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Old 04-18-2007, 09:46 PM   #91
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Speaking of "hypothetically tyrranical" how many of the rights we have do you support the governement removal of?
USA PATRIOT act covers a few doesn't it.
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:52 PM   #92
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USA PATRIOT act covers a few doesn't it.
I do not want to derail this thread but bullseye!
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:20 PM   #93
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My point is that Lexington and Concord was indeed an attempt at disarming the colonists by getting the munitions (be the musketballs, poder, ect). You yourself state that 90% of the militia's were farmers. Obviously, they were not supplied their weapons by the government. They were their weapons. As for the taking of farmers weapons you have ignored my statement that the munitions were more important to the British than the actual weapons so by disarming, the materials stored in Concord were important.


I do not give a rats ass who had what in Worcester. Its nice to know, but it would have been in loyalist territory based on what I know at the time, not much of a concern. Hence the raid on Ticonderoga to get cannon.


And yet we dismiss the founding fathers and peoples written records of this Amendment with it doesn't matter because the US Army could kick our ass today if it wanted to....LOL
Lexington and Concord was an attempt to weaken the militia forces that threatened the British army's position in Boston. The governments military and security forces in those days was primarily the Militia and the individual towns would often spend money to insure their Militia had what it needed. Many people were both in the town government, the town militia, as well as being farmers. The British were not attempting to disarm any and all colonist, they were making a tactical move to weaken the military formations that threaten their position in Boston.

Worcester was actually one of the first towns where the militia actively did something to oppose General Gages attempts to tighten his control over Massachusetts. When Gage tried to seat his own court in Worcester, the townspeople blocked the court from sitting and the militia marched to intimidate the judges to get them to leave.

As I stated before, the General Gage new that the largest stocks of ammo and supplies were in Worcester and he sent some officers to recon the way to Worcester and they reported back about how difficult the route was and that the marshes around Sudbury would pose lots of problems. This is why Concord was selected. It was much closer, and Gage felt he could send his troops there and back quickly with little possibility of interference. The raid on Fort Ticonderoga was to increase the amount of cannon that they had, not because they did not have a single piece of cannon.


Whether you believe the intention of the Founding Fathers had with the second amendment was to maintain a weapons capability with the citizens that would allow them to overthrow the government or not, the fact is today its a mute point because that capability has not existed for nearly a century.

The real question is how does the United States reduce the 10,000 plus firearms deaths that occur in this country every year? Despite the United States much larger population, firearms deaths in the USA are way ahead of country's like Ireland, England, Norway, Australia and other democratic countries with high standards of living.

I think having gun laws similar to Ireland and the UK would cut down heavily on the murder rate in the United States. But at this time, surprisingly, its not politically possible. The measures to tighten gun laws that sometimes almost pass are often to weak and would have little effect.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:42 PM   #94
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Where there is doubt or fear take away freedom; it never fails and would never lead to the tyranny that those double edged principles guard against.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:56 PM   #95
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
I think this is what is most hard for us outside the US to understand. It's not the stereotype painted image of the redneck NRA member who drives this huge SUV, has an American flag in the front yard, gets around in God Bless America t-shirts and owns a small armoury that they think is literally their God given right to own - that's too easy to write off as crazy in some "only in America" way. What is hard to understand is the regular, average, middle class suburban living person who feels the need to own a gun/s. An actual feeling of need. That's where I think there is a key difference. I live in a city of 5 million, that comes with all the regular issues of a city of that size. I personally live pretty close to the city. I grew up in a suburb that had virtually no crime. If you were lying in bed and remembered you didn't lock your car out in the street, you really didn't think it was worth getting up and going and locking the thing, the risk of theft did not even register, perhaps petty theft from some 'naughty' local kid if you left something obvious exposed on the dashboard, but you wouldn't worry about the car itself. Just as an example. I now live in an inner city area, a mix of young couples, students, 20 something's living close to work etc. There's also a decent amount of crime in the area that means you definitely do get out of bed to lock your car, you do double check the house is all locked up, you do even angle where you place your belongings within your house so as the expensive stuff isn't so obvious to anyone peering through a window. Stuff happens, and you hear pretty regular stories from others living in the area.

It is, however, certainly not a dangerous area. Crime happens, very regularly, but it's not violent. Maybe that's the difference. My point is, I've lived in an area where I once left a brand new big screen TV in it's box on the front porch overnight without any concerns, and now in an area where we had to re-arrange the whole living room when we bought a plasma so that should we be watching it with the blinds open, no-one from the street could see it as we knew that would be pretty much asking for it. In neither situation though would I even contemplate owning a gun, nor do I feel any need for anything like that. At all. I can't imagine anywhere in a city like Sydney feeling the need to own one, and Sydney most definitely has it's fair share of dangerous areas and crime, as any city of it's size does.

I just can't fathom ever feeling the need to own one.


this is quite representative of my experience. i grew up in a lovely little suburb, left the keys in our car, locked doors at night, sure, but not during the day even if we were away from the house. i live in a very mixed neighborhood, and there was a shooting about a year and a half ago a few blocks away, but that's it. i am cautious and aware and take taxis when it is late, but i feel generally as secure as one can in an urban area.

the only person i know who owns a gun is, as i've said, my best friend. he lives in a virtually zero-crime area in northern Virginia where the same gun lies apply to him as they did to the VT shooter.

i don't understand gun culture; the America you speak of is as foreign to me as it is to you.
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:18 PM   #96
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Where there is doubt or fear take away freedom; it never fails and would never lead to the tyranny that those double edged principles guard against.
U sir are on target.
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:21 PM   #97
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It's way more about the culture than the laws.

You can talk about tough gun laws in a country like Australia, but at each stage that those laws have been brought into action, 95% of the population has treated it like a new law about keeping a blue whale as a pet or something, ie it means nothing to pretty much everyone. It's easy to do and bothers virtually no-one.

Meanwhile you also have a country like Switzerland, with it's citizenry armed to the teeth, but an incredibly low gun-crime rate.

Australia: Tough gun laws, no gun culture, very low gun crime.
Switzerland: Loose gun laws, no gun culture, very low gun crime.
USA: Loose gun laws, huge gun culture, high gun crime.

It's the obsession with them. Not just the ownership.
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:24 PM   #98
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
Why are these people going to Virginia to get their weapons?

Because it is a state that has shitty gun control laws period.
But really good laws protecting us from gay people.

I think they have their priorities straight.
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:27 PM   #99
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Originally posted by martha


But really good laws protecting us from gay people.

I think they have their priorities straight.


DC has one of the highest murder rates in the nation, and often has the highest.

and guns are illegal in DC.

but everyone buys them IN VIRGINIA.

these days, i'm not sure if it's legal for me to be in Memphis's apartment without a straight person there to supervise and make sure that one foot stays on the floor the whole time.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:13 AM   #100
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I agree Ernie - like i said before - i cannot fathom how someone can think "gun" when thinking about protecting themselves - this is why we have police and this is why you get good at throwing a punch...

I really think americans don't respect guns. They see them everywhere - i mean you could by ammo in kmart/walmart! that they don't see them as these HIGHLY deadly weapons. That a gun is not for everyone but for a few extremely skillful people.

For example last week on "amazing videos" there was a scene in a grocery store when a man tried to steal money by threatening the cashier with a knife, she threw some money at him and when he bent over she grabbed a gun and shot him a few times, all the while closeing her eyes and screaming and just pointing in the local vicinity. He was shot twice - luckily didnt die - but oh my gawd. Who the fuck does she think she is? I didn't think this was "amazing" i just think its another example of someone not respecting another person's life - just because the criminal doesn't doesn't mean you can too!

Question: Do you think in light of recent events, the 2nd amendment needs to be changed in some way? Do you think "normal" citizens should not be allowed to purchase guns?
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:43 AM   #101
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I really think americans don't respect guns. They see them everywhere
I'm in agreement with you regarding gun control, but this is a pretty lame generalization, don't you think? There's no WAY that the majority of Americans don't respect guns. If that were true, at least half of us would be murderers and the other half would be murdered.

My dad, brother, uncles, and grandpa all own sport rifles, but besides my time in Africa, I haven't personally "seen" a gun in.....I can't even remember when, I really can't. And I've been to sporting goods stores recently, but the guns are kept in a special area, locked up, I don't even know where. My relatives keep them locked away and only take them out when they are at the hunting cabin. All of the hunters in our family had utmost respect for guns. Besides two uncles who are/were police officers, not a single person in my family carries or keeps a concealed weapon or any type of weapon intended to harm other people.

I'm not opposed to banning civilians from owning assault weapons and even tightening restrictions and increasing safety training requirements for sport rifles (yes, at least in my county, you are required to pass safety classes before using a rifle).
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:52 AM   #102
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well im also against hunting, but thats another matter entirely i guess.

Ok so perhaps i should have put i think A LOT of americans don't respect guns - and i don't just mean the ones that willy nilly go out and shoot people i think people need to know that guns are not for everyone that we as a people do not NEED guns for any circumstance.

Im sure your family, and a lot of people who own guns don't use them hardly at all, but to me, i just don't think anyone outside of a job where you are required to have one should own one.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:21 AM   #103
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
It's way more about the culture than the laws.

You can talk about tough gun laws in a country like Australia, but at each stage that those laws have been brought into action, 95% of the population has treated it like a new law about keeping a blue whale as a pet or something, ie it means nothing to pretty much everyone. It's easy to do and bothers virtually no-one.

Meanwhile you also have a country like Switzerland, with it's citizenry armed to the teeth, but an incredibly low gun-crime rate.

Australia: Tough gun laws, no gun culture, very low gun crime.
Switzerland: Loose gun laws, no gun culture, very low gun crime.
USA: Loose gun laws, huge gun culture, high gun crime.

It's the obsession with them. Not just the ownership.
I'd agree with this. To people in the UK it just seems unfathomable that many Americans are willing to protect their right to bear arms whatever the price in lost lives. The rates of deaths from guns is way way higher in America than in other western societies. Sadly it's almost inevitable that in another few months there will be another mass shooting in the US and we'll be having the same discussions.

I read one commentary that tried to explain that the cultural difference between Americans view on guns and other developed countries was deep rooted in the American belief in individual freedom and a general powerful suspicion of government which just doesn't exist to the same levels in other countries. Whether this it true or not I don't know.

I have vivid memories of the Hungerford massacre in England 20 years ago. I was living at the time just a few miles away when a lone gunman ran amok in the small town killing at least 15 people indiscriminately. I had friends living there and the phone system crashed for hours so we couldn't contact them to see if they were OK -they were but one of my work colleagues lost a good friend.
Afterwards though there was a mass call for stricter gun controls from the public, media and politicians which resulted quickly in the tightening of laws to prevent anyone buying a semi-automatic weapon. This wasn't enough to stop Dunblane a few years later which led to further tightening of the laws so now it's impossible to legally buy any kind of hand gun.

Obviously this hasn't led to the elimination of guns in society - criminals can obtain them relatively easily and there is a growing gang culture with several recent shooting deaths of teenage kids in rival gangs but there haven't been any mass indiscrimate shootings in over a decade. That's not to say of course it couldn't happen if someone was determined enough - there have been several cases in recent years where people have gone on the rampage with knives, machetes and in one case a ceremonial sword in a church which have resulted in deaths and maimings but the casualties would have been far higher if they had had ready access to guns as in the US. I don't think you'll ever be able to prevent a few mentally unstable people getting it into their heads that they need to go out and kill others and then do so but if access to lethal weapons is restricted then so are the consequences of their actions.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:31 AM   #104
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
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should being admitted to a mental institution for any reason be enough to disqualify someone from ever being able to purchase a gun, much like being convicted of a felony disqualifies someone?
I would say yes to this....but...I am willing to bet that privacy law prevents this......
Yep.
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The laws are not in the schools favor either when it comes to doing something about students that are potential problems for classmates.
This is true too. I already touched on this earlier, but colleges are very limited in what they can force "troubled" students to do. They can initiate a process of getting a temporary detention secured, which VA Tech did do back in fall 2005 (more because they were concerned based on comments from one student that Cho might be suicidal, than because of the harassment) but that didn't lead to anything lasting, probably because the doctor who evaluated him at the psychiatric hospital off-campus found that Cho denied being suicidal, and explicitly did not indicate that he considered Cho a potential danger to others (which was one of the questions on the evaluation). Basically, a student has to have issued direct threats against others, or against him/herself, or otherwise violated the student judicial code, in order for expulsion, or perhaps mandatory sustained psychiatric treatment to be enforceable (although an outside party can compel regular treatment if an evaluation justifies it). Any large college's counseling center treats thousands of students a year for everything from test anxiety to anorexia to schizophrenia, so it's not as if they're naive about these things. If you attend a large public school, I can guarantee you your fellow students include at least a few people with illnesses which make them potentially dangerous if proper treatment isn't kept up, and the school cannot monitor them minute-to-minute.
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It is unacceptable that NOBODY filed an official police report about this student. They went to the police, but did not want to file an official report. And THAT is the heart of the problem in this country, not the fact that law abiding people can purchase a weapon. The heart of the problem is that school officials and joe average citizen are hampered with the threat of litigation and laws that are back asswards, protecting the criminal and not the victem.
Perhaps fear of litigation was behind why no one pressed charges, but from what I've read it's also true that there was nothing physically threatening in his calls and IMs to the two female students, so they may have figured it simply wasn't worth pressing charges over. I've been harassed by a disturbed student before, I would guess maybe about a quarter to a third of all longstanding faculty have at some point. Both disturbed male and female students do it, but not all students who do this are by any means "crazy", and the effect is often more irritating than scary. In my case I finally took my concerns to the dean after my own attempts at getting the student to back off failed, the dean addressed the matter, and fortunately that was the end of it. I had no desire to press charges because I was never at any point frightened, just distressed by the student's behavior, and had no further problems with them after the dean intervened. I can understand why Cho's creative writing professors were especially disturbed by him, but macabre fictional work doesn't constitute legal proof of a threat and as far as his unnerving conduct in class, it sounds like they dealt with that decisively by forcing him to complete those classes via one-on-one tutoring.

It may be true that in Cho's case he would've found another way to kill a lot of people whether guns proved easy to procure or not, but I can't see it as irrelevant that they were. It's just unrealistic to count on the likelihood that a would-be mass killer will have a known prior history of either serious mental illness (as in, clinically determined to be dangerous to themselves or others) or a known record of violent behavior.
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Old 04-19-2007, 07:08 AM   #105
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Interesting....Here is a the Virginia's Attorney General's Office statement from 2006 RE: Concealed Handguns on College Campuses

http://www.oag.state.va.us/OPINIONS/2006opns/05-078.pdf

Virginia is a Shall Issue State meaning if there are no "Red Flags" according to VA law....the permit must be issued.
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