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Old 01-03-2005, 08:56 AM   #126
SeiserL
 
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Re: Gun Control

We have occassionally practiced gun take aways in Tenshinkai Aikido.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-03-2005, 09:22 AM   #127
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Gun Control

I think I'll ask about it at practice tomorrow. It's one of those issues where if you teach it and someone gets themself killed you'd have a lot of guilt. But OTOH, it could just as easily save your life.

However you feel about the guns themselves, it seems prudent to have as many options as possible if the situation presents itself.
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:08 PM   #128
SeiserL
 
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Re: Gun Control

IMHO, remember the 3 Cs of weapons defense; clear, control, and counter. Clear the line of attack, try to deflect and redirect upwards so they don't shoot the person beside or behind you. Control the weapon, not just the hand or arm. Counter it and take it away. Using it on them is optional.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:29 AM   #129
Taliesin
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Re: Gun Control

Late update on the Schizophrenic angle. One such individual went amok in London with a knife and killed, wait for it one person. I'd dread to think how many it would have been if he had a hand gun. Yes anything can be used as a weapon, but i don't think the casualty rate would have been nearly so low if he had a firearm

Lynn, since this is your area (or at least a lot closer to your area than mine) what is your view on this particular point.

I'm not overly impressed with the 'fear-based' angle. The entire point is to establish a safer society and the balance between restriction and freedom (as with all laws). Arguing between philosophies as to how to reduce unnecessary harm cannot necessarily be regarded as fear based.

For myself you points about response to weapons which at my dojo we do occasionally use. It doesn't help if the gun is fired at you first which brings me back to my favorite point about guns not stopping bullets. And that fact that guns can be taken off you by people who know what they are doing makes them even less reassuring as a tool for self defense.

With criminals there is still the escalation issue (ie if you are likely to have a gun, I'll bring a machine gun etc). This is far more complicated as you are entitled to a reasonable defense. And the guns in the home issue. Although, for myself I much rather use a teargas grenade that a gun in the home. I very much doubt anyone would be thinking about shooting if they can't breathe.

As far as 'gun control' means hitting what you aim at - that is not a reassuring philosophy if what is being aimed at is you.

So I'm still not convinced on the self-defense argument against 'gun control'

However I am interested in your views on the proportionality and Constitutional arguments against gun control. (I'm not American by the way - just interested in how great a role it plays in such debates).
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:56 AM   #130
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Re: Gun Control

Believe me, I am very law and order. Getting guns out of the hands of the criminal and insane population is very important. Legislating gun control can be a part of that. The problem I see is that there are already a lot of gun control laws, some enforced and some not, which IMHO have not greatly impacted the problem. While governemnt has its place, I don't believe you can regulate or legislate a change of heart and mind. Legislation usually only works for those willing to abide by it.

We all have our opinions about this stuff, and most of those opinions are valid based our our own personal experiences and perspectives. We each have a right to see it differently. That's why I usually don't enter into these debates.

IMHO, the best self-defense always starts with awareness, humility, a sense of humor, and good manners.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:08 AM   #131
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Re: Gun Control

Lynn

Good points, but your last sentence reminds me of the Monty Python "Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition" sketch.

The best self-defense starts with awareness, awareness and humility etc.

It's a lot better than my approach. The rules of self defense.

1. Don't go to place where people want to hurt you (apart from the dojo)
if you cant do that
2. Get as far away from places and people who want to hurt you as quickly as possible (apart from the dojo and your sensei)
if you can't do that
3. Stop them wanting to hurt you (doesn't work for Senseis
if you can't do that
4. Stop them getting close enough to hurt you (doesn't work for Sensei's)

If that doesn't work your self defense skill have failed. Now you are going to have to deal with things physically.
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:15 PM   #132
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Gun Control

I think there are social differences that make this an apple/orange comparison.

Ralph Waldo Emmerson, America's teacher, felt that the American psyche demands self reliance. If you accept that with the number of illegal guns already in circulation, a threat exists which is probably impossible to completely eliminate, then you must allow for a reasonable self defense.

Part of the problem is practical, part of it is honestly an identity issue. Until you can absolutely and permanently end the threat, you'll never get people to give up their defense, perceived or real.

Even then, I think it would be like asking the Japanese to give up katanas. It's a symbol of their heritage and character and even though it has no practical purpose, it still has a revered place in their society. They've been prohibited there twice and yet they still have them today.

They say the British and Americans are two peoples, divided by a common language. Obviously, that is not the only difference so I guess I just have to say, "It's a Yankee thing- you wouldn't understand."

BTW: I don't think you want to pop any tear gas grenades inside your house unless you have a.) a gas mask and e-suit and b.) the desire to wear them for 6 months until you get all the particles and/or residue cleaned out of your carpet, walls and furniture.

Last edited by Bill Danosky : 01-04-2005 at 12:26 PM. Reason: composition error
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:40 AM   #133
Justin Gaar
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Ki Symbol Re: Gun Control

Thing is in the US (Source: Columbine Documentary) The US has over 10,000 gun murders a year. While Canada has 61 a year. On the columbine documentary the guy spoke with a canadian cop that stated that they hadn't had a murder in months until some nutcase from michigan came over with a gun and killed a cop. Ironic isn't it. The US are the only ones that can't control themselves. You can blame it on the media, video games, Rap, Rock, Britney Spears ( ) It doesn't matter. We are the ones in the end that can control ourselves.
Sayonara,
Justin Gaar

If you arrest a mime, do you have tell him he has the right to remain silent?
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Old 03-25-2005, 01:43 AM   #134
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Gun Control

"Guns don't kill people - people kill people."

"Guns don't kill people - they just make it really, really easy."

Although I also don't trust my government, I seriously doubt hunting rifles will make much of a difference even if everyone owned them. The government has an army armed with automatic rifles, daisy cutters, tanks, jets, 'smart' missiles, etc. And as for whether the army will turn against the citizens, look at the tapes police/national guard turning water cannons on protesters, or batons on protesters, or guns on protesters, or tear gas on protesters, or dogs on protesters, as recently as the WTO meeting in Florida.

a thought on airport checks:
nearly everyone where I work (a hospital) knows enough anatomy to kill someone with a sharpened pencil. Why do they take away fingernail clippers and not pencils?

I don't mean to present a dogmatic view one way or the other on this issue (guns, not pencils) - I'm honestly torn.

-LK
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:49 AM   #135
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Re: Gun Control

I am a Danish citizen, living in California. Denmark has lots of alcohol-related violence, gang violence, spouses killing spouses, rapes etc., but not a lot of gun violence. Guns just aren't that available. I haven't done the research and wouldn't be able to give you statistics.
The Danes vote in every election, we have around 80% participating. You are not required by law to vote, but people take their right and duty to participate very serious. I don't know who was the last president of the United States to claim election by a majority of the citizens (and not just the people who could actually be bothered to vote).
So I just don't get the fear of government and the need to arm yourself against the threat from "the Man" - why don't you assert your right and go VOTE??? Participate, for crying out loud. Teach your children that it's their country and their responsibility, instead of making them bloody victims of a predatory state.
I think that's a big difference between some European countries and the US - generally, we like to talk about stuff and we admit our own responsibilities. We don't necessarily agree with our governments, but we know that our votes do count, and we MAKE them count. In Denmark specifically, any party with app. 2-3% of the vote is represented in parliament. This forces consensus - government is usually made up of 2-4 parties. Some of them are of course idiots and blustering politicians (a local comedian was elected from my town - he promised more wind in the back for bicyclists, more rococo-furniture in Ikea etc), but with a high voter turnout you have to accept that we as a people elected the parliament and government that we have, and as such we agree that it is legitimate. A lot of Americans seem to have a problem with that - but on the other hand, they can't be bothered to get off their bums and go vote. They prefer to think that all government is predatory and that they have to defend themselves. This leads to those incredibly funny signs on the highways: "Your tax dollars at work" - amazing that you have to be reminded that you pay tax for a reason - common good!
Why do a lot of Americans not vote?
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:52 AM   #136
Jim ashby
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Re: Gun Control

Another thought on airport checks, would you rather face me if I was armed with a (VERY) small nailfile or face me if I was armed with the jagged broken whisky bottles that I bought in duty-free?

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 03-26-2005, 05:54 PM   #137
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Gun Control

Quote:
Camilla Kieliger wrote:
Why do a lot of Americans not vote?
I suspect that the people who complain about the government the loudest are not the ones who do not vote.

One of my co-workers said that she dosen't vote because she 'dosen't see how it has anything to do' with how she conducts her daily life.
Until things get really, really bad, a lot of people will just take the government for granted.

-LK
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:44 AM   #138
Shane Mokry
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Re: Gun Control

It's funny you should mention pencils on a plane Lorien. As a matter of fact, I usually don't carry a pen unless I'm getting on a plane. Go figure.

As far as citizens' deer rifles not being significant...there are 80 million gun owners in the US. Look at the trouble the US military is having in Iraq with just a couple thousand insurgents (maybe less). Think again. The real reason it wouldn't (not couldn't) happen is unity and organization. Americans are lazy and comfortable and have forgotten the sacrifices given for our freedoms.

Shane
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:46 AM   #139
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Re: Gun Control

Camilla,

I do vote.

Shane
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:50 AM   #140
Shane Mokry
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Re: Gun Control

BTW Lorien,

The gov. can't use those big destructive weapons on it's citizens... If they kill us all...who's going to pay the taxes? Why do you think they are so "concerned" about our health?

Shane
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Old 03-29-2005, 03:45 AM   #141
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Re: Gun Control

Interesting points - but there seem to be two different threads. Firstly violence and ability to kill - here my belief is that any society that reveres use of force and lack of self disciple will inevitably be a violent society (as i understand it the four elements of violence are: - arousal, weapon, target, trigger) and the more acceptable lashing out is in that society or culture, the lower the trigger level (something that makes the attacker believe their attack is 'justified'), the more violence there is.

Then you have firearms. Weapons made for the sole purpose of firing bullets. Over the last few weeks there has been a spate of shooting sprees in the United States. This is where limitation of ownership of firearms comes in. America appears to promote both this reverence for the use of force and lack of self disciple (or restraint) and easy access to firearms making these horrific events occur with terrible frequency.

Given that this philosophy seems to be spreading and violence spreads with it - my philosophy is to limit as far as possible access to firearms because they making killing so easy (and give a 'power' high) - Because imposing self restraint on a culture that is constantly urged to 'let out their emotions' is going to be even more challenging.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:08 PM   #142
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Re: Gun Control

I am not one that would be considered "NRA" worthy material and do not really think we need MORE guns in the U.S

Certainly at some level access to firearms in an issue and there should be reasonable laws to prevent access to them to people that should not have them.

Guns are not made with the sole purpose of firing bullets. They are made for many purposes, the end result is that they fire a bullet. The purposes could be for personal protection, law enforcement, hunting, skeet shooting, marksmanship, military applications etc.

People desire guns for many reasons. Personal protection, professional reasons (law enforcement), sportsmanship/contest, collectioning, military force....these are the good reasons. Other reasons would be to commit crimes, revenge, etc.

As I am sure has been pointed out before, guns are not the culprit, it is the people or actions in which they are employed.

Are the laws in the U.S tough enough? In my opinion NO. There is much we can do to improve on accessibility. I own several firearms and have taken extreme measures to ensure they are safe and unaccessible. (I have a young child and another on the way). Bolts are removed and locked in separate combination box. Trigger guards are installed, they are locked in a gun safe which is locked in a safe room, and no ammo is stored near or with them. It would take a great deal of effort to get to my guns and use them for negative purposes.

I think liberals (yes I am one btw) sometime focus too much on guns and the right is slamming them to death on the issue. There are other things we should be focusing on such as modifiying human behavior to reduce the propensity of violence.

Reducing gun violence needs to be a multifaceted approach. Reducing access to firearms to those that should not have them is one thing.

The other is focusing on human issues. The kid that killed those people in the U.S last week would have found another way to do what he did without guns. Yes, access to weapon was an issue, and I don't think you will find any of the "PRO GUN" crowd to argue that was an issue in this case. The gun owner was irresponsible. But so are drunk drivers, does that mean we should ban cars, the tools that people use to drive drunk?

I don't think it is the weapon that makes it easy for people to kill, but the conditioning process which is a social issue. Television, societal pressure to be successful and accepted...you name it. We are conditioning our people to believe life is cheap.

Ability to kill is one thing. I consider myself somewhat of an expert in ability. Desire and propensity is quite another matter. Just because I spend my professional life as a soldier training to kill does not increase my propensity to kill....that is quite another process indeed.

The problem is that in our society we are failing to acknowledge people as human beings with compassion and love. It was very evident in the lady in the last month who used just that to save her life and convince her "killer" to turn himself in. Her ability and courage to take the time to understand the "killer" and show him compassion was powerful. It is through this example that I think we can learn the most out of in how to solve the problems we have...not through focusing heavily on gun control, it simply will not work. The problem is much more complex than removing gun ownership.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:09 PM   #143
garry cantrell
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Re: Gun Control

Quote:
Shane Mokry wrote:
BTW Lorien,

The gov. can't use those big destructive weapons on it's citizens... If they kill us all...who's going to pay the taxes? Why do you think they are so "concerned" about our health?

Shane

Haaaa!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:23 PM   #144
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Gun Control

Dave Chalk said: "America appears to promote both this reverence for the use of force and lack of self disciple (or restraint) and easy access to firearms making these horrific events occur with terrible frequency. "

I think your statement is an over generalization and a false correalation. Many Americans do hold high what many consider to be a constitutional right to bear arms. I would not equate this to "reverence for use of force".

Also, as I tried my best to explain in my last post, I do not think "easy access" caused the problem. Certainly a factor in the event, but not the cause.

Not sure that "self disciple" are the right words. I think the killer had a great deal of self discpline and conviction in commtting the act, what would have been a lack of commitment and self discipline is having the desire to do it, but being too lazy to actually carry it out.

You infer that these "horrific events" occur and an "increasing frequency". Certainly I find it horrific, but not sure the actual frequency is increasing. Not even sure if you can draw a statistical correalation or significance at all.

Not to nitpick, but it certainly is easy to get emotional about these events, they are horrific and unfortunate, but certainly not endemic or headed toward a national crisis in which to overreact by enacting knee jerk legislation.

Each event, while tragic and similar in fashion where isolated and had their own issues surrounding them. To solve them we need to get to the root of the problem, not through emotion, but through rationality.

I certainly wouldn't infer that Americans are headed downhill and our society is corrupt and we have a propensity towards violence and killing as a whole.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:13 AM   #145
Taliesin
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Re: Gun Control

Kevin

A few points

1. Guns are made to fire bullets. - why you want to fire bullets is a different issue.

2. There is a reason the word 'appears' was included in my conclusion - because that's how it
looks.

3. Given the number of shooting sprees in the USA reported here and elsewhere in the last few
weeks it's not an unreasonable conclusion that they appear to occur with increasing frequency.
(BTW - I said 'terrible frequency'.)

4. As far as the 'it would have happened anyway' argument that's very weak given the last killing
spree we had in the UK was Dunblane some years ago, whilst the USA seems to have them at
least annually.

5. So you have ease of access of lethal weapons plus far larger number of shooting sprees. That
may not be a causal relationship - but it certainly is a strong consequential one.

6. On the other hand over here we have more difficult access to Lethal weapons and less killing
sprees. The access does make a difference - when a schizophrenic went on a rampage in London
a few months back only one person was killed. It's hard to imagine fatalty rates that low in the
USA

7. As far as your Constitution is concerned are people protesting the repeal of prohibition??

8. Given the image the USA promotes as a country that believes force is the answer to
everything, and that restraint of emotions is a bad thing that's not an unreasonable conclusion
either. (BTW It ain't just an American problem, or a gun problem - in the UK we have a huge
problem with violent attacks at present)

9. As far as the USA being corrupt I didn't even imply that - although now you mention it given your
representatives are far more beholden to big money contributors than constituents that's not an
unreasonable arguement either.
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:38 AM   #146
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Gun Control

Well, if you're a person who's at the end of a downward spiral of depression or desperation and you're about to lash out, not having a weapon won't slow you down long. If you have easy access to firearms, (as in the case of the Minnesota shooting) or if you can overcome restricited access (as in the Georgia shooting) you're probably going on a shoooting spree.

If you don't have access to firearms, you might commit an axe murder (as happened two weeks ago on a sidewalk in London's "fashionable Regent's Park").

I think it's different living in a society than observing or judging example: America. You just can't believe the press- If aliens were judging our value through our entertainment and commercials, we'd all be doomed. I think there's a tendency to judge societies by their TV. That's the place where we really fall victim to our stereotypes and generalizations.

I've lived my entire life in the Midwest, but I'm pretty sure Jerry Springer doesn't represent an accurate cross section of the population, with the panel or the audience.

People in modern societies are subjected to a lot of stress and over-stimulation. In Japan, there's an "apparent" epedemic of suicide. IMHO, this is the same problem, manifested in a different way.

I think that's one of the reasons we're seeing a return to quiet contemplation. The samurai's answer was Ikebana (flower arrangement), Chanoyu (the tea ceremony) and Zen. Modern capitalist warriors have been soothing themselves with yoga, massages, spa treatments and the like in increasing numbers for years now. Some of the ones who didn't jumped off buildings or became drug and alcohol addicts.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but this is my explanation for the "apparent" cracking at the seams our societies have been suffering. It's time to start the de-escalation process, if there is such a word.
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:25 AM   #147
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Re: Gun Control

The problem is we can only make an assessment on the information we have - and that info isn't reassuring. Todays Times reported 'shot for refusing a kiss' another American story.
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Old 04-01-2005, 01:11 PM   #148
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Gun Control

Dave,

Lets talk statistics.

From London Times article
March 27, 2005 "Violent crime still on the rise"

Figures obtained last week from 25 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales show that the biggest rise in violence against the person - a category that includes assault, wounding and murder, but not robbery - was in Leicestershire. Murders and assaults in the county went up from 4,426 in the three months from October 2003 to 5,769 in the same period last year, a rise of 30%.

also from same article:

A report to be published next month by the charity Victim Support London and launched with the help of Cherie Blair will claim that 62% of crimes in London go unreported.

I have seen other articles that elude to the fact there is a disparity in the way crimes are reported in the U.S. and in U.K.

What is your point? Is it that crimes occur because we have more access to guns? Some statistics I have seen point to crime rates going up in U.K after gun control. Not that I would draw this conclusion at this point of my research, but one might infere that STATISTICALLY crime and violent crime is on the rise in the U.K because of gun control.

Yea we have problems, but so does everybody else. I am sure if I spent time looking I could find an example of a similar crime occuring in the U.K.

Again, I am not advocating that we relax gun control in the U.S, but not really sure what your point is either.
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Old 04-02-2005, 04:27 PM   #149
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Re: Gun Control

Quote:
David Chalk wrote:
...
7. As far as your Constitution is concerned are people protesting the repeal of prohibition??

8. Given the image the USA promotes as a country that believes force is the answer to
everything, and that restraint of emotions is a bad thing that's not an unreasonable conclusion
either. (BTW It ain't just an American problem, or a gun problem - in the UK we have a huge
problem with violent attacks at present)...

7. As far as the prohibition is concerned. Our constitution itself outliness a process so that it can be modified to fit with the changes in social morals and ideas. It isn't easy, and there is a very involved process to do so. It has been changed for example, to forbid slavery, allow all citizens over 18, regardless of race, sex, etc. the right to vote. There are others.

The prohibition was one such change. The change was a failure, and was not supported by the people, and the repeal of the prohibition was another such change. Point is, that change in the constitution was done via a process outlined by the constitution, so it is legitimate. If such a change was made to outlaw guns, though I would be VERY much against it, it would be a legal and and legitimate change.


8. The USA does NOT believe that force is the answer to everything. There are a few among us who do. The vast majority do not. If you are referring to Iraq War, there were a few at the top beating war drums, a large number who reluctantly went along with it, and an almost equally large number of people who were against it. I am not trying to talk about that war, but rather to show the nature of American politics

The truth is that Americans as a whole do not believe that force is the answer to everything, any more than the British, Japanese, etc do. It is unfair to classify an entire Nation of people by the actions of the few in power within the government. To be even more fair, those who are more hawkish in the government, I think honestly believed military force was their last resort.

I do believe the answer to all of this is restraint, discipline, and humility; all worthwhile traits for all to have. It would create more benevolent government, a more responsable citizen, and in times of conflict, a more peaceful solution. Restraint and discipline I have learned in all of my work with firearms. Restraint, discipline, and humility I learn through my experience at the dojo.This is probably something we can all agree on

Anyway, just addressing a few points that raised my eyebrows. Good thread to read!
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Old 04-03-2005, 07:29 AM   #150
Taliesin
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Re: Gun Control

Nice try Thomas

But.

What I said was "the image the USA promotes"

The Constitution point was that a stricter system of gun control would not necessarily impinge on anyones Constitutional rights because the Constitution can be changed.


Kevin

As far as the culture of violent attacks did you miss the part where I said "BTW It ain't just an American problem, or a gun problem - in the UK we have a huge problem with violent attacks at present"

The point there is while we have huge problems with alcohol fueled attacks which, aren't nice, it's still much better to be punched, kicked or even glassed than shot.

(For the purpose of this debate I wish to point out that violence is an emotionally driven and undisciplined application of force to a given target, whereas brutality is a disciplined application of force to the target - which is why lack of restraint is such a huge factor in the UK it's the difference between S20 and S18 GBH.)

BTW 'violent crime' is a broad term which includes 'assault' - defined as 'causing an individual to fear immediate unlawful violence' 'common assault' (otherwise known as battery) - defined as "the least touching of another in anger", 'assault occasioning actual bodily harm' (otherwise known as ABH which is something like a bruise), Assault occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm under S20 OAP 1861) - which roughly translated means recklessly causing Serious Harm, Assault occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm with intent under S20, plus 'voluntary' manslaughter - where a charge of murder is reduced to manslaughter because of provocation, diminished responsibility, suicide pact or infanticide and of course murder.

To put things in perspective shooting somebody other than in self defense would automatically be S18 GBH at the very least - so do you want to factor in the number of people who were shot and lived into the equation
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