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Gun Control In Australia vs the USA

122 posts in this topic

Your turn to think very closely about something, now. No knee-jerk reactions, here, no blindly spouting the party line. Exactly why is it a bad idea for the "average person" to own a firearm? Are average people the ones who do bad things with them? Is it honestly your opinion that a full 50% of the population would use firearms to commit crimes or otherwise behave irresponsibly with a gun if they had one? Really? Yikes. I wonder what kind of people you keep around you, that you have that perception.

On the other side of the fence, we have to wonder what kind of people you keep around, where it seems like a normal idea for everyone to possess a tool that has the only purpose of killing and maiming people (i.e. handguns). Imagine if everyone had torture racks, and nooses, and scalpals and iron maidens in their garage, but of course didn't use them because there's no need. That would be weird right? To many of us who live in places where guns are restricted, the very idea of owning a killing device is just a very perverted thought. "Why would you want a killing device in your house - that's creepy!"

Yes, a farmer with a long centre-fire rifle is a different situation. His tool is built for the purpose of killing animals, of which humans are a form of, but the primary use isn't killing people. It can be used for that purpose, and it's an extremely dangerous tool, so if he's not crazy/creepy, he'd keep it disassembled and locked up when not in use.
Again, if you went around to someone's house and they had functional rifles lying out in the open, it would be a very weird and uncomfortable situation... like seeing someone smoking at the gas station.

This is what outsiders mean when we talk about the US's "gun culture". You guys have an entirely different layer of abstraction that you use to think about weapons -- like when Jack Thompson refers to video games as "murder simulators" and we just think he's crazy and disconnected, Jack (assuming he's genuine) is operating on a totally different wavelength.
To us, the question is never "why shouldn't we have guns?", but "why on earth would you want a murder tool?". It's just very weird to be so very comfortable about these things.
 
Likewise, in many countries, and a small number of US states, simply being in possession of a set of lock-picks legally makes you guilty of having criminal intent to use them. It's so creepy for a person (without reason) to posses a trespassing-tool, that people are ok with them simply not being allowed outside of their professional use, and jumping to criminal conclusions. Likewise again with large quantities of drugs, the law makes the assumption that a person with a kilogram of dope has the criminal intention to distribute it, even if in fact it's for personal use, and apparently the average person is ok with being creeped out by people with bricks of dope.
 
Back to what you were saying, it's not that 50% of people will abuse the tool, but that any % at all will. Even if it's 0.001%, that's a huge number of incidents when multiplied by the population of a nation.
To take it to the extreme, imagine that we could give every household a tsar bomba. Now, from every day experience with our sane community, there'd be no problem, as no one would ever detonate their bomb... but if there's even a single unhinged person out of 7 billion, then we're in for one hell of an incident. There are no downsides to not allowing everyone to own a WMD, and there's a huge positive (there's very, very few WMD incidents).
You have to draw the line somewhere (surely you don't think that citizens should be allowed to posses nukes?), and the point at which the line is drawn should logically be at the best cost/benefit point -- where people are not inconvenienced by the restrictions, but the benefits of them are greatest. Obviously we don't want to live in a prison state, where you have to go through the equivalent of airport security every day and eat with plastic cutlery, but we don't want madmen detonating nukes either.
To us, small arms are the logical extreme of where the line should be placed -- they can exist where there is a genuine need, but beyond that they should be restricted for the greater good.
 
 

Maybe a partial solution would be to impose much harsher penalties on criminal uses of guns. That should at least discourage the less committed criminals, which frees up resources to tackle the hard-core bad guys, who would probably have guns no matter what the law says.

If the only change was that the penalty of "armed robbery with a handgun" was doubled, but "armed robbery" of other sorts was unchanged, I don't see how the pro-guns lobby would be able to oppose it as usual... Surely they're advocates for responsible gun ownership, and condemn the criminal use of guns?
 
The US already does this to a small extent. For example, certain types of ammunition are illegal, and it can be a crime to make use of restricted ammunition in the course of committing a crime. So robbing a bank with FMJ rounds is one thing, but robbing a bank with explosive rounds will really increase your punishment.
 


What I do not get is how removing guns will not reduce gun crime in the US.

The legitimate argument is: If you remove all the guns from the law-abiding citizens, how will they protect themselves from the law-breaking criminals (who have guns)? How will the gov't ensure that no one has guns? Citizen and criminal alike.


I personally don't see that as a legitimate argument... It makes the assumption that the presence of guns prevents crime -- that if you're being mugged by a guy with a gun, that you can stop it by being in possession of your own gun. I don't believe this is at all true in the general case, so the argument is just a red herring to me.
 
How many mass shootings in the US have been stopped by an armed citizen, compared to an unarmed citizen, or an armed officer?

Even if having everyone carrying guns is effective at reducing gun crime (I feel silly just typing that...), this need would diminish over time as guns are removed. At the same time that this citizen-defence capacity is diminished, the availability of weapons to murderers is also diminished. An unhinged person can't walk into a grocery store and walk out with a gun, so the capability for defence drops along with the capability of attack.


The government ensures that no one has guns the same way they prohibit anything. They confiscate them when found, and enact punishments for possession. If you get an extra 10 years in jail for being caught with a gun, then you'd be much better off committing crimes with a different weapon. It's not worth the risk to go carrying a gun.
 
If you look at the UK for example, they don't have guns, but you've got to assume that criminal gangs can illegally import them into the country... so this should be a big problem, right? It's so much not a problem, that their beat cops don't even carry guns of their own. If there actually is an incident with a gun, then SWAT appears with more guns and armour.
 
Due to this, most of the "gun crime" (armed robberies, etc) in Australia are done with fake guns or replicas with blanks! Circumventing the prohibition is too expensive, and the punishments are too great (and the risk of accidentally shooting someone is also too great -- but that's another issue, the US's homicide rate in general is absurdly high).
Common criminals can't even afford to get their hands on guns (like with prohibition of anything, legal enforcement causes the prices to skyrocket) so it's mainly the large organized crime syndicates that use them criminally... and these guys only use them to kill each other. You're not going to get mugged on the street-corner by a kingpin. Edited by Hodgman
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If you look at the UK for example, they don't have guns, but you've got to assume that criminal gangs can illegally import them into the country... so this should be a big problem, right? It's so much not a problem, that their beat cops don't even carry guns of their own. If there actually is an incident with a gun, then SWAT appears with more guns and armour.

More to the point there is resistance from the Police over the idea of regular offices carrying fire arms. Recently there was a situation in Liverpool where two female offices were killed during a routine investigation (basically they were ambushed by a guy with a gun and at least one hand grenade) and there was the normal out pouring of grief and the question of should office be armed was of course raised again and the Police Federation came back with a strong 'no' to the idea.
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I personally don't see that as a legitimate argument... It makes the assumption that the presence of guns prevents crime -- that if you're being mugged by a guy with a gun, that you can stop it by being in possession of your own gun. I don't believe this is at all true in the general case, so the argument is just a red herring to me.

 

It doesn't make that assumption at all. It only makes the assumption that the law-abiding citizen is at a disadvantage when dealing with another citizen committing a crime. The criminal may or may not have a gun. The LAC will always not have a gun.

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I, personally, don't draw the connection of guns==liberty. For me, it's guns==sport, protection of the herd against predators, and last-ditch resort for protection against violence perpetrated against me or my family should the worst happen in any way, shape or form. I'm not some kind of gun-packing gunslinger wannabe who wears a handgun on my hip and swaggers around talking about it. There really aren't many like that even around here, where guns are so prevalent. Most everyone I know locks their guns up when they aren't needed, enrolls their children in hunter safety so that they, hopefully, learn to not do anything stupid, and just continues to live their lives aware that guns are just tools that have their use, and not some kind of preternaturally malevolent force that yearns to murder children and must be restrained at all costs by the leash of Law.

 

All of which I find perfectly reasonable, and all of which are explicitly catered for under Australian gun legislation.

 

In NZ, you need a licence to own a firearm. I cannot fathom why anyone would think this is a bad idea. I don't own a gun, but one day I'd like to go deer hunting (mmm, tasty bambi's mom). When I get around to it, I'll apply for a licence. It's simply not a problem. 

 

As for the "rising up against a tyrannical government" argument, I find it inherently flawed. Alex Jones, when he lost his mind being interviewed by Piers Morgan (the insane meets the inane), cited the example of the Philippines, where Marcos seized all the guns when he took over the government. So here we are, a clearly despotic regime, an armed populace and a move to disarm said populace. Surely the righteous citizens used their arms to prevent this dictatorship? Nope, he remained in power until the "People Power Revolution" forced him out with non-violent means. 

 

If you look at right now in the US, a lot of the same people who claim Obama is a dictator are the same people who claim they need their guns to stop dictators. By their own measure, haven't they failed? Ted Nugent is neither dead nor in jail.

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phantom, on 27 Apr 2013 - 20:53, said:
Yes, and Europe was a candy land of happiness and light until that time with no problems what so ever; it's not like we've basically spent all our history bashing the crap out of each other in numerous wars and battles, including two of probably the bloodiest conflicts ever, over the years.

To my knowledge most of the European conflicts in recent history have been between militaries, not revolutions of armed citizens. The U.S. owes it's existence in large part to those rights. It has both historical and ideological significance. You can disagree with it, but you at least need to be aware that it is a core part of our history. It is not as trivially tied to our society as it is being made out to be; it exists at the very core of it.
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phantom, on 27 Apr 2013 - 20:53, said:
Yes, and Europe was a candy land of happiness and light until that time with no problems what so ever; it's not like we've basically spent all our history bashing the crap out of each other in numerous wars and battles, including two of probably the bloodiest conflicts ever, over the years.

To my knowledge most of the European conflicts in recent history have been between militaries, not revolutions of armed citizens. The U.S. owes it's existence in large part to those rights. It has both historical and ideological significance. You can disagree with it, but you at least need to be aware that it is a core part of our history. It is not as trivially tied to our society as it is being made out to be; it exists at the very core of it.

 

I believe there was a war in England which led to the laws that our own Bill of Rights (and to some degree Constitution) is based on. And I'm sure France has had a civil war or two.

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I believe there was a war in England which led to the laws that our own Bill of Rights (and to some degree Constitution) is based on. And I'm sure France has had a civil war or two.

Weren't the British civil wars fought largely between formal armies? The French revolution is a more relevant parallel.
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I believe there was a war in England which led to the laws that our own Bill of Rights (and to some degree Constitution) is based on. And I'm sure France has had a civil war or two.

Weren't the British civil wars fought largely between formal armies? The French revolution is a more relevant parallel.

Not really. The French revolution was internal. A closer parallel would be the Irish War of Independence (not the North, the Republic)

 

Given that it was actually much more recent conflict than US Independence, you would imagine that Ireland would be holding tight to the same ideals that the nation was founded by armed uprising. Yet, the gun laws in Ireland are very similar to those in Australia, and no-one complains about it. Even the police aren't armed (except for a few "swat" style units).

Edited by ChaosEngine
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Hungarian people (not the army) revolted against the Soviet Union with Molotov-cocktails. Wasn't successful though (1956)... There were similar events in Europe though they were not successful. You know, rebellions against some huge powers, not against just your own country's regime....

Romania/killing Ceausescu is also worth looking into

The Soviet Union also collapsed. Might be an important event. And people (not just politicians) without guns had a lot to do with it.

You talk about recent History when talking about Europe. In the US, can you list some recent events you talk about?

What are the event you always talk about? Independence...okay, um...... the Civil War? Does that count as something started by the people, not politicians/armies?

I'm really curious, I will look into it.

Something that is always overlooked when talking about people's rebellion: usually they get out of hand soon, they turn into random violence, looting, raping, pointless killings and aggression, etc. It' just like a taboo. People only talk positively of rebellions.

My father was there in 1956, he saw the tortured-to-death 18 year old soldiers who were ordered to be there but hurt no one. Cut-out hearts of those helpless boys. Hung officers who were in offices that had nothing to do with maintaining the regime. Etc

Recent "rebellions" (in France, Hungary dunno about others): burnt down cars, broken shop-windows, looting.

Yup, let people have guns and rebel on their own!

Edited by szecs
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Not really. The French revolution was internal. A closer parallel would be the Irish War of Independence (not the North, the Republic)
 
Given that it was actually much more recent conflict than US Independence, you would imagine that Ireland would be holding tight to the same ideals that the nation was founded by armed uprising. Yet, the gun laws in Ireland are very similar to those in Australia, and no-one complains about it. Even the police aren't armed (except for a few "swat" style units).

Ireland does seem to be a better example. According to your wiki link their gun laws aren't that strict. Most of the guns used in crimes in America would still be legal to own as best I can tell. The US system currently seems differently strict as you just need character references in Ireland where America requires background checks.

edit: wrong words.

double edit: Ireland seems more restrictive toward rifles, but rifles aren't that large a problem in the US to begin with. Their handgun legislation seems to make handguns as available as they would be in the US. Edited by way2lazy2care
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Hungary has a border with some former Yugoslavian countries. Remember some events from Yugoslavia?
And some other countries where they hate us as shit.

Yes, clearly the Yugoslavia/Hungary border is a veritable hotbed of smuggling activity. Why, even over here we hear all sorts of legendary tales of coyotes smuggling drugs through tunnels or launching them by catapults directly over the fence out in the middle of remote, desolate, well-nigh unenforceable regions of the desert and into Hungary. I mean, obviously Hungary, just like every other European nation, is a perfect model for the United States, and what works for Europe (where surely there are numerous scarcely-defensible thousand km-long stretches of wilderness land border to defend) or Australia (who obviously has even more land border providing numberless smuggling routes into the country) will most certainly work for the US. Clearly, if we just made it illegal to purchase firearms here then the border to Mexico will suddenly not be an issue, rather than providing a million and one points of entry for illegal firearms to make their way into the hands of people unscrupulous enough to ignore those laws.

You often have good points to discuss, but your rampant anti-Obama-ism sometimes makes them hard to engage. "Obama's fast and furious" indeed.

Indeed. I mean, he is Executive in Chief, right? As in, head of the Executive branch? You know, the same Executive Branch that owns the ATF? I know it's the liberal way to dodge responsibility and blame shit on Bush, but fucking come on.

As to Mexico, that the US shares a border with it isn't a good backdrop for national policy. Even if I bought the argument that it's a lawless war zone and people who live near there must have guns to ensure their safety (which I don't), that has nothing to do with the value of having guns in Iowa. If gun availability is a bad idea absent a war zone, then there are better approaches than making guns incredibly easy to get, everywhere, all the time, with no consequences for improper use.

The border with Mexico is a critical factor in national policy. When it comes to forbidding stuff, it's one of the most important factors.

It's not necessarily a lawless warzone. It's actually kind of a pleasant place, as long as you know enough to steer around the worst spots. However, it is a place that is ready, willing, able, and goddamn happy to provide what people here in the US want, people who aren't afraid to deal in shady channels to get it. Has nothing to do with Iowa. Mexican drugs (and, eventually, Mexican guns, once the current price increases due to artificial shortages induced by the administration trying to lock down guns and ammo through stockpiling) reach all the way to the Canadian border and beyond.

And you can pretend all you want that guns don't provide protection; clearly you've been listening to MSNBC who wouldn't cover a good gun story if their lives hung in the balance. I have personal first hand experience that yes, guns can and very frequently do stop crimes in progress and defend people who otherwise would be victims.

Until the Mexican border can be properly secured (and that will mean endless amounts of liberal tears; a fucking ocean of them) there is simply no way that significant gun control legislation can work here. Congress knows it. They know that we would have an enforcement nightmare on their hands to make the current war on drugs look like a schoolyard snowball fight.
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Not really. The French revolution was internal. A closer parallel would be the Irish War of Independence (not the North, the Republic)
 
Given that it was actually much more recent conflict than US Independence, you would imagine that Ireland would be holding tight to the same ideals that the nation was founded by armed uprising. Yet, the gun laws in Ireland are very similar to those in Australia, and no-one complains about it. Even the police aren't armed (except for a few "swat" style units).

Ireland does seem to be a better example. According to your wiki link their gun laws aren't that strict. Most of the guns used in crimes in America would still be legal to own as best I can tell. The US system currently seems differently strict as you just need character references in Ireland where America requires background checks.

edit: wrong words.

double edit: Ireland seems more restrictive toward rifles, but rifles aren't that large a problem in the US to begin with. Their handgun legislation seems to make handguns as available as they would be in the US.

 

Eh? To get any gun in Ireland you need to get a licence from the police (note: police in Ireland are called the "Garda Siochana", Irish for "guardians of the peace"), and it's not just a character reference, it's a character reference on top of a background check. 

 

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/citation/quotes/228

 

I was under the impression that there was no such requirement in the US?

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To my knowledge most of the European conflicts in recent history have been between militaries, not revolutions of armed citizens. The U.S. owes it's existence in large part to those rights. It has both historical and ideological significance. You can disagree with it, but you at least need to be aware that it is a core part of our history. It is not as trivially tied to our society as it is being made out to be; it exists at the very core of it.

And for much of the history local battles would probably have involved local people defending themselves with their own weaponry. The standing armies would have consisted of normal people as well, drafted in to defend their home and country.

If you want to bring it up to modern times then in WW2 various countries would have had armed resistance movements fighting against an invading army and, in the case of the UK, things like The Home Guard which consisted of those who couldn't fight in the regular army but still took up arms to defend the country if the need came.

The point is the history of Europe IS the history of warfare, invasion, revolution, blood and death.. so to point at the war of independence (which had a large helping of regular army in it as well, you guys owe A LOT to the French, it wasn't just the brave and the few Americans who won the day) and go 'but its special!' is to show your ignorance of the history of the rest of the world which came about long before.

The funny thing is, if you read it a certain way, the 2nd Amendment somewhat supports the idea of tighter controls on weapons;

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

"Well regulated" could mean anything from 'checking which nut jobs get the guns' up to 'ensure people are training with them safely and regularly' - I suspect most people will happy skip those parts and go straight on to the bit where they are allowed to keep and bear arms and to hell with the rest.

But hey, the red could still be under the bed so better beware!
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The Mexico issue is that they have an insecure northern border with a country with lax gun control, so their criminals can easily circumvent their own fairly strict gun control laws. So to hear an American complain about guns coming across the border is beyond ironic.

 

I don't think the flow is going to be reversed that easily, we have a ways to go between criminal demand in the US for Mexican firearms is anywhere near the criminal demand in Mexico, much less higher. It doesn't really make sense to predicate gun control on border security, since you can phase in gun control long before border security issues impinge on the number of illegal guns in the US.

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The Mexico issue is that they have an insecure northern border with a country with lax gun control, so their criminals can easily circumvent their own fairly strict gun control laws. So to hear an American complain about guns coming across the border is beyond ironic.
 
I don't think the flow is going to be reversed that easily, we have a ways to go between criminal demand in the US for Mexican firearms is anywhere near the criminal demand in Mexico, much less higher. It doesn't really make sense to predicate gun control on border security, since you can phase in gun control long before border security issues impinge on the number of illegal guns in the US.

The flow has already started to show signs of reversing, in the wake of DHS's buy-ups of huge stockpiles of ammunition. Mexico has plenty of laws regarding drugs, but that hasn't abated the flow of drugs. The problem is an appetite for guns in the country bordering Mexico's northern border, but it's not an appetite that is likely to go away by making guns illegal up here, any more than us making crack and heroin illegal has in the slightest blunted the appetite for crack and heroin.

It's a point that's been made over and over and over. Making guns illegal will only take the guns out of the hands of honest people. There will always be a ready supply of illegal contraband (guns, ammo, drugs, whatever people want) coming up from Mexico until such time as that border is secured strongly enough to stop the flow.

And if you know of a good way to secure thousands of miles of this...

EJmh75T.jpg

... then I'm sure the administration would love to talk to you. Edited by FLeBlanc
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Nope. Demand for guns in Mexico is higher, and will remain higher as long as there is a higher degree of criminal activity there. I don't think you'll see some guy wanting to rob a liquor store in Phoenix outbid a guy shipping $14,000 worth of cocaine from Chihuahua to Juarez on the black market for a gun. For that to change, something will also have to change on the drug front.

 

EDIT: For clarity (new in italics)

Edited by Prinz Eugn
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Nope. Demand for guns in Mexico is higher, and will remain higher as long as there is a higher degree of criminal activity there. I don't think you'll see some guy wanting to rob a liquor store in Phoenix outbid a guy shipping $14,000 worth of cocaine from Chihuahua to Juarez on the black market. For that to change, something will also have to change on the drug front.

Mexican ammunition is showing up in southern Cali and Arizona in the wake of shortages. Where there is demand, there will be supply; that's pretty much the story of human history. Currently, the supply is legal so the demand is easily met except in the case of shortages caused by federal buy-up. But as can be seen with the shortages induced by DHS, the supply might start originating in a different place when existing channels dry up. As soon as the supply is cut off through legal changes in the US, more and more of it will come across the border instead as it becomes more and more profitable for the smugglers to provide it.

I'm not sure what the rest of your post was trying to say. Not sure why a guy robbing a liquor store would have anything to do with $14,000 of cocaine. He'll just talk to a guy, who'll talk to a guy, who knows a guy that just brought $14,000 worth of guns up from Mexico. Same as it works with drugs.
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Basic supply and demand. There will be more demand for firearms in Mexico for the foreseeable future regardless of US law, so it's unlikely that they'll be flowing north anytime soon. Lower the supply, and prices go up for a given demand, meaning fewer criminals can afford firearms with which to commit crimes... which means they'll commit less crime, or lower-level crime. 

 

I also couldn't find any evidence for Mexican ammunition being exported to the US, do you have a link?

 

The DHS thing is completely overblown as far as I can tell.

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On the other side of the fence, we have to wonder what kind of people you keep around, where it seems like a normal idea for everyone to possess a tool that has the only purpose of killing and maiming people (i.e. handguns).

As you are in Australia, where handguns are almost completely banned, I understand why you have that view.

 

Target shooting is extremely popular in the US.  My brother is a handgun enthusiast -- that is, he collects and trades handguns.  I have gone shooting with him many times.  In my view, handguns are both easier and funner to shoot than rifles.

 

I know many people who own and regularly shoot handguns.

 

 

 

As for protection, I have seen many strong arguments for them.  They are highly valued by because they can be easily concealed and are very maneuverable in close quarters.  They are valuable both for criminals AND for non-criminals for the same reasons.

 

Years ago I was friends with a coin dealer, he owns a coin store just a few blocks from where I am sitting now.  We were together at an event where he brought several valuable coins, one of them in particular was one of his prized rare coins valued at around $1.5M.  During the closed-door meeting he passed around about $4M worth of gold and extremely rare coins to a bunch of coin collectors, including me.  

 

He brought three of his employees to help protect his goods.  Very few people at the event knew this detail, those few included the event organizers, and me; the coin dealer and his employees all have concealed weapons permits, and each one of them had two handguns, and one person was sitting near each of the building exits.  There was no way anybody was going to do a smash-and-grab with those millions of dollars of coins without facing down an armed guard.

 

Again, the four individuals all had concealed carry permits; this means they had gone through training and police background checks and had jumped through all the legal hoops required by the state.  

 

The weapons were concealed, and I'm guessing that only a handful of the roughly 200 people even had the slightest idea that there were people with handguns present.

 

Since handguns are essentially banned in Australia and other countries, the coin dealer would have had other limited options to protect his wares.  If long-barreled firearems were legal the four guards could have brought those, but it would have caused a bigger disruption.  He could have hired police officers, and that would have been more money than bringing in his own store employees.  

 

In many countries citizens are allowed to bear arms in their own defense, and this was just one of many examples where citizens protect themselves in a legal way, without disrupting others, using handguns.

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Not really. The French revolution was internal. A closer parallel would be the Irish War of Independence (not the North, the Republic)
 
Given that it was actually much more recent conflict than US Independence, you would imagine that Ireland would be holding tight to the same ideals that the nation was founded by armed uprising. Yet, the gun laws in Ireland are very similar to those in Australia, and no-one complains about it. Even the police aren't armed (except for a few "swat" style units).

Ireland does seem to be a better example. According to your wiki link their gun laws aren't that strict. Most of the guns used in crimes in America would still be legal to own as best I can tell. The US system currently seems differently strict as you just need character references in Ireland where America requires background checks.

edit: wrong words.

double edit: Ireland seems more restrictive toward rifles, but rifles aren't that large a problem in the US to begin with. Their handgun legislation seems to make handguns as available as they would be in the US.

 

Eh? To get any gun in Ireland you need to get a licence from the police (note: police in Ireland are called the "Garda Siochana", Irish for "guardians of the peace"), and it's not just a character reference, it's a character reference on top of a background check. 

 

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/citation/quotes/228

 

I was under the impression that there was no such requirement in the US?

Dont forget the Gardai dont even have guns here.

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The point is the history of Europe IS the history of warfare, invasion, revolution, blood and death.. so to point at the war of independence (which had a large helping of regular army in it as well, you guys owe A LOT to the French, it wasn't just the brave and the few Americans who won the day) and go 'but its special!' is to show your ignorance of the history of the rest of the world which came about long before.

I don't think you are comprehending my point. As far as I can tell the Irish revolution and the French revolution are the only two conflicts I've found where the citizenry took even close to as large a part in the combat as the professional army without being forced to or enlisting in a professional army.

It is not about warfare being a part of American history. It is about the ability of average citizens being able to overcome an oppressive government because they are armed that is the core I am talking about. I have said this multiple times, but you keep equating it with general warfare. The warfare is not at all the core I am talking about.

Eh? To get any gun in Ireland you need to get a licence from the police (note: police in Ireland are called the "Garda Siochana", Irish for "guardians of the peace"), and it's not just a character reference, it's a character reference on top of a background check.

I was under the impression that there was no such requirement in the US?

The source I saw didn't mention a background check, but the only two major differences I can see are being "of unsound mind" or being a person of "intemperate habits". I'm not really sure how you quantify either of those though.
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@FLeBlanc: Chill out on the language just a little bit, alright? Let's try to keep it at least a little bit family friendly, here. You seem to be getting a little bit far afield anyway, although I do basically agree with the Mexico argument, having lived down in Arizona for awhile and having seen a few things. The OP wondered about implementing Australia's form of gun control, though, not banning guns altogether. I guess maybe he could have put a little info in the original post about what, exactly, that entails; although reading it again, I guess he was just trolling anyway, and appears to have succeeded.

This has actually been a pretty productive little discussion for me, like always. At least, it's caused me to question a few of my basic assumptions. That's why I love you guys, I think. It's pretty easy to just stay in my own quiet, safe little world of beliefs, surrounded by like-minded individuals all the time as I am. Drawback of living in a small town, I guess.
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Indeed. I mean, he is Executive in Chief, right? As in, head of the Executive branch? You know, the same Executive Branch that owns the ATF? I know it's the liberal way to dodge responsibility and blame shit on Bush, but fucking come on.

 

This is exactly why it's so tedious dealing with powerfully anti-Obama people. I didn't say it was Bush, and I would give the same response if (in this case) you were to call it "Bush's Fast and Furious". Whether or not it's the "liberal way" to dodge responsibility by blaming W, it's not what I'm doing. It's the idiot way to assume that others view the world as narrowly as some, and perhaps yourself, do.

 

F&F was stupid operation, but it was marked by failure to communicate information (including upwards, where the President certainly is). It was initiated prior to Obama's inauguration, though the "scandalous" portions occurred after. It was a low-level operation, definitely not one that the President was directing personally or, perhaps, even brought to his attention.The ATF had no actual director in that period, only an acting director, and it's not for lack of effort to appoint one on the President's part.

 

You can make the case that the President bears ultimate responsibility for everything that happens in federal departments but it is unreasonable to call it "X's Fast and Furious", imputing all or nearly all responsibility to X when it was not initiated by him, and was carried out far below him, almost certainly without any intervention from him. Naming it this way is the activity of either someone who hasn't given it much thought, or willfully wants to attribute it to X, facts be damned. I do blame Obama for trying to circle the wagons around Holder, and clumsily. I do believe that he placed obstacles to the investigation, though I maintain that there is far less to investigate than F&F fans tend to suggest. But trying to hold him accountable for the entirety of the operation makes it far more difficult to lay blame where it's due, and in the absurd effort to place it where it is not.

 

 

The border with Mexico is a critical factor in national policy. When it comes to forbidding stuff, it's one of the most important factors.

It's not necessarily a lawless warzone. It's actually kind of a pleasant place, as long as you know enough to steer around the worst spots. However, it is a place that is ready, willing, able, and goddamn happy to provide what people here in the US want, people who aren't afraid to deal in shady channels to get it. Has nothing to do with Iowa. Mexican drugs (and, eventually, Mexican guns, once the current price increases due to artificial shortages induced by the administration trying to lock down guns and ammo through stockpiling) reach all the way to the Canadian border and beyond.

And you can pretend all you want that guns don't provide protection; clearly you've been listening to MSNBC who wouldn't cover a good gun story if their lives hung in the balance. I have personal first hand experience that yes, guns can and very frequently do stop crimes in progress and defend people who otherwise would be victims.

Until the Mexican border can be properly secured (and that will mean endless amounts of liberal tears; a fucking ocean of them) there is simply no way that significant gun control legislation can work here. Congress knows it. They know that we would have an enforcement nightmare on their hands to make the current war on drugs look like a schoolyard snowball fight.

 

Why would anyone bother going through back-channels with (Mexican?) black market dealers to get something that is already freely available, legally or at least easily and with no real chance at detection, in the US? No need for catapaults. Even if gun trafficking from Mexico were a serious concern, which I'm not sure I buy, it couldn't possibly compare to the easy legal channels that already exist domestically. It would be like claiming that people buy beer from bootleggers today: even if it happens more often than never, anyone who makes a suggestion that bootlegging is a serious source of alcohol in the US would be exposed as a fool. If there were severe gun restrictions passed in the US, I would expect illicit inbound trade to pick up. But that isn't the case, and I doubt that any amount of smuggled arms would match the amount of guns already freely available here.

 

Oh and by the way, I've plenty of experience seeing guns produce victims where there would otherwise have been none. Not that you'd ever see that on a variety of so-called news sources, or wherever you go to enjoy anti-liberal screeds. You can pretend all you want that that isn't the case, but it is. Gun control arguments are about balancing the benefits of guns with the dangers, and until you admit the dangers you'll have a hard time making a good argument about the benefits outweighing them.

 

I never said that guns don't provide protection. They do, however, present a lot of risk to gun owners, their families, and innocent bystanders. If you want to argue that the protection element outweighs the risk element, that's fine. But don't pretend that my position is that guns are totally ineffective for protection (it isn't), or that I watch MSNBC (I don't), or any other number of assumptions. You have made a couple about me in the post I'm quoting; so far, none are correct. 

Edited by Khaiy
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A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

 

The thing is every state (for the last 100 years or so) has a well regulated militia. It's called the National Guard. That sentence also implies that the people with guns would have been trained in not only guns but military aspects as well. Otherwise, how else can your militia be well regulated.

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On the other side of the fence, we have to wonder what kind of people you keep around, where it seems like a normal idea for everyone to possess a tool that has the only purpose of killing and maiming people (i.e. handguns).

As you are in Australia, where handguns are almost completely banned, I understand why you have that view.
Target shooting is extremely popular in the US.  My brother is a handgun enthusiast -- that is, he collects and trades handguns.  I have gone shooting with him many times.  In my view, handguns are both easier and funner to shoot than rifles.
I know many people who own and regularly shoot handguns.


Target shooting is popular here too, every small city will likely have a pistol club somewhere.
New members must keep their handguns at the club, while long-time owners can have a gun-safe in their own home. The situation still stands though -- if you go around to someone's house, and their Glock is out of the safe, it's extremely creepy as hell.
Yes it's a freaking cool object that's fun to shoot targets with, but it's not a freaking toy and should be in the safe for a reason. 

I'm friends with a hunter (he largely lives off the land) who has a small collection of arms, and have had fun using them at a target range, sure. But when I go around to his house, he's a responsible gun owner so they're always disassembled (e.g. bolt removed) and locked up in a safe, with the ammo stored separately. If he just kept them lying around on the table like any old household tool, it would be weird and creepy.

It's still extremely weird to think that the majority of people would want to own one of these, or even keep it in their house, or on their person regularly, because defence.
 

Years ago I was friends with a coin dealer, he owns a coin store just a few blocks from where I am sitting now.  We were together at an event where he brought several valuable coins, one of them in particular was one of his prized rare coins valued at around $1.5M.  During the closed-door meeting he passed around about $4M worth of gold and extremely rare coins to a bunch of coin collectors, including me. He brought three of his employees to help protect his goods.
...
Since handguns are essentially banned in Australia and other countries, the coin dealer would have had other limited options to protect his wares.  If long-barreled firearems were legal the four guards could have brought those, but it would have caused a bigger disruption.  He could have hired police officers, and that would have been more money than bringing in his own store employees.

If the employees are registered security officers (again, having jumped through all the hoops, just more of them) then they could carry a handgun as required by their job. I assume guarding a few million dollars worth of metal counts as a genuine need.
It would be pretty rare to have your own full time security guards with the appropriate licenses though, so yes, you'd probably hire some for the event...
e.g. The guys that go around refilling ATMs with cash usually openly carry revolvers, so hand-guns do still exist.

With your coin event though, the assumption is that the 3/4 men with concealed pistols ensures that there'll be no robberies. Sure, if an unarmed robber tried it, he'd get stopped or shot... but what if 4 guys with AK's busted in and took hostages? Surely in that situation, your armed guards aren't able to stop the robbery without innocent loss of life?
In the US, it's legal to own an AK, so there's actually a decent chance of that happening, rendering your hand-guns either useless or a liability. Surely it's easier to reasonably secure an event where the chance of being out-gunned is several orders of magnitude lower?

I mean, obviously Hungary, just like every other European nation, is a perfect model for the United States, and what works for Europe (where surely there are numerous scarcely-defensible thousand km-long stretches of wilderness land border to defend) or Australia (who obviously has even more land border providing numberless smuggling routes into the country) will most certainly work for the US. Clearly, if we just made it illegal to purchase firearms here then the border to Mexico will suddenly not be an issue, rather than providing a million and one points of entry for illegal firearms to make their way into the hands of people unscrupulous enough to ignore those laws.

Australia has more coastline than any other country, the majority of it just as barren as your mexican border. We leak to oceanic smugglers like a sieve. People smuggling ("illegal immigrants") is as much of a major political issue here as it is in the US. Also, almost every single good that we buy arrives in a shipping container, and most of them go through a single massive port city. We can't scan every single container without starving the nation, so there's huge opportunities for large scale smuggling.
Due to supply and demand though, these unscrupulous people have to pay 100x the normal price for a smuggled gun... so ignoring the massive difficulties in finding yourself a smuggler who's not an undercover detective, it's at least 100x harder to get illegal guns now... so again, you mostly see them used by large organized crime groups -- the guys that are moving tons of cocaine, not your average criminals.
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