Carrying Guns

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TheAmazingRando
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Carrying Guns

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:59 am UTC

Split off from another thread that's also getting hopelessly off-topic.

First things first, this is not a thread about gun control, or whether or not it should be legal to carry guns. This is about discussing the personal choice of arming oneself, assuming that it is already legal.

Kendo_Bunny wrote:I carry a gun for self-defense. It's my right, and that's the only defense I really need.

That's a perfectly good legal excuse, but generally when people ask "why did/do you do that?", "because I legally can" isn't really a satisfying answer. There's nothing illegal about all sorts of different things that people choose not to do, so unless you do everything that you legally can, there must be more of a personal reason than legality that you choose to arm yourself.

Kendo_Bunny wrote:Although I have to say I don't understand the distrust of anyone who chooses to arm themselves. Awful things happen all the time, and my handgun is the same as my insurance.

So, personal safety is a reason. It's the reason people list all the time. But, to me, safety != ability to kill someone. I don't think any crimes deserve death, so if I want something to protect myself, ideally it would be something that would not kill the other person. The top priority, after all, should be protecting myself, not punishing the assailant. That's for the justice system to work out. And I can't imagine many likely cases where the only way I would be able to protect myself would be by killing someone else. But, with a gun, the choice is basically between do nothing, threaten to kill, and kill. Since I don't think any crimes warrant killing, I would prefer some sort of physical deterrent that does not involve killing.

The main reason I distrust a lot of (not all) people who choose to arm themselves doesn't really pertain to their carrying itself. Though that is still a reason. I mean, it does bother me somewhat to know that the person I'm dealing with has the ability to kill me (and to kill me from far away), so that if we do have any disagreement or argument, if something I do makes them mad, they have the ability of killing me out of rage. And while I'm not the type to pick a fight, altercations happen from time to time, due to misunderstanding or whatever else. This wouldn't apply to someone I know well, of course, and I know that many people who carry guns would never pull one for anything other than self-defense, but I know that not all people have that same sort of respect for guns, and if it's someone I don't know, it's impossible for me to know which camp they fall in.

The more important reason to me, though, probably has more to do with where I live than how society as a whole tends to function. Where I live, carrying guns is not common. I have never in my life seen a civilian that I knew to be carrying. It just isn't really a part of non-gang culture in Southern California. The only people that carry, that I know carry, are the very outspoken ones with second amendment bumper stickers and t-shirts. And these people often prove themselves to be the type with little respect for the first amendment, and poorly masked bigotry (both by hearing them talk, and by seeing the type of hateful bumper stickers that usually accompany the second amendment ones).
I am not saying all or even most people who carry guns are like this, but it scares me that, where I live, the ones who are most outspoken about it (the only ones I know about, since there isn't much of a gun culture here) are the ones who I would not trust to make a decision about the worth of a human life.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:21 am UTC

I have been sexually victimized in my past, and several women very close to me are rape victims. I do believe the perpetrators of sex crimes deserve to die. I am just shy of 5'8'', 235 lbs, and I lift weights. I can not win play wrestling with a man who weighs 10 lbs. less than I do and has joints made of crispy celery and soggy bread who isn't even half trying. That is the particular point of self-defense. I can not win hand-to-hand combat, I can't run well (and if I'm dressed up I can't run at all: try running in high heels some time- or try running down an alleyway with only pantyhose on your feet), and I don't trust my life and my body to pepper spray or tasers.

Now, the second part is projection, I believe. I have a very slow temper and I can not imagine drawing my gun in anger. I have been trained my entire life to not point a gun at anyone I am not willing to kill without regret, and so, my gun will never be pointed any other human being who is not attempting to do me or mine harm. Even with my own slow temper, I find my gun an extra moderating influence and an extra incentive to keep my head and remain calm. A lot of people who have never held a gun do seem to assume that it makes it easier to lose one's temper, but in my experience, the opposite is true.

The third part is stereotypes. Yes, every sub-culture has a smaller sub that they wish would just go away. I'm definitely not enamored of the people who act like any one amendment in the Bill of Rights doesn't exist, and I'm definitely not enamored of the people who make the image of a stupid, violent bigot synonomous with gun owners. However, there is nothing I can do about that, and nothing I can say but to please learn about the gun culture on your own with an open mind.

If anyone wants to ask me questions about my handgun ownership, I'm more than happy to answer.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Kaiyas » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:53 am UTC

Were I to carry a gun, I would do so because hand to hand combat is more dangerous and more difficult than using a gun.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby TheStranger » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:58 am UTC

First, I do not carry a gun (my mother was strongly opposed to guns and as such I was not around them growing up)...
Second, I fully understand/accept the right to bear arms is an important part of the US... and that it is a valid right.

TheAmazingRando wrote:That's a perfectly good legal excuse, but generally when people ask "why did/do you do that?", "because I legally can" isn't really a satisfying answer. There's nothing illegal about all sorts of different things that people choose not to do, so unless you do everything that you legally can, there must be more of a personal reason than legality that you choose to arm yourself.


Because it is a valid form of self defense. In some ways its like asking "why do you lock your door at night"

TheAmazingRando wrote:So, personal safety is a reason. It's the reason people list all the time. But, to me, safety != ability to kill someone. I don't think any crimes deserve death, so if I want something to protect myself, ideally it would be something that would not kill the other person. The top priority, after all, should be protecting myself, not punishing the assailant. That's for the justice system to work out. And I can't imagine many likely cases where the only way I would be able to protect myself would be by killing someone else. But, with a gun, the choice is basically between do nothing, threaten to kill, and kill. Since I don't think any crimes warrant killing, I would prefer some sort of physical deterrent that does not involve killing.


I believe that this was covered quite throughly in the Pacifism thread.

When faced with a persistent attacker there are few options, the best one is to incapacitate the attacker (allowing for a clean escape). Unless you are very skilled in the martial arts then a gun becomes a very effective tool in that instance. Whats more just the presence of a gun can act as a deterrent (or even the knowledge that a gun MAY be present). A gun allows ANYONE to be a threat to the biggest/meanest person on the planet... it's something we all know can kill/maim.

TheAmazingRando wrote:The main reason I distrust a lot of (not all) people who choose to arm themselves doesn't really pertain to their carrying itself. Though that is still a reason. I mean, it does bother me somewhat to know that the person I'm dealing with has the ability to kill me (and to kill me from far away), so that if we do have any disagreement or argument, if something I do makes them mad, they have the ability of killing me out of rage.


Not to sound all arrogant and such... but there are quite a few ways to kill a person who is not expecting it with ones own bare hands (or with commonly available items). We can also look at the statistics to see how often this situation arises (it seems to be quite rare)

TheAmazingRando wrote:The more important reason to me, though, probably has more to do with where I live than how society as a whole tends to function. Where I live, carrying guns is not common. I have never in my life seen a civilian that I knew to be carrying. It just isn't really a part of non-gang culture in Southern California. The only people that carry, that I know carry, are the very outspoken ones with second amendment bumper stickers and t-shirts.


That is a good point, the culture we grow up in can influence our attitude with regards to firearms.

For myself I grew up around the military, around people for whom guns were part of their profession. I've also spent a great deal of time in southern VA, which is quite different from southern CA with regards to gun culture. As such I have a great deal of respect for firearms... but the idea of people owning/carrying guns doesn't really bother me.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby tantalum » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:01 am UTC

You carry guns because you don't trust other people. If you could trust people not to try to rape you/mug you, you wouldn't need a gun.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Indon » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:01 am UTC

Kaiyas wrote:Were I to carry a gun, I would do so because hand to hand combat is more dangerous and more difficult than using a gun.


If you want to be prepared for self-defense, you should both know how to use a gun and know hand-to-hand combat.

One of the reasons police and military are taught hand-to-hand combat is because in close ranges, people can successfully rush someone wielding a firearm, disarm them, and force them into melee combat. And that range is surprisingly long - I think 50 feet distance is where your risk starts going up.

Another thing you could get, which is probably just as important, is to cultivate the ability to use a firm voice for defusing potentially violent situations. That's probably harder than either hand-to-hand combat or gun usage, but since it can avoid violence before it starts, it seems to me a superior option.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Lucrece » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:07 am UTC

I carry one mainly because guns are a form of proactive protection, whereas the police is reactive. Guns are intimidating, and they can quickly dissolve a forming altercation by forcing space between the two parties, assuming the intimidating quality is not meant to suppress another being, but rather as a way to say "back off".\

I will tell you straight out: As a gay man, I don't feel safe. Too many gay friends have been assaulted (lesbians don't have this sense of insecurity as much, though; it's mostly male homosexuals that are always victimized) for me to risk my safety. It is not rare to hear of a group of straight men that loom outside gay bars or some other locale known for gay clientèle for the sake of bashing. It is not rare around here to get violent reactions when you're with someone. It can be as minimal as hand-holding or leaning your head against his shoulder. That's enough to earn a tirade.

Now, here are my options:

1) Call the police, assuming the threatening group of men let me (most gay bashings involve more than 2 men; there's no way I can handle myself either with my fists, knife, or taser), and wait until the police gets there, which is plenty of time for the assailants to leave me in critical condition. Additionally, if I'm coming out of a bar, it'll be nighttime, and as soon as I get some distance on the bar, I've got very little chance of obtaining reliable witnesses for my beating. Most of these bashings outside ars often go unsolved, simply because it's fairly easy to conceal the act and escape. Since the assailants are most often strangers, locating them is next to impossible. Rewards are useless; nobody will put their time and effort into scrutinizing people that simply beat a queer. It's sad, it's offensive, but you learn to accept it.

2) You have your gun on you, and you convey the clear message that the attempted assault will not go without negative consequences for the assailants. If I do happen to not be able to handle them with a gun, they are well aware that at least I can take down one of them with me. Most likely, I'll be the one that will come out alive from the event fairly easily. I'm just not worth their time and effort. In fact, with the threat of shooting them, I can actually detain them and call the police.
---

I'm simply not willing to risk a visit to the hospital because I was beaten to a bloody pulp for the sake of some bigots' entertainment. For anyone that has been a victim of abuse, you know that the beating is not the worst part of it; it's the psychological remainder. It's truly humiliating to be reminded that you're not in control of your body, that you're not strong enough to defend yourself, and that you were somebody else's ragdoll. I will not let anybody compound my demons; I've already picked up enough of them, along with some scars to boot, throughout my childhood and adolescence.

For someone who has faced abuse quite extensively, you don't know how magical it is to come to the ralization that you just might be able to keep yourself safe, to stand up for your well-being. I will not let some idealistic progressive ( I'm a "progressive" by party affiliations, but I disagree on a lot of stuff with me peers) who's been privileged with a sheltered life, full of stability and mundaneness, to take my ability to defend myself simply because they delude themselves into thinking that lack of guns will alleviate the evils of violence.

--

With that said, I agree with Rando's point: quite a bit of the gun-toters are perpetrators of violence themselves. They're prepotent, and they use the second amendment and self-defense excuse as a veil for their use of guns as a way to secure their masculinity and world-perspective. Simply put, crude bullies.

But, bullies develop into such lot simply because they are aware of the power disparity. If we give people the chance to close the power gap, meaning allowing them equally effective means to compel the bullies to desist, I think we will be seeing less bullies.

P.S. Oh, and someone being able to rush you and disarm you is a complete toss-up. If you are carrying a fairly small handgun, manipulating it into a direction where you can get a shot in is easy enoug, even when you're struggling against someone. In some other case, that's why you might carry a complementary taser or knife.

I do agree that training and practice is necessary, though. More often than not, if you have never shot a gun, things will not bode well for you. You could accidentally shoot another person.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby AbNo » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:12 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:"Why carry?"


Because it's more efficient to have one with me than to wait for someone from the government to bring one. :mrgreen:

After all, that's what happens when you dial 911. You get one or more people that are armed, almost literally, to the hilt. :wink:

TheAmazingRando wrote:So, personal safety is a reason. It's the reason people list all the time. But, to me, safety != ability to kill someone. I don't think any crimes deserve death, so if I want something to protect myself, ideally it would be something that would not kill the other person.


No offense, Rando, but that's a false association. The purpose isn't to kill a criminal, it's to end a threat to one's personally safety in the fastest, most efficient way possible.

Not to mention, most chemical weapons don't work well on people that are drugged, or, for some of the weaker sprays, people that like spicy foods. :P

Below is a list of the pitfalls of chemical weapons published by the University of Oklahoma Police Department. The majority of the following statements are applicable to almost any chemical weapon--whether they be aerosol, stream, foam, or otherwise applied:
Delayed effect—chemicals take some time to affect the target, during which an attacker can continue to attack
Effectiveness is subject to weather conditions—completely ineffective in high winds and less effective in extreme cold
May be ineffective on some individuals—persons under the influence of some drugs, who are extremely agitated, or who have mental health problems may not be affected at all or may only be further agitated.

http://www.cityoffargo.com/CityInfo/Dep ... pperSpray/

Just some of my reasons for choosing what I choose.

TheAmazingRando wrote:And I can't imagine many likely cases where the only way I would be able to protect myself would be by killing someone else. .... ....Since I don't think any crimes warrant killing, I would prefer some sort of physical deterrent that does not involve killing.


And that's very important to know. Carrying a potentially lethal weapon that you are not prepared (mentally.... spiritually if you will) to use can be much more dangerous to you. Having it's great, being able to use it if you need it is better. You show wisdom in realizing this. :)

The main reason I distrust a lot of (not all) people who choose to arm themselves doesn't really pertain to their carrying itself. Though that is still a reason. I mean, it does bother me somewhat to know that the person I'm dealing with has the ability to kill me (and to kill me from far away), so that if we do have any disagreement or argument, if something I do makes them mad, they have the ability of killing me out of rage. And while I'm not the type to pick a fight, altercations happen from time to time, due to misunderstanding or whatever else. This wouldn't apply to someone I know well, of course, and I know that many people who carry guns would never pull one for anything other than self-defense, but I know that not all people have that same sort of respect for guns, and if it's someone I don't know, it's impossible for me to know which camp they fall in.

TheAmazingRando wrote:The more important reason to me, though, probably has more to do with where I live than how society as a whole tends to function. Where I live, carrying guns is not common. I have never in my life seen a civilian that I knew to be carrying.


That may largely be the case. In places like Vermont, Virginia, and other states that don't begin with "V", it DOES tend to be a bit more common place. For example, you can usually see me running around town, chatting with people behind the register when I'm out running errands, like picking up groceries or paying the electric bill.

Then again, I'm actually NICER when I carry, and I make it a point to be so. :o

TheAmazingRando wrote:The only people that carry, that I know carry, are the very outspoken ones with second amendment bumper stickers and t-shirts. And these people often prove themselves to be the type with little respect for the first amendment, and poorly masked bigotry (both by hearing them talk, and by seeing the type of hateful bumper stickers that usually accompany the second amendment ones).


I actually take a bit of offense to that, but I think I know why that's what you're noticing...

You live in California. From what I see, sitting on the opposite seaboard, personal freedoms are being stepped upon on a daily basis, especially rights of people that choose to carring powder-based weapons.

They feel threatened by the legislature, the people and the goings on out there, and, again, from where I'm sitting, I can see why.

TheAmazingRando wrote:I am not saying all or even most people who carry guns are like this, but it scares me that, where I live, the ones who are most outspoken about it (the only ones I know about, since there isn't much of a gun culture here) are the ones who I would not trust to make a decision about the worth of a human life.


There's really not much of one here, either. BUT, there's not as much of an active threat to one's rights on this side of the country as there is on yours. No offense, I'm simply making an observation. If you watch some of the legislature that goes through out there, you'll see what I mean.

And I'm not just talking about 2A based rights, either...
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby AbNo » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:28 am UTC

Woot! Double post!

Indon wrote:If you want to be prepared for self-defense, you should both know how to use a gun and know hand-to-hand combat.

One of the reasons police and military are taught hand-to-hand combat is because in close ranges, people can successfully rush someone wielding a firearm, disarm them, and force them into melee combat. And that range is surprisingly long - I think 50 feet distance is where your risk starts going up.


Yes the 21-Foot Rule, I believe is what you are talking about.

Indon wrote:Another thing you could get, which is probably just as important, is to cultivate the ability to use a firm voice for defusing potentially violent situations. That's probably harder than either hand-to-hand combat or gun usage, but since it can avoid violence before it starts, it seems to me a superior option.


Yep. You've got to learn how to start it with an "H" sound, to get the diaphragm into it.

Man, Google has EVERYTHING....
http://www.drillpad.net/DPcommandvoice.htm
http://www.tkdtutor.com/05Instructor/Commands.htm

That's why it's "Harch", not "March". :wink:

Still, it's always good to have that last resort, and I'm not talking the Hilton....


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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Lucrece » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:38 am UTC

I have. I've never made the effort to establish contact, though. Soon enough, I might put some time into contacting them.

It's a noble group. Having worked in a hate crimes project group for quite a bit, I realized just how many of these slaughters could've been avoided had the victim had a gun.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Philwelch » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:13 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:Split off from another thread that's also getting hopelessly off-topic.

First things first, this is not a thread about gun control, or whether or not it should be legal to carry guns. This is about discussing the personal choice of arming oneself, assuming that it is already legal.

Kendo_Bunny wrote:I carry a gun for self-defense. It's my right, and that's the only defense I really need.
That's a perfectly good legal excuse, but generally when people ask "why did/do you do that?", "because I legally can" isn't really a satisfying answer. There's nothing illegal about all sorts of different things that people choose not to do, so unless you do everything that you legally can, there must be more of a personal reason than legality that you choose to arm yourself.


There probably is.

But in the fuller context of the conversation, it's still an appropriate response. It's generally impolite to challenge people on why they choose to exercise their rights. Much of the time, people who ask "why do you arm yourself?" are generally people who are opposed to carrying weapons (or indeed, to self-defense at all) trying to call into question a personal decision one has every right to make. Asserting your legal rights is a polite way to tell these people it's none of their business and you don't appreciate your personal choices being called into question. (Analogously, critics of the war often take offense and cite freedom of speech when badgered about why they don't support the troops. And the people they're dealing with don't even openly admit to trying to repeal the right to free speech.)
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:03 am UTC

I don't mean to imply that it's wrong for people to carry guns, and I have nothing against people who exercise that freedom in a responsible way, especially people who are at a greater-than-average danger of being assaulted (women, oppressed minorities). I just wanted to clarify that, in case it wasn't obvious. I know the stereotype I've noticed doesn't pertain to all or even most gun carriers, but almost everyone around here I've seen that carries falls into that ultra-right-wing camp.

AbNo wrote:No offense, Rando, but that's a false association. The purpose isn't to kill a criminal, it's to end a threat to one's personally safety in the fastest, most efficient way possible.
I didn't mean to imply otherwise. In fact, that was sort of my point. The purpose isn't to kill a criminal, but with a gun (if you're using it properly) that's what's going to happen. Since the purpose is merely self-defense, and not to kill, I think the most ideal solution is something that eliminates the threat without killing the criminal.

I know that a lot of popular non-lethal means of self defense are ineffective, especially since most people just buy them and aren't trained in how to properly use them, but from what I've seen, a properly-used taser is pretty good at incapacitating someone. I really haven't researched it, because I don't really feel like I'm at risk of violent crime (I'm a straight, white guy who doesn't carry much money on him at a time, and nobody I know has ever been a victim of rape, robbery, or assault). I realize that other people are more at risk, maybe I'm at risk and I just don't realize it. I'm legitimately interested in what motivates people to carry, because it's something thats pretty foreign to me.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Lucrece » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:09 am UTC

The problem with using a gun in a a manner that doesn't kill the opponent is that some legislation (in some states) specifically prohibits maiming. If you use a gun, it needs to be used with lethal force in order to demonstrate the urgency of its use. If your use didn't require you to kill, then you shouldn't have used the gun.

I personally don't agree with this logic, but I suppose such legislation is a result of the abuse by a few that always screws the majority. Oh, and the media demonization of carrying guns.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Philwelch » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:17 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:I don't mean to imply that it's wrong for people to carry guns, and I have nothing against people who exercise that freedom in a responsible way, especially people who are at a greater-than-average danger of being assaulted (women, oppressed minorities). I just wanted to clarify that, in case it wasn't obvious. I know the stereotype I've noticed doesn't pertain to all or even most gun carriers, but almost everyone around here I've seen that carries falls into that ultra-right-wing camp.


Fair enough, and I'm cool with the thread. I just remember a similar drama unfolding in Fat Tony's thread awhile back and wanted to make that same point.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby BlackSails » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:24 am UTC

I turn 21 next year, and plan to apply for a handgun license.

What would be a good starter pistol? Best bang for the buck? (im a poor student)

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Vaniver » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:30 am UTC

BlackSails wrote:I turn 21 next year, and plan to apply for a handgun license.

What would be a good starter pistol? Best bang for the buck? (im a poor student)
This thread is for discussions like that; there are some suggestions there already (just ignore the debate).
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby superglucose » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:49 am UTC

Guns are guns. I would consider owning a gun simply because the mechanism of guns interest me strongly. I could easily discover a taste for hunting, and again, the technology of a gun is so simple and yet amazing.

The one time I held a handgun was when my uncle, who works for Colt, was showing me some of the projects he was working on. I discovered a LOT about guns that day that really changed the way I viewed them, and as such I'm probably going to have a gun in my house so when my kids (when I have them) reach a certain age I can show them what it is, how it works, etc. etc.

People carrying guns don't bother me in the slightest. I'm sure they have their reasons, and I have mine for not carrying them. So long as they abide by live and let live, I'm perfectly fine with whatever they chose to carry.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby n4ry4 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:33 pm UTC

I'm just curious, for those of you who do carry guns, why choose a gun instead of pepper spray or a taser? Is there a reason they wouldn't achieve the goal (personal protection) as well as a gun?

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Gunfingers » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:11 pm UTC

There are circumstances where those won't work.

Mace, for example, will be completely inneffectual against people on certain drugs. If you're looking to protect yourself from rape and some methhead decides you'd be a good thing to put his dick in you wouldn't be able to stop him with mace, your fists, or possibly even a small calibre firearm unless you get him just right. There are also people who are just randomly immune to pepper spray.

TASERS are one-shot tools with a short range and inconsistent accuracy. Up against a group of people, someone packing a firearm, or possibly even someone wearing heavy clothing (not sure on that one) they wouldn't be particularly effective. On the plus side, they will stop someone on drugs.

It's basically something you have to balance. There's a full spectrum running from walking around everywhere you go unarmed (this is what i do) to walking around everywhere you go in a helmet, kevlar, and two weapons (which i have done, and i wouldn't recommend it for your everyday commute). You as an individual have to consider where in that spectrum is most appropriate for you.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby om617 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:53 pm UTC

In response to the "lethal vs. non-lethal" issue, remember that no matter what form of self defense you carry, your training (ability to use the weapon effectively without thinking in a time of crisis) is paramount. A firearm may, simply by being drawn, scare an assailant, but it may also introduce a measure of desperation in him. If you carry a gun, be prepared to use it.

That said, for home defense nothing beats a 12-gauge. I have my doubts that the sound of the action will deter an intruder, but I'm a firm believer that number 00 buckshot will. Only use birdshot if you intend to be assaulted by little birds.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Jebobek » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:33 pm UTC

I like how it is now. Its not "cool" to hold guns with us, but we should always have the right to do so.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Iv » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:57 pm UTC

Disclaimer : I don't own a gun and live in a country where it is illegal to have one, never used one either.

I am surprised to not see this reason listed already : being able to apply a force of a few tens of newtons in a perforating way at 50 meters is just cool. Ok, it can kill people, but that's not guns geekiest use. Think of it as a telekinetic hammer. I think it should go next to the multitool in the list of "tools that let you fizzle with stuff in a creative way". Think of it as a power tool : Dangerous, powerful, useful. Definitely a must have in the tool box (transport it unloaded of course)

As a weapon : Well I don't know if I would carry one if it were legal for me. In theory it makes sense to be more armed than people who could be hostile but in practice so many things can go wrong (misfire, thief, loss, sudden change of mood due to drugs, medication, food or bad music... ). I also have the feeling that people will be more hostile toward a person carrying a non-concealed (that would be illegal otherwise, wouldn't it ?) weapon. Of course, my experience to this is limited but I do observe that people are are hostile toward armed person (policemen) and even more hostile to people armed with machine guns (military) when they see them in the streets.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby BlackSails » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:19 pm UTC

n4ry4 wrote:I'm just curious, for those of you who do carry guns, why choose a gun instead of pepper spray or a taser? Is there a reason they wouldn't achieve the goal (personal protection) as well as a gun?


If someone is close enough for me to use pepper spray, I might as well just use my 15 years of martial arts training.

But no matter how long you have done martial arts, going hand to hand against someone with a knife, or with multiple people, is not a good idea.

A taser is fine, unless there are two people. Or one has a thick coat. Or you miss, and now have nothing.


My family owns many guns. We live in a flood prone area, and if New Orleans were to happen, we would not be at the mercy of the looting gangs and rapists that ran around.

A gun is something you dont need, until you need it, and then its too late to get one. Its sort of like a seat belt. Under normal circumstances, you dont need a seat belt. I have never been in an accident in which a seat belt helped. But when one of those does happen, its a bit late to put your seatbelt on.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby 22/7 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:20 pm UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:I didn't mean to imply otherwise. In fact, that was sort of my point. The purpose isn't to kill a criminal, but with a gun (if you're using it properly) that's what's going to happen. Since the purpose is merely self-defense, and not to kill, I think the most ideal solution is something that eliminates the threat without killing the criminal.

You're still assuming that the way to defend yourself is by killing someone. In short, the phrase "a gun (if you're using it properly) [kills a criminal]" is flat out wrong. A gun can deter, it can injure/maim, or it can kill, and depending on the situation, those can all be correct uses.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby BlackSails » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:34 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:You're still assuming that the way to defend yourself is by killing someone. In short, the phrase "a gun (if you're using it properly) [kills a criminal]" is flat out wrong. A gun can deter, it can injure/maim, or it can kill, and depending on the situation, those can all be correct uses.


Whenever you point a gun at something, you better be willing to shoot it.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby 22/7 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:45 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:
22/7 wrote:You're still assuming that the way to defend yourself is by killing someone. In short, the phrase "a gun (if you're using it properly) [kills a criminal]" is flat out wrong. A gun can deter, it can injure/maim, or it can kill, and depending on the situation, those can all be correct uses.


Whenever you point a gun at something, you better be willing to shoot it.

Absolutely. But that doesn't mean that you have to shoot it. You can draw the weapon without pointing it at the person to deter them. You can point it at them without pulling the trigger to threaten them. You can point it at them and pull the trigger to maim (stop) and/or kill them. I'm assuming that the situation is beyond the point of not needing a gun for you to have drawn it in the first place, and beyond the point of not needing to immediately protect yourself to have pointed it at someone. Of course, those are very gray, subjective lines, but those are the assumptions I've made.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby BlackSails » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:46 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:
BlackSails wrote:
22/7 wrote:You're still assuming that the way to defend yourself is by killing someone. In short, the phrase "a gun (if you're using it properly) [kills a criminal]" is flat out wrong. A gun can deter, it can injure/maim, or it can kill, and depending on the situation, those can all be correct uses.


Whenever you point a gun at something, you better be willing to shoot it.

Absolutely. But that doesn't mean that you have to shoot it. You can draw the weapon without pointing it at the person to deter them. You can point it at them without pulling the trigger to threaten them. You can point it at them and pull the trigger to maim (stop) and/or kill them. I'm assuming that the situation is beyond the point of not needing a gun for you to have drawn it in the first place, and beyond the point of not needing to immediately protect yourself to have pointed it at someone. Of course, those are very gray, subjective lines, but those are the assumptions I've made.


Ok, I thought you meant that the "correct" use of a gun is as a scary looking thing, rather than as a threat you are willing to execute.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby 22/7 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:49 pm UTC

Ahh, no. Just that the "correct use of a gun" is not necessarily killing someone, as was previously asserted.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:26 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Absolutely. But that doesn't mean that you have to shoot it. You can draw the weapon without pointing it at the person to deter them. You can point it at them without pulling the trigger to threaten them.
I acknowledged this:
TheAmazingRando wrote:the choice is basically between do nothing, threaten to kill, and kill.
Anyway, I'm fully aware that it is possible to shoot a person without killing them. However, with a weapon as lethal as a gun, every shot can kill (well, not if you're aiming for a leg or a hand, but aren't most people trained to aim for the biggest target aka the torso?) so you need to treat it as though every shot will.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby 22/7 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:24 pm UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:
22/7 wrote:Absolutely. But that doesn't mean that you have to shoot it. You can draw the weapon without pointing it at the person to deter them. You can point it at them without pulling the trigger to threaten them.
I acknowledged this:
TheAmazingRando wrote:the choice is basically between do nothing, threaten to kill, and kill.
Anyway, I'm fully aware that it is possible to shoot a person without killing them. However, with a weapon as lethal as a gun, every shot can kill (well, not if you're aiming for a leg or a hand, but aren't most people trained to aim for the biggest target aka the torso?) so you need to treat it as though every shot will.

Then you need to stop saying things like
TheAmazingRando wrote:The purpose isn't to kill a criminal, but with a gun (if you're using it properly) that's what's going to happen.
There is more than one way to "properly use" a gun. More than once you've used that phrase (use properly or properly use or whatever) and the end result you've consistently tacked onto it is "death for the criminal". Again, the "proper use" of a gun for self defense could be to simply defuse the situation or to threaten to kill without killing. In fact, I would wager that the vast majority of people would prefer to not have to pull the trigger. You're making it sound like "if you're carrying for self defense and you find yourself in a situation where you're using that gun for self defense, as long as you're doing it right, the other guy's going to die". This is not the case.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Gunfingers » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:46 pm UTC

No, using a weapon in self-defense does not automatically mean the attacker dies.

In 91.7% of these incidents the defensive use of a gun did not wound or kill the criminal attacker
(source: http://www.pulpless.com/gunclock/stats.html)

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Hammer » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:48 pm UTC

Folks, the OP wants to talk about personal choices in arming/not arming oneself. Not the general issues of gun control. There are other threads for that.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Calorus » Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:14 pm UTC

Well, in the UK there's no option - and I'm ecstatic.

I know we have an increasing problem with knife crime, but even that is comparatively controllable and pales in significance compared to your knife crime, or gun crime individually - let alone the two together.

The only real gun I've ever seen in the UK has been being worn in an Airport by a policeman - post 11th September 2001, I might add - so it was little more than a paranoid over-reaction in itself.

To be honest, if I were ever - EVER threatened with a gun close enough to get to it - by anyone other than a UK or EU Police officer (I wouldn't trust even a US officer) I'd go towards the "intimidator" with one single aim - to shoot them.

Reasoning:
1) If they're willing to point a loaded gun, even in jest, it's safe to assume they'll use it.
2) If I'm wrong I only have to face my own concience, self-defence is a given if I shoot you with your gun.
3) I'm far more likely to win hand-to-hand combat than hand-to-gun combat.
4) Trying to talk them out of it or reason is ridiculous - you only get one chance to defend yourself and unless the have a police style holster the time they draw it is obviously the only free time I get. If I can get to it before it's ready with the safety off, I at least have a fighting chance. And if I can get to it at all - anyone willing to point a gun at me is safest for me dead.

Now other than brisk driving, I've never commited anything that could really be termed 'criminal', but at 6' 4"/1.93m and 102kg, I suspect that unless you've gotten to me with a drawn weapon before I can get within, say, 10 metres of you, you're probably not going to last very long. And since I can't rape you from 10+ metres away or be violent towards you from 10 metres away - or really do anything beyond shout at you from 10 metres away... why would you carry something that (assuming I just want your purse) is going to get you shot and killed instead of punched?

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:52 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:There is more than one way to "properly use" a gun. More than once you've used that phrase (use properly or properly use or whatever) and the end result you've consistently tacked onto it is "death for the criminal". Again, the "proper use" of a gun for self defense could be to simply defuse the situation or to threaten to kill without killing. In fact, I would wager that the vast majority of people would prefer to not have to pull the trigger. You're making it sound like "if you're carrying for self defense and you find yourself in a situation where you're using that gun for self defense, as long as you're doing it right, the other guy's going to die". This is not the case.
And that's not what I'm saying. When I say "if you're using it properly," what I mean is, "if you're shooting it properly." I understand there are "proper" ways of using a gun without firing it and without wounding the assailant. I acknowledged this in the OP. You can achieve a lot just by flashing a gun. However, if it isn't loaded, and you aren't prepared to use it if you have to, it's a bluff. Bluffing can be very effective, but isn't secure enough to fall back on, which is why a person carrying a gun needs to be willing to shoot if necessary, and must accept that a proper shot is probably lethal. This is rhetoric I've heard from the carrying and non-carrying crowds alike, and which I agree with. I would not be willing to kill except to save my own life, and I find it highly unlikely that an attempt would be made on my own life, so if I were to carry a gun it would constitute a bluff.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:16 pm UTC

Calorus wrote:To be honest, if I were ever - EVER threatened with a gun close enough to get to it - by anyone other than a UK or EU Police officer (I wouldn't trust even a US officer) I'd go towards the "intimidator" with one single aim - to shoot them.

*snip*

Now other than brisk driving, I've never commited anything that could really be termed 'criminal', but at 6' 4"/1.93m and 102kg, I suspect that unless you've gotten to me with a drawn weapon before I can get within, say, 10 metres of you, you're probably not going to last very long. And since I can't rape you from 10+ metres away or be violent towards you from 10 metres away - or really do anything beyond shout at you from 10 metres away... why would you carry something that (assuming I just want your purse) is going to get you shot and killed instead of punched?



I don't think you really understand how this works. I practice with my gun regularly, and if you made me feel threatened for 10+ meters away or from 6 ft away, I trust my ability to be able to shoot straight before you can get to me. Someone well-practiced and aware is not likely to be disarmed and is more likely to shoot you before you can get to them. If I'm concealed carrying, you probably wouldn't know I had a gun until it was in your face. If I'm open carrying, then why would you risk attacking an armed target, betting on your ability to run faster than I can draw a gun? For all you know, I'm a champion quick draw, and you'd have a slug in you before you'd covered half the distance between us. You can ask AbNo- I'm a straight shooter with by and large excellent grouping, and I can drill a man-sized target right through each eye at 25 ft. At 50 ft, I can hit any major organ, though I'm best at gut shots. Odds are, if you yelled something and ran at me, you'd have seven bullets in your belly before I had seen the whites of your eyes.

But my facility with guns isn't the only reason- again, if you suspected I was carrying or knew for sure I was carrying, would you risk attacking me? Let's say that you want to steal a purse- wouldn't you rather attempt to snatch from someone who is obviously not armed and is walking around in Condition White? Carrying a gun, only the very, very stupid let themselves slip into Condition White. When I'm carrying, I'm much more aware of my surroundings, because I mentally map how someone could attempt to get my gun from me.

Also, I'm wondering why you would let an EU officer threaten you with a gun. That doesn't make any sense to me, because anyone threatening you with a gun is obviously a bad person, unless you are the bad person they're trying to protect others from. I wouldn't trust a US officer to wave a gun in my face- hell, if the man I love waved a gun in my face I wouldn't trust him with it either. Of course, he's incredibly well-versed in gun safety and so if he was waving a gun in my face I'd have to assume he'd been replaced by an alien entity or was under some insidious form of mind control, but even so. A badge doesn't mean they're a good person looking out for your best interests, and a person who treats a gun as a toy doesn't deserve to be anywhere near guns for any reason.

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Indon » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:19 pm UTC

Kendo_Bunny wrote:I don't think you really understand how this works. I practice with my gun regularly, and if you made me feel threatened for 10+ meters away or from 6 ft away, I trust my ability to be able to shoot straight before you can get to me.

At six feet, a person could literally take two steps (one if they're a real big guy) towards you and engage you in hand-to-hand combat.

At that distance, the majority of the use of the gun is as a deterrent from people who don't realize how easy it would be to engage in melee combat instead - indeed, you'd need to be some kind of famous quick-draw to be able to effectively use a firearm as a weapon (at least, by shooting) at that distance against an alert hostile.

Rando - I'm not so sure about that. A pistol can be used pretty well as a blunt instrument, so even unloaded it's still a weapon.
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Philwelch » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:25 pm UTC

Calorus wrote:To be honest, if I were ever - EVER threatened with a gun close enough to get to it - by anyone other than a UK or EU Police officer (I wouldn't trust even a US officer) I'd go towards the "intimidator" with one single aim - to shoot them.


I wouldn't trust any police officer. Wasn't it the UK where they shot that Brazilian guy on the tube because they thought he was a terr'ist?
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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:33 pm UTC

Indon wrote:Rando - I'm not so sure about that. A pistol can be used pretty well as a blunt instrument, so even unloaded it's still a weapon.
But isn't the main draw of guns vs. other forms of self defense the avoidance of melee combat they bring?

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby Varsil » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:39 pm UTC

Personally, in terms of carrying something for self-defence, I'd much rather have a taser.

Why? Because with a taser you are personally safer using it. First, you avoid a lot of legal issues--if you're armed with a taser, they almost certainly can't show intent to kill, taking first and second degree murder off the table even in the unlikely event they do die, meaning that at most you'd face manslaughter. Where I am, manslaughter has no minimum sentence (of course, you can't carry a weapon for self-defence here at all, except under circumstances so uncommon they don't really bear consideration at the moment), and that's if the courts don't buy the self-defence argument. The consequences of an accident are also vastly less.

Also, because a taser is non-lethal, it can be used in a wider range of circumstances, not just those that invoke a genuine fear for your life (ie, you may have a hard time justifying a lethal response to a non-lethal threat). I mean, non-lethal responses like this are about the only thing I can see being justified in circumstances that are unclear (say, a scary-looking guy is running towards you in an alley--is he after you, or is he just in a hurry? You may feel threatened, but he may be an innocent).

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Re: Carrying Guns

Postby BlackSails » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:41 pm UTC

Calorus wrote:2) If I'm wrong I only have to face my own concience, self-defence is a given if I shoot you with your gun.


That is so incredibly wrong its not even funny.


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