Seriously America what's the big deal with guns?


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lanternlad1
October 2, 2011, 11:05 AM
http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ky9rw/seriously_america_whats_the_big_deal_with_guns/

I just don't get it, you live in a country where barely a month goes by without some loon running around a school shopping mall playing counterstrike for real, it appears you can own sub machine guns, 50 cals, legally? Why are you all obsessed with them?


This question was asked by an Englishman. There were many different answers, mostly based in ignorance and one even quoting Michael Moore in "Bowling for Columbine". The site this question was posed on in owned by Conde Nast, and is frequented by many in the political world as a way to keep tabs on the pulse of what the "little people think". Feel free to give them your opinion.

This was mine:

To answer your question, OP, we have guns in this country because we are entitled to them per the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. The rationale of the Founding Fathers was that sooner or later, there might be reason for the general populace to take up arms against the government, and therefore access to those arms would be necessary. Guns are tools, nothing else. Tools with a specific purpose, yes, but still only tools.

There are still places in America where people live but there are no police, fire, or emergency services of any kind. Here we have threats not only from two legged animals, but four legged ones. Bears, mountain lions, and coyotes are real threats here, and if they can't find food in the wild, they come into town looking for it. It happens. A lot. Here, guns really do save lives. The United States is the third largest country in the world land mass wise behind Canada and Russia. If you look at an American map, look for the State of Wisconsin. That, acreage-wise, is the approximate size of the UK, just so you can see the difference. The United States has approx. 310 million citizens according to the last census, scattered all over the country. The UK has 60 million citizens stuffed into a country the size of Wisconsin. Canada has 35 million citizens, 90% (literally) of whom, live in cities on the border of the US. We have more people in California than Canada does in its entire country.

Asking why the citizens of the US don't behave in the same manner as citizens of other countries is a silly argument. Its one thing to ask why, because you don't understand, totally another thing to start a discussion to further an agenda. For someone to despise an inanimate object because they don't understand it is the very basis of ignorance, and to disdain those who own said object because you don't understand why they own it is the very basis of discrimination.

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1911Tuner
October 2, 2011, 11:18 AM
Seriously, England....why the obsession with the royal family? The highest profile welfare recipients in the world have slathers of their own money. Why do the citizens of Great Britain keep throwin' more at'em?

Carl N. Brown
October 2, 2011, 11:48 AM
... barely a month goes by without some loon running around a school shopping mall playing counterstrike...
Really? Or is that just what Brits or Europeans want to think about America?

Begs the question, why are some Brits or Europeans obsessed with American guns?

Kachok
October 2, 2011, 01:50 PM
If you ever lived in another country for any period of time you would find the level of civilian firepower in the USA to be truly shocking. In Russia we were only allowed a 22 short revolver shooting a non lethal tranquilizer projectile (called a gas gun in Russian) Hunters had to apply for a special license to own a bolt action rifle. When I came back to the states years later my grandfathers collection of 300+ firearms was simply shocking to me. So I understand why people look at us weird, but it does not bother me, I like my firepower.

Loosedhorse
October 2, 2011, 02:13 PM
If you ever lived in another country for any period of time you would find the level of civilian forepower in the USA to be truly shocking.I would have written that: If you ever lived in another country for any period of time you would find the lack of private-citizen firepower outside the USA to be truly shocking.

Just perspective. And of course, it wouldn't apply if that country ouside the US was Switzerland or Israel.

Mike1234567
October 2, 2011, 02:43 PM
It's just gun-envy... plain and simple. :D

Rail Driver
October 2, 2011, 03:03 PM
In my experience the reason most people I know that don't want anyone to have guns is because they don't trust themselves with guns. I don't know how or if this relates to the European or foreign perspective, but it is the case often enough in my experience to be a pattern in more than just the cases I've seen. The difference is that our constitution (specifically the 2nd Amendment) protects our right to keep and bear arms, and although both foreign and domestic influences have eroded our rights to the point they are at now, we are fighting to restore them one step at a time. There was once a day when our civilian population were just as well armed (and in some cases better armed) than the military. I would like to see those days return.

CTPhil
October 2, 2011, 03:17 PM
Seriously, England....why the obsession with the royal family? The highest profile welfare recipients in the world have slathers of their own money. Why do the citizens of Great Britain keep throwin' more at'em?
I realize that's sarcasm, but there's a germ of truth. One reason Americans love guns is that there is a gun tradition here. England has a royalty tradition. People really need to try to understand the context of why others do what they do, rather than just judging by their own autobiography.

Pilot
October 2, 2011, 03:34 PM
It is the difference in people accepting being subjects versus citizens, that will fight for our freedom.

I would ask the British why their government is obsessed with banning anything that can be used to defend oneself.

Double Naught Spy
October 2, 2011, 06:43 PM
Funny how we are debating with a guy who isn't a member of this forum.

Ruger745
October 2, 2011, 07:18 PM
And the Brits say that WE'RE arrogant?

Ruger745
October 2, 2011, 07:19 PM
Seriously, England....why the obsession with the royal family? The highest profile welfare recipients in the world have slathers of their own money. Why do the citizens of Great Britain keep throwin' more at'em?
++1

Cosmoline
October 2, 2011, 07:42 PM
Why are you all obsessed with them?

If he's worrying about what's happening on the other side of the planet, then I'd say *he* is the one obsessing about firearms.

because we are entitled to them per the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

I would say that our Constitution recognizes a natural right to keep and bear arms. To understand that this right pre-exists any governmental recognition is critical. It isn't a gift from our leaders.

As to why Brits tend to view firearms so differently from most Americans, the reasons are surprising. 100 years ago there were few restrictions on arms ownership in the UK. The change came first from Torries worried about Bolshie revolutions, then even greater change came from the socialist governments. Each decade saw more restrictions, until now there's almost nothing legal left. The frantic obsession has extended to banning knives and sharp sticks, but hasn't done much to prevent violent crime. But their government has done an excellent job of brainwashing its public into believing that firearms are the incarnation of evil.

Zoogster
October 2, 2011, 07:50 PM
People naturally fear what they do not understand or have no experience with. Governments and the elite that do not want commoners with guns encourage these fears.
They want the average person to feel like the streets would run with blood if the average peasant had a firearm, and so by being disarmed they are being done a favor.
Propaganda encourages this view, and since the average person will never actually own firearms, especially semi and fully automatic firearms to have direct experience with the matter, they believe it.

Then there is also a phenomenon where people make excuses for the restrictions they are subject to and repeat any propaganda, studies, or logic which supports that even when it runs contrary to reality.

You see this even in the United States, and even on the topic of firearms amongst gun owners.
One example, prior to 1968 felons could have firearms. For over 200 years since the colonial times people not put to death for their offense that left prison regained their firearm rights. Yet today the thought is unimaginable.
Another example, I have seen it repeated numerous times how full auto is uncontrollable, and how it would be excessively dangerous.
When talking about laws you will see someone mention how firearms should not be as restricted.... except for maybe full auto.
People having little to no experience with select fire firearms believe all the propaganda they have been fed, politics, movies, video games, and other fake experience to come to the conclusion it is dangerous and uncontrollable.
Yet people with practice can put all the rounds of many full auto firearms on target in an entirely controllable manner, and some designs are inherently accurate or minimize recoil.
People believe it would be far more dangerous if they were readily available, yet they were available readily and anyone could build or modify an existing firearm into full auto for $200 until 1986. People could buy a full auto MAC in the 80s for a few hundred bucks.

I saw the same excuses start to be repeated in the United States after the Federal Assault Weapon Ban had been in place for 8+ years. People had lived long enough with the restrictions that even a number of gun owners had started to repeat the propaganda. Young adults that came of age and had known nothing difference since they had become gun owners believed and would repeat the excuses, supporting the restrictions.
People had come to support restrictions on semi-auto firearms others had convinced them were different enough to require protection from.


People make excuses for the rules they are subject to. When talking to others with liberties that exceed their own they will defend their own restrictions. Perhaps somewhat out of jealousy, and somewhat out of fear of the unknown.




It is all quite scary when it comes to freedoms because it shows that the best way to gain support for banning something is to simply ban it for a number of years and the population will typically come to support the ban when they don't have recent experience with anything different.
The fear of the unknown will keep support for a ban on something most people have little to no experience with well into the future.
Once you remove a freedom from the population for 10-20 years and a generation or two has grown up and never known that freedom it is easy to keep it banned with propaganda through fear of the unknown.
People will believe the media when they tell them how much more dangerous their world would be if that freedom was available, having no direct experience that dispels that myth.



Many countries in the world have had serious firearms restrictions in place long enough that you see all of these things at work.
Your average person has no experience with firearms, let alone semi or fully automatic firearms. So they believe what their TV tells them. What the 'liberal' professors tell them. What the police chiefs assure them of. Etc
From the beginning of time rulers have always sought to insure those they rule over can be martially ruled if necessary. They have outlawed weapons that give the masses anything close to equality with their guards.
It is easier to rule millions with only thousands when the thousands are much better armed than the millions.
Or to rule thousands with only hundreds.
Crossbows that could defeat the armor of a knight and be used by a peasant with little or no training were outlawed as a threat to the order of things.
Knights trained since boyhood to be the supreme martial experts. Peasants spent most of their life toiling, with little time to learn and little or no education. A knight spent years studying moves and counter moves. A handful of knights, Samurai, or whatever the specific society called them, could crush several times as many peasants.
Things like armor piercing crossbows threatened this balance, and as a result threatened the supreme rule of the elite and the royalty.

Rulers want a monopoly on power to ensure the security of their own rule, and know that their laws, edicts, and similar things will be unable to be challenged directly because those under their direct command are better armed and more capable than those they rule over. That means they can always deploy people with superior arms if necessary.
So rulers (and not just those in direct power, but many powerful people that have influence and power behind the scenes) support propaganda that keeps the peasants disarmed, or as lightly armed as possible. The lighter the better, even if it takes gradual steps.
Peasants that cannot take up arms provides a sense of stability.
The founders wanted the citizens to have and take up arms for exactly that reason. So rulers would never feel content in their rule, and fear the people.


And what country can preserve it's liberties, if the rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take up arms. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson in talking about a domestic rebellion.

It acknowledges that the death of good and bad men alike on an occasional basis is required to remind rulers not to overstep their bounds without expecting serious consequences.
Once the threat of those consequences is lacking, rulers can act with indifference to the people.
In much of the world the rulers are only subject to the force others in positions of power can direct against them. Be it law enforcement agencies or military. They are not subject to direct threat from the armed populace. That is why in places like Egypt whether the old ruler was forced to step down or not was up to the military, and not up to the people. The citizens themselves have little recourse when the monopolized power is held by people that mutually support one another in opposition to the citizens. This is the situation that most rulers strive for, where the citizens themselves pose no direct threat. If they can get the citizens to support disarming themselves, they have reached an ideal position where they can rest assured their forces can always overcome the citizens, and any law they pass can be enforced with little resistance, no matter how unpopular or tyrannical.

harrygunner
October 2, 2011, 07:59 PM
Someone on another forum was discussing being banned from http://forums.shootinguk.co.uk/ when he attempted to discuss what I assume was self-defense and handguns to British ladies, instead of just long gun hunting.

That site gives some view into the very different gun world over there.

I've been to England once. Enjoyed the people, but the constant surveillance and their take on self-defense was a real turnoff.

Zoogster
October 2, 2011, 08:14 PM
Of course above I discusses the reason for the 2nd. The more immediately important reason to most people, and an easier point to argue to foreigners, is as a means of self-defense.
Firearms create equality. Equality between young and old, man and woman, strong and weak.

Any society that speaks in favor of equality, like they do in England, should come to realize that possession of firearms is required for equality at the physical level.
Groups of young men can have their way in societies like England, as they have demonstrated in recent times.
Women and the elderly can do little under the law except hide and hope for others to save them from the stronger young violent men.
A situation that certainly demonstrates a lack of equality.

When firearms are banned men remain superior to women. Women depend on other men to protect them from men.
Men can force women to do as they wish.
Just as the strong can force the weak to do as they wish.
You lack equality.
With firearms everyone can pull a trigger. Young, old, male, and female, physical prime, physically disabled, the power dynamic is changed and is closer to equality.
So people against firearms really are not in favor of equality.

AlexanderA
October 2, 2011, 09:23 PM
The British (and contintental European) elites who pretend to be shocked at the gun situation in the U.S. are out of touch with the reality in their own countries, where restrictive gun laws are widely flouted. Scotland Yard itself estimates that there are hundreds of thousands of illegal guns in Britain, and the proportion is even higher on the Continent. The bleating of the elites is hypocrisy. At least in America we are more honest with ourselves.

OH_Spartan
October 2, 2011, 11:04 PM
A colleague of mine used to work for a British-based corporation. He got tired of the British employees railing on Americans and asked if they would at least shoot a gun before casting judgement. They went out to his house to shoot hand-thrown clays. THEY LOVED IT!! Every time they made a trip across the pond, they asked to go to his house to shoot.

FIVETWOSEVEN
October 2, 2011, 11:49 PM
A large amount of it is ignorance.

harrygunner
October 3, 2011, 12:16 AM
Another historical take based on the class system that lies underneath British culture.

Article on early unarmed British people defeated by Germanic tribes.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,768706-2,00.html

Couple of quotes:

"... the populace in the regions controlled by the Pax Romana was barred from carrying weapons."

"social structures similar to apartheid", "... six social levels for the Britons, five of which refer to slaves."

pwhfirefighter
October 3, 2011, 12:56 AM
Very interesting read. I just can't understand those who are completely dependent on the law enforcement agencies to protect them and believe only LEO and the military should have weapons! I know that there are a lot of dedicated and hard working LEO's in this country, but they can't be everywhere at once.

For instance, I live in a large county in rural Mississippi, and I found out that at night, there is only 1 deputy on duty for the WHOLE county at night! Few days ago, a buddy of mine needed a deputy and 911 told him that there was only 1 on duty and that she would not call and wake up another one. And where he was, 5 LEOs from different agencies live within a mile or two of where he was, so he called one of those guys himself. That is not very comforting to me. And there are those who tell me I don't need a gun and that I should rely on law enforcement to protect me!

Like I said, there are a lot of good LEOs out there, and I know several, but they are not super human. It is very scary to imagine living in a society where a person has to depend completely on the government for personal protection and can't own a weapon. I pray that I NEVER have to use one, but it is nice to know I have the ability.

More gun laws will not disarm criminals, only honest citizens. And it would only create more victims

Just my opinion

DeepSouth
October 3, 2011, 02:47 AM
It's like riding a Harley.;)
And you never know when we will need them to Brit butt a second time.:D

lanternlad1
October 3, 2011, 12:08 PM
Seriously, England....why the obsession with the royal family? The highest profile welfare recipients in the world have slathers of their own money. Why do the citizens of Great Britain keep throwin' more at 'em?

I know its a bit off topic, but here's the answer to your question:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhyYgnhhKFw&feature=channel_video_title

jimmyraythomason
October 3, 2011, 12:25 PM
Why? For one thing,if not for firearms, America would still be an English colony and subservient to the king/queen.

1911Tuner
October 3, 2011, 01:19 PM
Begs the question, why are some Brits or Europeans obsessed with American guns?

Exactly. Why do they concern themselves with what goes on across a 3,000 mile expanse of water? It ain't like a stray bullet is gonna hit Buckingham Palace.

KodiakBeer
October 3, 2011, 03:55 PM
Think about this: They aren't allowed to own or carry guns, so it's not like they are making a choice based on any rationale they vomit out on a blog. See? Their views might be worthy of respect if they had a choice in the matter, but they have no choice. It's the fox who lost his brush, wanting all other foxes to lose theirs.

One can respect the point of view of an American liberal who chooses to be a pacifist and not own a gun. We might think them unwise, but they are making a real choice based on their own moral or ethical considerations.

It's not so with a subject of the UK. They have no choice in the matter so their point of view is hardly worth consideration.

CTPhil
October 3, 2011, 04:01 PM
Why? For one thing,if not for firearms, America would still be an English colony and subservient to the king/queen.
LOL

klcmschlesinger
October 3, 2011, 04:27 PM
I agree with some of this. You should all feel terrible for owning so many guns. In order to make up for this shocking behavior, you should sell those guns to me or a penny on the dollar. That is your punishment. I will begin accepting private messages now for all of you sinners.......:evil::neener:

mljdeckard
October 3, 2011, 10:25 PM
I have been asked this question by many Euros. (I lived there 4+ years.) I explain to them that we as Americans have a fundamental philosophy that says we as INDIVIDUALS are fundamentally responsible for our own safety, success, and happiness. We would rather be free than safe. ESPECIALLY if we are better at keeping OURSELVES safe than the government is.

leeroy71
October 5, 2011, 02:13 PM
Really, Lord Font le Roy. I guess our gun "obsession" is akin to ya'll's bad teeth obsession.


Sorry "High Roaders". Some one should educate morons like these. We "barbarians" didn't invent the firearm. We only mastered it, circa July 4, 1776.

Smoke that Winston.

Ash_J_Williams
October 5, 2011, 02:27 PM
I got into a very similar discussion on another forum with several people outside the US. They didn't understand, however, why we feel the need to own guns at all, and bashed the concept of owning them for defense repeatedly, stating over and over "are things that bad there, is it the wild west there, do you really think someone is going to hurt you," etc etc. I can post the thread if anyone is interested.

Mike1234567
October 5, 2011, 02:37 PM
It sure seems like the recent riots over there would have answered that question.....

amprecon
October 5, 2011, 02:40 PM
A hundred years ago, an Englishman visiting Texas was attempting to find the owner of a huge cattle ranch. He rode up to one of the ranch hands, and inquired, "Pardon me, but could you perhaps tell me where I might locate your master?"

To which the cowboy replied, "That sumbitch ain't been born yet".

/\---- This is why we have guns, ain't got no master, not gonna have one neither.

wannabeagunsmith
October 7, 2011, 04:38 PM
I say get all of 'em behind a Colt .45 and they will be asking for forgiveness and more mags real fast.

hso
October 7, 2011, 11:19 PM
This has turned into a whine/kvetch fest.

The OP is challenging us to visit the site and act as ambassadors for RKBA advocates all over America to the international travel community. Whining and tossing mud make US look like the thugs we're painted to be.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
October 8, 2011, 12:05 AM
Because I'm a citizen and not a subject.

The Gov't needs to fear its citizens---not the other way around.

That's why.

BeerSleeper
October 8, 2011, 01:04 AM
I realize that's sarcasm, but there's a germ of truth. One reason Americans love guns is that there is a gun tradition here. England has a royalty tradition. People really need to try to understand the context of why others do what they do, rather than just judging by their own autobiography.

Excellent point, but I'm still not taking a royal into the woods with me.

Resist Evil
October 8, 2011, 01:55 AM
Because I'm a citizen and not a subject.

The Gov't needs to fear its citizens---not the other way around.

That's why.
100% correct. Thank you for your post.

DrewBegley
October 8, 2011, 03:38 AM
dAb

DrewBegley
October 8, 2011, 04:09 AM
They're afraid America's influenced the world to be a more dangerous place by allowing it's citizens to protect themselves with firearms? That seems strange considering crime rates overseas, especially "hot burglaries/robberies", have skyrocketted in the past ten years... Probably has something to do with illegalizing self defense in the U.K.

Carl N. Brown
October 10, 2011, 11:44 AM
One can respect the point of view of an American liberal who chooses to be a pacifist and not own a gun. We might think them unwise, but they are making a real choice based on their own moral or ethical considerations.

Don B. Kates has an interesting story about a passivist he met while they both drove South to participate in the civil rights movement. (Don B. Kates, "Restricting Handguns: Liberal Skeptics Speak Out", North River Press, 1979). Kates believed in civil disobedience, pacifism, with a respect for self defense if necessary, and always went armed. The passivist was appalled that Kates was armed. Sometime later, they met again. Kates was still an advocate of civil disobedience, and self defense if necessary. The passivist had responded to Klan-type violence by going over to the dark side: he became a bomb-tossing radical. There are ethical pacifists who chose that path, then there are passivists who project their inner demons on everyone else, and want their anal-retentive tightness imposed on everyone else through the state use of force.

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