Various Stances on Gun Control Policy

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How much control of privately owned firearms should we havein the USA?

None at all ( Bring on the Rocket Launcher!)
6
21%
Handgun licenses
1
3%
Licenses for ALL guns
13
45%
Nothing except hunting guns
6
21%
Spitball shooters make me nervous
3
10%
 
Total votes : 29

Various Stances on Gun Control Policy

Postby LibraLabRat on Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:28 pm

Where do you stand, and why?

Personally, I feel that most of the laws made in relation to firearms are made and imposed by people who never use, or have never even come into contact with guns except what they have seen on TV and movies.

This is why things such as the silly Clintonian AWB ( Assault Weapons Ban) that only banned cosmetic changes to legal weapons.
(For the record, I loved Clinton as a President, and think he was one of the best we have ever had.)

So, what do you think about guns, do you own any, and do you have any questions?
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Postby Capellini on Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:46 pm

I think all guns should require a license, and the license should require proof that you know what the hell you're doing. A gun should be at least as hard to get as a car, imo. Furthermore, in accordance with my interpretation of the second ammendment, I feel a gun license should only be given to those people registered with a private militia.

*I will immediately grant the inherent problems with the private militia idea. In order for it to be truly 'well-regulated', and not just a bunch of drunk hicks with shotguns, it needs some sort of higher control, but involving the gov't must be strictly OUT, because the point of the militia is, in part, to protect the people FROM the gov't if necessary. It doesn't, however, change my interpretation of the ammendment, or my belief that, with some heavy thinking, it can be worked out. I will also say that I believe it is in the nation's best interest for EVERYONE to be a member of a private militia, and fully trained in some useful way (not necessarily requiring people have firearms and know how to use them, there are other ways to help).
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Postby Long Gone McGruff on Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:59 pm

Isn't the whole private militia thing rather anachronistic? There's a saying that generals always try to fight the previous battle. This might have made sense at the time of a rebellion against a colonial government but now? Modern weapons of democracy are the ballot box, a free press, education, etc etc.

As has been mentioned before, the principle of privately owned military might capable of standing up to the government would nowadays have to go way beyond a few rifles. Tanks, fighter jets, nuclear subs, spy satellites... The right to bear radio controlled dolphins?
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Postby LibraLabRat on Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:59 pm

We are in agreement on some key points.

Here is what a militia was at the time the Constitution was drafted, and the same thing would be feasible now:

Basically, able bodied men between the ages of 14 and up ( womyn of ablebodiedness too, we are enlightened now) to provide their own arms, and to gather together and practice such things as marksmanship, and basic military training.

As far as licensing, though:

Most schools in the south offer hunters educatin classes, and with it, basic firearms safety. This is good.

However, if you let the government LICENSE EVERY GUN, then they have a ready access to who has the guns, what guns they have, ect.

Basically, they can deny licenses to whomever they want, and it defeats the whole purpose.

Back in the 1930s, you could walk into a hardware store and buy a fully automatic weapon, and you didnt even have to be eighteen to do it.

We have plenty of gun laws, but they get unevenly enforced.

Crime should be punished, not law abiding citizens.
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Postby LibraLabRat on Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:02 pm

Long John McGruff wrote:Isn't the whole private militia thing rather anachronistic? There's a saying that generals always try to fight the previous battle. This might have made sense at the time of a rebellion against a colonial government but now? Modern weapons of democracy are the ballot box, a free press, education, etc etc.

As has been mentioned before, the principle of privately owned military might capable of standing up to the government would nowadays have to go way beyond a few rifles. Tanks, fighter jets, nuclear subs, spy satellites... The right to bear radio controlled dolphins?


Let me explain one little thing about military tactics, and why we are having so much trouble in Iraq, and why the Russians had so much trouble in Afghanistan:

Guerrilla warfare tactics will yeild superior results against a better armed adversary. Secondly, many servicemembers would desert and take their weapons, and weaponry experience with them. So tanks, planes, helicopters, como equipment, all will be on hand.

Trust me. :fsm_yarr:
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Postby Spatula on Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:59 pm

Ah, the old 'the government knows who has the guns and can come get them' routine. Well, I voted for licenses for all guns, based upon the idea that I believe there should be some sort of proof competence before being allowed to purchase a gun. I also believe there should be legal restrictions against known felons purchasing guns. BUT after reading the other posts, it seems to me the best answer would be to provide some sort of pre-purchase check, like requiring a hunter's saftey course and ensuring the purchaser is not a felon. After the check is passed, any gun could be purchased, there is no need to make a record of who the individual was, nor of what gun they purchased. That sounds suitable to me.
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Postby Capellini on Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:05 pm

John,

Even if its entirely symbolic, its too important a symbol to dispense with.

Libra,

A gun should not be easier to own than a car. If the gov't gets to know everyone who owns a car, require them to have a license and insurance, then at least the same should be required of firearms.

I think part of the excessive paranoia regarding the government knowing who owns a gun is part of the problem, actually.
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Postby dukes on Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:02 pm

David Koresh thought that a private militia was a good idea, as did Randy Weaver and Jim Jones. The Aryan Nation seems to consider itself to be one, and I bet the Ku Klux Klan would fit most definitions of one.

In the context of the era in which the constitution was framed, the term "well regulated militia" had a different connotation than today. At that time the United States had the world's only elected government, because of the revolution that had been won only a few years earlier. If you don't like the way the government is run, get yourself elected and change it. Write letters to the editor, be politically engaged. A private militia is NOT the way to effect change.

I own guns, and have lived around them most of my life. I see no purpose in assault weapons unless you're a drug dealer or a Koresh-type individual. Creating a legal definition of an assault weapon is difficult, which accounts for the 'cosmetic changes' that get around the law.
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Postby Capellini on Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:34 pm

Hence my comment that the actual formation and regulation of this militia is a difficult (but I don't believe impossible) thing.
True terror lies in the futility of human existence.

Malcolm Reynolds is my co-pilot.

"The only freedom deserving the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest." - John Stuart Mill
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Postby LibraLabRat on Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:42 pm

Ok, to recap:

First off, there are pre purchase checks, such as the NICS system, and Felons lose their right to own firearms along with their rights to vote. So those are in place.

As far as excessive paranoia.....Randy Weaver is an example of the FED going overboard, and well, Koresh was a nut, to be sure, but there are too many oddities about that whole situation to make a clear assessment.

As far as "assault weapons" they DO NOT EXIST. There is no functional difference between my Remington 742 Woodsmaster deer rifle and my SKS and AK 47 is that those rifles have WEAKER ammunition, and much shorter ranges than my deer rifle.......

Assault weapons are semi automatic versions of popular military rifles. I love to use my SKS for hunting, because it is reliable, sturdy, and accurate, but not too powerful for what I hunt, which is mostly javelina, deer, and feral pigs.

As far as full autos, the current licensing is sufficient, as is concealed carry permits. I do think all states should have a concealed carry program, and a version of the "make my day" law.

So far, it seems that some folks have a vague notion of what is legal and what isnt.

It is perfectly legal to own fully automatic weapons with the appropriate license. It is perfectly legal in nearly every state except California to own a semiautomatic AK 47 or variant.

So, what real reasons are there for strict gun control?
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Postby dukes on Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:04 pm

LibraLabRat wrote:It is perfectly legal to own fully automatic weapons with the appropriate license. It is perfectly legal in nearly every state except California to own a semiautomatic AK 47 or variant.



A fine example of something that may be legal but is still not appropriate. The only hunters that need rapid-firing arms are those who can't hit the target the first time.

It is true that a lot of military weapons are less powerful than hunting weapons. For the type of combat we've seen over the last 20 years or so it's better to be able to control short bursts than to hit the mark a half-mile away. Except for sniper rifles and the such, none of the current small arms are as powerful as the Springfield Rifle carried in WWI - or as accurate at long range.
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Postby LibraLabRat on Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:15 pm

dukes wrote:
LibraLabRat wrote:It is perfectly legal to own fully automatic weapons with the appropriate license. It is perfectly legal in nearly every state except California to own a semiautomatic AK 47 or variant.



A fine example of something that may be legal but is still not appropriate. The only hunters that need rapid-firing arms are those who can't hit the target the first time.

It is true that a lot of military weapons are less powerful than hunting weapons. For the type of combat we've seen over the last 20 years or so it's better to be able to control short bursts than to hit the mark a half-mile away. Except for sniper rifles and the such, none of the current small arms are as powerful as the Springfield Rifle carried in WWI - or as accurate at long range.


Once again, you are misunderstanding my statement. I am not advocating the use of fully automatic weapons for hunting. You do not have to show a need for anything. It is a bill of RIGHTS, not needs. I never take more than two shots at anything, cuz I hate wounding animals and trailing them for hours to make a kill shot. I rather get it done quickly.

But if someone wants to own fully automatic weapons ( mainly serious collectors, as the licensing is lenghty and EXPENSIVE AS HELL) then they should be allowed to, reguardless of what you or I think is "necessary".

After all, if I had my way, I would outlaw bow hunting as inhumane and needless, but I would not impose my opinion on other people who have committed no crime.
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Postby SpisBoy on Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:23 pm

Personally, I don't like guns. I see no reason for anyone to have a gun. When I think of people who want guns, I think of vigilante trigger-happy rednecks. Also I have never understood people who enjoy shooting things. I think gun rights are sort of outdated.

However, I understand that even though other people have different ideas than me, they have rights I should respect. Therefore, it should be legal to own guns as long as people have to get a permit and prove their responsibility.
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Postby LibraLabRat on Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:29 pm

SpisBoy wrote:Personally, I don't like guns. I see no reason for anyone to have a gun. When I think of people who want guns, I think of vigilante trigger-happy rednecks. Also I have never understood people who enjoy shooting things. I think gun rights are sort of outdated.

However, I understand that even though other people have different ideas than me, they have rights I should respect. Therefore, it should be legal to own guns as long as people have to get a permit and prove their responsibility.


Do you have to "prove your responsibility" to own a car? Not really, or there would not be about a hundred times more people getting killed from car accidents every year than from guns.

Gun crimes are committed by criminals. So the solution is better crime control, not more gun control.
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Postby PyreDruid on Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:46 pm

Also I have never understood people who enjoy shooting things. I think gun rights are sort of outdated.


But some people have them for self defense, I have a friend with one since we live in a pretty dangerous city and he's been mugged before, he doesnt enjoy shooting things, and he's not a trigger happy redneck, there are plenty of reasons that people want guns besides the ones you mention. And plenty of great reasons why people should be allowed to own them.

As for licensing, I'm against that, its pretty ineptly handled in many places and just makes it harder for people who follow the law to get one, since anyone criminal certainly isn't going through the process. And in the country, I'd rather see the goverment spend money to stop the criminals from getting them, then stopping regular people.

As for the statement that guns should be as hard to get as cars, I'm curious as to the number of people killed by guns vs. cars. I'd only be willing to agree with that if its much higher for guns.
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