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Oleg Volk
February 10, 2003, 04:21 PM
This is where we stand after several back-and-forth emails.
>There's a small chance that one won't do well under stress. That
>chance is, in my opinion, much smaller than not doing well if under
>the same stress and unarmed to begin with.

Or perhaps overreact with fatal consequences?


>Moreover, smart folks don't seek trouble.

I'm not concerned about smart folks. I'm concerned with the other 90% of the
population.

>My chance of getting into
>a fight is low due to my choices of behavior. If I get into a fight
>in my lifetime, I have a good chance of having Betty or another
>friend by my side, so even if I am out cold, my backup might save
>the day.

Again, an overreaction to a "bar fight" or some otherwise miniscule
altercation that might end up with someone dead. The average argument might be enhanced with fatal consequences if a gun were strapped to ones' leg.

>Having guns isn't a perfect choice. Fire extinguishers aren't
>perfect, either...but both solve more problems than they create.
>Same with surgery, cars, any other technology.

Fire extinguishers aren't used to commit crimes, nor is surgery. Cars maybe
but they aren't so easily concealed or disposed of. Why inject more weapons
into the public domain? (Even if they're privately owned, there is a chance
they'll be lost or stolen)

>Driving is a more complex activity than
>shooting but it is similar enough: driving creates problems but they
>aren't as severe as the problems solved by it (efficient
>transportation, no injuries from kicking horses, no manure in the
>streets, independence of public transportation, etc.)

But to someone who's committing a crime (including a legal gun owner), what
would they most likely think of first? Gun or car? I don't think it's
correct to relate guns with any other "tools" out there.

>General public doesn't carry guns.

I'm thinking about what many gun proponents want, which is a basically a
militia state. That is, they want guns in the hands of just about everyone,
or at least the right to do so.

>Some are unsafe to self and others, but
>they are rare.

I don't see how you could possibly know this as a fact.

>Can't trample on the rights of the rest based on the
>mis-deeds of a few careless or stupid people.

Yes, this happens all the time. Otherwise I'd be bungie-jumping or rock
climbing on the Pacific Coast (both illegal because of inexperienced people
getting injured or dying). Furthermore, rights are only defined by those who
govern us.
>Actually, most people are cool-headed. Outside of the turf wars,
>people seldom use violence.

This concept is foreign to me. Obviously, perhaps due to geographic
location, you don't live near me (California).

>Trust to friends is an issue which you may wish to address
>regardless of firearms. If I don't trust a person to come to my home
>armed, I wouldn't trust them in general.

It's not a moral trust, it's more of a practical trust. That is, with the
best intentions I've had people accidentally break things at my house...just
because they are friends doesn't mean that they are fit to carry a weapon.

>That is their problem. I can't vouch for crazy or unstable or
>irresponsible people, only for myself. And I say that making public
>policy based on the worst examples of humanity is detrimental to the
>good of every individual, and to the good of all.

But it is OUR problem as a society. You *must* consider them when pushing an initiative such as this. To ignore that factor, which is great enough to be
considered, would be deadly. And I can say the opposite: making public
policy based on a few people in some rural state carrying concealed weapons
is also detrimental--you *must* consider the whole. I don't care how many
guns you have--someone always has more, bigger, stronger, etc.


>Using a gun inside a vehicle is very hard, maybe that's why few
>people do so?

Road rage often (mostly?) involves two parties pulled over or in a parking
lot--what would maybe be a fistfight might be more if Steve the Businessman
is stressed and pissed and has a gun.

>I am not suggesting that guns solve problems. People solve problems,
>mainly through negotiating, retreating, reasoning, sometimes through
>using tools including guns. But exclusion of guns from the full set
>of available tools is what I am unhappy about.

I agree 99%, but I think we each lean a little on different sides of the
fence, if you will.

It has been informative and you may keep replying if you like though I think
I get your point completely.

Anyone care to address specific points? I'll point the gentleman who originated the discussion to this thread.

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Strings
February 10, 2003, 05:01 PM
at the issue of "road rage". There has been exactly one (that I am aware of) case of a CCW holder using a weapon in a "road rage" setting: and that was a man defending himself from a serious attack after a minor collision. I can look up the details, if you'ld like...

Generally, those LAW ABIDING who choose to go armed will go out of their way to avoid confrontation. Those who are eager for the confrontation generally aren't law-abiding to begin with...

Private emails are welcome, also... ;)

blades67
February 10, 2003, 05:12 PM
Fire extinguishers aren't used to commit crimes, nor is surgery.

He/she's wrong on both of these points. I've seen fire extinguishers used to break into cars, places of business and into homes. I've also seen them used to assualt people.

If he/she thinks surgery is used to commit crimes, then they're not watching the news. Just a few weeks ago a man was arrested for illegally performing surgery in his home without a license.

vi9er
February 10, 2003, 05:19 PM
Or perhaps overreact with fatal consequences?
In reference to concealed handgun permit holders, the rate of crime is MUCH lower. The rate of gun crime is miniscule. When the CHP holders are carrying, they realise that they carry not only a gun, but a powerful responsibility. The quote "An armed society, is a polite society", while somewhat blunt, has proven, through my experience, and through statistics, to be quite true.

Again, an overreaction to a "bar fight" or some otherwise miniscule altercation that might end up with someone dead. The average argument might be enhanced with fatal consequences if a gun were strapped to ones' leg
See above

Fire extinguishers aren't used to commit crimes, nor is surgery. Cars maybe
but they aren't so easily concealed or disposed of. Why inject more weapons
into the public domain? (Even if they're privately owned, there is a chance
they'll be lost or stolen)
Cars are used in many more crimes each year than guns, and are easily used and disposed of.

But to someone who's committing a crime (including a legal gun owner), what
would they most likely think of first? Gun or car? I don't think it's
correct to relate guns with any other "tools" out there.
As to legal gun owners committing crimes, see above. A gun IS a tool. A tool is something that enables us to do a job. A gun happens to be the tool I choose to defend my life and the lives of those around me. A knife is a tool, but my pocketknife can slit a throat just as easily as a cardboard box. A gun does not make one commit a crime. Those who are going to commit a crime will commit a crime, gun or not.

I'm thinking about what many gun proponents want, which is a basically a militia state. That is, they want guns in the hands of just about everyone, or at least the right to do so.
.

I think that you are correct, but that is part of a general mindset. The majority of gun proponents want more of a sense of personal responsibilty. I realise that I and I alone am responsible for my safety. I am also responsible for EVERY action that I do, be it carry a firearm, or pour coffe on my lap. McDonalds is no more responsible for me spilling coffee, than the police are for my life. I think that the majority of gun owners feel the same.

I don't see how you could possibly know this as a fact

I have a PDF of the ratio of crimes commited by gunowners( I'll try to dig it up once i get home), and the majority are committed by prior felons, who illegally own their guns, and those who have been arrested prior form domestic violence. The majority of gun owners do not fall into this category, so that would make the above statement true.

It's not a moral trust, it's more of a practical trust. That is, with the best intentions I've had people accidentally break things at my house...just because they are friends doesn't mean that they are fit to carry a weapon.

I have very few friends who handle firearms unsafely, and the few that have, I teach them the proper way to do things, and those that don't learn(havent run across one yet) aren't accident prone, are reckless and i wouldn't associate with them in the first place.

But it is OUR problem as a society. You *must* consider them when pushing an initiative such as this. To ignore that factor, which is great enough to be considered, would be deadly. And I can say the opposite: making public policy based on a few people in some rural state carrying concealed weapons is also detrimental--you *must* consider the whole. I don't care how many guns you have--someone always has more, bigger, stronger, etc

The number of firearms used in self defense is estimated by the DOJ at 2.5 million per year. That should be taken into consideration as well. Also, as people who commit gun crimes have no compunction breaking one law, what would restricting firearms do? The supreme court has ruled that criminals don't have to register firearms due to the 5th amendment, so they wouldn't be breaking any laws by not registering. And if firearms are banned, the only thing that will be accomplished is removing the defense of the 2.5million citizens who defend their life with them. It will not disarm the criminal who already breaks the law.

Road rage often (mostly?) involves two parties pulled over or in a parking lot--what would maybe be a fistfight might be more if Steve the Businessman is stressed and pissed and has a gun.

Again, most legal gunowners are lawabiding, peacable citizens.
I personally feel an amazing compuction to avoid a fight now, I will take more crap because i realise that I don't have the luxury of a short fuse. Not that I ever had one, but now, if i get into a fight, I can have NO culpability. If I did not avoid the fight, if I am part of escalation, I am SOL.
That is just the legal aspect. There is also the moral aspect, which is I hope I NEVER have to hurt or kill ANYONE.
I hope this helps
Ed

spacemanspiff
February 10, 2003, 05:20 PM
my mother is one who feels the moral/spiritual issues of carrying a gun are reason enough to NOT carry, and she gave me some documentation that supposedly argues to that effect.
however, it was all written in the '70's and '80's so all the data is outdated. it advocated giving the criminal whatever they wanted, as "police say your best chance of survival is to give them whatever they want".

then there was the thought that a person would never want to take another persons life, and all kinds of anti-propoganda about the gun being taken from you, hestitating at the wrong moment, kids finding your firearm, that kind of baloney.

oddly enough, it advised against just about every form of self defense, and said your first reaction should be to talk your way out of an attack. if you cant do that, and your safety is threatened, try to escape. and finally, if you cant do that, it said you should 'defend yourself in the best means possible'.

funny thing is, thats my outlook on it. i dont go armed into areas that i wouldnt go unarmed, i dont let myself get boxed in, i do keep my eyes/ears open so i dont get ambushed, i dont keep company with anyone who leads a criminal lifestyle, and i already know my firearm is the LAST LINE OF DEFENSE.

about the only other argument that can be made is that we as responsible gunowners have no desire to kill anyone, but rather to stop someone from being hurt/killed. that doesnt mean we are going to kill an attacker, we just want to stop them. why is that so difficult to understand?

Blackhawk
February 10, 2003, 06:19 PM
Regarding gun control:

My primary interest is having a gun when and where I think I may need or want it -- they're my guns, my responsibility, my decisions, and my control of my property.

My secondary interest is in having every other legally unimpaired citizen being able to exercise their rights in a similar manner if they so choose.

Governments that cannot even keep felons from committing further crimes, have no credibility with me regarding their wishes to have me subjugate my defense and protection to them.

Kaylee
February 10, 2003, 08:07 PM
Dude, this is what it comes down to -- the people you associate with define your perception of reality.

You associate with responsible adults who can be trusted to handle themselves wisely, whether or not weapons are present.

This jerk obviously doesn't. If and when his buddies start to act like grown-ups, his worldview may change.

But don't count on it.

-K

spacemanspiff
February 10, 2003, 08:11 PM
kaylee, another explanation is that this person THINKS everyone else is irresponsible and incompetant. i've debated with people that felt that they themselves were the only ones trustworthy with a corked fork, much less a firearm. they have no problem thinking that they should own/carry a firearm, but no one else should.
elitism at its worst. its the same mindset that says "i dont want you to use a firearm to defend my life because you are an idiot and would wind up shooting me instead of the bad guy". its led to debators even saying "i would rather be a victim of a criminal than be saved by the good guys with guns that arent members of law enforcement", or something paraphrased along those lines.

Pendragon
February 10, 2003, 08:15 PM
Our argument should always start with the philosophy: I have a right to live. I have a right to protect my life, I have the right to do so even to the point of lethal force.

I would ask the good gentleman if he disagrees with that in the abstract. Does my wife have the right to kill a man who breaks into our home while she is alone with our baby and says "take off your clothes *****!" and he draws a knife?

We can talk about tools and guns and safety and crime all day long. I want to know if it is ok for my wife to kill that man? Oh - he is at the bottom of the stairs and my wife is at the top and both of our cordless phones are on the dining table (behind the guy). No phones, no exit - most our neighbors work so no one to hear the screams.

Is it only ok for her to kill the man if she does not use a gun? Does she have to meet him with the same amount of force that he presents? That would essentially even the odds. Should my wife even the odds against this man? Even odds would imply a 50/50 chance that she prevails. Is that acceptable?

Should my wife be a sacrifice to society to keep other children safe? What will happen to my 14 month old son after the man gets what he came for?

If 100 wives per year die like this because we banned all the guns, and now 80 children per year do not die of "gun accidents", is that an improvement?

Do we make policy or decide what is right strictly on body count? By that, I mean, if we have 300 fewer accidental deaths, but 100 more murders, is that net of 200 more people living a measure of success? What if the number is 1/1? What if we have 3 more murders for every 2 less accidents? Then what?

Do you believe it is possible for a nation of 300 million people to have no violent crime at all?

My assertion is this:

1. Violent crime will always exist. Always has, always will.

2. Tools and technology will always exist.
While they greatly enhance our lives, they do impose a cost in accidents and new areas of criminality (ex: computer crime, etc). Guns are no different.

3. My right to live and maintain my personal security exceeds your right to abstract "safety" which is usually defined as "removing and restricting things that make me uncomfortable".
Your fear of guns is irrational. Gun crime and gun accidents are rare events - even rarer when you control for the drug culture and certain other high risk subcultures. Many many things in your life pose a much greater risk to you than firearms, but because they are less visceral, you ignore them.

Laws restricting guns affect crime in the same way as laws against rape and murder. Why is it that someone who is not opposed to commiting murder is going to be held back by laws regulating guns? If we have laws against murder and assault and robbery, why do we need laws regulating guns?

The answer is, a lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea that personal safety is an individual responsibility. Gun control is nothing less than an attack on the legitimacy of self defense and the right of an individual to his life. It seeks to take the right of existence away from the individual and reduce our personal liberty, individuality and worst of all, it arbitrarily allows SOME people the right to protect their lives, but not others. It is 100% anti liberty and 100% pro state. It must be opposed at every opportunity with the ballot box and the soap box. Failing that, we will move on to the cartridge box.

twoblink
February 10, 2003, 09:00 PM
Oleg, if you want, you can give him my email address and have him email me to start a discussion.

I think it would be more fair to him to start fresh...

I want to understand his thought process... Sun Tsu, Art of War, know your enemy...

Tim Burke
February 10, 2003, 09:08 PM
F=ma's sig line reads:
"You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place."
- Jonathan Swift

Seems pretty appropriate here.

Byron Quick
February 11, 2003, 02:31 AM
He's welcome to email me. In my former incarnation, I carried a handgun while repossessing furniture and collecting bad debts in some, shall we say, less than desirable neighborhoods. Had a good many tense moments...never shot anyone...only came close a few times. Maybe talking to someone who would be dead or, at best, an invalid if not for immediate access to a firearm could cause an epiphany.

davera
February 11, 2003, 07:56 AM
quote:
Furthermore, rights are only defined by those who govern us.

Wrong, rights are conferred to us by the creator (if you will) or simply by being human we are endowed with certain rights. One of those rights is the right to self defense. We have a right to defend ourselves, our family and our property. While we may enlist the rest of society in that defense; the police, the military etc. that does not eliminate our own rights of self defense.

A gun is merely a tool which may be used for that defense. The fact that OTHERS may misuse this tool does not and cannot remove my right to that tool.

PAshooter
February 11, 2003, 08:54 AM
Outstanding, well-reasoned argument, Pendragon.

And davera - you hit upon the one statement that literally jumped off the page at me. Rights are absolutely, positively NOT defined by those who govern us. Whomever makes such a statement has completely missed the meaning of the watershed event that occurred in the history of civilization some 225 years ago with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. This nation was founded on the premise that the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness... along with those rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights (and others) are God-given. The purpose of government, or our government at least, is to protect those rights - not to grant them. God (if you will) did not endow the government with rights, to be doled out or withheld on the whim of bureaucrats. These rights were endowed to men (humankind) upon our creation... and no earthly power has the authority to deny them.

People who think like this are statists - those who believe the individual exists to serve the state. There are plenty of countries around the world where this is still true - though they are becoming rarer as more and more people see the light of liberty. But in this country at least, the government exists (in theory) to serve the people... the government has no power whatsoever except that which is granted by the consent of the governed. We've moved a good distance away from the ideals upon which this nation was founded, but the day we surrender our rights to bureaucrats is the day the light of liberty ceases to shine on earth.

D.W. Drang
February 11, 2003, 02:29 PM
Fire extinguishers aren't used to commit crimes, nor is surgery.
Send this idiot a link to a dictionary online and tell him of her to look up "Analogy." He/She is either a) trying to change the subject here or b) too stupid to read English. If a), is a dishonest debater, if b) not worth wasting your time over.
If that doesn't work point out that surgery is not desirable, either, and that it IS violence, but sometimes you gotta do it. Using a gun in self-defense just hapens to be something that can be done without calling a specialist, who usually get there in time to start drawing chalk lines anyway...

ajacobs
February 11, 2003, 06:11 PM
Calling this person an idiot when he is being directed to this thread is probally not appropriate.

Destructo6
February 11, 2003, 06:15 PM
I'm not concerned about smart folks. I'm concerned with the other 90% of the
population.
This, in my opinion, is the crux of the writer's problem. He believes that everyone, except he and a few friends, are stupid and unworthy of freedom.

I don't know if there's a way around that.

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