Free speech and gun control.

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  • puzlpuzl The Old Firm Join Date: 2003-02-26 Member: 14029Posts: 4,109Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation mod
    edited April 2007
    Well, do you think someone with a history of mental illness should be able to 'legally' own a gun?

    The argument that prohibition does not work is something I agree with, and liberal societies should allow a certain amount of access to guns for its population. In Ireland it is very easy to get and own a gun. You apply for a license, get the application stamped by someone at your local cop station, and then you take it to a gun shop. In the first two steps there are some basic checks performed to prevent people who are not responsible enough to own a weapon from gaining possession of one. The problem that I see in the US is that the "right to bear arms" has become cultural dogma and rational debate about limited gun control is smacked down almost immediately at every turn by people who approach the argument almost with religious fervour. The typical quote being "you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold head hands". I don't know of any country that has a complete ban on civilian gun possession. When people talk about 'gun control' they are rarely talking about a complete ban. I have no doubt that you ( TheAdj ) would be in possession of a gun beside your bed within 3 months of moving to Ireland. So we are not at antipodal points of view here at all, I just think the very liberal approach to gun control in the US, based on a very outdated constitutional amendment needs to be revised. The particular points of issue are 1: the ease of access to guns, 2: the limited differentiation between the various types of guns, 3: the fundamental flawed logic that bearing a gun is a right and not a privilege.
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  • DuoGodOfDeathDuoGodOfDeath Join Date: 2002-08-01 Member: 1044Posts: 617Members
    edited April 2007
    Hello sirs I wrote the law and don't understand what I banned sad-fix.gif
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  • TheAdjTheAdj He demanded a cool forum title of some type. Join Date: 2004-05-03 Member: 28436Posts: 961Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    edited April 2007
    QUOTE(puzl @ Apr 19 2007, 03:04 PM) »
    Well, do you think someone with a history of mental illness should be able to 'legally' own a gun?


    Federal law prevents the mentally ill from owning firearms.

    QUOTE
    The argument that prohibition does not work is something I agree with, and liberal societies should allow a certain amount of access to guns for its population. In Ireland it is very easy to get and own a gun. You apply for a license, get the application stamped by someone at your local cop station, and then you take it to a gun shop. In the first two steps there are some basic checks performed to prevent people who are not responsible enough to own a weapon from gaining possession of one.


    Something similar occurs in the US, minus going to a police station. Depending on the state, you are subject to a background check and/or a wait while the checks are verified. The FBI maintains a database of people ineligible to own firearms.

    QUOTE
    The problem that I see in the US is that the "right to bear arms" has become cultural dogma and rational debate about limited gun control is smacked down almost immediately at every turn by people who approach the argument almost with religious fervour. The typical quote being "you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold head hands".


    I disagree that rational debate is ignored by people who see it as a right to bear arms. In fact we have an entire organization who does nothing but advocate in court and legislation for those of us who enjoy owning personal firearms (the NRA). What makes people stop discussing it rationally is the raging euros, etc who go on about how Americans are ignorant and shoot each other up, etc. That rarely lends itself to intelligent conversation.

    QUOTE
    I don't know of any country that has a complete ban on civilian gun possession. When people talk about 'gun control' they are rarely talking about a complete ban. I have no doubt that you ( TheAdj ) would be in possession of a gun beside your bed within 3 months of moving to Ireland.


    Probably a week, two at tops, assuming I didn't have the paperwork with me as I got off the plane smile-fix.gif

    QUOTE
    So we are not at antipodal points of view here at all, I just think the very liberal approach to gun control in the US, based on a very outdated constitutional amendment needs to be revised. The particular points of issue are 1: the ease of access to guns, 2: the limited differentiation between the various types of guns, 3: the fundamental flawed logic that bearing a gun is a right and not a privilege.


    That's your opinion, which is not shared by myself. Yes gun access is more liberal here in the U.S. compared to European countries. While it is easy to go purchase a weapon, that does not mean safeguards do not exist to check the FBI database I mentioned above (as well as state agencies) for folks who shouldn't own firearms. To get a CCW permit, you must be fingerprinted and scanned into the state database here in Georgia, as well as have a picture taken, all of which is on file for use. Weapons are differentiated between, there is usually not a check for rifles and shotguns, whereas pistols and revolver buyers are usually scrutinized pretty heavily. It is illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase a pistol, that is a federal law.
    I enjoy living in a state that has some of the most liberal gun laws in the nation. I carry a loaded Beretta 92F in the glovebox of my car everywhere I go, and I conceal+carry whenever I'm not in my hometown or the immediate vicinity. Unless I am conceal+carrying, I do not need a permit. It is a right I enjoy as a U.S. citizen in good standing to use my property as a see fit and defend it, to say it is a privilege implies that it can be taken away on a whim. There are many ways one can lose the right to own firearms, but those are there because such a person is a danger to themselves or society.
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  • CxwfCxwf Join Date: 2003-02-05 Member: 13168Posts: 1,618Members, Constellation
    QUOTE(puzl @ Apr 19 2007, 02:04 PM) »

    So we are not at antipodal points of view here at all, I just think the very liberal approach to gun control in the US, based on a very outdated constitutional amendment needs to be revised. The particular points of issue are 1: the ease of access to guns, 2: the limited differentiation between the various types of guns, 3: the fundamental flawed logic that bearing a gun is a right and not a privilege.


    See, this is why I keep bringing up the procedural aspect of the debate. The 2nd amendment is "outdated" the day you pass a NEW amendment that changes it, and not a moment sooner. And as long as it is in place, bearing a gun IS a right, and not a privilege. Its not an irrevocable right, and it can be restricted in certain circumstances (for example once you are convicted of a felony you lose your right to carry), but "right" is definately the correct term.
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  • lolfighterlolfighter Snark, Dire Join Date: 2003-04-20 Member: 15693Posts: 9,006Members
    I disagree with your definition of 'outdated.' An outdated law is one that does not go with the times. The circumstances under and pertaining to which a law was made can change, and sometimes the law must change along with them, or even be abolished. A law that does not do this when required is outdated. According to this definition, a law can be outdated despite remaining in effect. Whether the 2nd amendment is outdated or not, I don't know. It's true that it remains in effect thus far, though.
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  • puzlpuzl The Old Firm Join Date: 2003-02-26 Member: 14029Posts: 4,109Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation mod
    Well, legislation always lags the Zeitgeist. Laws change when people question the intent of the legislation, not the legislation itself. In this sense a law becomes outdated when public opinion turns against it. We can split hairs on the semantics of the issue. Nobody is saying that you do not currently have the right to carry a gun, but in general, the gun control argument is about a serious revisit of the systems currently in place.

    Adj, your 'right' can be removed on a whim anyway, whether it is a 'right' or a 'privilege'. The interpretation by US courts of the second amendment cleary establishes a right for state government to control access to arms. The second amendment doesn't play as significant part in the actual debate over control as NRA claims it does. The 'right to bear arms' is a sound byte of the gun lobby, and the existence of gun control in all states demonstrates this.

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  • juicejuice Join Date: 2003-01-28 Member: 12886Posts: 1,044Members, Constellation
    i'm pro gun control...

    unfortunately it doesn't exist. only gun control laws exist, which are ineffective. they do not lead to gun control. if you think guns can be controlled you are living in fantasy land. laws dont do a thing, they have to be enforced. and that's the catch in this whole debate. gun control cannot be enforced. maybe far in the future our civilization can lose the weapons, but not yet.

    i would be happy if there were no guns; in fact no weapons at all would be even better. let me just wave my magic wand.... huh? it's not working. i guess i'll keep my gun for now, in the case the other guy has one.
  • wankalotwankalot Join Date: 2005-02-05 Member: 39872Posts: 156Members
    QUOTE
    Federal law prevents the mentally ill from owning firearms.


    Im interested to know how well this works... Can it be compared to say a background check for teachers? I mean a person can look perfectly sane but have serious issues. Im sure the VI shooter looked perfectly fine to the Roanoke gun salesman.

    My question is whether or not mental illness is at t he discression of the person selling the gun, who is probably unqualified to make an assessment and probably wont if it costs a sale, or are all who buy a gun subjected to a background check. Anyway you dont neccessarily need to have a background of mental illness to be mentally ill.

    Im with puzl here, the word "right" is more of legal validation that people are allowed to own a gun if they want to, but the actual possession is a priviledge that should be earned. To present a perhaps crude comparison, someone learning to drive must prove he has the ability to do it responsibly and with sufficient skill before they are allowed to have a full license. Any medical conditions that may impede your skill to drive are investigated, eye-sight being the obvious example.

    No society is gunless... weapons exist, its a reality, but in countries with tighter controls there tends to be less gun related injuries. whether its because its harder to get a gun so people just couldn't be bothered or because people who do have a gun have gone through a process that maximises the chance that they will use it responsibly, i cant say.

    I just think a process that makes guns harder to get would mean that you get less people incapable of using one responsibly, such as the mentally ill or kids who wanna be cool by showing off an uzi to thier friends.
  • Rapier7Rapier7 Join Date: 2004-02-05 Member: 26108Posts: 1,216Members
    But here's the thing: in US gun law, you still can't legally own an Uzi. Uzis are automatic submachine guns. All automatic weapons that have not been registered since the mid 80s are banned from civilian ownership.

    It's obvious that a person doesn't need an AK47 or an M4 for defense, and is more likely to kill greater amounts of students with an assault rifle rather than a pistol, but the fact is that it's still up to the person to go on a shooting rampage in the first place. And it doesn't matter whether the gunman has a pistol or a rifle in front of a scared, unarmed civilian, because that poor ******* is going to get shot and probably die anyways. Gun control laws falling on private citizens only make it harder for law abiding citizens to own guns.

    I'm perfectly serious in saying that if more law abiding citizens carried guns, you'd see less shootings. The vast majority of gun homicides in the US is gang related anyways. Who cares if a few thugs get shot? From a purely statistical viewpoint, being shot should be a lot further from your mind than being clipped by a driver (drunk or not), diabetes, heart disease, cancer, physical accidents. Annually, 900 out of 100,000 Americans die. About 4 of those 900 die from being shot. And statistically, 3 out of those 4 were criminals.

    Looking at homicides, it really isn't the big picture. Crime rates in the USA have gone down for the past 10 years while crime rates in Europe have gone up during that same time. You can say all you like that a place like the UK has a tenth of the gun homicide rates, but overall homicide hovers around 30-40% of the USA rate. The rate of overall crime is just a bit under US levels. So less people are dying, which is a good thing, but crime rates are still at parity.

    But here's the biggest difference between American and Western European mindsets: Europeans look to their government to protect them. Americans look at their government to screw us all equally. If you rely on the government to solve your problems, you've got bigger problems than you thought you had.
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  • the_x5the_x5 the Xzianthian Join Date: 2004-03-02 Member: 27041Posts: 3,175Members, Constellation
    edited April 2007
    QUOTE(TOmekki @ Apr 19 2007, 08:14 AM) »

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_culture

    its a sad state of affairs to see so many americans still hanging on to the "us versus them, lets shoot every last one of those ###### indians" mentality that was responsible for the genocide of the native american population.

    as an european i am sincerely proud that these rejects had the sense to get the ###### out of our continent


    That what I was talking about earlier Puzl... "These rejects", "my continent", stereotyping mentalities which are not the norm... That's not a debate, TOmekki, that's stereotyping Americans. Or at least it's definitively flamebait.
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  • lolfighterlolfighter Snark, Dire Join Date: 2003-04-20 Member: 15693Posts: 9,006Members
    "Our" government? As in the government of the United States of Europe? We still have independent countries over here, the European Union carries less weight in the affairs of its individual members than the U.S. federal government does. So once again I can only speak for Germany, where a lot of dissatisfaction with the previous SPD regime has arisen. For that matter, the current CDU/SPD coalition is even worse in my eyes. It's equal to the U.S. democratic and republican parties banding together to defeat a newcomer, de facto proclaiming that they were always the same party anyway and you never really had a choice to begin with. A CDU/SPD coalition should just not be possible.

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  • TOmekkiTOmekki Join Date: 2003-11-25 Member: 23524Posts: 2,254Members
    puzl hit the nail with this post http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index....t&p=1621983

    this discussion isnt about whether guns should be legal to anyone or not. but what some people (fine, europeans) find distressing and somewhat amusing is how enthusiastic the other side of the argument is about their guns and the right to carry them. if youve ever read history at all as im sure you have, you probably know that this same mentality reigned in europe for god knows how long. as a continent, culture and civilization (if you will), however, we got over it. smile-fix.gif
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  • RobRob Unknown Enemy Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 25Posts: 2,604Members, NS1 Playtester
    QUOTE(TOmekki @ Apr 20 2007, 07:34 AM) »

    puzl hit the nail with this post http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index....t&p=1621983

    this discussion isnt about whether guns should be legal to anyone or not. but what some people (fine, europeans) find distressing and somewhat amusing is how enthusiastic the other side of the argument is about their guns and the right to carry them. if youve ever read history at all as im sure you have, you probably know that this same mentality reigned in europe for god knows how long. as a continent, culture and civilization (if you will), however, we got over it. smile-fix.gif


    This is quite pompous, as were some of your previous posts. Please refrain from such in the future.
    -Rob
  • TheAdjTheAdj He demanded a cool forum title of some type. Join Date: 2004-05-03 Member: 28436Posts: 961Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    QUOTE(puzl @ Apr 19 2007, 06:50 PM) »

    Adj, your 'right' can be removed on a whim anyway, whether it is a 'right' or a 'privilege'. The interpretation by US courts of the second amendment cleary establishes a right for state government to control access to arms. The second amendment doesn't play as significant part in the actual debate over control as NRA claims it does. The 'right to bear arms' is a sound byte of the gun lobby, and the existence of gun control in all states demonstrates this.


    I don't think anyone seriously believes that anyone should be able to possess firearms. There are obviously elements to society which should not have possession of firearms in pretty much any circumstances. An interesting note here is that US law provides for people such as felons to have firearms if they are trying to stop a greater crime. For example if someone is robbing an old lady and a felon guns the robber down, he'd be in the right, even if he shouldn't have a firearm. Just an interesting aside.

    I differentiated heavily between a right and a privilege (above), because there is a major difference. A privilege implies that it isn't innate and can be taken away at any time without reason, which is untrue. It is a right because until you prove otherwise (through action/inaction, or anything else on that list), you can own a weapon once you reach the age of majority required by your state, the obvious exception to what I just said being those born mentally handicapped (who through no fault of their own cannot own firearms). The feds can't just walk up to my front door and confiscate all my firearms, they need a reason to do so. That's why it is a right that cannot be removed on a "whim."
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  • puzlpuzl The Old Firm Join Date: 2003-02-26 Member: 14029Posts: 4,109Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation mod
    edited April 2007
    So, it seems like we are all in agreement then. Government should and can regulate access to guns based both on popular mandate and responsible governance, and all the rhetoric about constitutional rights etc is for the idiots who buy propaganda from organisations like the NRA.

    You can mince it anyway you like, but if a government can take it a way then it doesn't really matter if it is a right or a privilege, does it?
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  • TOmekkiTOmekki Join Date: 2003-11-25 Member: 23524Posts: 2,254Members
    QUOTE(Rob @ Apr 20 2007, 06:58 AM) »

    This is quite pompous, as were some of your previous posts. Please refrain from such in the future.

    pompous? oh forgive me for being misleading. at no point was i trying to sound pompous. it isnt in the nature of us finns to be pompous at all. instead, i was showing a hostile and arrogant attitude towards another culture (your [gun] culture). hope that cleared things up abit
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  • CxwfCxwf Join Date: 2003-02-05 Member: 13168Posts: 1,618Members, Constellation
    edited April 2007
    QUOTE(TOmekki @ Apr 20 2007, 12:19 PM) »

    pompous? oh forgive me for being misleading. at no point was i trying to sound pompous. it isnt in the nature of us finns to be pompous at all. instead, i was showing a hostile and arrogant attitude towards another culture (your [gun] culture). hope that cleared things up abit


    Thanks, yes, that makes it much clearer. biggrin-fix.gif

    Even though I disagree with you, I can't help but enjoy this post.
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  • RobRob Unknown Enemy Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 25Posts: 2,604Members, NS1 Playtester
    edited April 2007
    QUOTE(TOmekki @ Apr 20 2007, 01:19 PM) »

    pompous? oh forgive me for being misleading. at no point was i trying to sound pompous. it isnt in the nature of us finns to be pompous at all. instead, i was showing a hostile and arrogant attitude towards another culture (your [gun] culture). hope that cleared things up abit


    I hope this clears things up: Read the rules, cut the ish, or lose your ability to post in these forums.

    [edit]By "these forums," I mean the discussion forum. :/
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  • the_x5the_x5 the Xzianthian Join Date: 2004-03-02 Member: 27041Posts: 3,175Members, Constellation
    QUOTE(Rob @ Apr 20 2007, 03:09 PM) »

    I hope this clears things up: Read the rules, cut the ish, or lose your ability to post in these forums.


    Finally a moderator stands up against the rampant stereotyping and holier-than-thou attitudes of some of the members on this board.

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  • RobRob Unknown Enemy Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 25Posts: 2,604Members, NS1 Playtester
    Easy, x5. No need be sticking your tongue out, either.

    This has been a pretty hot thread, but I feel like there's still interest and people with valid opinions to be expressed. From here on, get back on topic and play nice.
    -Rob
  • TheAdjTheAdj He demanded a cool forum title of some type. Join Date: 2004-05-03 Member: 28436Posts: 961Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    QUOTE(puzl @ Apr 20 2007, 10:38 AM) »

    So, it seems like we are all in agreement then. Government should and can regulate access to guns based both on popular mandate and responsible governance, and all the rhetoric about constitutional rights etc is for the idiots who buy propaganda from organisations like the NRA.

    You can mince it anyway you like, but if a government can take it a way then it doesn't really matter if it is a right or a privilege, does it?


    Put more words in my mouth, we're hardly in agreement. It is a constitutional right to own weapons, just like it is to vote. People can lose their right to vote as well, but no one would call that a privilege, would they? The government can't remove a person's right to vote just because some bureaucrat feels like that person doesn't deserve that privilege, there's a system to go through that requires certain things to have been done/not done by a person to prevent them from voting, just like there's a system to remove a person's right to own a firearm. It does matter if it's a privilege or a right, there is a major distinction.
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  • BurncycleBurncycle Join Date: 2002-11-24 Member: 9759Posts: 2,290Members, NS1 Playtester
    QUOTE
    The problem that I see in the US is that the "right to bear arms" has become cultural dogma and rational debate about limited gun control is smacked down almost immediately at every turn by people who approach the argument almost with religious fervour.


    If that's how you see it, then it's a flawed view IMO -- the US already has limited gun control. It's by no means a free for all, there are tons of restrictions. The issue at hand is how much gun control is appropriate. For some people, the current level of gun control is too much -- for others, it's not enough.

    What people in general dislike is new restrictions regarding some freedom they currently enjoy. In the case of gun owners, this is especially true if the new laws in question hinders the millions of responsible gun owners more than it does anything to the handful of those commiting crimes with them, as is often the case.
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