And I can't understand why a civilian needs a car that will do 120 plus MPH, but the gov. isn't trying to ban them. It's called liberty and freedom. Can you understand why anyone would want liberty and freedom?
Maybe because cars, unlike semi-auto/fully auto centre-fire weapons with 30 round magazines aren't designed specifically to kill people.
The car that can do twice the speed limit is also fun to drive because with higher max speed comes better acceleration and you can still use that power safely.
I'm sorry but I just don't get with this whole 2nd amendment thing.
I'm not opposed to firearms ownership and I'm comfortable with hunting - when I lived in the bush, I owned two rifles, a .22LR, a 6.5mm Swedish Mauser and a Mossberg 12-gauge; I wouldn't have had a semi auto because unless you're chasing down elephants from the back of an F100 in the Serengeti, then they're downright useless for hunting and also intrinsically unsafe as each round fired puts another one in the chamber, cocked and ready to go from where mistakes can be and are made.
I'd define myself as centre-right politically and also spent a total of 13 years as an Army Reservist in UK (artillery) and Australia (infantry), so I'm not squeamish about guns as a matter of principle but by the same token, this experience makes me cynical of the utility of guns for self-defence in the hands of the average joe. If you don't want to be caught by surprise, it needs to be in your hand, with one in the chamber, 24/7 and you need to be mentally primed to use it at a moment's notice, which most average joes aren't. It takes months of training for most militaries to bring professional soldiers to this level of readiness and even then they don't always succeed.
And home invasions? Again, the real danger is illusory - it rarely, rarely happens - even here, where the vast majority in urban areas aren't armed and almost no one has a hand gun to protect themselves. Of the people who are killed by guns here, the ratio of accidentally shot by their own or a member of the family's weapon is far far higher than those felled during the act of a home invasion. Conclusion - in real life (not the movies), you're far more likely to be hurt yourself than hurt a crim.
When I first lived in Tasmania, there were few controls on gun ownership and in my former line (local government), I had at least 3 close calls when calling on (by which I mean knocking on the front door in broad daylight), crazies, who came to the door tooled up for a firefight. And also a case of an 8 year old girl (who I knew had mental developmental issues) who came out to see me dragging behind her (by the trigger) an SKK with magazine attached; I took this off her, unloaded the magazine and on clearing the action found a round in the chamber.
We had the laxest firearms laws in Australia, generally the most law-abiding population but also the highest rate of gun deaths in Australia. Typically male suicides, followed by wife/husband murder suicides, followed by accidents, followed (quite a way back) by armed robberies, criminal killings etc.
Then came the Port Arthur Massacre
in 1996, with 35 dead and 23 injured by a nutcase with an AR15, bought from the dodgiest gunshop owner in the State; this was a massive body-blow, with a population of less than 500,000 almost everyone knew someone who knew one of the victims - I worked with the brother of one of them and I also knew one of the police officers in the TRG team who arrested the shooter. It's a small place, tight knit community.
I actually met the perpetrator years before and you wouldn't have sold him a pair of scissors, he was depriving a village somewhere of its idiot; I was also an occasional customer of the gunshop - he tried to sell me a rechambered bren-gun or at least strongly implied that he could obtain one.
This was quickly followed by a ban on semi auto rimfires, centrefires and shotguns and new bolt action rifles with magazines exceeding 5 rounds capacity, most handguns and an amnesty and tax-payer funded buy-back of the now illegal weapon categories, at market value, as ascertained by independent dealers. (A mate was paid $800 for an Uzi he bought on mail order via Soldier of Fortune magazine for $400).
You can still own a gun but it's licenced and registered and you have to provide a good reason for it - self defence (except for some security guards) isn't considered a good reason, although hunting, target shooting etc although you have to provide evidence that you have somewhere to shoot (ie permission from a landowner) and that it's bona dide, also required to keep them secure, with spot inspections by firearms branch.
After the ban, gun deaths of all kinds plummeted, annual gun deaths falling by almost half in 10 years (on the back of a rapidly increasing population, so the per 1000 rate fell more).
The result? Even though we still have more guns in circulation than most European countries (except Switzerland and some Scandinavians), we have a gun death rate, per capita that's 8% of the USA. http://www.humanosphere.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/GunViolence-620x445.png
Your firearms homicide rates lie between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan (where the Taliban live) - http://www.humanosphere.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/GunViolence2-620x477.png
. I find it hard to believe that this doesn't worry you all.
Looking from the outside in, I don't get it - school massacres, workplace massacres, police who are so terrified that they shoot first ask questions after, a gun culture with 10,000+ deaths a year (not to mention 20,000 woundings, many grievous with permanent disability) - that's more than double the annual death rate of US forces in Viet Nam each year, every year.
I get the liberty to do what you want thing, I also get it that the vast majority of gun owners are law abiding people - possibly more so than average, but really is this particular liberty worth the price? If one of mine were killed by a criminal with a gun, I'd be devastated but if they were killed because of the perceived need to respect a 240 year old piece of paper, written for a very different, America, then on the edge of a wild frontier, I think I'd feel far worse. Although as a walker & fisherman, I reckon a .44 would be handy to have if you're in bear country and fair enough too.
When speaking of liberty though, what about the over-riding liberty NOT to be shot up by some clown because he's been annoyed by his boss, doesn't like teachers or doesn't feel at one with the world.
Another matter of note to me as an outsider is the right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" under the Declaration of Independence - I would perceive living with a 1250% greater risk of me or mine dying in a hail of bullets than I already do (on top of road accidents, cancer, heart disease etc) would tend to compromise that inalienable right apparently guaranteed by the Declaration. One estimate (see http://guns.periscopic.com/?year=2013
) suggests the loss of half a million years of potential life now unlived in the USA, every year. All that human potential, productivity and uncollected taxes flushed down the drain, all that early bereavement.
And it's not all habitual criminals who are responsible for these deaths; even in the USA, over half of those deaths are suicides, which are usually a tragic waste for all concerned. Usually resulting from a transient issue that will not seem as bad over time, however easy availability of firearms vastly increases the ability to act on impulse. You can't blame it all on black kids living in the Housing Projects of Philly. Not to mention wives and partners killed by angry husbands.
However you paint it, you guys have a huge problem with firearms, you have the highest gun death rate by far for any first world country and the place is also awash (by first world standards) with guns. Go figure.
And yes, it's true, take away guns from law-abiding people and only criminals will have guns; but make it harder for everyone to get them (such as by melting down seized illegal firearms instead of reselling them onto the legal market) and you'll find the criminals will eventually find them harder to get too. The big wealthy criminals will always get them, but less so the hard-up mugger or drug dealer who features in most street crime and who would be the ones we're all most scared of. And really, how much protection do they really give? Most killings with guns are where the gun is out, up and fired, all over in a few seconds. Draw, aim bang. The fact of carrying a gun yourself is unlikely to be of any use if caught by surprise by an armed criminal, perceived protection is largely illusory.
And if you're looking for an example - yesterday a crazy Islamist took a bunch of hostages in Sydney; the best gun he could manage was a sawn-off shottie, which would have been double barrel max; it was obvious to all from the moment the black Islamic flag came out that he was intent on going to go out in a blaze of glory as are all of these d-heads but fortunately with only a D/B sawn-off in play we had onl two dead hostages rather than the potentially 17 had he been armed with a semi-auto assault rifle, Browning, Glock or whatever. As it was, he was completely out-gunned by the police and whilst not a happy ending, it could have been far worse.
And guns to protect you from the government? Do you really distrust them that much? - You've got a good solid constitution that's stood the test of over 200 years, an educated, engaged population with solid libertarian traditions; if you feel so insecure with what you have, that you really think you need to carry guns to protect yourselves from Washington, then you have my sympathy, it must be a terrible way to live.
Also, if you seriously think a whole bunch of you could take on the US Govt in an armed insurrection, you're seriously deluded - you have the deadliest military in the world; I wouldn't like to take them on - just ask all the people in the Middle East who tried it in recent years. But having said that, it won't happen. Your military won't turn on you for the same reason ours won't turn on us, they're YOUR military; if you ask the troops to fire on their own people you risk a military rebellion and hanging from a lamppost - remember how that went for the Tsar back in 1917.
OK. Rant over, normal service resumes. :angel: