General Question

MilkyWay's avatar

Why are firearms sold to the public in the States?

Asked by MilkyWay (13650points) December 27th, 2012

I am from England. Here, even police officers are not allowed to carry guns on them. Public ownership/licensing of firearms is not even thought to be normal. Due to the recent mass shootings in the USA, I’ve come to realise just how easy it is to buy a firearm over there. So I’m trying to understand it from an American citizen’s point of view…
Do you think it’s okay for an everyday citizen to own a gun?
Why do you think public ownership of firearms is needed?
Would you do anything to maybe change or tweak the laws a little bit?

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110 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The short answer to your question is that our Constitution states in the Second Amendment that citizens have the right to keep guns.

Personally, I believe it’s out of hand when the average person can own a weapon designed for massive killing. It’s time for the US to enact laws restricting ownership of those types of guns.

I am not calling for the ban of all guns, but I am advocating restricting them.

MilkyWay's avatar

I see, thanks @Hawaii_Jake. :)
But why do you think even small guns are needed?

woodcutter's avatar

We are a gun country. Our nation was built with them. Yours was built with swords and arrows.Our framers thought it wise to allow “The People” to be allowed to have arms because even back then wise people did not trust the power of a centralized govt. In countries where the govt is a defacto parent it might be absurd to distrust their beloved govt. because it gives them stuff. What’s not to trust right? We have guns because the majority of the voting public want them but it could change if there was a sweeping change in our representatives that “WE” put in office.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Some people enjoy hunting, @MilkyWay, and rifles and handguns can be used for that. Other people make a hobby of target shooting.

It’s difficult to describe, but bans don’t seem to work in the US on anything. We tried banning alcoholic beverages back in the 1920s, and that was a dismal failure. That ban was lifted in the 30s.

Still, it is my opinion that a certain type of gun is just not necessary for the average person.

majorrich's avatar

When the colonies were founded this was a wild country and it was not prudent for civilians to be unarmed with wild animals and ill tempered indigenous people and families to feed on the abundant wildlife. As we became a confederation of colonies, we did not have standing armies so it became incumbent on the people to defend themselves and their fledgling country. When we gained our freedom, it was the intent of the founders not to have a standing army so each male between like 14 and 50 were declared militiamen. Meanwhile, we were still in a wild country with families to defend and feed, and indigenous peoples who were getting more surly by the day. It became even more important that everyone arm themselves. Today, we have families to defend and feed, and a violent culture where it is prudent that people arm themselves.

Judi's avatar

My understanding is that one of the reasons was that in England, (where our forefathers left) only the upper classes were allowed to have guns. It gave them huge power over commoners who couldn’t even have guns to hunt.
Our forefathers wanted to ensure that a class system like that didn’t occur here and that everyone had an opportunity to work hard and become a success.
They also fought a war with their own government and won. They realized that their very existence would not have been possible if citizens were not able to arm themselves.
I don’t think they ever envisioned that we would have so many psycho killers and copy cat killers and instantly be able to tell the entire population about it. They probably didn’t envision automatic and semi automatic weapons.
The right to bear arms is rooted deep in our culture. It’s part of our pioneer spirit.
I hope we can figure out a way to honor our history and protect our children at the same time.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@MilkyWay Please don’t believe that this is a country of gun-toters. Many of us here, myself included, detest guns. We interpret the Constitution’s 2nd amendment to mean that society has the right to establish armed militia, not that individuals should be permitted to carry firearms. I’ve never touched a gun, and I would never do so.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I’ll look at this thread from another angle. Some people like to use bows and arrows to shoot at targets. At one point in time, those things were designed to kill people. However, nowadays, they are almost exclusively used for recreation. In America, guns have become, to some people at least, a form of recreation. Target shooting is pretty fun, so that’s why some people like guns.

wildpotato's avatar

I think it’s ok for everyday citizens to own some types of guns. I wouldn’t go so far as to claim that it’s necessary. Few possessions are, really. Personally, I see them as enormous fun and occasionally useful tools for getting food, but I think that the argument about needing them for protection nowadays is way overblown. The historical context many posters gave above explains why we used to have this value, but not why continuing to perpetuate the “wild west” mentality is in any way logical or related to current reality. Honoring culture is cool until it starts to hurt people, and then it can go fuck itself. I would want to see current laws changed to ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons to anyone other than gun range owners, say, so I could still go have fun with them but jackasses who like to kill children couldn’t get them.

CWOTUS's avatar

Despite your (and others’) perception of the UK as being more or less gun-free, @MilkyWay, prohibitions on gun ownership there (and throughout much of the world) are more or less flouted. Whether you realize it or not, and whether they tell you or not, your neighbors have guns… and there is no valid reason why they should not.


burntbonez's avatar

Owning a gun is part of the American myth. It means freedom from the tyranny of government to many people.

The myth of the American West is that it was built using guns, as white people stole the land from the natives using superior fire power and organization. Guns are how we colonize. And once we’ve colonized, guns are how we keep ourselves from being colonized.

There are many laws that protect gun ownership, and the right to carry a gun, either openly or concealed. They allow us to own guns that would allow us to arm an army.

In my opinion, guns do the opposite of what they are for. Instead of making us fearless, they make us fearful. They weaken us. They teach us to solve problems with force, not words. They are the easy way out, and they are the stupid way out. Guns weaken us, and will eventually cause us to tear ourselves apart if we don’t find a way to convince people they are bad for us.

Aethelwine's avatar

What many people seem to forget is that the United States is a very large country. Not everyone lives in the city or suburbs. Having a gun is almost necessary if you live in a rural location or on a farm. Many of these people use guns for hunting, or to kill prey that are killing their livestock. My husband was a farmhand for several years and he had to kill a few cows that were injured or sick. It would have been very difficult if he had to do it barehanded. We also live on a 200 acre farm and we have a fox living on our property. It doesn’t look like it’s the healthiest fox on the block. Fox usually don’t attack small children, but if it has rabies it might. My daughter likes to play outside. A gun will help us before any authority can come and help us.

These are a few reasons why guns are helpful. You don’t see many farmers taking guns to schools or movie theaters and killing a bunch of kids, do you?

woodcutter's avatar

@burntbonez _
In my opinion, guns do the opposite of what they are for. Instead of making us fearless, they make us fearful. They weaken us. They teach us to solve problems with force, not words. They are the easy way out, and they are the stupid way out. Guns weaken us, and will eventually cause us to tear ourselves apart if we don’t find a way to convince people they are bad for us.

Really? You could almost say the same thing about sex there. You’re looking at this from the perspective of a bad guy right?

Bellatrix's avatar

@jonsblond and that’s why there could never be a blanket ban on guns. Farmers in the UK and Australia (and I am sure most countries) own guns. You are quite right that there are legitimate reasons to own a gun.

pleiades's avatar

Put simply, we don’t rely solely on our government or police force to protect our asses.

ETpro's avatar

When push comes to shove, there is a certain comfort in knowing you can shove. And pity the invading army that tries to deprive us of our rights. Sure, modern military firepower and technology has We the People far outgunned, but look at what even less well equipped citizenry has achieved using asymmetric warfare tactics. Ultimately, there’s no point conquering a populace you are completely unable to control.

That said, there are some laws I would like to see changed. Currently, more than 40% of gun sales in the USA are done either between private parties or at gun shows. In either case, there is no criminal background check. I’d like to see tough laws prosecuting anyone who sells any gun without running a proper criminal background check. I’d like to see prosecutors empowered to trace the trail of any unregistered gun used in a crime, and go after the person who sold it to the perpetrator of the crime. I’d also like us to make it easier for the mentally ill to be identified and to get the help they need. Crimes like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting totally break my heart. This doesn’t need to keep happening.

pleiades's avatar

I wrote something similary and lengthy to what @ETpro is mentioning. @MilkyWay Imagine right now, America gets attacked or invaded by any country. There are many a militia group that would eagerly assemble in the U.S.A. that aren’t military related that can slow down the said invader.

rojo's avatar

@pleiades I believe that it is not OTHER governments or countries that the population of the US worries about, it is our own.

rojo's avatar

@MilkyWay the simple answer to your question is because we can.

And we can because the government does not, thus far anyway, have the power or the authority to stop us.

gorillapaws's avatar

Because certain members of our Supreme Court can’t comprehend what the fuck a “well regulated militia” is; how that’s different from a poorly regulated militia, a completely unregulated militia, and a red-neck drinking beers on his porch.

bomyne's avatar

In my opinion, Small arms should be allowed but HEAVILY regulated. It shouldn’t be possible for the average joe to own one. Heavier weapons (Explosives, automatic weapons, etc) should be restricted to the military. Not even the police should have such weapons. Only the military.

If you want to defend yourself, buy a tazer. If you want to hunt, go play Deer Hunter and stop killing real animals for sport.

Just my opinion. Fact is, US law is out of date and needs to be heavily improved. My country, Australia, doesn’t allow anyone to own a gun. Most countries don’t. So why is it possible for any Joe Tom or Harry to own a gun in the united states. And I’m not just talking about small arms either. I have an American friend who owns a P90… Think about that for a second. What legitimate use could a P90 be to anyone other than a military officer in the line of duty?

rooeytoo's avatar

People do own guns in Australia, legally and illegally. Check out this site for figures. And before you point the finger at the USA better have a look at the killing of animals here, for instance the feral camel slaughter, the feral donkey slaughter, water buffalo, baiting of dingos, leg trapping of foxes, roo shooters, and of course the time honored pommie tradition of using a pack of dogs to chase and kill foxes. We won’t even bother getting into the abhorrent policy of live exporting of cattle, sheep and goats. And of course there is the daily shooting in Sydney and Melbourne too, but that is mostly gang members killing each other, so no biggie.

I am an American living in Australia with dual citizenship. I love both countries but neither is anywhere near perfect and I get so tired of hearing aussies go on and on about the USA. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. There really is very little difference between the average american and the average aussie, most are good, honest people, but that said there are plenty of assholes too. The politics here is not much different either, plenty of name calling and very little working together. The major difference is that I don’t think I ever heard a yank complain about the freakin aussies. They just don’t care what happens over here.

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MilkyWay Where I grew up we always had guns around. We used them to fend off rabid animals and protect the cows.We had a fox come right into the barn one day. We also had problems with wild dogs on one corner of the property. They were going after the cows at night. My father and I set out at night with rifles and took care of the problem. We grew up without a lot of money, so if we wanted something different to eat, we went into the woods and hunted (or to the river and fished) for it. I don’t do that now, my s/o is the worlds biggest animal lover, but I was very good with a firearm. We just used them as tools to make life easier. I’ve never needed a 30 round magazine in my life. My shotgun held 5 rounds and the rifles 7 to 10. That was always more than enough for me. These people buying the assault rifle with a 30 round magazine are just looking for people killers, IMO.Those should be controlled better.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Because foiling a home invasion with harsh language doesn’t work.

ETpro's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 You can kill someone with a coke bottle, a kitchen knife, or a baseball bat. But if the home invader happens to be carrying serious firepower, you don’t stand a good chance of winning that fight. Reminds me of this scene.

@bomyne A P90 or a PS90?

geeky_mama's avatar

I lived for a long time in Japan. (Born in America, spent childhood in both Japan & US).
I was often asked by Japanese friends why Americans love guns so much. (Like the OP mentions—in Japan even the police do not carry guns.It seems only the Yakuza have them.)
When asked, I was usually annoyed and I always answered: “I don’t even know anyone who has one.” Out of all my family and extended family & friends..I truly didn’t know anyone who had a gun.
That changed as I got older and moved to a rural area up north. When I met my husband he had a hunting rifle and went Turkey and Pheasant hunting once a year. His way of life was foreign to me—but over time I adapted. At first I actually demanded he not keep the rifle in our house. He kept it locked in a gun safe at his parents’ house until our children were all old enough to be taught gun safety lessons. (And even now, the guns are stored locked, hidden and with no ammunition anywhere near them. I fear our kids wanting to “show” a gun to a friend much more than I do a home invasion scenario.)
When a coyote is on our land stalking a neighbor’s cat and my husband able to fire a rifle and scare off the coyote and save the make sense to me to have a gun around.
Our kids have been trained in how to shoot various guns (they also all do archery) and identify guns..but none of our kids are begging for a weapon of their own. Nor do any of the kids want to hunt (yet).

If you had told my 20 year old self that I would have allowed my child to shoot guns at a gun club I would have vehemently disagreed…but 20 years later in a very different (rural, safety focused) setting…it made sense.
I’m glad they’ve been trained in safe handling and how to use a gun…but in a more perfect world I’d move my family to a remote corner of New Zealand where there are more sheep than people…

Also, as a side remark about safety..
Although the police don’t have guns in doesn’t mean there isn’t crime. Even violent crime. There are still people who kidnap and do terrible things to children. Last time I was there I remember a man who molested a young boy and then threw the boy off a parking garage to kill him. No weapon needed—he still managed to commit a heinous crime.
In parts of Japan where I’ve lived they have more unreported sex crimes (rapes) than where I live now. There are still plenty of violent and sex related crimes.
In fact, the only times a stranger has tried to grab me and/or harm me have been in Japan. (There is a real problem of men trying to grope women in crowded trains. And, I was stalked, chased and attacked once in Japan by a drunk man.) So, even without guns in the surely doesn’t mean people are any safer anywhere..

While I agree with others that there are certainly certain weapons (automatic or assault type weapons, and armor piercing bullets—really, when do you ever see a deer wearing a bullet proof vest? Clearly those bullets are just to harm people) that don’t belong available to the public..we had legislation against assault weapons before (...have people already forgotten the 10 year ban so quickly?) and people just modified guns and worked around it.. so, I think it’s naive to think legislation will fix this…

LuckyGuy's avatar

Where I grew up guns were very common. The typical birthday gift sequence was a Daisy BB gun at age 8. If you behaved properly, you got a pellet gun at age 10. If you handled that well, at age 12 you got a .22 rifle. You could get a Junior hunting license at age 14 and go out deer hunting or pheasant hunting with a parent using a shot gun.
Are you sitting down? In high school I was on the rifle team. We brought our guns to school – on the bus!!! We kept hem in our lockers!!! We were not allowed to have bullets with us and guns had to be in a case. The teacher would give us our bullets when we got the range n the basement. You know how many kids were killed or injured? None, zip, zero. We didn’t shoot anyone or anything.

Why? We were taught to have respect for people, property, and the weapon.

RandomGirl's avatar

To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them. – George Mason

My personal opinion: I won’t feel safe living in a country where the only people who can legally possess guns are the police and military. There are always wackjobs out there that will want to become immortalized in history by committing a massacre. They’ll find a way to do that, whether it’s to get their hands on guns, or make bombs with fertilizer.
I feel safer knowing that there are good, level headed people around me who know how to use a gun to protect themselves. If the theater I’m in tonight gets shot up, I don’t want to have to wait for the cops to get there – I’d hope that a brave person with a concealed weapon would step up and take the gunman out, saving many lives!

KNOWITALL's avatar

Our country was founded on freedom. Our ancestors wanted to leave tyranny and abuse behind for future generations. Plus, in all reality, pioneers, miners, soldiers, etc..were all very far from any kind of civilization so they had to defend themselves against other people and wildlife. I think it has progressed from there to this point in time.

I thought the English were big hunters and all that, I never heard England was anti-gun. I just googled it though and your statistics show it works. The police must be more respected there, our gangs would never let an unarmed police person stop them from what they wanted.

Do you think it’s okay for an everyday citizen to own a gun? Absolutely, we own several.

Why do you think public ownership of firearms is needed? Needed is not the point, but we hunt quite a bit, we target practice, we can defend ourselves or others.

Would you do anything to maybe change or tweak the laws a little bit? Perhaps, like restrict local gun shows where many guns are sold to anyone who has the money. Also restrict the amount of ammo you can buy online.

woodcutter's avatar

How many people can honestly admit to even going to a real gun show? I’m going to guess not many because if you have you would have seen legit gun dealers there. I live in gun country and have been to the shows dozens of times and not once did I see these clandestine under the table salesmen people are shrieking about. I’m thinking Joe Lieberman has never been to one but he was on record on CNN saying thats how criminals do it. He is wrong obviously being hand fed deceptive script by the Brady camp. It’s talk like this that always keep gun owners behind the 8 ball in the US because just like the heard mentality- if something bad sounding is portrayed as the facts then everyone wants to dogpile on it and the untruth magically turns into fact. There aren’t enough of the positive shown because MSM has no interest in doing a story about nothing bad happening, and the fact their producers would puke in their mouths if a good story was proposed to air that would butt up against their agenda. So that is why there is the NRA and many other gun rights groups to offset that and how they are hated by the libs because they have to work harder.

Gun ownership in the US is a right and always has been. And we have this minority, who would like to see it turned into a privilege, that has a loud voice. Some think that louder is synonymous with righteousness so they keep screaming hoping for the best.

We’ve all been to the stats from the FBI site clearly showing violent crime is down on average in the US and has been trending downward for many years despite astronomical guns sales/ growing gun owner numbers in the last few years. So lets not allow these lone wolf nutjobs take us off perspective. There are ways to deal with them as long there is political will to interdict them before they strike. The indicators are plentiful if only someone would connect the dots.

burntbonez's avatar

@woodcutter Your logic escapes me. But thanks for your reply.

echotech10's avatar

@MilkyWay WARNING: do not undermine and challange the validity of the Second Amendment. Also, do not criminalize gun ownership! Now, to answer your questions, YES…it’s okay for an everyday citizen to own a gun, who goes through the proper LEGAL channels, to exercise that right. I think public ownership of firearms is needed, because it is one of the principles that the United States was founded on, secondly, it lowers the violent crime rate, thirdly, it prevents us from being victims of a modern day King George III. Yes, I would change or tweak the laws a little bit, but only so that crimes committed with firearms would result in stiffer penalties.

woodcutter's avatar

@burntbonez Tell me which part you want cleared up better?

MilkyWay's avatar

A big thank you to all that answered, you’ve helped me understand :)
I get it now, and I agree that there shouldn’t be a total ban, but that the laws should be stricter.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Beg to differ on the Police not being allowed to carry firearms. Generally they aren’t, but there are Authorized Police Officers who can carry firearms. I know, I’ve seen plenty of ‘em down south.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

The “Pretty please” request from US law enforcement has proven not to work.

It’s not entirely effective in the UK either.

The OP’s question is actually a little worrysome.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Blame, in no small part, the Constitution. Whilst initially it may (have been perceived to) have had the best interest of the true blue US Citizen at it’s heart, nowadays it has to involve everyone else and his dog. Doesn’t matter if his name is Billy Ray, Jerry Lee (the dog – remember K9 with Belushi?), or Mohammed.
I think the sad truth is that human nature is fickle, and full of faults, and it’s like a certain Jim Carrey once said, and that is that madness is only a thin veil away from sanity. Only takes a wrong thought to make a person flip. The only way gun possession can be monitored is by not having guns ever – and it’s just simply too late for that because gun ownership has been something that has been in existence for so very long in history that it would be nigh on impossible to eradicate it from the law, and for the US it would be impossible to wipe it clean from the Constitution as if it never even got drawn up. It would probably cost quite a bundle of cash to get it removed too.

gorillapaws's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster “The only way gun possession can be monitored is by not having guns ever – and it’s just simply too late for that because gun ownership has been something that has been in existence for so very long in history that it would be nigh on impossible to eradicate it from the law, and for the US it would be impossible to wipe it clean from the Constitution as if it never even got drawn up.”

They said the same thing about slavery.

And the reality is that the DC v. Heller ruling that the 2nd amendment wasn’t restricted to well regulated militia was a REVERSAL of the ruling from the 1939 case US v. Miller and only came about because of conservative activist Supreme Court Justices who reversed the ruling without any additional new evidence (an action which itself is a contradiction of the ruling Mitchell v. W. T. Grant Co.). So the idea of people having a “constitutional right” to own lethal firearms outside of a well regulated militia is actually quite new.

Read Justice Stevens’ Dissent for a very articulate, rational and well argued dissenting opinion on DC v. Heller. He absolutely eviscerates the pathetic logic of Scalia who is a disgrace to his country and the robe he wears.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster With the exception of films like the “Dirty Harry series the United States Constitution is not that to be that which is blamed.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

The Second amendment has made everything abundantly clear. Nothing to see here.

Can we? May we PLEASE move on?

To Issues that are FAR, FAR MORE important like pulling our great nation out of recession???

oratio's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 I don’t think that this debate will ever go away, and I don’t think it should.

Strauss's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 “The Second amendment has made everything abundantly clear. Nothing to see here.”

Do you mean this?

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Does “the right of the people” mean the same as the right of individuals? The term “people” is used throughout the Constitution as a collective noun, e.g, “We the People”. It would seem that this right is extended by this amendment to “the people (collective)”.

What does that right have to do with “a well regulated militia”?

ETpro's avatar

@Yetanotheruser No. Now we know that in the eyes of the originalist conservative justices, people means corporations, a legal form that, in general, didn’t really exist back in 1776. So “well regulated militia” meant corporations with no regulations at all.

majorrich's avatar

I think that goes back to the founding fathers not wanting to keep a standing army, and relying on state volunteer militias. A lot of militias were federalized during the Civil War when the U.S. finally started keeping a standing Federally funded Army. I saw some pictures at the local museum of the militia drilling amongst the Indian mounds near our house. Not unlike the National Guard, but without the benefits and a ‘run what ya brung’ kind of weapons policy.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@oratio “Keeping the debate going” is code for continuing the war against firearms.

@Yetanotheruser Picking apart the language of the second amendment is done for only one purpose:

To continue the war against firearms.

Crashsequence2012's avatar


If Obama, his cohorts and the so called conservatives that are supposed to keep them in check DO further compromise our right to be armed it will happen with terrifying speed, no reports for the citizens and will leave those of us who care saying “What the fuck just happened??”

rojo's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 Oh Lord, not another “War on (fill in the blank)”!

From my perspective, I consider this like bringing up Hitler in a debate. Once you do it you have lost.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@rojo A most marvelous piece of debating.

You are a treasure to us all.

rojo's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 What part of “war against firearms” to you imagine I am having trouble with?

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@rojo I would have greater respect if instead of taking issue with my choice of words you told us that hunters, policemen, competitive shooters and those that wish to use firearms to protect ourselves should go screw themselves.

Tell us that firearm technology creates in you a strong, negative emotional response and that the logic free idea of solving your problem is to attempt to legislate guns away.

majorrich's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 It has been a war against the American people since 2 January 2012 with the repeal of the Posse Comatatus Act. We must be careful for what we even post in open forums because ANY AMERICAN can be taken into custody without benefit of counsel for even posting stuff on blogs. the National Defense Authorization Act is highly reminiscent to the Reichstag Fire Decree” (Reichstagsbrandverordnung) With which it shares many attributes. Obama should have Vetoed the bill, but signed it despite his ‘misgivings’ He’ll be using his new powers before long with gusto I believe. (Cap’n Cynic here)

Strauss's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 “Picking apart the language of the second amendment is done for only one purpose: To continue the war against firearms.”

I disagree. The language used in the Constitution is extremely concise, with each word and phrase used for a specific meaning. When that meaning is being discussed it is fitting that the language be examined.

BTW, I am a supporter of Second Amendment rights. I think where you and I differ is on the need for regulation.

majorrich's avatar

The Government is here to serve us. Anything they do for the greater good is OK by me. All hail Landru. Landru is love. Landru us peace. (That’s from an old Star Trek Episode, I don’t expect most of you to get that)

CWOTUS's avatar

S’ok, @majorrich. I used to believe that “an armed society is a polite society”. After all, it made perfect sense – if you lived in a place where arms were carried openly and honestly. But I’m learning now that “an armed society is a de jure criminal society”. Heinlein would not be amused.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

I got the Landru reference.

Did anyone else?

KNOWITALL's avatar

What is interesting is that gun sales are through the roof because of all this, does anyone have any concerns about that?

Crashsequence2012's avatar


No, I don’t have any concerns about this.

Just because others are doing things that you do not (Owning or buying firearms in this case) doesn’t make it a cause for concern.

KNOWITALL's avatar

That doesn’t make any sense to me, sorry. The continued debate, media and legislation changes are freaking gun proponents out so they are stocking up, most likely on semi-auto’s and full auto’s. Why wouldn’t you be concerned?

Crashsequence2012's avatar

No, I am not concerned over your “most likely” either.

“That doesn’t make any sense to me, sorry” poor debate tactic.

“Semi-auto’s and full auto’s” What mainstream media article did you use for your firearm education?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Why are you being belligerant? I’m a gun owner and I firmly believe in the right to bear arms.

It doesn’t make sense that everyone is keeping the argument going when people are buying out all the guns available right now according to the news and reports from gun sellers.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Day two of a three day hangover.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Okay, good enough for me. But deep down you love guns like I do right?

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Precision technology fascinates me.

The gradual erosion of our Constitutional rights and the hysteria of the masses terrifies me.

CWOTUS's avatar

While it is not (technically) illegal to own fully automatic weapons in the USA, it is very difficult (and quite expensive) to do that legally. So it is unlikely in the highest degree that anyone is “stocking up” on fully automatic weapons – legally.

With that said, there is also no doubt that recent events – and posturing which includes much bloviation about “weapons bans” based on those tragic and criminal events – has caused many to create a run on weapons sales unlike any in recent memory.

The gun purchases bother me less than the posturing and bloviation.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 I knew it, and I agree.

@CWOTUS It’s all over the news and I’m sure the majority are not legal. I’ve actually seen emails and posts about keeping them unregistered in case the government tries to take our guns. So yeah, if the govt doesn’t know the govt can’t take them, whether it’s true or not.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m sure that you’re misconstruing something that you’ve heard and conflating it with something else, @KNOWITALL. “Full automatic” weaponry is difficult to come by. That stuff is definitely not being “stocked up” by many. Maybe a few people and small groups somewhere in the woods, because in a nation this size of over 300 million people it’s impossible to say that it’s not happening a bit. But these transactions are happening way below any journalists’ radar screens.

What you may be confusing that with is a desire on the part of many to avoid registering legal weapons, which is another thing entirely. That may be a violation of a law that says “weapons must be registered”, but by and large those are weapons that are legal for citizens to own, provided they have no explicit prohibition on ownership, such as prior conviction of a felony, for example.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You have no idea how pissed off the hillbillies are then.

CWOTUS's avatar

You have no idea how difficult – and expensive – it is to obtain fully automatic weapons on the black market.

rooeytoo's avatar

This is a very eye opening and different perspective on violence in the USA. Gun free countries are not necessarily safer and the statistics from the FBI and UK equivalent are there to prove it.

ETpro's avatar

@rooeytoo Yep. The NRA has it right on one point. Gun laws don’t stop criminals from defying the law. They only inhibit law-abiding people. To be effective, laws have to make it ever harder for the non-law-abiding sorts to get their hands on weapons while ensuring that law abiding citizens can enjoy their rights (under the US Constitution) to be armed. Not an easy thing, but if we work at it, it’s possible.

gorillapaws's avatar

@rooeytoo that video was moronic. He’s ignoring the biggest factor of all when comparing data between countries and that is the fact the UK has 154 incarcerated people per 100k, while the US leads the planet with 730 per 100k. Gee, I wonder if imprisoning nearly 1% of our population might have something to do with crime rates going down? And it’s interesting that violent crime is higher abroad, but murder is lower. To me that says people get drunk and fight in Europe, whereas in the US, we shoot each other instead. I have also heard that there is evidence that suggests Roe v. Wade has played a major role in reducing crime.

He’s also ignoring the point that many of the weapons used in inner city crime originate in states like VA where you can walk into a gun show, leave with an arsenal sufficient to overthrow a medium sized country and be in NY 6 hours later. It’s naive to think the problem begins and ends in the inner cities.

Furthermore his point about AR15’s is just stupid. What are the stats on that gun being used to save lives such that a shotgun or conventional rifle wouldn’t have sufficed? Guess what, there were 0 deaths from bad guys using anti-aircraft rockets in the US last year, that doesn’t mean we should fucking make them legal.

@ETpro you should re-read the 2nd amendment. Pay careful attention to the first 4 words. Perhaps if you keep re-reading it enough you can manage to convince yourself they don’t exist like Scalia managed to do.

rooeytoo's avatar

@gorillapaws – and here I felt he had some interesting thoughts!

Regarding the statistics on the crime rate diminishing, when it seems to me it is less safe than it ever has been, I know I read, but can’t find, an article suggesting that the manner in which the stats are compiled is different now than it was in the past. And that is a primary factor in the lower rate, not that the rate is actually lower.

rojo's avatar

Interesting article on Stand your Ground laws and the increase in homicides without a corresponding increase in self-defense or “justifiable homicide” rates.
Among the possible reasons listed is “One possibility for the increase in homicide is that perhaps [in cases where] there would have been a fistfight… now, because of stand your ground laws, it’s possible that those escalate into something much more violent and lethal,” says Hoekstra.
I realize that providing this particular quote is cherry picking so please read or listen to the entire article.

gorillapaws's avatar

@rooeytoo it may not be nice to hear, but we’ve aborted a large percent of would-be criminals that would have been born to poor, single mothers who couldn’t afford to to provide opportunities for them and were at very high statistical risk of becoming criminals. These unborn criminals would have been hitting their 18th birthday around the time the crime rates begin to fall off. It’s very likely that if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned we would see a corresponding spike in crime in about 18 years and 9 months from that rulling.

Also, as I stated before, we have locked up a larger percent of people than any other country in the world. It makes sense that crime has dropped if we’re aborting criminals and locking them away.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@gorillapaws The Constitution leaves for much latitude in the definition of a militia.

If I feel that I am a militia of one defending my home (or anything else I’VE built with MY precious time and effort) from the hordes after the Obama Apocalypse then that’s what a militia is.

Like I said above. nitpicking the wording of the second amendment is done by the anti gun set only.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 and how is your “militia of one” at all “well regulated” pray tell? Who is regulating you? And is “a militia of one” guy really that necessary to the security of the state?

“Well regulated millitias” aren’t some term that got pulled out of the air from nowhere, they had a specific meaning when the founders wrote it.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@gorillapaws Regulated by myself as a sovereign individual.

You mention the founder’s intentions. I’m willing to wager they didn’t mean exploiting the authority of the Federal Government or the Office of the President to magically wish yuckky guns away.

majorrich's avatar

The definition of organized and unorganized militias is covered in USC Title 10 › Subtitle A › Part I › Chapter 13 › § 311 The Organized and Unorganized Militia is defined. The Unorganized Militia is/was generally under the direction of the Sheriff of the town from whence the members came and was responsible (presumably) for the training of these people. Of course probably the Needs for training is bigger now that there are a lot more people and bigger towns. So a Cadre of trainers, probably the Sheriff’s dept and/or Police dept would fill that role. Remember the Constitution was written before the U.S. had a standing Army and was dependent on a Minuteman Militia.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@gorillapaws I take serious exception to your post and am calling you out on having no factual basis for your statement.

You cannot assume that any aborted children would be criminals based on nothing except the circumstances of their birth.

Like Stephen King, Oprah & Tom Cruise (all born to poor single parents.) Children are just as likely to succeed as to fail. Joran Vandersloot, Martha Stewart and Al Capone are just a few better-known criminals with no history of financial problems, off the top of my head.

rooeytoo's avatar

@gorillapaws – well if indeed those are the reasons the crime rate is going down, then I would say keep up the good work.

woodcutter's avatar

It is all but impossible to even buy .22 lr these days. 22? Wow not many crimes or murders being perpetrated with munitions like these and yet it’s all gone.. A new gun ban would be a republicans wet dream, and I’m sure we all know why. I’m keeping a positive outlook by holding out that a ban will not happen. Do we really think our troops would have been fighting in Iraq if the congress wasn’t overthrown by the right in ‘94? Afghanistan sure but not Iraq.

majorrich's avatar

.22 is the most common and cheap caliber out there. The local sporting goods store has limited sales to one carton per customer. Maybe it’s preppers..

woodcutter's avatar

It is the most popular caliber ever I believe. It could be that all those people with AR15’s chambered in .22 sucking it all up. The most popular rifle in America and the most popular ammo would explain why both are gone now. Because one of the guns on a proposed ban list are semi auto .22’s of every kind. Everything that will work in anything semi auto is going as fast as it is put out. I have heard that primers and other components that reloaders need are hard to find, and high capacity magazines? Forget about it.

I bought a quantity of this “evil” stuff before this last nut job stunt thinking nothing was up but boy was I wrong. Weird and very lucky.

majorrich's avatar

It seems to me that any legislator that has any dream of being re-elected wouldn’t try a semi-auto ban. One would think they would have learned that last time they tried. This same thing happened before Y2K. Remember the madness then?

Strauss's avatar

@majorrich thanks for your info on USC Title 10 › Subtitle A › Part I › Chapter 13 › § 311.

woodcutter's avatar

@majorrich Ah yes, the madness ,except this time more people fear this (clump of tragedies) is going to cause something drastic to go down. I can’t say I blame them because the gun owning community has always had one big mass shooting hanging over our heads that could be the thing that does it. I don’t think it will be this time. I hope. Obama has too much to lose as far as legacy goes because he gets no more chances. People like Diane Feinstein will die a senator maybe. It’s that damned mid term house cleaning they worry over.

mattbrowne's avatar

Because there was no police outside the early settlements.

gorillapaws's avatar

@KNOWITALL It’s not my theory. There is a lot of factual evidence to support it.

Your counter argument is cherry picking data. Sure not all aborted kids will become criminals (I never said that, many could be really great people), most won’t, but the statistics show that there is a big correlation between mothers seeking abortions and the RISK of their children becoming criminals.

KNOWITALL's avatar

What parent has children and is assured they won’t be a criminal? Even in two parent ‘normal’ families? Rubbish.

gorillapaws's avatar

@KNOWITALL again, that’s not the claim I’m making. You can keep distorting my argument and then refuting the distortion, but that’s not going to advance the conversation.

We’re talking about statistics and broad numbers not individual cases. If there are 1,000,000 new babies, I can with high confidence say that there will probably be close to 500,000 boys and 500,000 girls. I cannot however say that any PARTICULAR mother will give birth to a boy or a girl. Please see The Law of Large Numbers if you’re still having difficulty understanding why this is.

Likewise, I can’t say any PARTICULAR unplanned pregnancy will generate an amazing person, or a degenerate, but I can say with very high statistical confidence that children born from unplanned pregnancies are at much higher risk for becoming criminals IN THE AGGREGATE than chidden born from intentional pregnancy. I agree with you that it’s very possible for children in a planned pregnancy with good homes can become horrible criminals. This doesn’t at all diminish my broader point however.

Cherry-picking individual cases that go against the larger trend doesn’t disprove the trend, just as a mother who ends up having 4 girls doesn’t disprove that the odds of having a boy or girl is roughly 50/50.

KNOWITALL's avatar

This last post is far less incendiary to me, thank you.

You must understand that anything encouraging abortion based on unreasonable and unproven data, to me is a crime against humanity. Peace.

woodcutter's avatar

We could just force sterilization on these bad child bearers if we are supporting the idea that these babies are apt to be criminals later on, (the head of the snake). Nobody asks to be brought into this world. It is more or less forced upon them to start with.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@woodcutter I am not completely opposed to voluntary sterilization, not everyone has stellar dna, and even less accept personal responsibility for their reproductive capabilities.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Voluntary sterilization.

Yet ANOTHER thing I’ll be taxed for…

ETpro's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 I don’t want to pay for that either. Particularly since I paid to have myself neutered when my wife ran into problems with the pill.

Here’s an idea. Tax the people who choose to reproduce out of wedlock. Use the revenues to fund special education and social services to ensure it doesn’t remain a generational problem of irresponsibility.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

I can’t agree with your solution. @ETpro

The purpose of taxation is to generate revenue.

It should NEVER be used to manipulate behavior.

Living in NYC I see extreme examples of this constantly.

ETpro's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 Granted behavioral manipulation can go astray. And when it does, change the method. But it can also work. There is no need to abandon governance just because it sometimes misfires. That makes no more sense than giving up on cars because they sometimes fail to run.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

It is a pleasant fantasy to think of getto babydaddys being aggressively hunted down and jailed til they can pay their (Spawning is what makes me a man) baby tax but it’s economically impractical and directly against my anti vicetax policy.

Oh well.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ETpro I certainly didn’t mean that tax payers should apy for vountary sterilization, no way.

When I made the decision not to have children, ever, with my husband, we accepted responsibility to not get pregnant, so that should definately be the individual’s responsibility to pay for.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Too many semiwanted and unwanted babies out there?

The problem is twofold:

Those having children because they believe it makes them adults.

Those having children simply to avoid deportation.

Problem One? Tough, as it requires education that would alter an entire “culture(s)” perception as to what makes it’s members men and women.

It’s risky as the Liberal notion that education always works and is the answer to EVERYTHING is incorrect. But we must try. That is after we have made sure that we are only paying to educate those that have a legal right to be in this country. Those that aren’t should be forced home by making their stay here untenable.

The solution to the second problem is incredibly simple. Change laws so that illegals can no longer be allowed to remain just because they have had a child on US soil.

Strauss's avatar

Sooo…should we have background checks for parenthood and firearms ownership?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Yetanotheruser That would be great. Also test their IQ’s and dna to make sure they’re ‘top shelf’ before they reproduce please. :)

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@Yetanotheruser @KNOWITALL

There is one program where we successfully weed out some of the unfit.

It’s called The Death Penalty.

Strauss's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 What good does it do if a) it takes years to execute, if it happens at all and b) most people on death row are already parents.~

woodcutter's avatar

Make recipients of welfare take the pill before they get their monthly benefits.There has to be a way to verify they did it. That way it’s not permanent should they do get off assistance successfully. The cost of birth control can’t be as expensive as taking care of a kid for 18 years as well as their offspring.

ETpro's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 I see where your username came from now. It describes your supposed libertarian principles running smack into your desire for massive government intervention in the most personal choices humans make. One more vote for government small enough to hide in every bedroom and fit into every womb.

mattbrowne's avatar

@KNOWITALL – I wonder how all future middle-shelf DNA Americans feel about taking over cleaning offices and picking fruit in the summer heat…

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@ETpro Suggesting that we rigidly enforce laws already on the books and eliminating or altering legislation that has become so obviously abused is not to espouse big government.

@Yetanotheruser That’s why my answer contains the word “some.”

ETpro's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 That wouldn’t be. Unfortunately, that’s not what you suggested.

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