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Is the USA a mini Somalia?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Highgate, Mar 15, 2012.

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  1. Highgate

    Highgate Member

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    I am one of those rare British residents who own a firearm.

    Visiting this site I'm getting the impression that the USA is almost a Somalia-style war zone.

    Why else would so many posters have so many guns, so much ammunition, so much concern about bullet lethality etc?

    I have visited Boston & Denver a few times and I didn't see any firefights etc.

    The only guns I saw were when an old black guy was dragged off a bus for not paying the fare and was forced to lie on the ground at gunpoint by maybe five armed officers with drawn weapons.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not any sort of commie criminal lover ... but I clearly am missing something about everyday threats in the USA.

    Can anyone clarify the situation for me?

    Thanks!
     
  2. David E

    David E Member

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    You need to read more of the site.

    Many in the USA own guns for recreational pursuits as well as for hunting and more serious applications.

    What tool is better, a hammer, saw or drill? It all depends on the job at hand, right?

    If you're an occasional handyman, who owns his own hammer, how many nails are "enough?" If you're a professional carpenter, owning a set of hammers, then how many nails are "enough?"

    If you like to hammer things whenever you want to, it makes sense to own enough nails to see you through any shortage.

    So it is with guns and ammo.

    In many places in the USA, one can still own guns without explanation or apology.
     
  3. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    1) Because future gun ownership is not a foregone conclusion. Note the UK.

    2) Because ammo availability is also not a foregone conclusion.

    3) Because you don't get to hit the "undo" button and try it over again.
     
  4. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    I could go on and give a long speech about independence and the fact that guns have always been a part of our heritage, but I will refrain from doing so. Perhaps the simplest answer that I can give is that we talk about them because we have them. Americans have learned that Governments of all levels, Federal, State and Local cannot gurantee our freedom and safeguard those we love.

    You state that you are one of the rare British residents who own a firearm. May I ask why you are granted this ...what we Americans consider, a right? Stature? Money? Lineage?

    In America we take pride in the fact that royalty and commoner will have an equal right to own a weapon.
     
  5. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    Also, no I wasn't there, but that old guy was NOT forced off of ANY bus and forced to lie on the ground at gun point for "not paying a fare." That happened for some other reason, which you apparently missed.
     
  6. PRM

    PRM Member

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    Doesn't live here! Comparing the USA to Somalia?

    Sounds like we have a little trolling going on...
     
  7. Highgate

    Highgate Member

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    Central Denver.
     
  8. parsimonious_instead

    parsimonious_instead Member

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    Most definitely not a mini-Somalia. In fact the reason you didn't get to witness shootouts or other mayhem is that there is an ingrained respect for civil behavior, and law and order.
    In addition, the rule of law gives us channels through which to punish transgressors and force recalcitrant parties to make good on contracts.
    In places like Somalia, the absence of these mechanisms means violence is frequently the only tool with which to settle disputes.

    Sure the talk around here may curl your hair. But leaving aside the deadly serious stuff about lethality, penetrating power, etc... is the plain fact that we simply find the stuff endlessly fascinating.
     
  9. HarcyPervin

    HarcyPervin Member

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    For most, this is a hobby. For some, a career or lifestyle. The community that is represented on this site is extremely interested in the evolution and performance of guns and gear.

    It is also a group of very opinionated people with access to a lot of information. That information can be extremely varied and contradictory which leads to very intense discussion, and sometimes "tough-guy-ness".

    People come here, a forum with a very limited scope of discussion, to hash out even the smallest details regarding guns, equipment, and gun culture. It is natural to assume that this is all America is about, if you view this small sampling of people as America as a whole. Visit a car forum, and using the same logic, America is nothing but horsepower obsessed gear-heads. Try the same thing with any topic of your choice...you get the idea.

    As I'm typing this, I'm starting to smell troll, but I'm bored, so I'll play too. If that is not the case, I'd think that my explanation should suffice. I'm assuming that if you're one of the rare Brit's who own a firearm, it is due to the fact that you're most likely educated and financially secure, so you should be able to understand that this is a very small sample of a very large populous. Chances are that most of your peers do not and have not had the same opportunities, and therefore have not developed an interest in firearms....or we could just be a nation of toothless hillbillies who engage in shootouts just to get groceries...
     
  10. Pfletch83

    Pfletch83 member

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    Maybe you should go shooting at a few local ranges on the U.S. side of the pond.

    A firearm isn't just a need to own piece of kit for the majority of us,it's a way of life.
     
  11. Highgate

    Highgate Member

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    My wife & I own a chicken farm so we need to deal with Mr Fox.

    I was checked by the police, MI5, MI6 etc before I could have a shotgun permit.

    In the UK owning a firearm is a PRIVILEGE not a RIGHT.
     
  12. steveno

    steveno Member

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    there is a BIG difference between a right and a privilege
     
  13. Highgate

    Highgate Member

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    Nope, just a 56 year old shotgun owner who lives in rural England.

    Your explanation was fine and fully explains the situation.
     
  14. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    I agree with the above poster, there was more to it than simply not paying a fare.

    I think David E did a great job of explaining it. It's like a gearhead who has a garage full of very specialized tools that your average slob like me won't have (all I do is change my oil, plugs, airfilters, lightbulbs, wipers and other such small jobs).

    I have only one hobby, it is all I really have the funds and time for: target shooting/gun collecting. As hobbies go, its actually not too terribly pricey, unlike golfing or boating. Its simply something I enjoy, I currently own about 30 guns and enjoy shooting and cleaning every one of them. As for ammo, well, there are practical considerations. You can save a fair amount of money by buying in bulk online. Its rather convenient too.
     
  15. Pfletch83

    Pfletch83 member

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    And deep down you still don't like the fact that U.S. Citizens were born with a RIGHT to keep and bear arms.

    Unlike the U.K. where you are forced through so much red tape most say it is too much of a mess and give up.
     
  16. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Highgate, welcome to THR!

    I suspect that US and UK gun owners are more similar than dissimilar. The primary difference is that owning guns for defensive purposes is legal here (as it used to be in your country, some decades ago) and the spectrum of guns we can own is more similar to what you could own a couple of decades ago.

    The difference between the United States and Somalia is that the United States has a long tradition of responsibility with guns (and the responsible exercise of rights in general) dating back to when your country and my country were a single nation. Somalia isn't just a region where gun ownership is common, but a region where open warfare between petty warlords is common.

    I work with a few British expats (one from IIRC Manchester, one from Liverpool?) and both have told me that they feel safer from random violence here than they did in the UK. The majority of U.S. murders occur in dysfunctional city centers where lawful gun ownership is among the lowest in the nation, and prohibition-driven drug turf wars are a big part of the violence picture.

    I put some thoughts together on gun ownership in general a while back on Democratic Underground, that express how *I* feel about it:

    http://journals.democraticunderground.com/benEzra/29

    FWIW, I am licensed to carry a firearm in the majority of U.S. states; to obtain that license, I passed a Federal background check, state background check, mental health records check, FBI fingerprint check, a one-day class on self-defense law, and demonstrated proficiency with a handgun on a shooting range, live fire. Some states have fewer requirements, some have more, and some (Vermont, Arizona, Alaska) do not require a license at all for concealed carry, but that is the drill for getting a carry license in North Carolina. I am not limited as to what handgun I can carry (and do not have to get permission to change guns), but my primary CCW is a Smith & Wesson 3913 Lady Smith in 9x19mm.

    I also shoot USPSA (U.S. IPSC) with 9mm's and with a Rock River AR-15 type rifle, which doubles as a defensive carbine at home should I choose to employ it so.
     
  17. HarcyPervin

    HarcyPervin Member

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    I stand corrected. I apologize for making assumptions. I'm glad to see that an average person is able to acquire a firearm once they've proved to the government they have a need.

    Our take on the matter is different. Our government must prove that we should not have that access. Right or wrong, history will decide, but for now...."Yee-haw!!"

    Seriously though, we discuss for many reasons, but mostly because guns are fun, the science and history behind them is fascinating, and frankly, because we can.
     
  18. Highgate

    Highgate Member

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    Hmm. Not sure about your wording - but I suppose that I don't really like the idea of people owning guns without a fair deal of checking. There are too many weirdos out there.

    Very true!
     
  19. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    if you happened to surf around the internet and found a car/truck enthusiast forum, would you assume everyone was building their own and racing around the streets at 200 mph all the time?

    in fact, why would anyone need a convertible? or a car that does more than 70mph? or does 0-60 in less than 30 seconds?

    sure, i know driving a car with more than 100 horse power can be scary.
     
  20. The War Wagon

    The War Wagon Member

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    More like a mini-Balkans, given the divisevness the current administration is attempting to stir up. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Cole.Elliott

    Cole.Elliott Member

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    I love the USA and I love guns.
     
  22. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    The problem is that restrictive systems are easily subverted by those with the will to do so (whether in your country or mine), and restrictive systems are easily exploited by those who wish to make lawful gun ownership exceedingly rare (as in your country).

    As an aside, is your username (Highgate) a reference to the London cemetary, or something else? Just curious.
     
  23. Ranger30-06

    Ranger30-06 Member

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    If there's a country that's a mini Somalia, it's England, not the US.


    Seriously, it seems worse here on THR because just about every self defense story winds up on here. Also, some states are a bit worse than others, but generally any state with some form of widespread concealed carry tends to be much safer than other more restrictive states.

    If you want to pass some time, look up the town of Kennesaw, Georgia. A gun in every home and a non existent crime rate. Talk about town security...
     
  24. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Absolutely true.

    It bears realizing that this website for the most part represents a very thin dedicated cross section of the firearm owning us citizen. As with any enthusiasts website the appearance from the outside is going to appear extreme.

    Take Jeep forums as a representative of the phenomena. If you post there about your daily driven Jeep wrangler you depend on as basic transportation folks will lambasted you wondering what's wrong with you for not building an off road only trail machine on 35" tires. When the reality is there's probably ten Jeeps that never see a dirt road for every one owner even mildly interested in off-road capabilities.

    posted via mobile device.
     
  25. steelerdude99

    steelerdude99 Member

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    “Is the USA a mini Somalia?” Not at all. As a matter of fact, many parts of the U.S. are safer because of armed citizens. Its areas without armed citizens where it’s unsafe. U.S. big city government claim that citizens defending themselves would just make it worse (i.e. escalate the situation). Our nation’s capitol, Washington DC, feels that’s it’s better to not fight back. See link:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/1/dcs-crime-solution-be-a-victim

    Chuck
     
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