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Thread: Santa Fe Students, Parents and Leaders Not Following the Script

  1. #11
    Administrator Dr. Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    I can't pretend to understand the attitude, but in an educated and civilised society, isn't change and progress a natural part of it? If guns are not a necessity to staying alive; I can't believe that any Americans would be so dumb as to believe that so-called 'freedom' is worth the lives of their children. Isn't it a cost/benefit equation? And where are the benefits?
    I don't think that logic necessarily comes into it. It's more complicated than that, not that I can really quantify it. To an extent, it goes back to the revolution and a distrust of government. You will hear many talk of refreshing the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots, but that doesn't explain those who are fairly ignorant of history. Perhaps it's also just an idea handed down from one generation to the next. It's not really a matter of right and left, although there are more on the left who don't equate gun ownership with more freedom. It's probably more of a separation of ideology between urban dwellers and suburban and rural dwellers.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” Mahatma Gandhi

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    Senior Member DougRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Who View Post
    While I don't in principle have an issue with gun ownership, what gives me pause is 1) the almost obsessive desire on the parts of so many to own as many guns as possible and 2) the sheer paranoia that grips some people, such that they need guns in every room of the house - just in case. I find that attitude frightening and fairly unique to America. You might expect it in places in the world that are virtually lawless, but not in the wealthiest first nation country (ostensibly) on the planet. Paranoid people are dangerous people. Perhaps someone can explain to me why some folks have such a heightened level of vigilance where their chances of getting killed in a car accident or falling in the bathroom are so much higher than being killed by a nogoodnik.
    I think it's important to separate our lack of understanding/appreciation for someone's interest in collecting and owning a thing from (1) the danger, if any, arising from that activity, and also from (2) advocacy for and justification of laws that would restrict or prohibit that activity. Anti-gun folks often bring up the statistic - true or not, I don't know - that 3% of gun owners own a large percentage of all the guns in private hands...as though that, in itself, is a public safety problem. If that stat is true, how many individuals included in that 3% have ever used a single one of those guns to murder another person, let alone perpetrate a mass killing? We can shake our heads all we want to and wonder what motivates someone to want to accumulate/collect that many guns (or anything else), but the bottom line is that unless it negatively impacts public safety, it really isn't any of our business. I would venture to guess that most gun-related murders - I'm referring to the thousands that happen, singly and in small numbers, throughout the year and may not even make it into the newspapers or other media - are committed by individuals who actually own very few guns - maybe just the one.

  3. #13
    Administrator Dr. Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougRich View Post
    I think it's important to separate our lack of understanding/appreciation for someone's interest in collecting and owning a thing from (1) the danger, if any, arising from that activity, and also from (2) advocacy for and justification of laws that would restrict or prohibit that activity. Anti-gun folks often bring up the statistic - true or not, I don't know - that 3% of gun owners own a large percentage of all the guns in private hands...as though that, in itself, is a public safety problem. If that stat is true, how many individuals included in that 3% have ever used a single one of those guns to murder another person, let alone perpetrate a mass killing? We can shake our heads all we want to and wonder what motivates someone to want to accumulate/collect that many guns (or anything else), but the bottom line is that unless it negatively impacts public safety, it really isn't any of our business. I would venture to guess that most gun-related murders - I'm referring to the thousands that happen, singly and in small numbers, throughout the year and may not even make it into the newspapers or other media - are committed by individuals who actually own very few guns - maybe just the one.
    Why then the desire to open carry weapons or even concealed carry weapons? Clearly, that is not about collecting weapons, but some pervasive belief that one's life is constantly in danger and the only solution is to be armed at all times.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” Mahatma Gandhi

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    Senior Member DougRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Who View Post
    Why then the desire to open carry weapons or even concealed carry weapons? Clearly, that is not about collecting weapons, but some pervasive belief that one's life is constantly in danger and the only solution is to be armed at all times.
    I think the notion that those who advocate for the rights of firearms owners all feel the need to be constantly armed is incorrect and overblown. Arizona is a very pro-2A place and has been an open carry state for a very long time; yet prior to concealed carry here being made a much easier thing to do from a legal and procedural standpoint - i.e., any adult lawful gun owner may do it, without a special permit - a few years ago, I probably saw fewer than a dozen non-LEO individuals openly "packing" in the first twenty years I lived here. Even if one is a strong, sincere advocate for the right to be armed in most public places, the great majority don't see the need for they, themselves, to do it, and don't want to be bothered with it.

    The point is that I don't feel the need to make something illegal simply because I think doing it is silly.

    Prior to taking on my current job, the last time I felt the need to carry, concealed, was when I lived in Memphis in the early '80s and occasionally had to go into bad parts of town late at night. I think the photos we sometime see in the media, of some doofus in Texas or Alabama walking into Taco Bell or Walmart with a rifle on his back create the impression that such behavior is common among gun owners, when the reality is very, very different. (I also tend to believe that the motivation for that kind of thing is usually less "I'm in constant danger" than it is "Hey, look at me!")

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    Senior Member DougRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    I know many Americans have grown up with guns, but so have many Americans grown up with cigarettes - does that make them OK?
    "OK" in what sense? They are legal for adult citizens to own and use, as are - in most cases - firearms. I think smoking is disgusting, and it obviously kills many thousands of people every year, but my feelings about the habit/addiction do not translate into a desire to make tobacco use unlawful.

    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Some Americans are always going on about freedoms, but any 'freedom' which reduces other people's freedoms is not a freedom (and the freedom from fear of being shot dead is a real freedom).
    No, it really isn't - not in a legal sense. It's like saying that I have the freedom not to be run down by a vehicle while crossing the street, or I have the freedom not to be struck by lightning in a rainstorm. Pedestrian deaths and injuries could no doubt be drastically decreased if governors were put on vehicle engines to keep them from going faster than 15 miles per hour; deaths and injuries caused by lightning strikes could be reduced by making it unlawful to be outside during a thunderstorm. Taking away the right of millions of sane, law-abiding citizens to own firearms - for personal and home defense, sport shooting, hunting, etc. - is every bit as radical a proposal as either one of the other two suggested above.

    Speaking of lightning, I recall what W.C. Fields said about controlling what he called "spiritus fermenti" or liquor; he said that it was "tougher than tying a hair ribbon on a bolt of lightning". Not nearly as difficult/impossible, however, as trying to outlaw firearms in a country as vast as the United States, with more than 300,000,000 of them already in private hands. Some misguided individuals throw up the examples of Japan and Britain, and suggest that the U.S. could do similarly. Guns have never existed in any great numbers in Japan, and - as you may know - the government in Great Britain has been placing serious controls on the private possession of firearms since at least the mid-19th Century. It's like suggesting that the same tactics one might use to control an unruly Cub Scout den would be effective on a squad of U.S. Marines.

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