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Old March 8, 2013, 10:28 AM   #1
2ndsojourn
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Mandatory gun ownership

Nelson, Georgia is floating a proposed law requiring gun ownership in each home.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/07/us/geo...html?hpt=hp_t3

Gun ownership is a right. A right that I strongly advocate. And people have an inherent right to not exercise their right if they so choose. If you choose not to exercise that right, that's your prerogative. To make a right a requirement is another infringement on my rights. The Bill of Rights is not a Bill of Requirements, nor a Bill of Needs. And lately I've become fed up with misinformed politicians and journalist hacks with agendas trying to determine what my needs are and infringing on my rights.

From the article:

"People with physical or mental disabilities are exempt from the law, as are "paupers," felons, and those who oppose gun ownership based on belief or religious doctrine." (Emphasis mine)

Even though I appreciate their support of the 2nd Amendment, other than a token gesture, what's the purpose of enacting a law that you're not required to abide by?
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:37 AM   #2
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Are there not other laws that have exemptions? Womens head coverings, things like that?
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:44 AM   #3
2ndsojourn
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Tex, I'm not sure I see your correlation. Here we have a town basically making it a law requiring you to own a gun unless you don't want to.
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Old March 8, 2013, 11:39 AM   #4
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The law in no more invasive than the current federal laws we already have to comply with.

Personally I don't have a problem with it.

I don't think a person should have to possess a gun in their home but they should pay a tax if they choose not to.
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Old March 8, 2013, 12:09 PM   #5
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Mandatory gun ownership

If the law mandates it, then the municipality should furnish them. In Switzerland they have mandatory gun ownership for their militia, but weapons and bullets are furnished.

This was a good idea between good 'ol boys talking over a beer - but bad law to put in place.
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Old March 8, 2013, 12:21 PM   #6
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You could never enforce that law, it ids definitely a moral responsibility to citizens to own and be proficient with firearms, but moral imperatives can rarely be mandated by force
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:06 PM   #7
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From dfsixstring:
"If the law mandates it, then the municipality should furnish them."

I like that one! The same as the police have. AR types with 30 round magazines. And carry permits for all.
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:32 PM   #8
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While I do support firearm ownership, I do not support a requirement to own a firearm, as I feel we should have a freedom of choice, to own or not to own.
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Old March 8, 2013, 02:12 PM   #9
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This proposed law is almost a direct copy of Kennesaw, GA law. But doesn't anybody see the trickery in the law. You must own a gun unless it is not in your beliefs or you oppose guns. So if you want a gun, you have to buy one. If you don't want one, you don't have to get one.

And I think this proposal, because the reasoning that police response time is so long, is more of a message to the citizens saying "Hey we can't always protect you. We are letting you know this, don't trust our police to be their in time to protect you."
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Old March 8, 2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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Requiring people to own firearms is a stupid idea if someone doesn't want to own a firearm that's their right.

Reading American forums most seem to want as little government interference in peoples lives as possible. So i would assume that most Americans would be against making people have firearms just as they would be against government not wanting people to have firearms.
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Old March 8, 2013, 02:18 PM   #11
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To be honest, they still have that right. As I read this idea:

The people who have made up their mind and like firearms would be requires to have one.

The people who have made up their mind and dislike firearms would not be required to have one.

The people who cannot have one, aren't required and still cannot have one.

The people who have not made up their mind... would have to make up their mind.
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Old March 8, 2013, 02:54 PM   #12
Glenn E. Meyer
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We don't need the government to tell us to do this.
Nor do we need the government to forbid us to do this.

Stupid idea - I agree.

Eat your broccoli - that would save more lives.
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Old March 8, 2013, 06:17 PM   #13
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It's just the pro-gun version of an Assault Weapons Ban. It's Much Ado About Nothing. Symbolism over Substance. The only thing this would do is make the undecided people spend money on something in the back of their closet and forgotten about, or make up their mind one way or another how they feel about guns. People still have the ability to be a "conscientious objector" or own.
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Old March 8, 2013, 06:19 PM   #14
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Its almost as stupid as telling people they can't own firearms.
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:34 PM   #15
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This goes against my mostly Liberarian mindset, people are free to do whatever they like, as long as they do not harm or interfere with the rights of others. Government coercing someone to buy a gun is just the opposite of freedom, as is banning their ownership.
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Old March 8, 2013, 11:28 PM   #16
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As with the Kennesaw law, it seems cute on paper, but it's ultimately unenforceable on 4th Amendment grounds.
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Old March 8, 2013, 11:36 PM   #17
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There's nothing to enforce. You still have the choice to own or not.
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Old March 9, 2013, 12:10 AM   #18
Tom Servo
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Quote:
You still have the choice to own or not.
Yes, but laws exist to compel or prohibit behavior, and they generally have an enforcement mechanism. This one does neither. Passing laws like that can lead us to a lubricious incline.
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Old March 9, 2013, 12:51 AM   #19
JimmyR
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Gun ownership means nothing.

Being ready, willing, and able to use a weapon is everything.

This law serves no realistic function other than to get a small town's name in the national news.
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Old March 9, 2013, 11:17 AM   #20
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It wouldn't be the first place in Georgia to pass a law like this. Kennesaw has a similar law.

I think more than anything it is a message to the federal government that the citizens can be encouraged to own guns and society won't fall apart.

Kennesaw, Ga is a pretty nice place to live, I lived there for a while. They passed a similar law a while back for the same reasons. Crime is lower in Kennesaw than the areas around it.

This town isn't going to force anyone to own guns, although I would bet just about all of them own at least one gun already.
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Old March 9, 2013, 11:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Yes, but laws exist to compel or prohibit behavior
Since the law supposedly has an out for conscientious objectors, and the infirm/prohibited, this law doesn't even compel making a choice, merely strongly suggests one do so. The people in this small town will be more encouraged than the rest of the US to decide if they're pro-2A, or pro-control.
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Old March 9, 2013, 11:45 PM   #22
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I think that any law that requires an individual to own a firearm goes against what this country was founded on. Just because it fits with pro-gun agendas doesn't make it right.

But the current law is written so that it has no real teeth, since anyone can claim they're against gun ownership.
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Old March 10, 2013, 12:38 AM   #23
Pigcheese
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There should be a tax deduction for those who reduce burden on law enforcement

by taking personal responsibility for their own safety and that of their family.

Quote:
I don't think a person should have to possess a gun in their home but they should pay a tax if they choose not to.
I actually like this idea. I like what the city of Nelson did, too, but it is really only symbolic and can only survive as a law because it will never be enforced (and thus never face a legal challenge).

However, either a tax penalty for non gun owners or a tax deduction for gun owners would make a lot of sense and would be more likely to survive a legal challenge than forced gun ownership. I think most of us would agree that households with firearms are (or hypothetically should be) less reliant on law enforcement agencies and personnel for protection. Conversely, households without guns necessarily rely more on law enforcement and potentially use more government resources. See e.g. Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke's recent PSA. http://youtu.be/-8TCx-sM1vw

Quote:
With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. But are you prepared?

You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?
His point isn't exactly my point, but you get the idea: Providing all this protection is very costly and our resources are stretched to the limit. Armed, educated private citizens can help reduce the burden on police departments.

If you take a gun safety course, it sure would be nice if you were able to deduct the cost of the course from your income for tax purposes. If you own at least one firearm and have completed a qualifying gun safety class within a certain number of years, it would be nice if you could claim an annual tax deduction for helping to reduce the burden on police, sheriffs, district attorneys, solicitors, etc.

If you give a tax break for something, you are encouraging that behavior. So if governments want more well-trained gun owners to help take the burden off their law enforcement efforts they could create tax incentives like those discussed above.

Thoughts?

By the way, I am a new member of this site and a relatively new gun owner. This is my first post here. I have really enjoyed reading the posts on the forum and have learned a ton in a short amount of time.
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Old March 10, 2013, 04:05 PM   #24
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Pigcheese, welcome to TFL.

The tax deduction idea is an interesting one. I see at least two problems with it, however.

It'll never happen, at least at the federal level.

But even it it did, or if it were done at the state level, I'd be concerned that the idea that gun owners were "helping" law enforcement would spill over into the way that at least some gun owners think about themselves. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for some to have a notion that a license to carry is somehow a permit to "play cop," rather than being about self-defense. Whether you choose to carry a gun, or just keep one or more at home for defensive purposes, it's first and foremost about protecting yourself and your family, not about helping the community.

I think one might also make the case that either mandatory gun ownership or a tax deduction for same would penalize folks with less money, for whom the price of a reliable gun, and the necessary training to use it effectively, might be a heavy burden.

And I can see some potential for a vicious circle here: tax deductions for gun owners would mean less money in the pot, which would likely mean cutting funding for law enforcement, which would... you get the idea.
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Last edited by Vanya; March 10, 2013 at 04:05 PM. Reason: too many words.
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Old March 10, 2013, 04:23 PM   #25
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Along the lines of tax breaks, but different, many concealed weapons permit training organizations in SC will give free certification classes to women who show that they have a valid restraining order against a former domestic partner. (I think it should work both ways, but that's a different rant.)

The SC CWP permit is $50, which is waived for retired LEOs. Quite frankly, the highest crime is in the lowest income areas, so I wrote to my state Senator and Representative asking them to introduce legislation to waive the CWP fee for anyone who has be granted a restraining order. And I wrote the Lt. Gov and the Gov asking them to support it.

So far no one seems to be thrilled about it. I think the idea of putting more guns in the highest crime neighborhoods is unnerving to them. But if we actually believe the rhetoric we speak, then we need to put our money where our mouths are. Or in this case, our money waivers.
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