So, can we at least agree you don't need an assault rifle as a civilian?

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http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/obama-supportive-of-assault-weapons-ban-1

Look, say what you will about handguns, but you can not possibly make a reasonable argument for having an assault weapon as a civilian. Protection? Against what? 40 people raiding your house? I don't think so. If you live in Juarez Mexico, sure, but not anywhere in the states. If you live somewhere where gangs have auto weapons? Sorry, not good enough. Move away from there. The only people who could concievably need them are swat teams. And please don't bring up that you like collecting them, that is just the worst excuse.

captcha: No brainer-u serious escapist?

Edit: By assault, I basically mean ANY automatic weapon, as in more than one shot fired per trigger pull. Spray and Pray as it were

There is this billionaire in kentucky I believe, a friend of mine went to his house because his ultra conservative uncle lived with him with his family. He showed me pictures, this guy has a warehouse full of guns and ammo, multiple M16's, AK47's, UZI's, hand guns, 50.cal rifles, and of course, a fully functional APC tank. This man has enough for a militia indeed. So not needed.

edit 2: You guys can stop quoting me, I read every new post in the thread

Sure, but that depends on what we're defining assault weapon as.

'Assault weapon' doesn't mean M16-esque Assault Rifle as far as the Federal Assault Weapons Ban goes. There are quite a large number of semi-automatic rifles, shotguns (including my Mossberg), and handguns banned under the definition they use.

So no, I don't think it's a good idea.

Edit: Additionally, the ban was largely cosmetic since arms companies just started to produce legal guns that were virtually identical to the banned weapons by using loopholes. It accomplished an entire nothing.

But what if they're fun!? Probably 40% of my town has shot an empty can with an AK.

That ban... oh sweet mercy here we go again. No one I've talked to locally around my campus thinks the assault weapons ban makes any sense. It never stopped any of the major shootings of the last decade and only exists to placate the uninformed.

The idea that if everyone had more guns the shootings would stop is retarded, and Most people don't want guns!
Although I come from Aus I don't understand this whole we need our guns culture. unless your hunting (with a bolt action gun) a farmer needing to protect livestock or a police officer you have no reason what so ever to have a gun let alone a gun that in the possession of a untrained wo/man could kill dozens of people. again from different country don't know the culture but still think its dumb.

Anything that reduces weapon possession or their killing power is a step in the right direction, so sure.

Kopikatsu:
Edit: Additionally, the ban was largely cosmetic since arms companies just started to produce legal guns that were virtually identical to the banned weapons by using loopholes. It accomplished an entire nothing.

That just means you need to phrase it a bit more carefully, not that it's a bad idea. Or adopt a different approach and legislate what arms are allowed, and not which are banned, a 'no, unless' system. That way you achieve full control and there's no loopholes.

I also don't see anything wrong with the definition by the way.

As an American I don't think that fully automatic weapons should be legal.

Blablahb:
Anything that reduces weapon possession or their killing power is a step in the right direction, so sure.

Kopikatsu:
Edit: Additionally, the ban was largely cosmetic since arms companies just started to produce legal guns that were virtually identical to the banned weapons by using loopholes. It accomplished an entire nothing.

That just means you need to phrase it a bit more carefully, not that it's a bad idea. Or adopt a different approach and legislate what arms are allowed, and not which are banned, a 'no, unless' system. That way you achieve full control and there's no loopholes.

I also don't see anything wrong with the definition by the way.

There will always be loopholes. Laws have to be very specific. For example, this is the requirements for rifles:

Folding or telescoping stock
Pistol grip
Bayonet mount
Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device that enables launching or firing rifle grenades, though this applies only to muzzle mounted grenade launchers and not those mounted externally).

Note; it needs two of those to qualify as an assault weapon. I could have an AR-15 with a grenade launcher attached and it would still be considered legal, even with the ban in place. Heck, I could forgo a gun completely and just buy a tank. Which is also legal, whether the ban is in place or not. It's not even particularly difficult to acquire a tank if you really want one.

Even if you tighten the language to the point where there are absolutely no loopholes, there will be a clause that says any weapons manufactured or owned before the ban goes into effect are still permitted. Has to. Which is yet another reason why the ban is pointless, because those weapons will still exist and be rather easily obtainable.

I am pro-gun control. I'd actually support measures considered grossly unconstitutional at this point in time and thus considered fairly extreme. That said, the assault weapons ban and serious discussions containing "assault weapons" in general tend to be massive wastes of time. I've yet to meet a single person that proposed an assault weapons ban that knew dick-shit about weapons or criminal behavior. Realistically, "assault weapons" are pretty low on the priority list for anyone who knows what the hell they're talking about. Any politician proposing it is either too ignorant of the very thing they're trying to control or they know it will do next to nothing and are just pushing it so it looks like they're doing something. Besides this, the other reason I hate assault weapons bans, as least how they are currently used, is because it placates the populous and stifles any true reform.

I disagree. We totally need organized militias in this day and age. Have to protect ourselves for when the Obama Muslims invade /sarcasm/.

Predictions for this thread:

1) Award-winning mental gymnastics regarding the definition of "assault" weapons
2) Slippery-slope arguments about guns being taken away
3) Switzerland being presented as an argument-winning counter-example

So you penalize everyone because of a tiny number of people? That's not good. What about all the law abiding citizens? What about all the ones people currently have? To quote the requirements someone posted let's look at my neighbor's AK-47
Folding or telescoping stock
It's got a fixed stock so nope
Pistol grip
This it has, not the most comfortable but it's there
Bayonet mount
This it also has and the bayonet has definitely seen better days
Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
nope
Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device that enables launching or firing rifle grenades, though this applies only to muzzle mounted grenade launchers and not those mounted externally).
doesn't have this either

So my neighbor does indeed have an assault weapon. Know the problem with it? Nothing. Even I've played with it, we mounted the bayonet and had fun stabbing an empty beer case. We're not gonna hurt anyone with it, it's for his own self-defense.

Xan Krieger:
Snip.

That is bs, self defense from what? 12 armed intruders at once? That is overcompensation if I've ever heard it. If you want a gun, get a shotgun with buckshot, that will stop anyone. The fact that you have "played" with the gun is also disturbing, GUNS ARE NOT TOYS

mattttherman3:

Xan Krieger:
Snip.

That is bs, self defense from what? 12 armed intruders at once? That is overcompensation if I've ever heard it. If you want a gun, get a shotgun with buckshot, that will stop anyone. The fact that you have "played" with the gun is also disturbing, GUNS ARE NOT TOYS

Says fucking who? I play with far more dangerous things. I goof around in my car, I mess around with fireworks. I also have fired a gun at soda cans. There is all kinds of ways to have fun with things that are dangerous, but as long as you take reasonable precautions, you'll be fine. Shooting beer cans is as dangerous as doing donuts in a parking lot. Less dangerous really.

mattttherman3:
Snip

First of all, assault weapon is not the same thing as assault rifle.

Look, say what you will about handguns, but you can not possibly make a reasonable argument for having an assault weapon as a civilian.

Really?

Protection? Against what? 40 people raiding your house? I don't think so. If you live in Juarez Mexico, sure, but not anywhere in the states. If you live somewhere where gangs have auto weapons? Sorry, not good enough. Move away from there. The only people who could concievably need them are swat teams. And please don't bring up that you like collecting them, that is just the worst excuse.

Do you know what qualifies as an assault weapon? This is an assault weapon-

That IS a collectors piece. I have two m1s. One was my grandfathers and he took it through Korea with him and the other was used by a friend of mine during WW2. Are you saying that my collecting those "assault weapons" is just an excuse?

Protection- Anyway, an assault weapon does not require a large magazine. Assault weapon is a term describing firearms that have certain features (pistol grip, bayonet mount, telescoping stock, etc) and it says nothing about ammo capacity. For example, a friend of mine uses a semi-auto shotgun that would qualify as an assault weapon but it only holds 6 rounds at a time. So no forty people. Also, you are assuming that people can move. A friend of mine lives on the Arizona Mexico border. He cannot leave because no one will buy the damn place and he does not have the money to just leave it (and before you get snippy his parents bought the house decades ago).

Hunting- Most people who hunt wild pig use a semi-automatic rifle with a 20-30 round magazine. Also, the above comment still holds. Some people find those features more comfortable. And I do not see a problem with allowing people to use firearms that they are comfortable with.

Sport shooting- This is the most common thing these firearms are used for.

Edit: By assault, I basically mean ANY automatic weapon, as in more than one shot fired per trigger pull. Spray and Pray as it were

Those are already heavily regulated. There has never been a crime committed with a legally obtained assault rifle by a civilian in US history.

Also, that is not the legal of military definition for assault weapon.

There is this billionaire in kentucky I believe, a friend of mine went to his house because his ultra conservative uncle lived with him with his family. He showed me pictures, this guy has a warehouse full of guns and ammo, multiple M16's, AK47's, UZI's, hand guns, 50.cal rifles, and of course, a fully functional APC tank. This man has enough for a militia indeed. So not needed.

In your opinion. I am sure I could find many things in your home that are not needed.

Xan Krieger:
So you penalize everyone because of a tiny number of people? That's not good. What about all the law abiding citizens? What about all the ones people currently have? To quote the requirements someone posted let's look at my neighbor's AK-47
Folding or telescoping stock
It's got a fixed stock so nope
Pistol grip
This it has, not the most comfortable but it's there
Bayonet mount
This it also has and the bayonet has definitely seen better days
Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
nope
Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device that enables launching or firing rifle grenades, though this applies only to muzzle mounted grenade launchers and not those mounted externally).
doesn't have this either

So my neighbor does indeed have an assault weapon. Know the problem with it? Nothing. Even I've played with it, we mounted the bayonet and had fun stabbing an empty beer case. We're not gonna hurt anyone with it, it's for his own self-defense.

Well, if he legally owns that gun right now, no matter what ban goes into place, he'll be able to keep it legally. As mentioned, laws and regulations can't be enforced retroactively. At least not in the US.

The idea of banning "assault weapons" was decided a little over a decade ago. The Brady Campaign came up with a list of attachments and firearms that have built up a reputation. When the Brady Bill was passed, President Clinton stated himself, "Don't tell me this bill won't do anything. It will."
A few years later in North Hollywood, two men armed with weapons that were banned and wearing body-armor strolled into a bank. When they stole some money and left the building, they were met with a fleet of police cars and dozens of police officers. The two opened fire wounding over a dozen people, almost killing two. The police got so despite they went to a local gun store looking for more firepower. Later on one of the robbers shot himself in the head and the other died due to injuries inflicted by a SWAT team.
This is a clear cut case of criminals not caring what the law says.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katerina, U.S. soldiers were ordered to confiscate all privately owned firearms in the effected area. Looters were running around in the streets stealing anything of value. The only households that were not robbed were those of people who still had guns or hired private military contractors to guard their property.
In D.C. there was a handgun ban. Violent crime skyrocketed during this period. When the law was repealed, crime dropped.
There are still untamed frontiers of this country. Some citizens live in areas where bears and wolves are right in their backyard. And it takes a long time for police or animal control to come out when the nearest post office is thirty miles away.
The idea of telling people in neighborhoods where gangs run the streets to simply "move" is insanity. There is a large amount of people who cannot afford to "move." If the police require "assault weapons" to handle local crime then shouldn't those who live in the area have a similar amount of firepower to protect themselves?
Removing firearms from private ownership because they have the "big scary features" is shallow. It is similar to considering someone well educated because they have a copy of every Shakespeare play. Or thinking of a guy missing a leg as a war veteran.

Probably a dumb question, but is this directly in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary? I only ask because you specified "spray and pray" weapons that are fully automatic.

The shooter in that case had three weapons with him. A 10mm Glock 20 SF handgun, a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun (not sure on the exact model), and a .223 Bushmaster XM-15 rifle. None of these weapons were fully automatic... so it likely wouldn't have been prevented.

I'm a firearm owner. I have been for some time now. I have a .45ACP Heckler & Koch USP handgun for personal defense, a 12-gauge Remington M-870 pump-action shotgun for home defense, and a .223 Colt AR-15 HBAR for hunting and target shooting.

The AR-15 is reasonably similar to the Bushmaster XM-15 (likely completely indistinguishable to someone who doesn't know firearms, since the Bushmaster was actually based on the AR-15 design) used at Sandy Hook. You're probably wondering why I bought it, or more importantly, why I need it as opposed to something less... threatening.

I bought it for the same reason that an individual might buy a Honda Accord when a Honda Civic would have been perfectly adequate for his or her needs. I just liked the feel of it. That's about it. I don't expect to have to fend off 40 intruders, and I don't expect to have to fight a war with it. I expect to sometimes go hunting with it, and occasionally shoot at pieces of paper with it, and for those purposes it's reasonably adequate and I like the general feel of using it.

Could I do the same with a bolt-action rifle? Sure. I used to own a 30-06 Springfield M1903A4. I loved the rifle, because I'm a history buff, but I sold it because I couldn't stand how it felt to fire. It was uncomfortable. The leaf sights were atrocious, and the amount of money I would have needed to sink into getting proper optics for it was ridiculous. So I bought the AR-15 to replace it, and I've never once regretted it.

The fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, all guns are dangerous. It doesn't matter if you're talking about a little snub-nose .38 Special revolver or a huge .50AE Desert Eagle, it doesn't matter if you're talking about a little .22LR rifle or a .50BMG Barrett M82A1, it doesn't matter if you're trying to hash out the semantics behind what counts as an "assault" weapon as opposed to a regular weapon. They can all kill a person. The size of the round, the appearance of the gun, the features of the gun... none of it really matters except under extremely specific and unlikely to happen circumstances. I don't think I've ever heard of any drive-by killings done with bayonets.

The gun, regardless of design, is dangerous - but it's not the gun that you need to worry about. A gun is just an inanimate object. What you need to worry about is the person wielding it.

I've always been in support of gun control, but not in the sense of coming up with arbitrary rules about which guns you can and can't purchase (as established, it doesn't matter - they're all capable of killing). I'm more in favor of making it more difficult to actually get the gun. Things like making the screening process more strict and take longer. And once the technology catches up to the idea, I quite like the idea of biometric locks on firearms.

Rather than arbitrary bans, I think we need to spend more time focusing on keeping them away from those who will do harm with them.

And I definitely think we, as a society, need to take a closer look at why these people are shooting up schools. Figuring out the "how" is quicker and easier, but it's not going to prevent other people from snapping like this. But maybe figuring out the "why" will.

Anyway... I've made my peace on the issue, and hopefully didn't anger or offend anyone with it. For the time being, the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and their families will be in my thoughts. No one deserves what happened.

Yes they should be banned, but realistically the liklihood of someone committing a crime with them in the near future is very low.

First you should be working on increasing the standards for who can legally own a gun, tighten up the laws on reselling, close loopholes, etc. etc.

Then ban any weapon that serves no justifiable purpose. Handguns for self-defense? Logical. Hollowpoint bullets? Not a chance (an example, since I'm fairly cetain Hollowpoints are already illegal). Current hunting rifles for hunting? Of course. Things like AK-47s? No (probably will get a lot of resistance to that one). And for god's sake, no SAW's (you may think I'm just engaging in hyperbole, but on another forum someone was honestly arguing that he should be allowed to own a SAW and other similar heavy machine guns for the purpose of defending his homestead from attackers, and that all people should be allowed to own such weapons so that in the event the US military had to operate in the area they would be on their best behaviour because they would know the locals could kill them all).

Shaoken:
Hollowpoint bullets? Not a chance (an example, since I'm fairly cetain Hollowpoints are already illegal)

Not the case. Went to the range the other day and they were selling hollow points in .22. .22 for goodness sakes!

Pretty sure they're legal in all 50 states. In some cases, they're legally required to take specific game animals.

Shaoken:
Hollowpoint bullets? Not a chance (an example, since I'm fairly cetain Hollowpoints are already illegal).

Nope, hollow-points are civilian legal. The only place I know of where they were banned was New Jersey, and I think that changed recently. I know I can pick them up at pretty much any gunshop or sporting goods store in my area if I felt like it.

If anything, I'd actually promote the use of hollow-points in handguns. Against a flesh target the tip of the round flattens and expands to cause more damage. Simply put, fewer rounds needed to take down an aggressor (with some types of ammunition, a single round if not well-placed isn't going to stop an aggressor). It sounds horrifying and cold for me to say that, but there's a reason. The fewer rounds a shooter needs to fire, the less likely they're going to produce stray bullets that could potentially harm bystanders. Additionally, because of the way the round flattens on impact, it has relatively low penetration, which again reduces the likelihood of harming bystanders. On top of that, because of the sub-standard penetration, the rounds aren't particularly useful against body armor - which could potentially save the lives of police officers who wear their vests on duty.

Now if you were talking about banning ridiculous stuff like .50BMG Incendiary rounds commonly used in anti-materiel rifles like the Barrett M82 (which -are- civilian-legal), sure, I could get behind that. It's a round meant for taking out materiel and light armored vehicles. I don't think there's any legal reason a civilian would need a round capable of taking out helicopters and SUVs.

Things like AK-47s? No (probably will get a lot of resistance to that one).

How do you feel about the Radom Hunter? It's a Polish-made civilian version of the AKM assault rifle (the AKM basically being a newer version of the AK-47). This is it (or at least, it's the best image I could find of a relatively rare Polish firearm)...

It's semi-automatic, it fires the exact same 7.62x39mm round, and it accepts all AK-type magazines. The design is slightly different, but it's a very similar gun to the AK-47, but I'd like to reiterate, it's not an AK-47. It's a rifle produced for civilians for hunting, but other than that, it's really not much different from any other semi-automatic rifle out there, it just looks menacing because of the AK-47's colorful history.

Like I mentioned in my previous post... I hunt with an AR-15. Rifles like this aren't evil. The people who use them to hurt people are what's evil.

And for god's sake, no SAW's (you may think I'm just engaging in hyperbole, but on another forum someone was honestly arguing that he should be allowed to own a SAW and other similar heavy machine guns for the purpose of defending his homestead from attackers, and that all people should be allowed to own such weapons so that in the event the US military had to operate in the area they would be on their best behaviour because they would know the locals could kill them all).

An M249 SAW isn't a heavy machine gun. It's a light machine gun. A heavy machine gun would be something like a .50BMG Browning M2HB, which is typically mounted on vehicles. Semantics, I know. But yeah... I know it's not hyperbole. I know a person who was a SAW gunner when he was in the Army, and he bought his own personal one when he got out so that he could take it to the range and tear up targets with it. So I actually do know someone with an M249 SAW.

The thing is... most firearm owners out there can't own one legally. Weapons like the M249 SAW (and really, any fully automatic weapon) are pretty heavily regulated and require a lot of licensing. The type of person who gets one is generally going to be the type of person that the government is fairly certain will never actually use one for evil.

That's why the vast majority of murders committed with firearms don't involve fully automatic weapons. And usually when you do hear about it, the weapon was illegally acquired anyway.

Back when I was in high school I had a teacher named Mr. Breen. One time we were talking about gun ownership, and a friend of mine was asking him about automatic weaponry. Mr. Breen said to him, quite simply, "Son, it's not the guy who snaps and starts spraying rounds off with an Uzi that I'm worried about. He's not going to be aiming for kill-shots, most of his rounds will miss, and he's going to be out of ammunition in seconds. No. It's the guy hundreds of yards away with a hunting rifle looking at me through a scope that I'm worried about." I always thought that was a succinct way of putting down the over-hyped fear around automatic weaponry as opposed to every other type of firearm. It really comes down to who is holding the firearm, and what their intentions are.

EDIT:

And I hope I'm not coming off as a gun nut. I'm someone who owns guns, yes - but I advocate legal, safe, and responsible use and storage of them. I don't think gun ownership is something that suits everybody, and there's nothing wrong with that. I respect the hell out of firearms, because I'm keenly aware of what they're capable of doing. The moment you stop respecting them is the moment you become a danger to yourself, those around you, and society as a whole - just like with any other dangerous piece of machinery.

The people you see on YouTube who give guns to their girlfriends to fire, without any proper training whatsoever, just so that they can record the surprised reaction to the recoil and sound... those people are a disgrace to people like me. Their irresponsibility and complete disregard for safety are a major part of the problem. Gun owners like that are the ones I'd hope could be thinned out with stricter screening and licensing so that people like me don't have to be punished for their idiocy.

Are we talking about real assault rifles here or the arbitrary limits set by the AWB that basically ban weapons that look scary? I'm all for Automatic/Burst weapons being incredibly difficult to get. They're able to put down quite a bit of fire and seeing as I doubt most civilians would be able to use them accurately (IE forgetting short bursts are your friend in a high stress situation) they aren't much help anyway. However if we are saying that the difference between a super scary baby killing assault weapon and a semiautomatic rifle is a bayonet lug and threaded barrel you can go shove it.

No. I cannot agree to this until they manage to take them away from the bad guys first. My uncle NEEDS an assault rifle. He lives in the Grove. The only reason they are still alive is because they put thick metal plates in the bushes, over the windows and are armed to the teeth.

Go live in the grove and get back to me on why civilians don't need assualt rifles. You take away the bad guys guns first, then we can talk about it. Good luck with that.

mattttherman3:
http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/obama-supportive-of-assault-weapons-ban-1

Look, say what you will about handguns, but you can not possibly make a reasonable argument for having an assault weapon as a civilian. Protection? Against what? 40 people raiding your house? I don't think so. If you live in Juarez Mexico, sure, but not anywhere in the states. If you live somewhere where gangs have auto weapons? Sorry, not good enough. Move away from there. The only people who could concievably need them are swat teams. And please don't bring up that you like collecting them, that is just the worst excuse.

captcha: No brainer-u serious escapist?

Edit: By assault, I basically mean ANY automatic weapon, as in more than one shot fired per trigger pull. Spray and Pray as it were

There is this billionaire in kentucky I believe, a friend of mine went to his house because his ultra conservative uncle lived with him with his family. He showed me pictures, this guy has a warehouse full of guns and ammo, multiple M16's, AK47's, UZI's, hand guns, 50.cal rifles, and of course, a fully functional APC tank. This man has enough for a militia indeed. So not needed.

No, because Assault weapons means anything scary. Also Assault rifles are ironically safer than handguns. Assault Rifles have half the rate of people being killed by hands and feet. If one wanted to combat gun crime, banning handguns and keeping Assault rifles would fix your problem. 2011 320+ was killed by Assault rifles, 730+ was killed by hands and feet in 2011.

Why would one want a AR? Because they want one. Also, getting an AR takes some time actually, fully automatic guns also takes some time, and are expensive as hell to boot. A AK will run you $15 grand a pop.

In Australia contrary to popular belief we still have firearms. Just you requires licenses. Nearly anyone can get one for a bolt, lever or pump action rifle.

To get a semi-automatic rifle with a ten round magazine you have to prove your needs can't be meet by those other types of rifles, these can still be obtained by a lot of farmers for vermin control. To get a semi-automatic with greater than 10 rounds you need to be a professional hunter/culler.

It works and I still shoot plenty of stuff.

mattttherman3:
Snip

1. The 1994 Assault Weapon ban did not ban automatic weapons for private ownership. It had already "effectively" been banned by the 1986 "Firearm owners protection act" banning importation of automatic weapons. Ones bought before the ban are the only legal ones on the market. The supply is slowly breaking down and the remaining one is extremely expensive (a fully automatic M-16 costs around $15000 at the low end). What it did ban was a lot features that didn't make the gun more deadly, just less comfortable. Handgrips, foregrips, telescoping butt stock, detachable sites, bayonets, etc. All these just make the gun look more "military" and just make it more comfortable to hold, or doesn't add much lethality to the gun anyway. It was a complete disaster.

2. If you meant "fully-automatic firearms," you should of said "fully-automatic firearms." A gatling gun, a machine pistol, SMG, Battlerifles, all these weapons are automatic weapons that are different then what the military defines as "Assault Rifles." It makes it sound like you only know about guns via the news or hollywood, which miss uses it's terms, sometimes through ignorance, sometimes deliberitly as a buzz word.

americans need to follow the spirit of their constitution. every american has the right to own a musket but the rest of their weapons need to be banned

If by assault rifle you mean mid to high caliber rifle with selective fire (semi auto and full auto / burst), then yeah, I don't really see why a civilian would need an assault rifle. Though, I don't really see how full automatic fire would really help a crazy guy gun down civilians. It's not about how many bullets you can put down range (or at school children, in this case); it's how many actually hit.

If by assault rifle you mean rifle that can mount flashlights and has a pistol grip or retractable stock, then I don't really see why assault rifles are different from normal rifles, other than that they're a little scarier looking.

I believe the assault rifle ban covers both definitions of assault rifle, which unfortunately means some inconvenience to gun owners. However, I suppose given that it'd really be too much to ask for Congress to write a more well-researched bill, I guess this is the best that can be done, and I'm reluctantly in favor of it.

On a random note...didn't the guy shoot up the school with a pair of handguns? And not, you know, an M-16?

meh, it's not that simple, really. here in the czech republic you can have semi-auto assault rifles no problem, and even fully automatic aren't that diffiicult to obtain. i could stroll out the house now and be back in an hour with a kalashnikov and a crate of ammo for it.

despite this, stats for the czech republic:
spree killing: zero.
firearm related crimes comitted annually: 836 (so about 0.08 for each 1000 people), as compared to the 21521 gun crimes commited in the UK, where firearms are largely outlawed, in the same time frame (about 0,34 for each 1000 citizens)
so yeah, the chance of being a victim of a gun crime is 4,25 times higher in a country where you can't have any firearm really than in another country where people can carry arms and even fully automatic firearms aren't unheard of.

not saying that any idiot should be allowed to pack, but obviously there is more at play here than just number and quality of permitted firearms in circulation.

do you "need" assault weapons? of course not. we don't need cars either, strictly speaking, computers, video game consoles, TVs, cigarettes and fast food. still of course there is enthusiasts, collectors and so on. outlawing something on the basis that it isn't "needed" is a bad plan. outlawing it because it's dangerous is a better idea, but as the above example shows, the matter is obviously more complicated and prohibiting guns doesn't neccessarely make anything safer.

"Think for a moment about the concept of the flamethrowers.

Because we have them...

... Well...

We don't have them. The army has them.

That's right... We don't have any flamethrowers...

I'd say we're fucked if we had to go up against the army."

- George Carlin

dyre:
On a random note...didn't the guy shoot up the school with a pair of handguns? And not, you know, an M-16?

He had two handguns with him, a 10mm Glock 20 and a 9mm Sig-Sauer, but most of the murders were committed with a .223 Bushmaster XM-15 rifle.

Kathinka:
meh, it's not that simple, really. here in the czech republic you can have semi-auto assault rifles no problem, and even fully automatic aren't that diffiicult to obtain. i could stroll out the house now and be back in an hour with a kalashnikov and a crate of ammo for it.

despite this, stats for the czech republic:
spree killing: zero.
firearm related crimes comitted annually: 836 (so about 0.08 for each 1000 people), as compared to the 21521 gun crimes commited in the UK, where firearms are largely outlawed, in the same time frame (about 0,34 for each 1000 citizens)
so yeah, the chance of being a victim of a gun crime is 4,25 times higher in a country where you can't have any firearm really than in another country where people can carry arms and even fully automatic firearms aren't unheard of.

Statistics I found seem to contradict that. The murder rate for the Czech republic is twice that of many other European countries, and a lot higher than countries with comparable wealth.

Also in absolute numbers, for instance compared to my own country (from the Geneva report).

Czech population, about 10 million, murders in 2005: 168
Dutch population, about 16 million, murders in 2005: 198

Czech rate at those numbers: 0,0168 per 1000
Dutch rate at those numbers: 0,0123 per 1000

That means the rate in the Czech republic, mostly because of guns, the murder rate in 73% higher than in the Netherlands, which has a higher population density.

Also your numbers are incorrect. What I found was a number of 6.285 firearms incidents in 2011 for the entire UK. Your numbers are more than 3 times that. Where do those numbers come from?

dyre:
If by assault rifle you mean mid to high caliber rifle with selective fire (semi auto and full auto / burst), then yeah, I don't really see why a civilian would need an assault rifle. Though, I don't really see how full automatic fire would really help a crazy guy gun down civilians. It's not about how many bullets you can put down range (or at school children, in this case); it's how many actually hit.

Same accuracy at a higher firing speed and larger clip = more deaths.

Heck, even pumping around lead in a full classroom without any accuracy is going to claim lives.

We have gun control.

Now, I suppose the argument from gun control advocates is as scattered as arguments from gun advocates. There is little to no consensus on either side on what level of gun control is "right."
Here are some things to note, however. The weapon used at the Elementary School and Movie theater was an AR-15. It is a semi-automatic assault rifle. 'This weapon is no more dangerous than your standard hunting rifle. It doesn't "spray" bullets. Automatic weapons are not the most tactical nor are they the most reliable. The military rarely even uses automatic weapons. It really does depend.

So killers, either trained by the government or just lunatics, tend to not use automatic weapons. Automatic weapons are for non-skilled people who would rather unload a magazine and make sure they hit their target. They are also for people like me, who enjoy guns as a novelty. And they are even for hunters, who are about killing the shit out of their prey.
In general, when it comes to preventing these horrendous mass murders, going after automatic weapons is pointless. Going after all assault rifles is only in the right track if you get rid of all hunting rifles as well. However, assault rifles are RARELY used in gun related homicides. Handguns are. Handguns, in fact, are the most dangerous type of guns, for they are easy to conceal and not as expensive. However, they are the most reliable for women who need to fend off attackers for they are small and easy to use (depending on the handgun, of course.) Assault rifles are big and bulky, very difficult to conceal, and for a woman being attacked not very accessible or usable. In general, your average American prefers handguns because of its affordability and easy to carry. You are allowed to keep a handgun on your persons in states with right-to-carry laws, which is good for people whom are afraid of being attacked in dark alleys or other areas where they are at risk.

So what kind of gun control would prevent a mass murder like what we've seen in the past few years? If we had a nationwide ban of all guns, it's possible that it would be difficult for lunatics, especially those who aren't very well-connected, to get their weapons right away. A killer like John Holmes wouldn't have been stopped, for he definitely knew his shit (considering how he even rigged his entire apartment with explosives, which I will get more into detail later,) however the recent murder at the Elementary school could possibly have been prevented. Or, it would have merely delayed it. Best case scenario, the kid would have only killed his family and maybe only a few kids. Some of them would have possibly escaped, considering he didn't lock the door. In total, we could have seen a few less deaths overall, or maybe none of them could have died. It's very possible that this kid would have not been able to chop up or beat the life out of these kids after doing it to his family, since it is far more intimate to use blunt or sharp weapons than guns.

But what about explosives? They are not hard to come by, especially if you have a copy of the Anarchist Cookbook. This kid might not have been able to make devastating explosives, but John Holmes did. He didn't use them to kill those people at the theater because he had his AR-15, a grim but important fact to note. Now, rigging an entire theater to blow MAY take time, but not that much time. Maybe he could have gotten caught, but if not he would have killed even more.
And then we look at the murders at Virginia Tech. roughly 30 killed with handguns.

So an all out ban and "War on Guns" is really the only thing we could try to prevent shootings. Explosives would become the new weapon of choice for people hoping to get a lot of kills in short times, but as a country I suppose we'd deal with it then.

However, maybe disarming the populace isn't the best choice.

1. No guarantee that this will work. Prohibition rarely works in this country, and guns are pretty much everywhere in this country. There is little to nothing we can do to get rid of the guns that are already here. Not only do guns get smuggled in here, we smuggle guns everywhere else. America is a major gun nation, and a "War on Guns" would be a full-scale war that may be even more detrimental than the War on Drugs. Especially since we have enough trust issues with our police and military.

2. Disarming the populace won't necessarily make the people safer. People have used guns in self defense for many
[different cases]. More people use guns for self-defense than they do for murder. A dick load more. It's very easy for a murderer to use a knife instead of a gun, for murder tends to be by surprise. Guns for self-defense, on the other hand, are either in fire-fights or something of the such. Not to mention it's a lot harder to apprehend someone if you only have a knife, especially if you know nothing about knife fighting.
I had more reasons, but this is pretty long already.

So what CAN we do to prevent these massacres? Two main things, luckily:

1. Loosen gun control. Gun free zones are basically areas where you can't defend yourself or your family. School shootings are terrible and scary, but fear of the guns instead of the people doing the shooting is more of a problem than the tools of murder. If teachers were armed, they'd be far more likely to prevent a school shooting... like in Israel. Israel is a more dangerous place, so they keep their teachers armed. It has proven to be of good results. There's the fear of unstable teachers, but that's all it is... fear. Fear, the thing that keeps us from protecting ourselves. If a teacher wants to kill his kids, he's not going to listen to the "gun-free" rule put in place. However, another armed teacher could prevent him from doing too much damage. It's more of a fact, that the greatest threat to a mass murderer is another person with a gun.

2. Focus on the Psychology of these people. We focus so much on shifting blame, be it gun control, violent video games, or heavy metal, and we never think about the fact that these people were unstable and created by society in the first place. there are probably so many preventative measures we could have made in raising our children or spreading media that would stop these spree killings, but instead we seem to only provoke it by spreading the fear and paranoia. A lot of these people are bullied, abused, or simply not right in the head. They find that a mass murder is exactly what they need to get their emotions on the media. We as a populace eat this shit up. Whenever a tragedy occurs we start saying "omg, what a monster, he's not human, he's evil," and avoid the fact that he was human and that we are all just as capable. Maybe our Psychology isn't fucked up like his, but something made it fucked up in the first place. It's not the devil, it's not that he's an asshole, it's something to do both Neurologically and Socially that is causing this.
This is going on for awhile, so I'll cut it short here. I hope I've made my point well.

al4674:
But what about explosives? They are not hard to come by, especially if you have a copy of the Anarchist Cookbook. This kid might not have been able to make devastating explosives, but John Holmes did. He didn't use them to kill those people at the theater because he had his AR-15, a grim but important fact to note. Now, rigging an entire theater to blow MAY take time, but not that much time. Maybe he could have gotten caught, but if not he would have killed even more.
And then we look at the murders at Virginia Tech. roughly 30 killed with handguns.
So an all out ban and "War on Guns" is really the only thing we could try to prevent shootings. Explosives would become the new weapon of choice for people hoping to get a lot of kills in short times, but as a country I suppose we'd deal with it then.

Please note how purchase and use of explosives is subject to extremely strict regulations, and any misuse is considered a grave crime that carries a heavy prison sentence.

You need to prove you're certified with demolitions and prove you have a legal need to use them (like working for an explosive demolitions company) before you're ever even allowed to handle them, and the storage and processing is subject to very tight regulations aimed to prevent theft and misuse.

Basically explosives are currently subject to the 'no, unless' model that would be created if a total gun ban were to be instated in the US. Needless to say, the level of violence would drop most spectacularly if that were to happen.

Good point about other weapons being far less lethal by the way.

al4674:
1. No guarantee that this will work. Prohibition rarely works in this country

What do you base that on? Gun bans in other countries like Belgium or Australia were a smashing succes. There's no reason to assume it wouldn't work in the US. For that to hold true, a gun ban would've needed to result in no weapons being handed in at all. Call it an assumption, but I'm thinking not literally everyone is going to risk going to prison. People quite simply do disarm, and the numbers of deaths and other firearms-related violence does decrease.

Decrease quite spectacularly even, if the recent Belgian example is to be believe, where gun restrictions (on top of an already restrictive policy) cut their gun crime in half.

al4674:
2. Disarming the populace won't necessarily make the people safer. People have used guns in self defense for many
[different cases].

Not true. Self-defense with guns is a myth, and the number of additional deaths easily outweighs the hypothetical situation of effective self-defense ever occuring.

As for more guns being a solution, isn't that demonstrably false? There's this sort of shooting just about weekly in the US, despite there being more guns than citizens. If self-defense with guns was more than bullshit, there wouldn't be any shootings by now.

However, there are not just shootings, they're frequent and deadly. Proof that self-defense with guns is a myth.

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