Firearms the Poll

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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What is your stance on firearms?

Hunting only
33
12%
Self-defense
48
18%
More legislation in the US
42
15%
No change in legislation in the US
17
6%
Less legislation in the US
26
9%
Don't carry
56
20%
Carry concealed full time
16
6%
Carry concealed part time
8
3%
Complete ban outside military and law enforcement
28
10%
 
Total votes: 274

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Firearms the Poll

Postby the.coding.eye » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:14 pm UTC

I've been following the firearms debate in SB, and it appears it is quite the hot topic. The thread started out about the political implication of guns and turned into more of a debate whether they should be used for self-defense or not. As a way to collect numbers (without counting up the position of every post in SB) I've created this poll. Check all that apply.

Personally, I'm fine with firearms for hunting and self defense. In addition, I carry part time. If I wasn't a student or guns were allowed on campus, I would carry full time.
Last edited by the.coding.eye on Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:36 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Sandry » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:21 pm UTC

On a personal basis, firearms weird me the fuck out. I will never use or carry, regardless of purpose, and if you put guns in front of me, even in their case, I will back the hell away from you.

On the other hand, I certainly don't advocate for legislating toward elimination of firearms amongst civilians.

For the most part, the current legislative state of affairs seems fine to me, though I'll admit if I were better acquainted with all the details, it's possible I'd think some changes would be beneficial. Regardless, since I know I am not target audience, and I am sure other people have a way more informed opinion, I wouldn't advocate for any changes.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Ivor Zozz » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:36 pm UTC

Don't own a gun, don't care if other people do, as long as they are using it for legitimate purposes (hunting, self-defense, target shooting).

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Adacore » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:43 pm UTC

More legislation is a geographically pointless question, is it not? Since we all live in countries with different firearms legislation, saying 'more legislation' here (in the UK) where guns are already largely banned means a completely different thing from saying 'more legislation' in the US.

Either way, I think guns should be banned. Except, perhaps, for target shooting, but air rifles are quite adequate for that.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby You, sir, name? » Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:29 pm UTC

I can buy having guns for hunting in the countryside, but not for self defense in the city, as almost all such self-defense situations are indoors in close quarters, which isn't really optimal circumstance for gun-use.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby broken_escalator » Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:39 pm UTC

I plan on owning a handgun someday for self defense, but at the moment I stick to pepper spray. Mostly because with pepper spray I can use it and run away quite easily and not risk deaths. When I have a family to protect instead of just myself I will be more inclined to switch to a handgun or at least a taser. Something more protective than pepper spray (which does do the job quite well).

I don't hunt but the people around my area who do prefer bow and arrows. Probably has to do with arrows being less likely to travel large distances and hit bystanders or something.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby michaelyw » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:21 pm UTC

Image

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Essah » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:26 pm UTC

regarding the change in legislation. its kinda hard to vote when i know that if i lived in US i would vote more legislation but since i live in denmark i will vote less...
distorts it.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Thesh » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:05 pm UTC

michaelyw wrote:
Spoiler:
Image


It's kind of sick, but it still made me laugh.

Anyway, I believe that people should have a right to concealed and open carry for self defense reasons.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby charolastra » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:38 pm UTC

I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I want nothing to do with guns. On the other, I can understand why one would want one for protection. When I lived with my ex, he kept a gun somewhere in the bedroom but I never went looking for it and asked him not to tell me where it was. He was a responsible gun owner and regularly went to the shooting range so that he could actually accurately use the gun if he ever needed to use it- otherwise I'm not sure how I would have felt about living with a gun.

Gun violence has directly impacted my life in a way in which I am rendered incapable to logically reaching a conclusion, so I stay out of the debate.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:45 pm UTC

Maybe I'd be okay with the idea of people owning guns for self defense if most of those people actually took the time to learn to properly use a gun.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby EmptySet » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:51 am UTC

Adacore wrote:More legislation is a geographically pointless question, is it not? Since we all live in countries with different firearms legislation, saying 'more legislation' here (in the UK) where guns are already largely banned means a completely different thing from saying 'more legislation' in the US.


Yeah, that. I'm happy with the level of gun control in Australia, but I think the US needs to place stronger restrictions on automatic weapons and certain classes of semi-autos, and make their laws more consistent across states. I don't think the level of gun control that exists in the UK would work very well in the US, because of the ingrained gun culture and the large number of weapons already in circulation.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby the.coding.eye » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:32 am UTC

Adacore wrote:More legislation is a geographically pointless question, is it not? Since we all live in countries with different firearms legislation, saying 'more legislation' here (in the UK) where guns are already largely banned means a completely different thing from saying 'more legislation' in the US.

Sorry about that. Occasionally I forget that not everybody on the internet is in the US.

As far as current legislation goes, I'm pretty happy with what the US does. To buy a handgun from a federal dealer you have to submit to a background check. However, they give a gun to pretty much anyone over 21 as long as they aren't a felon. Gun shows and private sellers don't have the background check rule, but if one were implemented I think it would prove difficult to enforce.

Rifles and shotguns, on the other hand are easier to get a hold of. Since I haven't bought one from a federal dealer, I'm unsure of the federal laws. However, good old Montana state law only states that you have to be 14 to legally buy one.

EmptySet wrote:and make their laws more consistent across states.

I definitely like the idea of consistency, especially in regard to concealed carry. However, in the US, states set concealed carry laws, not the federal govn't.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby mmmcannibalism » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:28 am UTC

I'm not sure how to vote on the carry part, I'm under age so I obviously don't carry but I fully intend to as soon as I can.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:59 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:I'm not sure how to vote on the carry part, I'm under age so I obviously don't carry but I fully intend to as soon as I can.
Why?
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Aaeriele » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:08 am UTC

I'm not really in favor of more legislation restricting the acquisition of such, but I am in favor of anything that requires more training for those who choose/desire to acquire one.

Guns don't kill people; people with guns kill people.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:36 am UTC

Aaeriele wrote:I'm not really in favor of more legislation restricting the acquisition of such, but I am in favor of anything that requires more training for those who choose/desire to acquire one.

Guns don't kill people; people with guns kill people.


How does that work, surely you'd have to restrict the aquisition/retention of firearms to people who've taken the requisite training?

Sort of like a licence, could be issued after some kind of objective test, but I can't think of a precident for restricting the use of dangerous items to trained, licenced people... OH WAIT! Of course I bloody can, that's how almost every other item as dangerous as a gun is dealt with!
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby ArgonV » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:59 am UTC

I don't know, I don't see much reason for civilians to have a gun. Then again, criminals have guns as well (even in countries with strict gun legislation such as Holland), so that might necessitate it for self-defence in some circumstances.
I have no problems with people who like to shoot at a range, I've got an air rifle myself and shooting at things is quite a lot of fun, to be honest. Hunting is something else entirely, I really don't see the fun of going out and killing animals for sport. The only use I personally see for hunting is artificially controlling the animal population in order to preserve the habitat.
However, I do think US gun regulations should be adjusted. For me it's ridiculous that you can buy a gun or a rifle, when you're not allowed to vote, gamble or drink.
Well, maybe a good compromise is to make non-lethal weapons (tasers, pepperspray) legal for civilian self-defence. I understand the criminals can then get easy access to them as well, but I'd rather be tasered/sprayed than shot. And I know tasers can kill people, but if a criminal has a heart condition, it's his own damn fault.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby EmptySet » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:47 am UTC

the.coding.eye wrote:
EmptySet wrote:and make their laws more consistent across states.

I definitely like the idea of consistency, especially in regard to concealed carry. However, in the US, states set concealed carry laws, not the federal govn't.


Yeah, I know. It would still make things easier for everyone if they could cooperate on some standards, but I realise that's blindingly unlikely.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:18 pm UTC

I live in the UK and I think we've got the laws about right. Here you need a licence to be able to own a firearm and only a few police officers have them. I think that "gun culture" in the US is almost certainly a large contributor to the much greater homicide rates (it's just common sense, if you let anyone have a lethal weapon, of course more people will get killed).

I think the self defence argument is a red herring as well. If someone tries to mug you/burgle your house with a gun, having one yourself is going to be of little protection as, chances are, if you're the sort of person who would be safe with a gun under normal circumstances, you're less likely to use it than the mugger/burgler etc. and so the only thing it's going to do is make them jumpy and that's not something you want someone with a gun to be (besides, there is a large body of evidence to suggest that carrying weapons for "self-defence" increases the risk of being killed/injured in any given incident (even taking into account things like socio-economic background, location, time of day and other relevant factors)).
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby heavymeds » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:08 am UTC

My stance on gun laws in the US is that there shouldn't actually a ban on any type of weapon, (ie, a civilian should be able to buy a tank, artillery piece ect.) as long as the owner is willing to pay whatever possession tax that government puts on it (like the one on automatic weapons). Mainly I get this from the fact that the second amendment is intended to actually establish state militias capable of serving as actual armies if necessary. I'm fine with things like background checks, and as I already stated, possession taxes on some weapons.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:12 am UTC

ArgonV wrote:However, I do think US gun regulations should be adjusted. For me it's ridiculous that you can buy a gun or a rifle, when you're not allowed to vote, gamble
Actually, it's 18 to purchase a rifle or a shotgun regardless of whether or not you're purchasing from a dealer or a private individual
or drink.
.. and 21 to purchase a handgun from a dealer. 18 from a private individual, apparently. Go figure.
Well, maybe a good compromise is to make non-lethal weapons (tasers, pepperspray) legal for civilian self-defence. I understand the criminals can then get easy access to them as well, but I'd rather be tasered/sprayed than shot. And I know tasers can kill people, but if a criminal has a heart condition, it's his own damn fault.
There's states where civilian owned tasers and pepper spray are illegal. Figure that one out. I sure as hell can't.

eSOANEM wrote:I live in the UK and I think we've got the laws about right. Here you need a licence to be able to own a firearm and only a few police officers have them. I think that "gun culture" in the US is almost certainly a large contributor to the much greater homicide rates (it's just common sense, if you let anyone have a lethal weapon, of course more people will get killed).
Perhaps. But there's also plenty of nations with comparable firearms ownership rates with far fewer homicides, and nations with more comparable homicide rates with far fewer cases of gun ownership.

I think we just like killing each other. That we make a goddamn rivalry out of everything can't possibly help the polarizing "Us and Them" viewpoint we're infested with.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:36 am UTC

The only use I personally see for hunting is artificially controlling the animal population in order to preserve the habitat.


*cough* food *cough*

SecondTalon wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:I'm not sure how to vote on the carry part, I'm under age so I obviously don't carry but I fully intend to as soon as I can.
Why?


Self defense, I'd rather regret lugging extra weight around the rest of my life then regret not having it if the need ever arises(hopefully not).

I think part of the problem is the disjoint between people who have guns for self defense(non criminal types) and people who are trained* to use that weapon to defend themselves. Personally I think a society where everyone had and was trained with a firearm and carried them would be extremely safe to live in**. I would imagine gun crime commited by people who actually shoot regularly is extremely low, and most shootings are the first/near first time the person has fired the gun.

*and by trained I mean goes to a range every once in a while so they could actually hit a target they are aiming at

**not endorsement for policies to create such a society
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby EmptySet » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:27 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
The only use I personally see for hunting is artificially controlling the animal population in order to preserve the habitat.


*cough* food *cough*


Hunting for food is not necessary due to large-scale agriculture. Whomever you quoted may not see hunting for food as legitimate because they believe it is less humane than other sources of meat production, or because they are vegetarian and do not believe we should be eating meat at all.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby weasel@xkcd » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:23 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote: Personally I think a society where everyone had and was trained with a firearm and carried them would be extremely safe to live in.


I think Switzerland is the closest example of that in practice as they have national service involving gun training and one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. They also have a pretty low crime rate butI think much of that comes down to factors other than simply gun ownership though.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1566715.stm
http://www.prenhall.com/divisions/hss/w ... crime.html

On one level I would like the ability to own a gun for self-defense because I'd like to be able to take personal responsibility for my safety but I don't think I'd support it in practice because I think Australia resembles America more than Switzerland.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Shivahn » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:19 am UTC

EmptySet wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:
The only use I personally see for hunting is artificially controlling the animal population in order to preserve the habitat.


*cough* food *cough*


Hunting for food is not necessary due to large-scale agriculture. Whomever you quoted may not see hunting for food as legitimate because they believe it is less humane than other sources of meat production, or because they are vegetarian and do not believe we should be eating meat at all.


This is kind of silly though. Ignoring the necessity of it for food acquisition, it's still a reason people hunt, and ignoring that/calling it illegitimate and then saying that people only hunt for sport is dishonest at best, and at worst both untrue and an attempt to poison a legitimate discussion before it begins.

Anyway, my personal view is that firearms should be allowed but... well, I don't know a way to say this better than "while discouraging violent culture." I personally think that some smart regulations could restrict the effects of gun violence, but that for a truly more peaceful society, we (Americans) really need to work from the bottom up. I truly believe that guns aren't the problem, or even a symptom of a problem, but they are an unfortunate mechanism through which the problem (a rather violent society) carries out its violence. Which is not something I know how to fix.

As for personal ownership, I have a rifle and am interested in a pistol, and would carry if I could, probably, but living in California, carrying is very restricted and probably not worth the time it would take to get my application denied.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Thesh » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:38 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:Anyway, my personal view is that firearms should be allowed but... well, I don't know a way to say this better than "while discouraging violent culture." I personally think that some smart regulations could restrict the effects of gun violence, but that for a truly more peaceful society, we (Americans) really need to work from the bottom up. I truly believe that guns aren't the problem, or even a symptom of a problem, but they are an unfortunate mechanism through which the problem (a rather violent society) carries out its violence. Which is not something I know how to fix.


Honestly, a lot of our problem is the justice system. Felonies being on your record permanently pretty much prevents many people who have reformed from finding a decent job, perpetuating poverty and causing convicted felons to return to crime to survive. Locking people up for minor crimes like drug possession (this is a felony for some drugs) also hurts a lot of people, especially young people who haven't finished school.

Another problem is the under-funding of our school systems, especially in areas with lots of poverty. I am convinced that the high drop out rate in those areas can be fixed (we would need to look into the reasons why they are so high) and that if we fix that we could significantly reduce crime in those areas.

There are things that we can do, most of those things we aren't doing. It is possible that getting rid of regressive taxes (sales tax, gas tax, sin taxes) and tax breaks that make rich people pay a lower percent than most (see Warren Buffet) would help a lot as well by freeing up a significant percentage of lower class income (note that I'm not in favor of making rich people pay through the ass, they should just pay at least the same percentage of their income as everyone that makes less than them).
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Shivahn » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:42 am UTC

I agree with pretty much everything you said. The justice system needs a sever overhaul, with emphasis on rehabilitation rather than punishment. We as a society are not close to there though.

And school funding is another big thing. The problem is these solutions aren't "tough on crime" and whatnot, so they're harder to get people to support. Even if they're far more important and productive, down the line.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:02 am UTC

EmptySet wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:
The only use I personally see for hunting is artificially controlling the animal population in order to preserve the habitat.
*cough* food *cough*
Hunting for food is not necessary due to large-scale agriculture. Whomever you quoted may not see hunting for food as legitimate because they believe it is less humane than other sources of meat production, or because they are vegetarian and do not believe we should be eating meat at all.
If you process everything yourself, it's... substantially cheaper than buying food. Granted, you need some equipment beforehand and there are supplies that go along with it, but two or three years in, if you're using hunted meat as a major source of food, then you're only out your time.

For some people, that's good enough.

There's also the personal preference of flavor, and to make an analogy it's the same as saying that eating a $40 steak isn't necessary. Which is completely correct, no one ever needs to eat a $40 steak. It also kinda misses the point.


But yeah, back to the point, in some rural areas, hunting for food *is* a necessity. Because a bullet and time is cheaper than $1.50 a pound for beef.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Thesh » Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:23 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Because a bullet and time is cheaper than $1.50 a pound for beef.


Seriously? For the cheapest ground beef, I am paying $2 per pound here in California. That's when it's on sale.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:28 am UTC

Yeah, something like that for the cheapest crap and buying it 5 pounds at a time. The better, leaner stuff is more in the $2-3 range.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Shivahn » Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:35 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:Because a bullet and time is cheaper than $1.50 a pound for beef.


Seriously? For the cheapest ground beef, I am paying $2 per pound here in California. That's when it's on sale.


I am sure my Chinese market can beat that. But it's probably not the best stuff.

I wouldn't know, though, I don't buy factory farmed stuff. Organic 4 lyfe.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:38 am UTC

But anyway, point being that yes, there's people out there who cannot afford $1.50 a pound for cowflesh yet still want to eat meat in quantity. So hunting provides a solution to that problem while also getting the horned rats out of my corn fields and off my highways.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Dream » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:50 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote: there's people out there who cannot afford $1.50 a pound for cowflesh yet still want to eat meat in quantity. So hunting provides a solution to that problem while also getting the horned rats out of my corn fields and off my highways.
There are people who can't afford a dollar or two extra for decent food, but who can afford to buy and maintain long guns, train themselves, take the time to hunt, the expense of travelling to the hunting ground, and above all pay for the freezer that stores the meat? Unlikely, I'd say. Certainly not sociologically significant numbers, anyway.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Jacque » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:11 pm UTC

Dream wrote:There are people who can't afford a dollar or two extra for decent food


It's not so much "can't afford" as "would rather hunt their meat and not have to spend the money every week". Bag one deer and you've got a LOT of meat.

Dream wrote:but who can afford to buy and maintain long guns


A lot of times guns are given as gifts from parents to children on certain birthdays, like 16/18. And generally, you can pick up one from a pawn shop or a gun show for not all that much money actually. And maintenance is a pretty low cost thing.

Dream wrote:train themselves


Most hunters you'll find grew up around guns, and their parents taught them to shoot.

Dream wrote:take the time to hunt


Since deer are most active in the early mornings and around dusk, it's easy to take the time to go hunt even if you have to work the same day. Also a good weekend activity.

Dream wrote:the expense of travelling to the hunting ground


The woods are hunting ground. A lot of people that hunt for food are the kind of people that live in rural areas that have woods. Hell, there's a good amount of public hunting areas around. Here's a map of public hunting areas in my county alone. Plus, people who hunt usually know folks that have land that they can hunt on.

Dream wrote:and above all pay for the freezer that stores the meat


Who doesn't have a freezer? An additional meat freezer is a pretty common thing among hunting families considering that's just how they do it.

People who hunt just have different priorities and thus put their money towards certain things.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:58 pm UTC

Jacque wrote:People who hunt just have different priorities and thus put their money towards certain things.

I think that's his point. If they'd put that money into buying food rather than hunting it, there's no issue.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Jacque » Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:46 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
Jacque wrote:People who hunt just have different priorities and thus put their money towards certain things.

I think that's his point. If they'd put that money into buying food rather than hunting it, there's no issue.


Well, Dream's main point is that freezers are expensive and people could just put cash toward grocery store meat instead.

My rebuttal to that point is that while freezers are a little expensive (think about how much one spends on meat totaled over several years [how long does your average freezer last, what, 10-15 years?)]) the average hunting folk have different priorities in where their cash is going. Your average hunter isn't spending money like your average city dweller (no starbucks, not eating out nearly as much, etc.).

Plus I was also hoping to point out that it not all about the money, it's about going out and doing something for yourself.

So, my point is that yes, there are people like that, and in pretty significant numbers*. Also, hunting is not as expensive as a lot of people think.

*Depends on where you live. Certainly not in the UK, but take a good look a America, nearly 1/5 of American adults own a gun. 60-70 million gun owners is a lot of people.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Thesh » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
Jacque wrote:People who hunt just have different priorities and thus put their money towards certain things.

I think that's his point. If they'd put that money into buying food rather than hunting it, there's no issue.


Except that once you get over the initial costs ($200-$500 for a chest freezer which easily lasts 10 years, $350-$400 for a new entry-level rifle which will last a lifetime if you take care of it), it becomes significantly cheaper to hunt for food. For people that have had their guns handed down to them, the initial costs aren't even less.
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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby Windmill » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:23 am UTC

Grew up in a gun owning family. Will probably buy a rifle next year and receive handgun for 21st birthday. Also dating someone who loves firearms.

I would much rather go through the effort of hunting than go down to wal-mart and buy tons of meat. It's a lot more gratifying and doubles as a hobby and food source. It's quite a ballsy thing to say that I should put money towards purchasing prepackaged meat when I can have fresh meat for the price of the bullets. If you're going to talk about opportunity costs, I don't want to work during the time I would spend hunting.

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Re: Firearms the Poll

Postby konaya » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:49 am UTC

If you're trained in the use of firearms, I see no reason not to be able to wear one, provided that only you will use it, ever. And by "trained", I mean experience with using firearms under pressure and confusion. Like the kind of training you get by being a street officer or in the military for a few years.

So, basically... No. The average Joe or Jane are way too inexperienced to be entrusted with lethal weaponry. While I do think non-lethal weaponry should be available for individuals, I fear that such devices will infuse the wearer with a false sense of security. A much better way to go would be to train people how to be alert; how to spot trouble before it arises; how to defuse the situation should it arise; and how to get away should the need for that arise.

The only situations in which firearms would useful, and therefore should be allowed, is for people with special training enforcing law (police) and people with basic training under controlled and specific circumstances (hunting). People may argue that hunting is cruel. Whether that may be true or not I will not delve into, but, in my humble opinion, hunting an animal that has lived a full life in its natural habitat is way less cruel than essentially "growing" meat on a farm for slaughter. And it tastes way better, too ;)


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