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Thread: No Apologies for Guns!

  1. #1
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    Default No Apologies for Guns!

    I carry a concealed Ruger P97 .45 caliber eight-shot semi-automatic handgun almost everywhere I go, though Rita and I have taken to carrying Glock 29 10mm’s in the field because they’re easier to bicycle with and will take out a black bear, and I keep a shotgun or two in my home — all within easy reach. They all hold bullets or shells designed to kill or shred a violent criminal-or a bear- instantaneously, before he can take another step or move his hand another inch. I don't keep gun locks on these weapons, and I don't apologize for them, and it's not just because it is my” Constitutional” right to keep guns, although that is reason enough. It is because I have been convinced by overwhelming evidence that guns keep me and my family safe.

    Does that sound like the rantings of a paranoid, gun-toting nut? Probably, if you are a paranoid, gun-grabbing ignoramus who knows nothing about guns and the role they play daily in American society in the prevention of crime. To those of you who do know the relationship of gun and crime statistics, the weapons I keep probably make a lot of sense.

    We who own guns for self protection have been much maligned by those who think guns are evil, even though the statistics about gun use show that guns are used far more often by average citizens to prevent violent crime than they are used by criminals to commit crimes. The evidence is greater than ever, thanks to the largest and most accurate study ever undertaken. It was performed by John Lott, a senior research scholar at Yale Law School who had never owned a gun and who had spent most of his career doing research on nongun-related issues. The study's findings are contained in his scholarly 1998 book, More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press), which is a detailed analysis of 18 years of the gun/crime relationship in all 3,000-plus counties in the United States.

    After Lott finished the study, he went out and bought his first gun.

    Here are a few of the things he found, much of which will sound like plain common sense to us gun owners:

    • In counties that have "right-to-carry" laws or "shall issue" permits, that is, where a citizen must be issued a gun permit after meeting certain criteria, usually a background check and having taken a gun safety course, violent crime goes down dramatically while it goes up in surrounding counties that issue permits only at the discretion of the relevant law enforcement agency. Furthermore, the crime rate continues to go down year after year due to the increasing deterrence of more people getting the "shall issue" permits.

    • Private citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals more than 2,000,000 times a year. Since the safety of children is often cited by gun opponents who don't want guns in private homes, the study analyzed deaths of children per year for the sake of comparison. For children under age 5 in the United States, less than 20 died of gunshot, about 100 drowned in bathtubs, and about 40 drowned in 5-gallon water buckets.


    • Resistance with a gun, rather than passive resistance, is the safest option for the private citizen when confronted by a criminal. For a woman, especially, it is the best option, increasing her chances of not being injured by two and a half times.

    • The biggest drops in violent crime occurred in urban areas, especially in poor neighborhoods, and among women and the elderly, who are most vulnerable.

    When his study was released, Lott was instantly attacked by the likes of New York Senator Charles Schumer and other anti-gun advocates as being a stooge of the gun industry, which he is not. The mass media briefly mentioned his book, then ignored it much like they have ignored the 2,000,000 annual instances in which guns are used to prevent crime while heavily reporting the under 20 instances of young children being killed by guns.

    What are we to conclude from this study, especially in the wake of the mass shootings at some of the nation's schools, such as at Columbine High School? If it is clear that guns save lives far more often than they take them, what happened at Columbine? May I be so crass and insensitive to suggest that some of the teachers-or security guards- should have been armed? In a country like Israel where they fear attacks by madmen and terrorists, the teachers carry guns into the classroom and they consequently have no gun attacks on their students. Here in the United States, we have a federal law that bans guns from within 1000 feet of schools, even sometimes posting signs outside the school announcing to the world and to the nuts it is a "gun free zone." Do you think there may be an analogy here, that perhaps Israel's policy works and ours doesn't?

    In the counties mentioned in Lott's study, where "shall issue" laws are in effect violent crime goes down, while it goes up in the surrounding counties where there are no "shall issue" laws. Do you think there may be a connection there too? Do you suppose that violent criminals and nuts may be figuring out where the easy prey are?

    We who realize the value of guns have been very silent in the face of the all-out war on gun ownership that is currently being waged by certain politicians and the mass media. Yet the evidence clearly shows that gun possession and "shall issue" laws save lives. Isn't it time we stopped apologizing for our guns and spoke up?


    Anti-gun groups, politicians, and the mass media regularly hide incidents and studies that portray guns favorably, and they spare no ink to tell the rare story when guns are used by criminals or by accident. Then they pass stupid laws that endanger our children. We who know the truth about guns need to let that truth be known: Guns save lives and prevent criminal attacks. They protect our families from harm, not expose them to danger.
    Aaron J. Cuffee


    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    - H.L. Mencken

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    It seems to me that there's more to the debate than simply more guns = a better society; after all, a gun is simply an inert hunk of metal and polymers without a person on the giving end. My concerns with the blanket assumption that guns save or end lives is that it denies the importance of mitigating social circumstance. The US is and likely will be a heavily armed society; for better or worse, firearms producers have carved out a cultural and political niche for themselves and their product. Given this, the only reasonable response is to arm all citizens relatively equally and thereby maintain a sort of interpersonal 'balance of power'. Life is not cheap in America; there are laws about killing, and there are well heeled structures that control and contain the damage that firearms can cause.

    Now, elsewhere in the world, firearms manufacturers have carved out quite a different niche for themselves; in african nations, French, Eastern European and, yes, American companies have made both figuratively and literally a killing by selling weapons to corrupt governments, insurgent groups, and anyone else with an interest in oppressing people, killing oppressors, or generally causing mayhem. More guns in cases such as these create more problems, as an old lady brandishing a firearm in self defense will simply be hunted down and killed when she's not paying attention, mowed down with automatic weapons, or otherwise disposed of. There is no sense of mutual threat recognition here; it's shoot first, shoot some more, and don't ever ask questions. In places such as this, there is no notion of 'responsible' gun use, no notion of individual rights, and life is generally cheap.

    Guns do not 'naturally' or 'inevitably' curb violent crime any more than nuclear missiles 'naturally' deter conventional war; it is how we learn to deal with them as objects, and how we integrate them into the broader societal framework that ultimately determines what good or evil they do. Statistics decieve because they freeze a single moment in history and present it as a continuing trend, however shifts in society at large cannot be accounted for in any sample size, no matter how large. Guns that might save lives now might be used to end them 20 years from now. Given the ever increasing power of private interest groups in Washington, it seems irresponsible to allow lobbyists with vested economic and ideological interests in selilng more guns to anyone with the money to buy them to dictate what is best for society at large. On the flip side, it's just as stupid to allow Rosie O'Donnel to do the opposite.

    The one thing I do find particularly reprihensible about the attitude of many pro-firearms people is their childish belief that they are somehow 'entitled' to guns due solely to their being on this planet and in the United States. Many times on this board, people have criticised social welfare programs as engendering this sense of entitlement; however the argument cuts both ways. When you decide to own a firearm, you are not simply taking something that is 'yours'; you are in effect entering a contract with those around you that whatever purpose you have in mind, you will not violate any of the standard legal/formal, or cultural/informal norms regarding it's deployment. Guns are lethal objects, and any owner not only has a right to own, but a matching obligation to ensure that s/he be responsible in ownership. Now, this is something that needs to be taught, nay, brutally hammered home to every single person in the US from the day they set foot in school if you want guns to truly be safe and effective. Unfortunately, all of this is of secondary importance to the people producing the weapons, as their only interest is to sell as many as possible to as many people as possible. There needs to be a balance of interests here that I believe has been rapidly deteriorating over the past few decades, and condoning gun ownership without addressing these deeper issues is irresponsible. Not that I think you did it -I think your post is quite right for the most part- but I think a lot of people do. I visited Detroit recently, and the fact that people in that city are apparently unable to control themselves without being constantly spied on by video surveilance really tells you something about how much you might trust them with a firearm.

    Anyway, I live in a country without a culture of firearm ownership where guns are notoriously hard to come by, even for most criminals. I know it sounds odd to you, but I kind of like living in a country where even the criminals for the most part feel safe enough to eschew the use of firearms. It's a matter of determining what works best for the country you live in and how to support a system that does what you want it to do in a healthy and productive manner.
    Iain Richardson, compulsive post-having cake eater-wanter.

    "He shoots first who laughs last."
    - Alexsandr Lebed,

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    Nice post Aaron.

    I am typing this as I sit with a Glock 17 on my hip and a M4 by my side. Of course, my situation is a bit different than most folks.

    Many people are surprised to learn that you can legally own a machine gun in many States here in the USA. Do you have any figures on how many crimes have been commited with a legal machine gun? Very few that I recall. Of course, they are very expensive, and there is a lot of paperwork...
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

  4. #4
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    Default Granny deserves self-defense

    It was just after midnight last Wednesday when Susan Buxton realized all was not well in her Arlington, Texas home. The 66-year old was getting ready to let her dogs out before she went to bed when she noticed her 28-year old granddaughter was still awake. “I asked her, ‘What are you doing up?’ and she says, ‘Gigi, I heard glass breaking.’”

    That didn’t raise too many alarm bells for the grandmother, but when she discovered a muddy footprint on her back porch, she knew someone was in the house. Luckily, Susan Buxton wasn’t alone. Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson have been Susan Buxton’s constant companions for the past twelve years, ever since a stranger tried to abduct another granddaughter from her front yard.

    So, armed with her .38 and a flashlight, Susan Buxton went through every room in her home. Just like in the movies, it wasn’t until she had searched every room that she knew where the intruder was. Hiding in her closet in her art room, Christopher Lessner saw the door swing open. He looked at her and whispered, “Shhhh”.

    Buxton was having none of it. Pointing her pistol at the intruder, she told him to get down on the floor. Then she yelled for her granddaughter to call police. When Lessner tried to grab the gun, Susan Buxton shot him. He fled the home, bleeding from the leg, and Susan Buxton shot at him again. This time she missed. Police later found him cowering under a neighbor’s backyard deck.


    Half a country away and just twenty four hours later, 60-year old Thomas Morganstern woke up to noises in his Roselle, Delaware home. Unlike Susan Buxton, Morganstern didn’t have to go looking for the source of the noise. When he opened his eyes he saw two strange men in his bedroom. Morganstern grabbed a handgun and followed the pair as they ran down his stairs.

    In the living room, the two fired at Morganstern, missing him. He returned fire, and hit both assailants. They fled the house, and police found them hours later. One was hiding near Morganstern’s detatched garage. The other was lying under bushes across the street, dead.

    Just a day after Thomas Morganstern saved his life, , 65-year old Roland Burns woke up to find a stranger in his home in Rush, Kentucky. He too grabbed a firearm. He too told the intruder to leave. And he too eventually had to defend himself when 32-year old Shannon Conley refused to obey that order. According to Kentucky State Police Trooper Ed Ginter, “"Mr. Burns ordered the man to leave the home. A struggle ensued, and Mr. Conley was fatally wounded."

    What chance would a 66-year old grandmother have against a bigger, stronger, man a third of her age? What chance would a 60-year old man have against two men, armed and in their 20’s? And what chance would a 65-year old have against a man half his age? Without an equalizer, ,these individuals would have no chance. Because that equalizer was a firearm, all three are alive today.

    Americans over the age of 65 are now the most likely age group to be armed, according to the General Social Survey, part of the National Opinion Research Center at the Unversity of Chicago. The reasons for this are almost as varied as the individuals who make up that demographic. Some are life-long gun owners. Others have picked up firearms as they got older for reasons of personal safety. In Arizona alone, more than 30-thousand people between the ages of 50 and 69 have concealed hangun licenses, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

    If seniors are the most likely owners of firearms in this country, then they’re also the most likely victims of gun control laws. A day before Susan Buxton confronted the intruder in her home, voters in San Francisco banned handguns from their city. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 70,000 San Franciscans over the age of 65. How many of these are gun owners who are now being told to disarm? How many will be victims of crime now that the street thugs have been notified of an unarmed populace?

    And yet, proponents of gun control continue to insist that these seniors are putting themselves more at risk by simply owning a gun. Appearing on Fox’s ‘Hannity and Colmes” last week, Michael Beard of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence said, “The privatization of public safety is a dangerous situation in our society.” He also revealed he doesn’t have a gun in home. Of course, he can’t legally own one. He lives in Washington, D.C., home to a firearms ban since 1976 and the nation’s murder capitol 14 of the last 15 years. Still, Beard says he doesn’t need a gun. He has a telephone.

    89-year old Lois Cannady had a phone. She used it to call 911 in Durham County, North Carolina on June 5th, 2002 to report an intruder in her home. By the time police arrived, four minutes later, she had been murdered. Michael Beard can perhaps take comfort in the fact that he’s not an octogenarian, and could possibly fend off an attacker for four minutes. But the average response time in Washington, D.C. in 2004 was 8 minutes and 25 seconds. Are you prepared to go almost three rounds with a criminal who may be armed with a gun?

    The 98,624 people in San Francisco who voted to ban handguns may be willing to try and duke it out with an armed thug. But the fact they’ve now denied the more than 70,000 senior citzens in the city the opportunity to choose another means of protection is shameful. A lawsuit has been filed seeking to overturn the handgun ban as a violation of state law. Let’s hope the judges have more common sense than a majority of San Fran’s voters.

    Cam Edwards is the host of “Cam and Company” on www.nranews.com and Sirius Satellite Radio. A veteran talk show host and political analyst, he blogs at www.camedwards.com in addition to his daily talk show. Cam lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and five children
    http://www.townhall.com/opinion/colu...16/175857.html

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    Iain, I am ENTITLED to a gun because defending yourself is a recognized right. Only in places where people have given up their rights to the state is that right not recognized.

    Ownership of weapons is a fundamental RIGHT of all humans - you certainly can't expect others to protect you from harm, so you are therefore entitled to the best form of protection that is available. Clubs, knives and swords are second tier weapons compared to firearms, so a gun is the right of any law-abiding individual.

    If you had studied the common law you would know that self defense, with weapons, is the norm. Only neo-socialist nanny-state times has the UK decided the citizens couldn't be trusted with weapons (unless you want to count the times where the crown was actively afraid of the populace).

    Of course, if you choose to leave yourself a target to the ever-increasing violence and crime that "disarmed" countries such as England, Australia and Canada are experiencing, go right ahead. I am quite secure and comforted knowing that loaded pistols are distributed throughout my home. Go ahead, try a home invasion - the police will be here shortly to pick up your corpse while I clean my Ruger 9mm and pop in a fresh clip.
    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

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    Take today's shootout and hostage situation at Tacoma - they had to wait for the cops to show up to stop the violence.

    Imagine how much less carnage their would have been if Aarron would have been there to haul out his 10mm and pop that SOB a couple times in the chest as soon as he started shooting the place up.

    Just remember, the police are under no obligation to protect you from harm in any way - their job is to show up later and arrest the guilty for prosectution. That means AFTER they have finished killing people.
    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

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    Default Echoing Harvey's post . . .

    Been a LOOOOOONG time since I was on E-Budo, thanks to the firewall at work, which seems to be down tonight .

    Harvey is correct. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the police do not have a duty to protect individual citizens, but to protect society. This is done, generally, by preventing crime through proactive patrolling and responding to and reporting crimes that have occurred, arresting suspects, and testifying in court about their investigations.

    I'm a cop, and I keep a couple of personally-owned firearms at home. My duty gun stays at work, which is fine with me. It violates my first principle of handgun combat, which is never get into a (hand) gun fight with a gun whose caliber starts with a number lower than 4.

    The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed in the US Constituion. There is language there about a well-regulated militia, but nowhere does it say that this militia should be the only armed citizenry. A well-armed society can keep a good constitutional republican government from turning into a tyrannical dictatorship.

    Guns, in and of themselves, do not reduce crime. They simply put a moment of pause in a predator's mind, considering whether his potential prey may be armed. Just being armed may not be enough, though. You have to be willing and capable of taking action with the weapon. Anyone considering purchasing a firearm for protection really needs to look at the question: Am I capable, both mentally and physically, of killing another human being?

    Your views on what should be done with predators might also play a role in your decision. Personally, I have no problem making predators take the eternal celestial dirt nap. When they assume room temperature then they are no longer a threat to anyone (yes, I listen to Boortz A LOT). I will do my job, prevent, respond, investigate, arrest and testify. But if I or my family is threatened, the last two won't be necessary for the officer who responds.

    I really do think that if one chooses to prey on people, then that individual gives up his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that a predators life really is worth less than a non-predatory citizen. All life is not sacred. If I were dictator I would execute those convicted of many more crimes than just murder.

    Shane Layton

    PS - Speaking of weapons, John can you give me any info on how effective the 5.56 (.223) round is in combat? I've heard a lot of horror stories about having to shoot a BG 2-3 times to put him down. I am considering a rifle purchase and am leaning toward the AR-10 7.62 (.308) in an M-4 configuration. A little heavier, but maybe more economical with regard to ammo.
    シェーンレイトン

    Shane Layton
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    Shane,

    See my reply to your 5.56 question in the CQB forum, Firearms sub forum.
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

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    Good discussion.
    I also don't apologize for my willingness to carry.
    I'm a .45 man though.
    Duty - Kimber Warrior
    Off duty - Kimber Pro Raptor II
    Tony Urena

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    Well living in a "nanny state" that is so strict with it's firearms that even most of the police are not packing. I would have to say it's not such a bad thing to make firearms nearly untouchable by the general public.
    Note that in a culture were you may be able to actually find a gun illegally it is nearly impossible to find bullets for your gun so that has an amazing reductionary effect on the whole gun crime issue. Those of us who really want a gun could (after a very long and tiring process) actually get one.

    At the end of the day i believe that it is too easy to get a gun over there in the states and that is were most of your problems come from.
    Yes i believe you should be allowed to have arms but make the selection criteria and the procces very strict and hard.

    and there is nothing anyone can say to me that will justify having an assault rifle as a private citizen (for what home protection????)
    Keep to the way of the warrior

    Mc'pherson Lee

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    The right of self-defense is, in the last extremity, the right to defend yourself against the predations of a tyrannical government.
    Roberto Valenzuela
    Owari Kan-ryu sojutsu (尾張貫流槍術)
    Shinkage-ryu heiho (新陰流兵法)

    "Be intelligent, but do not be artificially intelligent." --Kung Fu Proverb

    "Culture Check: Korean Arts still determined to make indigenous martial history from 4,000 year old cave drawings. France counters by claiming Savaate developed from hunting woolly mammoths before Ice Age." --The Nth Degree

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    Disclaimer: I have taken the time to state my opinion in a courteous manner, and in due understanding of American civil liberties. Every nation has the right (including mine) to determine their society to what they feel it to be. If you disagree with me, fine. Make your case; I won't take it as an attack on my country. If you can't formulate a half-intelligent argument that is free from personal attacks, or some kind of polemic against Canadian culture and values, then don't bother.

    This thread is interesting. Interesting in the sense that some seem to be convinced that the only way to create safety is to carry (increasingly) larger and larger firearms. I suppose that someone who is born and raised in a country where there are pretty strict gun regulations, I have difficulty seeing the point in doing what was called "a fundamental RIGHT of every human being".

    It's troubling to say the least. Don't get me wrong ... I'm not against guns, and I am not criticizing the U.S. Second Amendment. If someone threatened me or my family, I would without hesitation use the maximum amount of force required to neutralize the threat, up to and including killing them. In that way, I understand the compulsion and anxiety to carry firearms out of concern for one's safety. I also have served in the Canadian militia, and though I don't have my issue M-16A1 in my closet, cocked and loaded, I recognize that firearms are an effective means at accomplishing a goal i.e. to kill someone in order to provide security. I found the posts by John Lindsey a refreshing change from the normal garbage on this forum, the posts of a bunch of (mostly) losers whose main idea of a life-or-death struggle is being the first one to suffer and die from carpal-tunnel syndrome, and the only wars they know start with either "star" or "flame". However, what is interesting in this thread is the equation of guns and safety. I have friends and relatives down in the States, and though there are differences, I personally feel that Canadians and Americans have the capacity to talk about these things.

    The relevant section of the Second Amendment reads:

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    Now, the part that everyone associates with the so-called "freedom to bear arms" is the second part of the clause, and I'm all for it. That is what was referred to as "a fundamental right" in this thread. However, the entire clause suggests the presence of a well-regulated militia, or reserve armies is what is necessary to ensure the security of a free state, NOT necessarily the fact that arms are being carried by ordinary citizens. Therefore, the Constitutional Amendment states that the security of a free state is dependent on an armed civilian militia, and not civilians being armed when they go to the grocery store, or when they are in their grade-nine homeform, for that matter.

    At the time the amendment was written (1791), the United States was a fledgling nation, and just wrested itself from the yoke of British colonialism. There was at the time a practical and present need to have civilian militia units armed in order to facilitate rapid deployment of partisan soldiers. On top of that, Canada wasn't your friendly neighbour back then (we burned the White House down in 1814, after all) and the conflict between British North America (Canada) and the U.S. was killing tons of citizens on both sides in a protracted and brutal border war.

    My point? What's missing in the "right to bear arms" perception is the responsiblity to country. For the most part, every post I have read on this thread and others only talks about how "guns are good for me", and how "guns protect me". I wonder how many gun advocates would die for the protection of their country? How many would-be draft dodgers do we have reading this thread? I have never met someone who has served in a military who adopts a casual attitude towards killing other human beings. It's the ones who murder tin cans and cats in their back yard who you hear from. Never have I heard a convincing argument that an entire country carrying firearms is in itself a sufficient condition for a secure state. To play devil's advocate, if the U.S. is so secure, why do so many Americans need to carry guns?

    Recently in Toronto, we had have a surge in gun-related murders. Though 48 gun-related murders (69 total -- that's this year, not this month) in a city in excess of 3 million people may seem like small potatoes to people who live in D.C. or Chicago, but the last boy who was murdered was shot in the presence of his infant daughter on the steps of a church, as he attended the funeral of his friend, who ironically (not coincidentally) was killed by gunfire days before. Do you think that this is normal? Surely most Americans would shudder to think that children are killing each other in church. Would more guns in Canada be the solution to this problem? Do you think that this person's mother (who was also at church with her son) thinks that the person who murdered her son has the "fundamental RIGHT" to bear arms? The victim's name was Amon Beckles, by the way, in case anyone reading this cares.

    For those who train in budo, which is supposed to give you a heightened awareness about your life, and (perhaps) an appreciation of it, why is it then so difficult to imagine walking down the street without fearing for your life? For those of you who spend thousands of dollars on guns, have you ever considered being a big brother, or volunteer for a soup kitchen, or participate in providing literacy to the impoverished multitude? Things like that are what will actually do something to improve society. I know that Canada's quite far to the political left when compared to the U.S., but are you still going to tell me that guns make your country safe?

    Your (friendly) northern neighbour,
    Julian A. Straub
    Toronto, Canada
    Yoshinkan Aikido

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiding Crow
    [I]Disclaimer:
    The relevant section of the Second Amendment reads:

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    Now, the part that everyone associates with the so-called "freedom to bear arms" is the second part of the clause, and I'm all for it. That is what was referred to as "a fundamental right" in this thread. However, the entire clause suggests the presence of a well-regulated militia, or reserve armies is what is necessary to ensure the security of a free state, NOT necessarily the fact that arms are being carried by ordinary citizens. Therefore, the Constitutional Amendment states that the security of a free state is dependent on an armed civilian militia, and not civilians being armed when they go to the grocery store, or when they are in their grade-nine homeform, for that matter.

    ....

    At the time the amendment was written (1791), the United States was a fledgling nation, and just wrested itself from the yoke of British colonialism. There was at the time a practical and present need to have civilian militia units armed in order to facilitate rapid deployment of partisan soldiers. On top of that, Canada wasn't your friendly neighbour back then (we burned the White House down in 1814, after all) and the conflict between British North America (Canada) and the U.S. was killing tons of citizens on both sides in a protracted and brutal border war.
    This construction is partly correct, but if you look at the writings of the founding fathers, you will find that they believed that a well-regulated populace was important for the defense of liberty against threats from above as well as from without. Jefferson (whose views are important even though he was not present at the Constitutional Convention) once said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." He also said that he believed that "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing," reflecting a view that it is natural for governments to become more tyranical over time and for citizens to have to use force to assert their rights.

    This vision of oppression, revolution, good government, and repression repeating themselves in an endless cycle until a nation eventually succumbs to foreign threat is found in many classical sources (see Machiavelli's Discourses). Happily, this has not been the case so far in America, but it was a motivating idea for some of the founding fathers. To those men, merely by having arms the citizenry would make it more difficult for the government to overstep its bounds and oppress the peoples. The fact of an armed populace would be a safeguard to liberty. Following this logic, simply by possessing guns the citizenry would be doing something to help the nation.

    I would say that this argument had merit at the time it was first conceived, but luckily the institutional strength of our government and legal system has done more to hold government in check than some anticipated. Today, a well-armed populace probably does less to hold governments in check than a well-informed, well-educated, and politically active populace, but the concept is the same. Only the nature of the weapons available has changed over time.
    David Sims

    "Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum." - Terry Pratchet

    My opinion is, in all likelihood, worth exactly what you are paying for it.

  14. #14
    Graey Guest

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    Quite personally, i thinkthat the enviroment should be made unsafe for criminals...
    A friend of my dad's who runs a gun store had bumper stickers with this saying: "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns"
    And Machiavelli often sated an unarmed populace is an oppressed and enslaved one.
    And also, I've been getting info that suggests most states with high crime are... -gasp- not gun friendly. And some even make it difficult to legally defend oneself in their own home or on thier own property. I think it has todo with people trying to enforce ideals rather than accepting the fact that if a person enters illegally, he probably has intent to harm the occupants, or at the very least no quarrel with doing so. For years on end I've heard the same thing in relevance to being held up or attacked: "Don't be a hero." People make you a hero, but I'm inclined to make sure that my attacker(s) leave plenty of their own DNA at the scene. Heroism has nothing to do with survival, it's purely incidental.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiding Crow
    Disclaimer: I have taken the time to state my opinion in a courteous manner, and in due understanding of American civil liberties. Every nation has the right (including mine) to determine their society to what they feel it to be. If you disagree with me, fine. Make your case; I won't take it as an attack on my country. If you can't formulate a half-intelligent argument that is free from personal attacks, or some kind of polemic against Canadian culture and values, then don't bother.
    It is refreshing to hear from someone on this issue who is not taking a blanket stand that the United States is the wild west simply because we have much more libertarian laws about firearms (notice I did not say "liberal!"). I shall extend the same courtesy toward you as you have shown toward us (well, I'll try, anyway!).

    It's troubling to say the least. Don't get me wrong ... I'm not against guns, and I am not criticizing the U.S. Second Amendment. If someone threatened me or my family, I would without hesitation use the maximum amount of force required to neutralize the threat, up to and including killing them.
    I am in Law Enforcement so I may have a different view here. I would tend to use the MINIMUM amount of force to stop the threat. If he dies, then oh well. His life is worth less than his intended victims. If he is using force to try to steal from his intended victim, then force should be used to stop him.

    In that way, I understand the compulsion and anxiety to carry firearms out of concern for one's safety. I also have served in the Canadian militia, and though I don't have my issue M-16A1 in my closet, cocked and loaded,
    Me neither, I prefer to keep it in condition 3. M16A1? Either you are giving away your age, or the Canadian military has a serious need to update its weaponry!

    I recognize that firearms are an effective means at accomplishing a goal i.e. to kill someone in order to provide security.
    Actually, most civilian use of a firearm involves just the display of the weapon, not the actual firing. Many crimes are deterred in this manner here.

    I found the posts by John Lindsey a refreshing change from the normal garbage on this forum, the posts of a bunch of (mostly) losers whose main idea of a life-or-death struggle is being the first one to suffer and die from carpal-tunnel syndrome, and the only wars they know start with either "star" or "flame". However, what is interesting in this thread is the equation of guns and safety. I have friends and relatives down in the States, and though there are differences, I personally feel that Canadians and Americans have the capacity to talk about these things.
    Me too.

    The relevant section of the Second Amendment reads:

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    Now, the part that everyone associates with the so-called "freedom to bear arms" is the second part of the clause, and I'm all for it. That is what was referred to as "a fundamental right" in this thread. However, the entire clause suggests the presence of a well-regulated militia, or reserve armies is what is necessary to ensure the security of a free state, NOT necessarily the fact that arms are being carried by ordinary citizens. Therefore, the Constitutional Amendment states that the security of a free state is dependent on an armed civilian militia, and not civilians being armed when they go to the grocery store, or when they are in their grade-nine homeform, for that matter.
    DDATFUS already spoke to this issue.

    At the time the amendment was written (1791), the United States was a fledgling nation, and just wrested itself from the yoke of British colonialism. There was at the time a practical and present need to have civilian militia units armed in order to facilitate rapid deployment of partisan soldiers. On top of that, Canada wasn't your friendly neighbour back then (we burned the White House down in 1814, after all) and the conflict between British North America (Canada) and the U.S. was killing tons of citizens on both sides in a protracted and brutal border war.
    And there still is. As Graey pointed out, one of the reasons to keep our society armed is to keep our government in check. I know absolutely nothing about the Canadian government, but in the United States the government is of and by the people. That really means something to many of us. The government functions to serve us, not to regulate us. We do not serve the government. At least not as long as we have people in power who will read and strictly interperet the Constitution the way the Founding Fathers intended, as set forth in their subsequent writings. If we become a disarmed society then we are forced to depend on the government for protection. Americans have a tradition of strong individualism, which should be not only honored but maintained. We should not have to depend on the government, but on ourselves and each other.

    My point? What's missing in the "right to bear arms" perception is the responsiblity to country. For the most part, every post I have read on this thread and others only talks about how "guns are good for me", and how "guns protect me". I wonder how many gun advocates would die for the protection of their country? How many would-be draft dodgers do we have reading this thread? I have never met someone who has served in a military who adopts a casual attitude towards killing other human beings. It's the ones who murder tin cans and cats in their back yard who you hear from. Never have I heard a convincing argument that an entire country carrying firearms is in itself a sufficient condition for a secure state. To play devil's advocate, if the U.S. is so secure, why do so many Americans need to carry guns?
    My gun does not protect me. It is a tool. I use my brain to protect me, and choose the appropriate tool for the threat. If I need a gun then I will use a gun. It is not my default weapon of choice. I work at a job where I am required to wear body armor and carry a firearm. There is a reason for that. It is a dangerous world. Not because of guns, they are just tools. Because of people. If they did not have guns then they would find another tool. How many stabbings are there in Canada, or bludgeonings?

    I spent 7 years on active duty with the United States Marine Corps, in the infantry. I have a combat action ribbon from Operation Desert Storm. Do yu think my attitude toward killing people is casual? I probably do have a different view on the sanctity of life than you, because I believe a predator's life is worth less than a law-abiding citizen. I will not apologize for that.

    Recently in Toronto, we had have a surge in gun-related murders. Though 48 gun-related murders (69 total -- that's this year, not this month) in a city in excess of 3 million people may seem like small potatoes to people who live in D.C. or Chicago, but the last boy who was murdered was shot in the presence of his infant daughter on the steps of a church, as he attended the funeral of his friend, who ironically (not coincidentally) was killed by gunfire days before. Do you think that this is normal? Surely most Americans would shudder to think that children are killing each other in church. Would more guns in Canada be the solution to this problem? Do you think that this person's mother (who was also at church with her son) thinks that the person who murdered her son has the "fundamental RIGHT" to bear arms? The victim's name was Amon Beckles, by the way, in case anyone reading this cares.
    This is a very sad story. It is sad that even one person is murdered by someone using any tool. But let me ask you, why attack the tool? If they had been beaten to death with baseball bats would you call for restrictions on them?

    Certainly the person who killed Mr. Beckles was just another low-life piece of dog excrement who, in my view, has given up his right to breathe. I hope the murderer is caught. Does Canada have capital punishment for murderers? Its not about deterrence, its about justice. If you murder, you deserve to be killed. Period.

    For those who train in budo, which is supposed to give you a heightened awareness about your life, and (perhaps) an appreciation of it, why is it then so difficult to imagine walking down the street without fearing for your life? For those of you who spend thousands of dollars on guns, have you ever considered being a big brother, or volunteer for a soup kitchen, or participate in providing literacy to the impoverished multitude? Things like that are what will actually do something to improve society. I know that Canada's quite far to the political left when compared to the U.S., but are you still going to tell me that guns make your country safe?
    No. But, judging from the story above, neither is Canada. How many people are killed by means other than firearms every year in Canada? I like the idea that the average, law-abiding citizen has the right to carry a concealed weapon in my state, providing they get the proper permits. I like the idea that we are actually permitted to defend ourselves. Yes, our actions will be judged. If the Grand Jury thinks we went too far, then we will be prosecuted. But if not, then we won't.

    Your friendly Southern neighbor,

    Shane Layton
    Birmingham, Alabama

    Our state motto is "We Dare Defend Our Rights." If you are unarmed facing an armed tyrant, how will you defend them?
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    Shane Layton
    Bujinkan Shidoshi

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