ForumTouchy Subjects ► U.S. Gun Laws and Shootings
What do you think of the gun laws in the United States, do you think that they are a problem and do you think that we need to get rid of them. Do you think that they cause shootings to occur and do you think that if we take them away will it affect the rate of shootings or even the death pole for them?
  
I’d like it if I didn’t have to find a security guard at Walmart who looks like he wouldn’t tolerate a guy walking inside with a 9mm (also lol at a 9mm) on his hip or one who’d take me seriously when I remind him that our state’s law doesn’t permit open carry in places where alcohol is sold.

I’d also like it if I didn’t find live rounds on the ground in parking lots every now and then and have to walk up to the nearest cop and say “Hey, I found these on the ground over there”.

Edit: my bad, I’ve been playing security guards. Double checked and open carry is allowed in places where alcohol is sold... it’s knives that are a no-no in places where alcohol is sold.
Double edit: So those laws are just city by-laws. Wow. Okay so I’ve, in fact, just been finding the right security guards.
  
I am wholly against individual rights. I do not feel that individual citizens should never have a weapon unless they have a permit to hunt, or they live a life of subsistence. Even then, they are only permitted to a single-load rifle or shotgun. For ownership, they must register their weapon, go through extensive training, must not have been involved in a crime in the last 7 years, must have never been in a domestic violence situation, and go through a grace period of no less than three months before they receive a required license to own.

For further reference, the Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

A "militia," as according to the origins of the text, is a civilian army trained and managed by the individual States. Our founders believed that a militia would be necessary states to protect themselves from tyranny like what they had encountered with King George. They had felt that the militias would protect and secure State's rights against an overreaching federal government.

A lot of people love to argue that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" is its own separate clause. However, if you read "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the free State" by itself, it does not make any sense. Yet, if you read "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the free State, shall not be infringed," it begins to make sense again. This means that the entirety of the Amendment stands as a whole and is not two separate clauses.

This is absolutely important because this was the ruling in the 1939 Supreme Court ruling of United States vs. Miller, a ruling of 7-2 was given in favor of defining the Second Amendment as rights for a militia, not rights for individual citizen ownership. This case ruled in favor of maintaining a State's right that heavily regulated short-barreled shotguns and it would be a pivotal case that would be used in further weapons regulations across the nation.

However, the ruling would only stand for roughly 70 years. In 2008, in the Supreme Court case of the District of Columbia vs. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the District of Columbia's ban on handgun ownership was unconstitutional because individual rights are a separate clause. That 5-4 decision overturned the 70-year precedent that had been set, and the five judges that had voted to overturn that ruling were, you guessed it, conservative judges. Another handgun ban in Chicago in 2010 would push the issue to the Supreme Court and would see that same 5-4 ruling. Today, conservatives tout both rulings as undeniable precedent despite the stacked court and previous 7-2 ruling that held for 70 years.

Now, let us sweep away from the collective rights (militia) issue and move towards what is happening with individual ownership. Every single year over 230,000 guns are stolen from homes and vehicles each year and is probably much more given that many of these robberies go underreported according to a national poll by multiple news agencies. The number of households owning guns is decreasing rapidly, but the number of guns in a single household is increasing at a massive rate. One of the arguments for individual ownership is for personal protection against an armed robbery. However, there is only a 7% chance that if your house were to be robbed, that the robber would be armed with a weapon of some kind. To make things more interesting, there is only a 10%-20% chance that you won't even be home during the robbery since robbers actually prefer to rob an empty house during the daytime. Then, there will be a 50% chance that you will personally know the person that robbed you. Finally, all of this fear is around while various crime rates are decreasing each year.

Another argument for individual ownership is the removal of a tyrannous government. However, this is supposed to be the duty of the State regulated militias, not individuals. If you form a "militia" in the United States, you are not forming an army, you are forming a party of vigilantes. And if you think your party of vigilantes is going to win against a tyrannous government, then you need to wake up from your Rambo fantasies and realize the truth— your little pop guns will do absolutely nothing to a military equipped with GPS guided tomahawk missiles and unmanned drones with thermal night vision. Looking back in history, no civilian army has beaten a well-equipped western army in nearly two centuries, and your little ragtag team of imposters will not be doing anything substantial to anyone.

Finally, my favorite interpretation of the Second Amendment. If you were to make the case that individual rights cannot be infringed, then you are making a case for a citizen's rights to own weapons of mass destruction. Any attempt to remove that "right" or create exceptions would be against your own spirit of the law. This means that any citizen can own something as simple as a gas bomb, to owning something as extravagant as an atomic weapon. Not only that, but you would have to extend those rights to all citizens, all citizens being your liberal, Muslim, and Hispanic neighbors. I'm thinking those that vehemently support individual rights would not be all too thrilled about the thought of their Muslim neighbors owning an atomic weapon and having the right to do so. So, maybe our forefathers were not so short-sighted about technological advancements with weaponry as many people claim they were.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Miller
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald_v._City_of_Chicago
https://www.businessinsider.com/criminals-steal-guns-from-legal-gun-owners-2017-11
.pdf; https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fshbopc0510.pdf
.pdf; https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf
  
TheDave said:
I am wholly against individual rights. I do not feel that individual citizens should never have a weapon unless they have a permit to hunt, or they live a life of subsistence. Even then, they are only permitted to a single-load rifle or shotgun. For ownership, they must register their weapon, go through extensive training, must not have been involved in a crime in the last 7 years, must have never been in a domestic violence situation, and go through a grace period of no less than three months before they receive a required license to own.
What about this BB gun I got when I was 4 and my 0.177 airgun for shooting squirrels? Or my pocket knife that I use for cutting strings and fabric and pieces of plastic and pieces of metal and maybe a toenail every now and then and opening boxes and cutting strips of bark off trees, and cutting flowers from the garden and doing just about anything you’d ever need a sharp edge for?
I mean, it’s not too hard to seriously injure and it’s not impossible to kill someone with an airgun (you’d have to be really really trying with a BB gun and even then I don’t think anyone would ever be able to kill an adult with one) but you’re more okay with me having “just one” shotgun instead? Lol while I’m at it, why 7 years specifically? What if it was tax fraud that I committed? What if it was downloading a movie? What if the domestic violence situation I was involved in was my husband punching me in front of my kids and the cops arrested us both that night? What about traffic violations? Lol I guess you can’t ever hunt or live a subsistence lifestyle if you ever parked in two spots on accident.
  
TheDave said:
I do not feel that individual citizens should never have a weapon unless they have a permit to hunt, or they live a life of subsistence. Even then, they are only permitted to a single-load rifle or shotgun.
1) Permits are often seasonal or temporary. It's very complicated, as permits and tags are usually granted on the state level. Would owning a deer rifle in the off-season be illegal? Would you have to buy a new one every year, with the same probationary period? How would you practice?
2) Some people hunt with single-action rifles. Many do not, as they find it restrictive and very impractical.

Believe me, we do NOT need to make it harder to hunt in certain places. Michigan is overrun with deer enough as it is.
  
What about this BB gun I got when I was 4 and my 0.177 airgun for shooting squirrels


Absolutely nobody would compare a child's toy to a weapon designed for killing other than a skeevy lawyer who is trying desperately to make a point. No judge would ever stake their reputation on allowing an argument like this to pass through.

Knives, cars, spoons, or a pillow; none of them matter in this debate because it amounts to nothing but trying to compare apples to oranges, and is what makes all of them nothing more than a red herring meant to derail the conversation in this thread.

By crimes, you should have inferred from the context that I meant violent crimes and grand theft. Maybe I should have made that clear, but it seems to me like you knew exactly what I was saying and instead decided to grasp at straws with bad faith attacks once again; especially after you went off the end some more with ludicrous scenarios involving the detainment of both parties in a domestic issue.

Coldfrost said:
1) Permits are often seasonal or temporary. It's very complicated, as permits and tags are usually granted on the state level. Would owning a deer rifle in the off-season be illegal? Would you have to buy a new one every year, with the same probationary period? How would you practice?


I'd say a three years period between licenses at the max before you need to turn over your weapon. You must also report your harvest to the licensing department in order to prohibit abuse. Most states already require you to report your harvest in order to keep records of populations and help combat poaching.

I do believe that commercial ranges are a viable option for people who want to practice. A commercial range can be regulated by the government whereas it is tougher to do so in a private residence. And contrary to a private residence, a commercial range is able to afford the security amenities like alarm systems and secure infrastructure.

As for them preferring a specific rifle, then I guess that they will not hunt. As per my final paragraph, I don't like my neighbors owning chemical weapons (and I'm sure neither do you). So if they want chemical weapons, then that is too bad. I have already detailed that armament ownership is a privilege and not a right, and you should not have extraneous privilege just because you have a preference.

The deer comment is derailing from the topic, but I will point out that the deer populations are so large because of hunting. Wildlife conservation has hardly ever been about preserving the entirety of the ecosystem, it has only been about preserving game animals. This especially rings true in the more conservative states. I wish I could give you my old JSTOR access because there are a few articles, one from my own environmental science professor from college, that showed that deer populations grow when under duress. As hunting increases, does start to produce more twins and begin to enter estrus ("in heat") sooner. To make matters worse, people often do not hunt the does so there are more does to produce offspring for bucks who survive. Bucks are non-monogamous and should be spending their time fighting over the does rather than mating, but since there are far fewer of them, they have less competition and more freedom to mate. So, you end up with a major overpopulation event that results in the destruction of the ecology of the nation.
  
Dude have you ever had a BB gun, wondered how much it hurt, then shot yourself in the foot? That shit breaks skin.

On top of that though, have you ever shot an air rifle? That shit will go through your skin and break bones. You can kill small mammals with it easily. Someone else here must have done stupid ass shit with airguns and got badly hurt, right?

And they make airguns with calibers that aren’t 0.177. They make ones with bullets near the same size as guns you’ve probably shot in call of duty (maybe? i don’t play those games). Like you can kill a deer and a wild hog with an airgun. Look up “airgun hunting”.

EDIT: Just to make it clear, when I say "BB", I'm not talking about airsoft guns (is that what you meant by kids' toy? They both are tbh). I'm talking about these. Definitely not something you can shoot yourself in the face with and just say "Owie that hurt a little bit".
  
Air guns are a somewhat odd case: Under federal law, an air gun is not considered a firearm, but if you use an air gun to commit a crime you may be charged as though you used a firearm; air guns are not required to have the orange tip on the barrel like you see with airsoft guns or toy guns, which means they can be very easily confused with a far more dangerous firearm.

You also don't need a license to legally own an air gun (you can buy them at Wal-Mart and many sporting goods stores), but some states do impose an excise tax on propellant canisters for the more high-power air guns. You also can get a Concealed Carry permit for an air gun; however, you may not open carry one.
  
My whole thing with bringing up airguns is just this: often times they’re just recreational things for target practice even though they are actual weapons, and it’s a lot harder to kill someone with an airgun than with any kind of firearm, magazine or not. I just think it’s a big oversight to say that it’s not okay for me to own these possibly lethal things that you really have to try to kill someone with, and be very close to them because the things airguns shoot out lose momentum really fast, and instead it’s probably better for me to have a shotgun where I could put in a slug and shoot you from across the room (a really big room) and definitely hurt you and maybe kill you if you didn’t get help immediately. Like, you’d be fine with me owning at thing that uses a small explosion to shoot a really big piece of metal, but not with me owning a few things that shoot tiny pieces of metal with either a spring or compressed air. Look, if I’m reading you wrong then tell me. And I hope I’m not coming off differently than I’m intending too. Read the first thing I posted in this thread if that context helps. I did want to ask how you felt about archery though. We all know you can mess someone up with arrows.

Wait, for real though? Is that a federal law about airguns? I’m gonna ask some attorney friends about my state’s laws and see what they have to say, but I know that if you’re at least 17 (yeah, 17, not 18) in my state then you can open carry any firearm that isn’t federally illegal (no machine guns) without needing a permit.
  
My interpretation of the stats world-wide and by state in the US (since each state has some sovereignty) suggest that places with more gun laws have less shootings. This is not to imply that I support the current legislation.

The problem with the US is that there are already too many gun owners and guns already in the states. The best way to combat this problem isn't going to be by banning firearms but to support laws requiring background checks and proper training. In time I think we will eventually see more laws that ensure gun owners are people we can trust.

In my mind, ideally any civilian who caries or even owns a home defense firearm is a certified first responder who is trained to a minimum of what the state troopers are trained to do with firearms. They should have some way to identify themselves to law enforcement and the public if they end up using their firearm for any reason. Basically, they should be wearing something that identifies them to the public in general as someone permitted to carry a firearm when they weapon. I would also expect metropolitan areas to have local laws about safe firearm storage like having a local armory where you have to keep your weapon. I realize this is improbable if not an impossible idea, but it's just what I'd ideally prefer.
  
People always talk about training. What do they mean? How not to lose your cool in danger and be an idiot and shoot someone for no reason? That’s great. Even if it’s how to shoot a gun, whatever, that’s good, but the second paragraph sounds like you’re talking about wanting some sort of town militia or minutemen. That’s what living in unincorporated zones is for.
  
From my experience, the military uses training under stress to develop people capable of responding to combat. I assume law enforcement has similar tactics albeit more suited to urban environments. My second paragraph is the 'ideal' firearm owner. I wish that they were held to the same standards as law enforcement professionals at a minimum even if they aren't ever on duty.

I get the impression that you seem to think anyone who carries a firearm is a threat to public safety, and though this is true to an extent, if you accept that there's no plausible way to eliminate firearm ownership/usage in the US then to me the best alternative is simply to ensure anyone who owns a firearm is held to a certain standard.
  
E7 said:
I get the impression that you seem to think anyone who carries a firearm is a threat to public safety
... I'm taking issue with the "It's sundown, everyone, time to put your guns up in the communal gun safe that the entire town uses" and also the "Look at me I own a gun" badge parts of what you said and this constant annoying "community" aspect that people bring up. Just let me own my damn 22, it shouldn't be that complicated. Like this idea that I need to be trained to use a 22 of all things to protect myself and other people - nonsense, especially when you consider that it's a 22. In a lot of cases, I'd probably be better off using the butt of the thing to whack people.

Yeah that's something that really gets me. Let me own a gun and not have to give a justification about trying to 1) protect myself (because you could get shot right now in your own home and you can't shoot cancer) or 2) protect other people because if I wanted that then I'd just try to be a cop or something. Especially since those are both lies because I just like this metal/wood object.

And there’s something just seriously weird about this idea of all gun owners being some sort of very loosely organized group of people who aren’t cops to protect communities. At that point, what’s it even to do with guns anymore?
  
Let's get one thing straight, .22 is very lethal. As for a local armory, I haven't worked out all the bureaucratic details so as to what actually constitutes a need for an armory or a weapon to be kept there. I'm well aware it's not practical in most cases (nor did I mean to imply a curfew on weapons there), but ideally if your weapon isn't in the armory, it is accounted for by the armory or local law enforcement and they have paperwork with each weapon's serial no. and the location you are keeping it. This may be annoying, but it's an added safety measure I imagine would likely be implemented in a future where the US has taken a more progressive approach.

It may seem like I'm imagining a world where gun owners are a loose community but it's not. It's simply a highly restrictive approach to firearm ownership. I don't think there would be nearly as many firearm owners under with these security measures. That's probably a good thing. I don't think wanting to own a weapon for the romanticized glamor of it all is justified. The average gun owner has to take the responsibility of owning a weapon seriously and be held to a certain standard or forgo their right to own one if favor of public (and personal) safety.

This idea is derived from my experience living on a military base. I don't own a weapon. I have 2 issued to me and they are kept in an armory. People who own personal weapons on a military base often have to either keep them in the armory or have them registered with the armory so that it's not so much of a problem for local law enforcement and base security to track any weapon used in crime on base among other things.
  
Imagined glamor? Are there really people who think there’s glamor in a gun? It’s a stick that shoots things. I can think of liquids more “glamorous” (I don’t even know how to use that word about an object that isn’t jewelry or something) than that. One of them is clear and has gold in it so you get to say you drank gold. I don’t like “guns” as a thing, I don’t like being around people who do. The only thing I like about guns is shooting other people’s guns at inanimate things. The gun I own? I didn’t want to throw away a piece of my dead grandpa’s stuff. It’s not on display. It’s in a safe in an attic. I don’t even own bullets. Besides a couple books with his name in it, it’s one of the only things I have to remember him by so I’m definitely gonna look at it every now and then. What is the responsibility in owning this thing? Seems pretty similar to the responsibilities I have in owning certain chemicals, except I actually use those. There are probably more responsibilities you have with owning a liter of mercury than owning a gun. Yeah I get the basic idea of how a local armory would work. Glad you’re not insisting on some sort of community. So do I need to turn in my dead grandpa’s thing that never gets removed from an attic or do I need to turn in my liter of mercury? That’s a “while you’re working on those details” question. I sort of get it through the argument that idiots ruined guns the same way they ruined a lot of chemicals.
If your idea is to ensure that we won’t have people with multiple gun safes in their homes, I get that and want that. That’s just a law I’ll simply choose not to follow if you’d like me to keep such a personal item at a communal storage facility though. What I’m thinking is that your idea seems overreaching and forgetful of rural communities.
Why do people like guns to such an extent in the first place? My chemicals at least have more uses than I can count on both hands.
  
I could see that working in certain communities, but a lot of places don't have the manpower, time, resources, or community trust to actually carry this out effectively. Small rural populations might not have the budget to hire 2-3 extra people (at least) to man the armory. Many of the communities where gun violence is such an issue already don't have the manpower or resources dedicated to enforcing laws.
I agree this would in theory help keep everyone safer. I'm just not sure how practical it would be. In areas where gun use is mostly recreational, it wouldn't be too big an issue to go down to the armory to check out your piece. In places where they're used for pest control or everyday hunting they'd need to be checked out all of the time, and at that point it's just basic registration.

Why do people like guns to such an extent in the first place? My chemicals at least have more uses than I can count on both hands.
Why do people like cars to such an extent? Or stamps?
  
Cars require a licence in every country I can think of. Why is there such a kickback on gun regulation?
  
I'd point the finger at the National Rifle Association. They used to be benevolent, even beneficial: They would offer firearms safety and competency classes. But in recent years...


"I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!"
  
Coldfrost said:
I could see that working in certain communities, but a lot of places don't have the manpower, time, resources, or community trust to actually carry this out effectively. Small rural populations might not have the budget to hire 2-3 extra people (at least) to man the armory. Many of the communities where gun violence is such an issue already don't have the manpower or resources dedicated to enforcing laws.
I agree this would in theory help keep everyone safer. I'm just not sure how practical it would be. In areas where gun use is mostly recreational, it wouldn't be too big an issue to go down to the armory to check out your piece. In places where they're used for pest control or everyday hunting they'd need to be checked out all of the time, and at that point it's just basic registration.
Mainly I was thinking the ease of actually getting to the armory and also it just seems a little silly to try and control the gun count in a place with a sparse and small population whereas it seems to make much more sense to do that with urban areas.

Coldfrost said:
Why do people like guns to such an extent in the first place? My chemicals at least have more uses than I can count on both hands.
Why do people like cars to such an extent? Or stamps?
Hey, those are good questions too. I can’t understand it. Come on, I’m not talking about dudes who go and buy nice wood and get a milling machine and make their own barrels and assemble guns from scratch because they’re just into them as an actual hobby. Or people who like to collect a lot of different kinds of guns the same way people do with coins and stamps. I’m talking about people who post here and here and keep documents like this on their computers and not just because they’re weirdos who like to keep records of everything like I am but because they’re weirdos with pipebomb dreams of blowing stuff up.
  
DIAV said:
Cars require a licence in every country I can think of. Why is there such a kickback on gun regulation?


This is crucial. We treat motor vehicles as an imminent threat to public safety and regulate them to hell. You can be fined or have your car impounded for having an unsafe component up to and including an indicator under the guise of public safety, but regulating an actual weapon is somehow tyranny?
  
The idea is that gun ownership provides stronger safeguards against tyranny than car ownership - a tyrannical government could be resisted / overthrown with armed force.

I'm not sure I agree with the argument, but that's a big part of why Americans get so defensive about gun ownership, what with the mythology of the American Revolution and all that.
  
I know you likely don't subscribe to the myth, but boy I can't imagine being made unsafe because other peoples' Braveheart fantasy is a sound basis for legislative decisions.

Edit: For context, New Zealand's response to the gun fetishists was basically "fuck you." For which I'm glad.
  
The use of self-equipped militias during the American Revolution is not a myth - it's part of US history. The relevance to the present debate on modern gun ownership is debatable, but this isn't Braveheart. Self-armed militiamen actually did help American revolutionaries emancipate themselves from an oppressive government.
  
We can quibble about many things, you and I will likely strongly disagree about US history, particularly since Britain's real oppression was not letting colonists steal land west of the colonies.

As for the utility of militiae -- which George Washington found useless -- It only made sense when communication took days, and supplying soldiers involved either weeks of careful planning and transport or foraging. Warfare is totally different, the nature of government is totally different.

And just to really put the nail in the coffin: Our ancestors had an utterly casual attitude to death, there were so many crimes (large and small) that called for the death penalty the British government thought it was easier to just let judges kill people on paper and commute the sentence than actually clean up the laws relating to the death penalty in the early 19th century. I don't want to emulate colonial attitudes towards war, I don't want to live a brutal, paranoid existence.
  
I don't think modern militia is necessary, but ideally the public in general should have more people capable of being first responders. I would work toward a goal where gun owners are held to that level of responsibility which law enforcement is. It's simply not practical to enforce a ton of firearm regulation, so the CDC should be funded to research gun violence to provide better data to create legislation and regulation.
  
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