Monday, October 6, 2008

The Great Gun Survey Results and Conclusions

I thought we'd have something more transparent and trustworthy in taking our own little poll and analyzing our own stats, but now I don't know. I tend to think we're going to see what we want to in these numbers just like we do in any other survey. And, speaking for myself, when I don't see what I want, I discount the whole thing as the product of someone's bias. I'm sure none of you do that.

My Column A is now without Tupac. As Weer'd suggested, stopping at the same traffic light in Vegas is pretty a flimsy connection. But, I have had a few dramatic events up close and personal. I'm convinced the gun made the difference.

I wondered about what Weer'd said: two people he knew killed themselves with guns. Now, I understand the guns didn't do it and I understand they could have used other means, but doesn't anyone see that the gun is so unforgiving as a means of taking one's life that its availability is a major factor? That's my idea anyway.

Bob's two Column A entries weren't all that dramatic and certainly shouldn't offset his Column C.

Although Thomas didn't provide details about his single Column A entry, even if it were an awful tragedy it would be hard to offset his Column C. His is one autobiography I'm looking forward to, as I mentioned before.

Conclusions not only from the Survey but for all the posts and comments:

1. Gun Bans or extreme gun control laws will never work and I do not support them. This is for two reasons: most gun owners won't stand for it and the criminals will continue to do their thing anyway. Yet, I do support some sort of registering and background checks, but they should be only enough to inhibit the criminals from acquiring guns easier than they can now.

2. Guns in the possession of people like Bob, Weer'd, Nomen (no survey ?) and Thomas pose no threat whatsoever and in fact increase the security of their immediate environs. But, I'm afraid that's not the case with all legal gun owners. I believe you guys have exaggerated in describing the exemplary responsible behaviour of the gun owners you know and you have downplayed the fact that in any large group of people you've got some unstable ones and some violent ones, some with anger management problems, etc. I think this is only human nature. The percentages are up for debate.

3. The fact that almost all guns are manufactured legally means that the ones in the hands of criminals are to some extent coming from the pool of legally owned guns, the number of which according to Bob S. is 65 million. Some people might want to increase that number to 100 or 200 million in order to arm not only the teachers in Texas but many more of the good guys. For me, this is wrong because the more you increase the one the more you increase the other. The percentages are up for debate.

4. The small percentage of crimes committed with guns compared to the huge numbers of guns out there, the famous 65 million, is not the point. The small number of murders is ONLY 20,000, we were told. Only? Every single one of them is serious. I think we've become numbed by the numbers. The point is, not that there's an acceptable small percentage of killings, but rather that the killings have nothing or next to nothing to do with you guys - see conclusions 1 and 2.

5. Firing weapons is one of the most thrilling and exhilarating things I've ever done. The fact that you guys, to a man, have tried in various ways to deny that makes me wonder what's up. I think it's defensive manoeuvring. Thomas said strapping on a gun was no different than attaching a flashlight to a utility belt and that there was no "exhilaration" at all involved in shooting. Yet, he said one hasn't lived until he has hunted his own steak. The latter statement sounds more believable to me.

6. Philosophically, I think Ghandi had it right and the gun enthusiasts have it wrong.

What's your opinion? What conclusions have you drawn from our little Survey or from our debates?


  1. Mike,

    A couple of points
    First, I'm glad to see you finally state that gun bans won't work.

    Second, the pool of legally owned guns, as recorded in America is over 270 Million. The 65 is the legally owned handguns

    Third, the "only 20,000" was referring to "only murders committed" with firearms. I have never made light of any murder or considered even 1 murder to be serious. Remember violent crimes committed with firearms are only 10% of all crimes committed. Murders with firearms, a subset of that number are about 75% of all murders.

    Fourth, to address your point of the most exhilarating and thrilling things done, firearms doesn't even rate up there. It is cool, but I've climbed mountains and have rock climbed and rappelled. I've para-sailed several times, remind me to tell you how the Air Force trains people for water survival. I've been at the control of an OV10 Bronco, a spotter aircraft in the Air Force. I've been lucky enough to get a joy ride in the back seat of an F-4E Phantom. Not only have I've been able to do that, but over the skies of Germany I spent 5 minutes FLYING the Phantom.
    Shooting is fun and exciting, but the most exhilarating thing I've done...not even close.

    Finally, I'm disappointed that you consider our reports "exaggerated". It seems as if you didn't get the results you expected so therefore are trying to find a way to minimize it. Sorry, but people who legally own firearms are some of the safest around. Statistics prove it, anecdotal evidence prove it and it's a fact. Car to compare involving firearms with injuries involving cars? Would you ban or highly restrict cars of they had a higher injury rate?

    Finally, on your L.A. Scorecard post, I offered a challenge. I'll offer again.

    Apply the restrictions you want to put on firearms on the right to free speech and then I'll consider it.
    Free speech has been involved in more crimes then firearms, right? So let's stop people from talking that will reduce crime?
    Don't like it on free speech, how about the right to peacefully assemble?

    Put the same restriction on other specifically enumerated, constitutionally protected rights and I'll support your restrictions on firearms.

  2. Mike, i think there will never ever be a consensus between the gun owners and you, or me for that matter. The debating brings many interesting facts to light and is all done in a respectful manner.

    I wonder if there is a statistic how many gun owners are voting rep, are pro "life" and pro death penalty.
    Are these issues connected? or not?

  3. Nice, Bob. "Guns Don't Kill People, Free Speech Does."

    That would make a bitchin' NRA bumper sticker. There's a certain amount of responsibility inherent even in Free Speech. You have the right to Free Speech, but not to use it to incite violence or cause panic (the old "screaming FIRE! in a crowded theater" chestnut).

    As for guns and suicide, I don't think that a decreased availability of firearms would curb that number, esp. since their use for that purpose tends to break along gender lines. I'm sure men would find some other way to off themselves in a manly manner if guns were not available to the public. "Suicide by Cop" springs to mind.

    Despite being a flaming, unrepentant liberal, I don't actually support a gun ban. I do, however, support background checks, waiting periods, gun safety courses, etc. That just seems like common sense to me and not an infringement of my basic constitutional rights.

    Most machines that can potentially harm the user or someone else require some sort of license or safety training course to operate. To just hand someone a gun--or forklift, for that matter--and say, "knock yourself out!" is just plain irresponsible.

    Just because the rule can't be applied to those who obtain them illegally (guns, not forklifts), doesn't make it a bad rule. If you can't wait a few days for your gun, you either a) need to plan your hunting trip further in advance next time, or b) probably shouldn't have a gun in the first place, in which case a reputable gun shop owner shouldn't want to risk his reputation by selling you one and you're welcome to score one on the street.

  4. Ooh! You posted your post while I was still writing mine, M. I'd love to see those statistics, too.

  5. M - i don't know of any formal statistics, but i'm one piece of anecdotal ("not the singular of data!") evidence of a social democratic, pro-choice, anti-death-penalty gun owner who thinks Obama's generally a stretch too far to the right... and that he's badly wrong on guns.

    i'm still voting for him, but he's nowhere near my ideal candidate. he's just sufficiently less evil than his competition that he gets my vote regardless.

    Vicki - keep in mind the old saw that "common sense is what tells us the world is flat". i'm not opposed to gun regulations out of hand, but i do want to hear an explanation for just how any proposed regulation will help to achieve just what social good, and how it will avoid any potential foreseeable negative side-effects. this goes for each of the ones you listed, too. just saying that "it's common sense" cuts no ice with me.

  6. You can hunt your own steak with a snare or a spear or a bow or a pit covered with branches and leaves....don't need firearms. People managed for millenia without them and still hunted.

  7. Oh, my column A entry was two Chicago Police Department Officers from the Austin District Gang Detail drawing their CITY ISSUED duty weapons on each other over a drunken game of billiards about 5 feet from me, putting me in the line of possible fire. No charges were ever filed and as far as Cook County, IL is concerned it never happened. I tried to get them both fired. I'd put their names in this but then I'd be up for slander since their "departmental investigation" didn't turn anything up.

    So you can also file that in why it's wrong to only let military and police have firearms.

  8. As for Ghandi:

    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn."-- Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth,

    Bet you didn't expect that didja, Mike?

    Can't cherry pick your history. Gandhi chose non-violent resistance because it was HIS ONLY RECOURSE, not by choice.

  9. For shits and giggles, let us put MLK in here too:

    "Finally, I contended that the debate over the question of self-defense was unnecessary since few people suggested that Negroes should not defend themselves as individuals when attacked. The question was not whether one should use his gun when his home was attacked, but whether it was tactically wise to use a gun while participating in an organized demonstration."-- Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?

  10. I don't think every single regulation in the legislature was designed to address the overall "social good." Some of them really are just "common sense" or for public safety. And none of the things I listed are aimed (pun intended) at keeping guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, so why do so-called law abiding citizens get so uppity about them? Is it really that much of an inconvenience?

    Your constitutional right is to bear arms. I don't see that requiring background checks and waiting periods prevents you from exercising that right. It barely even delays it.

    It takes more time to get a driver's license since you actually have to learn to operate the machinery before you take the test and receive authorization. Is the government infringing on your right to own and operate a motor vehicle by requiring it?

    I agree with Tom on the guns not being necessary for hunting steak bit. Although, I assume by steak you didn't mean beef unless you have a large wild cow population in rural TX. Venison is another story. Venison is deeeeeeeeelicious.

  11. Those Ghandi and MLK quotes rock. If there's one thing I DON'T think, it's that only police and the military should have access to firearms.

    I don't know if that's the only reason Ghandi preached non-violence, however. That could've still been his preference even if he did have access to firearms. It's just nice to have the guns handy if needed. You can afford to talk softly if you're carrying a big stick.

    That situation you were involved in was messed up, Tom. Nice to know the Blue Wall of Silence is still intact.

  12. Here's an interesting reading from a fellow somewhat more urbane than myself that owns guns, being as I'm the survivalist type...

    I've likely got more than a million of 'em....I've been having the same basic arguments for has the fellow I linked above.

  13. As to inconvenience, depending on what state you live in, the inconvenience can be quite great. Ask weer'd about the NE.

    As a Texan, I don't like playing "mother may I" with the FBI losers on Custer Drive in WV every time I transfer a firearm. I actually got my concealed license to avoid part of that hassle because in Texas, if you aren't doing anything criminal the odds of you being charged for illegal concealed carry are minimal as your right to carry is protected under the "law of travelling". The license exempts you from some of the background checking, but it still ends up creating a central repository of who owns and buys guns.

    The first thing Hitler did before his Crystal Night Debut Party was make a call the day before to have the police disarm all the Jews. Records of firearms owners having been kept "harmless as they were" by the Weimar republic for "public safety reasons." You can actually look that one up in the history books.

    Lots of my friends WILL NOT buy through a licensed dealer for that very reason. I, having studied gunsmithing and done battles with the BATF and FBI over rights issues, am not worried about the fact that they might know I purchased or traded more firearms. I'm already on the lists.

  14. public safety is a social good, although - as with most things the legislature can do - it has to be balanced against other goods, and there are several approaches to achieving it anyway.

    i don't approve of making laws just because "it's not that much of an inconvenience, and what harm could it do, it's common sense anyway". i think that's entirely the wrong approach to the law.

    that said, some possible reasons one might object to waiting periods, just off the top of my head: i've already got a shotgun. if i was going to do anything bad with a firearm, making me wait X number of pick-a-time-period's to get another firearm would do exactly no good. it would piss me off and risk making me vote against whoever proposed it, though.

    (besides, if i was going to do something bad with a weapon, well, i'm firmly of the opinion that the only real weapon is the human mind. making me wait for a firearm would just be a challenge to my dark side to think up some other way of doing whatever evil it had in mind... or something even worse. i'm creative and a geek; do not tempt me to the dark side.)

    background checks i'm all for. i'd love it if the NICS was available to private citizens, assuming any possible privacy issues could be resolved.

    mandatory training courses i'm not for, because they're not the only way to get competent with a firearm. i don't care if you learn your gun handling in a formal gun school for however many hundred dollars an hour, or for free in the back forty from your uncle bubba, so long as you can prove you learned and that what you learned is good. i would support mandatory competence tests, provided they were not priced so high or made to be re-taken so often as to be prohibitive to poorer people or working-class people.

    as i've mentioned before, i'm very conflicted about safe-storage laws. good idea in theory, but good gun safes are cost-prohibitive to a lot of folks not yet in the middle class (and to me, for that matter, even though i'm lower middle class already) and so i'm concerned about them on social egalitarian grounds.

    in theory i approve of registration. in practice i don't trust any U.S. government that much. weapons registration fails Joe Huffman's famous Jews in the Attic Test, and although i disagree with mr. Huffman on almost everything else he's ever said (i even disagree that socialized healthcare fails his test), i really like that test. i think we should all be using it a lot more often.

  15. Great Post Mike. Now here's a post with some real meat in it that we can talk about.

    First up I have to respond to Vicki. I like Nomen's addage of "Common sense telling us the world is flat".

    I'm not opposed to the background checks (I'm sure others might disagree with me on that point) and safety courses are great things so long as they're not a tool used to deprive the poor of proper tools of protection (In Boston it often costs upwards $600 just to get the paperwork nessisary to BUY a gun....this makes it very difficult for people in the low income areas *the areas where you trully DO NEED a gun* from aquiring one...tho I might add that there is zero data that shows states that require training have any less gun accidents than ones that don't....still knowlege is power)

    But waiting periods??? First up there was NEVER a "Waiting Period" law cast for the "Cooling Off Period" talk that's often mentioned. Before the NICS system came into place background checks were done by snail mail and it took about 5-10 buisness days for the police and FBI to give the all-clear. Now the same check can be done in about 10 mins with better results (The old law if paperwork was lost in the mail or an officer was slow to respond or was swamped the gun was transfered so long as no "don't sell" letter was received). Still I've got LOTS of guns at on my person right now, if I go into a gun shop today what exactly is keeping me from my new gun for a week going to do?

    Also fair is fair, Vicki: I 100% agree with your observations on the suicide thing. One of the people I know chose a gun to end her life...but she had tried pills before and was caught in the act.

    Places like Japan have triple the US suicide rate and I'd say the firearms deaths are less than 1%

    UK has maybe only a 15% difference in suicide rate, and we come from a VERY similar cultural background, yet the number of guns is VASTLY more than a 15% difference.

    Ok now down the line:
    #1: totally agree
    #2: With any set of people large enugh there any observation can be made. Still the number of criminal acts committed by lawfully held guns should hint at the percentage. Also not that Sueng Cho would fall in that number, and he only got his guns because of a technicality and an act of fellony purjury....but technically you COULD call his guns "Legally Held"....tho in acuallity they weren't.
    #3. This we could discuss. I would disagree with the reserch I've done, the more lawfully held guns in a general population the less likely the criminal population (which is a relative constant for an area) will choose a non-violent, less confrontational crime.

    If it means my car getting stolen, rather than "Jacked" I think that sounds like a good change!

    #4 another fair point, but one that can be discussed. What would those numbers look like without the number of defensive gun uses? I'd say higher, but again discussion point

    #5, I'm with Bob on this one. Pulling heavy Gs in a race car around the corner in a Power-slide, I did a rope course 30 feet up in the trees with nothing but a safety harness preventing a slip from being deadly. Riding out a heavy storm on the North Atlantic in February on a small light boat (OK that was more scary than thrilling) Being dressed in a Tuxedo in front of my family and friends as a Bagpipe played and I saw my wife come down the stairs in her wedding dress, Hell a good chunk of my sexual encounters (most of those being with above mentioned wife) I'd rate higher on the list of thrills than shooting on the firing line.

    Hell the times I've spent hours just trying to work out a flinch I've developed, or doing dry-fire work, it can be downright BORING, and there's certainly no more trill in my days in the lab now that I have a gun on me.

    Oh and the Mrs. and I don't have kids yet....I suspect that will probably top them all.

    6. Thomas dropped the famous Ghandi quote. Still I'm amazed at how many people point to his work as if it is a good representation of the interaction between Non-violence and violent opression.

    Really when you look at things that way you have to assume that somthing with drastically different with either the British and/or the Natives of India, as the more common results are the fate of the Bhudist pacifists against Pol Pot, The Chinese Invasion of Tibet, or the Myanmar take over of Burma. Tho more common still are all-out war (be it similarly matched forces like the world wars and other similar military theaters, or things like US Forces against the Native American people, or the Zulu Warriors against the British) or peacful negotiations, like the transfer of Taiwan from British to Chinese hands....or somthing in between like the reunification of Germany.

    Also even the work of Ghandi doesn't look so hot on the level of the individual. I'd love to see the end of all crime and violence, and keep my guns just for the sake of collection and sport....but I'll take going home to my wife (or her comming home to me) and eventually dying in my bed of old age surrounded by loving relatives as a near 2nd place.

    Not that I see the gangs of boston being very wowed by acts of pacifism....the money in my wallet will spend the same....and maybe a passive woman is more enjoyable to rape....of course I can't expect to understand the inner workings of such animals.

    I try to change the world through my political gun is just here to keep me in the real fight.

  16. Typed this over my lunchbreak so I didn't read Thomas's mention of New England Gun laws.

    Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont all have some of the most leinient gun laws in the nation (Vermont is probably #1 in the nation....NH is likely in the top 5, most likely #3 and Maine is probably in a 20-way tie somewhere near the top) Meanwhile my home state of Mass is probably in the bottom 3 states, Connecticut and Rhode Island not too far behind. Just for shock value have a nice read here

    When Mass passed its current restrictions of gun law legal gun owners dropped drasticlly (You need a licence just to OWN a gun here, it costs $100 plus a training course, plus many police departments require further fees and requirements dispite that being expressly illigal....and all permits may be denied for ANY reason) and violent crime EXPLODED!

    I have a Mass carry permit. To get it I had to spend more money, and intentionally choose a town that is friendly to gun owners to get it....and if an anti-gun police cheif is hired I could loose EVERYTHING on a whim. The only people the "Common sense" laws are proecting her are the criminals.

  17. Having their guns taken away was probably the least of the indignities my peeps suffered throughout the holocaust, and I find it a flimsy argument.

    Perhaps being registered made it easier for the Nazis to confiscate their guns because they didn't have to do a house-to-house search for that particular task, but it's not like they weren't coming back to round them up later anyway.

    Also, it implies that the Jews would've actually stood a chance against the Nazis had they only had firearms. Well, they did have them--and the Nazis managed to take them away nonetheless.

    And I think we all know how the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising turned out. Yes, they were able to defend themselves and make a stand, but they ended up just as dead. I don't think whether or not their guns were registered really factored into it.

  18. Vicki,

    Let's apply this:

    Your constitutional right is to bear arms. I don't see that requiring background checks and waiting periods prevents you from exercising that right. It barely even delays it.

    to freedom of speech:
    Your constitutional right is to be able to have free speech. I don't see that requiring background checks and waiting periods prevents you from exercising that right. It barely delays it.
    So, until you pass a background check you can't speak. If you want to speak on a different subject, you have to wait until the government approves that subject.

    It is patently ridiculous to try to apply those restrictions to free speech, freedom to assemble, etc but people are willing to apply them to another protected right- the right to keep and bear arms.

    As to the analogy of yelling fire in a crowded theater, that is completely missing the point on at least 2 points. There are states and cities that prevent a person from carrying a firearm...are there any cities that prevent a person from speaking? No. But there are laws that prevent the law abiding from carrying. Go around town muzzled so that you can't yell fire in a theater or commit fraud, then I'll support gun bans, ok?
    Second, the law against yelling fire in a crowded theater is a law against illegally yelling it. If there is a fire, shouldn't a person yell? So, anytime there isn't a fire but someone yells it, the law can be used to punish that person. Just like we have laws against mis-using a firearm. Laws against carrying it is like the muzzling stops a person from acting instead of punishing the criminal.

    Most machines that can potentially harm the user or someone else require some sort of license or safety training course to operate.

    This is not entirely correct, I'll use cars as an example. There is no law against anyone from driving a car on private property. I can put my 8 year old nephew behind the wheel of a car on a farm and let them go. I don't have to register any car that is only used on private property, same with inspection requirements etc. Those are only required for cars in public. Lawdog writes on this, it is well worth a read.

    And none of the things I listed are aimed (pun intended) at keeping guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, so why do so-called law abiding citizens get so uppity about them? Is it really that much of an inconvenience?

    I'll answer your last question first, Yes it is that much of an inconvenience. Texas has a fairly typical concealed carry law. I have to pay $70 (only because I'm a vet- half price), get fingerprints -only available at most spots between 8 & 5...hours I work. that means time off, lost money, get photos taken...$8 at walgreens, submit 3 different affidavits that have been notarized, take a 10-12 hour class, show competency with a firearm (won't even get into the revolver/pistol issue) submit packet, wait 90 days....ooops, government running a little behind it could be 120 to 150 days.

    All this to exercise a right that shouldn't be infringed? Yep, it is a little inconvenient but Texas is a fairly easy state on requirements.

    Want to treat firearms like driver's license, read Lawdog.

  19. "Go around town muzzled so that you can't yell fire in a theater or commit fraud, then I'll support gun bans, ok?"

    Who asked you to support gun bans? I didn't. I specifically said I don't support a ban.

  20. Okay,

    How about going around muzzled until you've had training, background check, waiting period, etc; then I'll support restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.

    The point is that most people wouldn't even consider those restrictions on any other constitutionally protected right, but somehow those restrictions become acceptable on firearms.

    I can guarantee my firearms have done less damage then Mr. Heath, the swindler's words.

  21. having one's guns confiscated seems like a small indignity compared to being rounded up like sheep, stripped naked, and gassed en masse.

    being shot dead on one's own doorstep, or somewhere nearby in one's own neighborhood, fighting an unwinnable battle with civilian weaponry against vastly superior military forces isn't the most dignified way to go, either. but you know what? i'll take that over being gassed like vermin. you don't have to if you don't want to, but i will.

    sure, i'll accomplish nothing with such a pointless last stand. sure, i'll be just as dead in the end, regardless. but if the only choice i get to make is how i am to die, then i damn well want to keep - and make - that choice for myself.

    go ahead, call me irrational or childish for wanting to pick my death if i can. won't matter to me in this (so far, hopefully) entirely hypothetical scenario - i'll be just as dead no matter what names you call me. but i've weighed those two miserable options, and i've decided there are some ways to die that i am just not willing to put up with.

    (and there are countless such hypotheticals you can play with, if you've the guts to think about them. none of us are likely to be oppressed minorities in a totalitarian dictatorship, but some of us may find ourselves in a classroom with a crazed shooter at the door, VT-style. do you choose to die huddled under your desk praying not to get shot, or do you choose to die rushing the bastard bare-handed hoping to take him down? you're just as dead either way; me, i hope i'll find the voice for a war cry as i jump him. you choose for yourself, but i ain't going out on my knees if i can help it. i just refuse to die that way.)

    that's the thing about firearms; they may not give you a viable choice, but they can still give you a choice. they may not allow you to survive, and even if you do manage to take a few of your killers down with you, that likely won't change the eventual outcome for anybody else. but, even so... your guns represent a choice. a last one, wholly symbolic, in the gravest extreme when no good choices or options remain, still they give you a choice to make. you can make it either way, but you wouldn't have it at all were you unarmed.

    and i don't want that last choice taken from me.

  22. Not sure they are your "peeps".

    Mine went Underground, IDF, and all stayed armed at all times.

    Try looking up a Chanuris in a Kiev phone book. You can find them in Jerusalem and the US, however.

    The ones in my family who didn't fight died in muddy pits and gas chambers. I grew up with kin with camp tattoos on Dad's side of the family. Maybe it's more personal to me than your "academic" perspective?

    It is said that God is always on the side of the big battalions. This is not so. God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of the best shots. -- Voltaire

    I refuse to countenance anything that would make the next "Hitler's" job easier.

    Life Member JDL
    Life Member JPFO
    Life Member GOA

    Oddly enough, the ADL considers us JDL a "terrorist organization".

    The can go suck eggs and when the time comes again, and it will, I wouldn't piss in their ears if their brains were on fire much less offer them shelter. Quislings are Quislings.
    What gallows were built for.

  23. "sure, i'll accomplish nothing with such a pointless last stand. sure, i'll be just as dead in the end, regardless. but if the only choice i get to make is how i am to die, then i damn well want to keep - and make - that choice for myself."

    I'm not so sure if I can agree 100% with that Nomen. See my above statement about pacifism on the individual scale. If cops were going door-to-door confiscating civilian-held guns (Being a Subject of Mass, all my guns are registered with the state) In my current state (Married no Kids) I'd send my wife off to her Mom's in Maine and wait it out for them to come calling for me. I would certainly die in such a confrontation, but I'm pretty sure I could take a few with me.

    To what end? The Jack-Booted Thugs of tommorow put on their pants one leg at a time...they love their wives and kids too. My hope (and that's all I'd have) is that enugh of them would love thier wives more than they hate the US constitution, and maybe after a few such "bad raids" the tide would turn.

    Just a hope....but its better than a railroad car ride to a re-education camp....

  24. I just want to reiterate one thing which seems to have been lost or ignored. I suggested that the reason we need some minimal registration policies for gun ownership in order to ensure that the criminals can't get them easier than they can on the black market. Listening to some of you guys, it sounds like you'd like no more restrictions on purchasing firearms than on hammers and saws. I say it has to be at least difficult enough to keep the riff raff away. What do you think about that?

  25. I think you should be able to buy a machine gun over the counter at Sears like you used to be able to. No background checks, no fingerprints, no taxes other than normal sales tax as if it were a hammer or a saw or a M-240 SAW for that matter.

    That is where I stand, Mike.

  26. My point was that, in the end, their guns as well as everything else were taken away, so whether or not their guns were registered didn't really factor into it. I never said they shouldn't fight, if that's what they chose to do.

    Unfortunately, not all of them had the benefit of knowing exactly what was going on in the early days, so they didn't know to be as suspicious as they should've been. American Jews over here were better informed than those in Europe, oftentimes. My husband lost a whole side of his family in Kiev because they didn't heed warnings from their relatives already in America. Their response to repeated pleas to get out was, "The Germans can't possibly be any worse to us than the Russians have been."

    And really, Tom, I don't feel the need to participate in a "Who's Jewier" contest with you.

  27. For frame of reference, as to enacting obstacles to criminal behavior:

    I live in Texas, a notoriously unfriendly state to illicit pharmaceuticals. Billions of dollars have been spent keeping them illegal. I bet at 2am I could score a gram of coke faster than you could buy a hammer at 2am and I don't know any drug people but I know where taverns are.

    Your "reasonable restrictions" are nothing more than mandatory gun owner registration and a pain in the ass to people that live in places like weer'd. They don't keep a gun one out of criminal hands just like laws don't prevent me from going and scoring blow and a prossie tonight if that were my want.

    My Ex-Provo and Ex-Israel founder friends and acquaintances, as well as some drug dealers I have met in my travels, have never had one bit of trouble getting small arms under any regime. Tanks are hard to smuggle. Blueprints to make your own Sten gun in 3 days with a hacksaw and files are easy to find if you can't even find proper ordinance.

    As long as people know how to work metals their will be firearms and making rudimentary blackpowder is not at all hard to do either.

    People who want guns, for good or ill reasons, will always have them. Creating victim disarmament laws saves nobody.

  28. Vicki, you can call your nature whatever you want and we aren't in a contest but I'll still call it as I see it. First Amendment and all that. Protected, incidentally, by the Second Amendment.

  29. Mike,

    Cars are supposed to be registered to drive on the public roadways, so are the drivers supposed to be licensed, right?

    Has that scheme stopped un-registered cars from driving on the roads? Unlicensed drivers?

    How are you going to register the 270 million firearms currently owned? Knock on my door and ask if I own a firearm, after I ask for your search warrant, I might politely ask you to leave. Think you would have as polite of a response from the gang bangers or drug dealers?

    New York has a ballistic fingerprint database, firearms added to it for 7 years.

    Though a more than 7-year-old database of new handguns sold in New York has yet to result in a criminal prosecution, ...

    I love this part:
    it's still too soon to assess it as ineffective.

    Just to be sure, that I'm not selectively quoting, let's look at more great points

    The problem has been that of more than 200,000 casings entered into the database, there have been only two hits. And though both of the hits involved separate crimes in Rochester, neither resulted in a prosecution.

    This is a registration scheme, it records what gun was sold to which person...or at least the first person it was sold to.

    But before scrapping the database as some gun advocates propose, more time on task is needed to give a better assessment of its usefulness.

    Translation, it doesn't work, but let's give it more time.

    State Police argue that it typically takes from seven to 10 years after a gun is purchased before it's used in a crime. The database was created in March 2001.

    According to the US Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco (BAFT), around 4.37 million firearms are produced in the US every year. According to "Small Arms Survey 2001", it is estimated that at least 347 million small arms were produced worldwide between 1945 and 2000.

    How much bureaucracy will it take to register every gun made or sold in the US? What about the firearms imported by Un-licensed pharmacists (drug dealers)?

  30. bob

    I've got CNC files and the equipment to make anything in the Warsaw Pact/NATO inventories in short order if there was a need.

    Outlawing inanimate objects is silly. If you took my files and blueprints away, I'd still know how to build guns and knives and do metalwork as well as improvise explosives and propellants. Gonna lobotomize all the people like me? Send us to "re-education camps"?

    I'd say the odds are low for that to happen. Especially low if we make sure nobody registers our guns.

    I just bought half of OK City's nightmare filling up both tanks and the auxiliary tank on my 4X4.

    Silly liberals and their silly laws...that's what it boils down to. And in a national emergency they'd come screaming for help to people like you and I that are prepared or die in urban hells with no idea how to grow a vegetable much less snare a squirrel.

  31. Tom--you insinuated that the Jewish people are not my people and then listed your own "credentials." If that's not a pissing contest, I don't know what is.

    Your central argument seems to be that if the laws don't work (re: drug and gun crimes), why have them? Shouldn't the question be how do we *make* them work or at least control the problem as best we can?

    Instead of everyone listing 1,000 reasons why restrictions don't decrease gun crimes, how about some ideas that might? Clearly Congress and law enforcement are at a loss.

  32. the problem with keeping the riff-raff in line, Mike, is that in these United States the class of people designated "riff-raff" tends to be elastic and expanding at the darnedest times. before one knows it, one is oneself "riff-raff".

    and, of course, there's the issue of how registration will prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. i'll take a piece of paper, write on it "registration", hand you that paper, then call you the government and the pen my gun --- now, try to use nothing but said paper to ensure bubba over there doesn't end up holding the pen somehow or other.

    about all you'll be able to do is hold me responsible after the fact. but you can already do that, by way of the dealer's record of sales (BATF form 4473).

  33. אלוהים אדירים, תודה לך על מה נתת לנו, וייתכן אתה חובט את בוגדים שלנו קרב. הם עשויים לקצור מה יש להם זרוע.

  34. Bob--

    "Has that scheme stopped un-registered cars from driving on the roads? Unlicensed drivers?"

    Of course it hasn't stopped all, but I'm sure it's stopped a lot. And if it didn't stop them, it landed them a hefty fine or a stint in the klink if they got caught. Which might make them think twice before doing it again.
    Humans break laws. That's why we have law enforcement, the judicial system and prison sentences.

    And Tom--your sweeping generalizations about liberals are insulting. I don't think many of us are the Ivy League elitists right-wingers and other groups paint us to be. I grew up in rural Pennsyltucky. Growing vegetables and trapping squirrels are the least of my talents.

  35. Vicki
    Pot, Kettle, Black:

    I've made a decision. People that reject reality don't deserve the effort of my discourse or any rescue when they get trapped in a hole they can't dig themselves out of.

    It's like trying to teach a hamster card tricks if somebody is hell bent on being stupid. I'll vote how I do and best of luck to people that live in some weird version of denial.

    It was an interesting intellectual exercise, but at the end you still have mike and vicki asking "how do we make gun laws work" when they have never worked except against subject populations.

    Pissing in the wind has gotten boring. This isn't a white flag, it's a flag of no surrender or remorse about anything I've said on these forums. You can only repeat the truth so many times before it gets boring. I'd rather be teaching the sons of Kiwanis and Rotarians and the odd Jew how to shoot or build a new rifle.

    If I want boredom from one that never gets bored rehashing the same thing I can go throw Frisbees for my border collies. Accomplishes about the same thing in the grand scheme of things.

    Good luck with your "vision thing".

    You work on your "gun control" schemes and I'll work on bringing back legalized flogging of Quislings and elitist, yet suicidal in the grand scheme, morons.

  36. Vicki, search back through Mike's archives and you may see us gun nuts trying to answer that question several times over already (as well as trying to press Mike to answer it for himself, for that matter).

    executive summary: decrease crime in general. we don't much care about gun crime in particular - we don't think you're any deader if stabbed rather than shot - but lowering the overall crime rate will likely tend to lower the gun crime rate, too, as a side benefit.

    my suggestions: first, improve the economy. (elect democrats!) second, legalize and regulate most if not all drugs; let the non-violent pot smokers out of jail on an amnesty. third, crack down on violent crime instead, and consider illegal possession/carry of guns by prohibited people a violent crime. this should result in a lot of inner-city gangsters getting locked up. ignore the inevitable cries of racism. as the economy improves and jobs appear, this side effect will diminish; if it doesn't diminish enough, crack down on white redneck meth cooks as well - heck, do that anyway. fourth, start talking about some way to actually rehabilitate prisoners, so that those few who wise up while inside can actually start their lives over and go straight when they get out.

  37. Vicki,

    Of course it hasn't stopped it, but people keep trying to impose the same schemes on firearms. Isn't a little harder to smuggle in a car then a firearm, not much but a little more difficult?

    It hasn't stopped a lot of the only stops the law abiding. You wanted suggestions, here are mine:

    1. Remove most of the restrictions and requirements for owning and carrying a firearm. Make it like a driver's license. Take a written test, a proficiency test and pay a nominal fee ($10-20). It's good for open or concealed, every city, county and state. Carrying without is treated like a driving without a license, a small fine.

    2. Increase the consequences for committing crimes with firearms. Serious jail time for any armed crimes, not just possession, but using the firearm to commit crimes.

    3. Remove most of the laws about drug use and possession. The drug trade fuels much of the firearm violence. Make the abuse of drugs carry severe consequences and any injuries or harm that befalls others also carries mandatory jail time. Use what you want, but do it where no one else can get hurt.

    4. Reform the judicial system to change the plea system. Change guilty by reason of insanity to guilty but insane. Reduced mental capacity isn't a reason to get off from committing a crime but determines length of prison stay.
    If people can't be trusted in public with a firearm, they shouldn't be in public.

    Just a few off the top of my head. Anyone else?

  38. I totally agree with all Nomen's and Bob's suggestions, except maybe the guilty but insane one unless the inmate is guaranteed to get the same quality of psychiatric treatment in prison that he or she would get in a mental institution.

    That doesn't mean I think the length of sentence should change that much, just the location. I suppose it could be decided on a case-by-case basis where the inmate would serve the first portion of his/her sentence in a psychiatric hospital and then transfer to the pen for the remainder of the sentence if s/he were determined to be "stable" at any point.

    And Tom--pot, kettle, black all right. I hope you meant that ironically about refusing to live in reality. I believe there's about as much chance of a "national emergency" occuring (short of nuclear war) that would reduce the entire country to shambles like some bad version of Mad Max as the chance of a wide-spread zombie invasion. And as far as guns go, the number 1 rule of surviving a zombie uprising is "Blades don't need reloading." Just remember to keep a long and short blade for distance and hand-to-hand combat.

    Once again, this isn't a competition--it's a discussion and exchange of ideas. At the end of the day, it's not about either side winning, but both sides coming to an agreement they can live with.

    I actually learned a good bit from it. For example, I didn't realize that the fees involved in purchasing guns could be cost-prohibitive to the poor.

    That's certainly a reason to support a substantial fee reduction to ensure all law-abiding citizens equal access. If there's one thing us "silly liberals" get our panties in a wad about, it's injustice to the poor. Especially those of us who grew up poor, and that's a lot of us.

    And yet I understand (but don't condone) why they'd be so high. The last thing any tyrannical government wants to do is make it easy for the serfs to take up arms and revolt.

  39. Vicki,

    Define "poor", please?

    I'm considered "middle class" by most standards. I have a wife and daughter that I'm greatly concerned about due to their jobs.

    One works in a hospital, the local county free hospital, not in the best of neighborhoods.
    The other works as a waitress as she goes though college. Later hours, lots of strangers, etc.
    Cost of concealed carry fees for them will be about $300. Classes are a little easier, have a friend that teaches at a greatly reduced costs. Then then costs of something for them to carry; all told we are looking at $1000 or more easily.

    The government fees are basically a 30% tax on the right to do something protected by the constitution.
    And Texas doesn't even make you jump through the hoops some states do where you have to pay just to own it.

    Thanks for keeping an open mind.

    Problem with compromise is that gun owners have been giving in for decades without getting anything back. Background checks, licensing, registration, etc. States like California and Massachusetts have approved firearm lists.

    Let's horse trade, then?
    My starting position is that open carry is the national standard. I'll agree to licensing, like driver's license for concealed carry in order to get that, okay?

    Your offer?

  40. Perhaps I shouldn't have used the term "poor," I just meant that the fees shouldn't be so prohibitive that only the rich can afford guns. But considering the number of people who do own them, I suspect that's not entirely the case. That is, if the rich only make up 1% of the population--even less if we're defining "rich" by McCain standards of anyone making $5M or up.

    And considering the cost of living in NJ, I'd lump myself in with "poor" even though we're technically middle class. Lord knows I couldn't afford $1,000 for a gun and all the accoutrements either.

    I don't have a problem with permission to carry a concealed weapon. I lived in VA for 3 yrs and PA for 24 (two very pro-gun states where carrying a concealed weapon is legal w/ permit) and I now live in NJ which has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. I can't really say that I felt any more or less safe in any of the 3.

    Open carry I'd have to mull over for a while. I'd need to read up on it before formulating an opinion as to whether or not it would be any more problematic than concealed carry. It's just not an issue that comes up very frequently in such a blue state.

  41. No compromise ia acceptable.

    I'm gonna go play Frisbee with my dogs. At least they understand incontrovertible principles and loyalty to one's pack.

    Much better use of my time then trying to educate those that refuse to be educated. They always have one more "but...." or some implausible scenario or excuse because they dearly want to believe that "gun control" other than being able to properly hit one's target is a public good, not evil and refuse to be dissuaded from that fact.

    I've got a Bill of Rights.

    That's My Patriot Act.

    You can touch the Second when you let me take all the others away from you and let me make colored people 3/5 people again.

    How's that for a "compromise"?

    Only one I'll go for.

    And REMEMBER, when you vote for sending people for MY firearms you are likely going to cause many deaths and the blood will be on YOUR hands. If you don't send people for the firearms of others, the conflict is avoided and no blood is shed.

    "Gun control" has been a failure at best, and a public massacre at worst, in every country it's been tried in. Fact of history.

    You'd make better usage of your time trying to alchemy lead into gold just like I realized I'd make better usage of my time not bothering to point out REALITY to the same people over and over again on the internet.

  42. Bob--I do have one question regarding open carry.

    And I'm genuinely asking for your opinion here, not challenging. Do you think it would have much of a negative impact on international tourism?

    I know Europeans and Canadians tend to think of us as a nation of gun-totin' Yosemite Sams already. I imagine actually having to see the guns people may or may not be walking around with might freak them out.

    I'm not saying that that's a reason to rule out open carry, just that there are a lot of state and local economies that thrive on international tourism.

    I'm originally from central PA and even Hershey Park and Amish Country have a decent international tourism trade. Esp lots of Quebecois who stop off on their yearly sojourn to FL--another state that thrives on international tourism.

  43. Vicki,

    Honestly, I think there would be an initial decrease in tourism because of the fear factor.

    Care to research the news for predictions when concealed carry laws were passed for each state?
    "Blood in the streets", "Wild, Wild West", "Shootout at every fender Bender", "Cats and Dogs living together". Okay that last one was from Ghostbusters but you get the idea.

    And the reality is?
    Nothing, zip, zilch....didn't happen.

    Open carry will frighten those who are afraid of inanimate objects but most of those tourist who are afraid of "gun totin" America don't come here anyways.

    In the 80s, I went temporary duty to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. When I went off base, I saw the local police carrying assault rifles. My first thought was wow, crime must be bad here. Second thought was I bet there isn't much crime here since it is harder for the police to be outgunned. Guess what the crime rate was?

    Open carry will not adversely affect the crime rates in my opinion. There will be more confrontations initially, but when the crooks run into those willing and able to fight back, crime will drop. Compare the rates of "hot burglaries" in England and America. Crooks are more likely to break into a home with people present in England then America, why? Because more American are armed and will shoot back if home.

    I heard the same questions when concealed carry went into place in Texas. I live in one of the largest entertainment areas in Texas. Dallas Cowboys are moving here, Texas Rangers play here, 6 Flags over Texas is here, etc. Tourism didn't drop when concealed carry was passed.

    By the way, PA is an open carry state isn't it?
    You've probably passed by dozens of people openly carrying and it didn't register. Might be something to look for the next couple of times you are out. See how many you can spot.

  44. I think I mentioned that in a previous post. Both PA and VA are concealed carry states and it didn't bug me. And I didn't feel any more or less safe in VA or PA where both the good and bad guys may or may not be packin' as I do in NJ where it's just the bad guys. That's why I said I don't mind concealed carry--because it doesn't register with me as I go about my daily life.

    This discussion reminded me of my time in northern VA (I lived in Alexandria). I had a friend whose fiancee was a gun owner and worked in a gun shop. He refused to go into DC because he couldn't carry his weapon in the District--so we just left him behind each time and had a blast w/o him (he wasn't exactly a party to begin with--and he HATED me because she'd come home all giggly and tipsy on girlie martinis while he'd spent the night moping on the couch).

    I also did my junior year of college in Munster, Germany and remember seeing the very visibly armed police as well. Didn't bother me either. Surprised me a little because I assumed all of Europe was as gun-phobic as the UK, but didn't bother me.

    Just like it didn't bother me post-9/11 to see the National Guardsmen w/ their big guns on the NY subway platforms. I moved to the NYC area only 2 mos after 9/11. How wacky is that? Of course, I moved from NOVA where I got on the Metro at the Pentagon, so it was kind of a lateral move :).

    I see your point though, re: open carry's affect on tourism. With a little one on the way in 2 mos., I just worry about anything that might further damage the economy. We can use every pound, euro and loony we can get right now.

  45. Thirty minutes ago:

    Add one more to my "Column C", as tweekers out to gain scrap metal to sell for pennies of speed came on my property and my Borders noticed and barked.

    They don't bark without reason and aren't barky dogs by nature.

    The tweekers, they noticed an angry man with a 6.5mm Grendel, a 1911 Hi-Cap and the Sheriff's department is an hour drive, 45 minutes if you drive as fast as you can in a cop car.

    They exfiltrated rapidly. Bastards had mud on their plates.

    Doubt they'll be back and reckon they will heed the signage next time. "IF YOU CAN READ THIS YOU ARE WITHIN RANGE." I don't joke about much in life anymore. Internet or otherwise.

  46. Sorry--I misread your question re: PA. From the web sites I saw, it looks like a permit is required to carry a handgun if concealed, but no permit is required to carry a shotgun or rifle (they didn't specify whether open or concealed, so I assume both). I wasn't able to deduce from that if it meant you could carry a handgun openly w/o a permit.

    PA is a HUGE hunting state--deer especially. In my first 24 years of life there, I can't say as I ever saw anyone openly carrying a handgun. Shotguns and hunting rifles are another story. They're ALL you see the first day of deer season--that and a hell of a lot of empty boys' desks in the high schools. And just about every pickup has a gun rack.

  47. Here's your "F$C*I^G saviors from the government" in the real world, mike.

    Shot dead by a stalker in the parking lot of the 911 operator she was speaking to as she frantically ran for her life.

    Maybe I'll stick around until YOU raise the WHITE FLAG and realize what the real world other than expat people in Italy is like and stop inciting people to be morons.


  48. surprisingly, to me anyway, seems most of the country technically allows open carry --- if only because nobody ever got around to banning it. my state allows it in theory, but you'd get arrested in practice; for disturbing the peace in town, for breaking the hunting rules outside of town (unless you actually were hunting).

    i think of open carry much as i think of people going around without pants. probably technically legal, and in an ideal world it should be nobody's concern at all. but in this flawed world, it's incredibly rude to that majority of the population who've got weird hangups about such behavior. put your pants on and carry concealed.

    militarized police bothers me a lot. no matter what country we're talking about, in fact, but especially here in the USA. Radley Balko can provide us all with plenty of good reasons to worry about it, but even if none of that were happening --- the cops should not be acting like a separate class of people allowed to carry different tools in a different manner from the rest of us. it's anti-egalitarian and can by slight extension lead to all manner of aristocratic, elitist follies on the police's behalf.

    the brits are very proud of their unarmed bobbies, and they have a point, if perhaps slightly wrongheaded; if the populace are disarmed, the cops should be too, lest they start --- oh, i don't know --- shooting commuters on the subway dead for no good reason? of course, here in the states regular people have the right to be armed, and so should the police officers, in much the same manner.

    it's an odd thing about armed elites such as medieval knights, japanese samurai, and modern day SWAT teams; they carry much greater weaponry than the regular citizen, and are allowed vastly greater leeway in using and abusing that weaponry, yet the ways they use and abuse their powers seem to indicate they're somehow afraid of the rest of us. i think it comes from being separated as a class from society at large, from not being part of the larger, peaceful whole. it's a bad thing, and we should seek to prevent it.

  49. I don't know if I consider wanting ppl to wear pants in public a "hangup" so much as a sanitary precaution. I really don't want to sit down in a puddle of someone else's ass sweat on the subway. That's just nasty.

    And if we were to allow it, I would want regulations regarding which underwear could be worn in public. No thongs or visible stains, etc.

    Change that analogy to women being able to walk around topless in public like men, and I'm with ya. Sometimes it's just too damn hot to keep the girls covered.

  50. and yet nudist colonies do just fine, Vicki. don't get me wrong, i share the hangup --- but i still think it's a hangup.

  51. Yeah, but they keep it to their own area. And I believe it's common courtesy to sit on a towel in many colonies. I can't imagine the general public toting their own butt towel everywhere they go.

    That's a lot different than having my waitress' horribly overgrown bikini line in my face when she brings my food to the table.

  52. Mike,

    You are strangely quiet in the comments...any thoughts on the ideas or subjects mentioned in the comments here?

  53. Bob, You're right I have been unusually quiet on this one, partly because it was thriving without my nurturing; perhaps also because I finally have an ally in Vicki.

    I was interested in the question of how much taking the guns away from the Jews contributed to their grim fate in the camps. I like what Vicki said which if I remember it well was more or less "not much." I think I'll dedicate an entire post to that question one of these days.

    Tom pretty much led the chorus about the advantages of registering and doing background checks on gun purchases. Are you all in agreement then that that would not add to the problem of bad guys getting guns even easier than they can now?

  54. Mike,

    I don't think anything will reduce the "easy" availability of firearms.

    If I was a convicted felon, I could ask a friend, family member or neighbor to take cash, submit to a background check and purchase a firearm. Report it stolen or that it was sold later and the person is off the hook.

    Stolen firearms are an issue but I wonder how many firearms are legitimately stolen or use the scenario above? I think many are sold but reported stolen to avoid penalties later. Add to that Uncle's or Grandpa's pea shooter tucked away in the sock drawer, missing for months before they realize it and how many guns are available?

    I'm also wondering how many firearms are imported along side illegal drugs. It would be easy for that to happen. Those guns wouldn't be on anyone's books but in a foreign country.

    Add one or two gun stores that aren't following the laws and now everyone can be armed easily. The numbers are staggering in how many firearms are out there, but the percentage of use is actually very small. Firearms have been made to be the "issue" instead of the criminal, so the impact is psychologically out of proportion to the reality.
    90% of all violent crime doesn't involve a firearm. Want to reduce the crime rate, focus on the crime not the tool.

    As far as if the Jews had firearms would it have made a difference; I can see it being a case of too little too late. Not because of the firearms but because of the mentality the Jews had, don't fight back. That is what scares me about America today, it really scares me. How many times do we read of the law enforcement agencies telling citizens not to fight back against be good victims and let them have what they want.

    The government is conditioning people to accept violence being done to them. England is an example, how many times have people been jailed for fighting back against their attackers?

    We've talked before about having a firearm is nice but if a person isn't ready and willing to fight back, it's worthless. The mindset of not being a victim is more important then the firearm because without the mindset, it will be too late to get the gun into use.

  55. A very topical blog post on Open Carry, this time in Virginia.

    An here is a link to a reason some schools want to arm teachers and staff. Luckily this ended well, but there was little the teachers or staff could have done but wait for the police to show up if the guy decide to do more then take off his clothes.

    Link - Note the ineffective security measures the school took.

  56. If every Jew had had ONE firearm, a handful of ammo, and THE WILL TO USE THEM the Holocaust couldn't have happened.

    Many times a person knowledgeable of firearms will look at kampf guards and Gestapo policemen herding around dozens of people at the time and THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE A ROUND IN THE CHAMBER, if the rifle was loaded at all. Then the knowledgeable person just shakes their head knowing that those inmates could have taken the guard before he'd have had a chance to do anything if only they had known.

    Even today, people get robbed all the time with replicas and air pistols because they are too stupid to learn the rudiments of firearms.

    Knowledge and Will are power. The firearms are an accoutrement.

    I have a sneaking suspicion this is why the US Government has been trying to quietly kill off the Civilian Marksmanship Program for many years, going so far as grinding 750,000 M-14s into dust under Clinton instead of selling them in semi-auto form to the general populace through the CMP, which was the normal course of action with obsoleted firearms.

    If you are between the ages of 18 and 45 and a male citizen of the US, whether you like it or not, you are a member of the militia and you are also a reserve police officer. You aren't supposed to be a sheep. You are supposed to be ready to defend your nation and town. That's what the founders intended.

  57. back on the death camps topic, there's a Solzhenitsyn quote (scroll to bottom of page) that's apropos.

  58. "If every Jew had had ONE firearm, a handful of ammo, and THE WILL TO USE THEM the Holocaust couldn't have happened." That's a GREAT point. If you have a gun, but not the will to use is (not a small feat) it is of little use.

    The door swings both ways. Mike has spoken about "availability of guns" juxtaposed with talk of crime and violence. I would point out that guns don't come from the factory with the will to use them...and the will to be able to do harm to another person (Whether in lawful self-defense, or criminally in an act of violence) is not exclusive to guns. If you have the will to do harm to another, a huge variety of tools are readily availble.

    I talked about my recent trip to the Post office, and because of convenience, and my conscience, it left me without my gun for 10 hours

    Being somebody who is prepared to defend himself if attacked (thankfully I can't speak from much experience, but that's what hope and suspect to be true) means I didn't go unarmed, and brought my defensive knife. Still even if my knife was unavailable, hands, feet, and objects at hand can be used as well.

    That door also swings both ways, and violent people do violence with much more than just guns.