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View Diary: I am a pro-gun-control Democrat. (66 comments)

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  •  If you're a woman... (none)
    ...you might be interested to know that your chance of being shot dead in Canada is ONE-SEVENTH of what it is in the United States.

    Maybe it isn't stronger gun control up here, but I don't think it's that Americans are a pack of raving animals, either.

    You don't EVER have liberty to possess ANYTHING that comes into your head. A gun is a tool to kill things. Some persons have a legitimate use for such a tool as part of their work, or in the course of "pleasure" activities which, though in my opinion asinine, would be more trouble than it's worth to try to ban (the deer that weren't shot would starve, for instance). What is so outrageous about banning the possession of guns outside that context?

    I have no trouble with hunters running around the woods playing he-man games by blowing away things that can't shoot back. (I suppose the hunters' egos are too weak for, say, paintball or video-game deathmatch, where they might actually, god forbid, lose.) But I think they should leave their toys with the police when they get back to town.

    If the free possession of guns contributed to social progress and freedom, the US should be at the head of developed nations. Instead, it brings up the rear. Again, no necessary correlation -- but it is suggestive.

    But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

    by sagesource on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 02:10:59 PM PDT

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    •  Watch Bowling for Columbine (none)
      Canada's gun control laws are no more restrictive than American laws.  Yet we have a problem, and they don't.  Switzerland puts an assault rifle in the home of every able-bodied adult, as part of the national defense.  They don't have a problem either.

      Guns aren't the problem - something else is, some core sickness in American culture.  Treating that sickness by going after guns is counterproductive.

      There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

      by Leggy Starlitz on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 02:45:21 PM PDT

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    •  With all due respect .... (none)
      ...you would do your argument a whole lot of good if you would quit the ad hominem attacks on all gun owners as a bunch of macho assholes and idiots. Yes, there are plenty of those in the gun-owning ranks, but we don't happen to all be like that.

      I have owned a gun (or more than one) since I was 6, and I have never killed anyone with it. Anything I hunted - which I have also done with bow and arrows - I ate, or gave to others to eat. When I was a kid living on "in-kind" state welfare, we actually depended for some of our meals on hunted meat - possum, deer, squirrel, even alligator.

      I also own guns for self-defense, as do many of the women I know, some of whom I have trained to shoot.

      Responsible ownership and use of guns is no threat to liberty or life. Responsible hunting or target-shooting is not a sign of being a moron or of testerone overload.

      Except for a very few folks, everyone I know supports various forms of gun control. They don't think any civilian needs a tank or a bazooka. Many of us think the idea of a waiting limit a la the Brady Law or even the kind of licensing that Canada has imposed makes sense.

      "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 04:16:33 PM PDT

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      •  With all due respect... (none)
        I agree with what you say, I have made a lengthy post below which, I think, echoes your points.  But, in rural Texas where I live there are some macho assholes who carry guns.  I have been around guns all my life, my cousins who live around here have as well.  So I know how responsible gun owners should and do act.  But these tough guys are scary.  So what do you say to those people who are afraid of these assholes?  How do you assure them that they are truly safe?

        It seems to me that the right to bear arms also bears some responsibility to find a way to keep people safe.  Gun owners, better than anybody else, should know how a flash of anger can produce death when guns are involved.  And gun owners, better than anybody else should know how to organize society so that guns will make society safer.

        But I rarely see the NRA proposing programs to deal with the situation I just described.  Maybe I missed it.  I have seen the training programs for youngsters but I don't see any NRA proposal on keeping guns out of the wrong hands.  I don't see any NRA proposal for getting guns out of the wrong hands once they are in the wrong hands.

        Maybe what I am looking for is possible, maybe not.  But at the very least responsible gun owners need to step up and state their case.  How do we keep guns out the wrong hands?  If it is impossible, then gun owners need to say so.  If it is not worth the cost and effort then gun owners need to say so.  Because in my view, part of being a responsible gun owner is accepting responsibility for the misuse of guns.  It is not enough to say, well I don't shoot people because I am a responsible gun owner.  It is, in my view, reasonable for society to say, "Ok gun owners, how do we keep guns away from the bad guys, and how do we get them back once the bad guys get them?"  

        If the NRA or gun owners stepped up to that responsibility, then I would have more respect for them.  But the idea behind the Constitutional amendment giving people the right to keep and bear arms is that they would be used responsibly.  Nothing in the Constitution says it is ok for some people to have guns even if it means that other people will be killed by them.

        •  I'm no longer an NRA member ... (none)
          ...because I think they cater almost exclusively these days to the macho asshole cohort of their membership, and because they have come down on the wrong side of some issues I support: purchase waiting periods, for instance.

          I think the reasonable members of the NRA would answer your comment by saying they have supported tougher penalties against those who misuse - that is, commit a crime - with a gun. That, in my opinion, is closing the barn door too late, and far more needs to be done in the area of preventing misuse of guns.

          However, we live in a society where guns are easily obtainable, tens of millions of them (too many to confiscate even if that were POLITICALLY feasible to legislate) and thieves, rapists and murderers are ALWAYS going to have access to firearms. Which is one reason I always want a legal right to my own.

          "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 08:28:29 PM PDT

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          •  So, there is no hope of keeping (none)
            guns away from the bad guys?  Do you see any movement in this problem?  Are fewer bad guys getting guns, or more?  Is there no technical way to put a stop to this problem even if it takes decades to implement?  Can aging ammo slow down the problem?  

            Can weapons detectors in cars that lock the ignition if an unlicensed weapon is present be of any value?  In other words can you imagine a technological solution that would not be too onerous for legitimate gun-owners, but which would reduce the use of weapons by the bad guys?

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