The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?  (Read 52669 times)

Offline Ylide

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 905
    • View Profile
    • http://clem.mscd.edu/~mogavero
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #25 on: 17/10/2004 13:24:38 »
quote:
Originally posted by Corbeille

So what is it about the American way of life that creates more deaths by shooting than countries with higher gun ownership? I'm not having a poke at gun owners here, there have been times when I wished I could have produced one, I'm just looking for an explanation.



My personal opinion is that it's based in our founding.  You see, America was originally colonized by religious puritans who were so stuck-up and stodgy that the BRITISH said "get out of here, please."  Like most religious extremists, they abhorred sexuality and curse words but had no problem with violence.  (especially against those not of their faith)  Our culture now is directly descended from this mode of thought...it is the reason that primetime television can show the brutalized mangled corpse of a dead prostitute on your average cop show and no one says boo, but god forbid you see a nipple.  Think of children.  

So, since mainstream entertainment cannot be racy in the way that the rest of the civilized world can, they have to make up for it with shooting, explosions, and killing.  Our kids are raised seeing multiple acts of violence on any given day of watching televsion.  In most well adjusted humans this isn't such a big deal, other than desensitizing us to it.  In less adjusted folks, especially ones that are not raised to respect the lives of others, this can result in a higher tendency to resort to violent crime.  

There was a study years ago, I cannot remember when or where it took place, but it involved taking subjects from American, European, Asian, and Middle-eastern cultures (don't recall exactly which ones) and showing them graphic images.  They were then told to rate their level of aversion/attraction to the images.  The images contained graphic nudity, sex, corpses, mutilations, guns, and some control pictures of food and stuff.  On average, the Americans and the Middle Easterners were more offended by the sex and nudity than by the violence.  On average, the Europeans and Asians were less offended by the nudity than by the violence.  I think this speaks volumes as to the effect of certain religions on culture when they are highly integrated.

Oh, and to Neil:  Gun ownership, while being a constitutional right, is mostly a state-run issue.  In some states, like New York and California, guns are registerd and licensed, and licenses issued are only after extensive police background checks.  In others, more conservative states like Colorado (where I live) and most Southern states, you can walk into a gun store and walk out with a gun in 20 minutes.  You have to fill out a registration form from the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) and get a quick telephone background check that makes sure you're not a felon.  You may not carry your gun concealed in most states, as well.  In New York, your license to own a gun is also your license to carry it, hence the extensive checking and registration.  In the majority of states, you must apply separately for a CCW (carry concealed weapons) permit and be subject to a background check by law enforcement who then amy or may not grant you the permit at their discretion.  Unless you live in a right-to-carry state, meaning they have a law stating that as long as you pass a background and mental health check and have the proper certification (usually an NRA class) they MUST issue you a carry permit.  There aren't very many of those, though...maybe 10-15 last I checked.

This message brought to you by The Council of People Who Are Sick of Seeing More People
 

Offline Donnah

  • Ma-Donnah
  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1756
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #26 on: 17/10/2004 16:16:15 »
I agree that there is too much violence shown.  Last night I rented a PG (parental guidance) movie and within 10 minutes they showed a man sawing off someone's legs with a hacksaw.  That's when I hit the "off" button.

The problem that I have with nudity is that it is one sided.  We are bombarded with boobs, and they have no problem shoving a camera up a woman's vagina, but heaven forbid that a man's testacles be shown!  I heard (unconfirmed, but it would seem to be that way) that it is illegal in Canada to show pictures of erections in the magazine or movie (don't know about porn) industries.  That's what I call discrimination.
 

Offline Ylide

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 905
    • View Profile
    • http://clem.mscd.edu/~mogavero
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #27 on: 17/10/2004 20:40:12 »
See, you can't even show a boob in the US unless it's pay cable channels like HBO or an on-screen.  And on those channels, usually you won't see a dick, you'll see breasts and maybe a litle flash of pubic hair, same sexism as you mention.  It's still pretty prudish.  Mostly because of the NC-17 rating...if they allow too much nudity it will get rating NC-17 rather than R, which means teenagers (the primary market for cinema) can't go see it even WITH a parent.  

But yet you can show a severed head (and even make jokes with it) in a PG-13 or even PG movie.





This message brought to you by The Council of People Who Are Sick of Seeing More People
 

Offline tweener

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1144
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #28 on: 19/10/2004 04:44:29 »
Neil,
To go a little further with the gun purchasing...  You can go to a "gun show", which is a convention of dealers, and buy whatever you see.  Cash, no paperwork, no names, no registration or record of any kind.  You can look in the newspaper classifieds and do the same from any private individual.

Felons are not allowed to posess guns, and usually get pretty stiff sentences if they are caught.

I believe that banning guns would be even more futile than banning drugs.  Cocaine and heroin (and many others) have been illegal for many many years, yet anyone who wants some can certainly get it pretty much anytime.  The real difference is that illegal drugs are not inspected and have no quality control.  So, the price is higher and the quality is lower and the prisons are full, with no reduction in the overall useage statistics.  

My idea of gun control is hitting what I aim at.  And I used to be quite good at that, though I'm rusty now and my eyes just aren't what they used to be.

----
John - The Eternal Pessimist.
 

Offline roberth

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 246
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #29 on: 19/10/2004 05:36:21 »
So, the US Government fines TV companies for showing boobs on TV, has a futile war on drugs that they cannot win, that costs more than the war on terror, that is also proving difficult to win, and the citizens can go to a trade fair and buy a rocket launcher or uzi without any ID. Geez. I know I'm a child of the late fifties, but does "make love not war" seem to be lost within the US mindset. I know I'd prefer my kids to see Janet Jackson's boob than a head being lopped off with a chainsaw. I've got no issues with the USA, I think their role as the world watchdog on all things evil is important to world stability, but there seems to be some serious issues with priorities within the Government.
Canada, on the other hand...what can you say about a country that produces fine TV like the Naked News, my favourite late night news program.
 

Offline Raedon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #30 on: 19/10/2004 06:28:25 »
Actually I've got hand me down assult rifles from my grandfather.  

Now owning an assault rifle used to be illegal, but that ban is gone now.  

In the USA you can buy a useful hunting rifle, or a kinda useless handgun that is more for killing people.... or an assault rifle able to take out 100 animals in 30 seconds.  Like a Street Sweeper.. http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976486382.htm or the good ol' AK-47 http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976512779.htm

monkey hit wall.. wall real, monkey real.
 

Offline Raedon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #31 on: 19/10/2004 06:46:31 »
quote:
Originally posted by neilep

Just an after thought...can someone please tell me what the process is to be able to own a gun in Uncle Sam.



you need to be American.

  I walked into Wal-Mart at 14 and baught my first .22 long rifle with scope for $89.99 US; though you could buy cigarettes at any age back then.

  Mostly a hunting rifle is, "I'd like that one" a pistol is, "Fill out these forms, we will call you in 6 days." and now that the ban on assult rifles is gone, All you need is money to arm yourself with the most powerful weapons ever made.

good/bad?  The guns were already on the streets anyway just like anything else banned that people want.

monkey hit wall.. wall real, monkey real.
 

Offline Raedon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #32 on: 19/10/2004 10:51:23 »
quote:
Originally posted by Corbeille

So what is it about the American way of life that creates more deaths by shooting than countries with higher gun ownership?



Statistics are always good, from a 1999 look at this.

In 1999 there were 1776 gun deaths in the 0 through 17 age group and 3385 gun deaths in the 0 through 19 age group. By subtraction we find that there were a whopping 1609 gun deaths in just the 18 through 19 age group. Historically the 18 through 24 age group is the highest crime-committing group.

Suicides typically make up 56.5% of all gun deaths according to the Bureau Of Justice Statistics.

drugs and suicides account for more than 2 out of every 3 gun deaths in the USA.  

Basically more then half of the US death rate due to guns could be stopped if people didn't point them at themselves.

Actually the numbers are quite low compared to death from smoking or drinking.  Those two dwarf all other forms of preventable death.

Is there tobacco and booze in the UK? :D  I sure hope so!  Booooze...

monkey hit wall.. wall real, monkey real.
 

Offline Ylide

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 905
    • View Profile
    • http://clem.mscd.edu/~mogavero
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #33 on: 23/10/2004 02:02:59 »
Owning an assault rifle wasn't illegal, even during the gun ban.  At the time the bill was passed, all existing guns that were categorized by the bill were grandfathered.  So, you could realistically go to a gun store and buy an AR15 or AK47 with all the "naughty" parts banned by the bill.  Hell, you could even buy a pre-ban receiver and add anything you wanted to it.  All the loss of the bill did was allow the addition of cosmetic components that make the gun look scary.  

I own two assault rifles currently...an AR15 (basically a semi-automatic derivative of the military M16) and an SKS.  (a derivative of the AK47)  I bought them both during the ban.  You know what the passing of the ban allows me to do now?  Put bayonets on them and use magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.  (which I could do anyway as magazines were grandfathered too, I just had to buy older ones)  Oh, the horror!

The only thing that non-military (read: not automatic) assault rifles have going for them is being semi-automatic.  They fire as fast as you can pull the trigger.  Most hunting rifles fire bigger rounds with more muzzle velocity, but generally have a closed bolt and can't be rapid fired.  The tradeoff is rate of fire for accuracy and power.  It still kills things just as effectively as an assault weapon, if not more so.  

The ban is gone, it did nothing anyway, let's all move on with our lives.  It's not like assault-rifle-wielding maniacs were going to obey the law until the ban was lifted.  



This message brought to you by The Council of People Who Are Sick of Seeing More People
 

Offline roberth

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 246
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #34 on: 23/10/2004 15:53:56 »
Y'now canna..sorry, ylide, I read your post and it just makes me sad. Why the hell would you want to own those?
 

Offline Ylide

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 905
    • View Profile
    • http://clem.mscd.edu/~mogavero
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #35 on: 24/10/2004 11:43:25 »
I think a better question is why WOULDN'T you want to own them.  =)  

Seriously though, I have them partly because target shooting has a very zen-like quality and partly because I like the machismo of it.  If you've never fired a gun before, you couldn't possibly understand.  Let me clarify that I, like most gun owners in America, have never even pointed a gun at another human being.  I don't hunt, either.  But, when it comes right down to it, I'd rather have them and not need them than need them and not have them.  I don't know what gun laws are like in Australia, but unless you've grown up with guns and understand them, it's natural to be skittish of them.  

I own a .45 for home defense.  If someone comes into my residence with intentions on robbing or harming myself or my loved ones, I will not cower in fear. I will not call the police with hopes that they save me in time...I'll call them to let them know they have a body to pick up.  

My rifles, well, I don't think I'll ever NEED them unless our next election goes into the ****ter and civil war breaks out.  It most likely will never come to that, but I'm keeping 'em around just in case.  Think of it as the gun version of Pascal's wager.  

Radeon summed it up pretty nicely:  there are a lot worse things out there than guns that are far more likely to kill you.  The assault rifles just look scary so they get more attention.  Even then, well over 90% of gun deaths in the US are from pistols or shotguns.

This message brought to you by The Council of People Who Are Sick of Seeing More People
 

Offline Corbeille

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 205
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #36 on: 24/10/2004 15:21:38 »
I don't think I'll ever NEED them unless our next election goes into the ****ter and civil war breaks out. It most likely will never come to that, but I'm keeping 'em around just in case.

Eek!   I'm worried now, who will be fighting who in the next civil war?  What side should we support?

Nah pop no style, a strictly roots!
 

Offline Raedon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #37 on: 24/10/2004 17:08:07 »
quote:
Originally posted by Corbeille


Eek!   I'm worried now, who will be fighting who in the next civil war?  What side should we support?




Texas, We are already set up with a civil government and police force seperate from the US, just in case of civil or devistating War on US soil.

  Personally There are only three things worth fighting for in the world..  Family, your land (not talking fighting a war for ***), your ideals and they all hold the same importance.


It is good to be alive! It's impossible I'm here but here I am.. and I rock!
 

Offline roberth

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 246
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #38 on: 25/10/2004 00:48:32 »
Well, I think you've just confirmed my argument, Ylide. The mere fact that you have these guns, if a nasty situation arose, would lead to a more violent ending than if you didn't have them. I would (and have) eject unwanted people from my house without the need to shoot them. I'd stand between my family and any aggressor and I sure wouldn't shoot anybody over any ideals that I may hold dear.
I have used guns before, I just couldn't see any sense in continuing their use.
Basically, the gun laws in Australia were changed (tightened) after a shooting incident a few years ago. You need a licence and can't get a pistol, semi/automatic, pump action shotgun, any assault type gun unless you have a damn good reason.
 

Offline Raedon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #39 on: 25/10/2004 01:13:00 »
by ideas I mean freedom.. Like why Iraq isn't all peaceful right now. It's not the States fault on that either, we just happen to be the ones doing the bully work while funds come in from Japan and the UK to help without getting their hands bloody with oil (little rant)

anyway..

  Lets say you knew a small group of ten to twenty men were busting into yours and other houses in your small town of one hundred or so people and taking families to a camp because you were.. ohh.. Jewish lets say.  Would a gun have been nice then?  Think a small town with some arms could have stopped them then organized a stand or went underground?

  The right to a gun in the States was something we were handed to protect us from the British and so families could protect themselves from Native Americans.

..

  I think you might be reading to much into this.  I have two pistols, both handed down to me by my grandfather and father and a 22 rifle I've had for 20 something years I used for target sport.  I've never killed a living thing with a gun, I shot the heck out of some cans and targets.

 I've caused more death with my car tires and small animals then anything else.

But if you came into my house and messed with my way of life yours would end... gun or not. period.


It is good to be alive! It's impossible I'm here but here I am.. and I rock!
 

Offline Ylide

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 905
    • View Profile
    • http://clem.mscd.edu/~mogavero
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #40 on: 25/10/2004 01:15:08 »
>>>I would (and have) eject unwanted people from my house without the need to shoot them

You say that like I pop a cap in every person that overstays their welcome.  

So what happens if the person breaking into your house has a weapon?  Or what if there is more than one person coming in?  In urban America, these things are not unheard of.  Or riots...even in nice calm Denver we have rioting every few years over things like police brutality and sporting events (yes the latter is stupid, but it happens) that invariably result in looting, assaults, and property damage.    

>>>I sure wouldn't shoot anybody over any ideals that I may hold dear.

What if those ideals are the right of you and your family to be alive?

I respect your right to passive resistance, but if someone tries to harm me or my loved ones in the sanctity of my home, it's their a$$.  I am not a violent person and I don't walk around armed, but until I have children, my guns stay right where they are.  

>>>Basically, the gun laws in Australia were changed (tightened) after a shooting incident a few years ago.

I can't say that I like Australia's gun ownership laws.  Legislating blanket gun control because of an isolated incident is overreaction.  The black market will supply guns to criminals with the right cash.  Restricting honest citizens from owning them doesn't make much sense to me.  Isn't Australia the same country that censors web site content that is deemed "objectionable?"  Those are our first two constitutional amendments...speech and gun ownership.  Apparently our founders had different priorities than did the founders of Australia.  


This message brought to you by The Council of People Who Are Sick of Seeing More People
 

Offline Raedon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #41 on: 25/10/2004 01:41:32 »
Ylide has a good point.

 It's like when the UK banned Kava Kava, a safe herb for relaxation, because of 10 cases of liver damage and one death brought about by lobbying by the makers of Valium and Xanax.  

Yet Acedamenaphen (pain killer) causes houdreds of thousands of liver problems a year and is left on the market.

  It's almost like people don't see their rights getting pulled out from under them.. same in the States.. that Patriot Act was a big blow to everyone.. but I guess we still have Kava Kava herb and guns.. ehh.

  Think I'll just go drive fast and forget.  There really aren't that many problems in my world.


It is good to be alive! It's impossible I'm here but here I am.. and I rock!
« Last Edit: 25/10/2004 01:42:58 by Raedon »
 

Offline roberth

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 246
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #42 on: 25/10/2004 02:46:35 »
The changing of gun laws because of an isolated incident may have been an overreaction, but more than one had occurred in the period before. Criminals, or anyone else, can still get access to illegal guns, but there are a lot less in our communities generally.

I didn't mean to infer that you "pop a cap in every person that overstays their welcome" but I laughed when I read it.

There is also no censorship over web sites. Maybe there would be if they could, but all you have to do is have your site hosted elsewhere. Also don't forget, we have a population of only 20 million spread over an area the same as the mainland US.

Maybe our respective settlers had different agendas, but the sort of stuff you are both talking about just would not happen here. You can walk any street, anywhere, anytime without being afraid of some loopy idiot wanting to end your life. Well, I can anyway, 'cause they wont have a gun and I'm 196 cms and 115 kgs.

Clearly, our respective views are formed by our experiences in life, upbringing, environment, family, etc, but Australia is just not that unsafe that you feel the need to own a gun. The people that do own them probably don't feel the same way as me because of their lifestyle choices.

Australia is a democracy and our rights to everything but gun ownership are very similar to the US.
« Last Edit: 25/10/2004 03:01:48 by roberth »
 

Offline Raedon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #43 on: 25/10/2004 04:04:44 »
quote:
Originally posted by roberth

 You can walk any street, anywhere, anytime without being afraid of some loopy idiot wanting to end your life. Well, I can anyway, 'cause they wont have a gun and I'm 196 cms and 115 kgs.






Actually I walk a mile every night at 9pm before the news.  I think you are generalizing the States as, "Tha Ghetto" when that just isn't so.  I, personally, have never seen Compton or a drive by. lol

  Where I live there have only been 8 murders this year and only 5 of those involved a gun and they ALL involved drugs.  but there have been worse years and better years.


It is good to be alive! It's impossible I'm here but here I am.. and I rock!
 

Offline Raedon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #44 on: 25/10/2004 04:44:04 »
Hunting is a way of life where I am.  It's a sport that a father teaches his son and daughter in Texas.  It's one of those things that make a family what it is.  A father doesn't just hand a gun to a kid and tell him to go flinging it around at anything that moves.  Before I was EVER handed a gun I was taught gun safety from like 6-10 or so with a Pellet rifle.  When I actually got the honor of shooting a live round at a practice range I had a strong respect for it as an instument of survival and sport.

  I know you see all those action movies or old westerns where people are just flailing around pistals, shooting them into the air but that isn't how it is for a middle class family that sport hunts.

 
I see guns as sport, be it hunting or target practice.  I keep a pistol, and I keep it loaded at my house.  I don't have any kids or a wife though.. just me.  If I had a kid or wife or.. crazy girlfriend I'd lock it up unloaded and forget about it.




It is good to be alive! It's impossible I'm here but here I am.. and I rock!
 

Offline roberth

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 246
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #45 on: 25/10/2004 04:56:08 »
I wasn't meaning to generalise. We were chatting about guns when you guys bought up a couple of scenarios. I'm sure in most places the US is as safe as here (apart from the guns...hehe).
And I really like your car, too.

You snuck a post in before I could finish this one. You have a loaded pistol in your house? Not locked up? Why?
« Last Edit: 25/10/2004 05:01:08 by roberth »
 

Offline Raedon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #46 on: 25/10/2004 05:28:39 »
So if anyone touches my car I can pop a cap in their ass.. ;)

Seriously, because it's quite safe that way with the safety on and it isn't cocked.  When I throw a party or have anyone over that I don't know I put it in my gun safe.

 



It is good to be alive! It's impossible I'm here but here I am.. and I rock!
 

Offline petersayles

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • http://www.trudeauinstitute.org
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #47 on: 19/09/2005 21:04:10 »
Americans love guns mostly out of tradition I think. But there is no doubt we are a gun crazy nation.  Many people own guns because they think they need to protect their homes from criminals. Others because they don't trust the government and think they need a gun for when the revolution comes.
 

Offline Simmer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 229
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #48 on: 20/09/2005 22:02:17 »
Secretly I think a lot of people love guns, shooting stuff is fun and carrying a gun makes you feel pretty tough and dangerous.  The problem is other people's guns - they cancel out the toughness and leave only the danger!

But I don't think it is possible to ban them in the US - apart from political considerations there are so many available and so many would be hidden away by otherwise respectable citizens that the only people effectively disarmed for a hundred years would be the most law-abiding.
 

Offline VAlibrarian

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 173
    • View Profile
Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #49 on: 21/09/2005 02:08:45 »
Well, I am pretty well convinced that many of my fellow americans are nutcases. If I had not believed it fervently already, this thread would have convinced me of the fact.

The silly thing about those who purchase automatic weapons to protect themselves against criminals is that you can't carry around an AK47 to protect yourself. What good does it do you? Then when you go on vacation and some druggie busts into your house he walks away with a stolen AK and he can shoot whoever he wants whenever he wants. Criminals get to choose the time and place. You do not, so try walking around 24/7 with a loaded gun in your hand. It's asinine.
Maybe I will change my tune someday after I am murdered, right? Still, I hardly feel that I would be willing to blow away a criminal myself, so what would be the point of having a weapon? WIth my luck, one of my daughter's friends would find it and put a hole through his own head, and I would have the remaining thirty odd years of my life to regret it.

chris wiegard
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Why aren't guns banned in the USA?
« Reply #49 on: 21/09/2005 02:08:45 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length