American hedonism closes its eyes to death, and has been
incapable of exorcising the destructive power of the moment
with a wisdom like that of the Epicureans of antiquity.

- Octavio Paz
Death is un-American, and an affront to every citizen's inalienable
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Arnold Toynbee
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"As long as such self-serving hypocrisy
motivates America's response, Ukraine will
only sink further into needless bloodshed,
and that blood will be on America's head."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal
applies only upwards, not downwards.

― Bertrand Russell
Global Coke
Global Coke
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting
to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the
melting pot. Those who think America can thrive as a
'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Global Coke
Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman
Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman
"[Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea] struck
me as uncannily symbolic of, if I may speak
broadly and loosely, the best and worst
of the 'American character abroad.'"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"But where, I wonder, is Obama's hard choice, in this his
now sixth year of leadership? Where is his defining decision,
against the grain, made solely because it seemed right?
Drone strikes in Yemen?"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster,
in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe
have grown to appalling dimensions.

― Frantz Fanon
nsa-spy-cartoon-4
nsa-spy-cartoon-4
"We feel better living in a world with privacy, with intimate, unmonitored communication when desired. Those values mean something to us, and give our lives dignity and humanity."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
nsa-spy-cartoon-4
What the United States does best is understand itself.
What it does worst is understand others.

- Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God
and so close to the United States.

- Porfirio Diaz
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical
and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights
and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the
central role that music played in people’s everyday lives."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- Sigmund Freud
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
- Auguste Bartholdi
chimerica
chimerica
"This is the tone of the China Century, a subtle
mix of Nazi/Soviet bravado and 'oriental'
cunning -- easily misunderstood, and
never
heard before, in a real enemy, by the West."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
chimerica
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"And for the others who argued for English-only
patriotism, I note that there are more than
57 million Americans (about 20% of the nation)
whose first-language is not English...."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
predator-firing-missile4
predator-firing-missile4
"This is the behavior, and the fate, of paranoid
old-world tyrants like Hitler or Saddam, not liberal new-world democracies like America pretends to be."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
predator-firing-missile4
America is the only nation in history which
miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to
degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

- Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce.
- Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle,
and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

- Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.
- Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated
-- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause
taken so long to gain momentum?"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the
United States reactionaries use to scare people.
It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't.

- Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

- Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession,
in other parts of the world it is a fact.

- Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American,
than a snuff-box from an emperor.

- Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire.
But it didn’t know what an empire was.
It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations.

- Roberto Calasso
"For all the good things he did and tried to do, in a way, for me, Mandela's greatness lay more in what he did not do. And this, I think, is his greatest lesson for America."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather
be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- Alexis de Tocqueville
newtown
newtown
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
newtown
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams
then you must still regard America today with the same naive
enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.

- Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
- Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.

- Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?"
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
- Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by
posterity because he was the last to discover America.

- James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things
are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
It has been going on now for three hundred years.

- Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
When good Americans die they go to Paris;
when bad Americans die they go to America.

- Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
jobs drug dealer
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that
lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself.

- Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room.
Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
- Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans
is the way parents obey their children.

- Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering
what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

- John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history.
America was created by philosophy.

- Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of
Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.
He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.

- Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those
who have seen America only in their dreams.

- Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
- Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.
It has never yet melted.

― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America.
One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy.

― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror
of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis,
the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain.

― Roberto Bolaño

October 17, 2017

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Author Topic: Gun Control in America


Geoff-
Hamilton
Administrator
Posts: 170
Geoff Hamilton
Gun Control in America
on: December 13, 2013, 14:24

from The Guardian

Sandy Hook -- one year on, campaigners prepare for new push on gun control

It was the moment that was supposed to change the stubborn politics of gun control in the United States. A year ago on Saturday, in a bucolic corner of Connecticut that was known for little except the quality of life enjoyed by its citizens, 20 young children and six teaching staff were killed as they began another ordinary day at Sandy Hook elementary school.

There had been horrors like Sandy Hook before. Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine – but this time, the age of the children involved seemed to hold a particular power. Such was the groundswell of support for reform of America's notoriously lax gun laws that it seemed the political logjam might finally be broken.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/13/sandy-hook-campaigners-push-gun-control



Courtney S
New Member
Posts: 1
Courtney S
Re: Gun Control in America
on: December 13, 2013, 17:53

There are few issues in our nation so heartbreaking, and so frustrating, as this one. Last year, I was certain that something major had to happen after the tragedy at Sandy Hook. No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country.
But it didn't.
The very powerful lobbyists at the NRA got to work, and neutralized or deflected the emotional momentum of the killings. The NRA chief, Wayne LaPierre, even made the case, which some found credible, that it made sense to start arming every schoolteacher, in every school, so that all students might be 'safer.'
I can't tell you (Their America) how crushing it was to hear this argument repeated in earnest.
We're burdened with an insane gun policy in this country, and it will, I'm afraid, take many more tragedies to shift opinion against the gun lovers and their all-too powerful lobbyists.



Geoff-
Hamilton
Administrator
Posts: 170
Geoff Hamilton
Re: Gun Control in America
on: December 15, 2013, 12:19

Salon.com recently published a sobering set of statistics on gun violence since Sandy Hook (Newtown)...

http://www.salon.com/2013/12/14/after_newtown_a_look_at_guns_in_america_partner/

Among the most striking facts (for me) was the NRA's nearly 100/1 advantage over the Brady Center in spending on gun lobbying...

Number of people killed by guns, including homicide, suicide and accidental death since Newtown (that have been reported by the media): 11,437

Estimated real number of people killed by guns, including homicide, suicide and accidental death since Newtown (using most recent CDC estimates for yearly data): 33,173

Number of school shootings since Newtown: 26

[...]

Total spent by the NRA (2011): $231,071,589

Total spent by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the largest gun control organization (2011):$2,844,489



Sharon-
Woods
New Member
Posts: 4
Sharon Woods
Re: Gun Control in America
on: December 16, 2013, 10:34

One fact that continually depresses me about my own country is the support for broad gun ownership (and for minimal restrictions on such things as magazine size for automatic weapons and 'cool off' periods for gun buyers). The NRA is clearly getting results from pumping a lot of money into the political process, but there is, nevertheless, significant support 'on the ground' for their agenda (not from me, I might add, but certainly from people I know, even those who would otherwise consider themselves "liberals"). We've reached a kind of tipping point, I believe, in terms of the anxiety posed by wide gun ownership (about 1 gun per person, as the Salon article points out): the country is so well-armed now (including its criminals), that many citizens feel they, too, must be armed in order to defend themselves. Notoriously, events like Newtown actually bolster efforts to loosen gun restrictions, since a certain section of the population panics and looks to meet the threat of violence with more violence.
I'm afraid I've lost (most, if not all!) my optimism that things will, at least in the short term, somehow get better.



Eric L
New Member
Posts: 1
Eric L
Re: Gun Control in America
on: December 21, 2013, 18:25

There is a real precedent for change, and here is a place where the United States must look beyond its borders: Australia suffered through a tragic gun attack in 1996 (35 dead, 20 injured) and then did something about it. Gun laws were changed and gun violence decreased significantly afterward. More has to be done to publicize this success in the US.



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Gun Control in America
on: January 1, 2014, 13:39

Thought I'd share my favorite political cartoon from 2013...

Image



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Gun Control in America
on: January 14, 2014, 13:36

Now tell me (as I'm sure the NRA will try) how having more citizens armed would have prevented this stupid loss of life...

Texting dad at movies: 'I can't believe I got shot'
By Steve Almasy and Ashley Fantz, CNN
updated 10:17 AM EST, Tue January 14, 2014

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/14/justice/florida-movie-theater-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t1



jure04
New Member
Posts: 1
jure04
Re: Gun Control in America
on: March 19, 2014, 06:04

Through the eyes of an outside observer (especially one from a country with very strict gun laws), the situation in America seems insane. Of course, many countries in the world battle with gun crime, and mass shootings are not exclusive to the US. However, comparing the number of such incidents in the US and the rest of developed countries shows that in Europe (for example), these tragedies are exceptional, while in the States, they are all too frequent. It thus comes as no surprise that compared to the US, most European countries have very low numbers of firearms per 100 inhabitants and consequently very low (gun) murder rates. Contrary to the popular American belief that owning a gun for protection will lower crime rates and make living safer, almost all studies show that high gun ownership equals high murder rates. As already mentioned, most European countries have very strict laws concerning the acquisition of firearms. In Slovenia, for example, where murder rates are very low, the process of applying for a licence allowing the acquisition and possession of a firearm is long and very strict. To illustrate: one can only acquire a gun for hunting, sports, or protection (but only if the administrative office is provided with proof that one's life is so imperiled that one is in need of self-defence). For Americans, this may seem as a horrible violation of their 'rights,' but in fact, it only means that very few people own guns - less guns, less chances for one to actually be shot in the street or a public space.
However, the main problem in the US today is how to end gun violence and prevent mass shootings. The situation is definitely very complicated - since in the US, the mentality is different and the number of people already owning firearms is extremely high. Is there a solution that could be carried out in the short term? Taking people's guns away is something that seems unlikely (if not impossible), so what to do to stop this madness? Frankly, I don't see any solutions being effectively applied in the short term. Due to mistakes done in the past and loose gun regulations, many potential murderers already own guns or at least know someone who does. So is there any mechanism that would stop them from carrying out their vicious plan? And is arming teachers or putting barbed wires around school premises really the only solution? Fighting fire with fire? Short-term solutions would need to be strict and effective and need to happen now. Will they? - Unlikely, because of the strong gun lobby and the mentality of the people.
So in my opinion, what needs to be done and what seems as the only effective solution, is to work on long-term programmes for ending gun violence and enforcing stricter control. But even more important than that is to educate people to stop viewing guns as necessary and obligatory tools for self-defence, slowly reform them so that they will not buy guns in the future; thus gradually create a more gun-free society with less guns in the household and with more faith in the police and other trained and qualified individuals. The initiative must come from the people: demanding efficient programmes for reforming the mentality of US citizens, electing politicians that will vociferously fight for stricter regulations, and spreading the ideas among other people. Most importantly, the US citizens must realise that gun violence is one of the gravest problems in their society and not just a marginal issue. Very few other developed countries cry over loved ones killed in schools, shopping centres, or other public spaces that are deemed safe. Why shouldn't the USA be one of those countries?



NezaP
New Member
Posts: 1
NezaP
Re: Gun Control in America
on: March 19, 2014, 15:17

A while back I read an interesting article where the US and Australia are compared in terms of mass shootings. The former Australian prime minister John Howard decided to ban a range of gun types in Australia in 1996 following the Port Arthur massacre, in particular semi-automatic rifles. The statistics show that there have been no mass shootings in Australia since his bans and suicide rates have dropped by 74 per cent. To gun control advocates in America the laws proved that regulation can reduce gun deaths and CNN aired an hour-long special (which included an interview with Mr Howard) on what lessons America could learn from around the world to reduce its gun deaths. But American gun rights activists believe the US President Barack Obama is pursuing gun control measures that are considered almost tyrannical and executive vice president of NRA, Wayne LaPierre, argues that elements of the American media back Mr Obama’s alleged plan to create “a US version of the Australian/British tyranny”.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/sandy-hook-massacre-gun-lobby-targets-australia-20131212-hv5ed.html



TanjaV
New Member
Posts: 1
TanjaV
Re: Gun Control in America
on: March 19, 2014, 18:28

Quote from jure04 on March 19, 2014, 06:04
Through the eyes of an outside observer (especially one from a country with very strict gun laws), the situation in America seems insane. Of course, many countries in the world battle with gun crime, and mass shootings are not exclusive to the US. However, comparing the number of such incidents in the US and the rest of developed countries shows that in Europe (for example), these tragedies are exceptional, while in the States, they are all too frequent. It thus comes as no surprise that compared to the US, most European countries have very low numbers of firearms per 100 inhabitants and consequently very low (gun) murder rates. Contrary to the popular American belief that owning a gun for protection will lower crime rates and make living safer, almost all studies show that high gun ownership equals high murder rates. As already mentioned, most European countries have very strict laws concerning the acquisition of firearms. In Slovenia, for example, where murder rates are very low, the process of applying for a licence allowing the acquisition and possession of a firearm is long and very strict. To illustrate: one can only acquire a gun for hunting, sports, or protection (but only if the administrative office is provided with proof that one's life is so imperiled that one is in need of self-defence). For Americans, this may seem as a horrible violation of their 'rights,' but in fact, it only means that very few people own guns - less guns, less chances for one to actually be shot in the street or a public space.
However, the main problem in the US today is how to end gun violence and prevent mass shootings. The situation is definitely very complicated - since in the US, the mentality is different and the number of people already owning firearms is extremely high. Is there a solution that could be carried out in the short term? Taking people's guns away is something that seems unlikely (if not impossible), so what to do to stop this madness? Frankly, I don't see any solutions being effectively applied in the short term. Due to mistakes done in the past and loose gun regulations, many potential murderers already own guns or at least know someone who does. So is there any mechanism that would stop them from carrying out their vicious plan? And is arming teachers or putting barbed wires around school premises really the only solution? Fighting fire with fire? Short-term solutions would need to be strict and effective and need to happen now. Will they? - Unlikely, because of the strong gun lobby and the mentality of the people.
So in my opinion, what needs to be done and what seems as the only effective solution, is to work on long-term programmes for ending gun violence and enforcing stricter control. But even more important than that is to educate people to stop viewing guns as necessary and obligatory tools for self-defence, slowly reform them so that they will not buy guns in the future; thus gradually create a more gun-free society with less guns in the household and with more faith in the police and other trained and qualified individuals. The initiative must come from the people: demanding efficient programmes for reforming the mentality of US citizens, electing politicians that will vociferously fight for stricter regulations, and spreading the ideas among other people. Most importantly, the US citizens must realise that gun violence is one of the gravest problems in their society and not just a marginal issue. Very few other developed countries cry over loved ones killed in schools, shopping centres, or other public spaces that are deemed safe. Why shouldn't the USA be one of those countries?

I wholeheartedly agree with all of the above. What I would wish to add is the observation that all the commercials that are in favour of the NRA are put together in such a way they scare US citizens either into obtaining more guns, or into thinking that allowing such a high number of firearms per 100 citizens is normal. People are constantly being told their homes are not safe from criminals without a gun hidden somewhere in the house, and because self-preservation is a basic instinct, buying a gun goes hand in hand with it (according to the commercials, and people seem to believe them). Since this mentality plays with people's emotions - especially fear and paranoia (which are understandable, given the current number of massacres and deaths connected to gun violence - which only happen because of the shocking number and accessibility of guns - and we've gone full circle) not many people even stop to think that if attacked, most of them would not even make it to the gun nor have the nerves necessary to use it (compared to a criminal, who might not think twice before using theirs), let alone deal with the consequences that would follow if they actually shot someone. Furthermore, many families who own guns have them stored in a special safe-box or container where they are out of reach to small children, so in the event that your life would actually be in danger, the time needed to get your gun would probably be better spent running away or calling the police. So, I agree with Jure04 that apart from demanding a change in legislation, a gradual change in mentality is also in order, because as long owning a gun equals safety I do not see a change in sight.



Wally-
Thornton
New Member
Posts: 2
Wally Thornton
Re: Gun Control in America
on: April 9, 2014, 16:49

Now, in light of the mass stabbing in Pennsylvania...
http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/09/justice/pennsylvania-school-stabbing/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
...I'm sure some gun advocates will say "Look! Knives can kill people too! And maybe that kid could have been stopped if we had armed security guards in every hallway!", but let's get real: There would have been dozens dead if that kid had had a gun and not a knife.



Ehud Amir
New Member
Posts: 1
Ehud Amir
Re: Gun Control in America
on: May 8, 2014, 16:08

I agree with jure04.

I wrote the following just after the Sandy Hook massacre but it is relevant today as well:

The absurd claim of the NRA supporters is: “if you give more weapons around, the streets would be safer because people would protect themselves in an event of a shooting assault.” It’s such a totally ill-founded, lacking of proof, stupid argument. Has there ever been a case in America in which a civilian with weapon neutralized or killed a mass murderer in the middle the act? I guess not a single case. It is like believing in some deity, alien of other phenomena with no evidence or proof of its existence. It’s like a religion. That religion of the NRA kills kids. It’s one of those times I think Israel – with its wars and Terror – is saner than the US.

Neither any member of my family nor anyone I know at work or neighborhood – some hundreds of persons, most of them in Jerusalem and some of them in the West Bank – no one of them holds a gun or has been talking with me about buying one, not even during the great Terror wave of about 10 years ago. Perhaps it’s because there’s nothing you can do against a suicide bomber that explodes somewhere, but I think the main reason is simpler:

We give every aspect of our life to experts. We let our health to be taken care of by Doctors, our cars – by mechanics, our money – by bankers and investments counselors, our apartment contracts – by lawyers, etc., but when it comes to the most precious thing – our personal and our kids’ security – and when it is most dangerous to try to deal with an emergency situation unprofessionally, all by ourselves – that’s just the time many Americans don’t trust the professionals – police, National Guard, Army, professional security guards. Instead of giving the defense of their children lives to pros, they give it to amateurs: themselves. This senseless inconsistency makes me furious.

One US Congressmen once said: “what are we supposed to do? Put an armed and trained security guard at the gates of each store, mall, bus, school and university? It’s insanely impractical!”

So it means that Israel is insane, after all, because that’s exactly what we do here for the last 10 years. Whenever I enter a mall or a drugstore, there is an armed security guard at the entrance and most of the times (unless I’m holding a baby or so) I’m demanded to open my bag, empty my pocket and go through this machine that beeps when you carry any metal thing. No weapon is allowed, period. Not a gun, a pistol, not even a knife. The bag of every 90 years old feeble woman is checked at the entrance to every restaurant or a cinema, every national of municipal office, every public space. Once there was an armed security guard on each bus, next to the driver, and also in many bus stations. Meanwhile they stopped it – we don’t need it now – but when it was necessary it was done – and it was proven practical and operative.

The only armed people around are the trained and authorized ones. This fact is seen by all in Israel as the most natural thing. I don’t want to be armed. I would feel unsafe had I been armed. We all know we pay more taxes to finance this extra-guarding, and it’s fine with us.

At the entrance to every school there is an armed guard. Every school in Israel. No matter where. No weapon, not a knife and surely not a gun are allowed at school, at any condition whatsoever. Period.

The only guns my kids have ever seen are random toys at the toy stores. We don’t hold such toys at home, except of water guns to shoot water each other in the balcony in the summer, guns that look more like pumps. It’s not that we have anti-weapon ideology. Not at all. It’s the fact that weapon is in no way a part of our culture. We respect weapons, but the second emotion towards them isn’t love or pride; it’s a deep fear. I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing. It may seem as a paradox, in a war-experienced state such as Israel, but that’s how it is here.



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Gun Control in America
on: June 2, 2014, 15:06

Interesting article in Slate about gun-toters in restaurants (for those outside the U.S.: several states have 'open carry' policies, which means you can strut around with a gun wherever you like)...
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/05/guns_after_elliot_rodger_businesses_like_chipotle_and_sonic_are_our_best.2.html
The author here makes the convincing point that an effective way to 'combat' (pun intended) these nuts is to put pressure on businesses to deny them service. The numbers are on the side of the rational folk right now (in most places in the nation), so we have some serious leverage. Similar strategies worked (more or less successfully) with offensive media personalities such as Rush Limbaugh: target the advertisers and threaten boycotts, and you can shut down the revenue to these places.
It's not going to cure the ills we have, but it seems like a good interim strategy...
Image



Geoff-
Hamilton
Administrator
Posts: 170
Geoff Hamilton
Re: Gun Control in America
on: June 11, 2014, 10:57



Geoff-
Hamilton
Administrator
Posts: 170
Geoff Hamilton
Re: Gun Control in America
on: August 28, 2014, 14:02

Nine years old does seem, well, a little young to be firing an Uzi...



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Gun Control in America
on: October 23, 2014, 10:55

Good job, Canada, on handling a report of gun violence sensibly!
(This reasonableness is part of the reason why Canada has a better gun control policy than we do down here.)
http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/cbc-ottawa-shootings-cable-news

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today gave a master class in calm, credible breaking news reporting.
Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the shootings in Ottawa unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world.

This live bit of level-headed reporting by Mansbridge, from around 11:10am Wednesday, should be given to journalism students around the country. It basically contains everything you need to know about why CBC did its audience proud [...]



rich.desch-
amps
New Member
Posts: 3
rich.deschamps
Re: Gun Control in America
on: October 25, 2014, 18:48

US citizens are exposed to so much gun violence in the media that it has desensitized the issue. Every day you turn on the television and see people being killed by guns. The idea that having and shooting a gun is considered "cool" is also represented through the media. For example the television series The Walking Dead, is by far the most popular show on television; the premise of this show is a post apocalyptic zombie world where hundreds of zombies are killed every season. And what I find most fascinating is that this world has developed into one in which you should fear other humans more than the zombies. It seems as though humans are killing humans, more than zombies are killing humans. Even in this fictional world where humans need to be supporting each other the most, greed and violence still exist. To me it seems like the US culture has created a sense that owning and using weapons is something to be idealized. Obviously this is just one of the many issues that is causing such a high level of gun violence, but it is still something that needs to be addressed.



leahtucker
Novice Their American
Posts: 6
leahtucker
Re: Gun Control in America
on: October 28, 2014, 16:19

I have to agree with Rich's comment about the US becoming increasingly more and more desensitized to gun violence. Guns are almost sensationalized through media. People watch television, play video games, and take in media covering and exploiting gun violence. While I am sure that everyone taking this media in clearly understands that gun violence is bad, the constant exposure to it makes it almost impossible to not become desensitized to gun violence.

It seems that this desensitization is not only in the US. Canada, their neighbour, recently just experience a shooter near Parliament Hill. The officer who is credited with shooting down the suspect is from Miramichi, New Brunswick, which happens to be my hometown. This officer certainly did his job well, and Miramichi is celebrating their new found hero. I find this very strange and almost disturbing. In no way am I trying to take away from what this officer did. He made the right choice and probably saved lives in doing so. However, justified or not, taking the life of another human being is a very weird thing to celebrate. It seems this is another way gun violence has been sensationalized, even in tragedy.

I think this speaks volumes on the impact that America has on the rest of the world, especially its close neighbours. Canada shares so many cultural ties with America, and this strange fascination with guns is one of them.



tylerestua-
rt
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Tyler Eliot Stuart
Re: Gun Control in America
on: November 9, 2014, 21:24

I like both of the points made above, and I'd like to extend the idea a little bit. I agree the guns have been glorified in Western media. And if we examine the manner in which they have been glorified, we see a constant theme of good versus evil. The person shooting up a school or a movie theatre is evil, and the cops or citizens who put the shooter down are good. I am not condemning this classification, but I do think we should recognize its implications. With this constant narrative of good versus evil, the police become the arbiters of truth and justice. In an extended way, this excuses them from actions similar to those of the shooters. The recent events in Ferguson have highlighted this, but it has also highlighted the media's reluctance to question the power structures and racial cleavages in society. Because cops are supposed to be good, our condemnation of them is cautious. We risk condoning unlawful crimes by those who are supposed to protect us.

If we digress, this narrative extends into foreign affairs. We wage wars on the premise of good versus evil, and we, the global police on a hill, can do no wrong.



amruelland
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
amruelland
Re: Gun Control in America
on: November 23, 2014, 14:18

I agree completely with the comment above about the glorification of guns adding to the reoccurring theme of good versus evil in America. Society enforces the idea that the police are a representation of good in the fight against evil, they stand and protect our cities by putting their lives at risk. What they do deserves to be respected and appreciated, but what we cannot allow is that they are exempted from the laws that they are enforcing on society. There needs to be a line drawn that determines what is acceptable behaviour when it comes to the use of guns in the police force, it is necessary to keep our communities safe but the answer to developing safety is not through the use of a gun.
I think that the approach communities are taking to focus on the heros of these tragic shootings that have occurred recently is a positive approach, but we have to watch the extent that we praise these so called heros. Children watching the news begin to pick up that it is okay to harm others and use violence if it is in defence of something they believe in. If communities do not find a way to praise the men and women who risk there lives -- without focusing on the use of their guns -- the shootings that have been so frequent in the last few months will only continue to go up in numbers.



krstevenso-
n
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
krstevenson
Re: Gun Control in America
on: November 23, 2014, 14:18

I like the comment above that Tyler has made. I think that when having conversations surrounding gun violence, we do need to think and stretch beyond the traditional narrative we have been accustomed to for so long. Cops are good, they protect us, no questions asked. The (usually ethnic) individual with the gun is bad, therefore their death is an acceptable inevitability. However, we must realize that this is simply not the case. There are many other factors that influence the narrative surrounding gun violence. We must consider an intersectional approach when having conversations about gun violence if we are to truly reach a well educated conclusion.

Keeping in mind the most recent shootings that have happened-- Ferguson, Parliament Hill, Moncton, etc.-- we must deconstruct the ways in which these shootings have been portrayed in the media versus the honest reality of the situations. This truth is not always so easy to come by, which is in no way a coincidence; however, we must seek out the facts in order to make educated conclusions. Sadly, not everyone is willing to do the research before stating their, often emotionally charged, claims and opinions on situations involving gun violence. As Tyler said above, our criticisms of authority are cautious more often than not. However, I believe that the "good versus evil" narrative can no longer serve as an excuse for crimes committed by those wearing a badge and a uniform.



rich.desch-
amps
New Member
Posts: 3
rich.deschamps
Re: Gun Control in America
on: November 23, 2014, 18:48

This video may not be completely relevant to the discussion that is progressing here. But I found it very interesting none the less.



Ashley-
Wilson
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Ashley Wilson
Re: Gun Control in America
on: November 23, 2014, 22:01

American gun laws are completely different to Canadian gun laws and clearly you can see a dramatic difference in the cold hard facts such as murders and mass shootings. Take for example, the shooting that just recently happened in Moncton, New Brunswick. Many argued that if our gun laws were like the Americans, where basically anyone can own a fire arm, then the shooting wouldn't have lasted so long considering so many civilians were very close to the shooter at multiple occasions. On the flip side, Canada has an increasingly less amount of murders that happen which may or may not be because of the gun laws, thats arguable.
Although there is the chance that these two aspects are correlated, I believe gun laws should be changed to the way Americans have it. I think that police are not prepared enough and do not have enough numbers for the possible things that could happen again, for example, the shooting in Moncton. It took them over 24 hours to find a single male when he could have easily been controlled or taken down by the houses he had passed. There's a very clearly distinction between someone using a gun as protection, and someone walking down a street with it, aiming it at police officers. Obviously serious steps should be taken before handing someone a gun but I believe that the gun laws should be reconsidered in Canada considering more events such as the Moncton shooting are occurring more often than people expect.



MitchellGu-
nn
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
MitchellGunn
Re: Gun Control in America
on: November 24, 2014, 15:59

I'm always wary whenever someone proposes increasing the number of guns in the population (or doing this indirectly by loosening the regulations for acquiring said guns), particularly when the primary reason given is "self-defence." Call it a holdover from an idealized childhood education, but I thought that a big reason our societies have police was so that I don't necessarily have to defend myself. There are people who are hired, trained, and equipped by society specifically for the purpose of protecting others.

If you want to argue that police are failing in this capacity, that's fine. There are a large number of instances where police have not protected members of their society as well as they should have (and that's putting it gently). But it doesn't seem to make sense to me to have both a gun trade designed around protecting oneself and a police service dedicated to protecting everyone. Pick one, fix the system so that it actually works, and eliminate the other one. Having both - particularly when both are causing their own problems - is both redundant and harmful.



Ashley-
Wilson
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Ashley Wilson
Re: Gun Control in America
on: November 26, 2014, 18:53

I completely agree with where the above comment is coming from, but there are many many many instances where police have not been very protective of the citizens, nor are they there immediately in the case of an emergency. Allowing citizens to have a gun to have that extra protection doesn't and wouldn't seem harmful to others as long as there isn't an unnecessary use of the gun.



LillianOBD
Novice Their American
Posts: 6
Lillian
Re: Gun Control in America
on: October 31, 2015, 14:36

Guns in America have been a source of debate and anxiety since its founding. From the beginning of the colonization of America and the legendary wild west the image of the 'Gun Wielding Free American' has grown up to become the way in which americans are represented both internationally as well as part of their own nation identity. Not all lovers of America however loved guns. Crèvecoeur identifies a link between anti-social behaviour and guns in his meditations on the newly formed United States, Letters from an American Farmer . While Crèvecoeur's cautions centre around the effect guns have on farming productivity, saying that once a man becomes reliant on his gun, he no longer tends to his farm and property (Crèvecoeur 316), what Crèvecoeur does identity that applies to contemporary society, is the anti-social behaviour associated with gun possession. In the hands of the back-settler, guns were used to protect against hostility and competition in the woods from animals or other threats to their livelihood. In the hands of a contemporary American the hostility that guns are taken up to protect against becomes a little more ambiguous. The line between friend and foe in contemporary America seems to be a conceptual and interpretive one, in the case of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, who was shot while walking with a hoodie on, the hostility the gun wielder allegedly interpreted was in fact, no hostility at all or a much lesser one, as Martin was not carrying a gun himself. In cases such as these, that could have been deescalated in a far less violent manner it seems reasonable to make the case that something so conclusively violent as a gun should not be made readily available in a society where the threat of hostility is an interpretive one, which cannot always be conclusively decided.



emfoley13
New Member
Posts: 4
emfoley13
Re: Gun Control in America
on: November 17, 2015, 17:01

In the midst of the campaigning for the US 2016 presidential election, gun control is once again an inflamed topic throughout the country. Following the Paris attacks candidates are being heavily scrutinized to see which stance they take in the immediate aftermath. Donald Trump, the practical presidential joke that no one finds funny anymore, is an incredibly passionate advocate for the NRA and a relinquishing of gun control. In the wake of an attack that claimed the lives of 119 people Donald Trump, "during a campaign rally Saturday, Trump said Paris' tough gun laws were to blame for the high death toll in the Paris attack, for which the Islamic State group claimed responsibility. He has also said he would close some mosques to protect Americans from terrorism."

Not only does Donald Trump exemplify rampant xenophobia that is decidedly "un American", he uses tragedy as a catapult to push his own pulpit and agenda in order to fear monger. Creating this atmosphere of fear in the States is a quick way to alienate those considered "others" and also to pave the way for a police state in which people are more likely to give up their personal liberties and freedoms for a perceived "safety."

I've never understood the logic behind having more guns in a country decreasing violence. Then again, I'm not a Republican.

http://www.ibtimes.com/voters-say-donald-trump-would-protect-america-hillary-clinton-strong-national-2188741



Rozu
New Member
Posts: 4
Rozu
Re: Gun Control in America
on: November 24, 2015, 00:05

I disagree @Ashley-Wilson, giving people the right to owning a gun would only provide opportunities for violent crimes to be committed, for there will be unnecessary use of the gun if not by the owner than someone else. It would make fire arms easily accessible to those willing to commit a violent crime or to someone who was impulsive in the moment. The question is: what do we want? We want guns completely removed from society and be only limited to highly trained professionals that require a gun due to their profession. This would better ensure the safety of the people. No other civilians should have the right to own or have access to fire arms. But people will claim that they need it for their protection as @Ashley-Wilson mentioned. So let me ask you, what is police enforcement for? Laws and code of ethics? The constitution (In America)? Are these not all put into place for the protection of the people? No matter how many statistics or the number of innocent lives lost due to gun violence, Americans will continue to want their right to owning a gun. So reality of the matter at hand is that, America needs to implement strict gun ownership laws, provide seminars on the benefits and drawbacks to owning a gun and have an intensive gun training program. I would go to as far as saying that gun owners should receive a yearly gun check up and anyone that used a gun inappropriately should lose their right to one forever. I think it is safe to say that owning a gun only leads to violence, which is shown in these statistics: 294 mass shooting, 45 school shootings, 9,956 people killed in gun incidents and 20,000 injured in gun incidents. Other countries like Canada and Australia have lower gun related homicide rates so why do Americans require gun ownership? (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34424385).



NataliaK
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
NataliaK
Re: Gun Control in America
on: December 3, 2015, 23:26

The tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook, and the gun related tragedies that have happened since then, is certainly linked to the general fact of America’s lax gun laws still in motion. Many other countries have decided to change and/or ban the use of carrying firearms or even having one in general due to physical casualties and the stresses of modern politics. Therefore why does America still have these gun laws in place if they only lead to further problems? When I think of America’s history with firearms I immediately think about the America more than a century ago and the Wild West, the story of Rip Van Winkle and this fierce connection for independence and Emerson’s naturalistic views and ideals of solitude and non-responsibility. As well, America was considered a dream land at the time it was colonized, offering settlers the gift of full freedom in religion, livelihood and political views. Therefore a firearm was a combination of several ideals; a symbol of private protection, freedom of thought, a tool for a dreamy escapist in nature and as a means of survival. This was a way of life that was very real to a lot of people in America, and therefore carrying a firearm was a normal occurrence that paralleled this ideal, and one that would stay within American culture for more than a century. To put a ban on firearms would be disrupting a long held tradition and way of American life. However, this tradition might not have a place in modern American culture as it once did. If a factor is causing more harm than good it is reasonably sound to cut it off or adjust it, otherwise it could continue to cause an upheaval.



superfly
Experienced Their American
Posts: 11
superfly
Re: Gun Control in America
on: December 7, 2015, 23:33

Out of respect for the deceased and their loved ones, I will not indulge into my own personal critiques of the American government's practices and actions abroad concerning other nations. However, I will ask one question: who is left? Guns have killed men, women, children, elderly, animals, and nature. Who or what is left? How long before all fifty states purge residences of firearms, so that another sane ("mentally ill") or seriously ill person is prevented from going on a shooting rampage? I wouldn't blame parents for pulling their children out of school and choosing to home school them, or worse, sending their child to school with a knot in their stomach because they're worried it may be the last time they are sending them off.



SN_America
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Ahsan Moghul
Re: Gun Control in America
on: December 7, 2015, 23:44

It is alarming how prevalent gun crime, especially shootings have become in the United States. Revently after San Bernardino, gun control has been brought up once more; it is way too easy to get a gun in the United States. A lot of ink is spilled over the issue, many questioning statistics, some bringing up the second amendments. Gun control would help, since it would also drive up the price of illicit firearms in the black market, making them harder or access. Do any of you have an opinion as to why shootings are so common? Do you think it's reflective on a deep cultural nihilism? Mark fisher for instance in a text called capitalist realism comments that zombie movies and apocalyptic films are more prevalent since our impoverished imagination can't imagine any alternatives other than the destruction of it?



MelissaRos-
ati
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
MelissaRosati
Re: Gun Control in America
on: March 3, 2016, 00:47

All of the previous posts about gun control in America address the issue of gun ownership, and who exactly should be allowed to own a firearm or if owning a firearm should even be allowed to be considered as a constitutional right. The fear of crime has risen over the increase in mass shootings; Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Century 16 movie theater, the list goes on and on and there seems to be no additional measures taken to ensure incidents such as the ones mentioned, never happen again. These events are unarguably tragic, but what about incidents of accidental suicide or minor to severe injuries that go unreported due to a misfired firearm? According to the Children's Defense Fund, approximately every thirty minutes a child is either injured or killed by a firearm. I am not about to make an argument against the fact that maybe America should consider revoking the right to carry a gun on one's person. After all, it is an individual's given right as a means of self defense and protection. However, if someone decides to use their right and finds themselves obtaining a license and subsequently a firearm, then I believe measures need to be taken to ensure that the gun remains in the possession and care of that sole individual.

Eighteen year old, Kai Kloepfer, of Boulder, Colorado, has stepped into the media spotlight when he suggested applying biometrics (technology used for personal identification) to gun technology. The idea behind personal identification firearms, also known as smart gun technology, is to allow for the gun to only be used by the individual whom it belongs to. If any other individual gains access to the firearm and attempts to fire the weapon, the gun will not go off; the technology requires fingerprint authorization by the owner of the gun in order for it to work. Although Kloepfer's invention is still in the prototype stages, there has been an outpouring of support from police agencies, war veterans, and even victims of gun violence. They all wish to see the misuse of firearms as an issue of the past.

Yes, this still does not solve the issue of individual's whose fingerprints are authorized on their weapons from turning the barrel on innocent lives. However, owning a gun does not make someone a bad person, there are just some people who make bad choices, and I believe that if there are ways to limit the occurrence of these bad, or even accidental, choices, then we should pursue them. As much as people would like to deny it, America's gun laws are proactive in the sense that it allows the government and gun authorized retailers to keep track of who is in possession of a firearm. Completely eliminating the use of firearms could make the situation even worse as individuals will then resort to less legal measures to obtain weapons against the knowledge of the state. On that note, I also believe that the process in order to receive a gun license should be a lot more vigorous; someone's age is not nearly enough to authorize their ability to walk into their local hunting store and purchase a gun. Gun violence is an ongoing issue that requires a lot of attention, not only from government authorities, but also from community members. However, it needs to be looked at from all sides of the argument; there is more to it than the simple debate of guns are good or guns are bad.

Below is a clip of Kai Kloepfer speaking about smart gun technology:



AdelaideAt-
tard
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Adelaide Clare Attard
Re: Gun Control in America
on: March 7, 2016, 19:08

The video attached below by Vice News outlines a lot of important and relevant points from different worldly perspectives. Vice interviews citizens from all over the world both in person and over video chat. Vice provides these people with a platform to express their opinions on America’s gun laws. Not all people interviewed disagreed with getting rid of guns across America. In fact, some people stated that gun violence would be a safer method of self-protection if gun owners were highly educated about gun safety.
A lot of Their America users mentioned as to why or why not gun ownership in America should be a constitutional right. I agree with Melissa Rosati; if one decides to invest in a firearm, “measures need to be taken to ensure that the gun remains in the possession and care of that sole individual.” If one invests in a weapon, I think it is the individual’s responsibility to make sure they are using these weapons for their proper use: protection. In Vice’s video, a woman from Uttar Pradesh, India says: “I do feel that a responsible person can use a gun responsibly. It’s come down to a situation where non-violent, peace loving people like myself will feel safer with a gun right next to [them].” Some people feel like owning a gun can be purposeful if used responsibly. Some people would feel safer in this world if they possessed a gun. But this cannot go without proper education about gun use. The safety of gun owners and others around them can only be truly safe if strict gun laws are enforced through education and order. But what the world must not forget is that people who are mentally ill are getting a hold of guns, thus causing tragic and unnecessary deaths due to loose laws.
Countless incidents have occurred in recent American history in which masses of people are killed because a mental ill person (or, mentally ill people) have got hold of a firearm. What can stop this ongoing series of murders across America that are caused by mentally unwell persons? The answer would be for the United States to have stricter gun control laws, and also place a stricter emphasis on mental health awareness. In this video, a young man from Costa Rica mentions that if one wants to purchase or obtain a firearm, that they must “take a psychological test.” It is said that America has these same laws, but people who are a threat to society when they are armed, such as the mentally ill, somehow get a hold of these lethal weapons.
With the anniversary of America’s haunting Columbine Massacre a little more than a month away, it is important to bring these discussions on mental health and weapon possession to the surface. Another young man speaks out on mental health and school shootings in this Vice segment. He mentions that, “[those who are responsible for the most famous school shootings] are all psychologically disturbed people who are still able to get their hands on guns.” I think these tragic events would come to an end if there were stricter gun laws in America as well as more outlets for the mentally ill.
If the United States placed stricter laws, people around the world could feel safer knowing that strict rules are enforced. It is also important that people are educated on firearm safety. But just as stricter gun laws are important, so is the mental health aspect of gun possession. America would be a safer place if laws were stricter and psychologically disturbed people were not able to use such deadly forms of “self-protection.”



Nicole
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Nicole Bernadowitsch
Re: Gun Control in America
on: March 10, 2016, 15:52

I completely agree with and support one's right to defend themselves. That being said, I do not equate 'carrying or possessing a firearm' with self defense, as this would suggest that all who reside in countries that do not allow its citizens to carry firearms are unable to adequate defend themselves. Yes, if your aggressor is carrying a gun you will have a hard time defending yourself without one, but I am confused as to how does this is an argument in favour of the right to carry firearms. If neither you, nor your aggressor can carry a gun, then chances are you can still find some way to defend yourself. Frankly I'd rather face off against someone twice my size and gunless than someone half my size with a gun. Furthermore. using guns for 'self defense' is really just perpetuating violence. It instills the idea that it is okay to shoot someone if it's for a 'good reason' (like self-defence) into people's minds. This makes people more willing to use a gun violently, as they believe that this act can be justified. Personally, I believe that gun control should be much more closely monitored and have much stricter policies. If not allowing citizens to carry them really isn’t an option than the vetting process regarding who can have one needs to be a lot stricter.



KitaSDS
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Kita
Re: Gun Control in America
on: March 18, 2016, 18:48

This topic of gun control continues to be a problem in America as being extremely dangerous. Where once it was an understandable right to keep guns, such as for protection of land from wild animals or previous state conflicts, these old excuses are comparitively subdued by the go rising issue of mentally unstable Americans having such easy access to guns. The post that initiated this thread exemplifies this concern that has only risen in the number of accounts in the past 2 years. As well, past literary works such as The Beast in the Jungle takes part in the opposing side of the mentally unstable and how terrifying the situation is for the person who may conduct these acts, partitially because the are unwell and unaware of their actions until the unfortunate finality of their death. In Jame's work, the end for the mentally disturbed individual ends their life by suicide, alike to many accounts of people with socially and mentally perturbed issues, often more so than not is the issue focused on when that person has done a crime, such as the attack on the school. This focus on the mentally unstable as being the sole culprits of this problem is extremely unsuitable for Americans to consider, especially when health care particularly for mental well being is usually expensive and un-reachable to those who need it most, where as guns are more accessible to the public than a child's Kinder surprise egg within the country. Americans need to realize, along with how they veiw mental health patients, that the accessible ownership of guns needs better control, and perhaps abolished considering that the state's are no longer at war with each other.



harry094pa-
rk
New Member
Posts: 4
Harry Park
Re: Gun Control in America
on: March 21, 2016, 13:34

In my opinion, there is clearly an inherent combative aspect of the American national identity. Possibly one of the most telling comparisons is to that of the Swiss, who are undoubtedly the exact antithesis of the Americans. Switzerland also has a strong gun culture (sharpshooting in the countryside is actually a sport deemed appropriate for all ages), as many European cultures still conscript men between the ages of 20-34, and train them in use of weapons. Despite this, there are only 0.5 gun homicides per 100,000 - compared to 5 per 100,000 in the US.

What can be deduced from this? Well, the Swiss conscript mainly due to a sense of paranoia; they're a tiny and neutral country, so the threat of a surprise invasion could theoretically overwhelm them very quickly, hence the mass proliferation of weapons easily accessible to every reserve soldier. However, at the root of it, guns are actually treated with the due respect in Switzerland, while in America they are glorified in hip hop music, in popular cinema, and even on the news by lobbyists. The culture that the USA has in regards to guns - as tools that are needed to defend self rather than one's nation - is what I would argue leads to the types of human beings that would actually argue for teachers in American schools being given guns. How ridiculous.

(source: http://world.time.com/2012/12/20/the-swiss-difference-a-gun-culture-that-works/)



MonikaPecz-
ko
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
monikapeczko
Re: Gun Control in America
on: March 28, 2016, 01:23

One of the most unsettling aspects of American law and culture is the acceptance of guns in family households. I was recently in America, and the family we stayed with expressed the total comfort they felt in having a weapon in the home, and the sense of peace and comfort that came with it. I am not suggesting that all Americans feel this way, I wouldn't impose that kind of generalization. However, with school shootings showing up more and more often on the news, it certainly provokes frightening lines of thought. It is strange, as a Canadian where ownership of one is illegal, that the complete opposite is the case for our neighbours. It is good to know that organizations are being formed to combat the availability of guns, but is it ever enough? This passage of the article was particularly shocking:

However, an analysis of the legislative changes in the last year across the states shows an expansion of gun rights. Since December 2012, 27 states have passed 93 laws expanding gun rights, while only 43 gun control laws have passed, according to a map published by PBS Frontline and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence this week.

This statistic is discomforting to say the least. What is more unsettling is the desensitization to violence that is a constant threat to attitudes about gun control, not only in America, but across the world. Children and young teenagers are playing games where they are taught proper gun use and terminology, and put face to face with enemies who bare no face. They are able to strip the humanity of their opponents and see them only as the subject of their hunt. This is a dramatization, of course. The debate of video games and their psychological effects on the younger generation is never-ending. But with guns so readily available and these games gaining in popularity, the potential for more of these shootings is constantly present. After reading this article, another came to mind. Also published in 2013, it was about an incident that had occurred earlier that year.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2309272/Why-Americans-SHOULD-allowed-guns-says-man-caught-home-intruder-held-police-arrived.html

The brief summary at the top of the article reads:

- Eric Martin, 46, reveals how burglar broke in to his home in St George, Utah
- Fearing for fiancée and her son, he brandished weapon and captured man
- Gun-rights activists fear new controls could harm self-defence efforts

If you take a look at the article, I found the pictures alone to be unsettling. The sentiments of the piece even more so:

In the weeks since the Connecticut school shooting, some of the most intense debate has swirled around how to keep guns from criminals without infringing on the ability of lawful gun owners, like Mr Martin, to protect themselves and their families.

Gun control will infringe on the abilities of lawful gun owners. That seems like a logical inevitability. Quoting the director of Pew's political polling unit:

'On both sides of this, the safety issue is front and centre,' he said. 'For most people, this is not a casual choice. There's a sense of safety that gun owners associate with having that gun and there's a clear sense of risk that non-gun owners associate with guns.'

It's the safety found in having something so dangerous in the home that I find strange. Safe storage of firearms is another issue altogether. Yes, the guns provide a way for families to protect themselves, but in the end are they really? Another incident comes to mind, of a 3rd grader who "accidentally" brought a gun to school, assuming it was a toy:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/3rd-grader-brings-gun-to-school-accidentally-shoots-classmate_us_55df09b7e4b0e7117ba8e89e

Luckily, no one was severely injured in the incident, though a bullet did graze a classmate's leg. Are guns this normalized that they are left in areas accessible to their children? If the gun is to protect you, I would assume it would have to be somewhere easily accessible to you in the event of an emergency. Does this accessibility not also increase the risks of theft of the firearm? I am not well informed enough to offer any solutions to the issue, but as a Canadian, part of a country that regulates gun use so strictly, I see nothing but the potential for violence and death in the rights of Americans to own firearms. Incidents like the tragedy at Sandy Hook attest to this.



jennynicol-
le
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Jenny
Re: Gun Control in America
on: March 31, 2016, 14:09

I think the gun control is a very subjective issue because where people live and what they're exposed to. Gun violence has in-deed caused many domestic problems within the country causing many citizens fearing for their safety. But, in contrast regulations that govern and administer weapons to the public have to be held accountable to the fact that severe background and medical checks have to be undergone in order to issue a gun permit to a citizen. With all the mass shootings that have taken place, most perpetrators have been identified as having mental illness, questioning how they were able to get their hands on firearms in the first place. Stricter laws need to be in place of who may possess and carry a firearm, but not neglecting civil liberties in the process. In Canada, the chances of you carrying a gun openly in public is illegal, but in the united states the leniency has led to many unforeseen problems. I agree with SN_America's point, if gun's were controlled and restricted, ways to possess illicit weapons would increase the price and cost of firearms making them less appealing to people. Support from both parties makes this a very grave topic for many citizens because guns and weapons have been a civil liberty rooted in American culture making it hard to restrict. Martial law, police misconduct and civil infringement also ties into why many people feel the need to stand up for they're rights to bear arms.



MoriahA
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Moriah Altmayer
Re: Gun Control in America
on: April 7, 2016, 22:30

I think it interesting and important to compare the gun laws in America to outside countries and it is also important to compare the statistic of gun violence within each respective country. This article I think does a good job at doing that : http://www.cfr.org/society-and-culture/us-gun-policy-global-comparisons/p29735. I think one of the biggest arguments for gun rights in America, is that it is in the constitution. However, there was precedence at the time for such a claim to be included in the countries constitution. At the time the country was in a revolution. The right to bear fire-arms would have had a greater importance to the country at this time. At least, that's my opinion.

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