Firearms

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Re: Firearms

Postby Dmytry » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:51 am UTC

Axman wrote:
Dmytry wrote:...It does raise a question if it is, as a personal choice, much safer to carry gun with blanks, or especially, rubber bullets. Utility of hollow point or offset centre of mass bullets seems especially dubious.

I've been lurking this thread for a while, I told myself I'd read and enjoy, and not participate because this is my field, but this idea needs to be nipped in the bud, because it's the sort of thing that can lead a person to prison.

Less-than-lethal munitions aren't; they all have mortality rates, even pepper spray, which kills about 1 person for each 600 it's used on. Blanks can easily kill someone at close range and have a long track record of doing just that. The idea of shooting to disable or shooting to dissuade is not legally justifiable.

You only have the right to shoot if you are in fear for your life, or for the life of someone you are directly related to by blood or by law.

If you shoot someone as a warning, you are not in fear for your life, you will go to prison for assault with a deadly weapon.

If you shoot someone to disable them, you are not in fear for your life, you will go to prison for assault with a deadly weapon.

If you shoot someone with ball ammunition because you believe it is less lethal, you are not in fear for your life, you will go to prison for assault with a deadly weapon. If it's what you got, it's what you got.

If you shoot someone with any non-factory-loaded ammunition, and the coroner or medical examiner can't replicate the evidence and corroborate your testimony, you will go to prison for murder.

You only have the right to shoot to kill if and only if it would prevent death. Outside of training/target shooting/hunting, use commercial ammunition in your firearms, use full-house loads, and use purposely-loaded defensive cartridges.

While I'm here, though, that CDC data indicates that a person is several orders of magnitude more likely to be a victim of violent crime or forcible rape than of a negligently discharged firearm.

Some incoherent disjointed legal and pseudolegal rambling i see here.
Trying to kill the guy for any reason what so ever other than his death being the only way you could ensure your (or blood relative's) survival - including the reasoning that you outlined here (misunderstanding of the legal practice and a belief that more deadly actions would make it easier to demonstrate necessity of defence) - is homicide, and is likely to be prosecuted.

Generally, use of more lethal weapon won't make it easier to show in court that you were in fact acting in self defence, and I am fairly sure that this is true for the US too. Less lethal weapons kill. But rarely. You'll be (most of the time) defending yourself against less serious charge, and you didn't in the heat of the moment have any choice between different ammo types; it's well before anything happened that you believed that when one is in fear for his life, one still should try not to take a life because 'don't kill', and take his chances with less effective weapon, and so you carried less lethal weapon. Then, when you were threatened and feared for your life you used whatever you had available; lower lethality doesn't disprove the notion that you very seriously feared for your life at that time, unless you carried both normal and less lethal ammunition and made choice to use latter. It's if you carry a normal firearm, and then end up shooting less than lethally due to being a crap shot under stress (most people are this way), that it may seem you were only trying to disable, and didn't really believe your defence was justified.

There's 254 'justifiable homicides' by private citizens in US a year. In a country with population of 300 millions and over 16 000 murders a year and very lax firearm laws. If anything, it looks like US is a very self defence unfriendly country, which is also business-friendly, and firearms are a business. In any case, at rate of less than 1 per million people per year, the chance that you'll have to use deadly force lethally AND won't go to prison for homicide, seem absolutely negligible, and it is not worth the risk of carrying non-blank ammunition. Yes the blanks might kill. Very rarely and in quite special circumstances.

And yes, I do realize that you, in self interest, would be inclined to try and convince other people to carry the most deadly ammunition, and try to encourage them to shoot to kill, using all sorts of pseudolegal nonsense in combination with a few correct legal things.
It is, however, a fact of criminology that vast majority of defensive firearm use - as recognized by law - doesn't involve shooting, vast majority of times that rounds are fired defensively, the rounds miss the intended target, and a big fraction of time that rounds hit the attacker (majority) do not result in attacker's death. The worst you can do is to keep shooting after you disabled the attacker with your first most likely highly inaccurate shot, or made him run with your shots that missed him. People tend to do this a fair lot when scared.
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Re: Firearms

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:28 am UTC

Dmytry wrote:

Some incoherent disjointed legal and pseudolegal rambling i see here.[/quote]

Pot meet kettle.


Generally, use of more lethal weapon won't make it easier to show in court that you were in fact acting in self defence, and I am fairly sure that this is true for the US too.


I would refer to relevant case law if I were you.

Less lethal weapons kill. But rarely. You'll be (most of the time) defending yourself against less serious charge,


Less serious than justified self defense?

and you didn't in the heat of the moment have any choice between different ammo types;


However, it is well understood that simply having access to supposed 'less-lethal' options increases the likelihood that those options will be used, even if they are actually above the level of force required by the situation (to wit, basically any article on police use of Tasers and/or pepper spray)


it's well before anything happened that you believed that when one is in fear for his life, one still should try not to take a life because 'don't kill', and take his chances with less effective weapon, and so you carried less lethal weapon.


This may apply to pepper spray or stun guns, but the legal precedent for firearms is clear. A loaded firearm, regardless of what it is actually loaded with, is a deadly weapon.
A particularly inventive DA may go as far as to suggest that, being aware of the likelihood that 'less lethal' ammo used in a close range defensive situation is likely to cause death or permanent injury, you intentionally chose ammunition that would inflict the maximum suffering on your target.

If anything, it looks like US is a very self defence unfriendly country


Case law and self defense statutes not-withstanding of course.

which is also business-friendly, and firearms are a business.


What does this have to do with anything in this thread?


In any case, at rate of less than 1 per million people per year, the chance that you'll have to use deadly force lethally AND won't go to prison for homicide, seem absolutely negligible


You can of course back this up by showing some statistics of cases where self defense was claimed and supported by the evidence, but the defendant was found guilty of homicide anyway. Right?

and it is not worth the risk of carrying non-blank ammunition. Yes the blanks might kill. Very rarely and in quite special circumstances.


The risk of blanks is not that they might kill your attacker. In a close range self-defense situation, they very likely will (and are in fact infamous in many respects for) kill.
The risk is that they won't kill and will fail to stop the attacker from killing you.

And yes, I do realize that you, in self interest, would be inclined to try and convince other people to carry the most deadly ammunition, and try to encourage them to shoot to kill, using all sorts of pseudolegal nonsense in combination with a few correct legal things.


How do you figure?
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Re: Firearms

Postby Mishka_shaw » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:03 pm UTC

Annoyingly everytime a major crime happens in Britain my American friends pull the whole "Hows that gun control working out for ya?" or the classic "If [x] had a gun than [x] wouldn't of happened"

I try to point out the countless, and often worse, crimes comitted in America due to guns but they don't listen. My favourite was when the London riots happened and they shouted that guns would of reduced it as "everyone would be packing". They stupidly forgot that the rioters would also be packing, apparantly they forgot the whole 1992 LA riot.

Hell I remember when a serial rapist was captured and one dared state that guns would of stopped it, because America doesn't have serial killers/rapists does it :roll:.

Edit: I will say though that I think America cannot be gun-free. Unlike Britain you are not an island nation and so will always suffer from border smuggling of fire-arms. Mix this with the already countless guns that exist and you have a huge struggle.
Even if you track down and melt every gun you can there will still be thousands stashed away by people who disagree. So for the US I think gun-control is a bit of a grey issue, basically it can't be fixed by one sweeping constitutional change or law.
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Re: Firearms

Postby mmmcannibalism » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

Mishka_shaw wrote:Annoyingly everytime a major crime happens in Britain my American friends pull the whole "Hows that gun control working out for ya?" or the classic "If [x] had a gun than [x] wouldn't of happened"

I try to point out the countless, and often worse, crimes comitted in America due to guns but they don't listen. My favourite was when the London riots happened and they shouted that guns would of reduced it as "everyone would be packing". They stupidly forgot that the rioters would also be packing, apparantly they forgot the whole 1992 LA riot.

Hell I remember when a serial rapist was captured and one dared state that guns would of stopped it, because America doesn't have serial killers/rapists does it :roll:.

Edit: I will say though that I think America cannot be gun-free. Unlike Britain you are not an island nation and so will always suffer from border smuggling of fire-arms. Mix this with the already countless guns that exist and you have a huge struggle.
Even if you track down and melt every gun you can there will still be thousands stashed away by people who disagree. So for the US I think gun-control is a bit of a grey issue, basically it can't be fixed by one sweeping constitutional change or law.


Just a note, the severity of individual crimes isn't really a good standard for a policy decision. I don't see why anything other then the rates of various types of injuries from crimes makes sense in terms of a broad policy. If(hypothetically) a gun ban stops a mass killing of five but twenty more people die while being robbed its not an improvement.
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Re: Firearms

Postby stevey_frac » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:10 am UTC

Mishka_shaw wrote:Annoyingly everytime a major crime happens in Britain my American friends pull the whole "Hows that gun control working out for ya?" or the classic "If [x] had a gun than [x] wouldn't of happened"

I try to point out the countless, and often worse, crimes comitted in America due to guns but they don't listen. My favourite was when the London riots happened and they shouted that guns would of reduced it as "everyone would be packing". They stupidly forgot that the rioters would also be packing, apparantly they forgot the whole 1992 LA riot.

Hell I remember when a serial rapist was captured and one dared state that guns would of stopped it, because America doesn't have serial killers/rapists does it :roll:.

Edit: I will say though that I think America cannot be gun-free. Unlike Britain you are not an island nation and so will always suffer from border smuggling of fire-arms. Mix this with the already countless guns that exist and you have a huge struggle.
Even if you track down and melt every gun you can there will still be thousands stashed away by people who disagree. So for the US I think gun-control is a bit of a grey issue, basically it can't be fixed by one sweeping constitutional change or law.


Alright, lets have some fun with this.
So, i'm sure this has already been mentioned in this thread... very sure, since I mentioned it early, but here's an article to directly link to it...

Linky

Britain has a higher violent crime rate then the U.S.. Granted, fewer of them are with guns, but that has always been true, even before your draconian laws were put in place. For some reason, brits seem to prefer stabbing to shooting, more so then their north american counterparts.

And... for what reason do you think that your gun laws, and bans are actually working??

Linky with a pretty graph

Firearms crime has DOUBLED since the 1997 firearms act. And don't give me bullshit about 'reporting changes'. That may contribute to a few percent inflation here or there, but nowhere near double in 10 years.

In effect, I claim that Britain's gun laws, and controls have utterly failed to have their desired effect of reducing Firearm crime, and have utterly failed to reduce the rampant violent crime problem. All you've done is made it illegal for sports shooters, and farms to own the tools of their trade, reducing the freedom of your citizens without just cause.

...

So, how's that gun control working out for ya?

--Steve

(Note, I'm Canadian, where i'm very happy that Mr. Harper is working to remove some of the more expensive, and onerous, and useless parts of our control laws.)
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Re: Firearms

Postby Hemmers » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:40 pm UTC

Mishka_shaw wrote:Edit: I will say though that I think America cannot be gun-free. Unlike Britain you are not an island nation and so will always suffer from border smuggling of fire-arms. Mix this with the already countless guns that exist and you have a huge struggle.


Neither can Britain. Despite being an island. Obviously we're not attempting to be gun-free now, since rifles and shotguns are available under license for hunting, pest control and target sports, with air rifles and pistols available without licensing.

Even before the 1997 pistol ban, less than 1% of firearms crime involved firearms that had ever been legally held (i.e. either wielded by their owners, or licensed guns stolen in burglaries and subsequently used in crime). That's the Police and Home Office's own stats.

Since 1997 firearms crime involving handguns quadrupled, showing that with a sufficiently robust licensing system (i.e. one that makes straw-man purchases impractical - a key problem the US system struggles to address), there is no correlation between the white and black markets.
In other words, whatever you do to legal gun owners, it has little to no effect on the black market.

In many US States there is a problem with the checks simply amounting to background checks, and no one is keeping a list of who has what, which means it is relatively trivial for a front-man to go buy white-market guns and pass them into the black market. Unlike in the UK where the Police will come and check your storage arrangements when you renew your license, no one is going to ask a US citizen "Where's that glock you bought last year?" Indeed, the smuggling problem in the US seems to be criminals smuggling guns OUT of the US to feed the Mexican Drug Wars.


The thing is, we have to keep this in perspective. Firearms are not mythical objects that can only be made by big firms with expensive tooling, and can thus be tracked from source to end user.

Firearms are 15th century technology. You have a tube, closed at one end, with a propellant (chemical or otherwise) and a projectile.
Sure, you can rifle the tube, develop rounds of ammunition, add a (semi-)automatic loading system and a magazine, clever sights and a stock if you want to get fancy, but making a firearm capable of killing is trivial for anyone who has even a small amount of experience with a lathe and basic workshop equipment.

Even if you banned all firearms and made a watertight border protection system that could stop all drugs, firearms and other contraband, criminals in Britain would still have guns, because unless you also ban private ownership of lathes and tooling, they're too damn easy to make. Where there is demand, someone will supply. I could fabricate myself quite a formidable armoury in my garden shed if I wanted, and odds are the Police would never find out because I'd be too responsible to actually take them anywhere. No one would know except me.
They'd only catch me if I tried to flog them to criminals, and only then if someone ratted me out or was followed to a transaction or the group I was selling to got infiltrated by an undercover agent.

This is not to say we shouldn't control firearms to some extent and ensure they are kept out of the hands of the mentally incompetent and so far as possible away from criminals, but once you have a system that effectively discounts straw-man purchases, there is little point pursuing more draconian laws or banning specific types of firearm (like pistols or "assault weapons" - whatever they are), because at that stage the crims are smuggling or making their own.

There were calls after the awful Cumbrian shootings last year to control firearms more tightly, but ultimately that means pouring a lot of money and Police resource into a programme that ignores something along the lines of 99.1% of firearms crime.
The same goes with the Belgian shootings just this week in Liege. There was a promise the firearms laws would be reviewed and tightened. Why? The guns and grenades were illegally obtained on the black market. Tightening the white market is unlikely to prevent a re-occurance. The focus must be on border control, smuggling and the criminal dealers and black marketeers - except the Belgians have no control whatsoever over their land borders because they are in Schengen, so in a token gesture to show that they are "doing something", the politicians will probably add another layer of paperwork for legal shooters :roll: People will feel safer and the black market dealers will carry on utterly unabated.


Never get carried away with firearms mania. They're just inanimate objects. Always remember that and ask "If we do x to firearms, will problem y be reduced or will firearms be substituted with something else and the problem continue?"

The latter is very often the case.

Much was made that John Howard's buy back in Australia had cut firearm suicides by 80%.
What was not so widely reported was that Australia had rising suicide rates before and after the buy-back on a fairly level rate of increase and the methodology simply changed after the buy-back. In other words, people were trying to treat the symptoms, following a line of thought that went something like:
"People are shooting themselves - let's get rid of the guns!"
instead of the rational viewpoint:
"People are killing themselves! Lets find out why and help them."

In the case of suicides, then unless you are also going to ban rope, knives, piano wire, razor blades, high bridges, cars that can go more than 10mph, make all drugs prescription-only (incl. paracetamol), etc then banning guns is a fools game that treats a symptom not the cause.
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Re: Firearms

Postby EdgarJPublius » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:28 pm UTC

Hemmers wrote: Indeed, the smuggling problem in the US seems to be criminals smuggling guns OUT of the US to feed the Mexican Drug Wars.


It certainly doesn't help that the U.S. government agency responsible for firearm regulation essentially ran a 'Guns for Mexican Druglords' program for years.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Axman » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

In for a penny...

Hemmers wrote:In many US States there is a problem with the checks simply amounting to background checks, and no one is keeping a list of who has what, which means it is relatively trivial for a front-man to go buy white-market guns and pass them into the black market.
Not so much, actually. The NICS system is very robust and maintained by the FBI. It isn't a state-by-state thing.

As far as straw purchasing or private sales go, AKA "the gunshow loophole", it is a crime to sell or give gun to a person who isn't legally allowed to own one, and registries are equally unnecessary since records of the sales are maintained and serial numbers tracked. Once more for effect: gun sale records are mandatory and can be tracked and audited.

It's a matter of phone calls to follow a gun around. And frankly, it doesn't happen much.* Most private sales actually go through an FFL because gun owners, on the whole, don't want to lose their gun rights; in some places this is required by law. Plus gun stores have the right to deny sales for any reason, and suspicion of a straw buyer is a very good one.

Also, a gun registry would be unbelievably unpopular, since state and federal gun registries have all lead to confiscation.

But, like you said, that doesn't make a difference, since guns are easy to make. And making them here is legal, and a hobby for lots of people; a gun registry wouldn't get rid of the expertise and equipment many, many people have and use to build guns. To be fair, you can't make them with the intent of selling them, and they can't qualify as a Title II firearm without applying for an exception, by purchasing a tax stamp ($200) or setting up an NFA gun trust.

Another thing to know is that anything manufactured prior to 1898 is not legally a firearm, it's an antique, and can be sold and owned by anyone, even legally-prohibited persons. This doesn't seem to have lead to any all-Colt Army and Navy robbery-homicide sprees, or shootouts with Gatling guns. Also, given the way they're constructed, GE/Dillon mini guns are also not firearms, and not regulated, even though they shoot great big bullets at the mind-boggling rate of 100 per second.

Never get carried away with firearms mania. They're just inanimate objects. Always remember that and ask "If we do x to firearms, will problem y be reduced or will firearms be substituted with something else and the problem continue?"
Word.

EdgarJPublius wrote:It certainly doesn't help that the U.S. government agency responsible for firearm regulation essentially ran a 'Guns for Mexican Druglords' program for years.
Is it just me, or does this whole thing make the Iran-Contra affair look like a peace negotiation?

*Part of the "Guns for Mexican Druglords" program has involved the ATF and the FBI coercing gun dealers into knowingly selling to straw purchasers.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Dmytry » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:
Generally, use of more lethal weapon won't make it easier to show in court that you were in fact acting in self defence, and I am fairly sure that this is true for the US too.

I would refer to relevant case law if I were you.

You were making un-backed legal claims in the first post on that issue, you back them with the case law as to at least be more specific what I have to counter.

Less lethal weapons kill. But rarely. You'll be (most of the time) defending yourself against less serious charge,


Less serious than justified self defense?

Do I seriously need to link the case law to demonstrate that if you kill someone in self defence you don't get charged with self defence, you get charged with homicide and defend yourself with claim to self defence? I think you could easily correct such lack of knowledge on your own, if you so desire. I have some general reading link below in this reply, you can read that first.

and you didn't in the heat of the moment have any choice between different ammo types;


However, it is well understood that simply having access to supposed 'less-lethal' options increases the likelihood that those options will be used, even if they are actually above the level of force required by the situation (to wit, basically any article on police use of Tasers and/or pepper spray)

However the general statistics of this sort does not even remotely constitute an admissible proof for any specific case.
it's well before anything happened that you believed that when one is in fear for his life, one still should try not to take a life because 'don't kill', and take his chances with less effective weapon, and so you carried less lethal weapon.


This may apply to pepper spray or stun guns, but the legal precedent for firearms is clear. A loaded firearm, regardless of what it is actually loaded with, is a deadly weapon.

You typically need a specialized prop gun to fire blanks because regular one won't cycle. Gun needs specific amount of recoil and/or barrel pressure to cycle reliably. Rubber bullets are also technically problematic in handguns. Perhaps I was too vague, assuming general understanding of the functioning of the firearms from people who argue in favour of the firearm friendly laws. The legal status of the firearm-like object that is not in fact a lethal firearm massively depends to the circumstances of it's use.
A particularly inventive DA may go as far as to suggest that, being aware of the likelihood that 'less lethal' ammo used in a close range defensive situation is likely to cause death or permanent injury, you intentionally chose ammunition that would inflict the maximum suffering on your target.

A particularly crazy DA can suggest that you're an antichrist, too.
If anything, it looks like US is a very self defence unfriendly country


Case law and self defense statutes not-withstanding of course.

Well I can refer to cases of non-uniformed no-knock searches as example of (unusual among first world countries) practice incompatible with the notion of a self defending populace:
http://news.lawreader.com/?p=474
and to this article, specifically:
http://www.thecrimereport.org/archive/k ... -defense-2
"
While all 50 states have laws that protect the right of self-defense, this right appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution. And the difficulty of applying the laws to specific places, circumstances and weapons has made such a defense a risky, and therefore rarely used, tactic in courts across the nation. Even more rare is a case in which a claim of self-defense leads to a not-guilty verdict.
"
It is a very grey legal ground with very little available data.

which is also business-friendly, and firearms are a business.


What does this have to do with anything in this thread?


In any case, at rate of less than 1 per million people per year, the chance that you'll have to use deadly force lethally AND won't go to prison for homicide, seem absolutely negligible


You can of course back this up by showing some statistics of cases where self defense was claimed and supported by the evidence, but the defendant was found guilty of homicide anyway. Right?

Right, and then for sake of an argument you can side with the court in that the defendant was in fact guilty of homicide.

and it is not worth the risk of carrying non-blank ammunition. Yes the blanks might kill. Very rarely and in quite special circumstances.


The risk of blanks is not that they might kill your attacker. In a close range self-defense situation, they very likely will (and are in fact infamous in many respects for) kill.

Stats please? Or do I need to do research to counter unfounded, and frankly plain ignorant assertions?
The risk is that they won't kill and will fail to stop the attacker from killing you.

200..250 legally recognized cases in a typical year where the attacker was killed in self defence, that's inclusive of all kinds of self defence (but exclusive of non-recognized cases). In a country of 300 millions (with about 16 000 homicides a year of them about 12 000 using a firearm). That's a less than one-in-a-million per year risk right here, and even less so if we assume that in some of those cases less lethal means may have achieved the same goal.
edit: By the way, just for your information:
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/ficap/resourc ... ograph.pdf
"Intentional interpersonal firearm injuries resulted in death in 21.6% of cases" .
If in the allegedly self defensive situation you could calmly aim and land a good shot resulting in death of the attacker, I'm afraid that won't help your legal position at all. Ditto if that happens by blind luck.

And yes, I do realize that you, in self interest, would be inclined to try and convince other people to carry the most deadly ammunition, and try to encourage them to shoot to kill, using all sorts of pseudolegal nonsense in combination with a few correct legal things.


How do you figure?

Because it seem to get rid society of criminals at no extra cost to you, duh.
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Re: Firearms

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:58 pm UTC

A little pressed for time, but I can get this one real quick, and I'll be back for rest.

Dmytry wrote:
You typically need a specialized prop gun to fire blanks because regular one won't cycle. Gun needs specific amount of recoil and/or barrel pressure to cycle reliably. Rubber bullets are also technically problematic in handguns. Perhaps I was too vague, assuming general understanding of the functioning of the firearms from people who argue in favour of the firearm friendly laws. The legal status of the firearm-like object that is not in fact a lethal firearm massively depends to the circumstances of it's use.


Many firearms are in fact capable of cycling blanks, revolvers for one, but also many blowback operated firearms and some recoil operated as well. Auto-loading firearms that are incapable of cycling blanks, or to improve the reliability of blank firing can be modified with a 'blank firing adapter' which constricts the barrel to trap more gases. While the BFA is in place, it is not safe to fire real cartridges, however, the BFA can be easily removed for such and while the BFA is in place, the firearm is still considered a deadly weapon.
Similarly, blank firing prop weapons and starter pistols may be easily modified to fire bullets, and the ATF considers such firearms, even unmodified, as firearms defined in part by the ATF as 'deadly weapons'.

The danger of blanks is well documented and infamous from cases of celebrity death such as Bernard Lee killed by an object inadvertantly lodged in the barrel of the weapon that was propelled out when the blank was fired, and Jon-Erik Hexum who was killed by the shockwave alone which shattered part of his skull and drove bone fragments into his brain.

Although blanks do not generate as much recoil force as real cartridges, they are often actually more powerful than would be considered a 'safe' load for a conventional cartridge. The lack of recoil is due directly to the lack of bullet mass, and the higher pressure load both compensates (in part) for the lack of recoil (adding mass an energy to the expanding gasses) and to create a larger 'bang' and more spectacular flash.


Rubber bullets are typically fired from real, unmodified firearms. Some shotguns and rifles may be modified to load rubber bullets or other 'less-lethal projectiles and yet be incapable of loading conventional projectiles for law enforcement use. However, these are easily modified to fire conventional rounds, are typically restricted from civilian ownership (even if no law prevents ownership of such weapons, firearm manufacturers are typically reluctant to sell LE less-lethal equipment to civilians) and are not suitable for defensive use (difficult to carry/conceal a rifle or shotgun, and they are brightly colored for easy visual distinction from firearms that may be loaded with 'more-lethal' rounds.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Hemmers » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:46 pm UTC

Axman wrote:In for a penny...

Hemmers wrote:In many US States there is a problem with the checks simply amounting to background checks, and no one is keeping a list of who has what, which means it is relatively trivial for a front-man to go buy white-market guns and pass them into the black market.
Not so much, actually. The NICS system is very robust and maintained by the FBI. It isn't a state-by-state thing.

As far as straw purchasing or private sales go, AKA "the gunshow loophole", it is a crime to sell or give gun to a person who isn't legally allowed to own one, and registries are equally unnecessary since records of the sales are maintained and serial numbers tracked. Once more for effect: gun sale records are mandatory and can be tracked and audited.

It's a matter of phone calls to follow a gun around. And frankly, it doesn't happen much.* Most private sales actually go through an FFL because gun owners, on the whole, don't want to lose their gun rights; in some places this is required by law. Plus gun stores have the right to deny sales for any reason, and suspicion of a straw buyer is a very good one.

Also, a gun registry would be unbelievably unpopular, since state and federal gun registries have all lead to confiscation.

Ah there we go, didn't realise quite that level of recording went on - but in that case, do those records not amount to a registry? You say Americans hate the idea of a registry because they typically result (or at least potentially enable) confiscations. The gun show loophole aside, if you can track a gun's ownership, then it sounds like you should be able to produce a registry from data that is already held and use that to run a confiscation?

What am I missing - where's the disconnect between what you have at the moment and what you describe as a registry?
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Re: Firearms

Postby stevey_frac » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:26 pm UTC

It does not amount to a registry, because although the FBI can mostly follow a gun around, they don't have a list of who owns every gun, and it would be non-trivial to put such a list together from the current system.

And to be honest, I dislike that they do even that.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Hemmers » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:39 pm UTC

Why is that - records spread over multiple databases or sources?

If they can track a gun's ownership, presumably there is a way to compile such a list - however time consuming it might be.
If you say it's not, then I'm guessing it's the case that they know gun x was transferred through dealer y, but they would have to call that dealer and have them check their sales records to see who it was actually sold to? I see why that would be an adequate and workable paper trail for individual investigations but be hopeless for compiling a comprehensive registry. BY the time you'd gone through every dealer in the country the guns you started with would probably have been sold and transferred and it would be hopelessly out of date!
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Re: Firearms

Postby Axman » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:43 am UTC

Hemmers wrote:I see why that would be an adequate and workable paper trail for individual investigations but be hopeless for compiling a comprehensive registry.

And that's precisely the point. The FBI does the background checks, the ATF does the record checks, and the gun sellers keep the sales records, forever. And a warrant may need to be issued, depending on the circumstances, to proceed with an investigation. The system as it stands makes investigations possible without infringing on the privacy rights of gun owners.

Sorry I didn't make things clearer; the "gun show loophole" is a myth. There isn't one. If you buy from an FFL they have to keep records and copies; if you buy from an individual (if person-to-person transfers are legal where the sale takes place) the seller is responsible for making sure the buyer isn't a prohibited person. And if the individual doesn't, he or she is legally culpable; this is why most individuals selling guns to strangers choose to go through an FFL--it strips them of their liability.

Do you think a registry would be a good thing; if so, why?
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Re: Firearms

Postby Hemmers » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:46 pm UTC

Hmm, hard to say. It has it's ups and downs. I genuinely don't have a position on registries or not - they're not ideal, but they're a pretty secure system and I can't think of a better one. :| :?

It makes it very easy to trace guns and control sales. The UK's registry is probably one of the reasons less than 1% of firearms used in crime have ever been licensed - it makes it impossible for white-market guns to go missing out the system. On the other hand it has the very real and problematic issue of making confiscations and enforced buy-backs trivial as we in the UK know too well. And of course to some extent what we lose in gun crime we make up for in knife crime, so we just end up with an increased stabbing-shooting ratio.


I hadn't realised the US authorities kept quite such stringent checks on each of the FFLs a gun passes through, although I still don't see how it really addresses straw man purchase issues. Obviously you say straw purchases aren't a big problem, but that seems to be luck rather than judgement. If someone was buying guns and smuggling them down to Mexico or wherever, it seems unlikely to me that many of those guns are ever going to fall into the hands of anyone who is going to do much by the way of forensics, and even less likely that the details will make it back to the US for the FBI to go chasing through FFL records to find out who the last registered owner was.
It would work for crimes in the US (at least where the gun is recovered), but still seems to me to be a weak link in the chain.

By contrast if I can't account for my guns when my license gets renewed, I'm going to prison for a long time.


This is the problem. It's a very fine line, and I certainly don't have all the answers.
A registry makes an individual absolutely responsible for their firearms and pretty much makes straw-man purchases impossible, and even if you did have someone who was maintaining a legitimate "good reason" but quietly renting his guns out on a day-rate basis to criminals (and thus being able to account for all their guns at renewal time), it only takes one person to botch the job and get caught and that gun will be instantly traced back. It probably cuts some low-level crime, but serious and organised criminals will have black-market sources or their own mini factories, and some of the low level crime will be replaced with knife crime. It cuts transfers between the white and black markets to nil.

On the other hand, it makes it very (too) easy for authorities to confiscate on the whim of the politicians. That said, lest we forget, the fact that the US has no registry didn't stop them bringing in their "assault weapons ban". Granted it was not renewed (although I gather California still has something similar on the books), but the absence of a registry didn't stop that.


A registry in the UK style certainly wouldn't work in the US - too many people, too much paperwork. It'd be a nightmare to run, not every state would go for it, and you'd never get all the existing guns into the system, so there would always be a lot of guns swilling around in what would by definition be the black market.


But likewise, we couldn't remove the UK's registry. Not overnight anyway. Just a cultural thing - guns have been taboo for such a long time that most people's nearest experiences are Hollywood, paintball and CoD. Just letting anyone with a clean record go and buy a gun would be carnage - lots of ignorant people with no idea how to handle safely, and even less idea of how to handle or shoot competently. I would foresee lots of walting matildas going out "oh cool I can buy a glock!", and promptly shooting themselves or their mates or family because they have no idea how to use it.

It could be done, but you'd be talking about a long-term social engineering project - re-introduction of pistol, get the club, range officer and coach structure rebuilt, improve public perception and awareness of guns then ease licensing laws, and eventually transition out of a registry system to a US-style system with solid checks but a more open and accessible framework than the registry we have now.


The thing is, the UK's registry isn't that onerous. People say "Oh, it's really hard." But it's not. I joined a club, sent off my paperwork, fitted a gun cabinet in my house and got my license. It's really quite straightforward.
The only downsides to the system are a couple of goofy clauses and conditions on the license that date back to 1968 and should be stripped out, and the inability to own cartridge pistols or any semi-auto rifles larger than .22lr. Pretty damn big drawbacks, but not the fault of a massacre that happened a month before an election and a shameless bastard capitalising on it and whipping up a media orgy to storm him to victory. He knew it wouldn't cut crime, he wasn't even pandering to the anti-gun lobby. He was simply using national grief to get voted in. It so happens that Dunblane was the big media topic of the moment. If there had been some other big emotive news story he could have used that instead and we'd probably still have pistols. Just bad timing. Notably, we had a mass shooting in 2010, but no tighter laws have emerged - it was just after an election so there was no gain to be had.

Am I in favour of registries?
I dunno. It's a solid system - very solid, and we can make the antis bugger off with the fact that less than 1% of firearms crime involves licensed guns. We can crack on with our sport without needing a multi-million dollar media group preaching our message. We don't have much of an organised anti-gun lobby here because they don't really have a pedestal to preach from. I've seen a number of interviews recently, and the anti-gun type has been a hysterical whimpering idiot who ends up saying something along the lines "Well, if you can understand what I'm saying then obviously you're not very clever", whilst the advocate tends to be well mannered, composed and puts across the facts clearly and effectively.
On the other hand it makes shooters vulnerable to politics. Make of that what you will.
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Re: Firearms

Postby pizzazz » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:23 pm UTC

Hemmers wrote:Hmm, hard to say. It has it's ups and downs. I genuinely don't have a position on registries or not - they're not ideal, but they're a pretty secure system and I can't think of a better one. :| :?

It makes it very easy to trace guns and control sales. The UK's registry is probably one of the reasons less than 1% of firearms used in crime have ever been licensed - it makes it impossible for white-market guns to go missing out the system. On the other hand it has the very real and problematic issue of making confiscations and enforced buy-backs trivial as we in the UK know too well. And of course to some extent what we lose in gun crime we make up for in knife crime, so we just end up with an increased stabbing-shooting ratio.

Except if you notice, this doesn't actually stop gun crimes from occurring. It just requires criminals to obtain guns differently, which they do easily. In fact, as was discussed earlier in this thread, less than 1/5 of criminals who were convicted of committing a crime with a firearm had bought it from a licensed dealer, even before background checks (in the US). There's no point in regulating the white market (well, no reason having to do with criminals) when a healthy black market exists. To me, saying that only 1% of gun crimes are committed with registered firearms just says that the registry does nothing, and does not indicate that even a single crime was prevented with this registry.
I hadn't realised the US authorities kept quite such stringent checks on each of the FFLs a gun passes through, although I still don't see how it really addresses straw man purchase issues. Obviously you say straw purchases aren't a big problem, but that seems to be luck rather than judgement. If someone was buying guns and smuggling them down to Mexico or wherever, it seems unlikely to me that many of those guns are ever going to fall into the hands of anyone who is going to do much by the way of forensics, and even less likely that the details will make it back to the US for the FBI to go chasing through FFL records to find out who the last registered owner was.
It would work for crimes in the US (at least where the gun is recovered), but still seems to me to be a weak link in the chain.

By contrast if I can't account for my guns when my license gets renewed, I'm going to prison for a long time.

This is the problem. It's a very fine line, and I certainly don't have all the answers.
A registry makes an individual absolutely responsible for their firearms and pretty much makes straw-man purchases impossible, and even if you did have someone who was maintaining a legitimate "good reason" but quietly renting his guns out on a day-rate basis to criminals (and thus being able to account for all their guns at renewal time), it only takes one person to botch the job and get caught and that gun will be instantly traced back. It probably cuts some low-level crime, but serious and organised criminals will have black-market sources or their own mini factories, and some of the low level crime will be replaced with knife crime. It cuts transfers between the white and black markets to nil.

Not really. Guns can still be stolen (or "stolen"). Stopping straw-man purchases has and always will be a problem of enforcement, until we invent mind-reading technology.
I don't think it's valid to just assert that we've been "lucky" with straw purchases, and use this as a evidence for the usefulness of a registry.
On the other hand, it makes it very (too) easy for authorities to confiscate on the whim of the politicians. That said, lest we forget, the fact that the US has no registry didn't stop them bringing in their "assault weapons ban". Granted it was not renewed (although I gather California still has something similar on the books), but the absence of a registry didn't stop that.

You can't have an effective confiscation without a registry, I think is the point. And politicians here have already tried to use supposedly confidential information to blame law-abiding gun owners and gun manufacturers for the work of criminals, even without a registry.
But likewise, we couldn't remove the UK's registry. Not overnight anyway. Just a cultural thing - guns have been taboo for such a long time that most people's nearest experiences are Hollywood, paintball and CoD. Just letting anyone with a clean record go and buy a gun would be carnage - lots of ignorant people with no idea how to handle safely, and even less idea of how to handle or shoot competently. I would foresee lots of walting matildas going out "oh cool I can buy a glock!", and promptly shooting themselves or their mates or family because they have no idea how to use it.

Lots of idiots kill themselves, their families, and even total strangers with cars, but those aren't illegal.


The thing is, the UK's registry isn't that onerous. People say "Oh, it's really hard." But it's not. I joined a club, sent off my paperwork, fitted a gun cabinet in my house and got my license. It's really quite straightforward.
The only downsides to the system are a couple of goofy clauses and conditions on the license that date back to 1968 and should be stripped out, and the inability to own cartridge pistols or any semi-auto rifles larger than .22lr. Pretty damn big drawbacks, but not the fault of a massacre that happened a month before an election and a shameless bastard capitalising on it and whipping up a media orgy to storm him to victory.

"Pretty damn big?" I guess you could refer to what is apparently the complete inability to own a firearm that one is capable of defending oneself with like that.

Am I in favour of registries?
I dunno. It's a solid system - very solid, and we can make the antis bugger off with the fact that less than 1% of firearms crime involves licensed guns. We can crack on with our sport without needing a multi-million dollar media group preaching our message. We don't have much of an organised anti-gun lobby here because they don't really have a pedestal to preach from.
On the other hand it makes shooters vulnerable to politics. Make of that what you will.

Doesn't seem very solid to me.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Axman » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:49 pm UTC

I just want to tease one thread out of this gun snuggy right now, 'cause it's a holiday, but it got me thinking.
Hemmers wrote:The UK's registry is probably one of the reasons less than 1% of firearms used in crime have ever been licensed - it makes it impossible for white-market guns to go missing out the system.
The current estimate of legally- and privately-owned, serialized firearms in the U.S. is about 350,000,000. More guns than people. About 47% of households have guns, which is a majority of the population that is legally-eligible to own firearms. That doesn't include most guns made prior to 1936, or any curios or relics, which probably doesn't increase the number by much but it's something to think about.

Annually, there is about (and this makes the math easy) 350,000 gun crimes. .1%. Now here's where it gets interesting; what constitutes a "gun crime" is any crime where a gun is tied to a criminal, not necessarily a crime, as opposed to how many crimes are committed with guns. Only 17% of gun crimes actually involve a firearm being used to commit crimes. The rest of the guns are usually found in the possession of a criminal, like at his home or whatever. That means that ~60,000 crimes are committed using guns a year, and of those, only 21% (that 1-in-5 number) are obtained legally.

Which means, roughly, that 12,000 legally-owned firearms are used in the commission of a crime, annually; out of 350,000,000. Or 0.0343%; three percent of a percent. Or as my calculator wants to say, 3.42857143x10-5, and any time there's a negative exponent...

Now I don't know what "Less than 1%" means for registered guns in the U.K. means, but in the U.S., which is almost entirely bereft of registration, far, far fewer than 1% of legally-owned firearms are used to commit crimes annually. That being said, we own a shitload of guns.
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Re: Firearms

Postby stevey_frac » Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:37 am UTC

I just want to weigh on this...

But the idea that 'Less then 1% of crimes are committed using registered firearms' should come as no surprise, as most guns used in crime are obtained illegally anyways.

To quote from "http://www.cdnshootingsports.org/tenmyths.html":

"The Wright, Rossi survey of convicted American violent offenders reported that even in the United States, criminals do not acquire their firearms from well-regulated sources such as licensed gun dealers. They can easily obtain an illegal firearm within twenty-four hours of their release from jail. Criminals do not register their guns even when required to do so by law, and identify untraceability as one of the most important characteristics that they look for in a firearm."

In short, even in areas with lax gun control, criminals don't obtain their guns legally. The more you regulate, the less that becomes true. Further regulating the white market just makes the black market larger.

Furthermore, virtually all major gun regisration programs that I am aware of have lead to confiscation. In Canada, that has already happened with certain prohibited weapons, and in 2008, the Liberals and NDP promised to ban certain firarms if elected. Confiscation has already happened in Australia and Britain. Thankfully, Canada is getting rid of the Long Gun registry, making promises to ban certain firearms somewhat unlikely.

Furthermore, the idea that some firearms are more dangerous then others, and require registration is unfounded.

To quote again from the above site:


"Non-grandfathered automatic weapons and assault firearms have been illegal in Canada since 1977. No registered automatic weapon has been used in any violent crime in Canada."

and

"Semiautomatic firearms described by firearm prohibitionists as military assault weapons are not used by any military anywhere in the world. They use ammunition less powerful than the .30-06 and other more traditional big game cartridges. There is no evidence that military style semiautomatic guns are disproportionately used in crime: less than 1.5% of all homicides in Canada involves this type of firearm. Semiautomatic rifles patterned after state-of-the-art firearm technology are popular with over one-quarter of all responsible Canadian gun owners because they offer increased reliability and durability. No functional difference exists between semiautomatics based on sporting rifles and shotguns commercially available before 1910 and those of today."
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Re: Firearms

Postby TranquilFury » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:58 am UTC

I think everyone should be taught to fight(unarmed and with guns) as part of the required high school curriculum(women too), and be issued a military grade assault rifle and a handgun on completing that course (no service obligation, just a training obligation). A well armed, competently trained population is the most effective response to the threat of totalitarian government and/or foreign occupation.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Thesh » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:00 am UTC

Because everyone pays attention in high school and takes their classes seriously.
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Re: Firearms

Postby TranquilFury » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:09 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Because everyone pays attention in high school and takes their classes seriously.

If the failing students get used as target practice, i assume scores would improve.
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Re: Firearms

Postby stevey_frac » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:42 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Because everyone pays attention in high school and takes their classes seriously.



Those who honestly have no interest in firing their gun, and don't learn anything in that class, will not fire their gun when they get it home.


This isn't a crazy idea. Sweden did this for a long time, as a part of their mandatory service. You got sent home with your assault rifle.

This isn't that much different.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Thesh » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:47 am UTC

stevey_frac wrote:
Thesh wrote:Because everyone pays attention in high school and takes their classes seriously.



Those who honestly have no interest in firing their gun, and don't learn anything in that class, will not fire their gun when they get it home.


This isn't a crazy idea. Sweden did this for a long time, as a part of their mandatory service. You got sent home with your assault rifle.

This isn't that much different.


Except that high school usually ends around the same age that military service begins, and even then people could choose community service as an alternative.

Forcing people who don't like guns to shoot guns just doesn't seem right to me. I'm all for people being able to own assault rifles, I'm all against forcing people to do things they don't want to do.
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Re: Firearms

Postby TranquilFury » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:33 am UTC

Thesh wrote:I'm all against forcing people to do things they don't want to do.

I can't think of a better justification for teaching combat to the people most likely to be suppressed by force.
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Re: Firearms

Postby curtis95112 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:35 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Forcing people who don't like guns to shoot guns just doesn't seem right to me. I'm all for people being able to own assault rifles, I'm all against forcing people to do things they don't want to do.


You mean like forcing people to learn trig even though they don't want to?
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Re: Firearms

Postby Thesh » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:52 pm UTC

People aren't forced to learn trig. Unlike guns, if you give them a drawing of a triangle and they didn't pay attention during trig class, there is very little risk of someone getting injured.
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Re: Firearms

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:30 am UTC

A drawing of a gun never hurt anyone either.

A faulty navigation system or a poorly designed building however can be just as deadly, if not more so, than a gun.
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Re: Firearms

Postby stevey_frac » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:12 am UTC

All i'm saying, is that what is happening in Syria, wouldn't be happening if every citizen over the age of 20 had a functioning bolt action rifle, and knew how to use it.

And it wouldn't have gotten that far.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Shahriyar » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:21 pm UTC

There's something I'm curious about. Why keep the guns? I mean, why are people so opinionated about them either way? Also, why is it specifically guns? Why are there jusrisdictions where guns are allowed, but not, say, swords?
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Re: Firearms

Postby Fire Brns » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:52 pm UTC

Shahriyar wrote:There's something I'm curious about. Why keep the guns? I mean, why are people so opinionated about them either way? Also, why is it specifically guns? Why are there jusrisdictions where guns are allowed, but not, say, swords?

The only state I know that allows swords is Kentucky wich is odd considering the costitution says "the right to bear arms", it never says firearms.

I lol when people say you never need to reload a knife and it never jams. A gun never gets dull and you don't need to be in arm's lenth to use it.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Shahriyar » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

Well, they overlooked that fact, didn't they? Probably because they don't get to use the knives much. (Imagines a knifing range, full of polystirene strawmen that bleed red paint)
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Re: Firearms

Postby pizzazz » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:05 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:
Shahriyar wrote:There's something I'm curious about. Why keep the guns? I mean, why are people so opinionated about them either way? Also, why is it specifically guns? Why are there jusrisdictions where guns are allowed, but not, say, swords?

The only state I know that allows swords is Kentucky wich is odd considering the costitution says "the right to bear arms", it never says firearms.

I lol when people say you never need to reload a knife and it never jams. A gun never gets dull and you don't need to be in arm's lenth to use it.


I'm pretty sure long blades are generally legal in most states. You can get sharpened swords off places like e-bay (and even the dull ones can be sharpened). What do tend to be illegal, are switch blades and gravity knives, because they're concealable but can be opened quickly. They're actually pretty similar to firearms in that regard.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Fire Brns » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:38 pm UTC

pizzazz wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:
Shahriyar wrote:There's something I'm curious about. Why keep the guns? I mean, why are people so opinionated about them either way? Also, why is it specifically guns? Why are there jusrisdictions where guns are allowed, but not, say, swords?

The only state I know that allows swords is Kentucky wich is odd considering the costitution says "the right to bear arms", it never says firearms.

I lol when people say you never need to reload a knife and it never jams. A gun never gets dull and you don't need to be in arm's lenth to use it.


I'm pretty sure long blades are generally legal in most states. You can get sharpened swords off places like e-bay (and even the dull ones can be sharpened). What do tend to be illegal, are switch blades and gravity knives, because they're concealable but can be opened quickly. They're actually pretty similar to firearms in that regard.

Let me clarify, "The only state I know that allows you to carry swords in public is Kentucky" I have a friend who has collector status and has two samuri swords, that is how he get's away with owning them. He is also a good reference for knife control laws.
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Re: Firearms

Postby mmmcannibalism » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:07 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:
pizzazz wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:
Shahriyar wrote:There's something I'm curious about. Why keep the guns? I mean, why are people so opinionated about them either way? Also, why is it specifically guns? Why are there jusrisdictions where guns are allowed, but not, say, swords?

The only state I know that allows swords is Kentucky wich is odd considering the costitution says "the right to bear arms", it never says firearms.

I lol when people say you never need to reload a knife and it never jams. A gun never gets dull and you don't need to be in arm's lenth to use it.


I'm pretty sure long blades are generally legal in most states. You can get sharpened swords off places like e-bay (and even the dull ones can be sharpened). What do tend to be illegal, are switch blades and gravity knives, because they're concealable but can be opened quickly. They're actually pretty similar to firearms in that regard.

Let me clarify, "The only state I know that allows you to carry swords in public is Kentucky" I have a friend who has collector status and has two samuri swords, that is how he get's away with owning them. He is also a good reference for knife control laws.


Best bet, there is no desire to carry swords in public so noone is lobbying for it.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Shahriyar » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:11 pm UTC

Best bet, there is no desire to carry swords in public so noone is lobbying for it.


Which goes back to my question: why do the people who want to be able to carry firearms care so much? Why is it serious business?
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Re: Firearms

Postby mmmcannibalism » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:13 pm UTC

Shahriyar wrote:
Best bet, there is no desire to carry swords in public so noone is lobbying for it.


Which goes back to my question: why do the people who want to be able to carry firearms care so much? Why is it serious business?


Primarily self defense; specifically, the belief that you have a much better chance of getting out of certain criminal situations through fighting back.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:42 pm UTC

^I will lobby for sword carry.


American's who are pro gun believe that the fear of getting shot is enough to detter most crimes.

For example when you watch a show with a name along the lines of "world's dummest criminals" and a convienence store is robbed, in America the second the clerk pulls a gun the robber hightails it; In england a convienence store is robbed and people start throwing chairs at the robber.
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Re: Firearms

Postby TranquilFury » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:51 pm UTC

Deterring everyday crime is an advantage to a well armed populace, but that's not the reason people need guns. The reason for an armed populace is to prevent totalitarian government.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Arrian » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:21 pm UTC

TranquilFury wrote:Deterring everyday crime is an advantage to a well armed populace, but that's not the reason people need guns. The reason for an armed populace is to prevent totalitarian government.


I'm not convinced that is the only reason for the Second Amendment: It was pretty well established in English common law that people had a right to defend themselves, and the Bill of Rights enshrined several key common law concepts into the Constitution. I haven't read the Federalist Papers or the debates around ratification, so I don't know for sure whether the Second was meant purely to prevent tyranny, or if that was just the first of multiple of the reasons.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:40 pm UTC

The federalist papers were great, there wer clauses to handle piracy on the high seas; we just didn't have taxation or any federal authority. Technically the Constitution was a second revolution.

"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."
Self defence.

"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."
Tyranical government.
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