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American Gun Laws

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#1
Vesper

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http://www.bbc.co.uk...canada-17590859

After another school shooting incident, isn't it time that America tightened it's gun laws?

I know very little about the subject and would like to learn more, please discuss below.

#2
biwic

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Well, people have the right to bear arms. Obviously gun laws vary by state, but in Missouri, you can buy a gun if you're 18. And even if the kid didn't legally own the gun, they could still steal it from their parents or whoever did. So even if the gun laws were tightened, i don't think it would stop this terrible problem. But with this case the guy is in his 40's. I just don't see how gun laws would change anything. If people want to be as safe as can be, they'll need to install metal detectors in every building, every room and security officers everywhere.

#3
frunsi

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in switzerland, we had the same debate about keeping army guns @ home after passing the recruit school last year, because a guy had killed a young girl with his army gun. in a public vote, the majority was against tighter army gun laws, so the laws weren't changed. i think it would be better to tighten the gun laws, because you don't really need a gun for non-criminal things, you can also call the police. if nobody except for policemen had guns, there would be less criminality.

#4
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I love the fact you Can buy a gun In AmerIca when you are 18. But you can't drink before you are 21.
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#5
Hermione

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I found it a bit scary when I went to Switzerland and the police were walking around with guns, the police don't even carry them here unless there's a special reason for it. I think tight gun laws do work. We already had very strict laws in the UK, but then there was a school shooting in Dunblane in 1995. As a result handgun laws were made even stricter. There's been zero school shootings in this country since then. Trouble is there's already SO many guns out there in the States that I'm not sure the same situation could ever be achieved there. But I think restricting access to handguns as much as possible can only help.

Well, people have the right to bear arms. Obviously gun laws vary by state, but in Missouri, you can buy a gun if you're 18. And even if the kid didn't legally own the gun, they could still steal it from their parents or whoever did. So even if the gun laws were tightened, i don't think it would stop this terrible problem. But with this case the guy is in his 40's. I just don't see how gun laws would change anything. If people want to be as safe as can be, they'll need to install metal detectors in every building, every room and security officers everywhere.

I don't have the right to bear arms and I wouldn't want it. I don't want the right to own a lethal weapon that's only use is to kill people.
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#6
Penguin Puffball

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If someone breaks into my house and tries to cause immediate harm to me or my family, I aould want a gun for self-defense. Otherwise, I don't need one.

#7
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^Baseball bat doesn't work?

I dunno, guns are scary, and the less of them around the better I think. If your assailant has a gun and you don't, put your hands up and give them everything they want. You having a gun as well is only gonna cause more bloodshed.

I don't have the right to bear arms and I wouldn't want it. I don't want the right to own a lethal weapon that's only use is to kill people.

Exactly. And I like the fact that I can rest easy knowing some random crazy can't just walk into Asda and get one. If anyone is in possession of a gun it gets taken from them, no matter what you intend to use it for.

#8
Penguin Puffball

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A baseball bat could work. But, depending on how skilled the intruder is, they could quickly reverse the blow from the baseball bat: grab it before it hits them, take it, and hit you instead. Once a gun is fired and hits them, they have no time to react; they've already been injured.

#9
Kayfabe

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A baseball bat could work. But, depending on how skilled the intruder is, they could quickly reverse the blow from the baseball bat: grab it before it hits them, take it, and hit you instead. Once a gun is fired and hits them, they have no time to react; they've already been injured.

Or killed. Or you could shoot, miss, and kill someone else. Or the bullet could ricochet and injure you...

I'm not sold. Guns are just too much of a wild card IMO. People always have the best intentions but the circumstances in which you'd use a gun are so unpredictable.
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#10
Trotsky

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I dislike the idea of an across the board handgun ban, especially because it would be wholly unenforceable anyway. I especially am uncomfortable with the leverage it gives police to go overboard with excessive force. If handgun ownership is legal and regulated, then a law abiding citizen who is armed should have the chance to declare that and properly disarm in encounters with law enforcement. But if all handguns were banned, then regardless of whether someone carried it for personal defense or for criminal reasons, it would basically be an open invitation for cops to gun them down whether such action is necessary or not. I definitely think city handgun bans contribute to police brutality and corruption, it enables them to treat a person simply being armed as an imminent threat to their lives, even if that is not the case.

Now, I would prefer stricter criteria for obtaining a license, and better regulations in general. Here is a true story for you guys, when my parents put in a pool like 5 or 6 years ago, they had to jump through a million bureaucratic hoops up to and including leaving a stupid fucking net on it for a week after it was completed, a law based on child drowning panic, despite the fact that we had no young children in the house and our yard is completely fenced and gated. There were inspections and licenses to deal with that involved city workers standing in the backyard with tape measures.

So, I do find it quite baffling that it's significantly easier to obtain a handgun, and once you take the handgun home, it is basically a reliance on the (not so) good judgment of the average American. I think if someone is going to have a handgun while they have children in the house, they should have to prove that they know how to keep it locked and secure so kids can't reach it. Things like high-capacity clips are likewise pointless and couldn't really serve a purpose other than going on a murdering spree, and should be banned. There is no arguing the USA is irresponsible with guns, last time I was in a pawn shop its redneck owners were playing with unloaded assault rifles like toys, so sure, more gun control wouldn't be a terrible thing.

But the fact is the USA and the UK are completely different situations, not just by culture and geography but in nearly every way. We cannot practically reach a time where we generally have cops carrying only non-lethal weapons and no handguns on the market, it just isn't doable. There are a lot of little ways to fix the gun market but to remove guns from American culture would be a level of social engineering I don't think most Americans would accept. Even left-leaning Democrats don't talk about banning guns completely, it just is not a subject you bring up here. Regardless of personal ideology, it is prudent to recognize the lines a society will not cross, and American society isn't going to willingly relinquish the right to be armed any time in the foreseeable future.
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#11
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...are confounding.

#12
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To me it looks like the fact that guns are legal in America makes people paranoid. You have to have a gun for self defense. But would you need that if no one could carry one? No. I definitely believe that it could help if they thightened the gun laws, and I'm so glad they are illegal in Denmark. I know America is all about freedom and such, but I still believe you have to keep guns out of the society. If we look at school shootings for examble. There have been about 20 school shootings in Europe. And there have been just as many in the US in the last 2 years.

#13
Ashley!

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A couple of people have said that guns are only used to kill people. I just wanted to say that they really aren't. Most people around here just use them for sport (hunting, target practice). Obviously you could kill someone with them, but that's not the reason most people buy them.

I also don't think completely banning guns would help either. If someone is going to commit a crime they aren't going to think "oh guns are illegal guess I can't do it now", they are most likely going to get the gun illegally.
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#14
Kaddi.

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I was really into this subject a couple years ago. Bowling for Columbine is still one of the most shocking documentaries I've ever seen and I would recommend everyone to watch it.

I don't wanna go any deeper into this right now, because it's a huge subject, but let me phrase this as simple as possible. The American gun laws are totally stupid and responsable for thousands of innocent deaths.

Coming from a country with really strict gun laws I can say, I feel safe without a gun. More so, I wouldn't feel as safe as I do now if I knew that all my neighbours had a gun.
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#15
Trotsky

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But Bowling For Columbine didn't just address our gun laws but our cultural fixation on violence, and that was the larger point, it wasn't just about gun control. As a general rule there are a lot of societal problems in the USA that aren't going to be fixed with quick legislation.

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#16
Vesper

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Well, people have the right to bear arms. Obviously gun laws vary by state, but in Missouri, you can buy a gun if you're 18. And even if the kid didn't legally own the gun, they could still steal it from their parents or whoever did. So even if the gun laws were tightened, i don't think it would stop this terrible problem. But with this case the guy is in his 40's. I just don't see how gun laws would change anything. If people want to be as safe as can be, they'll need to install metal detectors in every building, every room and security officers everywhere.


Not true. Gun Laws are stricter in the UK and as a direct result we don't have school shootings every couple of months.

I love the fact you Can buy a gun In AmerIca when you are 18. But you can't drink before you are 21.


This. Or you can get married but you can't drink the champagne...

#17
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I'm 100% convinced that if it was illegal for "regular" people to own guns the school shooting wouldnt occur as often as they do. Not to sound all "look at us, were a better country" or anything, but in Denmark it's almost impossible to get near a gun unless youre a cop or working in the millitary and i cannot recall having ANY shcool shootings ever in our country. Having guns is just an evil cirkle because people feel like they have to protect themselves against the other people who has guns...


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#18
Kaddi.

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But Bowling For Columbine didn't just address our gun laws but our cultural fixation on violence, and that was the larger point, it wasn't just about gun control. As a general rule there are a lot of societal problems in the USA that aren't going to be fixed with quick legislation.


I know, but it was partly about gun laws too and I just thought the entire movie was pretty impressive and shocking.

#19
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Not true. Gun Laws are stricter in the UK and as a direct result we don't have school shootings every couple of months.

Same applies to Australia.

I don't know anyone in Australia that owns a gun, and that's comforting, because that means that the crazies (and we have plenty of those) can't just go to the store or to a friend's place and pick up a firearm. I cannot comprehend why anyone would want to own a gun. 'Self defence' is the argument I hear, but from what? It's not like there's not violence, or home invasions, or muggings in places like Aus or the UK (hell, the last time I was in the UK there were signs everwhere about knife crimes), I think having a gun for the purpose of self defence actually adds to the whole paranoia and cultural fixation for violence that John mentioned above with Bowling For Columbine.
I come from a country where it makes national news if a police officer fires their gun, even in warning, just to give a perspective of what it's like to have strict gun laws. All our cops carry guns, but because barely anyone has guns (especially hand guns), they are very, very infrequently drawn, let alone used.
The freedom of gun ownership certainly doesn't make me feel safer in the US whenever I visit, so I find it's an interesting insight into the mindset of the population on a whole when you have a country that so happily and freely owns guns, and who feel safer for it.
Basically for me, more weapons = not good.
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#20
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Yeah, they totally should be tightened. I mean, it's like even a 5 year old could buy a gun. Here in Italy you need a gun licence to buy a gun and 90% of the people don't have one, yet we are sort of fine without it AND most important we don't have school shootings at all. I must admit that sometimes it MIGHT turn out useful, but then if you want people to be able to protect with a gun, then make sure they're, first off, adults and, second, able to use one.

#21
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I have no idea if it would help but I think they should put a restriction in the gun law. For example: Like a person can only own like tops 3 guns/handguns to X calibre.

#22
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I just think you should have a justified reason in order to buy a gun. I.E "to protect my livestock" or "because I own a clay pigeon shooting range"... not "because I'm paranoid"...

The less weapons we have in the world, the better.

#23
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I'm 100% convinced that if it was illegal for "regular" people to own guns the school shooting wouldnt occur as often as they do. Not to sound all "look at us, were a better country" or anything, but in Denmark it's almost impossible to get near a gun unless youre a cop or working in the millitary and i cannot recall having ANY shcool shootings ever in our country. Having guns is just an evil cirkle because people feel like they have to protect themselves against the other people who has guns...

This this this! lol I think it's kind of what we learn in the schools I think. That it's just a big evil circle.
We have had a school shootings once though. But that's a REALLY long time ago?
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#24
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Everyone should have the right to bear arms.


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#25
Kayfabe

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A couple of people have said that guns are only used to kill people. I just wanted to say that they really aren't. Most people around here just use them for sport (hunting, target practice).

I just think you should have a justified reason in order to buy a gun. I.E "to protect my livestock" or "because I own a clay pigeon shooting range"... not "because I'm paranoid"...

I don't understand the "for sport" argument tbh. No offense, but could you not find a hobby that doesn't involve use of a lethal weapon, or even a suitable replacement? BB guns are fun and safeŽ for all the family! :D

Everyone should have the right to bear arms.


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_fE-F7VIvYfk/Sa...

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#26
Emilie.

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A baseball bat could work. But, depending on how skilled the intruder is, they could quickly reverse the blow from the baseball bat: grab it before it hits them, take it, and hit you instead. Once a gun is fired and hits them, they have no time to react; they've already been injured.


That's when you get someone to distract the person, while you get them from behind. :P


I keep a cricket bat in my room. Plus, Dad has this really cool curly-bladed knife that could probably be of use. And we have plenty of heavy pots and pans. I've been playing Resident Evil with my Dad, and it's pretty much confirmed that I would never trust him with a real gun in any situation. :lol:

#27
Vesper

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I think it would be hard to implicate and a black market would undoubtedly spring up, but just because something's difficult to do, does not mean it shouldn't be attempted... surely?

#28
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I think it would be hard to implicate and a black market would undoubtedly spring up, but just because something's difficult to do, does not mean it shouldn't be attempted... surely?

And what's more, a lot of these things are only plausible in notion. Like, it's come to light that alcohol and tobacco products do just as much if not more damage than some illegal drugs, so logically either the drugs should be made legal or the alcohol/tobacco outlawed. Outlawing cigarettes and alcohol wouldn't work, because a) black market like you said, and b) being a democracy means that the people will just vote for someone that is willing to make them legal again. It's the same with making the drugs legal, there'd be too much outrage and people don't look at things rationally at all when it comes to things like this

#29
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This this this! lol I think it's kind of what we learn in the schools I think. That it's just a big evil circle.
We have had a school shootings once though. But that's a REALLY long time ago?

Excatly ! It must have been, since i dont remember it?? Okay, this might be a crazy comparison but it's kind of the same as the whole nuclear weapon thing - if the other countries got them (china for instance) then USA needs to have them as well in order to protect themselves against an attack. But if we all new for certain that NOBODY has nuclear weapons, then we could all relax and be happy :happy:

#30
Mrs. Nobody

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I was just thinking about this today

I find the differences in mentalities (is that the right word?) very interesting. I equally don't understand why someone would want a gun in the house, or would want to be anywhere near one. I think the right to have firearms doesn't mean you have to, but then I suppose it's a bit of a chain. If one guy has one, a person might think "maybe i should too, just in case" etc
I don't want to say too much, because I don't know what living in the US is like at all.

There's a lot of guns here, but there isn't this culture of fear.There are killings, and hold ups (I've been held at gunpoint myself) but there doesn't seem to be a lot violence or "desire for violence". It's strange
(at the same time this is a tiny country and I'm sure that that and population changes the situation a lot)



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