Opinion on the ban
British- Handguns should be legal
8.6% (20)
8.6% (20)
British- Handguns shouldn
38.6% (90)
38.6% (90)
Country with legal handguns- Handguns in Britain should be legal
30% (70)
30% (70)
Country with legal handguns- Handguns in Britain shouldn
5.6% (13)
5.6% (13)
Country without legal handguns- Britain should have legal handguns
2.1% (5)
2.1% (5)
Country without legal handguns- Britain shouldn
13.7% (32)
13.7% (32)
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Poll: UK Pistol Ban: Opinions

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GoaThief:

As you'll notice above, it's really not a national news event. Roughly 10,000 recorded crimes involving firearms a year or to put it another way, 29 gun crimes every single day.

Do those include robbers spray painting a watergun to look real? This (and many other cases) are classed as gun crime even though my pencil is a deadlier weapon.

Unless those statistics magically say how many involve actual firearms they don't tell us how much of a issue it is. Saying 'there's 29 gun crimes a day' doesn't mean squat when most of the crimes are probably using fake weapons. We all have a fear of having a gun pointed at us, we're not likely to notice if it's a real one or just a cheap toy. Either way it's classed as gun crime and gets added to these statistics.

No, those are real guns. Not toys, not air pistols/rifles. Plenty of newspapers have covered it if you're in doubt.

Where is your evidence that the vast majority of gun crime involves spray painted water pistols and similar fake weapons?

This opinion may surprise you, coming from an American who staunchly supports a reasonable level of gun ownership.

Keep the gun ban. Unlike the US, and indeed nearly all countries around the globe, keeping illegal guns out of your country is fairly simple for you guys, island nation and all that. Since criminals in your country are far less likely to have a handgun, downgrading to LTL defensive weapons for civilians makes far more sense for you than it does for us.

GrimTuesday:
I think that there is no point to having a handgun besides shooting other people, so why not just take it off the table. I've never understood people attachment to guns, unless its a family heirloom (I'll likely be inheriting some), it really serves no purpose unless you live way out in the middle no where. Most advocates claim that they need them for defensive purposes, or because when they are all gone, only the criminals will have them, but ultimately the odds of you being attacked in a way that would require you to use a gun are pretty slim, and in most cases are situations that a knife would work just fine in.

The first thing handgun owners are taught in a self defense course is how to get an aggressor to back off without firing a shot, and without shedding a drop of blood, something that is INCREDIBLY tough to do with any other form of self defense. It is a trump card that allows even the weakest of us to stand up to the strongest of attackers.

P.S. Brandishing a knife when you aren't actually trained in its use is a great way to end up bleeding out with it stuck in your throat. Hand to hand combat is very difficult to master, and nearly all of the serious criminals a person might face will know significantly more about it than they do.

GoaThief:
No, those are real guns. Not toys, not air pistols/rifles. Plenty of newspapers have covered it if you're in doubt.

Where is your evidence that the vast majority of gun crime involves spray painted water pistols and similar fake weapons?

The Home Office report the article was based off says that more than a quarter of the reported crimes are confirmed as being with imitation weapons. This is just the ones where this is 100% confirmed because a weapon was recovered, etc. The amount of firearms that actually were imitation is somewhere above 25%, but we don't know how high because the police aren't going to be able to catch the criminal and get their weapon in every single case. How many of these incidents were confirmed as being with a live gun? If you provide that data then we could possibly extrapolate a rough estimate.

It's also worth mentioning that the level of fatal AND serious injuries fell (55 and 438 annually to 49 and 368 annually, respectively). The reason the figures work out at 29 crimes a day are because it includes firearms crimes where there are minor injuries (This includes using imitation firearms as a club), threats (even if it was a threat with an imitation weapon) and miscellaneous firearm offences like someone not having a license for a weapon. These types of non-serious offence make up 96% of the firearms offences you are referring to.

You're conflating the crimes people are worried about (getting shot to death) with the crimes no-one really cares about (Getting a bruise from being hit with a fake plastic pistol or some farmer having problems with a license for a gun he has).

Never seen, touched, heard or been shot by a gun and I do not live in what can be called a "good" area.

Dont need guns, dont want guns. I dont understand the logic of "Too many people are being shot, clearly we need more guns!".

Heronblade:
This opinion may surprise you, coming from an American who staunchly supports a reasonable level of gun ownership.

Keep the gun ban. Unlike the US, and indeed nearly all countries around the globe, keeping illegal guns out of your country is fairly simple for you guys, island nation and all that. Since criminals in your country are far less likely to have a handgun, downgrading to LTL defensive weapons for civilians makes far more sense for you than it does for us.

GrimTuesday:
I think that there is no point to having a handgun besides shooting other people, so why not just take it off the table. I've never understood people attachment to guns, unless its a family heirloom (I'll likely be inheriting some), it really serves no purpose unless you live way out in the middle no where. Most advocates claim that they need them for defensive purposes, or because when they are all gone, only the criminals will have them, but ultimately the odds of you being attacked in a way that would require you to use a gun are pretty slim, and in most cases are situations that a knife would work just fine in.

The first thing handgun owners are taught in a self defense course is how to get an aggressor to back off without firing a shot, and without shedding a drop of blood, something that is INCREDIBLY tough to do with any other form of self defense. It is a trump card that allows even the weakest of us to stand up to the strongest of attackers.

P.S. Brandishing a knife when you aren't actually trained in its use is a great way to end up bleeding out with it stuck in your throat. Hand to hand combat is very difficult to master, and nearly all of the serious criminals a person might face will know significantly more about it than they do.

I honestly don't think that a handgun is needed though. I would much rather just give someone my wallet than shoot them. Or, in the case where you have someone breaking into your house, get a baseball bat, or a fucking shotgun, you don't need a handgun to defend yourself.

On the knife front, come on, its not that hard to stab someone with a knife, its really not. As they say, "stick them with the pointy end".

GoaThief:

senordesol:

Hilarious. That a person can look at one of the lowest gun crime rates in the developed world, and spew complete bollocks like "it's done absolutely nothing for public safety".

No, it's not bollocks. The only person getting aggressive and talking it is your dear self. Home Office statistics;

image

You speak as if there's a firearm-equipped thug on every street corner in every estate in the land, when in reality gun crime is rare enough that it's a major national news event.

As you'll notice above, it's really not a national news event. Roughly 10,000 recorded crimes involving firearms a year or to put it another way, 29 gun crimes every single day.

wow 10,000 a year huh.

that would be really scary if say Britain had...maybe 70,000 people in it...(which would put it roughly on par with "catching" cancer as something that might affect your life)...as opposed to 70 million which makes it virtually a statistical anomaly in a country where real crime rates and the publics "fear of crime" are two vastly different and disproportionate things...

PS small note: the home office is a politicised mouthpiece for whoever is in office in it at the time whether they are tossing out scare stories to justify legislation or massaging them to give the impression of success in a given policy area. if you want the best "uncoloured" figures you can get from the the UK government go to the Office of Nation Statistics:

image

image

image

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/crime-justice/crime/violent-and-sexual-crime/index.html

Overhead:
These types of non-serious offence make up 96% of the firearms offences you are referring to.

Since when was threating with or pistol whipping someone a non-serious offence? lol

95% too, source?

Where I lived in the UK the police patrolled with submachineguns on a regular basis, I'm sure that's just for those saturday night revellers who get a bit rowdy. No such thing as gun crime in the UK, it's totally safe despite being 6 times more likely to be assulted or robbed in London than New York. o.0

Sleekit:
/snip

Try to debunk and spin official statistics all you want, yours show pretty much the same thing.

As I said previously (the thing that has upset people so), the ban has done absolutely nothing for public safety.

GoaThief:
Where I lived in the UK the police patrolled with submachineguns on a regular basis, I'm sure that's just for those saturday night revellers who get a bit rowdy. No such thing as gun crime in the UK, it's totally safe despite being 6 times more likely to be assulted or robbed in London than New York. o.0

Sorry to butt in here, but I can't seem to find the bit where he states that no gun crimes ever happen in the UK. I've looked, and I just can't find the post you seem to be referring to. Could you give me a link so I can find it?

Karma168:

That could only work if:

a) She actually thinks to go for her gun, panic responses would make it difficult to think that clearly
b)the gun's within quick, easy reach (i.e she's not having to dig it out a bag while off balance)
c) She has a decent balance, how hard is it to aim in any way if you're being pulled about? I'm going to say quite hard.
d) The rapist doesn't see the gun and simply take it off her. He has her shocked, off balance and in a tight space; he clearly has her overpowered.

A gun is a great weapon in theory but in reality you have to overcome; shock, panic, confusion and more basic reactions to think clearly enough to react in this kind of way. It takes months to train a soldier and they still have to deal with these things, what hope do civilians have?

You've proven his point. At worst: she gets the same thing she would have gotten had she not been armed. At best: she walks away unharmed. Seems like it's worth a shot (NPI), eh?

Oh, and might I recommend not tempting people to not utterly destroy that parting snipe of 'what hope to civilians have'? Trust me, you will get SO many links to examples of Defensive Gun Uses that it won't even be funny.

GoaThief:

Sleekit:
/snip

Try to debunk and spin official statistics all you want, yours show pretty much the same thing.

As I said previously (the thing that has upset people so), the ban has done absolutely nothing for public safety.

your perception of public safety and your perception of the effectiveness of said "ban".

i sought to "debunk" and "spin" nothing. i merely gave you the correct and preferred source for UK "government statistics" and to put said statistics IN PERSPECTIVE.

the stone cold fact is Britain currently has the lowest rates of violent crime it has had in decades (the third graph i posted from the ONS clearly shows this) but public perception and "fear of crime" that is at "an all time high" (and that clearly includes you...).

the reason for this imo is not an increase in people being the victims of crime but a vast increase in the dissemination of information both via the population themselves and through the modern 24hr sensationalist news media...and, it has to be said, the machinations of duplicitous and manipulative politicians of all political hues...

Karma168:
a) She actually thinks to go for her gun, panic responses would make it difficult to think that clearly

In times of crisis one does not rise to the occasion but instead falls back to their base level of training. If she was as well trained then as she is now, the man who attacked her would have been facing cold steel rather than a quivering woman.

b)the gun's within quick, easy reach (i.e she's not having to dig it out a bag while off balance)

She carries on her strong side at the 5 o'clock position. That is the absolute ideal for most people.

c) She has a decent balance, how hard is it to aim in any way if you're being pulled about? I'm going to say quite hard.

At that range? Easy. Apparently you have never been in a biathlon or three gun meet. If I can load and shoot a rifle on the run and then pull out my pistol and shoot at moving targets (while moving myself), and THEN pull out a shotgun, fall to a prone position and hit every clay thrown, I think she can hit a guy only a couple feet away from her.

d) The rapist doesn't see the gun and simply take it off her. He has her shocked, off balance and in a tight space; he clearly has her overpowered.

He never would have seen it until it was too late. He was on the wrong side to see her draw and in the confusion he never would have noticed her right hand (he didn't notice it when he slammed it in the door.

A gun is a great weapon in theory but in reality you have to overcome; shock, panic, confusion and more basic reactions to think clearly enough to react in this kind of way. It takes months to train a soldier and they still have to deal with these things, what hope do civilians have?

Actually civilians are typically better than soldiers. We actually train. Soldiers have requirements they have to meet but those requirements are typically not required. Case in point, there was a helicopter unit about to deploy to Iraq and they were going to take their qualifications. Problem was that they did not have any ammo. So they just ran around the course saying "bang!". Plus, unlike soldiers, we civilians use firearms that are more suited to each person. Soldiers are issued their firearms. Finally, if she was as well trained then as now she would have reacted appropriately.

BTW you are missing one basic concept. In the 5 stages of violent crime "the interview" is the point at which the criminal decides whether or not you are his/her target. A person trained in self defense is trained to fail the interview. She passed. She noticed the car prior to being attacked (she thought they were looking at the house numbers) and if she had reacted appropriately she might have deterred the attack before it ever began. Even if she could not, she still would have been better prepared to deal with the attack.- http://www.self-defense-mind-body-spirit.com/5-stages-of-violent-crime.html

You see this I the problem that anti-gunners have. The title of Massad Ayoob's landmark book is "In the Gravest Extreme". He picked that title because the use of a firearm must be in the gravest of extremes. He gives several tips and tricks on how to defer or stop an attack before it even beings. Anti-gunners seem to think that if we are in a self defense scenario we are just going to pull leather and let loose. That is not how it works. Statistically, most defensive guns uses include brandishing and no shots being fired. Even more CHLs manage to defer the attack before it even happens.

So yes the UK police is not 100% unarmed, I won't argue that but the proportion is so tiny the UK police as a whole can be said to be unarmed.

There are about 7,000 officers that are allowed to carry firearms in the UK. Which means that about 1 out of every 21 officers is armed. That is pretty significant. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/parliamentary-business/written-ministerial-statement/police-firearms-09-10/police-firearms-09-10?view=Binary

senordesol:

You've proven his point. At worst: she gets the same thing she would have gotten had she not been armed. At best: she walks away unharmed. Seems like it's worth a shot (NPI), eh?

Oh, and might I recommend not tempting people to not utterly destroy that parting snipe of 'what hope to civilians have'? Trust me, you will get SO many links to examples of Defensive Gun Uses that it won't even be funny.

Actually, at worst, the attacker takes her gun and shoots her instead. But the thread isn't about that one particular case, is it. Still, the presence of a gun, yeah it would have made a difference, most likely. But we can only speculate what kind of a difference.

Also, a gun isn't the only thing that might have made a difference. Thinking that "Need to defend oneself" = "Need to carry a firearm" is just stupid.

GoaThief:

Overhead:
These types of non-serious offence make up 96% of the firearms offences you are referring to.

Since when was threating with or pistol whipping someone a non-serious offence? lol

When you only get a non-serious injury for it like a bruise and it is in the context of a comparison to being shot to death.

95% too, source?

The Home Office Statistical Bulletin, Crime in England and Wales 2007. The same source that the graph you are quoting your information was based on, but which you obviously didn't check to examine the context of.

Where I lived in the UK the police patrolled with submachineguns on a regular basis, I'm sure that's just for those saturday night revellers who get a bit rowdy. No such thing as gun crime in the UK, it's totally safe despite being 6 times more likely to be assulted or robbed in London than New York. o.0

The first half of this is anecdotal evidence and therefore completely irrelevant.

The second half is going to be a sticky situation because crimes will be classified differently. For instance around 2005 the level of recorded assaults in the UK doubled because more minor injuries which previously wouldn't have been classed and reported as assault were now included.

Having said that, going of government sources and comparing the Greater London Area versus New York State, the latest figures I can find for both show New York has a robbery rate of 5.5 per 1000 vs London's 4.5. For Assault, New York has 7.2 vs 7.0 for London even though London is classifying far more different types of crime as assault (Chipping a tooth, a broken nose, extensive bruising, etc as well as more serious assaults) while the New York stats only shown the more serious assaults.

Perhaps you are going off different figures like Central London vs Manhattan rather than Greater London vs New York State, but even if that is the case (seeing as you haven't explained how you are getting your figure I can't say), the fact that I can easily pull up figures which show the exact opposite of what you are saying should show that at best this is far from clear cut and at worst that your figures are bogus and New York does have the worse crime rate.

I would be quite interested in hearing how you got New York having six times less crime though.

Vegosiux:
Also, a gun isn't the only thing that might have made a difference. Thinking that "Need to defend oneself" = "Need to carry a firearm" is just stupid.

Obviously what is needed is an overarching approach (read my above post for more) however in many cases have a firearm gives a person a fighting chance at survival or in her case a chance to save herself from a god awful end. Hell, she was lucky they didn't kill her. Since they didn't catch them they do not know why they spared her but it could have easily gone the other way.

GrimTuesday:

I honestly don't think that a handgun is needed though. I would much rather just give someone my wallet than shoot them. Or, in the case where you have someone breaking into your house, get a baseball bat, or a fucking shotgun, you don't need a handgun to defend yourself.

On the knife front, come on, its not that hard to stab someone with a knife, its really not. As they say, "stick them with the pointy end".

In all too many cases, one's wallet is not the only thing on the line, particularly for women. In addition, as I just mentioned, you don't have to ever fire a gun to get some use out of it. There are several cases for example where women managed to get a would be rapist to back down using a gun that was unloaded. One of those cases I know of involved a man known for butchering his victims after finishing with them.

As for the knife, the problem isn't knowing which end goes where, its preventing some thug who is stronger and more agile than you are from catching your arm and twisting it until you drop the thing. Even if you do manage to "Stick them with the pointy end", landing a disabling blow right from the start with a simple knife is... unlikely. Unless you have training, you're more likely to piss them off and/or make them desperate than anything else, at least to begin with, and if you do have training, your bare hands make for a more versatile weapon anyways for most situations.

Vegosiux:

senordesol:

You've proven his point. At worst: she gets the same thing she would have gotten had she not been armed. At best: she walks away unharmed. Seems like it's worth a shot (NPI), eh?

Oh, and might I recommend not tempting people to not utterly destroy that parting snipe of 'what hope to civilians have'? Trust me, you will get SO many links to examples of Defensive Gun Uses that it won't even be funny.

Actually, at worst, the attacker takes her gun and shoots her instead. But the thread isn't about that one particular case, is it. Still, the presence of a gun, yeah it would have made a difference, most likely. But we can only speculate what kind of a difference.

Also, a gun isn't the only thing that might have made a difference. Thinking that "Need to defend oneself" = "Need to carry a firearm" is just stupid.

Farson beat me to it. Suffice it to say, a firearm may not be what is strictly required to defend one's self, but that does not mean it won't get the job done either. See, the thing about criminal assailants is: you have no idea what their intentions are for you. That being given, you have no reasonable guarantee of safety once they've 'done their business' as it were. Ergo, I cannot find fault in someone looking to get a leg up if they need it.

Sleekit:
]your perception of public safety and your perception of the effectiveness of "the ban" after the fact.

If I'm wrong prove it.

Demonstrate exactly how the ban on pistols has improved public safety. Also, why is it plenty of other European countries do not have similar bans yet have less gun related crime?

the stone cold fact is Britain current has the lowest rates of violent crime it has had in decades (the third graph clear shows this)

What is that graph in relation to exactly? Either way, what bearing does that have on the ban on pistols? As an aside, you may find this interesting.

Heronblade:

As for the knife, the problem isn't knowing which end goes where, its preventing some thug who is stronger and more agile than you are from catching your arm and twisting it until you drop the thing. Even if you do manage to "Stick them with the pointy end", landing a disabling blow right from the start with a simple knife is... unlikely. Unless you have training, you're more likely to piss them off and/or make them desperate than anything else, at least to begin with, and if you do have training, your bare hands make for a more versatile weapon anyways for most situations.

And that's not the risk with guns, how exactly?

Just about the same argument can be used for pretty much anything. Guns, knives, pepper spray, tazers, giraffes...if your attacker is physically stronger and more agile than you, it's entirely possible that whatever you have will be taken from you and used against you.

Overhead:

When you only get a non-serious injury for it like a bruise and it is in the context of a comparison to being shot to death.

Of course it's less severe than dying, but it's still a very severe crime. Sorry, but I cannot take anyone who seriously attempts to downplay pistol whipping as no big deal - ditto threatening life with a deadly weapon (firearm).

I would be quite interested in hearing how you got New York having six times less crime though.

http://bit.ly/Mozgmf
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-25671/Violent-crime-worse-Britain-US.html
http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-londons-met-police-vs-new-yorks-nypd/7562

knifes are predominately used in British criminal circles specifically because they are used non-lethally.

most criminals in the UK frown heavily on the use of guns.

why ?

because if you slash some idiots face wide open in revenge for a slight the police will hardly be involved if at all.

shoot them on the other hand (even non-lethally) and you move a whole raft of British law enforcement authorities interest in you (and your business) on to a whole new level...

said "slashed" idiot is "marked", can make reparations in lieu of any said slight and be of use and the fact you will go that far has been illustrated (thus serving a great deal of the purpose).

if they simply want you to come to harm (with no connection being made to them) they'll subcontract to some "aright man?" junkie who doesn't even know their real name.

if a real criminal really wants rid of you...you'll just disappear.

i've...led an "interesting" life...and the despite moving in those circles and living on one of Scotlands worst housing estates for decades i've only ever seen 5 guns.

one was an ex-farmers shotgun in the possession of a guy with a decades old warrant for attempted murder on a "they'll never take me" trip and 2 others where chromed Berettas flashed around no end by two Israeli coke dealers no one wanted anything to do with (they were waaay to full of themselves, their guns and their product and didn't last long). the 4th and 5th ?..well i'm not going to go into that atm because those stories are of a more intimate personal nature.

GoaThief:

the stone cold fact is Britain current has the lowest rates of violent crime it has had in decades (the third graph clear shows this)

What is that graph in relation to exactly?

it shows total violent crime from 1981 to 2010...as clearly stated.

here's the source: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/crime-research/hosb0111/?view=Standard&pubID=864212

are you really going to post reports from the mail and the telegraph (from years ago i might add) ? you do understand these are mouth frothing tabloids with their own firmly entrenched agendas in that department yes ?

Overhead:
Our rate of gun homicides is incredibly low. More than twice as low as Germany and more than thirty times lower than the US and ours is currently falling (all this is as of a 3/4 years ago, might have changed since then but likely not drastically).

If someone robs a store with some imitation hand-gun that probably doesn't even fire, I believe that counts as a gun crime but I'd much prefer that to happen than for someone to actually be shot and die with a real gun.

We should be proud of what banning guns has done.

But the rate of knife crime has sky rocketed.

girzwald:

Overhead:
Our rate of gun homicides is incredibly low. More than twice as low as Germany and more than thirty times lower than the US and ours is currently falling (all this is as of a 3/4 years ago, might have changed since then but likely not drastically).

If someone robs a store with some imitation hand-gun that probably doesn't even fire, I believe that counts as a gun crime but I'd much prefer that to happen than for someone to actually be shot and die with a real gun.

We should be proud of what banning guns has done.

But the rate of knife crime has sky rocketed.

yes, yes we often have to dodge the razor gangs in Glasgow now...oh wait that was the 1920s & 30s...

it's all mostly bullshit.

trust me i'd know. if it did exist as bad as "the media" and politicians make out it would be right outside my door and i'd be hearing about it every week.

the fact is "they" want you scared.

the more underlying fear there is the more "permissions slips" and political power you will hand "them".

the great irony is social control through fear parallels why many career criminals use knifes as their weapon of choice...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/datablog/2012/apr/12/london-knife-crime

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7780057.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7421534.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8368310.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7988310.stm

all old reports btw but the point is still made i think.

girzwald:
But the rate of knife crime has sky rocketed.

Has it? I've been unable to find good statistics of that, only that a few high profile stabbings captured the media and created an outrage.

GoaThief:
http://bit.ly/Mozgmf
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-25671/Violent-crime-worse-Britain-US.html
http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-londons-met-police-vs-new-yorks-nypd/7562

Have you seen those sources? Two sensationalist media.

Also poor comparison. For instance sentences in the US are draconic. As a result over 1% of the population is a prisoner, and they lower their crime rate by quite simply locking people up for silly reasons. It also fails to control for things like population density. The more densely packed a population, the higher the crime rate.

And obviously the data is not controlled for willingness to report crime, or the definition of a crime. Again sticking to the US, arrangements that legalise murder like the 'castle law' artificially lower the murder rate and violent crime rate, while the impact of such acts is still there in a society. The statistics could just mean the UK is policed efficiently.

My country scores much lower, but that's in part because reporting crime is sometimes pointless, and sentences are a joke. The rate of offenders being caught is also laughable. Only a few percent for many crimes. Less than 5% for burglary for instance. You can easily leave fingerprints and hairs and fibres if you burgle a house. Forensics are known to be incompetent, destroying more samples than analysing them according to the Vrij Nederlands news backgrounds magazine. They also don't have enough capacity to do anything except severe cases, so the chances that even a full fingerprint a burglar left right on the window he smashed to get in is remote.
Other statistics however are heavily inflated. One village I used to hang out a lot for instance had four racist arson attacks in 1,5 years, skyrocketing it to nr 1 hotspot of ethnic violence almost overnight.
Wow, 'racist arson attacks'?
Well, what actually happened is some kids, frustrated about the constant abuse and violence by Moroccan immigrants, threw a burning rag against the door (2 cases) against a blind wall (1 case) and set fire to some wheelchairs left outside. Obviously outside of a few black stains and two wheelchairs losing their seating, nothing happened.

Is that an arson attack? Obviously not. Not racist either. It's just a response from frustration over lack of safety and lack of law enforcement, aided by the fact that you have to pass that mosque on the way from the pubs to anywhere else. Yet it got registered as a 'racist arson attack'.

To summarize: be carefull with statistics.

Vegosiux:

Heronblade:

As for the knife, the problem isn't knowing which end goes where, its preventing some thug who is stronger and more agile than you are from catching your arm and twisting it until you drop the thing. Even if you do manage to "Stick them with the pointy end", landing a disabling blow right from the start with a simple knife is... unlikely. Unless you have training, you're more likely to piss them off and/or make them desperate than anything else, at least to begin with, and if you do have training, your bare hands make for a more versatile weapon anyways for most situations.

And that's not the risk with guns, how exactly?

Just about the same argument can be used for pretty much anything. Guns, knives, pepper spray, tazers, giraffes...if your attacker is physically stronger and more agile than you, it's entirely possible that whatever you have will be taken from you and used against you.

Range mostly, with a knife or civilian stun gun, you must be within arms reach to use them, pepper spray has only slightly greater effective distance. Relative strength and agility will always matter with a knife, a gun on the other hand has a good chance of ending a conflict before it begins. In addition, disarming a gun is significantly more difficult, they're easier for the wielder to hold onto, and the opponent must be in control of the barrel's direction, not just position, at all times in the encounter.

I'm not trying to say that a handgun is the perfect self defense weapon. It isn't, it, like all weapons, has its flaws and its risks. What I am trying to say is that it allows someone with only minimal training to gain and hold the upper hand in a much wider variety of situations than any LTL or melee weapon that currently exists.

P.S. Giraffe? is that a local slang? The only weapon related item by that name I know of is a mobile military radar system...

Heronblade:
Range mostly, with a knife or civilian stun gun, you must be within arms reach to use them, pepper spray has only slightly greater effective distance. Relative strength and agility will always matter with a knife, a gun on the other hand has a good chance of ending a conflict before it begins. In addition, disarming a gun is significantly more difficult, they're easier for the wielder to hold onto, and the opponent must be in control of the barrel's direction, not just position, at all times in the encounter.

I'm not sure what to make of the "range" bit. Because, again, may be just where I live, but generally one doesn't think someone might be up to something shady when they're still 10 meters away. I mean, if you get physically attacked, you're already at point blank?

P.S. Giraffe? is that a local slang? The only weapon related item by that name I know of is a mobile military radar system...

Nah, I just wanted to stick something silly at the end.

GoaThief:

Overhead:

When you only get a non-serious injury for it like a bruise and it is in the context of a comparison to being shot to death.

Of course it's less severe than dying, but it's still a very severe crime. Sorry, but I cannot take anyone who seriously attempts to downplay pistol whipping as no big deal - ditto threatening life with a deadly weapon (firearm).

And I can't take seriously someone who will compare being hit and getting a minor injury with being shot to death.

I would be quite interested in hearing how you got New York having six times less crime though.

http://bit.ly/Mozgmf
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-25671/Violent-crime-worse-Britain-US.html
http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-londons-met-police-vs-new-yorks-nypd/7562

Two things

1) You are linking to a blog and a sensationalist tabloid paper, not anything reputable

2) Neither links says anything like there being a x6 difference in assualts and robberies, so I'm not sure why you're linking to them in the first place.

Heronblade:

Vegosiux:

Heronblade:

As for the knife, the problem isn't knowing which end goes where, its preventing some thug who is stronger and more agile than you are from catching your arm and twisting it until you drop the thing. Even if you do manage to "Stick them with the pointy end", landing a disabling blow right from the start with a simple knife is... unlikely. Unless you have training, you're more likely to piss them off and/or make them desperate than anything else, at least to begin with, and if you do have training, your bare hands make for a more versatile weapon anyways for most situations.

And that's not the risk with guns, how exactly?

Just about the same argument can be used for pretty much anything. Guns, knives, pepper spray, tazers, giraffes...if your attacker is physically stronger and more agile than you, it's entirely possible that whatever you have will be taken from you and used against you.

Range mostly, with a knife or civilian stun gun, you must be within arms reach to use them, pepper spray has only slightly greater effective distance. Relative strength and agility will always matter with a knife, a gun on the other hand has a good chance of ending a conflict before it begins. In addition, disarming a gun is significantly more difficult, they're easier for the wielder to hold onto, and the opponent must be in control of the barrel's direction, not just position, at all times in the encounter.

I'm not trying to say that a handgun is the perfect self defense weapon. It isn't, it, like all weapons, has its flaws and its risks. What I am trying to say is that it allows someone with only minimal training to gain and hold the upper hand in a much wider variety of situations than any LTL or melee weapon that currently exists.

P.S. Giraffe? is that a local slang? The only weapon related item by that name I know of is a mobile military radar system...

Tasers have sufficient range, are easy to handle and have better stopping power than a bullet. People forget that bullets are deadly over time. To stop someone you have to hit very specific targets, or be prepared to shoot them several times. A Taser has to hit and as long as you have kept the battery in good condition the target is going down, muscles just cannot operate properly while you are being electrocuted.

The only defense against a Taser is multiple layers of thick clothing, even then a single exposed area is enough. You also look pretty suspicious walking around in thick clothes most of the year.

As for any SD arguments made, mostly by Farson, they are only valid arguments if 100% of gun carriers took self defense courses. Most people do not have sufficient training in self defense, if they did they probably wouldn't be carrying a gun in the first place.

girzwald:

Overhead:
Our rate of gun homicides is incredibly low. More than twice as low as Germany and more than thirty times lower than the US and ours is currently falling (all this is as of a 3/4 years ago, might have changed since then but likely not drastically).

If someone robs a store with some imitation hand-gun that probably doesn't even fire, I believe that counts as a gun crime but I'd much prefer that to happen than for someone to actually be shot and die with a real gun.

We should be proud of what banning guns has done.

But the rate of knife crime has sky rocketed.

According to parliaments latest statistics on knife crime from February 2012, they can't be certain about the number of knife related crimes because until really recently they weren't separately tracking things like if someone was robbed by a guy with a knife or a baseball bat. Unless it was a homocide it wasn't recorded if a knife was involved.

However Homicide using a knife, where it is recorded, doesn't seem to have changed to any significant degree that I can identify. Also the NHS records of people admitted to hospital due to assault by a sharp object is currently at it's lowest level for a decade.

farson135:

Actually I was never in fear for my life because guns are available. I was in fear for my life because there are bad people out there.

You prefer to live in a society where you fear for your life?

Why would I be in fear for my life when my home town has not seen a murder in living memory?

Wait...what. Which one is it?

Jamaica has a gang problem first and foremost. 90% of homicides in Jamaica are gang related. Gang wielding criminals are not killing defenseless citizens, they are killing rival gang members and police in shootouts.

Actually they are killing civilians and in record numbers. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/25/30-killed-jamaica-clashes/

I never said there were no civilian deaths. Also note that while civilians were killed, they were killed in crossfire. Civilians were not being targeted, they just happened to be in the way of the gang warfare. It is a similar situation to the Mexican Cartels. You are going to have an extremely high murder rate when you have shootouts erupting in the streets.

Also, I will give you one guess to where these gangs get their guns from. While they import them from the US today, the initial influx that started the entire problem came from the CIA. The CIA armed groups opposed to the government to spread civil unrest in an effort to prevent Jamaica from forming a strong bond with Cuba. These gangs have been creating civil unrest ever since.

No they don't. They are not importing firearms from the US. They are getting guns from the US and Jamaican government but indirectly.

I said they got their guns from the government (CIA), but that was decades ago. Today they get friends and family to ship them from Florida. The USA is extremely relaxed about outgoing cargo and bribes and threats make it easy to get pass Jamaican customs, which is why very few guns are seized coming into Jamaica, most are seized on the streets. Most seized firearms in Jamaica are sent for tracing, 80% of traced firearms come from the US.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31474297/ns/world_news-americas/t/us-guns-fuel-jamaicas-gang-wars/

That is exactly the point. If you pose no threat to a criminal they are not going to kill you.

Really? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2117695/Brutal-home-invasion-Oklahoma-couple-ends-65-year-romance-meeting-blind-date.html

You severely underestimate the cruelty of many criminals.

No one denies that twisted stuff happens, but it happens extremely rarely. Being killed by a stranger in your own home makes up a tiny fraction of murders. The odds of it happening are being killed by lightning odds. There are also better ways of defending your home, security screens and doors for instance.

Criminals carry guns for the same reason you do, to protect themselves and their property. The only difference is their property is outlawed.

You need to work on your reading comprehension skills. Criminals tend not to carry during a robbery but they will carry during a drug deal. I do not deal with drug busts so criminals tend not to be armed with guns against me. Knives perhaps but not guns.

42% of Robberies in 2005 involved a firearm, seems quite a high number for something they don't do.
http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/violent_crime/robbery.html

It is not exactly the same. Anecdotal evidence is just a story with no actual statistical data. If you take a thousand people who say the have used a firearm defensively and get them to write down the situation in which they used it you have anecdotal evidence that can be arranged to provide statistical evidence.

And you have yet to even provide a source nevertheless prove that your claim is even relevant.

http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/6/4/263.abstract

Man these chains take a long time to respond to. Rest of the stuff is pretty mundane stuff about the actions of people in regards to the law. To me a guy selling 100 guns a year through a stall at a gun show is not a private seller, law says he is though. Definition of a private seller is someone who does not make a living from sales and the primary objective is not profit. Of course the fact they do not have to keep records makes it impossible to know how many sales any individual is making. You would have to be kidding yourself if you don't think there are people making quite a bit of money selling guns as a 'private seller'.

The reason I don't know anyone that has needed a gun to defend themselves is because I live in Australia and I don't hang in criminal circles.

Do we really (REALLY REALLY) need them? No, probably not, but if you really wanted to use that argument you could easily make the same case for almost all firearms. The main problem for me personally is that out of all the people who legally own guns, only a very, very small percentage of those will ever use them to commit a crime. All too often it just seems that banning firearms outright is a fairly inefficient band-aid solution to a problem, with little in the way of a guarantee. There are many countries on either side of the spectrum regarding levels of gun control that have both high and low rates of gun crime.

GoaThief:
No, those are real guns. Not toys, not air pistols/rifles. Plenty of newspapers have covered it if you're in doubt.
Where is your evidence that the vast majority of gun crime involves spray painted water pistols and similar fake weapons?

Well, I dug up a 2003 statement on the matter as part of a UK crackdown on replicas and air rifles, back then which does seem to suggest so:

Bob Ainsworth, Home Office Minister, said:

"Replica guns are often used in crime and cause real difficulties for police officers who have to decide - often in highly pressured situations - if they are real or not. A ban on carrying them in public without a good reason will help the police tackle those out to cause fear and commit crime. People who have a legitimate use for replicas - such as theatre and film use or historical re-enactment - will still be able to use them.

Air guns can be lethal and are being used increasingly by louts to damage property and terrorise their local community. These new restrictions will make it easier for the police to deal effectively with this menace - although they have powers to deal with airgun misuse, it is often difficult for officers to catch offenders in the act. Young people will still be able to use air weapons in responsible and safe environments such as gun clubs or under the supervision of adults."
http://www.cjp.org.uk/news/archive/further-government-crackdown-on-gun-crime-new-controls-on-replicas-and-airguns-13-01-2003/

And let's be honest, who outside of actors has a motive for incarrying replica weapons that is non-criminal?

I'm from Germany. Guns are allowed in a very limited fashion, for the obvious folks (police officers, for instance) as well as civilians (hunters, for sports). I feel pretty secure walking around at night knowing that I very probably won't have to deal with anybody having a gun. Considering the fact that almost all of the cases of school massacres and the like around here are connected to sports-shooters (say, a sports-shooter or the child of one who takes their parent's gun), I'd favour stricter regulations for those guns, though. Currently, people can just take their guns home with them from the shooting range, I think they should be made to lock them up securely at the club.

Since use of firearms and explosives pose a clear and present danger of harm, they should be illegal without a special permit.

If the population at large has firearms, then criminals will not only be forced to acquire them as well, but have good reason to use them pre-emptively to prevent counter-attacks. As a weapon which favours the aggressor (who have drawn and can take aim in the time you're determining that it's a situation where you legally use deadly force to defend yourself), and have no practical daily use as knives or cars do, the great potential for immense harm wins out.

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