General Question

john65pennington's avatar

Would you go "armed" on this trip?

Asked by john65pennington (29070 points ) July 5th, 2010

You and your s/o other are planning a vacation trip that crosses all of America. here is the catch: you are going together on one motorcycle. what are some of the items that are “necessities” on a trip such as this? what about carrying a weapon for self-protection for you? and, what about your s/o? should she also be armed?

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283 Answers

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Ron_C's avatar

My s/o has some sort of million volt taser. I expect she’t take that but fat chance that she’d ride across America on a motocycle. They don’t have air conditioning or reclining seats.

janbb's avatar

My son traveled alone cross-country on a motorcycle last summer and I worried about many things but not violence. He did not have a gun and never even the inklling of a need for one, except perhaps for the night there was a “bear” outside his tent which turned out to be a raccoon!

UScitizen's avatar

John, this isn’t even debatable. You MUST be armed. Welcome to the USA of 2010.

Austinlad's avatar

John, this isn’t even debatable. You must NOT be armed. More guns means more killing.

SmashTheState's avatar

@Austinlad Stay peaceful by keeping your piece full.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Armed with a taser or pepper spray/ something to that effect, sure, that can help you out in case a situation gets bad yet not be lethal. Gun? Fuck no, it usually escalates a problem by about a million fold and makes everything so much worse.

jaytkay's avatar

No. If you think the world outside your door is all menace and mayhem you are probably watching too much TV.

Likeradar's avatar

Nope. I avoid doing things that I think are so dangerous that I might be required to kill someone else to survive.

Austinlad's avatar

In the U.S. in 2007…
Homicide with a firearm: 12,129
Suicide with a firearm: 17,348
Death by accidental discharge of firearm: 721
And roughly 5,000 deaths from legal interventions(I.E. police shooting criminals)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

We would both be armed :)

missingbite's avatar

@john65pennington I know you are a retired Police Officer so I assume you still have your badge. With that you are probably ok to carry from state to state. For me, I have to be careful which states allow me to use my CC Permit. Not all states reciprocate. But to answer your question, yes, travel armed.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

.38 snub with hammer guard in the ankle holster and just fuggetaboudit.

Seek's avatar

Well, for one, I’d never travel by motorcycle. I’m leery of dirt bikes in empty fields, much less cross-country on something that doesn’t even qualify as a vehicle (imo).

However, if I were travelling cross country in a small car, my necessities would not include a firearm.

Necessities would include a couple changes of clothes, toiletries, cash, credit cards, a camp stove, my collapsible campsite cooking utensils, a tarp, a rope, matches, blankets, a first-aid kit, and a couple of good knives.

laureth's avatar

You may wish to look at your route and what jurisdictions it crosses. Then, check out the gun laws in those places.

Are you camping or travelling in the wilderness? Or are you sticking to well-travelled areas, staying in hotels or with friends? These and other considerations change things up.

majorrich's avatar

If even with a little peashooter .22 I rarely leave the house unarmed anymore. Certainly if I were to camp my way across the States on a motorcycle I would include some sort of firearm. There are all sorts and kinds of threats that just by showing the willingness to protect oneself are diffused. Personally I diffused a possible situation at my favorite convenience store using just the laser on my .22. The person saw the spot, turned around, saw it settle on his head and ran like a scalded dog out of the store. I get free slushies now..

UScitizen's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies What you say makes a lot of sense. But, wouldn’t the 340pd, hammerless, be a better option? ... of course, with crimson trace laser sights, for quick self defense.

JLeslie's avatar

I would not even think to carry a weapon. Where the hell are you going that this occurs to you? Will you be camping and for protection you want a gun against wild animals?

UScitizen's avatar

If we follow the advice of @Austinlad… then…. Only the criminal will be armed, and he WILL be armed. You and I, the law abiding citizen, will be like lambs lead to the slaughter. The armed law abiding citizen is a danger only to the criminal.

UScitizen's avatar

@JLeslie… Yes, he needs protection against wild animals. He may have to ride through Memphis, and buy fuel at Winchester and E.P., after he visits Graceland.

JLeslie's avatar

@UScitizen The statistical probability of coming up against someone who is has a gun and wants to rob or kill you is pretty damn low. I have been to Graceland many times and my husband works off of Danny Thomas and I never have a gun with me.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@UScitizen its been proven time and time again, you are much safer with wild animals with pepper spray over a gun.

Seek's avatar

@UScitizen
“The armed law abiding citizen is a danger only to the criminal.”

The firearm suicide stats disagree with your statement.

Also, the best deterrent to wild animals is fire, not a firearm. An animal able to injure you likely won’t know he’s dead until long after he’s been shot.

jazmina88's avatar

@john65pennington All you need is dog. Get him a helmutt.
guns should not be used in downtown Memphis. I lived there without one.

Life happens. You can get shot at home.

cazzie's avatar

Guns, in this context, are for cowards.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’ve been called worse.

JLeslie's avatar

So many Memphians, or people who live or have lived in Memphis on this thread.

Nullo's avatar

I’d bring something with me, but I wouldn’t really expect to need it. Same with the first aid kit.

mammal's avatar

Yes, with Common sense and intuition.

Coloma's avatar

No..I think that this sort of thinking acutally draws the negative towards you.

I am a single woman, and, I have traveled extensively in and out of the country….never a shady encounter, ever.

Several of my excursions have involved traveling with female friends and, my 22 year old daughter.

The only thing you should worry about is ’;shooting’ enough pictures to relive the fun!

Maybe pepper spray if you feel that threatened, but..guns…nope, I am not an advocate of the firearms mentality.

JLeslie's avatar

Just curious are all you armed people from the south?

cfrydj's avatar

If weapons are necessary luggage when travelling in the USA, then I’m cancelling my planned vacation there next summer.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Down by the Arkansas border. LOL :). Just kidding.

gemiwing's avatar

I suppose if you’re going to travel to seedy bars, drug-ridden neighborhoods, wear every item of value you can, carry a victim sign, try to bust up an old cartel you have a score with or camp in a vacant lot downtown then yes, a gun might be wise.

Wiser to plan your trip better.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I think @Nullo is MO also actually.

missingbite's avatar

@gemiwing Yea because shootings never happen in safe places like gun free zone schools, churches, shopping malls, and restaurants.

JLeslie's avatar

@cfrydj Don’t let this question deter you, this is ridiculous, while in big cities just stay on the beaten path like in any major city around the world. The OP is a police officer, or was, so he is probably accustomed to having a weapon on him, and maybe feels vulnerable without it. People in the US south generally are more “gun” minded.

Coloma's avatar

@cfrydj

No they are not!

And don’t let anyone use their scare tactics on you.

Every country has it’s seedier parts of town..that’s not usually where anyone goes for sightseeing.

I just came back form a month is asia last March..I chewed Betlenut with a cab driver, partied in streetcorner pubs, walked around the night markets, learned the city and wandered all over often by myself when my traveling pals had other agendas.
I am an attractive, blonde, blue eyed, bohemiam, pigtailed gal..and I had no fear or any even remotely questionable encounters.

Okay..I am obviously too old to be worried about being kidnapped for the sex trades in asia these days..but still….lolol

In my opinion you should banish all negative thoughts from your mind…I mean it!

This is not to say that some practicality is not in order, be aware, but don’t go looking for trouble where there is none.

Call me a Pollyanna but, I truly believe that my happy go lucky and open, friendly approach to life is the only ‘protection’ I need.

Proofs in the pudding…here I am. ;-)

Seek's avatar

@missingbite

And truly, what good is having a gun on you when a psycho rampage begins going to do? You could maybe, possibly shoot them back, maybe surviving long enough to be arrested for discharging a firearm in a public place? (ten years in Florida, 25 if you hit someone)

Austinlad's avatar

@UScitizen, so your solution to staying safe is: you arm, I arm, everybody arms, and then one day one of us shoots the other because one of us doesn’t agree with the other.

Oh wait—people already doing that.

I don’t have the answer, but I sure as heck know it’s not arming everybody in the country.

missingbite's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr First off, if I were to save my life or someone that I loved, I would rather do the 25 years. Second, since Florida has one of the most relaxed CC Permit laws in the country, I doubt seriously anyone would see prison time for self defense. But to each their own.

Seek's avatar

@missingbite

Florida law also states that you have the right to carry concealed with a permit, and you are allowed to brandish a weapon in self-defense. You do not have the right to fire the weapon.

The only place you are guaranteed the right to discharge a firearm is inside your own house, if you can prove the intruder bore an immediate threat to your life or that of your family.

missingbite's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I’d have to see proof that someone went to jail for a self defense shooting. Now if I shoot in self defense and kill another innocent, you are correct. However, a person should NEVER “brandish” a weapon unless they are fully prepared to use it. That is more dangerous than not having a weapon at all.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JLeslie Yes @Nullo actually lives probably no more than a mile away from me. Yet we cannot seem put down our guns long enough to arrange a face to face.

@JLeslie “Down by the Arkansas border.”

Not where I live, but that’s close to where I was born. Lot’s of family in that good old country.

missingbite's avatar

@Austinlad It seems to be working for Switzerland and even, Kennesaw, GA.

zenele's avatar

Outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.

But aren’t there states that don’t allow firearms?

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Hahahaha. I know many many people who own guns, and I am in favor of the right to own a weapon, but I think it is ridiculous to feel on a vacation you need to travel packing.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Not a need. A desire.

janbb's avatar

@zenele Apparently not any more, acorrding to last week’s Supreme Court decision.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenele You mean states in the United States? Not that I know of. I think it is stil legal in every state, the laws just vary on how easy it is to get one, and some don’t allow concealed weapons so you would have to carry out in the open.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Desire. Why do you desire it?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Technically, in Missouri, I believe that during travel, the gun would have to be kept in the trunk of the car, unloaded, and in a case separated from the ammo. It used to be that way. It may have changed, I don’t really know.

missingbite's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies You would be fine traveling through Missouri.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JLeslie “Why do you desire it?”

I desire to be over prepared in every life excursion. I take lots of crackers and water too, even though I may never use them.

missingbite's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr That is not self defense. That is illegal discharge. Are you telling us that if it had been real intruders with guns he still would have gotten 20 years? No way. Shooting because you think something is there is totally different than shooting someone who is pointing a gun at you.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Well, that would not really help you if someone was threatening your life, having the gun in your car trunk.

tinyfaery's avatar

Of course. I’d come armed with my wits, my common sense and my self-defense training. I have never and will never own a gun

Seek's avatar

@missingbite

Also, here is an interesting article on women incarcerated for killing abusive husbands in self-defense.

The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are sentenced on average to 15 years, despite the fact that most women who kill do so in self-defense (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1989).
Currently there are 2,000 battered women in America who are serving prison time for defending their lives against their batterers. (Stacey Kabat, Remarks from presentation at Harvard School of Public Health, Center for Health Communication, June 1991)

Self Defense Florida
It is impossible for any defendant, black or white, man or woman, to get a fair trial in a self-defense case in Florida. While the Florida Legislature amended the self-defense laws in 2005, Florida Statutes 776.013, 776.012 (adopting the “Stand Your Ground” law written by the N.R.A., and since 2005, adopted by 30-odd other states), the Florida Supreme Court has so horribly written the standard self-defense jury instructions (SD-JI) as to deprive all defendants of a fair trial.”

Ron_C's avatar

@tinyfaery I think that I agree with your answer the most. My father always told me that you either learn to fight, become a fast talker, or learn to run. I have always found it best that I talk myself out of a fight rather than take a beating for no good reason and in could never make the 4 minute mile.

jaytkay's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Man does 20 year minimum mandatory sentence for firing two warning shots into a sofa – in his own home

Do you have separate verification of that story?

Self Defense Florida is obviously a site with a single agenda. And the owner has the same name as the disbarred attorney who was allegedly wronged. Coincidence?

zenele's avatar

I didn’t know that. Then I would definitely travel with my Glock 17.

Seek's avatar

@jaytkay
That happened in my own county. I can tell you that we don’t have a newspaper or news channel of our own. The closest one would be 30 miles away. Pasco cops are notorious for harassing citizens – most defense lawyers in the area don’t even deal with Pasco.

I’ll do a search for a corroborating story, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there never was one.

missingbite's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr After reading the self defense link I’ll admit that the law is poorly written. I would still defend myself in Florida if I were in immediate danger for my life or that of my family.

Your link to battered women, while horrible in and of itself, is a little misleading. Most of the women and men who kill in domestic abuse cases were not in “immediate threat of death.” Some were. With that being said, there is no excuse for domestic abuse and I personally feel that men who beat their significant others should be in jail long before it comes to murder.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I travel across the country (well from Kansas to the east coast and back) with just my 8 year old son several times a year. I’ve never once thought about taking a gun for protection. We pack food to snack on while driving, drinks, and something to entertain him. We’ve stopped at truck stops and gas stations in various places and never had a problem. I’ve stopped to get gas in the out skirts of DC (which aren’t exactly known for their safety) at night without a problem before.

I would be more concerned about what I would have to do with my gun when I got out of my vehicle. There are some places that do not allow guns to be brought in them (permit or not). In those situations, you would have to leave it in your vehicle (which I wouldn’t want to do).

Seek's avatar

The two major newspapers in the Tampa Bay area have no mention of this circumstance in their archives. Not surprising, as no one was hurt, save the man who was put in jail for 20 years for no reason other than shooting a couch.

Coloma's avatar

I am all for a persons ‘rights’ to keep firearms..BUT…in my opinion those that wish to carry and, or, carry concealed weapons are secretly hoping for an encounter.

I think it’s part of the diehard, hardcore machismo that is still so prevelent in this country.

The ’ Oooh, I’m a bad ass dude, don’t mess with me.’ Ugh!

I understand the programming, family tradition, longstanding belief systems and geographical issues surrounding this mentality..but, underneath it all, I truly believe it is all about ego and the tough guy image.

The fantasy image of ’ just let ‘em try and mess with me.’

The most dangerous thing ever is to cling to outdated beliefs and ideologies that no longer serve out of a sense of ‘right’ and ‘tradition.’

There are plenty of self defense options that do not involve the potential of fatally harming another.

I find it all very unattractive.

missingbite's avatar

@Coloma Does she fit your “hardcore machismo” we have in this country? Suzanna Gratia-Hupp

jaytkay's avatar

@zenele But aren’t there states that don’t allow firearms?

Not in the US.

Even Chicago does not ban firearms, though its handgun ban has been in the news lately. Shotguns and rifles are legal in Chicago.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“There are plenty of self deefnse options that do not involve the potential of fatally harming another.”

Then why do police carry guns?

jaytkay's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Then why do police carry guns?

Because they are regularly ordered into life-threatening situations. Unlike the average bed-wetter who plans his day around the imaginary army of evil-doers he’s going to dispatch on his trip to Walmart.

Coloma's avatar

@missingbite

I don’t even know who ‘she’ is, sooo…I’ll just lay it on the line as one participant of the teeming masses here.

I am apolitical, a pacifist by nature, and believe that all of humanities issues arise from egoic attachment to faulty beliefs and the co-correspondant attachment to power over.

‘War’ is a state of mind, and it begins at home, within the individual as does charity.

This is why the ‘war’ on drugs, violence, crime, etc. will never succeed in any positive resolutions.

War begats war, hate begats hate, and fighting violence with more violence is not the answer.

The ‘answer’ most likely will not come in this lifetime…maybe.

I am not here to win any popularity contests, just tossing my hat in the ring.

Seek's avatar

@jaytkay

This is my BOOMSTICK!

Shop smart. Shop S-Mart

missingbite's avatar

@Coloma I too am just throwing my hat into the ring. I just thought you would like to watch a short video that sums up why most of us carry. It has nothing to do with being macho or being a bed-wetter that we are sometimes called.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I find it interesting that those who are anti-gun are the first to begin the attacks with name calling.

Coloma's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies

I fail to see any name calling.

bedwetter is not a term I am familiar with.

There is truth in a good amount of what is being said here.

For every resonsible gun owner, there are about a dozen who do fall into the mega machismo John Wayne fantasy of being the captain of their own law and order.

The army of one mentality.

I have no doubt that the vigilante fantasies are alive and well in many.

Facade's avatar

I think carrying a gun would be very necessary if traveling cross-country on a bike. There’s no way to tell what kind of people you’d encounter on that trip. Planning for the worst would be a smart thing to do.

missingbite's avatar

@Coloma I simply fail to find proof that responsible gun owners are the John Wayne type. I believe that there are dozens of people you come in contact with everyday that are carrying a firearm and you have no idea about it. We aren’t pulling out weapons for no reason, driving through bad sections of town, or trying to intimidate anyone with our weapons. That is what criminals do. For both of our sakes I hope and pray that I never have to pull my weapon. I know dozens of CC Permit holders that feel the same way. Not one person, aside from police officers, at my local gun range has ever pulled a weapon on anyone that I know of. And we discuss these things. Most of us are just prepared to if we have to. We know how dangerous it can be and want to even the odds.

Coloma's avatar

@missingbite

Oh yes, I have…and the contact has been far too close for me. lol

While I have never been a fan of keeping firearms, I can also say that I HAVE had a handful of experiences living in a rural mountain area the last 18 years that HAVE colored my views to a large degree.

I have had drunk hunters tresspassing on my property chasing deer.
I have had a lunatic neighbor that actually snapped a tree limb over my head on MY property taking potshots into oblivion.

I have had the same old neighbor wave a rifle in my face when my dog went onto his property.

I have been SHOT at with a bow while riding my horse on public logging trails by some jerk that pegged an arrow at something that moved on the trail which was a horse and rider!

And…last but not least, another friend who actually had her horse shot in the neck while on a trail.

Soooo…call me biased, you might be too, and this makes my point all the more valid, guns are like alcohol and just because they are legal does not mean they are being used responsiblly by a HUGE section of the population.

jaytkay's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I find it interesting that those who are anti-gun are the first to begin the attacks with name calling.

That might refer to my comments.

I live in the USA like the gun toters here.

My city (Chicago) is more dangerous than most. I live in a nice neighborhood, but I also spend time in some rough places. (If you know the city, 87th St by the lake would be an example).

So when people say the “need” to carry a gun while they drive their SUV to 7–11 for a Slurpee, yeah, I see a frightened bed-wetter.

missingbite's avatar

@Coloma You have had way more than your fair share of incidents. That says something doesn’t it? Good luck!

Coloma's avatar

@missingbite

Likewise. it sounds as if you are one of the diligent and cautious gun owners.

whatthefluther's avatar

I used to have a couple weapons (9mm & 38 revolver) in my home for protection and thankfully never needed to pull them out but am glad I had them just in case. I never thought to carry a weapon while traveling and logged tens of thousands of miles on motorcycles since the 1970s without incident. I have no problem with responsible level-headed people carrying weapons for their protection. If they were to break the law and do something stupid rather than take reasonable measures to avoid a problem such as showing off a weapon because they “felt” threatened yet there was no reasonable threat, I hope they are convicted and sentenced to the maximum extent of the law for their stupidity. Go ahead and carry it John. Be safe, stay level-headed and have a great trip. Oh yeah, one more thing…..I suggest you don’t go flipping anybody off.
See ya…..Gary/wtf

jaytkay's avatar

Funny nobody has mentioned this yet – motorcycles are REALLY dangerous. Bikers die a lot.

I love motorcycles, but I haven’t owned one for years because they are A LOT more dangerous than traveling un-armed or simply driving an automobile.

missingbite's avatar

@jaytkay I fail to see what one has to do with the other. Sure motorcycles are dangerous, but there is no malicious human factor involved. By your rational no one would ever do anything. Carrying a gun on a road trip is simply being prepared.

jaytkay's avatar

@missingbite By your rational, carrying $100,000 cash would be “simply being prepared.” In case you had to buy an emergency heart transplant and the phone lines were down due to an earthquake so your insurance company could not be contacted.

Or always traveling with a Japanese translator would be “simply being prepared.. Because what if you broke down in the Nevada desert and had appendicitis and a busload of Japanese doctors was your only hope? What then?

You don’t need a gun to travel around the US.

Coloma's avatar

@jaytkay
LOL

I love batting around analogy, always slams the ball right outta the park. :-)

xshortiex's avatar

dont be stupid, if you carry a weapon, your more likely to need it

missingbite's avatar

@jaytkay Not having insurance in case I needed a heart transplant would be “not prepared.” Fortunately I have insurance. I’ll take my chances that the busload of Japanese doctors have their own translators like I did while I was in China. See, I was in their country, so I was prepared. Let’s hope you never need someone with a handgun. Although I’m sure you would rather be the victim of a crime instead of being prepared. Your post was pretty funny though. Have you tried stand-up comedy as a hobby or job?

jaytkay's avatar

@missingbite Have you tried stand-up comedy as a hobby or job?

No, but you don’t need a gun to travel around the US. Sorry you find the place so intimidating. That must be difficult.

jazmina88's avatar

Police carry arms so they will be on equal weapons terms with offenders. and no get blown up.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

No one needs a motorized vehicle to travel around the US either. The first explorers didn’t even have roads. It’s not a question of need. It’s a matter of responsible expression of desire.

People were thoughtlessly killing one another way before firearms were ever invented.

What difference does it make to anyone if a responsible person desires to arm themselves? Why must we be looked upon with insult and judgment? Certainly no reasonable person would claim that violence is related to responsible gun ownership.

DominicX's avatar

If I was going to do that, yes, I probably would be armed. (Although I would never do that in the first place). But I’m not exactly the type of person who could easily physically defend himself in a crisis.

zophu's avatar

If a person is competent with the constant possession of a firearm, it is almost their duty to carry one in a way. To know that you can handle the responsibility, to choose not to carry a firearm, and then need one later where lives could be saved? that’s unacceptable.

Blondesjon's avatar

Gun. You should know how to handle a situation until you need to draw a weapon, you know, since you were a cop and all.

On the other hand, if you were Mr./Mrs. regular American, probably not.

i would take a gun.

zophu's avatar

@Blondesjon Brock Samson never needed a gun…

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes, I’d go armed on the trip. The kicker is checking to see if whatever weapon you’ve got is on the approved list for each state. I’ve got a great pistol here that I can’t take with me if I go into California to visit.

tinyfaery's avatar

I love Cali.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I love all these people keep saying “being prepared” Like there arent about a million other NON LETHAL ways to diffuse a potentially dangerous situation aside from a handgun.

zophu's avatar

@uberbatman There we go, unlike @Blondesjon, someone who’s answer fits their avatar’s character.”

Facade's avatar

@uberbatman What kind of sense does it make to combat a lethal threat with something non-lethal? If someone’s trying to kill you (most likely with a gun) using something non-lethal isn’t going to cut it. You can use your fist fighting skills but if they shoot you, you’re dead.

missingbite's avatar

@uberbatman Please explain how you can be better prepared in a car jacking with NON LETHAL. BTW, a large number of car jacking victims are killed.

Zaku's avatar

Unarmed.
I would never ride a motorcycle either.

gorillapaws's avatar

Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that @john65pennington wants to travel by one of the most dangerous methods possible, but is so concerned for his personal safety that he feels the need to be armed? All it takes is one stupid teenager text-messaging on the road to take you out on a bike, that’s a hell-of-a-lot more likely than running across modern-day brigands.

I’m with @Coloma on this one, anyone who travels armed has a secret urge to get the opportunity to use it.

missingbite's avatar

@gorillapaws Riding motorcycles is a very exhilarating experience. Being shot at a 7–11 isn’t. Just because riding a motorcycle is dangerous doesn’t mean @john65pennington won’t run into trouble. Especially if his trip brings him through AZ.

UScitizen's avatar

I’m glad we are having this debate. It is helpful to all. Please continue.

missingbite's avatar

@gorillapaws and @Coloma Since you believe people who travel with guns have a secret urge to use it, is it safe to say people who don’t carry guns secretly WANT to be a victim?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Facade @missingbite its called a taser. I dont know if you ever heard of them before. If not ill explain it to you, ya see it stuns the victim with electricity, enough to put them down but not have any serious permanent damage and allow you to escape. But yea i suppose shooting people works too…

gorillapaws's avatar

@missingbite no, and the two concepts aren’t logically equivalent either. I don’t cary blue-ringed octopus anti-venom on me at all times either, it doesn’t mean I harbor the desire to be bitten by one…

missingbite's avatar

@uberbatman Tasers are a great weapon, If you are in touching distance of the criminal. If you can get one of the tasers that the police use, which fire barbs at the criminal, you better hit them. I’m not sure you can even purchase that kind. I’d rather have my handgun.

@gorillapaws Talk about two concepts not equivalent. I didn’t realize @john65pennington‘s road trip was taking him into the ocean to provoke the Blue-ringed octopus. See they don’t attack humans like criminals do. I bet he does take precautions to not get bitten by one though.

Coloma's avatar

@missingbite

Cute, snappy comeback, but…no.

Riding horses is also an exhilarating experience….but wondering if you’re going to take an arrow or a bullet while loping along a beautiful mountain trail is not.

If I want to walk, jog, ride or bicycle a trail I should not have to worry about being a victim of some foolhardy jerk having a field day with their guns and bows.

As far as the travel scene goes, I have already addressed my thoughts about that, no need to repeat my POV.

gorillapaws's avatar

@missingbite again, you’re missing the point. I provided an example that shows that not providing protection from x doesn’t at all indicate that you have a desire to be a victim of x. This is logically very different from @Coloma‘s claim.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

A few years back a bf and I moved across country in a moving van, towing a vehicle behind and staying in a new state each night. We went armed and I was fine with that since I figured travelers are one of the easiest marks for robbery and assault since they’re out of their home territories and may not know the safest places to stay. I suspect criminals see the the La Quinta Inns and such as supermarkets full of victims.

missingbite's avatar

@Coloma I agree you shouldn’t have to worry about an arrow or bullet. You have shown that sometimes you do. Through no fault of your own, by your own admission, you have encountered many situations where I and others would feel safer with the protection of a firearm. You don’t feel the same. That is ok with me as it is your right.

Coloma's avatar

I will say that some of the worst and most reckless offenders are BLM users, public lands that are for everyones use.

It’s bad enough to be fearful of taking a bullet while on trail, but…it’s also really dangerous when firearms are discharged and spook horses.

Years ago I had this expereince too, my horse bolted down a rocky cliffside and I had to throw myself off to avoid a potential fall of us both.

Dislocated my shoulder, another really fun encounter with shooters in the woods.

missingbite's avatar

@gorillapaws That is my point in all of this. When you deal with criminals, you don’t have a choice. All you can do is be prepared. All you have to do is be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s unlikely that @john65pennington will run into trouble. Traveling across country on a motorcycle ups his chances.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I didnt realize their roadtrip was through all of americas ghettos. Do you even realize the likelyhood that something could even happen?

gorillapaws's avatar

@missingbite and here’s my point in all of this, if @john65pennington was that concerned about his safety that he felt the need to arm himself when the odds that having those weapons might actually make a difference in his personal safety are incredibly small, he would want to travel in a vehicle that afforded more protection in an accident which is infinitely more likely to occur.

It’s like wearing chain-mail to protect you in the offhand case that a mental patient has escaped and managed to get his hands on a medieval weapon, while on your way to go play a match of russian roulette.

El_Cadejo's avatar

i think im going to start carrying around a grenade. I mean ya never know when ill need it in a pinch or somethin…..

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Traveling from state to state, people tend to be distractable, tired and out of regular habits to where their “spidey sense” might be compromised. If I were a criminal of any sort then I’d see my odds of scoring go way up if I lurked the highways, restaurants, rest stops, motels/hotels, etc. and I’d also gamble most marks not to be armed. Sorry, but out of my element I’d rather be on the extra few pounds of caution. You don’t have to be going through ghetto areas to be an easy mark. Criminals stake out places people flock to in order to feel “safe” and off guard.

missingbite's avatar

@gorillapaws I see your point about the motorcycle. You have valid points. I would guess that he is an experienced rider and willing to risk getting hurt doing something he loves, while he is not willing to be a victim of a gun crime. I’d carry.

Facade's avatar

@uberbatman Why should I care about not hurting/ killing a person who’s trying to hurt/ kill me?

gorillapaws's avatar

@missingbite just because he’s armed doesn’t mean he can’t be a victim of crime. It’s certainly possible that someone could just shoot him in the back, or pull their guns before he has a chance to react. A violent, predatory criminal has the advantage of initiative and surprise which makes a big difference in many situations.

And what makes bikes so dangerous in my mind isn’t the rider (who is typically very experienced and smart), but all of the thousands(millions?) of crappy drivers out there who do stupid and reckless things. I have a lot more faith that my fellow man isn’t going to rob me, than I do that he’s going to check his blind-spot and not run me off the road when he changes lanes.

missingbite's avatar

@gorillapaws I agree about the bike. They are dangerous and I hope that @john65pennington will wear a helmet and be careful. Like I said before, he probably feels the trip is worth the risk. I disagree about the criminal. The vast majority of criminals that he could run into will not have an advantage. Most of the time, the criminal is not in their right mind, on drugs or alcohol, and scared to death of getting caught. Even in armed robberies, the criminal is usually looking around to see who is watching because they assume the person they are robbing is unarmed. In carjackings they are looking around for cops. Criminals committing the types of crimes that he would be carrying to protect himself from are not that smart and sophisticated. Especially for a retired police officer like @john65pennington.

Nullo's avatar

This would doubtless be an excellent traveling companion. The rounds are small enough and slow enough that you probably won’t kill what you’re shooting at, but you will likely chase it away.
And there are thirty rounds per magazine, in case the other guy is undeterred by a few near misses.

@Austinlad There are 250 million people out there who own guns. Homicide numbers need context, like how they’re generated by a very, very small segment of the gun-owning population who would just find another way to be horrid to one another. Like with illegal or homemade guns.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I must admit to being taken aback at the notable consensus that by being a gun owner, that I must have some secret desire to brandish and or use it against someone in violence.

How utterly shortsighted.

I have no more desire to use my firearm against someone than I desire to use my car or health insurance. These tacit assumptions about responsible gun owners are unwarranted and altogether fueled by ignorance. Be wary of removing longstanding freedoms born of necessity and hard fought heritage. For the next freedom removed may be your own.

gorillapaws's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I suspect I’m in much greater danger of being killed or injured by a reckless gun owner than I am to be enslaved because I refuse to own one. I’m not sure what brand of kool-aid you’re drinking, but any fears of slavery are not based on reality. It actually makes me concerned that someone who harbors the delusion that someone is going to try to enslave him is actually allowed to own a gun.

I suspect that most gun owners who open carry, or have concealed weapons either fantasize about being the “hero” by saving the day with their shiny gun, or on the other side of the coin, harbor a desire for the legal opportunity to end the life of some low-life scumbag. The vast majority of people don’t walk around packing heat, and do just fine.

Statistically speaking, it would probably make more sense to walk around with a portable defibrillator, and a snake-bite kit then a .45 in terms of the number of lives you would be able to save. But then you don’t get those fearful looks of respect that you do when you’re packing heat.

Personally, I’m highly skeptical that these situations present themselves in which a firearm is actually helpful frequently enough to outweigh the risks that possessing the firearm inherently creates. Here’s a 20/20 piece that shows how difficult it is to actually use a weapon for self-defense in real-life situations. I realize @john65pennington is a retired police officer, and so this would likely apply less to him than to most other people.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@gorillapaws “I suspect that most gun owners…”

What are your suspicions based upon?

Again, what’s with the “hero” and “shiny gun” talk? It’s altogether insulting. It’s based in ignorance and specifically designed to make me feel bad about owning a gun. It serves no purpose to this discussion other than to degrade and belittle me. It prevents reasonable discussion.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

And people don’t invent defibrillators and snake bite kits with a desire to ever use them. But we’re all very grateful they are available.

gorillapaws's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies There is no intent to personally attack anyone, don’t take it personally. It’s based on personal experience and an above-average knowledge of human psychology.

Nullo's avatar

Sadly, it’s the rare person who files guns with fishing poles and golf clubs as tools for recreation.

Did y’all know that the Boy Scouts of America encourage teaching kids to use firearms? Many of their camps have shooting ranges and rifles, which are made available to the troops staying there. That’s where I first fired a .22. They’d charge something like a dollar for five rounds
I somehow don’t think that they’re preparing kids to be vigilantes or any such.

Oh sure, some cultivate fantasies of being armed in the right place at the right time, doubtless because the majority of action movies depict the right guy in the right place at the right time. Heck, I cultivate fantasies in that flavor using the tools of my trade; it’s how I while away the boring work-hours. But short of an actual emergency, those don’t go anywhere.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies’ post reminded me of a Popular Mechanics article that I once read about a guy in California who bought a bunch of firefighter gear and installed a massive water tank in anticipation of the annual wildfires. When they came, he successfully defended his home and that of a neighbor from the conflagration. He was prepared, and prevailed because of it. The article went on at length explaining how planning for the fire – including planning an escape – greatly improved the man’s odds. Was he jonesing for heroism? Was he secretly hoping that a fire would show up so that he could put it out? Probably not.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I have been shot at on the highway. My home was broken into and I was forced at gun point to watch my room mate get the shit kicked out of him by three guys brandishing electrical cable from telephone lines with the rubber pulled back and wires frayed. They slashed up his face pretty good and there was nothing I could do about it.

I’ve been woken up in the middle of the night with a baseball bat to my skull. I lost a lot of blood that night and could easily have died.

In my older years, I refuse to allow these scenarios to ever happen again. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself for not having the means to protect my children. None of these incidents were in a bad part of town. One of the assailants was… edit.

gorillapaws's avatar

If you were woken up in the night with a baseball bat to the skull how would having a gun locked securely away been any help to you? (I realize we’re getting pretty far off topic)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Last comment edited for reasons that no one need concern themselves with. Please respect this.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

A week later, it happened again. But this time I was prepared, and waiting. It never happened again. I have set up the necessary precautions to ensure this. I sleep much better now.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Facade you really think you could pull the trigger when it comes to that moment? You think you have what it takes? Could you live with something like that the rest of your life, knowing you took the life of another? Even if it was just some “low life skum”? Better them than you right?

Facade's avatar

@uberbatman I am fairly certain I could shoot someone trying to hurt me. I’d be more sure if (granted this is no longer hypothetical) I had some gun training. I could live with the fact that I successfully protected myself. If they attacked me, yes, better them than me.

JLeslie's avatar

This thread makes me realize how many people actually have guns on them all of the time. I knew it was bad where I live, because we have signs all over saying, “no guns on premises” or something along those lines. My husbands company makes you sign a document that you read their rules and regs and one of the lines is, “you cannot bring your gun on the property.” My husband called me, when he first read it, because he could not believe the wording. Your gun. First, technically, that means you probably could bring someone elses. Second, it should probably say weapon, but maybe they are ok with big knifes? I have lived in MD, MI, FL, NC, and have never felt so surrounded by gun-minded, paranoid people in our lives until we moved here to Memphis. Well, I guess it is not totally paranoid, this city does have a lot gun violence. Very gun minded here, like I said above. It kind of proves to me that once everyone starts to have a gun, every has to have a gun. What the people here don’t realize is if the community never starts to have guns, people don’t really need guns, and it is in my opinion more comforting to not have guns and gun talk all around me. Howeverm I can’t for th elife of me figure out how to de-gun once the snowball effect has begun.

Maybe we can generalize all of TN, since I think @john65pennington is in Nashville and I am in Memphis. In this link is shows a table under 2008 Data and you can see statistically, based on population Nashville is pretty high for violent crime compared to the overall population of the city http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate Memphis is really bad also. Still, if you don’t go to the ghetto you should be ok. These crimes generally happen in specific areas of the city like any city.

Over all I have enjoyed living outside of Memphis, but one of the negatives for me is the crime, it is ridiculous.

Coloma's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies

Of course I am not privy to the circumstances of which you speak, but, it seems questionable that something is not quite on the level with your experiences.

Being shot at on the highway randomly would be an unforseen incident certainly, but…these other episodes of violence, there must be a link there somewhere that leads back to you and, or, the people you were keeping company with at the time.

If you were not living in a bad area it seems to me that perhaps these incidents might have some common denominator such as drug use or other questionable behaviors or yourself or aquaintances?

To be assaulted twice in one’s home for no reason…just doesn’t add up in my opinion.

Is there more to the story than you care to share?

janbb's avatar

Just to address a point raised some posts ago about Arizona. My son rolled his bike outside a convenience store in rural Arizona. He limped with a big gash in his leg into the store and was directed to the bathroom where he cleaned up. They called the local fire department who brought him to the hospital 45 minutes away. One of them rode his bike to the firehouse where they stored it for him, and they offered to pick him up when he got out of the hospital to bring him back to his bike. This was his worst experience on the trip and no guns or violence were involved at all.

majorrich's avatar

Probably on a long trip like that the worst think that will happen will be walking bowlegged and having numb buttocks and hands, but it doesn’t hurt to consider contingencies. If, for instance, one were to become lost off the trail (a slim possibility on a road trip) Three shots is a universal signal of distress and also gives searchers a way to triangulate your location. I hate snakes and depending on where you camp there is the possibility one might take up shelter in your sleeping bag (shake it out, always a good idea in the desert.) I think carrying a small firearm might be like an insurance policy. Probably won’t use it, pray you don’t, but really happy you have it if you need it. I too am a retired law enforcement officer (first in the military, then as a PFC) so I feel something is missing if I don’t have my little p-22 with me.

CMaz's avatar

If you don’t have arms, how are you going to ride the bike? :-)

I guess it depends on what you are going to arm yourself with. You can carry in most if not all states because you are a police officer. Is it not your duty to always carry anyway?

For the rest of us, the ones having a carry permit. We are limited from State to state.

Don’t know about riding a bike. But, if I was doing it in a car. I would have to store my weapon in the trunk. Also, I would want to see what states I was gong through and find out what the gun laws and other weapon laws are for those states. Even a knife in some states can be a no no.

Otherwise a taser or a piece of pipe is always a good equalizer.

janbb's avatar

We can argue this until we’re blue in the face but basically the people who like guns and believe they are useful would take them, and the folks who are anit-gun ownership, would not.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Coloma Aside from the random highway shooting, of course there is more to the other stories. But nothing so secretive that it justified being broken in on and attacked.

In the case of my room mate, he was followed home after an altercation on the street. They waited til nightfall, and broke down the door attacking him, scarring his face for life, holding me at gunpoint throughout the ordeal. I was left unharmed.

In the case of me waking up to a baseball bat to my head, well that’s a sorted ordeal. You might imagine that I was completely shaken during the days that followed. I had no idea why I had been attacked. I went crazy for a while after that, never sleeping at night, sleeping only during the day in a locked room and a gun in my hand. I searched my world for any possible reason but found nothing, and no clues.

In my search for answers, a friend recommended a psychic. I don’t believe in them and had never entertained the thought. But in desperation, I decided to listen. The psychic told me to sit down and hold her hands. She specifically told me not to tell her anything about my troubles, of which I did not. She sensed that I was obviously troubled, but anyone would have seen that just by looking at my disposition at the time.

Then she laid it on me. And boy did she lay it on. She told me that I had been stalked by a Satan worshiping homosexual who had desired sexual relations with me. This person was deeply disturbed but knew there was no chance of ever fulfilling his fantasy. So he decided to attack me in my sleep and rape me.

I know this sounds crazy, but my dead grandmother came to me in my sleep moments before the attack occurred. She told me that my life was in danger and that I must awaken immediately. I awoke just seconds before the first blow to my head, and that was enough consciousness to allow me to fight off my attacker successfully. We grappled down the hallway and tumbled down a staircase before I finally chased him off. I had been beaten badly but was grateful at being alive.

I have no idea who this person was.

The psychic told me that the problem was not over, but that I had nothing to fear for my personal safety. One week later the attacker returned. But this time I was prepared with my own weaponry, including a pistol in hand. I don’t know why I stayed awake that night, but my attacker was met at the door with the same baseball bat that he used on me the week before. I hurt him bad and chased him off. I often wonder if I should have let him enter my home further and shot him dead.

After calling the police, I jumped in my car and searched the neighborhood for this man. I found him ducking into a house less than a block away from my home. I returned to my home upon seeing the police arrive, and telling them where the man had fled, they ignored me. Yes that’s right, they ignored me saying there was nothing they could do.

You might imagine my protest was quite an earnest one. So much so that they ended up taking me to jail that night for disturbing the peace. I was bewildered to say the least. And the next morning, upon my release, I proceeded to contact the original detective from the first attack and tell him the entire story. He told me to forget about it and move away from the neighborhood as soon as possible. He was very angry and told me not to call or pursue this incident further.

As perplexed as I was, I had no desire to stay in that neighborhood, and since it was just a rental, I moved out immediately the next day. During my move, a group of neighbors came out to tell me that it was best for all involved that I moved away. It was like the Twilight zone. Even my landlord said that I should leave and let me out of the lease.

I packed up and left. But upon stopping for gas at the local station, one of my friendlier neighbors confided in me. He told me that this was an old neighborhood, and the families had grown up together for generations. They had their own police department separate from the city. Turns out the police chief was up for retirement that year, and no one would risk doing anything to put a spot on his record. I asked what in the world my incident had to do with spotting his record? How would this affect him?

The neighbor told me that it was his son who had attacked me. He was a crazy kid who had been setting churches on fire after taking a shit and masturbating on their front steps in the middle of the night. The entire neighborhood knew about this but was unwilling to do anything about it, thereby keeping the chief’s record clean before retirement. Apparently he had many old and longstanding friends that were willing to turn a blind eye to justice.

Turns out the psychic was right. The problem wasn’t over, but I indeed had nothing to worry about since I moved away.

Nullo's avatar

@JLeslie Please keep in mind that having a gun doesn’t make you paranoid any more than does locking your door. And that long guns (I have a 50” rifle and that’s before you put on the bayonet) make for very, very poor home defense/concealed weapons.
Your husband’s place of work likely was using “your gun” to include any guns presently in your possession; it’s probably made clear in the legalese. Missouri gun law treats any firearm in your possession more or less as if it were your own.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Yeesh. What part of town was this?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Scanlan and Ivanhoe

gorillapaws's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I have no way of verifying anything you claim in your story, so I’m just going to take you at your word that all of the assumptions you make are true. Having said that (and to try to bring this back around to the original question) let’s say you did use the firearm in self-defense by letting the child inside and then shooting him.

If the child really was the son of a crooked police chief, wouldn’t there be a good chance that you would then be framed for murder? I fail to see how using deadly force with a firearm would make such a difficult predicament of dealing with a corrupt police force any better. It seems to me that guns simply escalate the situation instead of diffusing it—especially in this instance.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I lived in LA for a few years and was there during the Rodney King riots. Every night the fires grew closer and closer, until one night, it was time for us to get out of the house and up onto the roof. Two blocks away was catching fire.

All we had were a couple of .22 rifles, but we were very glad to have them. Yes I know we could have fled, but there comes a point where a man must decide to draw the line. We were not to leave our home.

I remember driving through the burnt out city back then. Samy’s camera was one of the many shops completely torched. I learned of this trying to buy film for a photo assignment.

Driving around, it was clear to me that some shops were burned and others left alone. The ones left untouched were those who had men standing on the rooftops or in front with guns.

@gorillapaws Yes I’m pleased that I did not shoot this man. For numerous reasons, some of which you stated.

I also remember a time seeing two men arguing and taunting one another down the freeway. It was getting crazy between them. I don’t know what started it, but they were both ready to kill one another. I was behind them watching their entire ordeal, and it just so happened that they got off the same exit I needed to.

They taunted one another viciously with their cars and had no idea that I was witnessing the entire thing. As luck would have it, they turned again at the street I needed, and staying safely behind them, it was obvious that one man was trying to get home and the other was following him. The first car pulled over and the man dashed into his home. The other man parked and got out of his car following him through his yard, but when he got to the front door, it sprang open with the homeowner pointing a shotgun at the pursuant.

I assure you, the situation was immediately diffused. The pursuant threw his hands in the air and started walking backwards, getting into his car and rapidly speeding away. The armed man sat on his porch swing with shotgun in hand. I went home, and was never noticed by either of them.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Another time I was on assignment to photograph a retired school teacher. The school was in the middle of a neighborhood, and I had to park my car on the street.

As soon as I’d gotten out of my car, the house that I parked in front of had its door swing open and a bloody screaming woman came frantically running straight at me through her yard.

She screamed “Help me help me please help me!” I was shocked but tried to hold her and ask what had happened? She burst into tears, jerked away and ran to a neighbors home.

There I was, standing on the sidewalk, tracing the bloody trail in the yard back to the still open door of the house. It was rather eerie, but I decided to take a look inside.

I never entered the house, but from the front door, I could plainly see a man (what was left of a man) sitting on the sofa. He was headless, with a shotgun in his lap, and a huge blood red splatter stain on the white wall behind the sofa.

He had apparently committed suicide by blowing his head off right in front of his daughter.

I stayed until the police got there, naturally. I was questioned and allowed to leave. I remember when his wife returned. The police would not allow her to enter the home. They told her what happened in her front yard. She fell to the ground screaming.

I don’t know why I mentioned this really. I think it’s because I’ve often wondered if having a gun in that home made it easier for this man to commit suicide. I try to justify it by imagining him using another method (I’ve witnessed two basement hangings with electrical cord), so I don’t think this would have stopped him. But I also realize that he could have been crazy enough to take that gun and shoot up the neighborhood and kill his entire family first. Can’t do that with an electrical cord.

But all in all, I still don’t think that the gun was to blame in this situation, as much as I’m trying to see both sides of this debate.

tinyfaery's avatar

Don’t hang around @RealEyesRealizeRealLies, ever. I’ve lived 36 years in the ghettos of L.A. and have never even come close to needing a weapon. And I know some pretty shady people. What’s that bible quote? He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Look out!

janbb's avatar

I’ve never even seen a gun in RL.

CMaz's avatar

“He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.”

And sometime you just die by the sword. I prefer to add some odds to my end of it.

Facade's avatar

@tinyfaery Of course. Jesus did need his followers sword. :)

cazzie's avatar

This whole debate just makes me glad I don’t live in the USA. I hope they get help soon for their troubles.

Facade's avatar

Didn’t*

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@tinyfaery Although you’re probably right that we shouldn’t hang out, I don’t recall ever stating that I lived by the sword. I don’t live by the principles of having a gun. I don’t recall ever stating that I’ve used a gun against anyone either.

And what are you up to such that it allows you to “know some pretty shady people”?

You’re right, we probably shouldn’t hang out.

majorrich's avatar

One of my fathers favorite jokes was, the bible talks about beating all our swords into plowshares. Of course if you were ever hit by a plowshare dropped from a plane at 25000 feet… ouch…

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo I lock everything. Reasonable analogy, I’ll give you that. But, I never carry a gun. In fact I think the reasonable measures I take help me avoid having to feel like I need a gun. The thing about the your gun example at my husbands company, for my husband and me we would never think to carry a gun onto the property of a business. It is so foreign to us that it takes us by surprise. What you said about MO law makes sense, helps explain the phraseology.

Coloma's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies

Jeez…well….I’m speechless.

I dunno….

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I dunno either. I’m not happy that I feel more secure with owning a fire arm. But I cannot deny that I do. I’ve never used it, and would go to all ends to avoid it. I’ve been trained and do my best to be responsible for it. I’m sorry that many others do not.

Yet I cannot allow irresponsible users to rule the day for my responsibilities. No more than I can allow a few religious zealots to taint theism, or a few Catholic Priests to give all homosexuals a bad rap.

I dunno either.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies About your suicide example. Statistically men more often suicidal men tend to commit suicide, while suicidal women tend to attempt. One reason men are more likely to succeed is they pick methods that will really do the trick, like blowing their head off. I am not trying to make a distinction between men and women really, just pointing out that if a method that is very permanent with little chance to of being saved, the person will most likely actually die. My neighbor stuck a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, his mother came home and found him.

Now, the one thing about men and women is men tend to turn their anger outward, and women tend to turn it inwards. For men this can result in being violent towards others, and women tend to get very depressed. That angry man who also has a gun can be pretty frickin’ scary. The only times I knew my neighbors had guns was the kid I mentioned who killed himself (he was 17 or 18) and a man pulled a gun on his wife. The guy who pulled the gun, well that family was always kind of seen as the lower class rednecks of the block. Otherwise there was zero gun talk in my childhood, and all the way up until I moved to Raleigh I would say, but nothing like here in Memphis. I do have a friend who goes hunting, and had a husband who taught target shooting, so they were very gun oriented and savvy, but I have never heard her talk about having a gun for protection (although she might?).

Austinlad's avatar

I congratulate everyone on this thread. I followed it closely and found it to be a mostly civil debate about an incredibly complex, emotion-wrenching topic. While no pro-gun argument changes my mind, I appreciate all the points of view.

laureth's avatar

Gun control debates usually come down along party lines with the politically and socially conservative on one side (pro-ownership) and the socially and politically liberal folks on the other (pro-control). There are notable exceptions (such as myself), but by and large this is true.

It is worth noting that some studies have shown that conservatives, in general, have more of a fear response than do liberal-types. It’s easy to understand why someone motivated by fear would want to own a weapon to protect him/herself and the family. And it’s easy to see why someone who isn’t as ruled by fear (and accepting of a certain level of risk in life, hence “liberal”) doesn’t see the necessity in owning a weapon when there are so many other pitfalls in gun ownership.

Just as you’re not going to suddenly make a fearful person forget about their fear, you’re not going to scare a non-fearful person with stories like those I’ve seen here. That is why it’s so hard to change a person from a pro-gun to a pro-control person, and vice versa. So what we must examine if we want to get anywhere in this debate is, first, is there any rational basis for the fear (and therefore a real need to be armed), and secondly, would gun control be a net plus or minus for society at large?

Arguments that gun control make a society safer don’t seem to be based in reality, because people forget that even in a world where no guns are legal, people with their heart set on mayhem will still find ways to get guns or arm themselves in some other way. It’s that old saw about “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

On the other hand, incidents where guns are really necessary seem to be rare. People probably don’t need one, and people with a gun but who don’t know how to use it are a danger to themselves and others. While I don’t think this is a good reason to ban guns, it is something that should be monitored, legislated, and educated out the wazoo. I’d much rather have a few guns in the hands of well-trained, intelligent people than either no-guns-at-all, or any-crazy-person-can-get-one.

Unfortunately, with the increasing partisanship lately, facts get lost in the debate and rhetoric and side-taking become paramount. As a result, I expect as we’ll move to one extreme and then the other as the pendulum of society swings. Both sides are imperfect, but to take a moderate view like mine brands you as wishy-washy rather than thoughtful. A pity.

Blondesjon's avatar

@laureth so you’re saying you’re pro-life?

laureth's avatar

@Blondesjon – In what context? In the abortion context, I am pro-choice, because I find that lives other than that of the fetus also matter, as does quality of life for everyone concerned. However, in other contexts, such as climate change, I am pro-life in that I want to keep the conditions in the livable range. Does this make sense?

Blondesjon's avatar

@laureth . . . total. i should have known better than to even try . . .

CMaz's avatar

@laureth

89 Year Old Beatrice Turner is glad she had a gun. When a guy kicked in her front door one evening.
So was Avi Mages, and her gun toting neighbors when an day in April. A ex convict decided to go through the neighborhood attempting to rob homes.

As was the man eating lunch on a park bench and having a knife put to his throat.
Michel lish who walked into his home only to find a man coming at him with a sward.

Carlos Martinez who was home with his wife and child when two masked men forced their way into the home.

And, an elderly couple that was though to be an easy mark when a 28 year old decided to come after them with a crow bar.

All these people are safe and ok because they were carry permitted individuals that stopped these criminals from harming them and their family.

The list goes on and on from all over the country.

I can only speak for Florida, crime is down because of the Freedom to bear arms.

As far as how many people get hurt by the misuse of a firearm.

80,000 people every year end up in the hospital, because they trip over their dog.

jaytkay's avatar

@ChazMaz

Thanks for the unsubstantiated anecdotes. Very persuasive. I shall email my local paper and all my friends with THE TRUTH!1!!

P.S.
Crime is down everywhere. Here in Chicago with our handgun ban – crime is down.

CMaz's avatar

Unsubstantiated?

Beatrice Turner – The De Moines Regester De Moines, Iowa 4/21/10

Avi Mages – Glenwood Post Glenwood, Co 4/29/10

Man enjoying lunch – The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT 4/27/10

Michael Lish – Tulsa World, Tulsa, OK 4/3/10

Carlos Martinez – WFTV-TV Orlando, FL 4/27/10

Eldery Couple – WIVB-TV Buffalo, NY 4/16/10

CMaz's avatar

Actually, because of your ban. If you look at the statistics. You crime is up.
It is actually getting worse.

Criminals still have them, the honest citizen does not.

States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes. Thirty-one states now have such laws—called “shall-issue” laws. These laws allow adults the right to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness.

After the Supreme Court ruled that cities and states must respect the right of individuals to own handguns for self defense, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley declared the justices to be divorced from reality. “They don’t seem to appreciate the full scope of gun violence in America,” he charged. Daley is right. They couldn’t possibly comprehend it as well as he does. Nor could the 80 year old West Sider who awoke one recent morning to find an armed man breaking into his home and killed him, with a firearm prohibited by the Chicago handgun ban. Not long after, another intruder was shot by a homeowner wielding a revolver.

jaytkay's avatar

@ChazMaz
Maybe some of your stories are true. I dunno. I gave up after the first two proved to be nonsense.

1)
Des Moines Register
‘There were no results for “Beatrice Turner”’

2)
There is no “Glenwood Post” newspaper

jaytkay's avatar

@ChazMaz “Actually, because of your ban. If you look at the statistics. You crime is up.
It is actually getting worse”

No, actually, the Chicago handgun ban was instituted in 1982. Homicides are down since then.

I could post some numbers but I lose patience when other people can’t be bothered.

whatthefluther's avatar

@jaytkay….In all fairness, the DesMoines Register story was there (you have to search archives as it is more than 30 days old) and is here.
See ya….Gary/wtf

Nullo's avatar

@laureth Once again, the sportsman and the collector are lost in the flurry.
I own two rifles, both of which I use for hunting. One of them is a .22 for small game. The other is a good deal larger and I keep it for deer though in the past it was issued to Soviet conscripts. I spent the afternoon acclimating myself to the scatter pattern on a friend’s small-game shotgun in anticipation of turkey season.
I’d like to buy other, more exotic guns, had I but the money. I want an Uberti remake of an Old West revolver. I want a flintlock. Yes, they still make flintlocks. I want to find a C96 Mauser that I can mod into Han Solo’s BlasTech DL-44 blaster pistol. I want a functioning replica of Malcom Reynold’s pistol. I want an original M1 Garand that has the magazine that goes kaping! when you eject it, both for the noise and the history.

Gun ownership isn’t always about fear.

Aaaand, as a bonus, I am equipped to repel intruders – though not terribly well, since rifles don’t maneuver in tight spaces – and I help increase the gun- and ammunition-purchasing statistics that make my political opposites nervous.

jaytkay's avatar

@whatthefluther .In all fairness, the DesMoines Register story was there (you have to search archives as it is more than 30 days old) and is here.

Conceded. I did not look hard enough.

My apologies to @ChazMaz,.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Ammo is probably the best economic investment that a person can make right now. Perhaps it’s a better investment than gold. The prices have been soaring.

@Nullo What a great wish list! I hope you get it. I really appreciate when someone cares enough to turn anything into collectible art. Nice!

gorillapaws's avatar

@Nullo I hope you can appreciate how incredibly dangerous having a lethal firearm disguised as a toy is…

Nullo's avatar

@gorillapaws Not really any more dangerous than having a lethal firearm disguised as a lethal firearm. Dedicated Star Wars fans have been keeping their hideously expensive replicas away from kids for a very, very long time. Careful gun owners have been keeping their dangerous firearms away from kids for even longer. As both a dedicated Star Wars fan and a careful gun owner, I’m confident that there won’t be any problems.
Anyway, I’m not disguising a lethal firearm. I’m making it more nerdily awesome.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’m more concerned with the extremely life like replicas of air soft guns that look like the real thing. That can really get a kid into some trouble, and the little red line around the barrel doesn’t quite distinguish it as a play gun when the shit hits the fan.

Coloma's avatar

Wow….this thread just keeps on morphing..now we’re talking about toy guns in disguise…
to infinity and beyoooond…..lol

cazzie's avatar

Again… SOOOOOO glad I’m not living or raising children in ‘modern’ America.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

We had pah-lenty of guns in old America too.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie America is very big, and we have many places that you would fit in just fine I am sure. The country is getting more and more divided it seems, but the people who are very extreme, the ones you would probably feel are a reason not to come to America, that group of people is getting smaller and smaller. They are loud, but they will be losing their voice more and more hopefully.

cazzie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies you get that when I put ‘modern’ in quotations, I was being sarcastic, right? There is nothing modern about this mentality. It’s sad, sad, sad.

Guilty consciences always make people cowards.

zophu's avatar

I think a lot of antigun mentality is based on short-sighted fear, along with more long-sighted concepts that bring discomfort. But, looking at things practically, a gun is a thing that shoots metal in a fairly predictable way. This can be useful in very critical moments where loved lives can be saved or lost. If one is capable of carrying and using a gun well, shouldn’t they? A good, capable person with a powerful tool, (even if it’s a tool of death,) can be a very valuable person to have around during dangerous situations. And dangerous situations do happen sometimes. . . Sorry.

Coloma's avatar

@cazzie

Yes…what @JLeslie said.

I and everyone I know are AWESOME americans! lol

gorillapaws's avatar

@zophu “This can be useful in very critical moments where loved lives can be saved or lost. If one is capable of carrying and using a gun well, shouldn’t they? A good, capable person with a powerful tool, (even if it’s a tool of death,) can be a very valuable person to have around during dangerous situations.”

First of all, many gun owners probably think they’re better than they are with the weapon. Very few people have had to fire a weapon in a life-death situation, and as I linked above, target practice does a poor job of actually preparing you for how to react in those situations.

There are psychological factors such as tunnel vision, and the fight/flight response that affects judgment and coordination in these situations. I suspect that a fairly significant percentage of people who you and I might think would be good in this situation, might actually create more problems than they solve.

Also weapons tend to escalate a situation. I don’t have proof, but I suspect that if someone studied it, people who are armed would be less likely to run, hide, play dead and get help from the authorities than those who are unarmed (they likely feel “obligated” to help by virtue of being armed). This inherently increases the odds that a firefight might take place, and could result in an errant shot hitting an innocent bystander.

If I were an innocent bystander during a bank robbery for example, I would feel a hell-of-a-lot safer knowing that none of my fellow hostages had a weapon, than if someone was carrying a concealed weapon and thought he would be a hero, possibly risking the lives of the whole group.

Nullo's avatar

@cazzie If it makes you feel better, some of the nicest people that I’ve met recently owned and made regular use of firearms.
We went hunting with a bunch of friends-of-a-friend once. We shared a campsite, stories, and good times. We were constantly around guns (which, by convention, were to be unloaded before entering the camp); they were propped against a tree trunk like hoes and spades, and we gave them as much consideration, unless we were talking about them.
My advice is to visit a gun store or three and just talk with the people in it. Leave your mind open. Ask those technical questions that you’ve always wanted to ask.
Or perhaps you could find a range in your area that rents guns, so that you can try one out. Most places are very clear about their rules, and will remind you should you forget.

laureth's avatar

@ChazMaz – I’ve read your post twice and I’m still trying to figure out what your beef with me is on this subject.

mattbrowne's avatar

I think you might have misspelled a word in the details section of your question. You probably meant that you’re planning a motorcycle vacation trip that crosses all of Afghanistan, right?

CMaz's avatar

@laureth – I have no beef with you. :-) Just sharing what I know.

For the 1,000,000th time.

Don’t take discussions on Fluther personal. We are sharing information.
Some will get enlightened, some will get confused and some only want to be right.
The latter not helping.

If there is information that is useful. GREAT! If not, pass over it.

But what ever you do, do not become emotional. Just MY advice. :-)

laureth's avatar

Cheers, then, @ChazMaz. :)

cazzie's avatar

@Nullo Hunting is one thing…. this thread is about taking a gun along in case it has to be used on or as a threat toward people too. I simply don’t want to live anywhere that a scenario like than even needs to be contemplated.

I GET hunting. I GET having to have a gun handy on Svalbard in case of polar bears. I GET culling numbers of seals, moose, deer with guns, but the scenarios portrayed by @realeyes are beyond comprehension.

CMaz's avatar

“I simply don’t want to live anywhere that a scenario like than even needs to be contemplated.”

Well, they are not selling homes on the moon yet. ;-)

cazzie's avatar

@ChazMaz I feel very sorry for you.

EDIT… you were kidding? or were you serious?

CMaz's avatar

Don’t feel sorry for me. Feel sorry of the society and world we live in.

I lock my front door for a reason. I wish I did not have to.

cazzie's avatar

It’s your AMERICAN society. There are other parts of the world that I would walk around at 2.30am or answer the door at 3.30am (which I have done both here where I live now) but American’s live in a society of their own making. It’s sad to sit out here and watch. I feel bad for the people who live in the horrible trouble spots and I feel sorry for the innocent victims of gun violence that occur every day. Guns don’t kill people sitting in a locked gun cabinet…. but someone is taking them out and using them, aren’t they? The bullets in the corpses come from somewhere…. right?

CMaz's avatar

Those “other parts” are the way they are because big brother is watching over their right to live the way they do. Like I said, don’t feel sorry, instead be grateful of people that you are apparently not aware of that enable your right to not bare arms.

I can walk around at 3:30am without a problem because criminals would be fools to try anything my my town. Knowing the risk they would be talking.

“The bullets in the corpses come from somewhere…. right?” RIGHT! :-)
But they wont be coming out of my corpses.

I would love to be in a utopia society where there is no need for guns.
Won’t happen in my lifetime. So safe then sorry is the only decision.

But you are welcome to be a martyr.

cazzie's avatar

@ChazMaz how is it other societies can live without going to sleep with a handgun tucked under the pillow…. but you and yours can’t seem to sleep without it?
I can walk around at 3.30am without a problem because there is a definite LACK of criminals that would target me. (a pretty good looking woman in affluent clothing…btw) You need to ask yourself….. what kind of society creates these criminals? because they don’t exist so much here…. where I live…. in the best place to live in the world. http://www.nowpublic.com/world/best-country-live-list-countries-2009-un-hdi

the US comes in 13th. America… you are not the world. World, you are not America.

missingbite's avatar

@cazzie I think it’s great you love where you are. Perhaps you have been there too long to realize how small Norway is by population. I believe it’s about 4.5 million people and growing slowly. I’ve been there and love the country. You are correct you are not America. We have twice the number of people living on one island called Manhattan. You can’t quite compare the two. Good try though.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

We never claimed to be the best. We simply claim to be number 1.

And as the number 1 country in the world, we allow Sponge Bob to raise our children and Play Station to plan their futures. We are much too busy keeping up with the Jones’s to raise our own children. We are number 1 because we demand higher wages for everything we do. Our biggest commodity is our braggadocio Americonic styled ripped blue jeans, loud motorcycles, and dead actors. When we want the best, we buy foreign. And the only people we mock worse than our own trailer parks, are the poor destitute third world workers that fulfill our fantasies with cheap products. They want to serve us you know.

We revel in our rebellion, and there are so many of us. Our organization is bigger than the blob and more massive than the mob. We are the housewives and the bikers, the frowning deacons and the smiling gang bangers. Terrorist T-Ball coaches, we are the elusive and abusive, the nocturnal and the day dreamers. Our handle is scandal. Our treatise is meet us and feed us a fetus. So beat us with Jesus as we smile with conceit from our living room suite. Dead beats retreat but know no defeat. We are incomplete yet hard and replete with darkest of meat. Our feet hit the street excreting with heat, discreetly we cheat sweet secrete from a teat sucked completely petite. You get no receipt. We come to mistreat.

And you love us for it.

Coloma's avatar

@ChazMaz

No disrespect intended, but…to use the word ‘enlightend’..well…TRUE enlightenment is the way of the peaceful warrior.

Coloma's avatar

@cazzie

I concur..I too live in an area where there is absolutely no need for me to have a weapon.
Although I have been prompted by many as an attractive single woman myself.

Please do not let a few militant paranoid apples sour your view of american pie. lol

NOTE: I am speaking in generalities…not personally ‘attacking’ anyone here.

I am against the mindset, not the individual.

Nullo's avatar

@cazzie Really, it depends on where you are. I would feel perfectly safe wandering around in the wee hours of the morning in my town (though the cops would probably want to know what I was up to, and I’d rather be swimming with the jellies). I would be much less comfortable in the city, though.
It’s not just American society, either. Midnight in Rome has its own dangers, which are more stabby or pickpockety, and less shooty.
I suspect that a lot of it comes from how we time our days. The American’s daily schedule has him going for the whole day and then sends him to bed around 10 or 11 at night. The Italian’s, on the other hand, carves out space for lunch, a nap, and an afternoon in the garden, pushing dinner to 8 and nocturnal socializing well into the night.

DominicX's avatar

@cazzie

Another way Norway and the United States cannot be compared is that Norway is a largely homogeneous country. Norwegians live there and that’s about it. The United States is a combination of a bunch of different cultures and immigrants. Not to mention Norway has a much greater income equality and the United States has a much greater inequality. Poverty definitely seems to breed crime in the United States. The 10 most crime-ridden cities in America are also some of the poorest cities.

JLeslie's avatar

@DominicX I’m not sure that would make @cazzie feel more comfortable coming here.

DominicX's avatar

@JLeslie

No, probably not, but I’m just saying that for a country of 300 million diverse people to get to #13 on the list of most developed countries is pretty damn good. Most of the other countries near the top have far less people, like Iceland with less people than Oakland, California, and are very homogeneous.

JLeslie's avatar

@DominicX Good point. I agree with your analysis, just was not sure your goal in explaining all of it.

cazzie's avatar

@DominicX , don’t look now, but your youth and ignorance is showing. Norway has it’s mix. We take asylum seekers, have settlers from EU countries and there is an indigenous population. Someone once described Europe as having more hate per kilometer than anywhere else on Earth, but we don’t go around carrying guns and shooting each other.

DominicX's avatar

@cazzie

Ethnic Norwegians make up 84% of the population of the country. It’s a pretty homogeneous country (though not as much as a country like Denmark where 90% of the population are ethnic Danes). Looks to me like your ignorance is showing.

cazzie's avatar

@DominicX little factoid is trying to make what point exactly? I live in EUROPE…. loads of ethnic and language differences. Are you seriously justifying human on human violence by saying…‘Oh.. but they’re different from me?’

Seek's avatar

@DominicX

I have to agree with @cazzie

What exactly does that mean? What is an Ethnic American? I was born here, but my father wasn’t. Am I an “Ethnic American”? Are you?

Facade's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr People of Norwegian descent, not people who moved there?
I don’t think the ethnicity, skin color, etc of a person has anything to do with whether or not they’re dangerous.

Why try to convince someone to come to the US? Either they want to or they don’t.

DominicX's avatar

@cazzie

Where did I try to justify anything? You’re only reading what you want to read, most of which isn’t even there. I was simply saying that America and Norway cannot be compared on many levels. And if you don’t think different cultures mixing breeds violence, you don’t know history. At all.

@Seek_Kolinahr

I’m only using the terms used on the statistics. Usually “ethnic” refers to someone descended from the original inhabitants of the land (however far back that goes is dependent on the circumstances. These are relatively subjective terms). The point is that most people who live in Norway are descended from people who have been living in Norway since at least the Viking times. In other words, not a high percentage of immigrants from surrounding countries.

cazzie's avatar

@DominicX sorry, I thought your were trying to make a point in relation to this thread. My mistake.

Seek's avatar

A factoid is only relevant if it can be compared.

How would you compare “84% Ethnic Norwegians” to the population of the United States – a country that’s 250 years old?

DominicX's avatar

@cazzie

Ugh, you are tiresome. My point is that you can’t compare the crime rate of a happy little homogeneous country with high income equality to a melting pot country with a much higher income inequality. It’s no wonder the latter has more crime.

DominicX's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr

Most definitions do not seem to even acknowledge the existence of “ethnic Americans” (other than Native Americans). Americans (even ones descended from the original immigrants) are still defined largely by the country from which their ancestors emigrated. Not sure how many centuries have to go by before we can have “ethnic Americans”.

cazzie's avatar

@DominicX But I CAN compare it. I’ve even accepted taking in the whole of Europe to compare. I’m comparing people. Not colour, not ethnic identity, not population density. People. And PEOPLE in the US kill each other off using guns more than any other democratic country in the World. More wondering… please.

DominicX's avatar

@cazzie

The environment is what shapes the people. I was talking about the environment. In fact, income inequality contributes more to crime than different ethnicities do (at least in the United States it does; as I said before, the cities with the most crime are also the cities with the highest percentage of people below the poverty line).

cazzie's avatar

@DominicX Well, there you go. It’s just poor people shooting each other and in America it’s their own fault. They shouldn’t live in such bad neighbourhoods will be your next argument? Why can’t they just all go to university and get jobs? Why can’t they all be born like you to wealthy, upper middle class families and have everything they need?

I remember being 18. My world was pretty black and white too and I probably would have used the same argument you are using. But I’m over 40 now and have done some travelling and now I can see the shades of grey.

We have poor here in Europe. Very poor. We STILL don’t go around shooting each other. There is something other than poverty in the ‘environment’ in the US that causes this mentality. Wonder some more about it.

DominicX's avatar

@cazzie

Wow, do you have a habit of talking for people when you’re made to look ignorant? Here you go again with putting words in my mouth and reading what you want to read. This whole thread is just you seeing your agenda and not listening to what anyone else has to say. You can rip on my age all you want, but I know a person who thinks that their age will save them in any argument and I know how to make them eat their own words. It only makes you look petty and desperate. Your attempt to distract me with personal attacks and a “holier than thou” attitude has failed, so try again.

Have you heard of the Gini index? The Gini index ranks countries based on income equality. Norway ranks 5th, which means that there is not a huge difference between the “poor” and the “rich” in Norway. The vast majority of the population make around the same amount of money. It has little extremes in the “super wealthy” and “destitute” areas.

The United States ranks 44th, which means it has a much higher income inequality and it is much lower-ranking than many other developed nations. Here it’s not too uncommon (in a place like the Bay Area) to have a town with an average median income of $45,000 next to one with an average median income of $200,000.

Statistically, the cities with more crime in the United States are also the cities with a higher percentage of people below the poverty line. You can deny the statistics all you want, but that is what they are. I am not saying poverty is the only reason, I am saying that in America, places with high poverty have higher crime. I don’t know why. They just do. America also has somewhat lax gun laws compared with other developed countries. I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. Doesn’t mean that even with stricter gun laws, the crime would not still be concentrated higher in the poorer areas. Countries like Norway and Iceland do not have these areas of poverty as much as America does, countries like Norway and Iceland do not have the same racial tension that contributes to violence (ever heard of gang violence? In many of these American big cities, much of the violence is gang-related. Gangs tend to exist in the poorer areas. Gangs create fear, lead to people getting guns—a kid at my school brought a gun to school because he feared he was going to be a target of a gang). There are many factors, I am just pointing out the trends and the differences that make America and Scandinavia not as comparable as people may think.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, it’s called ‘narcissism’, ‘entitlement.’

This is what separates the poor of integrity from the poor without integrity.

Many Americans are a vain, spoiled, and whiney lot, I admit.

I have been quite poor and have been quite wealthy…and when I was poor and struggling I never had the atittude of ‘why me’ or the desire to steal or shoot those that were comfortable.

Bottom line..there s good/bad everywhere..and yes….lots of shades of gray.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Flame off, guys. No need to make this so personal.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie I don’t understand why you think @DominicX explanation is not valid? Our poorer parts of inner cities with the most crime tend to have the highest percentages of minorities and racial tension. I would not say it is the minorites fault, I am not sure why it develops. There is a big difference having a majority population that has been in a country for many many generations, and a country that has a tremendous amount of immigration from many places. In your country you may have little trouble with new immigrants and minority groups, but if it started to get to 40% minorities in your country and they were trying to change how some things are done in the country, there would probably be some people in Norway who would get a little panicky, worry about losing the way of life they are accustomed to. And, if they saw crimes being committed by the new immigrants, even if there were crimes being also committed by native Norwegians, it seems people have much less tolerance for people who are new to a country causing problems. America is currently 35% minorities, and that is counting that the 65% white people are basically from all over Europe, Dutch, Italian, even Middle Eastern is considered white in America. It seems 83% of Norwegians are from the same descent, you can’t compare it to the population mix in America. This has the demographics of Norway according to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Norway This is America http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_United_States but again our “white” is much more diverse than yours http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_American

@Seek_Kolinahr when you say how can we compare America, which is only 250 years old, that is the point; we are a baby compared to countries that have been established for so much longer. We might have more strife because we have more of an influx of people, we are constantly adjusting and accepting new populations, cultures, ethnicities, traditions.

I kind of think part of the proof is some European countries seem to be having some trouble with new immigrant populations, at least that is what I have been told and what I have read, I don’t have first hand experience. Maybe they were a little naive in thinking people are people, and all we have to do is respect each other. I ideally feel that way, that all we have to do is respect each other, but it is just not that simple in practice.

zophu's avatar

@gorillapaws If I had my own little world to rule over and my council of scientist ubermonkeys decided that firearms had to be allowed to exist within the population for whatever reason, my only rule would be that heavy regulations be placed on the training and evaluation of each individual who has free access to any firearm. I wouldn’t carry a gun myself, because I don’t think I’d be able to handle it; but I feel like as I mature I should get to the point where I am able to handle that responsibility. It is a demand of the current environment.

The issues around gun-control are grand. It wont be until we live in an allaround saner world that we’ll be able to handle this with any tact. There are many reasons behind why the use of firearms is so encouraged within our cultures. The strongest of which are probably not just the natural, “they have spears while we have rocks, let us have spears,” mentalities.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

If Europe and the rest of the world would just allow more McDonalds franchises and Coca-Cola factories, then they could be just like us. Don’t worry, obesity and violence will soon follow.

zophu's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I’m not really sure what you mean by that but you made me consider the ballistic differences between a normal person and an obese person for the first time. Eww.

JLeslie's avatar

I was thinking about this questions, and what I realized is the people who carry a gun like carrying one, or I assume so; and, the people who would not bring a gun don’t like the idea of having a gun. If the US was so statistically unsafe that everyone felt they needed to have a gun for protection, the people who don’t like carrying a gun might resort to doing it, but they would not like it, probably dread it. It’s really not about any clear and present danger, it is about having an excuse/reason to bring your gun along, that is what I think you really want to do, those who say bring it, they want to have a gun.

cazzie's avatar

@JLeslie I’m not just talking about Norway. I’m talking about all of Europe. Perhaps we just get it out our systems with having a full on war every now and then. Perhaps what we see going on in America is simply a ‘slow burn’. Violence? Death? Europe has had it in spades. Racism, Ethnic cleansing. It’s been here, killed millions.

Yes, I know that Norway is an affluent country, on average. It still has it’s problems. But look a bit further afield. I don’t mean just Norway, I’m encompassing all of Europe. Romania, Albania….. these places are poor, but they still don’t shoot each other like they do in America.

No, we don’t know why people shoot themselves and others at the rate they do in the US. Poverty has something to do with it, but it CAN’T be the full story because there is poverty all over the world.

There is a ‘gun culture’ that exists in the US that is its own. The gun shops, the marketing, the bullets at Walmart… the availability of the guns must have something to do with it too. It’s part of America’s culture. Perhaps we can agree on that.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@zophu Well it makes perfect sense. We have guns and violence because we’re so insanely mad and angry at ourselves for being obese in every way from fat egos to fat buttocks. And that makes us very slow and easy targets, so our aim doesn’t even have to be that accurate.

And the world loves us for it. Soon everyone will be just like us.

zophu's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Unhealth causes unnecessary violence, sure.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Why not? We’re just disgusted with ourselves. Our very existence is repulsive. There is absolutely no sense of self worth beyond trinkets of consumerism. We hate ourselves.

zophu's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies awww, someone’s projecting. and I am being insensitive because I’m very drunk. sorry you feel like that, real. there’s still love to be found even though it isn’t respected by the general infrastructure of our society. True human health is still here and there, don’t give up on it.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie Your last post was spot on. Many of us who carry do it because we like it. It has nothing to do with fear. I am not afraid of walking around my hometown. I do feel safer with a handgun. I probably always will. Some will call me a bed wetting child. Others will think I have a dream of being a hero. Some will think I’m a lunatic. That is all fine with me. I’m none of those things. I personally don’t care if people like guns or not. I don’t care if they carry guns or not. In America we can carry if we choose, and I choose to. I will be prepared IF something goes down.

@cazzie Your last post was pretty accurate. What I would like for you to do is also consider the political environment of some of the countries in Europe. Part of the reason we have a gun “problem” in America is because we are so easy on criminals. Some countries, and I’m not suggesting the EU, cut off your hand if you are caught stealing. In the US we make excuses as to why they are stealing. We as a country fail to enforce our laws and then expect the citizens to feel sorry for the criminals. It’s nonsense. I’m sure parts of the EU and many other countries for that matter are big brother states. (for lack of a better term) I have never been to London without having the feeling that I am being watched. I’m not paranoid, I have just seen the cameras. They are everywhere. That may make some feel safer. I would rather not have my every move watched and take care of myself. We are not Europe and although I love visiting the Europe, I hope we never are. Again, I’m thrilled you love it so much.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie I agree, parts of the US are very gun oriented, bothers me, and many of the people on this thread, as much as it does you. But, it is only parts of the US, not the whole country, I would say not most of the country. I can only guess it is a combination of gun availability, people associating carrying a gun with an American right, tension among citizens, a reaction to violent crime, it’s probably a big combination of things. The poor countries in Europe probably have a very significant part of the population that is poor I am guessing? Correct me if I am wrong. In America there are seemingly wealthy people all over the place (actually middle class, but to a poor person it looks like wealth) the country basically has a lot of money and a lot of material things, so if you are poor and without it is blaring in your face that most other people have more, not just one small elite group that seems untouchable.

cazzie's avatar

@missingbite I’m not sure it get your ‘easy on criminals’ thing. The US is the most en-prisoned population in the world. Not sure if that really explains it either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_incarceration_timeline-clean.svg

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/9775

2nd to Rwanda. Do they chop off hands?

@JLeslie I still don’t think it’s all about ‘stuff’. They don’t have it, but they want it so they kill people for it? Or get killed by people protecting their ‘stuff’? But that whole combination you mentioned sounds like a reasonable start, especially the ‘reaction to violent crime’. It’s like everyone takes another step up the escalator when they get another dose of fear from the Nightly News . Let’s not forget that people getting killed by guns aren’t AWLAYS trying to steal or being stolen from. Perhaps someone can find some stats on that. (Αm rather sensitive to the domestic violence deaths from firearms and accidental children’s deaths myself.)

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie I agreed with you, it is everything all combined. Generally I find gun violence begets gun violence, it is a cultural thing partly, but in my great very diverse country, and I am not talking about race or ethnicity, but rather atitudes and varying points of view, the ideas and atmosphere differ from city to city. So, you cannot paint us with one brush, La Jolla, California, is nothing like Jackson, Mississippi.

missingbite's avatar

@cazzie My point is that most of the criminals in the US that go to prison for any length of time have been a criminal for YEARS. Most have rap sheets as long as my arm. Most were let off with a slap on the wrist for the first several crimes.

cazzie's avatar

@missingbite…. so, your argument is that there should be MORE prisons with more prisoners in them? and that will act as a deterrent to gun violence? Seems a bit too simple to me.

JLeslie's avatar

Not only simple, but also does nothing to try to change the underlying causes, I find that depressing.

jaytkay's avatar

Let’s not forget that people getting killed by guns aren’t AWLAYS trying to steal or being stolen from.

Victims usually know their killers. Random attacks on unsuspecting strangers are not the usual. They just get a lot of play on TV news.

The relationships of the murder
victims to their killers in the 75 most
populous counties during 1988 according to the
gender of the victims were as follows:

Murder Victims
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Male Female

Family member . . . . . . . . . . . . 12% 31%
Casual acquaintance . . . . . .. . . 30 21
Friend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 08
Romantic partner . . . . . . . . . . 7 18
Stranger . . . . . . . . . . .. . . 21 16
Drug user or buyer . . . .. . . . . 14 4
Partner in a non-drug crime. . . . . 5 3
Other . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 4
Relationship unknown . . . .. . . . . 5 2

(Percentages may add to more than 100 percent
because of multiple responses.)
http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/press/MILUC88.PR

jaytkay's avatar

The US violent crime rate is less than half what is was in the early 1970s – another thing which is universally ignored in the news.

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/viort.cfm

missingbite's avatar

@cazzie @JLeslie You missed my point all together. Let me try it again. When you commit a crime, you get punished….the first time. Not probation and a slap on the wrist. Lets say you get caught stealing a car. Its your first crime. Should you get probation or 30 days in jail. I say 30 days. If you get caught again, 2 years. When young criminals realize there is a lot to lose, I think we would see crime drop. Right now we have people with extended criminal records that have seen very little if any jail time.

gorillapaws's avatar

@missingbite do you want to raise taxes to pay for all of those extra prisons you will need?

missingbite's avatar

@gorillapaws The point is, they won’t stay in prison. They learn the lesson early and don’t end up in prison for life. It would actually reduce the number of people in long term prison.

Blondesjon's avatar

@missingbite . . . you are very young, aren’t you?

gorillapaws's avatar

@missingbite the recidivism rate in the US is about 50% within 3 years of release (source). Apparently many people don’t just “learn their lesson” and then become good citizens.

missingbite's avatar

@Blondesjon No I’m not very young. You and I just don’t agree on things but I won’t try to insult you. I’ll just let it go at we disagree. Good luck in life.

@gorillapaws of the 50%, how many of those saw jail time, real jail time, for a first or even second offense. Many, many times people commit crimes and never see jail because it was a first or second offense. Or any number of reasons. They plead down and avoid jail until they commit a felony. Then after several crimes they get jail. It is too little too late.

Too much thread drift. Sorry. Im done with this.

gorillapaws's avatar

@missingbite I can tell you didn’t bother to read the article I linked.

cazzie's avatar

hahaha…. @gorillapaws there are some people who don’t share the same colour of sky….

@missingbite I think I see what you’re getting at… sort of a Zero tolerance policy, like the one that is credited for cleaning up NYC. You break a window throwing rocks as a teen, the law comes down hard. Tagging… you’re finished. I do think that early intervention is a very valid point. It’s been shown to work. If the kids have their lives shaken up when they start getting into trouble, it can make a difference, but no one takes the time.

We have free education here in Norway. That’s a big barrier that has been taken away from poor neighbourhoods here. Education is a great leveller.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie What education are you talking about through secondary or college level? We have free education through high school. I favor more accessibility for vocational and university level, my father went to college for free, not sure what he wuld have done otherwise, it would have been awful I think. That was in NYC, not sure if the city still has free city college, I htink they do.

Also, I thought about your poor country example in Europe. One of them was Romania, whch is 89% Romanian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Romania so I am not sure we can use it to compare it is like apples to oranges. You have a bunch of separate countries that have different populations in each country (although I know that is changing more and more) we have people from 50 countries in one square block sometimes. In FL my neighbor to the right of my house was from Italy and his wife from Dominican Republic, the neighbor in front of them was Italian (well he was first generation American) and wife was South African, neighbor directly in front of me an Armenian couple, my house before that I had neighbors from Venezuela who are Italian. Neighbors when I live in NC were Italian and wife from Panama. My closest friends from college are second and third generation American Polish, with a little German, Irish and Italian sprinkled in.

With all of that diversity, I think poverty does trigger more problems and angst, and I do agree that education is a huge piece also. I guess when people have difficult lives they are more likely to look at a group as a scapegoat, someone else to blame for their unhappiness and hard times. If there is a group dissimilar to them, how they look, religious practices, language, whatever it might be, it has been shown throughout history that people will choose that group.

@missingbite Thanks for clarifying your point. I think honestly I don’t have a solid opinion or answer on the topic you raise. It seems prison teaches people to be prisoners and criminals. But, then countries that have very very harsh punishment do have less crime, but it is punishment we would never go for in America I think. I once did a fluther question about prison and if people view it as punishment or rehabilitation, I don’t remember how I worded it, and I had some great answers, one from someone who had spent time in prison, I have to see if I can find the link.

My comment about it being drepressing is I want to head of the crime to begin with. The types of solutions I usually gravitate to is education and curbing teen pregnancy and welfare babies. My latest interest is public boarding schools, which would be completely voluntary. Get the kids out of the ghetto physically and witness a different life. Changing the birth rates of childen being born into poverty is more difficult because there needs to be a cultural shift. And not all poverty is the same. There are plenty of poor people who are good honest people, who work hard every day and their children live safely and are fed adequately with loving parents.

missingbite's avatar

@gorillapaws I read the article, and may have missed something. I will read it again. I read that some states are trying to hold low risk criminals accountable with lower cost methods. I’m not sure if that is what you are getting at or not. I’ll try to find it in the article where it talks about zero tolerance. @cazzie was right on the money and explained it very well.

@cazzie I agree very much that education is a huge part. So is parenting. Unfortunately in this country we have gotten away from both. Which leads to crime and people wanting to carry guns. (trying to stay on OP topic) The education system here is failing. We are approaching the point where almost all families have both parents working or kids raised by single parents. That leaves kids a lot of time to get into trouble. When they do, they don’t get punished. They learn early to act up and nothing happens. I believe this is part of the reason so many end up in jail. Not the only reason…but part of it.

gorillapaws's avatar

@missingbite the entire article is about how tougher sentencing policies have increased the prison population—and the cost to the states as a result. Here’s a relevant quote:

”...more people are behind bars principally because of a wave of policy choices that are sending more lawbreakers to prison and, through popular “three-strikes” measures and other sentencing laws, imposing longer prison stays on inmates.

As a result, states’ corrections costs have risen substantially.”

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite You might be interested to know that single parents do have higher rates of “problem children” but single parent is defined as the child having been born out of wedlock, while children of divorced parents do basically as well as married couples. This again brings me back to to teen pregnancy and cultural problems which are harder to change.

missingbite's avatar

@gorillapaws I read that and I can agree with it. The point I am trying to make is that it shouldn’t get to the three strikes you are out. I am asking, how many crimes did the criminals commit before they started committing felonies? I don’t think that most people in prison started their criminal career with murder. Some did. Most didn’t. Do you think that most of the criminals in jail for life only have three convictions in their whole life??? Why didn’t they get a “real” dose of reality when they committed the first crime?

@JLeslie I agree it is better to have divorced parents than to be born out of wedlock. I will concede that sometimes kids are problem children even while parents stay married. Teen pregnancy and cultural problems are very difficult to change. I have ideas of my own on how to help but most people disagree with me on those views. I won’t even go into them here. That is another thread.

I stand by my view here that first time criminals on almost any crime should have a “real” sentence. It doesn’t have to be jail but it has to be memorable and difficult.

NRO's avatar

discreetly

majorrich's avatar

What kind of Bike will we be taking in this scenario? There are essentially three routes that go coast to coast. The northern route takes you through Wisconsin, North Dakota, a tip of Idaho and on to the coast. The Middle route is the most boring for most of the trip through Indiana and Kansas finally hitting the Rockies and to the Coast. The Southern route sees several interesting states kind of spaced out, but I am not familiar. Either way it’s a LONG trip. Sure this turned into a thread on Crime and Recidivism. but I think I would take the Northern route, because I have family in Chicago and I have always wanted to Bike through the Black Hills and see Mount Rushmore. Then take the coast freeway and see Sequoia and several National parks in California before coming home the southern route as I have family in New Mexico and Texas and Florida. I’ll walk like Festus on Gunsmoke for months, but I dream of a trip like that. Alas, I am confined to a chair, so I will take a train instead.

majorrich's avatar

I’m thinking Goldwing with a little trailer to keep all the stuff in. There are KOA camps that have cabins all the way across that if you reserve ahead you will only have to tent out a few times, where there are snakes and scorpions (the most likely need for a little pistol.) But you have to carry a lot of cash for incidentals and the obvious tourist look making you a target. If you remain alert probly won’t need firearms, but nice to feel that extra weight in your pocket.

cazzie's avatar

@JLeslie Our University is free too. Parents do not have to wonder how they’re going to send their kids to college. They still have to buy the books, some supplies, and live somewhere and eat..but there are no tuition fees. We mostly have two income families too. She doesn’t have to give up her career to have a family.. 1 year paid maternity leave. Very civilised. Daycares all over the city to meet the demand. Qualified child care workers that have had at least 3 years education in the field. If you’re a single parent, the State pays for it. If not, then it’s about $400/month. (does that sound like a lot?) They are subsidised by the State.

But back on topic…. ethnic hate and poverty? Yeah. wow… how utterly under-evolved. The more things stay the same, the more things stay the same, I guess.

janbb's avatar

@cazzie Off-topic but I’m curious. Does Norway have a recent large influx of immigration like other European countries and if so, is it creating issues within the country?

cazzie's avatar

@janbb yes… large influx of people from Muslim countries…. and you bet it causes a stir in certain quarters. We even have a political party that is quite on the Right and they continually come out with the most ridiculous racist comments. The Prime Minister, before the one we have now, was a Christian, Lutheran Pastor, Kjell Bondevik. http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kjell_Magne_Bondevik… that was odd.

It’s been such a problem of how to integrate them, they’ve cut their numbers in half. They are only accept half the number now that they used to. http://www.norwaypost.no/news/fewer-asylum-seekers-to-norway.html

majorrich's avatar

Am I being to subtle in trying to steer back to the original question?

missingbite's avatar

@majorrich All three of the routes sound amazing. I can’t wait until I have time to ride a route similar. My Uncle does a different route each year. He is well in his 70’s and spends over a month each year on his bike. Several thousand miles. BTW, he always carries as he sometimes sleeps at rest areas and very small campsites.

majorrich's avatar

WW2, Vietnam and (for me) Bosnia got a lot of people in the habit of carrying firearms all the time. It’s like a security blanket and other than the pointing a laser at some cretin, I’ve never shot at anything other than cans and paper.
What kind of Bike does your Uncle ride for such distances?

missingbite's avatar

He rides a Goldwing now. No trailer. He’s a minimalist. For years he had Harley’s but as he got older, they went away. We both still have a fondness for Harley’s but love all bikes. He spent a career in law enforcement and was also in Korea. Probably also leads to his comfort with a pistol. I guess it runs in families too.

majorrich's avatar

I used to dream of trying the ‘Iron Butt’ rally, but never got round to it. With that many bikes, I am sure minimal gear is needed.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

longest thread ever?

janbb's avatar

No, but getting close.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie Aren’t you proving @DominicX point and mine that influx of new people causes some difficulties. But, I guess your original point is it doesn’t lead to guns and gun violence. Is that the case? You don’t have more crime associated with the new immigrants?

Excellent that you have free universities, I wish we did, I think it is fantastic. The maternity leave I am not so sure about. I have a feeling European countries have come up with those policies because the birth rate is so low, and they need to encourage more births to help sustain the social systems. I have a feeling it is less altruistic than people assume, and more a calculated equation by the government. But, I do think it is very nice for a parent to be able to be home with their child, especially the first year of life, without worry for their job.

Nullo's avatar

This is probably just the sleep deprivation talking, but why is Norway of all places seeing a massive influx of people from predominantly Muslim nations? And why isn’t anybody calling the Norwegians racists for reducing the numbers permitted entry?

cazzie's avatar

@Nullo it’s not a ‘massive’ influx. and they ARE being called racist for their immigration policy. Sweden takes more immigrants and seekers than Norway does. Nederland takes a very large number also. Perhaps the question needs to be, WHY are people from muslim nations needing to leave their countries? (See wars on ‘terror’ in Iraq, Afghanistan and ethnic cleansing in Somalia) Part of the European commitment to humanitarian aid in the world includes a plan to take in asylum seekers from these countries. Norway does what it does, but it’s easy to point fingers and say people could do more.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Hope they’re very careful about accepting asylum seekers. Otherwise we can only expect more of this. I was extremely surprised to hear that terrorists were plotting in Norway. This was quite shocking to me actually. Glad to see Norwegian intelligence flexing.

cazzie's avatar

We flex. Eyes open. Mouths shut.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie Are you saying that people are fleeing Iraq and Afghanastan, because we started a war over there? Why exactly do they get asylum? Asylum from being in a war torn area? Or, asylum from Muslim extremism and their own governments?

cazzie's avatar

Asylum from war torn areas. There was a LARGE influx of Vietnamese in the 70’s – 80’s.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie US too, we had many Vietnamese come over under asylum, but we had helped tear up their country. I’m still not clear, so you give them asylum because their living conditions are bad? It has nothing to do with thinking their government is opressive? And, was your country looking for workers anyway? And thought they could help in certian parts of the labor force? Did your country try to actively attract them?

cazzie's avatar

@JLeslie
http://www.noas.org/?p=news&news_id=761

I don’t think they are ‘actively sought’, no. New Zealand ‘actively seeks’ immigrants, but taking asylum seekers is a different case. They can have problems mentally or physically… they can be people who have been persecuted personally or as a group…

Our labour force gets boosted by temporary work permits issued to people who help in certain service areas. Young men/women from Estonia, Latvia, Sweden who come over for the summer and work in the tourist areas. But we don’t have large, blue collar labour manufacturing industry here. It’s kind of sad because I wonder what’s going to happen when the oil runs out.

Carlos2273's avatar

If you have to ask, then YOU should not. For a retired LEO it should be second nature. For a CCW holder, remember the changing legalitys as you cross state and county lines and the ramifications if you were to use it. If you are neither of those, then don’t even think of traveling with a firearm. Stick to a taser or pepper spray.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Gadzooks! I believe if you feel where you are traveling to is loaded with wild animals that can attack or you plan on riding through some dangerous inner-city neighborhood at 1am on a chrome loaded expensive crotch rocket then you might want to be armed. However, if you are traveling normal well traveled freeways and staying in established campgrounds or hotels I think you would be fairly safe statistically from violence, but even armed violence can find you and if they get the drop on you 1st being armed won’t do much. I would be way more worried some douche bag drunk will clean my clock before some thug outside Denny’s.

Going on a motorcycle trip…..DANG YOU!.......hope you get a flat LOL LOL

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