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US democracy at work

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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamton:
    Unfortunately alcohol + stupid/irresponsible people leads to accidents... but the same can be said about absolutely anything. The problem in that formula is not the alcohol, but the stupid and irresponsible people. Give them a brick and they'd probably manage to break their foot.

    And unfortunately there are way too many stupid and irresponsible people not to have strict regulations to minimize the problem... Whether it's guns, alcohol or cars.

    Furthermore in the case of guns and alcohol, the publicity, lobbies and current tendencies are creating serious problems in society. It's way too cool to get hammered and act like Dirty Harry and Rambo and the result is not a pretty sight to see.

    When you start implementing some bans and regulations and you control the publicity and advertising and tax the hell out of it as is finally being done with tobacco, you slowly start getting results.

    Some people whined when they banned smoking in schools, offices, airplanes and now in restaurants and in bars but the reality is that it starts creating a culture where it says, hang on maybe this isn't such a good and a cool thing to do. When you start seeing smokers huddled in the rain or cold outside of buildings, it doesn't look cool at all, it starts looking a little pathetic. Image has to change to start making serious headway.

    It's not about the one user doing his thing at home, it's the culture that's created around it.

  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by climber07:
    It is my view that gun ownership is the last remaining "control", if you will, against the absolute power and the complete slippage to abusive totalitarian rule.
    How?
    I mean how is it the last control?

    PS: I am not for baning guns, but for a very tight regulation and an enforced one

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyhook:
    Why do US civilians need to own guns Sleuth ?

    Is there something going on in the USA that makes your society different from the majority gun controlled modern world ?

    Regardless of gun control measures, criminals will always be able to purchase illegal hand guns, no matter how tight the gun control measures in place globally, but it still doesn't answer the reasoning why the majority of law abiding citizens need to own a concealable hand gun.

    Are all Americans paranoid about home invasions or something? It's a strange concept to me, unless you grew up in South Africa during the height of Apartheid, then I can fully understand why a hand gun might be located in the telephone table drawer in the hallway, nearest the front/back door, of the family home.

    I don't think Americans really appreciate how easy they have had it in their country, by the way they fear thy fellow human. Feeling the need to own a hand gun, reinforces that xenophobia.

    Otherwise what is the reason ? Just for the sake of ?

    Is there any rational explanation for Joe public to own a hand gun in a modern civilized metropolis ?
    Don't know, don't own one. Never even thought of owning one. Never met someone who did own one until graduate school in Virginia.
    And, I was an Army officer so it is hard to hang the "liberal anti-gun" tag on me.
    To me, it boils down to the Constitution and the gun lobby. And "tradition". Apparently a lot of people grew up hunting/shooting and just want to pass down the fun. Not fun to me, but I know it is to some. And most people with guns aren't going around shooting other people with them. Most of them aren't doing anything but carrying it around the woods, really.

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuth:
    And most people with guns aren't going around shooting other people with them. Most of them aren't doing anything but carrying it around the woods, really.
    Given the percentage of Americans with guns, those woods must be crowded, dangerous places

    If you go down to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise
    A hundred million Yanks are there
    Shooting things without a care.......

    So those reddish leaves I see in the pictures of New England, is that really blood splatter?

  5. #105

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    I grew up in the USA, on a farm, and we had three guns in the house. All were used for hunting, and I guess, protection. I was taught how to use a gun around age 12-13, and the first instruction was: never point the gun at anyone, but if you must shoot someone, shoot to kill. Of course that never happened. I did learn how to use guns, and was a very good shooter, and after I left home, I never had the urge to shoot a gun, or even own one. I did learn to use a rifle in the Army, and 45cal in the Navy, but only as part of my job. I don't like guns, and would never use one again. However, I do support the ownership of guns, registered guns, and the freedom to enjoy them for sports. It is the illegal use of handguns, and various weapons in the hands of children and criminals that I do not like, and wish there was someway to ban them, but that seems impossible. The USA has many faults, but what country doesn't?


  6. #106

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    One Supreme Court Justice mentioned this issue in his dissenting opinion:

    More than half firearm deaths are suicides

    ATLANTA, Georgia, (AP) -- The Supreme Court's landmark ruling on gun ownership last week focused on citizens' ability to defend themselves from intruders in their homes. But research shows that surprisingly often, gun owners use the weapons on themselves.

    Suicides accounted for 55 percent of the nation's nearly 31,000 firearm deaths in 2005, the most recent year for which statistics are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    There was nothing unique about that year -- gun-related suicides have outnumbered firearm homicides and accidents for 20 of the last 25 years. In 2005, homicides accounted for 40 percent of gun deaths. Accidents accounted for 3 percent. The remaining 2 percent included legal killings, such as when police do the shooting, and cases that involve undetermined intent.........


    The high court's majority opinion made no mention of suicide. But in a dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer used the word 14 times in voicing concern about the impact of striking down the handgun ban.

    "If a resident has a handgun in the home that he can use for self-defense, then he has a handgun in the home that he can use to commit suicide or engage in acts of domestic violence," Breyer wrote.

    -----------------------------

    CNN is running this story today ( I am home in Vancouver now:

    Major provisions of Texas' Castle Law which they altered this year to take out the requirement of the home owner to retreat if possible. This made the law consistent with the reality that no Grand Jury would indict shooters like the one featured in this CNN story today:

    Neighbor fights back

    One Texas case in particular has attracted national attention, in part because of the circumstances: It was a neighbor, not the homeowner, confronting and killing a pair of burglars Nov. 14. I just heard the tape on 911 and he shot these two guys in the back - shot 3 times. He was not indicted by the Texas Grand Jury today.
    -----

    And the neighbor mentioned in a 911 call that a new law gave him the right to protect himself if he confronted the burglars.

    The 61-year-old Pasadena man, Joe Horn, told the police operator: "The laws have been changed in this country since September the first, and you know it."

    "You're going to get yourself shot," the operator warned.

    "You want to make a bet?" Mr. Horn said. "I'll kill them. They're getting away!"

    "That's OK. Property's not worth killing someone over, OK?" the operator said. "Don't go out of the house. Don't be shooting nobody."

    The burglars emerged from the house, carrying "a bag of loot," Mr. Horn said.

    "Which way are they going?" the operator asked.

    "I can't ... I'm going outside, then I'll find out," Mr. Horn said.

    "No, I don't want you going outside," the operator said.

    "Well, here it goes, buddy," Mr. Horn replied.

    Seconds later, Mr. Horn can be heard saying, "Move, you're dead," followed by two shots and then a third.

    "I had no choice," Mr. Horn said in a second 911 call. "They came in the front yard with me, man."

    Was the castle law designed to cover those circumstances?

    No, said the law's author, state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio.

    "You're supposed to be able to defend your own home, your own family, in your house, your place of business or your motor vehicle," he said – but not your neighbor's.

    But Mr. Edmonds said other property laws could provide a defense for Mr. Horn, whose case is under investigation.

    "The laws governing the use of force to defend property instead of a person are very broad and very favorable to someone who wants to use that force," Mr. Edmonds said.

    • Presumes you are reasonable in using force if someone – illegally and with force – enters or is attempting to enter your occupied home, car or workplace. You are not given this presumption if you provoked the person or are engaged in a crime.

    • Removes your obligation to retreat if possible before using deadly force if you are anywhere you have a right to be. The previous law obliged you to retreat if a "reasonable person" would have, except in a situation where someone unlawfully entered your home.

    • Gives you added protection from lawsuits by injured attackers or their families. Previous law granted this protection if someone illegally entered your home, but not in other situations.

    SOURCE: Dallas Morning News research

    -------------------------

    The article also states that if this sort of thing happens in north east USA urban areas, the shooters will get indicted.

    -----------------

    The reality in the USA is that there is no national criminal code. States makes their own laws governing criminal behaviour and of course the Supreme Court is the final court to ensure laws are constitutional.

    The other reality is that the USA for all the good things it does has managed to hang on to the simple belief that you need to be armed in this world for safety. It is so engrained in some parts of the USA, that it inarguable with many people. It is about rights versus things like drivers licences which are not a right.

    Last edited by Football16; 01-07-2008 at 01:44 PM.

  7. #107

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    Even more disgusting is the stuff the Republicans are putting out now that the US could experience another terrorist attack and this means that they need McCain as POTUS. No matter how honorable McCain is his party are disgusting as is President Bush who has played the fear card beautifully to get re-elected.

    I agree with ret Gen Wesley Clark that flying in a fighter plane (McCain) at 35,000 feet and getting shot down are not qualifications to be Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.


  8. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerryCo:
    The USA has many faults, but what country doesn't?
    Iran and North Korea have many faults but hey, what country doesn't...

    If they're the axis of evil, what would the UK and US be? God's alliance?

  9. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilleshk:
    Iran and North Korea have many faults but hey, what country doesn't...

    If they're the axis of evil, what would the UK and US be? God's alliance?
    There is nothing Godly about either the UK or US. In fact, I feel safer in HK than I ever did in my own country. And I think the US and UK are ready to initiate another war in Iran.

  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerryCo:
    There is nothing Godly about either the UK or US. In fact, I feel safer in HK than I ever did in my own country. And I think the US and UK are ready to initiate another war in Iran.
    Can't disagree with that

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