Jump to content

Menu

The right to bear arms vs. the desire to bear arms


Recommended Posts

Lots of little things have converged lately making me wonder about Americans and their "desire" to bear arms. NOT the "right" to bear arms which I completely agree with... But the DESIRE to bear arms.

 

My thoughts in no particular order...

 

- I have never owned a gun but my ds was a sharpshooter with BB rifles, won competitions and fully intended to move up to real rifles when he got old enough but then we moved here.

 

- my uncles are all avid hunters

 

- I now live in a country where ALL guns are illegal, even BB guns. Only police and military have them.

 

- Malaysia ranks #20 in the global peace index out of 138 countries. The US is #88.

 

- Malaysia has very little violent crime. Most are property crimes like car theft. Is the lack of availability of guns the reason why there are so few violent crimes? I wonder...

 

- having met lots of people from lots of different countries both on this forum and IRL who come from countries where guns are not as present as they are in the US, they all seem perplexed by America's obsession with firearms.

 

- my son's best friend here is French. In a conversation about stereotypes he said that French people think Americans are all loud, fat, and carry shotguns everywhere they go.

 

- I see people posting things on FB bragging about being gun owners and proud of it and what-not.

 

- our recent trip back to the states brought guns back into the forefront of my mind. There were guns stores and guns for sale all over the place. The news was FULL of stories about people being shot. Then there was Aurora...

 

Etc. etc.

 

At any rate, it got me thinking... Aside from our "right" to bear arms (which I do NOT want to discuss), what is it with America's DESIRE to bear arms? What are we so afraid of that we feel the need to be armed?

 

Believe me, I am not talking about taking the right away. I am just curious. I know people say that if we don't own guns then only the criminals will and we won't be safe. But there are lots of countries where people don't own guns and are still pretty safe from criminals. Mostly because criminals can't get them either. Malaysia is one of them.

 

My mom has a gun in her house. So does my brother. Handguns for safety purposes. No one in my family has been a victim of crime. I don't get it.

 

I know I am rambling but I guess I am just curious about our American mindset when it comes to our NEED to own a gun. Would there ever be a way to become a country that is NOT known by the rest of the world for its guns?

 

 

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 214
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Bunny trail, but I have a real question...do you think that Malaysia has less violent crimes because of the way the government deals with those who commit them and therefore there is possibly FEAR? I don't want to get into a big political discussion either, but is there much to be feared about going to prison in the US, as opposed to other countries? Again, GENUINE thoughtful questions that *I* ponder. NOT trying to bait anyone and really hoping I don't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think another issue is the usage of guns and other violent behavior. People are not just quietly holding their guns in case they need to join a militia. The issue is that so many disputes are "resolved" by violence -- workplace disputes, domestic disputes, traffic disputes, any sort of dispute often ends with one or more parties taking out a gun and killing people. Or otherwise harming people. I mean, I am astonished at how many Americans seem to lose it while toilet training their children and shake or beat or drown them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not really the right person to jump in on this conversation, but I have been thinking along the same lines lately. I think the tool used has less to do with people killing people, than the mentality of the people. I'm not really sure what that means, but my dh and I were discussing gun legislation (our long gun registration was just done away with) and he was talking about guys that he knows of that purposely shot someone with a nail gun. In his mind, if someone is of the mind to kill or harm someone else, than they will do that. Regardless of what weapon they use. I suppose that sense of entitlement that people in North America tend to have might have more to do with the crime rate than the weapons they use do.

 

On a side note, the long gun registration was done away with here because it was doing more harm and hassle than good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bunny trail, but I have a real question...do you think that Malaysia has less violent crimes because of the way the government deals with those who commit them and therefore there is possibly FEAR? I don't want to get into a big political discussion either, but is there much to be feared about going to prison in the US, as opposed to other countries? Again, GENUINE thoughtful questions that *I* ponder. NOT trying to bait anyone and really hoping I don't.

 

I am sure that has something to do with it. The prisons here are ...umm... Not as nice as American prisons and the penalty for drug trafficking is death by hanging.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure that has something to do with it. The prisons here are ...umm... Not as nice as American prisons and the penalty for drug trafficking is death by hanging.

 

I live in America and always wondered about our prisons myself. I also think sadly think that if guns were say outlawed we would always have that crooked cop or politician that would sell to someone or make sure they get them to commit crimes.

 

It seems alot of people have no trouble looking the other way on someone elses pain here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure that has something to do with it. The prisons here are ...umm... Not as nice as American prisons and the penalty for drug trafficking is death by hanging.

 

I was going to ask about the drug use, but I think you just answered my question. I have never seen any stats, but I would bet that a society's drug problem and deaths by shootings are directly related.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- I now live in a country where ALL guns are illegal, even BB guns. Only police and military have them.

 

- Malaysia ranks #20 in the global peace index out of 138 countries. The US is #88.

 

- Malaysia has very little violent crime. Most are property crimes like car theft. Is the lack of availability of guns the reason why there are so few violent crimes? I wonder...

 

- having met lots of people from lots of different countries both on this forum and IRL who come from countries where guns are not as present as they are in the US, they all seem perplexed by America's obsession with firearms.

 

Well...

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1566715.stm

 

Guns are deeply rooted within Swiss culture - but the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept.

 

The country has a population of six million, but there are estimated to be at least two million publicly-owned firearms, including about 600,000 automatic rifles and 500,000 pistols...

 

 

In addition to the government-provided arms, there are few restrictions on buying weapons. Some cantons restrict the carrying of firearms - others do not.

 

 

The government even sells off surplus weaponry to the general public when new equipment is introduced.

 

 

Guns and shooting are popular national pastimes. More than 200,000 Swiss attend national annual marksmanship competitions.

 

 

 

But despite the wide ownership and availability of guns, violent crime is extremely rare. There are only minimal controls at public buildings and politicians rarely have police protection.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like guns because I'd rather not be eaten by a bear. That seems like a bad way to go, Kwim?

 

As a gun owner myself, living in bear and wolf country, do you typically leave the house with a gun in order to keep from being eaten by a bear?

 

I have also lived in mountain lion country, and my brother actually ran the dogs for a mountain lion outfitter. Sometimes we had lions in town (rarely, and only sick ones), but no one seemed to be carrying guns to keep them away (Yet, I'd say 90% of the town owned guns).

 

I don't mean to be confrontational, I'm just very curious! You must be in a very high-bear density area if folks are carrying guns for bear defense. If the guns are kept in the house, they must be very aggressive bears to go after people inside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In his mind, if someone is of the mind to kill or harm someone else, than they will do that. Regardless of what weapon they use. I suppose that sense of entitlement that people in North America tend to have might have more to do with the crime rate than the weapons they use do.

 

:iagree: I have more of a desire to *not* bear arms, but I do it anyway to protect my family. It's a bit of a hassle many times - keeping in practice, keeping up with the laws, being careful about what to wear and where to go, not have a drink if we're out to dinner.... But since I don't stand much chance protecting them by another method, this is what I do. If the criminal culture went away, I'd happily leave my gun at home and only get it out for sport/target shooting, or if we're hiking/camping someplace with a wildlife problem.

 

Do other countries have a more effective police force? The US Supreme Court has said that police do not have a "duty to protect" - they only have to show up afterward and investigate to try to enforce the laws. Also, there are plenty of cases where a 911 caller doesn't see a police officer for a half hour or more. I guess if there was a stronger line of defense fewer citizens would feel the obligation to take that up for themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a gun owner myself, living in bear and wolf country, do you typically leave the house with a gun in order to keep from being eaten by a bear?

 

I have also lived in mountain lion country, and my brother actually ran the dogs for a mountain lion outfitter. Sometimes we had lions in town (rarely, and only sick ones), but no one seemed to be carrying guns to keep them away (Yet, I'd say 90% of the town owned guns).

 

I don't mean to be confrontational, I'm just very curious! You must be in a very high-bear density area if folks are carrying guns for bear defense. If the guns are kept in the house, they must be very aggressive bears to go after people inside.

 

I was mostly being facetious. In town you are unlikely to be eaten. I think Wyoming is pretty well known for bear attacks, though. I will say if you carry a gun to ward off a predator, I believe you should be proficient and well practiced. I don't understand owning guns but not keeping up with practicing with them.

If you are going to live in an area where help may not be anywhere close, I think it's only prudent to be able to keep yourself and your family safe.

Edited by theretohere
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the "DESIRE" comes from people not wanting the government telling them what they can and cannot do, when all they/we are trying to do is live within our "right" given to us by our Constitution. I don't desire the guns because I'm a redneck, gov't hating, violent person. But I also have to wonder why a gov't is so adamant about taking away various freedoms that we have. Taking those rights and guns away will NOT stop man from killing each other, or committing crime.

 

The nature of man is sinful. They WILL continue to commit these crimes. Laws are already in place to not allow criminals or mentally ill folks to have these weapons, but how well are those laws working?? Hardly at all. Rather than making NEW laws to take away the freedoms from everyone else, why not work on fixing and enforcing the laws they already have. And that goes for lots of areas in this country. Our gov't is too quick to make a new "tougher" law or sign a treaty with the UN (crazy) giving away our rights as a sovereign nation to legislate and deal with our own problems.

 

By the way, the comment "how many Americans seem to lose it while toilet training their children and shake or beat or drown them." - WHAT!?!?! Show me that statistic please. That's a general statement based on practically nothing. That's about as accurate as a French student thinking all American are "fat, loud, and carry shot-guns".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the same article:

It has none of the social problems associated with gun crime seen in other industrialised countries like drugs or urban deprivation...

 

From an early age Swiss men and women associate weaponry with being called to defend their country.

 

I think there are probably three types of gun owners in the US: a majority who see guns as defensive tools, a small minority who see them as tools for obtaining ill-gotten gains, and another small minority who are "gun-nuts."

 

Thing is, we really only hear about the criminals and the crazies on the news. You never hear about the millions of normal people who have guns at home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the "DESIRE" comes from people not wanting the government telling them what they can and cannot do, when all they/we are trying to do is live within our "right" given to us by our Constitution. I don't desire the guns because I'm a redneck, gov't hating, violent person. But I also have to wonder why a gov't is so adamant about taking away various freedoms that we have. Taking those rights and guns away will NOT stop man from killing each other, or committing crime.

".

 

I hear what you are saying but... I live in a country where people are not allowed to own guns and the fact is the murder rate is drastically lower than the U.S. so it IS possible to run a country where people don't own guns AND don't kill each other. And according to the PP's article, it is also possible for a country to allow gun ownership AND people still don't kill each other.

 

I guess I am just trying to understand this "you'll have to pry my gun from my cold, dead kung-fu grip" mentality that many Americans have and if there is any way to change the rest of the world's perception of our nation as a bunch of "gun toting" crazies.

 

We might start with not allowing Toby Keith to sing any more songs. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The US Supreme Court has said that police do not have a "duty to protect" - they only have to show up afterward and investigate to try to enforce the laws. Also, there are plenty of cases where a 911 caller doesn't see a police officer for a half hour or more. I guess if there was a stronger line of defense fewer citizens would feel the obligation to take that up for themselves.

 

This is the main reason for our "desire" to bear arms. Just last night we had 8 gunshots in our neighborhood. Several were very near our house. It took the police 30 minutes to respond. Thankfully, we remained safe, but I was glad we had a gun, just in case. I know the resources of the police force are spread thinly, and I do not blame them for not being able to come quickly, but I know I cannot depend on them to protect me or my family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't own guns but my BIL has 20+ gun in the house. For him it is a hobby & pastime. He's an avid hunter and so are his sons. They live in the country and I think gun violence in the country VS inner city/ gang violence are two very different issues that can't be considered together. Putting more restrictions on guns isn't going to do anything about the gangbangers who are obtaining their guns illegally anyway. That being said, I don't necessarily think owning a gun will keep me safe from gang violence. Until recently we lived in the inner city and there were driveby shootings, bystander casualties, more than the occasional manhunt, etc.. Unfortunately the safest thing seemed to be to stay indoors. And for the kids who are at risk-- choosing not to get involved with gangs in the first place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look at stories like this one:

 

http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2012-08-01/story/jacksonville-neighbors-including-68-year-old-couple-get-jump-intruder

 

It started about 4:30 a.m. with a man using a knife to pry open a sun-room door of another home down the street in the 500 block of Arlington Road in Jacksonville. Homeowner Maya Trout, 33, fired birdshot at him after discovering the intruder when his dog started barking, police said.

 

The wounded man ran down the hill and into the Farley home, toppling through their granddaughter’s pool floats, tossing his knife on the kitchen counter and stumbling into their bedroom. He yelled, “They’re after me,†and handed Farley her phone begging her to call the police, she said Wednesday.

 

After losing sight of him, Farley realized her bathroom door, which is always open, was shut. She pushed it open, and the man pushed back. He grabbed her, and she grabbed his T-shirt right back. She told the 6-foot-2 man he was hurting her.

 

“I wouldn’t hurt you for anything in the world,†the bloodied man said.

They continued to tussle until her 68-year-old husband, Joseph Farley, who had triple bypass surgery last year, entered the bathroom and tried to grab the intruder. But the man grabbed Farley’s arm and pushed him out of the way.

 

He continued to run wildly through the house, Joanne Farley said.

 

“He was whacked on drugs, and he was very, very high,†she said.

 

She was able to corner him in the laundry room and called 911. Meanwhile, her husband grabbed his gun from the bedroom and held the man at gunpoint until police arrived.

 

The criminal didn't have a gun. He had a knife. Fortunately, the owners of the two homes he broke into did have guns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not politically correct to say, but I think the reason the U.S. has such a high crime rate while Asian and European countries have relatively little is pure demographics.

 

If you look at the crime rates by racial/ethnic group, you'd see that African-Americans commit violent crimes at four to eight times the white rate, Latinos commit violent crimes at approximately three times the white rate, and Asians at one half to three quarters the white rate.

 

When I look at the local paper online, those wanted for or arrested in connection with crimes are almost always African-American or Latino with the notable exception of domestic abuse and "white collar" crimes.

 

The "bad apples" are certainly a minority of individuals in those communities and I don't mean to suggest otherwise. But if we're going to compare crime rates here in the U.S. with other countries, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room.

 

If you factor our gang violence what are the statistics on gun violence in the US? My bet is it would be quite low. I think I read once that half of all homicides in LA are gang related.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dh carries concealed because we frequent a high crime city on a near daily basis. He also grew up in the country, is a hunter and I am perfectly comfortable with him carrying when go out, even as a family.

 

There are multiple shootings in said city, on a daily basis. Most are confined to being gang related, but on occasion there are car jackings and armed robberies in the "good" areas of town. It would be rare for us to encounter such crime, but it does happen. My sister and her family were at a store once that was held up at gunpoint. It happens. I can also almost guarantee that the shootings and murders that do occur are 100% commited by those who are not licensed to own a gun. Therefore, I have zero problem with concealed permits. Our church even has armed security present on Sundays (off duty police). I really like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hear what you are saying but... I live in a country where people are not allowed to own guns and the fact is the murder rate is drastically lower than the U.S. so it IS possible to run a country where people don't own guns AND don't kill each other. And according to the PP's article, it is also possible for a country to allow gun ownership AND people still don't kill each other.

 

I guess I am just trying to understand this "you'll have to pry my gun from my cold, dead kung-fu grip" mentality that many Americans have and if there is any way to change the rest of the world's perception of our nation as a bunch of "gun toting" crazies.

 

We might start with not allowing Toby Keith to sing any more songs. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

.

 

But, I think we already established what sort of government, what sort of prisons, and what sort of sentences we would have to make that possible. That is not a government I want to live under.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At any rate, it got me thinking... Aside from our "right" to bear arms (which I do NOT want to discuss), what is it with America's DESIRE to bear arms? What are we so afraid of that we feel the need to be armed?

 

Believe me, I am not talking about taking the right away. I am just curious. I know people say that if we don't own guns then only the criminals will and we won't be safe. But there are lots of countries where people don't own guns and are still pretty safe from criminals. Mostly because criminals can't get them either. Malaysia is one of them.

 

My mom has a gun in her house. So does my brother. Handguns for safety purposes. No one in my family has been a victim of crime. I don't get it.

 

I know I am rambling but I guess I am just curious about our American mindset when it comes to our NEED to own a gun. Would there ever be a way to become a country that is NOT known by the rest of the world for its guns?

 

I have not yet read any replies because I want to give my untainted thoughts first.

 

We own rifles (for hunting) and a pistol for protection. I am in the process of becoming more savvy with the pistol and want to have a concealed carry permit. Why do I want this? Here are the reasons in no particular order:

 

1. We live in a fairly rural, secluded lot in the woods. IF someone who doesn't belong here were to target our house (and if they can get around the German Shepherd that is also meant as a deterrent), WE will have to defend our family and property. If there were intention to bring us harm, it would be long over by the time law enforcement would arrive, if we can even manage to call. Owning and legally using a gun is no guarantee that we can fight back, (as would happen if someone barged in while I'm cooking dinner), but it is more certain than owning NO gun.

 

2. Though we have the constitutional right to own a gun, part of the desire to exercise that right is to fight the potential of that right to be restricted to the point of being moot. We have the right to vote, for example, but if we behave carelessly and most people just didn't bother to go vote, then the right is moot. By demonstrating a desire to exercise the right to own a gun, (and practice shooting, etc), we ensure the right continues to be protected.

 

3. I do believe making guns illegal does nothing but ensure that only criminals can get them (in America). I cannot say why some countries where guns are illegal do not have this problem; it may be because they don't have a gun-using culture in the first place. America does have a gun-using culture. This country is a separate country from England in part because the countryfolk were armed. Our history was created with firearms.

 

4. If it is possible that my family is armed, it is a deterrent to our victimization. If it is a near-certainty that we are unarmed (if guns were illegal, for instance), then we are sitting ducks IF someone targeted our home. It's the same theory as our intimidating dog. The presence of an intimidating dog on our property makes us a less-likely target, because we are not as easy to victimize. It's not that owning the dog makes use 100% safe from a criminal home attack, but it is one more obstacle that would tend to make someone look for an easier victim. (Not that I desire for anyone to be a victim, but I'd rather a criminal move along because our particular fortress is apparently harder to penetrate).

 

I say all this though I don't consider it likely or probable that one of us will ever have to wield the pistol to avert a criminal act; I am optimistic and I think the likelihood is very small. But I like knowing that we could protect ourselves with deadly force if it came to that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't get it, either. I'm fine with law-abiding people owning guns. My brother (a Marine) has a whole arsenal. But I choose to live in a safe area, and in the suburbs, and neither dh nor I are big on game meat. Given the liability of having guns and extremely smart, curious children in the same house, we haven't wanted to take on the risk (said children do learn about gun safety, including how to handle guns ... my 11 year old is an excellent shot with a rifle). Yet people have accosted us for being anti-American, because we, personally, choose not to own firearms. We're not making a judgement on them or their gun ownership or their lifestyle (because we truly don't care), yet on two separate occasions, we've been basically vilified for our choice to not assert our second amendment rights. :confused:

Edited by higginszoo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a gun owner myself, living in bear and wolf country, do you typically leave the house with a gun in order to keep from being eaten by a bear?

 

I have also lived in mountain lion country, and my brother actually ran the dogs for a mountain lion outfitter. Sometimes we had lions in town (rarely, and only sick ones), but no one seemed to be carrying guns to keep them away (Yet, I'd say 90% of the town owned guns).

 

I don't mean to be confrontational, I'm just very curious! You must be in a very high-bear density area if folks are carrying guns for bear defense. If the guns are kept in the house, they must be very aggressive bears to go after people inside.

 

 

I lived up against crown land growing up and if it were not for guns around our place, we would have lost lots of cows, lots more dogs and a couple kids. My brothers missed the bus twice because of timber wolves in the driveway. I was not allowed to go for a walk alone without taking the rifle. All of the kids in our household were expected to know how to properly handle a gun. It was NEVER a toy, it was a tool.

 

Bears and cougars on the doorstep is not unheard of around here. I don't think it's because they are very aggressive, but because of where we live.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hear what you are saying but... I live in a country where people are not allowed to own guns and the fact is the murder rate is drastically lower than the U.S. so it IS possible to run a country where people don't own guns AND don't kill each other. And according to the PP's article, it is also possible for a country to allow gun ownership AND people still don't kill each other.

 

I guess I am just trying to understand this "you'll have to pry my gun from my cold, dead kung-fu grip" mentality that many Americans have and if there is any way to change the rest of the world's perception of our nation as a bunch of "gun toting" crazies.

 

We might start with not allowing Toby Keith to sing any more songs. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

.

 

I think with these folks the gun is a symbol of freedom. Although in reality in this day and age guns will not protect the people from a government that decides to be oppressive when the government has things like nuclear weapons, tanks, drones, and artillery. The only thing that a majority of citizens owning guns does now is to let the government know that they will have a fight on their hands if/or when they try to oppress their people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure that has something to do with it. The prisons here are ...umm... Not as nice as American prisons and the penalty for drug trafficking is death by hanging.

 

Our crime rate would lower drastically if we were willing to put up with prisons of this nature. As a nation, I'm not certain it's a bad thing to not want to go there.

 

Not politically correct to say, but I think the reason the U.S. has such a high crime rate while Asian and European countries have relatively little is pure demographics.

 

If you look at the crime rates by racial/ethnic group, you'd see that African-Americans commit violent crimes at four to eight times the white rate, Latinos commit violent crimes at approximately three times the white rate, and Asians at one half to three quarters the white rate.

 

When I look at the local paper online, those wanted for or arrested in connection with crimes are almost always African-American or Latino with the notable exception of domestic abuse and "white collar" crimes.

 

The "bad apples" are certainly a minority of individuals in those communities and I don't mean to suggest otherwise. But if we're going to compare crime rates here in the U.S. with other countries, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room.

 

Demographics matter and you can't just look at race. I'm sure socio-economic factors are more important than race when you draw these lines. In a nice neighborhood, your 'ethnic' neighbors are NOT more criminally inclined than anyone else on the block.

 

Also, I'd imagine that controlling a smaller, more homogeneous population is always going to be simpler than managing a very large and very diverse one.

 

 

That is fascinating! I never knew that. Man, now my brain is really spinning. If they own more guns than Americans, why are Americans the ones with the reputation?

 

 

.

 

Partially because we're an easy target. It's very popular, even among Americans, to complain about how awful we are. It's a simple conversation to have and people LOVE it when they can make fun of someone and everyone agrees with them.

 

I don't know much about Malaysia, or if they have a hunting culture at all. In the US, there are still places where a rifle can provide a lot of your family's meat. I can't imagine anyone could view an ability to live off the land as a character flaw!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stand by the saying that it is not the gun but the person who holds it. Which brings us to the next point: Are people nowadays less in control of themselves and should not have guns? While guns were misused since their invention, were less people prone to do so because there was a moral code for the majority of gun owners? People are angrier now, everyone has "issues", etc. Could this be part of the problem?

 

And here is the crux of the question: Is the fact that we are allowed to have guns making us think it must be good to have one on hand? It could be that some of this mentality has taken root. People get very discouraged with the way the government is heading down a path of more restrictions - not just guns but general restrictions of freedoms long taken for granted. There may be pride involved in knowing how to handle a gun, the expertise acquired like being a first rate kayaker, etc. There are still people who hunt for food, perhaps not out of necessity but because they like their meat "fresh". :001_smile:

 

I also think that if guns were not permitted, the US would maybe temporarily see a drop in violent crime until a flourishing black market for guns (and now we are talking any kind of gun, formerly legal or illegal) will be available for a price. Then we'd likely be back to higher violent crime numbers because in the end it comes down to individual self control and having a strong sense of right and wrong.

 

However, most gun owners I know (ourselves included) own a gun to chase predators off our livestock (don't have that situation anymore but it was the reason to get a gun) and protect people in an area with mountain lions and bears.

We now live in a more urban area, still country, but not so much in danger of bears. We still have the gun. We are not bragging about it. What would be the point? We just have it should we need it. If someone staggered through the door and is obviously intending to harm us, I have no doubt that dh would use the gun. If a mountain lion was to attack us or our dog, dh may use the gun for the noise effect to scare the animal off. These are the only reasons why we owned a gun and still own one.

Edited by Liz CA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What are we so afraid of that we feel the need to be armed?

 

. . .

 

But there are lots of countries where people don't own guns and are still pretty safe from criminals.

 

. . .

 

Would there ever be a way to become a country that is NOT known by the rest of the world for its guns?

 

It's not a matter of being afraid, and we've never been a victim of crime. It's knowing that, if it comes down to it, the police are unable to protect you. While part of their goal is to protect, that can only happen through deterring. Let's face it, much of their work happens after a crime has been committed.

 

We lived in Littleton at the time of Columbine. It was a dawning realization then that that sort of violence could happen anywhere, at any time--while grocery shopping, at the mall, at work . . . at a movie theater. For a while, whenever I would go out in public, I would try to plan out an escape route if the worst happened.

 

Columbine also cemented my belief that you cannot count on police protection. While this is a personal rant and doesn't really belong in this post, Jefferson County Sheriff's Dept. had a terrible record, and Columbine was not the first time innocent people died as a direct and immediate result of their inaction. (Oh, could I rant.)

 

Much of it is cultural, a sad reflection on our society. I think that's why you see mass shootings here more so than other countries, just as you might see other types of violence in other cultures. Malaysia (for example) has not had to deal with much gun crime. If guns were suddenly illegal here, yes, criminals would still have the guns. You could take away the weapons, but it would be much more difficult to alter a society.

 

Would there ever be a way to not be a country known for guns? Unlikely. Gun laws will not change drastically enough to affect that, and the media will continue to spin it in other countries, in the same way we (Americans) hold false and caricatured impressions of other nations/cultures.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People who shot people break the law. What makes anyone think that they would abide by the law and not obtain a weapon if guns were illegal?

 

That makes absolutely no sense. It's not the laws, it's the people. It's the lack of virtue in society. It's the lack of respect for life, and the sheer hopelessness that some of these people find themselves in, which gives room for hatred and greed and power to grow.

Edited by justamouse
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Would there ever be a way to not be a country known for guns? Unlikely. Gun laws will not change drastically enough to affect that, and the media will continue to spin it in other countries, in the same way we (Americans) hold false and caricatured impressions of other nations/cultures.

 

Honestly, I think deep down this is my biggest issue. I HATE that Americans are thought of as violent, gun-obsessed crazies by the rest of the world because I know we aren't.

 

And yet, when I go back to the states and there are gun sellers on every corner, the news is full of shootings, and people on FB post things that say "Yeah, I love guns and you can kiss my a$$" ... It just makes me cringe.

 

It's like I wish we would could all be a little more, ummm, reserved, I guess, about our gun ownership rather than being so in-your-face about it.

 

And when I defend Americans and their guns and I say things like a PP about our government not oppressing us without a fight, I am met with perplexed faces and comments like "when has your government ever truly oppressed you that you would be so fearful of it happening?" Compared to a lot of countries, the answer is never.

 

You are all probably right, though. Guns are so much of who we are, I don't know how we would turn that reputation around.

 

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read the replies (and I'm not sure I will lol) but I know that for me, and I'm assuming some others as well, a gun in the house for defense/protection purposes is because most likely someone breaking in would have one. I know that seems backwards, but it was a HUGE relief to have one when DH was away on a missions trip, because should something happen I would at least have some way of defending us. Lord knows I wouldn't be worth much without a firearm in my hand. :tongue_smilie:

My family doesn't really do guns much, and DH's family does a little (similar to us, with the exception of one brother who loves to hunt and stuff). All the kids learn how to shoot a gun and learn about them a little over the course of childhood. I think that in today's society it's much better for them to have the knowledge of what it is and how to use it, because ignorance (IMO) could lead to accidents if they come across guns elsewhere. That said, I also don't give the kids free access to our gun - they don't know where it is kept, and if they want to see it or shoot it they have to come and ask us and we'll take them to do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, you certainly won't see guns for sale everywhere here in NJ. We have pretty strict gun laws and I know very few people outside of law enforcement that have guns, other than hunting rifles. Concealed carry permits are very hard to get.

 

We don't have any guns and don't really have any interest in getting one. The violent crime rate in our area is less than 1 per year and it's almost always domestic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. Guns serve no other purpose than to kill. I can't cut up my steak with a gun. Yes, there is hobby shooting and sport shooting. That I'm basically ok with, but those things don't interest me.

 

But if someone comes to your property with a gun pointed at you, it won't matter that guns make you sick. :tongue_smilie: Guns serve a purpose of defense, which is not necessarily killing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

1. We live in a fairly rural, secluded lot in the woods. IF someone who doesn't belong here were to target our house (and if they can get around the German Shepherd that is also meant as a deterrent), WE will have to defend our family and property. If there were intention to bring us harm, it would be long over by the time law enforcement would arrive, if we can even manage to call. Owning and legally using a gun is no guarantee that we can fight back, (as would happen if someone barged in while I'm cooking dinner), but it is more certain than owning NO gun.

 

2. Though we have the constitutional right to own a gun, part of the desire to exercise that right is to fight the potential of that right to be restricted to the point of being moot. We have the right to vote, for example, but if we behave carelessly and most people just didn't bother to go vote, then the right is moot. By demonstrating a desire to exercise the right to own a gun, (and practice shooting, etc), we ensure the right continues to be protected.

 

3. I do believe making guns illegal does nothing but ensure that only criminals can get them (in America). I cannot say why some countries where guns are illegal do not have this problem; it may be because they don't have a gun-using culture in the first place. America does have a gun-using culture. This country is a separate country from England in part because the countryfolk were armed. Our history was created with firearms.

 

4. If it is possible that my family is armed, it is a deterrent to our victimization. If it is a near-certainty that we are unarmed (if guns were illegal, for instance), then we are sitting ducks IF someone targeted our home. It's the same theory as our intimidating dog. The presence of an intimidating dog on our property makes us a less-likely target, because we are not as easy to victimize. It's not that owning the dog makes use 100% safe from a criminal home attack, but it is one more obstacle that would tend to make someone look for an easier victim. (Not that I desire for anyone to be a victim, but I'd rather a criminal move along because our particular fortress is apparently harder to penetrate).

 

I say all this though I don't consider it likely or probable that one of us will ever have to wield the pistol to avert a criminal act; I am optimistic and I think the likelihood is very small. But I like knowing that we could protect ourselves with deadly force if it came to that.

 

:iagree: completely with this post.

We also live in a rural area. People don't brag here about whether or not they have guns, etc. I also agree with the posts about inner city gang violence vs. homeowners having a gun elsewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the chances I'm going to be a quicker shot? I don't want to shoot anyone.

 

Oddly I get the impression that people think I'm supposed to want a gun and if I don't something isn't quite right with my thinking. I'm pretty sure I'm free to be disgusted by guns and not want one.

 

That's what practice is for! ;)

 

You are certainly free to be disgusted by guns and not want one. It makes me curious why that reaction happens, which is why I asked.

 

When I hear someone say they hate guns and would never own one, part of my mind goes to being an American citizen, which would not have happened if there were not armed people in this country ready to fight those who would have made us colonies of another country. Do I enjoy war? No. I wish there was no such thing. But there will always be countries beating up on countries less able to defend themselves and personally, I'm proud that my ancestors decided not to be one of the weak.

 

Part of it for me is just that owning a gun seems more proactive than avoiding guns and hoping you never wish you'd thought differently.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know many people who own guns for reasons other than having the opportunity to do violence to another person (even in self-defense). Many in my family collect, target shoot, hunt, etc. They are very peaceful people and have zero record of hurting anyone in any way.

 

Knitting needles can be used as weapons too, but that doesn't mean all the knitters out there have a freaky anti-social obsession. Maybe they just like knitting.

 

I don't own a gun; I have no desire. But if I lived in an area where there is a lot of violent crime, and I decided to carry a gun for self-protection, I don't think you could call that an obsession on my part.

 

And no, it's not as if every American has a gun or wants one. I really don't care of people in other countries think that. They also think that there are no American virgins over the age of 13. And that nobody in the US is capable of doing 8th grade math. (I've had both of these told to my face by foreigners.) None of these makes me feel a need to change my behavior or examine my principles.

 

Does anyone know the statistics on US gun ownership, i.e., what percentage of Americans own functional firearms or have a gun license?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, but what boggles my mind is that there are plenty of Americans who think I should want a gun and wonder why I don't.

 

And there are plenty of Americans who don't.

 

If the concern is international image, the fix for that is to correct the international misconception, not apologize for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, but what boggles my mind is that there are plenty of Americans who think I should want a gun and wonder why I don't.

 

DH and I disagree on this matter. I don't even know how to talk about it. Considering he grew up in a place that was basically wiped out by guns, it surprises me. We do not even discuss it. Ever.

 

At one point I was interested in hunting. I don't know if I could actually shoot anything though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People who shot people break the law. What makes anyone think that they would abide by the law and not obtain a weapon if guns were illegal?

 

.

 

I agree with that. Criminals are not standing in lines for permits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not politically correct to say, but I think the reason the U.S. has such a high crime rate while Asian and European countries have relatively little is pure demographics.

 

If you look at the crime rates by racial/ethnic group, you'd see that African-Americans commit violent crimes at four to eight times the white rate, Latinos commit violent crimes at approximately three times the white rate, and Asians at one half to three quarters the white rate.

 

When I look at the local paper online, those wanted for or arrested in connection with crimes are almost always African-American or Latino with the notable exception of domestic abuse and "white collar" crimes.

 

The "bad apples" are certainly a minority of individuals in those communities and I don't mean to suggest otherwise. But if we're going to compare crime rates here in the U.S. with other countries, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room.

 

I think you can't compare crime rates in Malaysia to crime rates in the U.S. and then conclude that it's all about gun ownership. The U.S. is a melting pot, and has a wider range of cultures, religions, political views, etc. than maybe any other country. I think that has more to do with crime here than anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see it as a duty to own a gun. I wish there were no guns.

 

If you don't like guns than don't own one and/or live an area where they aren't really a necessity. To say you wish there were no guns isn't fair for those people (like myself) who live in an area where they are needed because of the wildlife.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd also say that I don't know where you're visiting that has gun sales on every corner. I'm sure there are pockets of that in the USA, but it certainly isn't all over.

 

In my state guns are legal (with a permit if it's a handgun) and I don't see gun stores around. The places you'll see those are around "outdoorsy" resort areas (where sport hunters would want to pick up some ammo or something). I'd have to do an internet search to find a gun shop. They do sell gun stuff at sporting stores, but that doesn't mean every American is just dying to buy and shoot a gun. There is no "I love my guns so f-u" in your face nonsense here, either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a lot of the desire comes from the fact that there are certain people/segments of the population which want to get rid of the right to bear arms. Either by outlawing guns outright or by placing tons of restrictions on the ownership of guns. That can change people from being a person who likes guns because they like to hunt or target shot for sport into someone who advocates for looser gun laws.

 

I also think it is because our country is young (as far as countries go) and it wasn't that long ago that we did have to fight to become free from England. And the Civil War was even more recent. People lost their homes and land during the Civil War and that tends to be talked about/get passed down through family histories. Of course, war has changed and I really don't think just guns would be enough to stop the government from turning against its people. Not that I am concerned about that happening anyway.

 

And, also, there are still a lot of people who do use guns to provide the majority of meat for their family. I know lots of them. What they kill is what they eat (as far as meat goes). And, there are still tons of rural areas, where guns are used as protection against wildlife for people and livestock.

 

I don't consider our society gun obsessed. I live in South Louisiana and people love guns here. But, you still have to go looking to buy one. You don't see gun stores on every corner. Crime in our area has gone up since Hurricane Katrina. Drastically. It is crazy. People are shot all the time in Baton Rouge. But, I would say about 99% of the shootings happen among and between the criminal element. (Based on reading the paper or watching the news, not any studies.) You rarely hear of an innocent bystander being shot. The majority is gang related and/or drug related. Or domestic, which is usually drug/alcohol related. These people are breaking the law anyway and almost always have unregistered guns, so I don't see how making laws tougher would make it more likely they follow the law.

 

I don't particularly like guns - I am not against them in any way, I just don't find them fun (for target shooting) or necessary for my life. My DH has a few guns, most that have been passed down through his family. We keep them locked up and ammo is separate from them. We will teach our boys gun safety because I want them to be more comfortable around guns than I am and because they are interested in learning to shoot.

 

ETA: There is not much gun ownership "in your face" talk around here. Most people have guns. Some don't. It doesn't really matter and the only time the issue comes up is if you get a new gun - that has something special about it (like family history) or you are going hunting. Gun ownership is just a fact of life around here and is basically a non-issue.

Edited by mom23boys
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...