37 1 min 10 yrs

I see it’s one of those days. Best have an open thread then. House rules are in order, so play nice.

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37 thoughts on “ATW OPEN THREAD

  1. I still can’t get over the issue of gun-ownership by huge swathes of normal people in what we consider to be a normal society. I’ve never held a gun, let alone owned or fired one.

    Some people here on ATW claim that gun ownership in the USA actually reduces gun-crime. How can this possibly be? Schools in the UK don’t get shot up with the senseless loss of life of young people, and that is precisely because guns are not generally available. (Ok Dunblane was the exception).

    Anders Breivik went to Prague trying to get the guns he needed illicitly but gave up and the guns that did the damage were purchased quite legally in Norway.

    So my point, don’t give guns to lunatics!


  2. D

    Don’t give guns to lunatics?

    No, duh Second Amendment says that everyone, including boys at the age of ten, should be armed with AK47s.

  3. No, the Second Amendment says that hot tempered males who fly off the handle every week must always have two guns, one concealed, and one carried overtly.

    It is comforting to them.

  4. DaithiO –

    “Some people here on ATW claim that gun ownership in the USA actually reduces gun-crime. How can this possibly be?”

    This can possibly be because victims aren’t disarmed by the State, so we have happy outcomes such as the 18 year widower and mother who shot an intruder dead in her home.

    I know, I know, you think it’s better and more moral that the weak are denied the means to adequately defend themselves against aggressors who intend great harm. I prefer that attackers end up dead. I know, I must be mad.

  5. Pete – you are mad. The happy outcomes of victims dispatching criminals to the great beyond are far outweighed by criminals dispatching victims. Legal and sensible gun ownership is fine by me, the availabilty of illegal guns and loose regualtion of legal ones is a problem.

  6. The gun nuts can only speak of the odd individual incident. They can never speak of the overall picture, because it crushes their emotional arguments.

    And legal guns in the house are such as the one mentioned are not the issue. They are legal everywhere in the US, subject to licensing, which is carefully done in some states, and a nothingness in others.

  7. Mahons –

    Yes, illegal gun ownership can be a problem. The solution then appears to lie with illegal guns, not those which are lawfully owned. Course, I wouldn’t hold much store in the government being helpful. The last time anyone looked it was that gang which was shipping guns across the border.

    Phantom –

    Clearly, the problems isn’t guns but the culture. The Swiss are as well armed as Americans. In fact I’d say they’re better armed than the average American. Yet we don’t hear of the problems which sometimes arise in the US.

    Famously (because I keep on saying so) the British were the most heavily armd people people on the planet until the end of WW1. You could buy arms on every High St without any check and men routinely went about their business armed. Yet crime was rare and gun crime virtually unknown. You see, it’s the culture.

    You have it over there. White middle classes don’t generally shoot up white middle classes. The real problem is that related to gangs and drugs. The facts of the case are clear then: any effort to curtail gun rights among the white middle class would be indefensible both morally as well as legally.

    However, LBJ’s black and hispanic grandchildren? Yep, you could do worse than take the guns off of them.

  8. pete – The FBI operation was a disaster, but our law enforcement does heroic work in curtailing other illegal guns and is often handicapped by an inability to do so. Teh cops in NYC have had great success in gettign illega lgusn of the street, but the unfortuante truth is that thsoe opposed to gun regualtion of ANY kind often help the criminals more than the good guys.

    You racial prejudice is unfortuante. There are a varierty of factors why we have more problems with guns among minorities, there is no need to claim it is because of their race.

  9. The problem with illegal guns is that almost with out exception they started out as LEGAL guns, but due to careless owners are taken into the black market

    Canada has virtually the same access to guns as long as you are licensed and reponsable, we have strict storage laws and NO conceal carry.

    But if I want I can actually buy a hand gun easier and legally in less time then americans from a dealer. every 5 years I have to renew my license which is really a formality and then walk into a licensed dealer and in as little as an hour walk out with any gun they have.

    The NRA claims we have onerous gun laws but in many ways they are considerably better, they are the same nation wide, no FFL’s with my license in my wallet I can buy a gun in any province at any time.

    they actually send guns and ammunition in the mail up here

  10. The NRA doesn’t want responsible laws.

    They essentially want no laws, and for guns to be available to anyone at any time.

    It is an un-American organization.

  11. Pete constantly goes on about pre WW1 when Britain was supposedly the most heavily armed populace in Europe and crime was low. What he means of course is that the aristocracy were armed and could breezily shoot little street urchins picking pockets or stealing apples from their land with impunity. The vast mass of the poor population couldnt afford a handful of bullets let alone walk around fully armed and crime was not at all low, it’s just that crime amongst the 99% – those without property or land was simply not recorded. The nascent police force and the blatantly upper class judiciary and legal system simply wasn’t interested. Pete’s rosy ‘Cranford’ world never existed outside of a sunday afternoon cozy period drama.

  12. Pete

    If crime was so rare, then why were the people so heavily armed? Were they afraid of being attacked by grizzly bears?

  13. Colm –

    Yes, I do go on about how heavily armed we were until WW1. It’s because we were. Forget the picture that’s been painted for you, real social history was much different:

    In a material sense, Britain today has much less of a “gun culture” than at any time in its recent history. A century ago, the possession and carrying of firearms was perfectly normal here. Firearms were sold without licence in gunshops and ironmongers in virtually every town in the country, and grand department stores such as Selfridge’s even offered customers an in-house range. The market was not just for sporting guns: there was a thriving domestic industry producing pocket pistols and revolvers, and an extensive import trade in the cheap handguns that today would be called “Saturday Night Specials”. Conan Doyle’s Dr Watson, dropping a revolver in his pocket before going out about town, illustrates a real commonplace of that time. Beatrix Potter’s journal records a discussion at a small country hotel in Yorkshire, where it turned out that only one of the eight or nine guests was not carrying a revolver.

    And what’s all this “nascent police force” and crime not being recorded stuff? In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Britain was a rather sophisticated place. I’d bet that crime stats then were more accurate than the funny numbers we’re given now.

  14. Phantom –

    You may have the relationship back to front. As they say, an armed society is a polite society.

  15. what a pack of clueless gits, talking on a subject that they have no clue about, you know it’s sad when the only person talking sense is Mahons.

    I can post a column that runs every day called the deal of the day, and the hero of the day. It runs m-f. It highlights one story the Deal is where some criminal got off with some ridiculously light sentence and then got caught committing one or multiple violent crimes after being let loose on society. The Hero of the day is always a story where some armed citizen saved themselves or someone else life with the proper use of a fire arm. This runs all year m-f so there are plenty examples of both.

    If you don’t like guns and you are in a part of the world where you are allowed to buy them then don’t. Ask yourself however besides dealing with the criminal element. Why is it whenever anywhere in the world some govt starts killing their own people Our nations send weapons to the people that the Govts are slaughtering? Ask yourself if your mother or Daughter were being raped would you prefer they couldn’t defend themselves? Or if some guy kicked your door in at 4 in the morning because he needed money for his drug habit, and your home with your wife and young children, you don’t want to be able to defend yourself?

    Your comments above represent a depth of extreme ignorance. The legal ownership of guns or other offensive weapons is NOT the problem. The lack of punishment for criminals is. Mankind throughout history has always been personally armed. It is only in the last century where Govts have disarmed their people from both against the Govt itself and the dregs of society. The result has been an increase of violent crime not a decrease.

    How did a picture of the Dumbest man ever elected feeling up some poor state trooper lead to this stupid conversation?

  16. Pete

    Read any number of serious records of slum and working class lives in Victorian Britain and you will find some very brutal and harsh and cruel behaviours which occured and were met with indifference by the police and judiciary who didn;t care about ‘lower class on lower class’ crime. They were only concerned when it touched the middle and governing classes.

    To give you just one example from memory. A book I read some years ago which was a forensic examination of life in one street in London, Lambs Conduit street in Holborn to be precise. A rough place back in the 19th century where to recall one incident an alcohlic female resident was stabbed to death by 2 equally drunken male neighbours in the local ale-house when she refused to share some tobacco. The local seargeant decided to take no prosecuting action because it was not in the public interest to waste judicial time on an ‘incident’ that only involved socially unworthy individuals. I always remember reading that and no doubt it was repeated thousands of times across the country. We may have our problems nowadays but at least we don’t fail to prosecute murders because the victim was one of the ‘worthless classes’

  17. Who was the hero today? Yesterday we had a woman shoot and kill another woman to take her baby.

  18. P.S. Troll – when you say I make sense I may have to revist my opinion (wink, nod).

  19. As they say, an armed society is a polite society.

    No sir

    See Colombia / Venezuela, see Central America, etc etc

  20. If the woman who was murdered for her baby was armed I doubt that the other peace loving well behaved citizen wouldn’t have been able to kill her and take her child.

    Your example shows why just being alive can make you a victim as both this woman and her baby were. Just minding their own business and bam some crazy bitch kills her for her child. She’ll get a few year in a mental ward because she had just miscarried herself, and then be out to commit more violence.

    And if you really want me to run those stories daily I gladly will.

  21. Well lets start with Today would be fine. Or since it might not have made reports yet, lets hear of yesterday’s armed hero citizen.

    How would an armed woman carrying a baby in to a clinic have known that the other woman was going to shoot her? it makes no sense. Course the baby neglected to carry a gun, but he was only 3 days old.

  22. http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/

    The above site can be used to show regulation or lack of same on a country by country basis.

    There is usually a very high correlation between lax gun law / high gun ownership rate and violent crime / murder rate. It generally works that way by country / region or even by US states, where the gun control states have generally had lower murder rates over the decades than the states with loose regulation.

    And no amount of NRA talking points or cherry picked heroic individual cases can change these facts.

  23. troll – The NRA keeps an Armed Citizen hero of the day blog, and of course even they don’t come up with a daily instance. I am all for responsible and sensible gun ownership, and for self-defense when warranted. But those instances are the exception, not the rule.

  24. Phantom –

    That’s a one world government gun control site. It’s hardly impartial.

  25. I spotted this in The New Yorker a few minutes ago, both relevant and interesting;

    The United States is the country with the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. (The second highest is Yemen, where the rate is nevertheless only half that of the U.S.) No civilian population is more powerfully armed. Most Americans do not, however, own guns, because three-quarters of people with guns own two or more. According to the General Social Survey, conducted by the National Policy Opinion Center at the University of Chicago, the prevalence of gun ownership has declined steadily in the past few decades. In 1973, there were guns in roughly one in two households in the United States; in 2010, one in three. In 1980, nearly one in three Americans owned a gun; in 2010, that figure had dropped to one in five.

    Men are far more likely to own guns than women are, but the rate of gun ownership among men fell from one in two in 1980 to one in three in 2010, while, in that same stretch of time, the rate among women remained one in ten. What may have held that rate steady in an age of decline was the aggressive marketing of handguns to women for self-defense, which is how a great many guns are marketed. Gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, higher in the country than in the city, and higher among older people than among younger people. One reason that gun ownership is declining, nationwide, might be that high-school shooting clubs and rifle ranges at summer camps are no longer common.

    To compare my situation to the article’s findings: we are white, live in the city (liberal Austin), own four guns total, two of which belong my thirteen year old son (.22 rifle and shotgun), but since we’re both creeping towards fifty, you can count us as “older”. My children attend a Catholic summer camp which features a well-used rifle range.

    Our firearms are stored with bolt and trigger locks, everyone has attended gun training (on more than one occasion) and we practice extreme safety to avoid unnecessary, heartbreaking accidents. We use our guns for sport and hope to never be put in a situation where I would feel the need to take aim at another human being. That said, my firepower would be of little immediate use if someone broke into the house. I rely on living in a near zero-crime neighborhood, two large protective dogs and a solid baseball bat.

    In the hands of evil, disturbed, immature or stupid people, guns can cause a whole lot of unnecessary death and despair. I think personal background checks are prudent and safety/training courses should be required before one makes a (legal) purchase. I haven’t thought through the whole gun show/private sale ramifications. I’m loathe to place governmental interference between individual transactions, but I also hate having to worry about the high numbers of over-drugged, under-parented teenage boys out there who have unfettered access to the family’s loaded gun stash.

    So, yes I’m pro-gun – but I don’t have a problem with a few cautionary requirements being placed on gun owners.

    If it’s reasonable to expect that I take professional courses, pass a state exam and obtain liability insurance before driving two tons of fast moving steel down the highway in a responsible manner, it seems sensible to require some reasonable checks on people who choose to own weapons that can kill in the blink of an eye.

  26. Thoughtul comment

    After an interval of a bit more than a year, I last week decided to resume my subscription to the New Yorker. At its best, Its amazingly good.

    I’m glad that you quoted the stats on gun ownership rates. I mentioned this a while back – that most households in every US state so not own firearms – the gentleman from PA said that I was all wrong.

    Cheers, see you in Austin some day.

  27. Daphne
    you sound positively Canadian, we require you pass a basic knowledge test, a honest deep background test, 2 people who will vouch you aren’t a danger to yourself or others and finally your conjugal partner(if you are so encumbered) must sign that they know you applied for a license.

    When you are issued a license, it looks a lot like a drivers license, you are free to buy as many guns as you can afford. But you must store them as required under three different levels. non-restricted(rifles shotguns)in a locked cabinet OR trigger lock. restricted(AR’s, pistols or short barreled rifles)cabinet AND trigger locks. Prohibited the funniest classification because despite the name they aren’t entirely prohibited but they are severely restricted (machine guns, short barreled pistols and easily converted to full auto) same as restricted.

    Where you can possess the 3 different levels is also different. Non-restricted can be shot anywhere it is legal to discharge a fire arm, restricted at licensed gun ranges only, prohibited is a no go anywhere – display only

    But unlike you gun crazy Texans I only own 25, all rifles and shotguns

  28. Mahons here is a link it’s not a direct link you might actually have to do some work


    It’s the nra news, it’s a radio show that runs m-f weeknights on the internet and xmradio Chanel 125 from 9-12est

    go to viewing guide, then show archives, the segments you’ll see the block that says hero of the day. click on it it will give you the list of about 2 minute long segments there is one for everyday 5 days a week

  29. ok I just tried the link it takes you right to the segments, watch a couple, get an edumication…… 🙂

  30. todays headlines…. lol

    Gun industry’s economic impact skyrockets during Obama years

    The economic impact of the firearms industry is up 66 percent since the beginning of the Great Recession, providing an unexpected shot in the arm for the economy, according to a new study.

    The National Shooting Sports Foundation says the economic impact of firearm sales — a figure that includes jobs. taxes and sales — hit $31 billion in 2011, up from $19 billion in 2008.

    Jobs in the firearms business jumped 30 percent from 2008 to 2011, when the industry employed 98,750.

    The industry paid $2.5 billion in federal taxes in 2011, up 66 percent in three years.

    “Ours is an industry with a rich history and heritage that remains vital and important to the American economy today,” NSSF Senior Vice President Lawrence G. Keane said in a statement. “To millions of Americans our industry’s products represent liberty, security and recreation.”

    Some in the industry attribute the jump in sales to fears the Obama administration will tighten gun control laws in a possible second term.

    “There’s a concern that in the second term the Obama administration would lead an attempt to restrict gun ownership,” Mr. Keane said.

    That concern, known in the industry as “the Obama factor,” has led many gun owners to purchase now in hopes of avoiding more restrictions and regulations later.

    “Some people jokingly refer to [President Obama] as the salesman of the year for the industry,” Mr. Keane said.

    Mr. Keane said the president doesn’t deserve all the credit for the sales growth.

    He said more young people and women are getting into gun ownership.

    “You cannot attribute all the increase simply to the Obama factor,” he said. “It’s a factor, it’s an important factor, but it’s not the only reason.”

    Although there is no single indicator that tracks the number of firearms sold in the country, the FBI reported that a record 14.4 million criminal background checks were requested for gun purchases in 2010, and that preliminary numbers project the figure to be above 16 million for 2011.

    According to the NSSF’s numbers, requests for gun-related background checks was up some 17.3 percent for the month of January 2012 compared to the same period a year earlier — the 20th straight monthly increase in background check requests.

    FBI officials say that just over 1 percent of such background checks result in denials, and not every background check results in a final gun purchase. But the numbers are widely considered a reliable proxy for gun sales trends generally.

  31. I own about 20 guns assorted handguns, shotguns, and rifles, All except my personal carry weapon are kept in a gun safe, my wife and I have been shooting our whole lives, me since I was 6. Both my daughters have been through training classes, and both Monica and I have permits to carry. In Pa to get a permit to carry you go to the court house, they run a background check Criminal and Domestic violence, then they take your picture and issue you your card. Takes about 20 minutes.

    I’ve had a permit to carry since I was 18, I’m now 51. In that time I’ve had to pull my gun twice, neither time did I have to fire it. Both times it led to a would be robber being arrested.

  32. I have never carried, never been robbed. It is good to be Canadian!!!!!!!!!!!

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