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Hernan Hernandez

I found your website by chance. I was looking for the author of the phrase "life is always somewhere else". I will not refer to your political views since I doný live in the UK. But your article about looking jocular outside, and sad and purposeless inside stroke a deep chord within me. As for violence in the USA I don´t blame it on gun ownership, I blame it on the media glorification of violence. But that is not a new issue in the world. Look at the statues all around the world. They mostly depict mass butchers.Alexander,Caesar and thousand others. Please continue writing. But statiscally speaking deaths in wars far outnumber murder all around the world. It seems to me that violence is a human disease.

Shaun

"we're kidding ourselves if we think that some kind of unconstitutional ban on firearms is going to turn our statistics into anything like those you have in Western Europe."

I can see your point but am not sure about the theory that consistency and education are more likely to solve the issue. If someone is intent on crime they will end up doing it and the chances are guns will be involved if there are a lot of them available. Having safeguards such as proper checks is good but when millions of guns exist in a country people 'will' get hold of them.

No one is saying that banning them will solve the issue overnight but ultimately it must be the best solution. You will never educate criminals to stop breaking the law so reducing their access to weapons may help a little. Also the number of accidental deaths is very high and no amount of education would have a big affect on this stat. If people are stupid enough to leave a gun where a small child can get hold of it they are most likely beyond education.

Thanks for your comment James. It's great to see reasoned and well thought out commentary here:)

James

Gun violence is a real problem in the US. However, we're kidding ourselves if we think that some kind of unconstitutional ban on firearms is going to turn our statistics into anything like those you have in Western Europe. We've already seen states and municipalities enact very strict regulations, to little effect.

As you noted WRT Canada, there are nearly as many firearms per capita, but far less gun violence. The problem is largely cultural. The culture of fear. Fear of serial killers. Fear of terrorists. Fear of wild animals. Fear of being ridiculed. Fear of crime. Fear of your spouse cheating on you.

To all too many people, guns are viewed as the answer to these fears (except those that fear guns even more). They see it in the movies, on TV and in video games, so it must be.

I basically believe in the Second Amendment, and have been around firearms most of my life. I have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in my state. However, although it's "nice to know" that if I ever "had to" carry one without fear of arrest, I have never actually done so. Why? Because I know that the odds of me getting into some stupid road-rage type incident with it is much greater than the odds of me using it to defend myself or family.

So what's the answer? Consistency and education. Background checks and registration on a federal level, including mental history. Educate people on the pros and cons of gun possession and most importantly, their RESPONSIBILITIES thereof. It's not going to completely "solve" the problem, but neither would a total ban.

Shaun

I understand what you guys are saying and the main theme is that in the UK everyone I know thinks the US gun laws are daft. In the US there is a completely different view.

You have to understand that very few of us in the UK have ever even seen a gun and thus we find the thought of carrying one really dangerous. I am not having a go at people who carry guns- I just do not understand the need for it.

As someone at work said yesterday- "it was relevant when they had grizzly bears in their gardens and were playing cowboys and indians but I'm not sure it applies now..."

Personally I have no heard one good argument for keeping guns so far (in my opinion). No point shouting at me just because I come from a world where guns are only seen on TV and I am expressing that. Admittedly if I was born and raised in the US no doubt my view would be completely opposite.

Chris

Stop blaming America.
Why cant you just blame the nut job?
I guess your one of those who take a tragedy and "make it their political hobby horse to ride."
-Gov. Tim Kaine
Thanks for politicizing the death of students, so you can make a pitch for gun control.

Darwin

Stupidity kills, how are you going to control that?

Blaming guns for recent events in the news is like blaming box knives for 911.

If you really want to save lives, ban the wheel.

ron Church

Shaun,

Here are a few points that we as Americans have known & also have learned. Things that are forefathers and the framers of our Constitution buit into it. Having learned the gun control lesson at the hands of YOUR form of government. On a personal note, I think that your parliament should bring back the Monarchy. She/he could'nt screw up the your country any wose than what has already been done to it. That said, consider;

1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Colt: The original point and click interface.

4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.

5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

7. "Free" men do not ask permission to bear arms.

8. If you don't know your rights you don't have any.

9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

10. The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights reserved.

11. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?

12. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.

13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.

15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no
safety.

16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

17. 911 - government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.

18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

19. Criminals love gun control -- it makes their jobs safer.

20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

22. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.

23. Enforce the "gun control laws" we ALREADY have, don't make more.

24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.

25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

26. "A government of the people, by the people, for the people..."

Steve868

In the interests of lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness, you might be enlighted by reviewing some of the statistics at http://www.guncite.com/index.html, particularly under the "gun violence" header. As Mark Twain noted, there are lies, damn lies and statistics!

Upshot, so to speak, is that the US is a violent place to live, particularly for an industrialized nation; our gun ownership rights, however, seem to contribute marginally to this condition.

Guess you can be glad you don't have to live with us here.

Shaun

Feel free to enlighten me Mike (not sure about the knucklehead bit though).

My main point is about the cultural difference from a country without guns to one where it is legal. Do you honestly feel that a country with legalised firearms is a safer place?

Mike Atkinson

Shaun, you're brilliant on PDA stuff but you're a knucklehead when it comes to guns and crime issues.

Look at violent crimes in the UK before and after the ban went into effect. Look at violent crimes in Australia before and after the ban went into effect. Look at violent crimes in the US States before and after they enacted "shall issue" concealed-carry permit laws. Thirty States have passed such laws in the last twenty years, so there's plenty of data to look at.

Shaun

I will find the figures but the difference is huge- if I remember rightly one year was 33,000 gun deaths to about 200 (UK)- most may not have been criminal though

Peter C

I'd be curious to know how many gun crimes per head of population there is in places like the US, versus for example, the UK where it's much more heavily controlled.

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