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Old August 19, 2011, 04:14 PM   #26
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Don't know Skadoosh, even with our 3+ billion dollar/year gun industry, our economy isn't looking very good either.

Maybe we need more gun factories to sustain our economy.
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Old August 19, 2011, 04:20 PM   #27
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This is my take on why stricter gun-laws in the US would NOT help decrease gun-crime particularly
My take is we are free men not under commonwealth law we have so many maufacturing plants cause we are free and can buy what is produced. No market means no factory to build something cant be sold.

Supply and demand kind of thing pip pip..
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Old August 19, 2011, 04:42 PM   #28
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British Bobby, you have it completely the wrong way around - guns are not important/popular because there is a large domestic gun industry. That is impossible. There is a large industry because they're popular.

It's also a myth that the reason for the difference in gun culture between Europe and the US is simply down to the monarchic, feudal nature of European countries. There are US states and cities that have far stricter laws then many old European countries - try comparing New Jersey to Switzerland, or the Czech Republic for example. Most people don't realize this, but the UK is a nation built on rebellion also; they've had more revolutions and civil wars than the US has had. And look at Ireland, where I come from - a country founded in a bloody revolution less than 100 years ago - yet now our gun laws are even stricter than the UK's.
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Old August 19, 2011, 05:24 PM   #29
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Clarification i posted this on another thread but id doesn't seam to be registering. Just as you can't talk about gun laws in America in general because different states have different laws.
The same goes for the UK the gun law in N Ireland which is part of the UK its gun laws in a lot of respects is different than the rest of the UK.
Examples in N Ireland you can own a handgun, but you need a licence for an air rifle in the rest of the UK you don't.

As for the republic of Ireland its only last year that they brought out a law banning handguns.
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Old August 19, 2011, 05:50 PM   #30
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Gun control in America is different than gun control in Western European nations because of social differences. I'm Canadian, and have lived here my whole life. Though there are a lot of people on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border that abhor the idea of considering our two societies similar, we're still considered by many to be the two nations on earth more similar than any other two (like it or not, that's a pretty common general perception). Here in Canada, we do have far stricter gun laws than the U.S. (though still far more relaxed than many other developed nations). Looking at the statistics, you may notice that the U.S. has both a more lenient gun control policy and a higher percentage of violent crimes involving guns than Canada. Canadian gun laws are more restricting, but a greater percentage of Canadian violent crimes does not involve guns. There is no conclusive evidence that gun control reduces violent crime, just that gun control leads to a higher percentage of violent crimes being committed by other means. Canadian gun control laws have been repeatedly tightened since the late '70's (before my time), yet violent crime in Canada has consistently been rising for over 30 years. Many U.S. states once had tighter gun control laws more closely resembling those currently in force in Canada, but over the last 20 or so years have been relaxing gun control more and more, and THERE HAS BEEN A DEFINITE CORROLATION BETWEEN RELAXING GUN CONTROL LAWS AND REDUCED VIOLENT CRIME. Taking guns away from U.S. citizens would have the same effect in the U.S. as the effects that have already occured in Canada due to tighter gun control laws here. There would be less firearms related violent crimes, but an approximately equal rise in other forms of violent crime. These violent crimes cannot be addressed effectively with gun control. The simple fact is that every society is dysfunctional to a degree. This is definitely true of both Canada and the U.S. It will not be until these underlying dysfunctional elements are appropriately addressed that violent crimes will be lessened or eliminated. When racism, poverty, and the other contributing factors to the unhappiness of our societies is addressed more effectively, violent crimes will decline in proportion. When a man is given a fair chance in a free and equal society to work hard at a good job and earn enough not only for himself and his family to live but to prosper, he has no need or reason to commit a violent or desperate act. When society is unhealthy and dysfunctional, people turn to desperate, violent acts and self-destructive behaviour.
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Old August 19, 2011, 06:31 PM   #31
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Interesting thread in that it highlights the two perspectives at odds:
1) Gun laws are needed/not needed to reduce crime.

2) Guns are effective tools that every citizen has a right to keep and bear for protection against tyranny and attack.

In the US the first priority is our Bill of Rights (or should be, but is being eroded in the minds of citizens). The first purpose of the Second Amendment is to have arms to resist tyranny, whether successful or not.

The second purpose of the 2A is to guarantee every citizen has access to the best means to protect themselves from criminal attack: car jacking, home break-in, mugging, robbery, rape, angry drunk, etc. That implies having a gun at home or wherever you are otherwise.

To many gun owners this is the crux of the issue. We have a God given right to protect ourselves from oppressive government as well as personal attack, and a firearm is a great equalizer: woman against man, one against many, smaller against bigger.

Gun banners ignore or ridicule the right enumerated in the 2A, and even the responsibility one has to protect themselves, and favor perceived public safety over individual liberty or safety. Primary tactics of oppressive regimes to control their populace, such as gun control, propaganda, and surveillance of citizens, should not be implemented by nations that honor liberty and personal responsibility.

Taken to extremes the tactics of tyrants can be effective to control the populace and perhaps even reduce public crime, but the individual citizen gives up much liberty in exchange. A society that treasures freedom ought to recognize that freedom incurs the risk that some people will choose to abuse that freedom and hurt others. But the freedom of all is more important than the safety of some.

Even under strict regimes like China, an individual is not safe from attack. Only if the State chooses to protect them. If you live in a backwater village the government may do nothing to protect you but be quick to pounce on you for small infractions. So safety may be an illusion even after giving up individual rights. Makes it easier for the government to rule, and safer for the government police though!

As a practical
"The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition."
- James Madison
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Old August 19, 2011, 06:43 PM   #32
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Don't the bad guys steal the firearms from citizens when they rob their home?

Oh yeah... I forgot that your government FORCED the serfs to turn in most of the firearms that could be used to curb violent crime...

I realize not everyone has the intestinal fortitude to use fist, knives and clubs to get real up close and personal with the person you are content with brutally killing in self defense...

Is that fair, do you think? BB doesn't make the laws in the UK any more than you make the laws here

Personally, I cannot conceive of a society that only has 'organized' crime wielding firearms. All somebody in the organization has to do is get a cel phone and set up sale of illegal guns to more casual criminals. And supposing, for a minute, that the casual criminal somehow never gets a gun, does that really matter?

Shod foot, cricket bat, sharp stick, or cobblestone, the intent to do harm by a criminal is the deciding factor, not the question of which type weapon he chooses. And after seeing what I've seen of the rioters, I cannot believe that the penchant for that type of violent activity in the UK has been proven to have an upper limit yet. Criminals break laws. If we can accept that concept, then how does one go about thinking that there's a set limit to a criminal's stomach for breaking laws?
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Old August 19, 2011, 06:55 PM   #33
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If you want to see if gun control laws are actually working look at the numbers before and after the laws were passed.

I would be willing to bet if gun rights were restored to law abiding UK citizens that the gun crime numbers would not increase significantly. It would still be that one group using firearms to commit crime.

Gun control laws are that which politicians sell to the masses to make them feel safe.

You told us that criminals are still getting guns and committing crime with them. Looks like the only people gun control in the UK has slowed down is law abiding citizens who would never have probably committed crime with them.

If you think that gun control laws work then have the police force give up all their firearms. It will not be the law abiding citizens you have to worry about.
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Old August 19, 2011, 08:20 PM   #34
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I am very pleased with the amount of responses this thread has gotten.

It really is great to be able to see such greatly articulated arguments when you want to hear peoples' opinions on a controversial (to some) issue.

Without meaning to disregard or in any way ignore some of the great posts so far, I'd just like to respond by saying that I Greek citizens used to have guns (before there were any laws prohibiting them) so I very much doubt that our involvement in the World Wars, Balkan Wars and Civil War were otherwise avoidable. Politics on a much grander scale took place, we were just swept up and caught in the cross-fires really.

It is an interesting point however that maybe had we carried guns in 1967 when the military took over, they might not have had such an easy time taking over or the length of their regime (7 years). But I'm still skeptical about how an army of untrained can effectively counter and subdue a trained and well armed army. But I will concede that it has been done many times before, and you guys know that all too well.

Concerning the situation were a woman (or anyone else for that matter) were to face multiple intruders, I still believe that a gun might only be of little use. If it's legal for her to carry, then it's probably legal for them as well. But still, I'd fancy my chances against 5 armed robbers a little better if i were also armed. So point taken my friend.

I'm beginning to see the main point US citizens have a strong argument for: better have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Also, to clear up my own omission about the few guns that are in circulation in the UK, the organised crime I spoke of before is usually quite "sophisticated", ie they won't be your average burglar or street mugger, but usually bank robbers or high-end drug dealers, and any police response unit going up against them will be armed to the teeth I can assure you.

As far Athens at night, I was actually referring to Omonia my friend, not Syntagma Square, I did not think however that someone here would know the city well enough to require the classification. I stand proudly corrected that someone knows as much about my home-town as you.

Anyway, I hope I haven't missed out too many of these very good responses, if I have, please feel free to assume that I have conceded the point in your favour.
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Old August 19, 2011, 08:27 PM   #35
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While some have said to read our Constitution and study our government, I would suggest you look at Switzerland - they are now what our country USED to be - they modeled their government after ours and managed to actually maintain the aspects of small central government, great local rule, and a common-sense aspect about gun ownership and the real reason why the common folks should own guns

Maybe one day we will be able to overthrow the current status quo and return to what the Founding Fathers really had in mind
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Old August 19, 2011, 08:42 PM   #36
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sorry buddy but I believe you're sadly mistaken, gun control does'nt work anywhere. crime rates, particularly violent crime rates, are through the roof absolutely every single place on the face of the earth that tries to ban or strongly restrict the sale, use, ownership, or carrying rights of firearms. look at crime stats and gun laws on locations throughout the U.S.A. and the world for that matter, they have a very relative responce to each other, I am a firm believer that if people get over this idiotic gun hating in the world there will be far less crime, and the little crime that does still happen will tend to end a lot worse for the criminal and a lot better for the innocent. the way it should be, an eye for an eye is'nt even fair enough! I think if I did nothing to you and you started it that you ought to pay more, maybe both your eyes for my one and all your teeth for one you took. am I right? (I certainly am not left so that kinda narrows it down a bit eh?)
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Old August 19, 2011, 09:03 PM   #37
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Violent crime is an issue far too complex to be boiled down simply to firearm restrictions when examining different countries. In looking at various countries, one will find that many with stricter firearms laws than the U.S. do indeed have lower violent crime rates, some are nearly identical, and some are actually higher. Likewise, if you look at nations which have similar or less restrictive firearm regulations than the U.S., you'll find the same lack of correlation.

What is more useful, and the U.S. is somewhat unique in this respect, is comparing the violent crime rates of different regions of the same country with varying gun laws. Here in the U.S., states with comparatively relaxed gun restrictions generally have similar or lower violent crime rates than states with stricter gun laws. Even more telling, states which ease certain restrictions, particularly those on the carrying of handguns outside the home, typically experience reductions in violent crime after the restrictions are eased.

What it boils down to is this, every law passed removes some degree of freedom from the people; sometimes the degree of freedom lost is small and sometimes it is great depending on the restrictiveness of the law. Where the disagreement lies is where the amount of freedom lost outweighs the benefit of the law. Most people in the U.S. agree that the benefit of requiring a criminal background check prior to buying a gun is worth the small reduction in freedom associated with it. However, most of the U.S. populace would also say that the benefit of banning handguns is not worth the reduction in freedom that is associated with it.

As far as the gun laws of the U.K., my opinion is this: the degree of restriction placed on firearm ownership in Britain does most likely make guns less available to the criminal element when compared to the U.S. However, that same degree of restriction also severely limits the ability, and therefore freedom, of the people to defend themselves. Self-defense is a concept that I view as a basic human right and, as such, I feel that the loss of freedom associated with U.K. gun laws outweighs the benefits associated with them.

As to less lethal alternatives such as pepper spray, stun guns, and tasers (I personally hate the term "non-lethal" because any weapon capable of disabling an attacker with any degree of reliability can be lethal under the right circumstances), they are good and useful, but they still have their limitations. Few would argue, I think, that a defender armed with pepper spray or a taser is at a distinct disadvantage when faced with an attacker armed with a firearm. This is why even though less-lethal alternatives have been embraced by law enforcement, they have not replaced firearms. Personally, I want a means of defense that is equal to or greater than an opponent's means of attack. The only way that I can even come close to ensuring that is to have a firearm.
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Old August 19, 2011, 09:08 PM   #38
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Actually i don't agree with vengeance. It is for the Police and the State to impose the sanctions and penalties the people's representatives have enacted.

That's why i don't believe in the death penalty. Despite it, people still commit capital offenses and all it ends up being is the taking of a life when no other is in danger.

I'm an atheist personally, so Biblical or any form of religious philosophy has to be to in agreement with my own personal sense of morality. I agree with not killing, stealing, baring false witness, but I cannot agree with an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Revenge isn't justice, and I'd prefer to live in a society where the Law is not based on retribution but on imprisonment. Revenge if often bloody, over the top and uncontrollable, hardly the example a society should live by.
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Old August 19, 2011, 09:58 PM   #39
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British Bobby, welcome to The Firing Line.

Despite any apparent correlation in gun laws vs. crime, there is no real causation. This has been borne out in several major studies over the last decade. This includes studies that started under the premise that more gun control = less crime (See 2003 CDC Study)

Fact is, there is no actual correlation between gun control and crime, whether we are discussing the U.S. or Europe. See Google Scholar for more articles on this topic than you would otherwise think.

Given that correlation is a myth, I guess that the question I have, is what do you mean when you say gun restriction works in Europe and not the U.S.?
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Old August 19, 2011, 10:12 PM   #40
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What I mean is that preventing the general public in the UK and Greece specifically from owning guns has meant that gun crime is virtually non-existent compared to other forms of crime.

I feel a great part of it has got to do with the general access people have in the US. The overwhelming majority of guns used in crimes in the US are guns legally manufactured and bought in the US by US citizens, which are then either stolen or used in criminal activities.

Lesser guns for the public seems to equal lesser gun crime in that society, or at least does where I'm from.

But given the amount of guns in the US, I would NEVER be in favour of strict gun laws there. It would be murder (literally) on the honest law-abiding citizens.
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Old August 19, 2011, 10:18 PM   #41
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I was reading the usual articles by both sides in Australia guns made people safer and cut down on crime. That not having guns made people safer. I had taken statistics in college.

When you looked at the numbers for before and after neither side had any right to claim either was right.

As said by Al there is no proof that having them or proof that not having them makes a big difference.

I live in Texas which is a fairly friendly gun state. Down the road from me is Houston which has a lot of crime. I think they are right up there with New York City which has draconian gun laws. Kind of hard explaining that away

All things being equal the Second Amendment pretty much says it for me. I have a right to defend myself or other people from harm. This is the way it has worked here from the beginning.
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Old August 19, 2011, 10:37 PM   #42
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I don't believe that firearms (those owned by private citizens) make s up a large part of our economy. Military technology perhaps, but nothing I or anyone else can walk into a gun store and buy is playing a huge roll in our economy.
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Old August 19, 2011, 10:45 PM   #43
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Well about 1 million were sold from Jan 2010 to to Jan 2011. That does not include ammo or accesories.

I think federal revenues from firearm and ammo sales rose 45% from 2009-2010. From 1993 to 2008 they went up 6%.
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Old August 19, 2011, 10:50 PM   #44
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British Bobby: I am an ex-pat Canadian, now a US Citizen (since 1970) and I do know the differences between Canadian Law and US Law, especially Washington State Law.

My summer starts with an old saying: "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight".

It does not matter if guns are allowed, or restricted, the strong, the greedy and the person that has no general reguard for his fellow man, or their property, will always to attempt to take what he wants from his weaker neighbor. Has happened since Cain in the bible.

It matters not what the weapon is, it could even be a lawyer, but the strong, greedy, unethical individual will always try to take, by force if necessary, what is not his, from those who cannot protect themselves.

Now, consider the looting, assaults, rapes, murders etc in London of late. What was the major problem? The citizenery did not have a way of equalizing the disparity of force. The have been stripped helpless...and then that poor guy that got life in prison for killing a burgler??? Shame on GB! You just created your own problem.

Here in Washington State it is perfectly legal own and carry a firearm (pistol or long gun), no registration, no license required. It is also perfectly legal to shoot (and kill) a burgler. Most people will just hold a burgler for police and not shoot them, but if the burgler makes a bad move,,,he is history, no charge, no questions asked....

Would you like to compare burglery/armed robberies per 100,000 population in WA verse how many burgley/armed robbery per 100,000 in England? Guess who has fewer burglery/armed robberies? WA by a bunch...why? The cost to the burgler is higher, that is, it could cost him his life...that does not happen in England.

Think about the guy in Norway? He gave up instantly to the police when they arrived. Why? he knew he would receive no more than 20 years in prison...why fight it...he wrote his political point in blood, and KNEW he could survive...absolutely NO risk of having his life ended prematurly.
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Old August 19, 2011, 11:13 PM   #45
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So in the UK a 110 woman doesn't need a gun to protect herself from a brutal 230 pound rapist / killer?
In my opinion a taser/stun-gun would be a better choice. easier to use and not risky of killing others in the process.
Proven time and again... Nothing STOPS a threat like some warm plumbum to the squishy torso or gray matter...
My momma illegally toted a revolver in her purse in Michigan in the late 70's... When asked by hey gal buddy who seen it when mom was payin for groceries... "Why do you have a gun in yer purse?"... Momma said "Nobody ever raped a .38...

Proven numerous times... A single shot tazer or a "snub nose" stun gun fail with alarming predictability!

Now back to the thread... I will likely post some more... real soon...

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Old August 19, 2011, 11:13 PM   #46
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Many years ago, I heard a story about a kid walking down the beach with an older man. As they walked, the boy would bend over frequently and pick up one of the many stranded starfish and throw it back into the ocean, thus, saving its life.

The older man said to the boy, "Why do you bother? There are thousands of them and you can't save them all. You're efforts will never make a difference."

The boy reached down and picked up another starfish and perused it for a moment, then tossed it into the water. "It made a difference to THAT one."

The point, of course, is that we attempt to look too frequently at society at large and make our decisions based on statistics or emotion or science or beliefs or what have you.

Where we should focus our attention, though, is on individuals. If a 120 pound woman can fight off a 250 pound woman because she has a gun, THAT, my friends, is why it is worth having permissible gun laws.

Beyond the individual, there is little we can do to assume much about the effectiveness of gun laws or the lack and lack thereof. While it is anecdotal both ways, even at the individual level, try asking the woman who defended herself with a gun whether or not she was glad to be able to defend herself.

That, my friends, is where I find my answers and my peace.

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Old August 19, 2011, 11:17 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by British Bobby
...This is my take on why stricter gun-laws in the US would NOT help decrease gun-crime particularly....
I submit, sir, that it is a grievous error to focus only on gun crime. The real issue is violent crime, and there is reason to believe that in fact the rate of violent crime in the UK is actually higher than that in the US. See this article.

Granted, it's a few years old, but is there any solid basis upon which to conclude that the situation has changed appreciably? The article is also consistent with the Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the University of Leiden and the study Crime and Justice in the United States and in England and Wales, 1981-96 conducted by the US Bureaus of Justice Statistics.

In the meantime, the crime rate in the US continues to decline. See this thread for a discussion.

So the focus on gun crime is both disingenuous and a red herring.

For an excellent study of the rise in violent crime, and the erosion of gun and self defense rights in Great Britain see Guns and Violence, the English Experience by Joyce Lee Malcolm (Harvard University Press, 2002). It's well worth reading.

So sir, you're welcome to your opinion, but it appears to be inapposite, ill formed and unsubstantiated. Can you give us any good reason to pay attention to it?

Originally Posted by British Bobby
So in the UK a 110 woman doesn't need a gun to protect herself from a brutal 230 pound rapist / killer?
In my opinion a taser/stun-gun would be a better choice. easier to use and not risky of killing others in the process.
I find that an interesting statement from someone who claims to be a trained law enforcement officer.

In most cases, use of less lethal weapons, e. g., tasers, pepper spray, bean bag munitions, etc., is considered appropriate by law enforcement only if (1) officers are present in sufficient number to take appropriate further action if the less lethal approach fails; or (2) the use of lethal force would not under the circumstances be justified. In any case, such devices have an appreciable failure rate and/or there use can easily be botched, so it is questionable if a slight woman should be expected to rely on such a device when facing a high probability of an immediate and potentially lethal attack -- at least without readily available lethal force as back-up.
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Old August 19, 2011, 11:18 PM   #48
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Violent crime is an issue far too complex to be boiled down simply to firearm restrictions when examining different countries.
Webley nailed it. I was in Vancouver when a large study was done comparing crime between that city and neighboring Seattle. The study mentioned that Seattle had a higher rate of suicides involving handguns, and that such a finding "proved" that lax gun laws led to suicide.

Even the most liberal Canadian professors I spoke with called shenanigans on that conclusion. There are simply too many differences in culture and demographics. In addition, Vancouver was not the conduit for opium and its derivatives in the way Seattle was.

Take Denmark, where I lived for a time. It's a largely homogenous and devout society, with a strong familial bond and a shared heritage. The standard of living is high, and the population is somewhat small.

(They also still respect jazz. The real stuff, not that David Sanborn drivel. I really think that has something to do with a culture's well-being )

Compare that with the staggering number of contrasting cultures, belief systems, disparity of wealth, and dense population that we have in New York city. Is New York more violent than Copenhagen? You betcha. But it's not because of the mere presence of guns.
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Old August 19, 2011, 11:27 PM   #49
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At last some common sense in Ireland

Forget Ireland's gun and knife ban laws. Ireland has come around with a bit of common sense. My son lives in Dublin and informed me that, until recently, a citizen must retreat if faced by a threat in their home. Force cannot be used to protect yourself, family, and home. If an intruder is injured the person protecting their property and life will be liable. Now legislation has passed stating that force may be used against an intruder if there is no retreat pathway. In a home this does not apply to a ground floor where you must retreat, but to the second story or basement.

Friends in the UK, one a retired London police officer, have told me that bans of handguns and knives have lead to more physical violence because bad people don't abide by legalities.

What is the answer or response to any form of violence? There is none. Within human history we have advanced in science and technology yet we continue to remain static in maintaining tribal differences and the distribution of human characteristics ranging from the good of Mahatma Gandhi to the evil of Stalin. Most of us fit somewhere between Gandhi and Stalin.
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Old August 19, 2011, 11:35 PM   #50
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Would you say that the number of violent crimes in the UK are high?

If your honest answer to that question is yes, I have to ask you what difference does it make if the violent crime is being committed with a gun, bomb, knife, machete or baseball bat.

People in your country are no different than people in this country in the respect that criminals are going to be criminals in whatever part of the world they live in. There are criminals all over the world.

Knowing that and given the fact that you are in LE in a country that has forcefully disarmed its citizens, I have to ask you if you've ever been to a very violent crime scene in your country in which you've looked at the grotesque aftermath and the thought ran through your mind, "I wonder if that poor victim/victims would be alive today if they would have been armed and had a chance to defend themselves?"

FORGIVE ME IF I'M WRONG, but it sounds as though you are a proponent of the anti-gun laws in the UK and feel that the citizens of the UK have no right to bear arms.

Please don't take this offensively, but you spoke of personal morality and not believing in certain things a few posts back. It behooves me that someone not believing in killing, would have beliefs that an innocent citizen should not be allowed to have the means to keep themselves and their families from being killed.

Can you explain that mindset, cause thoughs kind of thoughts, simply put, just don't compute.

Again, I know/believe and commend you when you talk about your moral values and know you don't believe in please don't take my post offensively. I just seriously don't understand your line of thought!
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