Social Question

Arisztid's avatar

Would the world be safer if everyone was required, by law, to own a firearm?

Asked by Arisztid (7099 points ) March 3rd, 2010

In a small town in Georgia , it is required to own a gun. When this was first mandated people predicted a “wild, wild west” scenario but, rather than this occurring, the crime rate dropped.

Do you think this is a fluke or would such a scenario on a widespread basis have the same results? As a side question, does anyone know if this has continued to work for the town mentioned in the article? I might not have all the facts on this.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

122 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Far from it. What happens when tempers fray and both parties have firearms? What happens when someone does not secure their firearm in a locked box and a child gets a hold of it?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Are we not shooting each other enough in America?

phil196662's avatar

Wild West- might as well as save all oak tree’s for hangings too!

Factotum's avatar

I do not believe arming everyone would be a boon. People with poor impulse control are best off not having guns, not to mention people who are crazy. That said, I do believe that if more people had guns crime would go down. There is much evidence that supports this.

Blackberry's avatar

What Marinelife said, and I don’t think its a good idea for the rest of the United states to follow after anything the south does.

syzygy2600's avatar

No, but the world would be safer if everyone was required to learn martial arts. I’m sure a thug would think twice about raping a woman if she was a black belt, even if he himself was also a black belt. Also its pretty hard for a child to accidentally kill themselves with a karate chop.

nebule's avatar

um…God NO!
the mind cowers

pikipupiba's avatar

Did anyone read the article? It has been tried and apparently, it works! You can’t argue with results!

nebule's avatar

@pikipupiba um..no actually… alright..I’ll read it in the morning…I might have been hasty… must get to bed now though…

Your_Majesty's avatar

The world would be safer if we’re required to own ‘pepper-sprayer’. It’s more than enough for self-defense and won’t cause deliberate harmfulness.

pikipupiba's avatar

@lynneblundell Nice to see some honesty! I’ll be expecting another response then! :)

lilikoi's avatar

I am all for choice and freedom. Government is already up in everyone’s business way too far. If you want to own a gun, fine. If you don’t fine. We don’t need a mandate.

Cruiser's avatar

@Doctor_D I am not sure about that. If every one had pepper spray there will be sore watery eyes at the first sign of a heated argument. PS is non lethal and knowing that and that it delivers a world of hurt I believe people would use that to settle all forms of arguments. My ex did that to drive home the point that yes she was packing her bags. A simple see ya later would have sufficed.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Absolutely not. The only people who should own guns are those who are responsible gun owners (i.e. those who have taken safety courses, have some common sense, and abide by all firearm laws). If everyone had one, it would be chaos.

RocketGuy's avatar

I vote for martial arts too. Good for potential victims and police. Might teach peacefulness to the potential bad guys. Wouldn’t that be a win-win?

OneMoreMinute's avatar

It would be a lot more polite!

and I think it might even take care of that pesky road rage too!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

All that you need to do is to look at the cities that have the strictest gun laws and you will see that they have the absolute worst crime rate.Conversely,cities with the least gun laws have the lowest crimes.Wherever gun ownership is encouraged,violent crime is relatively low.No,it should not be required by law to own a gun because it would infringe on individual rights and freedoms.

Arisztid's avatar

If I do not get the right name with the right reply, please let me know. Also, when I ask questions, I try to avoid including my opinion in the question so I do not influence the answers. That being said, I am a firm proponent of the 2nd Amendment. I think that, in a limited area such as this town, this could work, however, on a larger scale it would not. Also, I believe that, in such a scenrio, gun safety classes should be mandated. Furthermore, people known to be unstable should be excluded.

If I was a criminal I would avoid houses that I knew were owned by someone who had guns.

@marinelife Why do you think that it worked in that one town? I think that, as stated above, gun safety classes should be mandatory. They teach in these classes to keep guns away from children. Of course, whether or not this is followed is not always according to the class.

@Captain_Fantasy True but would this work on a larger scale? Crime dropped in this one town.

@phil196662 I understand what you are saying. Why do you think this worked in this one town?

@Factotum I agree that people with known psych histories that cause aggression and poor impulse control should not have guns. I think that this worked in this town because the criminals knew that the populace was armed.

@Blackberry Not everything that came out of the South sucks though. :P

@syzygy2600 I am fully with you regarding the martial arts. I encourage, well, basically everyone to train in the Arts. Not only does it produce someone who knows how to fight, it also produces someone who is disciplined, can evaluate situations quickly, and so much more that is great. However, I am biased because I have trained for decades and hold blackbelts in two Arts.

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities Personally, I believe that courses in gun safety should be a requirement for anyone handling a gun and that, before taking their gun home, they would have to pass the safety course.

@RocketGuy I am solidly with you on that. Please see my comment to @syzgy2600.

@OneMoreMinute There was an interesting sci fi story that went into this. A vigilante started shooting everyone who was rude, pinning a note on their bodies stating that this is why they were shot. After a bit of this manners were much improved.

Of course, that would not work in reality but it was a fun story.

Regarding this question, I can imagine that manners are quite a bit better in the town described in that article.

@lucillelucillelucille I have not researched this but that does not surprise me.

Jude's avatar

Canada -low crime rate/gun control.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

I am certain that I would be a whole lot cooler if everyone was packing heat!
And Smilier too!

DrBill's avatar

it also worked for a small town just outside Marion Federal Pen in Illinois. Crime rate is near zero and has been for many years.

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I live outside Chicago and am glad I do as I would would be expected to surrender much of what I own if I did and all I would be left with is my Wrist Rocket. Despite the strictest guns laws in the nation, they still are having gun fights there nightly .

HungryGuy's avatar

I haven’t heard about such a town, but as a semi-Libertarian, I will defend all Constitutional rights. I think there’s some merit to the cliche that when guns are illegal only criminals will have guns. So I think that if everyone owned a gun (who had the training and the willingness to handle it safely), there would be less crime overall, but “crimes of passion” would increase slightly (that’s an unfortunate trade-off, but a net improvement to overall safety). That said, I wouldn’t want to be forced to own a gun. I’d be terrified to have a gun in my house—brave horror story writer here :-p

Arisztid's avatar

Ok, to reply to the people I missed in my last reply and people who posted after my reply:

@lynneblundell Please let me know your opinion once you have read it? I also thank you for your honesty.

@pikipupiba Yep. I was surprised by these results… they are fascinating.

@Doctor_D Pepper spray does not work in all instances, such as the person being on PCP.

@lilikoi I agree with freedom. The flip side to that: I very much disagree with the government trying to disarm the populace while the criminals pay no attention to the law.

@Cruiser I can see that happening.

@jjmah How easy is it for criminals to get guns in Canada? Here it is very easy.

@OneMoreMinute True. I think things would be a lot more polite if it was known that everyone was packing.

@DrBill I am going to look into that article.

@HungryGuy I think that the cliche you mention is dead on fact rather than some merit. Pretty much I agree with your entire response other than that I, personally, have no problem owning a gun.

Trillian's avatar

I can’t imagine that this would be a good thing. There are far too many hotheaded idiots out there and if they were all armed… Isn’t this the same concept that kept us at an uneasy standoff with Russia for all those years?

Your_Majesty's avatar

@Cruiser Yes,but it won’t cause permanent facet. It will only irritate your eyes(not blinding) and you’ll experience temporary blindness. You need to know that the amount of damage one can cause from baseball batt is far bigger and severe than that pepper spray. Plus it’s small,handy,and quite effective. I think that most women own that. About that argument incident I have to say that each people control the way he/she act and this can vary from one to another(each person is psychologically different). So you can’t state that every person will use that to as their sign of emotion. As far as I know there’s a/some rules that deal with deliberate PS users. So each person will think twice or more before he/she use that PS for personal reason unless if he/she’s in direct danger. And they need license to own that PS. Therefore,‘pepper-spray’ is better than gun,hand-knife,baseball batt,etc and possibly the best self-defense instrument that one can own.

Bluefreedom's avatar

No, it wouldn’t.

jaytkay's avatar

That Kennesaw story is missing a lot of information and proves nothing.
WorldNet Daily is an ideological paper committed to “proving” what its readers already believe. It is not a reliable source of information.

Just for starters
—There is no single number called “crime rate”. What are they referring to?
—How does the history compare to towns of similar size and demographics?
Crime rates have fallen throughout the US in that time

Crime rates per 1,000 population
1983
Violent crime 537.7
Homicide 8.3
Property crime 4,637

2008
Violent crime 454.5
Homicide 5.4
Property crime 3,213

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-My point exactly.I live near Detroit.Same thing.

Jude's avatar

@Arisztid Prohibited (full automatics, converted automatics, handguns with a barrel length of 105 mm (approx. 4”) or less, and .25 or .32 caliber handguns among others). Prohibited guns, or replicas of prohibited guns cannot be taken into Canada. No exceptions.

At the border, they’re pretty thorough when searching your car. They’ll find it. Then, they’ll take you into customs, ask you to bend over and out comes the white rubber glove…
Looking for gun shells? ;-)

Jude's avatar

Must say, though, @lucillelucillelucille‘s avatar is hot.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Yes, that is all.

Arisztid's avatar

I have been doing some further digging. Ok, I lied, I have asked my wife to because she is, what I call, the Google Goddess… she can find anything. Also, I am lazy. :)

We found some very interesting articles that support the law in Keenesaw. Here , here , here , and here are articles that support the premise that the law in Kennesaw has helped.

In Kennesaw it is not mandatory to own a gun if you have an objection. I had not dug far enough into this to find that bit. It goes into that here .

@Trillian Good point. However, would not such people be less likely to shoot knowing that the other person has a gun? Also, I have not heard that people in that town are required to carry a gun, just have one in the house. Regarding Russia vs the US, it is not the same in that there are fewer criminals than non criminals. If everyone was armed, it would not be an equal situation: there would be more guns in the hands of non criminals than criminals. Right now, in most of the US, the proportion of guns in the hands of criminals vs. non criminals favors the criminals.

@jaytkay Very valid points. Please look at the links I put at the top of this post.

As far as “crime rate,” here is a definition: Crime rate usually refers to the number of part 1 crimes (Murder, Non-Negligent Manslaughter, Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny, Auto Theft and Arson) per 100,000 population.

@jjmah So it is harder for criminals to get guns in Canada. I do not know much about Canadian crime rates. Do you know how hard it is for criminals to get guns? Criminals do not care about laws.

Pseudonym's avatar

We need more guns. Whatever we do, we need more guns. University shootings wouldn’t happen if we gave the students guns to defend themselves. We need more guns.

Now, just watch my new political party grow

Pseudonym's avatar

Heck, we can even get Sarah Palin!

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille All I want is to get you Motor City wild things to stop aiming westward and I will promise to not sight to the east! Deal??

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-Say “pretty please”,and I’ll think about it.lol!
@jjmah-Aw,thanks.It is up for the duration of my crabbiness!lol!

Trillian's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I’m from Detroit. Where are you?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

There’s no direct correlation with the drop in crime and the requirement to own guns. There could be other factors at work. Stats can be skewed.

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille it is still light out here….do you feel lucky??

PacificRimjob's avatar

@Pseudonym

How can a school shootings possibly happen??

Schools are gun free zones!

ranwulf's avatar

Hey – why stop there? Everyone in the country should carry an anti-personnel mine as well. Maybe a few hand grenades. Or maybe a satchel of acid-filled balloons to throw? People would think twice before cutting you off in traffic….

HungryGuy's avatar

@ranwulf – In that case, I want my own suitcase nuke…

stardust's avatar

My goodness. If everyone was “required” to have a gun, an air of entitlement would seep in & it would be “okay” to defend oneself, no matter the scenario. Guns aren’t the answer I’m afraid

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-I don’t need no stinking luck for I am a very goooood shot!Here,let me shoot that crabapple off your noggin’ :))

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille that’s not a crabapple that’s the Goodyear blimp…do you need glasses??

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-Nahhh….I’ll take my chances…now bend over and smile!LOL!

PacificRimjob's avatar

The statistics speak for themselves.

Kennesaw, GA

Home of the Kennesaw Claw, That ghastly ball of bangs redneck women wear.

Pseudonym's avatar

@PacificRimjob All I’m saying is that that was actually what a group of people were saying after the Virginia Tech incident. It was a big opinion!

Arisztid's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy Agreed that the drop in crime rate cannot be conclusively attributed to guns.

@stardust I think it would be better to remove the guns from criminals, however, that is not going to work. From what I can tell about the town in question, crime is crime and anyone who engages in such things will be prosecuted because they would be criminals, obviously. Gun ownership does not give free license.

Just because I have a lot of martial arts training does not entitle me to use it irresponsibly or break the law with it. Also, rather than taking someone out because they annoy me, I act within the law and within logic.

In my case, I carry my “weapons” with me everywhere I go, having been trained to use them. People with guns in their houses have their weapons at home. Most martial artists and most gun owners do not use their weapons/ skills irresponsibly or think that having these weapons/ skills give them carte blanche.

Keysha's avatar

@stardust I do hope that was sarcasm on the point of defending oneself.

As far as the question at hand, I think it should perhaps not be mandatory, but certainly much easier for people to own guns. It has been proven time and time again that the process to register for them does not weed out the ones that should not own them. I think a gun safety course should be mandatory, and then everyone that wishes to own a gun can do so, if they are legally an adult citizen of this country.

If they have a record, and want a gun, they will get one without going through proper channels. That does not deter criminals from owning guns. If they have mental health issues, they can do the same. The process is a fail. So why not make it easier, not harder, and just make sure we all know what we are doing with a gun once we have it?

Arisztid's avatar

@Keysha Well said, love, and not just because you are my wife. :)

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I would have to think that if gun ownership was mandatory, suicides would rise.

jaytkay's avatar

Make it easier? Eliminate those pesky background checks. Ciminals and the mentally handicapped can buy guns anyway, why not over the counter. Super!

buck19delta's avatar

im a very pro gun person. i do believe the lawful ownership of guns, does cut crime. burglars interviewed in prison were asked what they were most afraid of when robbing a home. being shot by a home owner was # 1 on their list…..............that being said….... i do not believe the government should require you to do anything. they are there to protect your rights, not to infringe on the ones you have. if you want to own a gun, and meet the legal requirements, then fine by me….... however, that being said, there are people who should never be allowed a sharp pointy stick, much less a gun.

SeventhSense's avatar

It’s a sad state of affairs when we imagine the only solutions for aberrant behavior is the fear of retaliation. This may be an effective deterrent in some small towns but in the context of a major metropolis this would solve nothing. For example there are two equally armed factions within the streets of California called the Bloods and the Crips. Being armed to the teeth has not been shown to lessen their aggression towards each other in the slightest but simply encourages them to buy larger weapons with which to kill each other. Wow. It almost sounds like what we’ve done as a nation on an international scale. Let’s build a nuclear bomb…and we need one too…and we need one as well…and us..and us and us…we need ten…we need twenty…we need two hundred. It never ends. Good fences make good neighbors but it’s hardly a long term solution as a means towards true peace.

The tragedy of Virginia Tech, Waco and Columbine is surely the horrific bloodshed but equally as tragic is why our youth (predominantly young men) feel so desperate to do these things. And it is hardly a localized phenomenon. This crosses all socioeconomic and international lines
If you look at these statistics it almost seems like we’ve exported the concept to Europe.

Arisztid's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy I do not think so I do not think most suicidal people use guns (no, I have no sources for this so I might be wrong).

@buck19delta I was wrong in what I said in my opening post. In that town it is strongly encouraged but not mandated. What you say is said in prison is exactly my point.

@SeventhSense It is a sad state of affairs but it is a fact. I tend to agree with you that this would not be effective on a larger scale. I do not see any effective way of dealing with violent crime in a large city… nothing seems to work.

I am not so sure that I agree with you about it not being a socioeconomic phenomena. Look at the crime rate in the inner cities vs. the suburbs. I have seen people claim that it is a racial problem but, to me, I see it more of a socioeconomic issue.

Keysha's avatar

@jaytkay the sarcasm was unnecessary I gave my particular feelings about it. At least that way, we could regulate the type of gun they had, and have records of them owning it.

“A study by researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center has found that 1.3 percent of the licensed gun retailers in the state sell 39.4 percent of the handguns used in violent crime, and that those retailers share similar profiles — pawn shops and retailers with a high rate of background-check failure are at higher risk for selling a handgun that will be used in a criminal act.”

If the background checks are effectively useless, why spend the money. Make one simple rule. You have to pass a gun safety course. If you are that mentally handicapped that you cannot pass one, you cannot get a gun anyway. And the criminals will own guns, regardless. Why not let them buy them where they can be taxed and have a slight regulation on them?

jaytkay's avatar

I really don’t care much. Gun owners are more likely to kill themselves and their families than their imaginary intruders. So the problem is somewhat self-correcting.

Keysha's avatar

If you don’t care, then why are you participating in this topic?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction truth from diction. American love sex and guns and can’t control either well we are better with guns than sex. I believe if 90% of the populace was strapped there would be less crime. Other nations have armed citizens, South Africa before Apartheid fell even the young kids were taught to shoot in case there was an uprising by the Black Africans amd there was some nation, Denmark, Sweden or something where most of the male citizen were ordered to be armed and they were no over run with gun violence as here in the US.

Arisztid's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central “We are better with guns than sex’... so true, so true.

I am tied between the thought that this would work on a large scale basis vs it not being as effective. As I have been going through this thread I have been unable to make up my mind.

I do not remember where I heard this and it might be wrong but I seem to remember that London has a higher crime rate than NYC and the anti gun laws are damned strict in England. General note to Fluther: please correct me if I am wrong on that.

nebule's avatar

I’m supposed to be studying (and need to be brief) so I’ve not read everyone else’s answers so I apologize if I reiterate points…

Having read the article now (:-)) I agree with a lot of what @Arisztid has said in his main comment to responses. It certainly seems like in practice it works in this instance. Perhaps this is a classic case of giving people power and trust and reaping the rewards. However, this is a small town and I’m sure that entails a lot community respect (but conversely could contain a lot of cliques and disputes), it would be interesting to know more about this little town actually.

I could do with thinking this through a little more actually and might discuss it with my friends and family over the course of the next few days and get back to you as this is fascinating… However, 2 things strike me.

1) I’m not sure I’d trust myself with a gun…I’m a chronic depressive and although in a sober state (and I am..consider myself to be rather stable in all fairness) I wouldn’t dream of harming myself I have been know to self-harm after many drinks and would hate to think that I might get so bad as to turn a gun on myself….shoot my leg or something?? Although I could quite categorically say I would NEVER use it on anyone else unless my life was threatened… This idea has many implications in itself…so you not allow these sorts of people in the town or do you and leave them vulnerable??? And this leads me to

2) The idea that there would need to be quite through screening and monitoring of residents in order that they would be deemed sane, able and dare i say it ‘worthy’ to own a gun…and at what age do you then enforce this…

hmmm many thoughts but thanks for the challenge… must go…but will return!!

JeffVader's avatar

Absolutely not…. I think just the act of wanting to own a gun should immediately disqualify anyone from owning one.

nebule's avatar

I didn’t take it to about wanting to own a gun at all

JeffVader's avatar

@lynneblundell The wanting a gun bit was just to illustrate where im coming from.

mattbrowne's avatar

On the contrary.

The risks outweigh the benefits. We should leave this job to the police. There are circumstances when seconds count and the police is minutes away. It might be beneficial to have a whole country full of trigger happy John Waynes in these circumstances. Put people also get very angry all the time. I fear that in one of a thousand cases this display of anger includes drawing a gun if available.

Western European countries like the US do have severe problems as well. Take the 2005 riots in France as an example. Still the overall homicide rate per capita in the US is more than 4 times higher than in countries like Germany or Denmark.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence#Homicides_by_country

Then look at eastern Europe which is full of black market weapons from the former Soviet armies. Homicide rates are similar to the US rate, often worse.

The crazy Georgia example will be considered a short-lived historic anomaly.

We have to educate our kids how to resolve conflicts peacefully. If this doesn’t work in some cases, I’d rather have them start punching at each other than pulling semi-automatic weapons.

Cruiser's avatar

@Doctor_D You points are solid from you POV and I won’t argue them. PS is a fine deterrent in many instances could be all you need, but despite a face full of PS and the incredible pain and very momentary blindness of my run in with it, I still could have retaliated and if I had I would have been the one hauled off to jail. I will keep my gun as my primary and last resort form of self defense thank you!

SeventhSense's avatar

@Arisztid

Well the major student crime massacres don’t seem to show any preference for big cities and maybe the opposite is the trend actually. Columbine was a quaint little town with a high standard of living but apparently unaware of its own dark underbelly. I think much of the nation should start to seriously consider educating its people more than arming its population- i.e.- Creationism as a topic? WTF?

P.S.- NYC has quite low crime rates when compared to almost any other major metropolitan area and even many small cities. Just take a look at the incidents per 100,000 and you’ll realize you’re safer in NY then many other places in Middle America. People are just overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people. A lot of murder is focused on individuals that have issues with the la Cosa Nostra.

PacificRimjob's avatar

@mattbrowne

I’m sure you’re able to appreciate the difference between one that legally purchases a firearm for the purpose of complying with a local law and one who buys a blackmarket soviet rifle in defiance of the law.

Once again, the saying “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” is proven.

You say that defense is the duty of the police. Actually it the officer’s role to write the report after an incident, as police can’t be everywhere all the time.

You suggest education is the answer, well that’s only for those that will accept education.

Besides, a home invasion isn’t simply a dispute to be settled.

mattbrowne's avatar

@PacificRimjob – How do you explain the low homicide rates in Denmark and Germany, despite the fact that the police can’t be everywhere all the time in those countries either and Danish and German villages do not have laws that require firearms for residents?

PacificRimjob's avatar

Low homocides = homocides.

We could agrue all week about the pros and cons of firearm possession but one overriding fact remains:

Our right to gun ownership is protected by our constitution, period.

No agument is good enough for us to tear the constitution to shreds.

mattbrowne's avatar

Not an explanation, sorry.

PacificRimjob's avatar

Okay..

No connection between these country’s bans and low rates can be proven.

Yet it is undeniable that despite these bans violence is still occuring.

It is the height of unsophisticated thinking to believe that banning firearms will solve the problem.

mattbrowne's avatar

I don’t want to ban them completely, but they should not become too widespread either. We should focus on other strategies. If every kid learned a musical instrument for example, crime rates would be greatly reduced. Instead of guns we should be talking about trumpets and saxophones and violins and drums.

Arisztid's avatar

I think that the best idea would be removing guns from criminals but, in America, that is not going to happen. Sadly, we have to get by as we can. I like to target shoot and collect vintage firearms (I do not have any guns right now due to circumstance). While I like these things, if me not target shooting and not collecting vintage firearms came along with disarming criminals, I vote yes on that one. Now I might do so with a tear when I thought about not collecting vintage firearms.

@lynneblundell Good points which show that psych status should be evaluated. I do not know enough about this city to know if there is monitoring. I did find that I was wrong… it is not mandated by law. It is strongly encouraged.

@Cloverfield The act of wanting a gun should disqualify you? Well, before I had to sell mine in order to make a coast to coast move (cannot ship them and was broke) I had a S & W .357 and I forgot which army rifle from WWI. I was planning on starting a collection of vintage firearms, aiming for a flintlock next. My S & W was for target shooting, something I enjoy. I loaded my own ammo because I was so persnickety (and cheap). I also have taken gun safety courses and am a firm advocate of gun safety and responsibility.

I plan on getting a gun for target shooting again and starting a collection of vintage firearms again.

What about those statements means that I should not have a gun?

I do understand your point in that I know many who want guns to do harm to themselves and to others or are just too stupid to own one responsibly. I am just making a point. :)

@mattbrowne I do not think this can be considered short lived, albeit 25 years is not, to me, indicative of long lived. If it is the same in another 75 years and I would say that.

I also do not think it is an anomoly. I do not feel like looking through it all but did not someone else post about another such town?

@SeventhSense I am talking about general crime rates, not things like Columbine. It would be hard to argue that crime rates in gang-ridden, inner city ghettos are less than suburbs. Crime in the suburbs does exist, but not like that.

Wow about NYC!

Keysha's avatar

Ok. I’ve looked at all the comments and replies. One thing I keep noticing is how so many people seem to equate owning a gun with irresponsibility, a lack of caring about human life, a lack of morals, or a lack of caring about things or people.

Would putting a gun in your hands make you a sadistic, raging, homicidal maniac? Would it automatically make any brains you have leak out your ears? I’m rather shocked and dismayed at how many of you have such low opinions of your neighbors, your family, and yourself. You do realize you are including them in this?

I did not realize that so many of you have such contempt for hunters. After all, they own guns, so they must be psychopathic, simply because of that.

I, personally, would rather live in a town where everyone owns guns and have had gun safety courses, than to live by a group of people that are so contemptuous of their fellow man.

PacificRimjob's avatar

Word @Keysha

Because the anti- gun set’s mentality is based on irrational emotion (fear of the actual hardware) they assume the pro- firearm set is motivated by emotion as well, albeit opposite (in their minds wrong).

Our perspective is instead taken from a rational document first, sober sense of responsibility second.

pikipupiba's avatar

@Keysha YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU FOR SAYING WHAT I COULD NOT FIND THE WORDS TO!!!!!!!! MUCH LURVE TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!

SeventhSense's avatar

@Keysha
I for one don’t lump all gun owners together and I think it’s important to be able to keep animal populations in check in rural areas. For example there are more deer in the country then when the Pilgrims first landed in America. Due as much to the eradication of natural predators as conservation, but regardless, it’s better to hunt them then have them die on the nations roadways and kill people in the process. I for one have no problem with this.

I think what I take issue is this need to have instant access at all times. Such as in Texas or Arizona and have a firearm always on your person. And again if you look at that chart I posted above, the crime rate in Texas is highly disproportionate to the population. They execute more criminals than any other state. They’d like to put in an express lane as one comedian commented and they spend billions more on prisons and building new ones every year. Yet they fail to stem the tide of crime or recidivism of prisoners. This is not issue of arms control. It’s the failure to address fundamental problems of communities. And the right to shoot someone in the back as they run off your property (a law in Texas) will only escalate violence.

I was talking to a guy who had a permit to carry a pistol in New York because he owned a firing range or something. And if you are a business owner or have need you can get a permit to carry one. Not a bad idea if you’re heading to the night deposit drop at the bank after hours in my opinion. But this particular guy was pissed off because he couldn’t take his gun past the metal detector in family court. I just found that odd. Obviously a highly charged atmosphere like a family court is no place for a weapon and I can’t understand someone who needs such instant access to an instrument of death. It seems like a psychological issue more than anything. Like John Lennon said, “Happiness is a warm gun?”. But come on. We have to start focusing on solutions. We have been a violent nation from our foundation and we were formed in the crucible of revolution but it’s time we leave adolescence and grow up as a nation

buck19delta's avatar

@mattbrowne
How do you explain the low homicide rates in Denmark and Germany, despite the fact that the police can’t be everywhere all the time in those countries either and Danish and German villages do not have laws that require firearms for residents?

i would not use germany as a good example of a happy peaceful government. they did round up 6 million jews and kill them, AFTER they instituted gun control…..
....................................................................
we have the greatest nation on earth, and we enjoy freedoms no other country in the world can match. the right to own guns, is a freedom few countries allow their citizens. we are the only country that specifically gives the citizens the right, that cannot be taken away by government, except in extreme situations, ( convicted felon etc). the swiss require all able bodies men, to be part of the militia, and keep their full auto military weapons at home, with ammo. the swiss also have a extremly low crime rate as well. therefore, just having guns does not exactly = murder and mayhem. having guns, is not something we will ever outgrow as a nation. weapons for self defense will always be neccessary, to protect the innocent, and weak, from the guilty, and violent.

if it was a perfect world, where violence was absent, then guns would really not have a place, however, humans being humans, we will probably always have these problems. taking guns from the law abiding people, will not stop violent crime. it will only serve to leave good people defenseless.. a gun is a tool, no different than a knife, a chainsaw, or a machete, careless use will cause accidental death, evil intentions will cause murder and mayhem. there were over 100,000 people killed in africa last year, in a civil war, basically between religious factions, 100,000 people were hacked to death with machetes. no matter how modern our country, or the world is, humans are not far removed from being dangerous predators, and expecting the government to keep you safe, is a poor way to stay safe, just ask all the people killed, who had a restraining order, against a stalker, ex boyfriend etc.

Keysha's avatar

@SeventhSense I don’t have a problem with restricting where you can carry them, or how. This question is about owning them. And everyone is ragging on the idea, and saying how it will cause so many problems. That is my point.

PacificRimjob's avatar

@buck19delta:

Your paragraphs make it sound like you’re not following the stupid Bash America trend.

What’s wrong with you???

SeventhSense's avatar

@Keysha
But the argument to “require” everyone to own a gun? It’s like an ordinance to have steel piercing spikes on everyone’s bumper to avoid fender benders. It’s placing the responsibility for behavior on an object. This is a throwback to the “peacemaker rifle” ideals of the Old West. Is it any wonder the free world makes a caricature of Americans as cowboys?

buck19delta's avatar

@PacificRimjob

i dunno, i guess i thought i lived in america. if people want to live a life, with little responsibility for their own safety, and to let the government run every aspect of their lives, england is a great place to move to. they wont let you be around those dangerous guns. they are even trying to ban knives with pointy ends, ( seriously), plus if you attack a criminal in your home in self defense, you usually go to jail with the criminal..

buck19delta's avatar

@SeventhSense

they like to make fun of us, but for some reason we are the greatest country on earth, and most everyone wants to live here, and those that dont, want us to open our wallets, and give them loads of $$ for all their little problems. ....oh, and ride to the rescue everytime they state a world war…... i dont care what the rest of the world thinks about us.

SeventhSense's avatar

@buck19delta
i dont care what the rest of the world thinks about us.
Can you not see that very statement is provocative and aggressive?

buck19delta's avatar

um.. no. why should we live our lives in the united states, to make other countries happy? no other country lives their lives to make the united states happy. do you make decisions, based on what your neighbors think about you?

SeventhSense's avatar

@buck19delta
Actually most of the free world especially Europe aim to have a more amicable relationship with neighboring countries. There’s no room in the world anymore for separatist ideologies. We are all quite obviously connected.

Keysha's avatar

@SeventhSense If you delve into the actual information, you will see that if you have a moral or philosophical objection to owning one, you did not have to. So, basically, they just said, everyone that is willing to, and wants to, needs to get a gun.

mattbrowne's avatar

@buck19delta – I was talking about the homicide statistics of the year 2007 and compared Denmark and Germany with the US. I was not talking about the time when Germany was run by the Nazis. Where exactly is the correlation? Your comment does not provide any explanation for the higher US rates except that the Nazis were mass murders (which they were).

How many foreign countries have you visited in your life? How many foreign languages do you speak, which would allow you to compare cultures and levels of freedom in more detail? How many news program do you regularly watch which offer coverage of countries other than the US? Fox won’t do the job. They will just reaffirm your belief that the US is the greatest in whatever respect. Don’t get me wrong there are a number of areas where the US does excel, but there’s a large number of areas where other countries are far ahead of the US.

Your comment about a US which enjoy freedoms no other country in the world can match really sounds like you know very little about other countries. Almost like Sarah Palin who thinks she’s an expert on Russia because Alaska is right next to it.

JeffVader's avatar

@Arisztid I will concede that there are plenty of people who are fit, like yourself, to own & handle a gun responsibly. & if a person has legitimate cause to own one, such as them being gamekeepers, then I have no major issue. The statement actually reflects my personal beliefs more than a concise argument. Personally, I don’t think weapons have a place in society, therefore, in my mind, if someone actively wants to own one, it immediately throws up warning flags. Therefore if a person answers ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Do you want to own a gun?’ My immediate reaction is, then you’re just the type of person who shouldn’t… not very logical I know.

buck19delta's avatar

@mattbrowne
iv lived in a few countries, and visited a few more.
germany, equador,ireland,romania,bosnia,croatia,turkey,iraq,kuwait.
if you dont think the united states has a far greater level, and standard of living that 99% of the rest of the world, then you are delusional. just the right to freedom of speech, and the right to a jury trial is not guaranteed in most of the world. i personally love germany, and love visiting there, i unfortunately would not want to live there, due to less freedom and liberty.

i also watch the news for sereral hours a day, and am a member of a few websites, that effectively cover almost everything that happens in the world. its well and good, to feel guns are bad, and that noone should have one, until you need one yourself, or your in a situation where police protection is DEFINATELY not coming. examples???
1. la rodney king riots. police locked themselves in the police stations, and left citizens on their own. people ran to gun shops to get a gun, because they were terrified ( and rightly so), that their homes, and families were in grave danger, from arson, and murder… unfortunately for them there was a 10 day waiting period, they were screwed by the very laws they voted for.
2. hurricane’s, especially katrina. police were actually looting local stores, car dealerships, and confiscating home owners guns, the ones that didnt go awol, and run away. there was no police protection, and they were taking peoples guns away, leaving them defenseless.. this has resulted in several state and federal law, prohibiting gun confiscation during a disaster.
3. pretty much any disaster, tornado, earthquake, that results in lack of communication.
the founders didnt just make a right to own guns, they felt it was so important, that it was the second amendment they made, right after freedom of speech. they had lived in england, and other countries that had strict gun control even then, they knew that the difference between a subject, and a citizen, was the ability to rise up in arms should the government ever turn abusive. anytime you think the unites states can never go that way, needs to read their history, it has happened to so many countries before, we are not exempt. ... if you do not want to own a gun, or be around one, there are a lot of countries that would love to have you. unfortunately we have a constitutional RIGHT to own them, and they will never be leaving our society. the supreme court just killed washing dc’s gun ban, and they will kill chicago’s in june when they rule.

pikipupiba's avatar

@buck19delta YESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

SeventhSense's avatar

@buck19delta
The right to free expression, gather peaceably and justice in the courts is clearly equivalent in the industrial nations. I love America but to say that the standard of living is better than 99% of the world is just not true. Let’s just start by looking at the various ways we measure our standard of living. I imagine that health care would be at the top of the list.
As far as the world health’s Otrganization ranking on Industrialized countries we rank 37th
As far as the preventable deaths we rank 14th
As far as the standard of health care that we have consider the cost compared to major European nations per person like Germany France, UK , Netherlands etc. we pay more out of pocket.
As far as crime consider again that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and it’s far from commensurate with the actual crime.
Hence most Americans are just paranoid in general.
How about US spending on War and the Prospect of War
We excel at that. Has it made us any safer than Europe? By the sheer numbers of US citizens and soldiers killed in wars as compared with Europe the answer would have to be no.
How about paid holiday and paid leave for employees?
Again the US is at the bottom of the list compared to almost every other country which enjoy at least 20 paid vacation days a year.

So as far as life liberty and the pursuit of happiness we are woefully lacking and have been sold a bill of goods that assures that the industrial machine of the US keeps churning out products assuring that some enjoy a tremendous lifestyle. One last chart to illustrate that? The top 1% of the population controls 34% of the wealth of the nation and the top 20% control 85% of the wealth. Which leaves of course the vast majority of citizens- 80% to share the remaining 15% of the pie.

The prospect of owning a gun because we live in a violent culture as means to curtail the rising tide of public unrest and the actions of unruly citizens during crisis is hardly an argument for gun ownership. This presupposes a world in which social crises will continue to spin out of control necessitating a police state and rising vigilantism. I reject that view and look to the future as one where we will start to address the most blatant neglects of the citizens of our country and raise our standard. The gun issue is just another issue that those in power would love to exploit as they exploit us in other ways we completely disregard.

mattbrowne's avatar

@buck19delta – A far greater level and standard of living than 99% of the rest of the world? I think a reality check might be in order. Talk about delusions. Less freedom in Germany? Try public breastfeeding in the US. Or try to have a harmless bottle of beer when you’re 20 years old. Or try to be a doctor who doesn’t want to think about medical malpractice lawsuits all the time. The issue of freedom is not just decided by gun ownership.

Countries are different. Cultures are different. And when it comes to freedom in free countries usually most of the positive and negative examples cancel each other out. We should not fall into the trap of ethnocentrism which is the tendency to believe that one’s ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one’s own. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to their own particular ethnic group or culture (Wikipedia).

HungryGuy's avatar

@buck19delta – I respectfully disagree.

QUALITY OF LIFE: In the USA, if you lose your job, and you’re not independently wealthy, you lose access to medical care.

FREEDOM: Despite the famed US Constitution, most countries in Europe enjoy greater freedom than the USA. Take freedom of speech for example—many photo-sharing and file-sharing websites are run from servers in Europe to get away from tyrannical US censorship laws. There are exceptions, of course—Germany is paranoid about Nazism, and you can get thrown in jail for publicly expressing forbidden opinions regarding certain topics surrounding Hitler, Nazism, and the holocaust. But, in general, laws in most European countries are also far less intrusive into what people do in private.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

Yes. Six million North Koreans starved to death because they were not allowed to own guns but none of the anti-gun crowd wants to count those deaths.

nikipedia's avatar

@Arisztid: The use of guns in suicide varies by country. In the United States more than half of successful suicides are by gun.

Drug overdose makes up 75% of suicide attempts, but these fail 97% of the time. By contrast, more than 90% of suicide attempts by gun are successful.

Gun ownership at least doubles the likelihood that someone in that household will successfully commit suicide. In some circumstances, gun ownership makes it ten times more likely that someone in the household will complete suicide. (This means that in a community that could statistically expect 50 suicides, if all households had guns they could expect 500 instead.)

States with the highest rates of gun ownership also have the highest rate of suicide.

There is no relationship between gun ownership and suicide by other methods.

All of these statistics come from the New England Journal of Medicine.

Arisztid's avatar

@HungryGuy I have noticed many videos blocked to me recently on youtube. Bloody annoying.

@malevolentbutticklish Do you have any links about this? That is the kind of information I could use.

@nikipedia True re drug suicide attempts. I can understand that regarding gun ownership. I have saved that link to my bookmarks.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

This Wikipedia link says famine in North Korea killed 2.5–3,000,000 people between 95 and 98 alone so I am going to revise my number down to an easier to define one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korean_famine

South Korea (and much of the world) welcomed these starving North Koreans but because they were not armed they couldn’t stop their own government from keeping them there to die. If they had guns they would have not put up with their oppressive government when there was food for them only miles away rather than starve to death.

mattbrowne's avatar

Some US states got laws against oral sex. Germany got a law which makes the promotion of Nazism illegal. Now which is more harmful?

Germany has the horrible Nazi history. But after 1945 an era of great freedom began in West Germany. Segregation laws still existed in the 60ies and only after that was the US able to catch up with West Germany in terms of freedom. And it took till 1989 till East Germany was able to catch up with the freedom we enjoyed in the West.

I totally agree that the US is a free country and there are many things I admire. But to me it sounds a bit arrogant if Americans assume other countries (for example the ones in Europe) enjoy less freedom than the people in the US. As I said earlier countries are different. Cultures are different. History is different. When it comes to freedom in free countries usually most of the positive and negative examples cancel each other out.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@mattbrowne: Europe is MUCH less free than America. Medical care is a great example. In Europe the government throws up barriers between people who want to pay for medical care and receiving those services. Do you consider free speech in Germany is outlawed? How about a person who put together a video of Muslim preacher quotes being brought up on Hate Speech laws in Europe? In America no one attempted to bring people up on charges for exposing Obama’s preacher.

SeventhSense's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish
Try to get a Fascist program on Public Access television.
It’s not going to happen in the US either.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@SeventhSense: Try to get porn onto one. Just because it isn’t on Public Access television doesn’t mean it is banned.

mattbrowne's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish – How long have you stayed in Europe to build up your expertise and be qualified making such comparison? To me the use of phrases such as “much less free” is a typical sign of arrogance expressed on the Internet (it wouldn’t happen if you and I met in person). There are countries where free speech is outlawed for example Iran or North Korea. It’s insulting to compare successful democracies such as Germany with these kind of countries. And using medical care as another example is striking cynicism. It’s the uninsured who don’t have the freedom to get good medical care when they need it. America is a great country. It’s a free country. But like any country it’s not perfect.

That’s all I have to say and I will end my participation in this debate.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@mattbrowne: “How long have you stayed in” North Korea “to build up your expertise and be qualified making such comparison?” (actually I have spent over a year in Europe which is high by American standards). When did I compare North Korea with Germany anyway? I compared Europe with the USA and Europe is less free (both on and off the Internet). The Middle East is certainly less free than Europe and North Korea is less free than the Middle East. You said you were done participating but I take great issue with such obviously incorrect statements as “It’s the uninsured who don’t have the freedom to get good medical care when they need it.” I am personally uninsured and, because I live in the USA, I have the freedom to get the best medical care in the world whenever I need it.

SeventhSense's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish
Ahem clicky here——————> ‹(•¿•)›

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@SeventhSense: Thank you! I am pleasantly surprised.

nebule's avatar

@SeventhSense I have to say that’s pretty damn cool!

SeventhSense's avatar

@lynneblundell
Well thank you. Maybe I’ll use him for all of my links. He is an eye catcher. I’ll have to rename him the link elf. Or maybe Little Lincoln.
I hereby officially claim the copyright for Little Lincoln the Linkin Elf

HungryGuy's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish – I’m sorry, but I can’t help laughing hysterically at your answer regarding medical care in Europe as an example. Yup, in the States, you have the right to be denied medical care and left to die if you don’t have a job and can’t afford it. That’s a right that people in Europe don’t enjoy :-p

But you do have a point about freedom of speech in Germany. While Germans enjoy a great many freedoms and quality of life, certain forms of speech are subject to censorship (such as advocating Nazism, or holocaust denial). But the USA has its own types of censorship as well, just for different topics.

mattbrowne's avatar

@HungryGuy – There are indeed a few restrictions on freedom of speech in Germany such as advocating Nazism, holocaust denial or calling to wage jihad. Therefore I also pointed out that in free countries exceptions do cancel each other out. The German parliament is free to abolish these few restrictions but the majority of the German voters don’t want to. In no way can you draw the general conclusion Europe is much less free than the US.

It’s amazing how right-wing Republicans fall into the trap of ethnocentrism and some become so blind about the shortcomings and limitations of freedom in their own country. Many of them are deeply religious. Jesus once asked ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?’

HungryGuy's avatar

@mattbrowne – Although I’m an ardent defender of freedom of speech, I can certainly understand Germany’s paranoia about all things Nazi-related. As much as I loathe Nazis and holocaust-deniers, I hope that Germany will, in time, lift those restrictions on speech.

And I agree with you 100% about the blindness of rabid conservatives. The quality of health care in Europe is equivalent to being in your employer’s HMO in the States. The claims by right-wingers that there’s long waits and rationing are utter lies planted by corporate big-wigs to frighten Americans into keeping the current system so that those fat-cats can continue to profit on the misery of sick and poor people. It’s dusgusting! As the saying goes, when the revolution comes, I think all the corporate executives should be the first up against the wall and shot!

SeventhSense's avatar

@HungryGuy
As the saying goes, when the revolution comes, I think all the corporate executives should be the first up against the wall and shot!
I can see why you might support Fascism. This is a page right out of their playbook. Violence is no basis for a free society.

HungryGuy's avatar

@SeventhSense – Nah, I don’t support Fascism. I was being somewhat sarcastic in that answer for I generally believe in whatever is mutually consensual; i.e. I’m actually somewhat of a Libertarian (though less so than I used to be). But I’m really, really pissed at the greed, selfishness, and, indeed, evil of so many corporate executives who think that us “ordinary” people should just die for lack of medical care so they can afford to buy a new Beemer every year—and are going to great lengths to spread lies and disimformation to deny heath care to those who need it. That’s just, well, EVIL!

mattbrowne's avatar

@HungryGuy – It might happen in 20 or 30 years. It might coincide with Alabama allowing unmarried women the legal use of a vibrator ;-)

HungryGuy's avatar

@mattbrowne – Yeah. Baby steps…

AshlynM's avatar

Requiring everyone to have a gun is just a recipe for disaster. There are way too many people with guns out there right now, that’s not including the police. Having guns in a family with small children is downright dangerous. They could accidentally shoot it at themselves or someone else.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Giving back the keys after a DUI is more dangerous to children than guns. If they drove drunk once they more than likely will do it again. There is nothing like wrapping Sparky around a tree, or taking him into on coming traffic on the way to hockey practice. I say everyone over 18yr that want a gun should be able to have one, moreover, they should be able to carry it on their person either open carry or concealed.

Bootsiebaby's avatar

I think it would be more dangerous.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther