtually every home has at least one (mine doesn't), don't need a permit/license, don't run out of bullets or require reloading, don't need lessons on how to use it, don't need a "license to carry", super easy to carry/conceal, don't need silencers because they're already silent, leaves little or no traceable evidence (like a bullet), can penetrate deeper than a gun, can do more damage, etc. A gun makes a lot of noise. People hear a gunshot, they call the police, an ambulance arrives soon after, and you're in the hospital in a jiffy. Plus, many people wouldn't know how to use a gun, or release the safety, or wield it effectively. Then again, there's sweet and adorable Grandma Granville.

    What can you really do with a knife? Here's a guy (source) who entered a police station, stabbed a security guard and nine police officers with a knife (six officers died) while making his way to the 21st floor of the building where he was finally stopped. That's what someone can do with a knife. If he used a gun, the first shot would have alerted people, and he probably couldn't have gotten as far or killed as many. Why do you think the Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, and OJ Simpson cases are so mysterious?
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    What can you really do with a knife? Here's a guy (source) who entered a police station, stabbed a security guard and nine police officers with a knife (six officers died) while making his way to the 21st floor of the building where he was finally stopped. That's what someone can do with a knife. If he used a gun, the first shot would have alerted people, and he probably couldn't have gotten as far or killed as many. Why do you think the Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, and OJ Simpson cases are so mysterious?
    Sorry your one anacdoct doesn't stand up against the mountain of evidence that shows hand-guns are far far more dangerous.
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  85. #84  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    What can you really do with a knife? Here's a guy (source) who entered a police station, stabbed a security guard and nine police officers with a knife (six officers died) while making his way to the 21st floor of the building where he was finally stopped. That's what someone can do with a knife. If he used a gun, the first shot would have alerted people, and he probably couldn't have gotten as far or killed as many. Why do you think the Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, and OJ Simpson cases are so mysterious?
    Sorry your one anacdoct doesn't stand up against the mountain of evidence that shows hand-guns are far far more dangerous.
    I think you mean that many more people are shot to dead than stabbed to death. As for horrible results from using bladed weapons, there's the box cutters used to hijack the 9/11 flights.

    Actually I gave three real-life scenarios, and in the Borden and Simpson cases, no one notified the authorities about hearing gunshots (because there weren't any). A gunshot would have at least given a short time frame in which the killings took place as well as create witnesses by people looking around to see what was happening, and it would have brought the police to the scene much more quickly. In those cases, a gun was more difficult to use due to its report.

    My examples show that, if handguns are made illegal, there's plenty of other weapons -- worse weapons -- that people will use. Handguns certainly cause more deaths.

    The land-of-no-guns (United Kingdom) has very strict knife laws, and a 61-year-old caravanner with a penknife with a blade slightly over three inches kept in the glove box of his car now has a criminal conviction. The guy used it to cut up fruit for his wife when they went on picnics. How sweet. Now he's a convicted felon.

    article-1266170-0924E179000005DC-87_233x392.jpg

    The silly part is that they confiscated his relatively puny knife while millions of homes in the UK have carving knives, steak knives, and other much more dangerous cutlery. I mean, seriously, who needs an 18-inch bread knife?

    So, in the UK, how does one buy a set of cutlery and get it home?
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    I strongly suspect that your felon with the 3 inch knife had done something else. Like threaten someone with that knife. The British police are not stupid, and they do not go round arresting people just because they own peeling knives.
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    JR Why are you taking the facts of a tabloid such as the Daily Mail as truthful and correct?
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  88. #87  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    What can you really do with a knife? Here's a guy (source) who entered a police station, stabbed a security guard and nine police officers with a knife (six officers died) while making his way to the 21st floor of the building where he was finally stopped. That's what someone can do with a knife. If he used a gun, the first shot would have alerted people, and he probably couldn't have gotten as far or killed as many. Why do you think the Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, and OJ Simpson cases are so mysterious?
    Sorry your one anacdoct doesn't stand up against the mountain of evidence that shows hand-guns are far far more dangerous.
    I think you mean that many more people are shot to dead than stabbed to death. As for horrible results from using bladed weapons, there's the box cutters used to hijack the 9/11 flights.

    Actually I gave three real-life scenarios, and in the Borden and Simpson cases, no one notified the authorities about hearing gunshots (because there weren't any). A gunshot would have at least given a short time frame in which the killings took place as well as create witnesses by people looking around to see what was happening, and it would have brought the police to the scene much more quickly. In those cases, a gun was more difficult to use due to its report.

    My examples show that, if handguns are made illegal, there's plenty of other weapons -- worse weapons -- that people will use. Handguns certainly cause more deaths.

    The land-of-no-guns (United Kingdom) has very strict knife laws, and a 61-year-old caravanner with a penknife with a blade slightly over three inches kept in the glove box of his car now has a criminal conviction. The guy used it to cut up fruit for his wife when they went on picnics. How sweet. Now he's a convicted felon.

    article-1266170-0924E179000005DC-87_233x392.jpg

    The silly part is that they confiscated his relatively puny knife while millions of homes in the UK have carving knives, steak knives, and other much more dangerous cutlery. I mean, seriously, who needs an 18-inch bread knife?

    So, in the UK, how does one buy a set of cutlery and get it home?
    There is a little bit more to this particular knife incident. I put this piece on the forum many moons ago, when the incident was debated.

    " Getting back on topic, it seems that all is not black and white concerning the prosecution of this individual. On the advice of his lawyer he pleaded guilty to the offence, and this meant that all the facts surrounding the case did not emerge in court. This is an extract of a report from a reputable newspaper here in the UK.




    Because he pleaded guilty some background details to the case were not given in open court, the Crown Prosecution Service says.

    Supt Meakin said in his statement: "At 11.45pm on February 23, police received a report that while Mr Knowles was in the Highweek Inn he had made an alleged threat that he was going to use a knife to harm someone.

    "The police were advised that Mr Knowles had left the address in a vehicle.

    "The vehicle was stopped a short while later by my police officers, where Mr Knowles was arrested for supplying a positive breath test. A further test at the police station proved he was under the legal drink drive limit."

    "The vehicle was searched for a weapon and a Buck Whittaker lock knife was found. The knife is illegal and has a serrated edge."


    http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/news/Po...l/article.html
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  89. #88  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Re the cost of law and order.
    I think you Americans have a long way to go. Your prison population is around one prisoner for every 150 citizens. Here in NZ, it is 1 for 500. Face it. Your law and order costs under your current system are out of control already.
    It's better than a lot of other countries where they just let the Mafia rule, and then the Mafia keeps the crime rate down, meanwhile corrupting law enforcement to the point where the people aren't even in charge of their own country. In Ukraine, very few people own firearms of their own, and the mafia is the only consistently armed criminal group. It makes the streets safer if you're a tourist because the mafia leaves tourists alone and doesn't bother much with petty theft, but the economy is awful, and there's really not much that can be done to change it. The mafia squeezes the wealth out of everyone else, and they're powerless to take any kind of meaningful action about it because the police are on the take and they themselves aren't armed. What recourse is left to them? Prayer?

    That's what resisting tyranny really is about. If the standing legal powers lose the ability to enforce their rules, something is always going to fill that vacuum, and the thing that fills it isn't going to act with the responsibility of a proper government.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post


    On gun suicide.

    I fear you are labouring under the burden of a logical fallacy - that if a person shoots himself, he is destined to die anyway. Not true. The vast majority of would-be suicides do not succeed, and they go on to live relatively normal lives. However, of those who pick up a hand gun to commit suicide, 90% will succeed. The vast majority of those deaths would not happen if a hand gun were not present.
    MMS: Error
    I'm not under the fallacy that it's inevitable, only that death is a minor issue compared to freedom. I simply don't care whether it's inevitable or not. I'd rather see it happen than be expected to forcibly restrain people from doing it to themselves. It's simply not my job to care and I refuse to make it my job.

    It's better to simply remove people from society if they can only behave properly under duress. That duress is an economic drain. Paying for free room and board in a penitentiary (or a casket) is cheaper than making someone else's decisions for them their whole life.
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    Supt Meakin claims that Mr Knowles allegedly threatened someone; however, they never charged him with allegedly making that threat, so we'll never know the circumstances. Supt Meakin goes on to talk about "what could have been a very serious incident", which was the alleged threat, not the knife possession. Does anyone seriously believe that taking one weapon away from him voids his alleged threat? Therefore, he obviously never made the threat.
    source

    Case in point: Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot to assassinate the King and the Parliament. They didn't simply confiscate the gunpowder and let Fawkes and his conspirators
    go free. They convicted and executed them.
    source


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    Superintendent Meakin received a report, presumably from a member of the public about the alleged threat, if the concerned member of the public does not come forward to give evidence, then the CPS will not be able to prosecute for that alleged threat. Also the Superintendent clearly stated that the knife was illegal.

    " Supt Meakin said in his statement: "At 11.45pm on February 23, police received a report that while Mr Knowles was in the Highweek Inn he had made an alleged threat that he was going to use a knife to harm someone. "
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  92. #91  
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    To Kojax

    Trying to make American policy look good by comparing it to the Ukraine smacks of desperation. The USA is supposed to be an advanced and civilised western nation. Trying to justify its less civilised aspects by comparing it to Ukraine, Russia, Afghanistan etc......

    Do you really feel that America is such a lost cause that such comparisons are the only way to make it look good?

    On hand gun suicide.
    Your comments appear shockingly callous. Do you really feel that?
    A depressed, lonely, sad person is still a human being. Still someone deserving of our sympathy and assistance. To write them off as "Go on. Shoot yourself. See if we care." seems to me to be utterly inhuman.
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    It's better than a lot of other countries where they just let the Mafia rule, and then the Mafia keeps the crime rate down, meanwhile corrupting law enforcement to the point where the people aren't even in charge of their own country
    The proper comparison for the USA is not "a lot of other countries". It's the OECD countries.

    Maybe you could consider comparing with Europe, or English speaking countries. Even then, comparing a country like the USA to South Africa looks pretty desperate.

    The real comparison is against advanced economies with well established systems of law. By that yardstick, the USA is distinctly 'different'.

    We could argue the reasons for the much higher level of violence - and tolerance of violence. I'd put forward the Civil War, the prohibition era and the dreadful history of civil rights as the prime driving influences. But academic argumentation about reasons doesn't matter. What does matter is that the USA is unmistakably an outlier by any reasonable comparison with any suitably assembled group of 'like' countries.
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  94. #93  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To Kojax

    Trying to make American policy look good by comparing it to the Ukraine smacks of desperation. The USA is supposed to be an advanced and civilised western nation. Trying to justify its less civilised aspects by comparing it to Ukraine, Russia, Afghanistan etc......
    Actually, the reason Ukraine and Russia so intrigue me is because all the building blocks are there to have a successful state. Some of the best scientists and intellectual writers in history were Russians. College is given out at state expense to any student with good grades, so there are lots of college educated people there.

    Education in Ukraine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    They just have a really corrupt government and lots of resulting crime.

    Do you really feel that America is such a lost cause that such comparisons are the only way to make it look good?
    No. I just think that arrogance can lead to a fall. There isn't that huge a divide separating the winners from the losers. The trick is trying to identify what that divide is so we don't make the mistake of inadvertently removing it.

    I can point out how gun ownership keeps American police forces in check, but I have to admit it doesn't quite explain how Canada manages to keep its police in check also. ... Clearly there is more at work than just the guns.

    On hand gun suicide.
    Your comments appear shockingly callous. Do you really feel that?
    Yes.

    A depressed, lonely, sad person is still a human being. Still someone deserving of our sympathy and assistance. To write them off as "Go on. Shoot yourself. See if we care." seems to me to be utterly inhuman.
    Deserving? Maybe.

    Entitled? No.

    It's wonderfully charitable to want to help a sad and depressed person, and I applaud anyone who does so, but it should never be seen as an obligation. It's an act of mercy, not justice. The law does best to concern itself with justice, and leave mercy to the pious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    It's better than a lot of other countries where they just let the Mafia rule, and then the Mafia keeps the crime rate down, meanwhile corrupting law enforcement to the point where the people aren't even in charge of their own country
    The proper comparison for the USA is not "a lot of other countries". It's the OECD countries.

    Maybe you could consider comparing with Europe, or English speaking countries. Even then, comparing a country like the USA to South Africa looks pretty desperate.
    Nobody mentioned South Africa. I just did a quick alt+e search to make sure. The words "South Africa" only appear once on this page.


    The real comparison is against advanced economies with well established systems of law. By that yardstick, the USA is distinctly 'different'.
    Except that it is utterly impossible for any country with a corrupt police force to have an advanced economy. How do I point out the problem if I'm not allowed to refer to countries that have the problem?

    I mentioned Ukraine because it seems to have a lot culturally in common with Western Europe. Also it's education level is very high, with more per capita college enrollment than the UK. There are lots of other countries that are in the same situation, with high levels of education and very bad economies and political systems. How would you explain them?

    Education Enrolment By Level tertiary level (per capita) statistics - countries compared - Nationmaster

    We could argue the reasons for the much higher level of violence - and tolerance of violence. I'd put forward the Civil War, the prohibition era and the dreadful history of civil rights as the prime driving influences. But academic argumentation about reasons doesn't matter. What does matter is that the USA is unmistakably an outlier by any reasonable comparison with any suitably assembled group of 'like' countries.
    Maybe part of the problem is that, culturally, in the USA, a lot of people simply don't see tolerance of violence as such a bad thing. I've been trying to point out why it can be a very good thing, but that seems to fall on deaf ears.
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    I have seen the argument many times that citizens possessing and carrying guns will reduce crime rates. Sadly, the data does not support this. Hand guns, in particular, seem to increase crime rates. The statistics for crime in the USA appears to show that hand guns are simply a major tool used in crime.

    The problem in America is, of course, more than just hand guns. It is the overall gun culture, which I believe to be extremely unhealthy. When people think the answer to crime is to go out and buy a gun, you have to despair of Americans.
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    Nobody mentioned South Africa
    South Africa was merely a reference to an English speaking country - which I thought would be one of the groups the USA should compare itself against - which has a worse culture of violence than the US.
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  98. #97  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Kojax

    I have seen the argument many times that citizens possessing and carrying guns will reduce crime rates. Sadly, the data does not support this. Hand guns, in particular, seem to increase crime rates. The statistics for crime in the USA appears to show that hand guns are simply a major tool used in crime.

    The problem in America is, of course, more than just hand guns. It is the overall gun culture, which I believe to be extremely unhealthy. When people think the answer to crime is to go out and buy a gun, you have to despair of Americans.
    Essentially, the goal is to trade one type of crime for another. It's all just a matter of preference. As I think Lynx pointed out as well: most Americans would rather die trying to shoot somebody than see their wife and/or children brutalized and be helpless. Is either outcome good? Certainly not, but the second one is preferred by many Americans.

    I think this is why it's hard for many Americans to understand people in a place like Iraq who might prefer to live under a dictator like Saddam Hussein rather than have any of their own blood spilt in the process of removing him. (Now.... certainly there are other reasons for them to be angry beyond that, such as American companies replacing local businesses, or the likelihood of the USA trying to make off with their oil reserves....so I know the death toll isn't the only reason.) I think it's just hard for us to understand that some people might not want to trade away their security to get freedom. That's what owning a gun is all about: freedom from thugs, at the cost of a higher probability of death. Most Americans jump at the chance to make that exchange. Maybe it's what has always set us apart from so much of the rest of the world. I'd be really sad to see it change.
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  99. #98  
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    That's what owning a gun is all about: freedom from thugs
    My parents never even bothered to lock the door of the house, and we were never robbed by thugs, we were free from thugs, and its not because we had a gun or anyone else for that matter.
    Thank god your neighbor has a gun, otherwise you would jump over the fence and thug/rob him. The Gun fetish paranoid fixation in the US is really something, sometimes the US sounds like a post-apocalyptic Mad Max Beond Thunderdome.
    I want a T-shit saying "We drove to Disney without a gun and were the lucky few who made it back alive!"
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    To me, the most important part of this thread is that guns may effect the way people think. If that is true, then are there other things that can change the way we think for better or worse?

    For example, Ted Bundy said that he thought pornography caused his descent into murder.

    It is also amazing to me that people seem to be so willing to think that their personal experience should be imposed on others as a matter of law. You have a personal experience where rifles were helpful, but not handguns. Great, so outlaw handguns and jail every handgun owner who disagrees with you. To me that is descent into tyranny. A gunless society is easy pickings for the tyrant.

    If there are ways to reduce risk of gun violence and preserve liberty, I am all for it. In my state, we have had serial killers operate in isolated areas. I would not engage in significant wilderness hiking etc. without a handgun. I don't think that is an unreasonable way of thinking. If you don't feel that way, good for you. I hope you don't become a statistic.

    However, I am interested in improving my own way of thinking. If not carrying a handgun improves that, then that is an important consideration to me.
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  101. #100  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    It's all just a matter of preference. As I think Lynx pointed out as well: most Americans would rather die trying to shoot somebody than see their wife and/or children brutalized and be helpless. Is either outcome good? Certainly not, but the second one is preferred by many Americans.
    Kojax

    It is not an either/or choice. That is a fallacy.
    Violent crime has many causes, and access to firearms by those who should not have them is a major problem.
    Nor is there any such thing as perfect safety. No matter what you do, there will always be a risk that you, or your family, will be a victim of the violent. However, there are much better ways of reducing that risk than going out to buy a gun.

    As I pointed out before, carrying a hand gun for defense actually increases, not reduces, your risk. having a hand gun at home is a massive increase in risk to some member of your family in relation to successful suicide. Either way, owning a hand gun has the direct opposite effect of what you are discussing. It increases the risk of death both to you and to your family.

    Law and order is best accomplished by professional and dedicated police. This is shown in Britain, and in a number of other nations where hand guns are prohibited. The US has the highest homicide rate of any OECD country, and more than half of those homicides are committed with hand guns. The relationship between free access and tragedy is no coincidence.
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