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[shorter version: guns don't kill people, people kill people; but, if we think about the psychology behind guns, we will come to the realization that guns are about power, not action]

The intake for the water line was clogged.  This meant a hike 900 feet up into the hills behind our cabin in order to clear the intake filter.  We brought the shotgun.  It was pretty unlikely that we would encounter a bear, but better to have and not need, and all that.

Gun use and gun safety was one of the first things we ran through after getting off our float plane and dropping our bags in the fishing cabin, that would be our home for the next three months, on the south end of Kodiak, Island.  I had grown up around commercial fishing, bears, and guns, but my long time friend and co-crewman had not.  So a gun lesson was high on the list of to-do's before my father left, and the two of us were left to fend for ourselves.  

Kodiak Island is home to the largest bears in the world.  As salmon and berry eaters, they don't have to be dangerous, but as enormous wild animals they certainly are.  I am a fairly large athletic guy, but the weight ratio between an average Kodiak Bear and me is the same as the weight ratio between me and a two year old toddler.

The short hike up our waterline was not bear country.  The bears should be up at the streams, eating their fill of salmon.  But, we had specifically switched to using black electrical tape on the water line instead of silver duct tape because the duct tape seemed to attact the attention of wandering bears, and result in bite damage, bears could wander to this area.  

When we reached the water line I handed the shotgun to my friend and began clearing the filter.  That's when he said it:

"I could kill any animal on earth right now."

I looked at him, and saw that the statement was made, not in bloodlust, but in astonishment.  He was right.  A 12 gauge loaded with 8 slugs packed a lot of potential punch.  Now, I don't know how it would do against a bull elephant, or charging rhino, but that wasn't the point.  The point with this simple tool my friend was transformed from a slow, awkward ape with a large brain, to a contestant for most powerful animal on earth.  

There are a lot of fantasy stories which center around the corrupting influence of power.  In the fantasy setting it usually takes the form of an item of great power which the good guys must destroy.  Inevitably someone suggests that they use this item for good, to defeat the big bad.  It is just a 'tool' after all, surely they could harness it.  But the item has a corrupting influence, it cannot be used for good, not because of some innate feature of the 'tool,' but because of the influence it has in the mind of the wielder.  

In the super hero setting the source of power cannot be destroyed.  Instead it must be harnessed, and most super heroes get an early lesson in the corrupting influence of their power.  Learning that they have to respect their power, and that there will always be a temptation to abuse it.  Those who don't learn this lesson become villains, lured away by the corrupting influence of power.

Power is intoxicating, and meant to be used.  Power wants to be used.  

So you see, my friend wanted a bear to attack us, and so did I.  

Throughout my life I've killed dozens of bears.  I've rescued my family, friends and strangers from vicious bear attacks.  My friend and I were charged by bears numerous times while cleaning the water filter, and each time I was forced to use my training and save us from the charging animal.  Because, when you're warned that something terrible could happen, and when you're prepared, a part of you, sometimes a large part, wants that thing to happen.  You see it, you picture it, you act it.  It's part of being ready.  Even if it never actually happens outside of your own mind, it happens.  

I don't know what happened during the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman.  But I do know that Zimmerman wanted to be attacked that night.  Because I know what it is to carry a gun.  More specifically, I know what it is to fear something and to no longer fear it because you're carrying a gun.  Zimmerman had shot Trayvon lots of times before that fateful night.  He'd shot him to stop robberies and burglaries.  He'd shot him defending himself, and he'd shot him defending others.  He was ready.  He had a gun.  He was the most powerful thing on earth.  

Spend time with people who spend significant time in rural Alaska and you'll find a common approach to nature: respect.  The best bush pilots know not to test the weather, the best boat captains know when to stay in harbor and all Alaskans know that you don't mess with bear safety.  The so called "Grizzly Man" was a source of fascination for many.  But in Alaska he's a fool who lacked proper respect for the 'wild' part of 'wild-animals,' and his lack of respect got someone else killed.  But this respect is just a recognition that you're dealing with something much more powerful than yourself and your tools.  

Nature makes us feel our own powerlessness.  Everyone in rural areas knows of someone who has fallen victim to the merciless cruelty of the great outdoors.  A plane crash, freezing waters, and yes, the occasional bear mauling.

But there are those moments when nature makes you feel invincible.  Standing strong in the path of something furious, something truly mighty, is empowering.  Being at sea in a storm, having your tent hold up to powerful winds, reaching the peak of an intimidating mountain, and yes, facing down a charging bear - gun in hand.  

Most of us, of course, do not live in anything that could be described as wilderness.  But, we do live in just as intimidating environments.  The truth is that life is fragile, and that many of us are powerless.  A big city, a big nation, a crowded highway, a cruel economic system, can cast us aside or smash us under its heel as easily as a winter storm or 1200 lb. animal.  An emperor, king or dictator wields impossible power, you can no more stand up against that, as a naked individual, as you can stand up against the ocean.  

Guns are a tool.  A tool designed for killing.  That's their design, but their effect is to dramatically transform the power of the wielder.  Hold a gun, and you are capable of anything.  Therein lies the true power of the tool.  There in lies it's corrupting influence.  Therein lies the fantasy.  When you hold a gun you secretly hope you're attacked by a bear.  You secretly hope someone attacks your family.  Because if that happens, you can stop it, you can stop it with your gun.  

The intoxicating psychological effect of a gun is central to our discussions about them, and too often ignored.  Guns are tools of power.  Some tools are purchased to be used.  You buy a table saw to cut wood.  If you never need to cut wood, you don't buy a table saw.  But a gun serves a powerful purpose without ever being used.  In all those hikes up that waterline, we never fired a single shot.  But in all those hikes up that waterline, the gun we brought served its purpose.    

If you face a bear attack, without a gun, your best option is to play dead.  Lay down, don't move, and hope the bear loses interest before inflicting too much damage.  You cannot run from a bear, they run faster than quarter horses.  You cannot out climb a bear, they are quite effective climbers.  Running downhill from a bear will not cause it to tumble head over heels and facilitate your escape.  Play dead, hope the bear buys it, and live.  It's not the kind of scenario that allows for heroics, even in one's imagination.  Bear attacks may be extremely rare, (until just last week there had never been a person killed by a bear in Denali National Park in Alaska) but they happen all the time in the minds of hikers and campers.  You look into the brush around you and think "what if . . ."  Without a gun, that imagined scenario should always end with you laying still, trying not to move, waiting for the danger to pass on its own.

You can't fight a revolution against modern military technology with an automatic rifle.  But if you have a gun you're never forced to play dead when you ask the question "what if . . .."  When you have a gun you can create any number of scenarios, any number of possibilities can answer that question.  The gun has transformed you from powerless peon in an impossibly large system, to the most powerful animal on earth.  

The low probability of needing a gun does nothing to change this psychology of power.  If I tell a gun owner that he is extremely unlikely to need a gun to defend his home from burglars, his person from muggers, or his neighborhood from "suspicious" characters, how is that different than telling me and my friend, walking along that water line, that we really weren't in an area bears traveled.  We weren't.  But what will we think we ponder "what if . . ."  

And if I point out to that gun owner that they are so powerless, so insignificant, that even with their gun, they could not stand against a modern military, that their tool of empowerment is futile, aren't I just reinforcing the very feeling of impotence in the modern world that the gun serves to counter?  If the gun is a tool which primarily creates a feeling of power, how could I possibly undo the gun's hold on our culture by more emphatically pointing out just how powerless we all are?

Gun culture is not built on the need of guns.  Guns are designed to kill.  It's preposterously rare for any of us to need to kill anything, and yes, that includes bears in bear country.  Gun culture is built on the feeling of powerlessness we all feel in the face of things larger than ourselves, be they mountains or be they governments.  

Sometimes, late at night, I contemplate whether I should have a gun for home safety.  Sure, I don't live in a dangerous neighborhood, but I'm responsible, I'm careful, and it's better to have and not need, than to need and not have, isn't it?  What options would I have if someone broke into my home, if someone attacked my family, except to play dead, except to hope the danger passes without choosing to do too much harm?  

The truth is that I haven't held a loaded weapon in several years now. The guns are safely stored, locked away, far from where I live. The ammo somewhere entirely different. But, you see, my gun makes me feel powerful.  With it there is no danger on this earth that I couldn't give a run for its money.  Sure, that's not technically true.  But if it feels true, it doesn't really matter does it?  It's not like I actually think black helicopters will come for me, or that armed criminals will assault my home, so it doesn't matter what my actual chances would be.  It matters how I feel.

To change gun culture, we have to change the way people feel, not the way they think.  

Cross posted at Parthenon Blog.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just to be clear (9+ / 0-)

    This is not a 'pro-gun' diary, this is just an attempt to communicate some of the psychology behind guns.  I hope that was clear.  

    •  "More live bears in my neck of the woods." (8+ / 0-)

      A late friend of mine who was in forestry, used to carry a big shotgun with solid slugs, as part of his bear safety routine.  He told me that his friends used to joke with him, "where you goin' with that cannon?" and his reply was "I have more live bears in my neck of the woods this way."  

      Meaning, there were foresters who would carry less effective weapons that couldn't penetrate a bear's skull, and would be tempted to shoot any bear they saw on their trail.  But he, with his "cannon," didn't have to shoot a bear unless it was headed right for him.

      The scenario he had in his mind wasn't the temptation to shoot bears, but the desire to let the bears be bears just as long as they didn't attack him.  He saw plenty of bears, and never had to shoot one.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:12:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  very insightful about this: fear. (12+ / 0-)

      I think you're right on target about fear being a large motivator for getting armed.

      Here we're not talking about hunting for food, or farm applications such as shooting a possum in your henhouse, or sports applications such as target shooting, but rather:  

      = Fear of mugging.
      = Fear of home invasion robbery.
      = Fear of rape.
      = Fear of kidnapping.
      = Etc.

      In each of those cases, the innocent is preyed upon mercilessly by someone whose regard for life is questionable at best.  

      And the only way to make someone like that back off is to demonstrate that you are more willing to kill them than they are to kill you.  

      Then we also have:

      = Fear of tyranny, whether reasonable (e.g. labor history in the 1920s where goon squads routinely shot up strikers, e.g. black families in Klan territory), or unreasonable (black helicopters).

      Here the issue isn't whether one individual alone can stand up to an army of strikebreakers with Tommy guns, or stand up to a whole KKK lynch mob.   It's about whether an organized group of almost-victims could stand up to their aggressors.  

      In a predatory context, power belongs to whoever has the higher tolerance for pain, or acts collectively such as to reduce their perceived individual probability of pain.  

      And the lesson is:  Any society in which a significant number of people live in constant fear of being preyed upon, is a predatory and savage society in desperate need of culture change.  

      All the talk about "gun control" is nonsense.  Those who would like to rid our culture of firearms are obsessing about an effect and missing the cause.  If they're serious, they need to start by ridding our culture of fear, and ridding our culture of the relentless predation that drives the fear.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:26:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You failed. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper, gerrilea, ErikO, PavePusher

      But you did communicate a bit of your psychology.  Try not to project your personal failings on others; it's unseemly.

  •  A small nit pick , (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Man Oh Man

    I don't think you could kill a large whale with 8 slugs .
    And I bet its unlikely that one would attack you on the water pipe hike also .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:42:58 PM PDT

    •  African or European? (6+ / 0-)

      Have you hugged your Boeuf Bourguignon today?

      by wretchedhive on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:47:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not worried about whales. It's darn mosquitos, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiot

      deer flies, black flies, horse flies, bedbugs, ticks, mites, squirrels or other rodents that try to make a home in my home or skin...and those dang teens playing 'ding dong ditch' with my door bell trying to get under my skin.  The scariest critters nearby are a few coyotes that like to visit our backyards. Oh, and the really scary Tea Party corner down the street where bragging about holding a CCL (Concealed Carry License) is the thing to do when not worrying about when Obama will try to take their guns with UN forces under some Resolution 21.  February is the working theory, after the president takes 2nd oath of office.

      So, I don't usually feel a need for a 12 gauge, not even with bird shot. A variable strength laser might be somewhat useful if I could aim well enough to hit a pesky fly in flight.  Airsoft plastic BB gun might be an option, but some people don't seem to want me shooting one off in the house.  Paint ball gun will have same issues, and be messier. Now if only I could find some way to make hunting for dust bunnies fun.

      But I do agree that feeling of being able to point and shoot a valid target if one can aim well is hard to pass up. You have captured the psychology pretty well. Especially the imagining all the ways one could use a gun for 'self-defense'.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:18:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think this is excellent. An admission that guns (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calvino Partigiani

    create a feeling of power which is true, unless you are an elephant, charging rhino or enraged large bear.

    Thanks. You final point is true, and it does not give me hope.

    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

    by glorificus on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:45:18 PM PDT

  •  An additional thought: A small, weak, minimally (5+ / 0-)

    trained individual with a gun is just as deadly as a big, strong warrior with an edged weapon.  The gun in history might figure in your analysis.

    Also, give us hunters a break.  I eat what I kill.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:47:45 PM PDT

  •  I think this is an excellent diary, but you may (9+ / 0-)

    want to change the title, as it may seem a bit inflammatory to people here and does not really convey the well written and important message of the diary.

    In Afghanistan, I had my guns on me at all times. Everywhere I went. Partly for their use as tools, and partly to ensure accountability. Even on large, safe bases like Baghram, I always had my rifle slung across my back and my pistol on my side--well, sometimes I stashed the pistol.

    In any case, it became habit, like carrying your keys or phone around. I felt uncomfortable or "naked" without them. When I first got home, I felt a little panicked without them. I kept reaching for them.  

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:49:12 PM PDT

  •  You would be wrong. (13+ / 0-)
    And if I point out to that gun owner that they are so powerless, so insignificant, that even with their gun, they could not stand against a modern military, that their tool of empowerment is futile, aren't I just reinforcing the very feeling of impotence in the modern world that the gun serves to counter?
    It seems that guerrilla warfare (or asymmetric warfare, whatever you prefer) would offer those without major firepower (nothing larger than small arms) a good change to fight against modern armies. Look at Afghanistan or Chechnya or Vietnam or...

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:10:40 PM PDT

    •  the differences between "gun owner" and... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranger995

      ..."guerrilla warfare" are significant.

      You've chosen examples where the differences are perhaps even greater than the generic terms.

      'Course, there's a perspective that might say that such a stretch, well, therein is a reflection of some of the points made by the diarist.

      Cheers.

    •  You are the perfect example of what this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, semiot, indycam

      diarist is talking about. You take this idea to the extreme. Your guns make you think your superman and you can fly. You think because you are a good shot, you could lead a successful revolution against tanks, planes, and drones. You think that because you know terms like "asymmetric warfare" and run around in the woods on weekends shooting pumpkins and paint jars that you are some kind of badass.

      Look at Afghanistan, what major or minor battle have any ACM won with their guns? If anything, IEDs are a far larger threat--I suppose you also dabble in explosives up there in Michigan.

      There were several times when I actually felt bad for the ACM because of the pummeling they took from a 30 mm machine gun mounted on an A10 or laser guided bombs. They never even heard the plane. I would recommend you go see it for yourself, get some perspective, but you're the expert.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:25:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Zimmerman felt strong right up (5+ / 0-)

    until the point he began to fear (he said) that the source of his power would be taken away from him. His reaction at that point and the results show how illusory that power is, how fast it can evaporate and how fast it can destroy one life and severely impact another one.

    I have a concealed carry permit, but have never used its privilege precisely because of this kind of possibility. I would only consider carrying if I thought I had to go somewhere where I would have a high probability of needing it. And I just don't see that happening.

    Why have a permit? Makes transactions easier. I do take guns to the range once in a while, so occasionally I buy a new one.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:15:15 PM PDT

  •  I read an interview years ago (10+ / 0-)

    with an Inupiak hunter who shot a Polar Bear with a .22 Hornet commonly used to hunt seal from a kayak or ocean canoe.

    When asked how he killed this gigantic attacking bear, he said:
    "I waiting for him to open his mouth, and shot him through the soft palate."

    I hardly think that person felt like a big man, rather a desperate puny hominid at the time.  
    a/k/a "take out on ice" from the polar bear point-of-view.

    •   uncle chased three polar bears with a frying pan (11+ / 0-)

      in the Arctic studying birds, bears not 'supposed' to be there on this island at that time of year, but obviously were there for the bird nesting area food source. Oops!

      3am in his tent, bright sunlight, he heard snuffling at the side of his tent.

      Thinking it was another of the bold Arctic Foxes yet again, he picked up his frying pan and whacked the fox on the nose.

      Big whuff! and the sound of pounding feet, very un fox like.

      Looking out of his tent he saw a mother and two grown Polar Bear  cubs racing down the beach away from him, running away from the scary Orange thing that punches the nose.

      They were looking back at him when they ran full speed off the edge of the creek bank out into space and then into the water below.

      All he had was a 22 bolt action for sampling geese.

      Next time to the waterline, take a fry pan and a tent.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:31:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My daughter shoots a Browning. (14+ / 0-)

    She hates Glocks.  She really wants a Smith & Wesson revolver with pink grips that matchs her pink handcuffs. She likes revolvers better than semi-automatics. I have never heard her claim she felt like a "big man" when she has her pistol.  And she hopes she never has to shoot at anything more alive than what may be next Sunday's dinner.    

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:28:14 PM PDT

  •  I have well over 30 firearms. (18+ / 0-)

    Having just added my late Father's collection to my own, I haven't counted them all yet.

    I have several thousand rounds of ammunition in various calibers, around 10 pounds of powder, and I cast my own bullets.

    You know what makes me "feel like a big man?"

    My kids.

    --Shannon

    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
    "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

    by Leftie Gunner on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:43:20 PM PDT

  •  My gun feels like 2.1 pounds of responsibility... (15+ / 0-)

    ...hanging on my hip, awkwardly, as I hike along.  I don't feel the manly, invincible thing, because I don't carry a gun to be either manly or invincible.  I can hike with or without one, and I've had at least a dozen bear encounters while unarmed.  The thing I fear is a broken leg rendering me unable to self-rescue.  Thus the gun, all-purpose signal device and, in the right season, means of procuring grouse.

    A really expensive Snap-On socket wrench doesn't get my testosterone flowing either.  Nor am I lusting after my brother's bore-scope.  They're all just tools.  I would find it really unsettling to be in the woods with someone whose fantasies include welcoming a bear encounter just for the sake of a shoot-down.  Not my idea of a hunting partner.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:51:01 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this diary, we now know that (10+ / 0-)

    you personally have reality issues while in possession of a firearm.  It's frightening, to say the least.

    their effect is to dramatically transform the power of the wielder.  Hold a gun, and you are capable of anything.  Therein lies the true power of the tool.
    I was trained in the proper use of firearms and not once did I feel anything even close to "powerful".  I guess that my training was a bit different, the gun didn't make me feel anything.  I was taught that it was me whom controlled said object and that I would/could kill someone, with the pull of the trigger.  There was no room for blurry lines in that training: "Never point a gun at someone you do not intend to kill." And, "It's easy to pull the trigger, but can you live with the results?"

    It's was never about the tool but always about my actions.

    When you go on to say this, I'm simply at a loss for words:

    There in lies it's corrupting influence.  Therein lies the fantasy.  When you hold a gun you secretly hope you're attacked by a bear.  You secretly hope someone attacks your family.  Because if that happens, you can stop it, you can stop it with your gun.
    Let me try. I was also trained in Karate, as was my siblings, not once throughout my ever increasing abilities to harm others with my bare hands did I wish, desire or fantasize about actually using it against others, never!

    Isn't this called Megalomania?

    Definition of MEGALOMANIA
    : a delusional mental disorder that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur
    AS for this:
    Because, when you're warned that something terrible could happen, and when you're prepared, a part of you, sometimes a large part, wants that thing to happen.  You see it, you picture it, you act it.  It's part of being ready.  Even if it never actually happens outside of your own mind, it happens.
    Being prepared is now equal to wishing for it to happen?

    You really can't be serious.

    What's distressing is that you've extrapolated your beliefs and opinions onto everyone else. Claiming it's the "psychology of power".  I'm not buying it, I was also taught, "Plan for the worst, pray for the best." I also learned the technique of "creative visualization", during my diving training, long before it was en vogue or even defined as such.

    As for this:

    The intoxicating psychological effect of a gun is central to our discussions about them, and too often ignored.  
    No, what is needed here is an honest discussion of why humanity teaches violence. Training, owning and exercising an unalienable right is not a psychological disorder. It may be from your perspective but I'd suggest that the only true choices we have in life is whether we are good or evil.  

    I know that with my bare hands I could kill and continue to kill until I tire or get bored, does this mean I secretly wish to do so?  No.  A firearm is useless in this regards because you will run out of bullets. And unless you cut my hands off, I'll always have them, as well as the training I was taught.  That can't be taken away.

    Leaving us with this: What will I do with the knowledge, experience and in your terms, "the power" I wield in my own hands?

    It's always been up to the individual to decide.  You've painted a disappointing picture for us that implies man cannot control himself. That man, if given power, will automatically abuse.

    Um, seriously, I have yet to go on a killing spree or take over the world.  I guess I've chosen otherwise.

    As for this:

    Guns are tools of power.
    Never has there been said a more accurate sentiment.

    "DEATH BY GOVERNMENT", By R.J. Rummel

    It just depends on your perspective.

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 11:54:10 PM PDT

    •  there's an unalienable right to commit violence? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranger995

      You wrote:

      ...what is needed here is an honest discussion of why humanity teaches violence. Training, owning and exercising an unalienable right is not a psychological disorder.
      Cheers.
    •  You've expressed very well my thoughts upon (8+ / 0-)

      reading this diary (and backing slowly away). Like you, I was taught the discipline and control first, the intentional safe, sane handling and use of weapons follows from that.

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

      by Bluefin on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 02:58:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you're taking me a bit far (0+ / 0-)

      I'd say my training was the same as yours.  guns are a responsibility, and from what I see you saying, I was taught the same things.  You point at gun at something when you want it dead, and are ready for it to be dead.

      I guess I was merely trying to dive into the psychological effect of those without this level of responsibility.  Do you think Zimmerman was given this training?  Do you think he would have pursued Martin when given specific instructions not to pursue him by the police if he didn't have a gun?  I don't.  

      You're right though, visualization isn't wishing for something.  But it's still seeing it in the mind's eye.  And I think, for many people, there is a small part of you that wants it.  

      obviously I'm happy I was never attacked.  I guess I thought that was a clear starting point.  But, if a person tells a story about surviving a bear attack unharmed (and the stories are told), the instinctive reaction from people would be "that's amazing."  That's the reaction I've seen when such stories are told.  

      Of course guns make us powerful.  I think it's ignorant to pretend they don't.  Now, it's smart to carry that power as a heavy responsibility.  Good for everyone who has done that, I guess I'd say that' the 'superhero' path.  You learned good lessons about responsilbility and living with your actions.  My diary is just meant to shed light one what I would call the 'supervillain' side.  So yeah, that's meglomania.  I guess if you're 100% immune, good for you.  I think most of us fall somewhere along the spectrum.  

      If you want to pretend that a large part of a gun culture which insists on keeping 100 round clips legal isn't built on feelings of power and meglomania... well, I don't know what to say to that.  

      •  Now we are getting somewhere here. (5+ / 0-)

        Why are many Americans irresponsible today?

        What's the solution?

        If you are responsible does it matter how many guns or bullets or clips you have?

        I really don't believe that "megalomania" is a spectrum that one falls into.  Its a psychological disorder, delusions of grandeur comes to mind.

        Maybe you are confusing confidence with these delusions?  I have confidence when I walk to my car late at night because I know that I can defend myself in most situations without violence nor a firearm.  

        My training (and life itself) has taught me not to fear the unknown but to be ready for "it."  I am no better than any other person on this planet, if I can live this way, what can't others???

        Is it because they've been conditioned to be emotionally controlled and stunted animals? Why do we now see the term "adults" being raised to a higher and higher age bracket?  You're not an adult until you reach 25, or so many sadly believe.

        These facts can't be discussed enough, we are teaching our children to be Peter Pan.  Why are our children still living at home at the ages of 30 and 40 yrs???  This wasn't so, just two hundred years ago.  Our first Secretary of the Navy got his first commission when he was 16 yrs old.

        We expected our citizens to be responsible adults.

        Sadly, we do not agree on this:

        Of course guns make us powerful.  I think it's ignorant to pretend they don't.
        No, you made it clear guns made you feel powerful, not so for me.
        My diary is just meant to shed light one what I would call the 'supervillain' side.
        How many people are we talking about here?  With over 290 million firearms, it seems quite a few Americans have been taught similar things as I have.

        Might I suggest your "supervillian" theory is promulgated by the media?  Mind numbing random violence glamorized by movies, TV and videos.

        The Colorado shooter thought he was playing a part in a damn movie, if that doesn't give us a clue, nothing will.

        You wish for it to be about the gun or how many bullets or how many clips one may have, it's not about that, it never was.  

        Why can't our children be taught the difference between reality and fantasy?  Is that an impossible dream I have? Why can't they be taught peace? Why can't they be taught critical logical thinking? Why can't they be taught to be responsible? Then and if these things are done, then why can't we trust them to do the right thing?

        These "supervillians" are a symptom of our decaying society.  How many "supervillians" were there at the turn of the last century? How many do you estimate are among us today?

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 01:22:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, exactly (4+ / 0-)

          especially this:

          You wish for it to be about the gun or how many bullets or how many clips one may have, it's not about that, it never was.  

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 01:31:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think we agree (0+ / 0-)

          I'm saying that gun culture is countered, not by attacking guns, but by changing the psychology behind guns (for many).  

          I was always a hyper responsible gun owner.  But I think you are in denial about how common the allure of guns as power is, becuase you are uber responsible.  

          I think I could come with lots of anecdotal examples (the criminal with a gun, the zimmerman types etc), but I'll use one main example: make my day statutes.  Look at the wording of that statute.  Make.my.day.  That statute is about using force on intruders.  The name of the damn law is about how people are thinking 'go ahead and try to come into my home, I'll shoot you, and it'll make my day.'

          Now, if you or I were forced to shoot someone, it certainly wouldn't make our day.  I'd much rather have someone take my stuff than have to shoot another person.  But doesn't the name of that law (a law that exists in similar form in many states) demonstrate what I'm trying to communicate.  People get a gun, and there is a tendancy to think 'go ahead and try it.'

          I'm happy that so many of us take guns seriously.  I'm just trying to say that you have to recognize this psychology, right?  If we just try to ban guns, we aren't really addressing the issue.  But, likewise, if we insist that guns aren't the problem, because they aren't a problem for me, well that's also putting our head in the sand.  

          And you misstated me at one point.  I said guns make us powerful.  objectively.  Not just feel powerful.  I guess this is relative, but guns do make a person more powerful.

          I think you are denying that guns themselves have a certain power, a certain allure.  It's an allure that can be countered with careful education, but it's still there.  

          •  Surely you realize... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rockhound, gerrilea, PavePusher

            ...that the term "make my day" is a nickname put on some laws after the fact -- it is not, as you seem to believe, "the wording of that statute."

            Perhaps you should better acquaint yourself with the subject before making such ridiculous statements.

            Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

            by theatre goon on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 04:06:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

              I have seen it in multiple court ruling refered to as "make my day" law by judges, so I thought it was an official nickname of the bills.  Instead it's a general nickname commonly used.  

              I'd hardly say that's 'ridiculous.'  

              The weird thing is the refusal to acknowledge the point.  You don't think gun owners out there are thinking about people 'making their day?'  You don't know some of the gun owners I do.  

              •  I thought you wanted serious discussion? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PavePusher, theatre goon

                The emotionally manipulative labeling works to push this conversation forward how?

                Could you provide a few examples of these rulings?

                You're extrapolation and blanket assumptions are revealing.  

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:49:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Of course it's ridiculous. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gerrilea

                If you had only referred to such laws by that nickname, you'd be in good shape, but going on to say that it is "the wording of the statute," is, to put it mildly, ridiculous.

                As is your over-generalization in insisting that all gun owners are the same as some few people that you think feel a certain way.

                So, the "refusal to acknowledge the point" is more a refusal to acknowledge your insistence that everyone thinks the same way that you believe some few of them do.

                It's over-generalization to the point of bigotry.

                Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                by theatre goon on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 03:47:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's the weird thing to me too (0+ / 0-)

                Is the refusal to acknowledge the point.

                I have seen the mentality, over and over again. Not so much from hunters that hunt to feed their families, but some of them are that way too.

                I have to say I see this more with men than women. Women will usually readily admit it stems from fear and the gun makes them feel more powerful, no problem.  They call it the "equalizer," which is really can be if it's not taken away from them.

                Women create the entire labor force.

                by splashy on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 01:31:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There was no point made here, opinion piled (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  theatre goon, PavePusher

                  upon supposition extrapolated to the entire population.

                  Could either of you point me to some credible studies that support these claims?

                  And please stop with the sexism.

                  -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                  by gerrilea on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 07:22:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  How you or I think about this, is it a true (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theatre goon, PavePusher, KVoimakas

            reflection of society today?

            The numbers speak for themselves, do they not?

            290+ million firearms in US and crime has continually gone down to levels at 1992, yet we've increased our population since then too.

            1992 population was 256 million
            2012 population is 311millon

            Net increase 55 million people.

            http://articles.latimes.com/...

            The United States is almost safer than ever, according to the latest statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the nation’s bible for crime stats.
            Despite the media hype about "all these shootings", we're approaching historic lows, hows that possible if your theories are to be considered valid?

            I believe there are unstable individuals that can be influenced by movies, TV, videos, etc, but it doesn't seem to be making much of a difference in the real world, even my own opinion doesn't flush with reality.

            So, do we need a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist?

            How about you give me so hard numbers, say how many "mass shootings" there are today vs historic levels over the last 100 yrs.

            Awe heck, here:

            The Rise and Decline of Mass Shootings

            The common definition of a mass public shooting is an incident in which four or more victims are killed publicly with guns within 24 hours -- in the workplace, high schools, college campuses, malls, gyms, restaurants and other public places -- excluding shootings in connection with crimes such as robbery, drug trafficking or gang-related activity. By that definition, there have been 140 mass public shootings in the United States during the last 100 years.
            Now what do we debate about? Dammit, I took the wind right out of our collective sails.

            :)

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 05:34:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  point to where I said "mass shootings" (0+ / 0-)

              my 'ctrl f' couldn't find it.  

              •  Point taken, I was following your logical (3+ / 0-)

                progression here.  

                When you use the creative labeling of "supervillain" I'm thinking "kills many at one time". After all, how does one become "super" and a "villain" at one time if they don't inflict disaster and chaos to a large swath of the population?

                Since you believe we have a real problem with these types, is there first, a working definition so that we may actually have some common ground and second, how many are there out there? Do you have any researched links or estimates?  Is the "supervillain" just someone whom owns too many guns, clips or indiscriminately kills others for fun, pleasure, revenge, drugs, money, jewels, self-defense?

                In fact, do they have to kill to earn the title "supervilian"? Or are they any person you don't like, agree with, "gun affectionados" or just opponents that might have read the constitution? How do they get lured into the life of a "supervillian"? How many of our citizens are at risk of contracting this disease, if I may be so bold? Are there any known cures, treatments or remedies? Or will we be like the majority of the doctors today that only treat the symptoms and mask the disease never curing it?

                Or is all this just to propagate fear in your fellow Americans? Should we be on the lookout for the dreaded "supervillian", they could be disguised as your innocent looking neighbor, a co-worker, or god forbid, your preacher! Or is it just those whom own guns? If its the latter, I'm safe, since I don't own any firearms, whew...I was getting nervous for a moment...If I had the evil gun, I might turn, God only knows!

                Sorry for the rant there. I'm getting the clear impression that you really didn't come here to share, expand or explore the problems we all face but to present a preconceived notion (propaganda) that demonizes anyone whom may also be a gun owner and cast them as psychologically unstable because they are gun owners.

                FYI, I have an innate disdain for propaganda.

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 09:43:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  That's mostly because of reproductive control (0+ / 0-)

              Being allowed for girls and women. Fewer children born into bad situations or connived by violent fathers allowed to come to term leads to fewer criminals.

              The genetics of violence, and the environment that breeds violence, has been more controlled by women that want to have their children in better circumstances with better genetics.

              That's why it's so important for girls and women to have a choice. Given the choice, they will not have nearly as many children prone to violence and criminal behavior.

              Women create the entire labor force.

              by splashy on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 01:35:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Was this truly meant as a reply to my posting? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PavePusher

                If so, it's not making much sense, I've even reviewed the other postings above it and I'm still at a loss.

                Are you now claiming that violence is a genetic trait? Maybe on some instinctual level we can be violent, "fight or flight"...but to equate genetic survival instincts to environmental factors, conditioning etc is not legitimate.

                Male chimps and humans are genetically violent---NOT!

                Our society conditions us to be violent, we teach it and preach it.  

                What's insulting, and yes, I'm insulted here. What's insulting is that you make claims about a woman's motives, desires and wishes AND claim they are better suited to prevent violence...because of genetics choices!

                Ugh, as a transgendered woman, I'm insulted as a woman AND as the man I once was! Wow, I've never experienced this before.

                Did it ever occur to you that they may just love the person, maybe they just want sex, maybe it has nothing to do with your preconceived sexist notions? Maybe it has nothing to do with a woman's right to chose? I really can't believe you wove that in here.

                Men can't decide to not want violent tendencies passed on???? They don't play a role in these things?

                Tell me again how many parents want their children to become violent killers????

                You've degraded humanity to a level of an uncontrolled genetic/instinctual animal.

                We do know that lead in paints, gasoline (formerly)  leads to children's brains being damaged in ways that makes them act violently.  How many more environmental toxins in our "modern society" are out there effecting people? How about electromagnetic pollution from the TV, the cordless phone, the cell towers, etc?  

                Here's a short list of physical symptoms:

                What Are The Symptoms Of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity?

                What is barely even touched on is the psychological effects of EM pollution.  

                There are so many variables that can lead to violence, the first and foremost is conditioning.  Genetics have very little to do with it if we are responsible sentient beings then we decide what we ultimately do and how we act. There might be some rare genetic disorder that surfaces once in a while but it is not limited to just the males of our species.

                Ughhhhhhhh.

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:06:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  i thought it was obvious that carrying a gun gives (0+ / 0-)

    a person a feeling of power.The power comes from being able to intimidate any human or animal in range of the weapon.

    The common approach to nature in Alaska? Respect is not a word I would use, it's more like exploitation.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 01:41:57 AM PDT

    •  Nonsense. (4+ / 0-)

      You only think it's obvious because you desperately need to feel superior to someone with a hobby you find disgusting.

      •  Don't try to speak for me (0+ / 0-)

        i have no desperate needs, I don't think gun worship is a hobby, I think it is a stupid fetish.

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:25:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not speaking for you. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PavePusher, theatre goon

          Speaking about you. And your bigotry is astonishing. We're done here.

        •  I think the same thing about religions, a free (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DaveinBremerton, theatre goon

          press, the right to protest and of course, petitioning for redress...

          Aren't we glad we shared???

          If you have such strong preconceptions and bigotry, then why don't you get a few million of your closest friends together and utilize Article V of our Constitution?

          You see, it matters not what I think or even what you feel, we have these unalienable rights that are not going to be abrogated simply because we disagree with those that exercise them...

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 09:50:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Just because your far right Supreme Court (0+ / 0-)

            misinterpreted an archaic 2nd amendment of your constitution doesn't make the right to own a gun an unalienable right.

            Yes I am a bigot against gun violence.

            ❧To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 09:18:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, you're partially right. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KVoimakas, gerrilea
              Yes I am a bigot...
              You could have stopped right there and had it covered more accurately.

              I know this to be the case because you have posted bigoted statements such as:

              ...I don't think gun worship is a hobby, I think it is a stupid fetish.
              Two false, bigoted statements in one sentence -- that's pretty impressive.

              Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

              by theatre goon on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:10:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Am I to assume you are not from this country (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theatre goon

              nor do you actually live here???

              your far right Supreme Court

              of your constitution

               

              If true, then there really is nothing to discuss about our constitution or your opinion of it.

              It was that unalienable right that gave us our freedom from oppression and it's still the one thing that will ensure our freedoms for the future.

              -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

              by gerrilea on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 05:31:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  How does one actually intimidate an animal (6+ / 0-)

      with a gun?  Especially one not raised with humans?

      The family dogs that went hunting with my Dad knew to avoid them but was it intimidation or actually the loud noise and smell they made?

      I tell my cats, "I'm getting the vacuum out" and they run...am I intimidating them with the damn vacuum? Or have they learned that the thing makes way too much noise for them?

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 07:18:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With the power of imagination. (4+ / 0-)

        Which is about all this diary brings to the table.

      •  Pointing a stick at an animal will intimidate it (0+ / 0-)

        in fact, cougars have been frightened off with walking sticks where I live.

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:20:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They likely think it's a gun (0+ / 0-)

          It's interesting, in that it's common knowledge in my neck of the woods that one of the reasons for a hunting season on large animals like elk or bears is to make them afraid of humans. No hunting makes them unafraid, and dangerous.

          A stick would look like a gun, and if that cougar has been shot at it will beat a hasty retreat.

          Women create the entire labor force.

          by splashy on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 01:39:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If the animal has been shot at (0+ / 0-)

        Or has seen other animals shot at and injured or killed, it will be intimidated.

        That's the point of hunting bears in my area, to make them afraid of humans and less of a threat to humans. They used to not be here, they brought them in and as soon as there were enough they instituted a hunting season to make them afraid of humans. That was the stated goal, along with the hunters that just wanted to shoot bears.

        Women create the entire labor force.

        by splashy on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 01:42:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  BIG Difference, making them afraid of us is not (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, PavePusher

          the same as "intimidating them with a gun".

          The Seal hunts in Canada are a perfect example. The baby seals are hunted and clubbed to death because they don't know what we are.

          It's not about the objects we hold.  

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:14:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  From the comments above it's not obvious (0+ / 0-)

      it's horrifying, or something.  

    •  May one ask how long you have lived in Alaska? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theatre goon
  •  Yeah, I have to agree with some of the (7+ / 0-)

    comments that the title comes off as needlessly inflammatory considering the history of the phrase. But there is a "technical" truth to it, even if the social use of the phrase is problematic.

    The thing is, I never felt particularly "manly" or like a big tough guy because I had a gun; it was just something I had with me that I had to be careful & responsible with. Probably because my first real introduction to firearms came at Infantry Basic Training, and I had it drilled into me what an important tool it was and under no circumstances is it to be 'effed around with. A couple weeks of having to carry it all the time and use it properly took the "gee-whiz" factor out of it and I was able to settle into a professional mindset quickly. My dad had a couple guns but he never took them out, he just... had them.

    But I have to disagree with the notion that a guy with a gun is powerless before a modern military. First, and it was pointed out above, it wouldn't be "a guy with a gun" but a whole lot of guys (and probably some gals) with guns-- and they don't need to "defeat" a modern army, they just need to make conditions so hellish that the leaders behind that army are forced to agree to terms.

    Vicious fighting in Yugoslavia was frequently carried out by small bands of light infantry guerrilla types, and guys with guns and little else kept the Soviet Army utterly flummoxed until the Stinger missile was brought in from the outside to tip the balance more thoroughly.

    Mooks with guns and not much more made life difficult in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Malaysia (although the British counter-insurgency forces did, eventually, win that one), in Lebanaon, in China during the Japanese invasion, and in the mountains of South America. Organized Japanese troops with bolt-action Arisakas were so difficult for the US military to dislodge that island were frequently just bypassed as not worth the trouble (although the Japanese were an organized army, so may not be entirely applicable beyond the tech disparity).

    There is always a danger, though, in any debate when issuing a blanket statement about what all people must be thinking when they engage in an activity.  

  •  This diary is crap. (0+ / 0-)

    And likely make believe.  It's his "friend" voicing monomaniacal bloodlust--the diarist is just passively seduced by it.

    •  ouch (0+ / 0-)

      There was no bloodlust.  It was a statement, although technically innacurate.  

      My point is just "you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands" is the type of phrase built on the the influence of power.  I think there's something to be said for the idea that gun culture gives people a feeling of power.

      I just don't believe that 100 round clips, machine gun clubs, and basements full of weapons are built on logical reason.  

      •  Too bad. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not giving up drum magazines, full auto, and my collection over some pseudo-psychological garbage.

      •  built on an actuality of powerlessness (5+ / 0-)

        in an imbalanced poorly educated and strip mined society.
          Sold by marketeers as power, but it's a feeling only in some desperate minds, and certainly nothing to generalize about as you appear top be doing here.

        Denise Velez's grandfather intimidating the Klan from his door was brave, was practical and likely gave him a sense he could affect his personal threats but nothing to suggest he went on to 100 round clips and plans to kill all the Klan. Might have been a good idea tho, considering the circumstances...and equating having the right tools for the job with some descriptive megalomania is just more anti gun hyperbole, just like your title suggests.

          The Klan didn't go home and have a sad, they just moved on to the next house and probably thought 'we'll comeback later for this one...'

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 01:44:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, power does not "want to be used". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theatre goon

    You are ascribing to animism, without proof.

    And anyone who wants to be attacked should be under constant competent adult supervision until gthey grow up or are cured.

  •  It all stems from fear (0+ / 0-)

    Which, when pointed out to those that advocate for guns everywhere, makes them do the nah-uh bit.

    That's what the arms manufacturers and dealers play on, the fear. It sells their product, even to those that would normally not buy it. I'm sure they love the massacres for that reason, and it's why they have made sure there is that huge loophole where private persons can sell without a background check. It's all about getting guns into the hands of the unstable, who can be relied on to occasionally do something off the wall, making it so that no one feels safe.

    Personally, I would rather everyone open carry, so we can decide for ourselves if we trust that person with the gun they have, but the gun pushers don't want that. Here's a list of why:
    http://debatepedia.idebate.org/...

    Women create the entire labor force.

    by splashy on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 01:05:17 PM PDT

    •  What would you do if you decided you didn't trust (12+ / 0-)

      that person with the gun they have?

      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 06:04:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You accuse (13+ / 0-)

      gun dealers and manufacturers of wanting to see criminals kill people to enhance their sales? That's an extraordinary accusation and as such requires extraordinary proof.

      Got any?

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 06:10:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its not about the guns or the gun dealers, really (8+ / 0-)

      Its whether or not we actually granted our federal government that kind of authority over private lawful transactions.

      Where's the constitution say:"Hence forth, any and all private transactions must go through us first." Including those objects utilized in exercising your unalienable rights.?

      You cannot turn me, the fictitious seller, into an unpaid/uncompensated government agent. Slavery was abolished.

      If the person buying said lawful item is not legally allowed to do so, it is their responsibility to follow the law.  If they chose to violate said legal restrictions, then they should be held accountable, BY THE GOVERNMENT, not me.

      I'd make this deal with you.  If you require that I hence forth get your permission to sell my lawful items in a private transaction, then when you tell me the buyer can't purchase said item, you, the government will pay me for the loss of revenues for said item.  Those revenue prices are automatically set by me the seller, of course.

      How's that for a solution?

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 07:04:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In Michigan (9+ / 0-)

        you are not allowed to purchase a handgun unless you have obtained a "permit to purchase" from local law enforcement. Basically they run a background check, and if you pass they give you a form that must be filled out and signed by both the seller and the purchaser, then returned to the agency. You show the cops your new gun, they record the serial number, and off you go.

        This applies to both private transactions and those involving an FFL.

        In spite of this system, which has been in place for many years, criminals in Michigan seem to have just as many handguns as criminals elsewhere.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:34:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, I did not know this... (5+ / 0-)

          Each State or local municipality can regulate arms as long as it isn't a de facto ban.  But does the 2nd Amendment or the Constitution itself even allow such regulations coming from the Federal Government? I do not believe so. Intra vs Inter State commerce.

          The question I'd ask is what is Michigan doing with that database of gun owners & the serial numbers? Is is shared with Federal/International/Multi-National Agencies?

          If so, then I now understand why they are pushing the Small Arms Treaty.  From what I understood after reading the terms, it's clear that they want multi-national cooperation directed by an international organization and ensure that firearms aren't getting to the people they decide shouldn't have them.  (I know that's a bit off topic but this is an old thread).

          I'm just trying to synthesize a better understanding of all this.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:10:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  gerri, having seen "the troubles" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gerrilea, PavePusher

            and understanding arms traffic and money laundering, I can ascribe to better international standards for offshoring guns and money.

            We'll of course exempt those persons of 1% wealth with their Central and South American Estates, offshore bank accounts and mercenary "gardeners, chauffeurs, and household staff".

            The rest, should do more to prevent unrest - make that armed insurrection, amongst the unwashed masses.

    •  "I'm sure they love the massacres" (9+ / 0-)

      blanket stereotypes are fun for telling jokes, esp here in TX, but they do nothing for furthering democracy & building a better party

      Our president has his failings, but compared to Mitt Romney he is a paradigm of considered and compassionate thought.

      by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:52:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  wrong on so many levels (6+ / 0-)

      There is so much useless disinformation in your comment that we are all a little bit dumber for having read it.
      I award you no points.

      "She's petite, extremely beautiful, and heavily armed." -1995 Michael Moore documentary Canadian Bacon

      by Tom Seaview on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:02:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Both sides, same State: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

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