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Community Zone => Chatter => Topic started by: ParkingPlaces on July 28, 2013, 01:12:02 AM

Title: Generic gun discussion
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 28, 2013, 01:12:02 AM
Guns have been coming up in some of our discussions as of late, and it is pretty clear that we atheists are not of one mind on the issue. So I thought a guns only discussion might be interesting. I'll start.

I don't own a gun. I never have. Having no interest in shooting unarmed deer, unarmed targets or people that induce my paranoias, I simply have no need for one.  I don't need the meat, I don't need the power trip. There is a store nearby where I can buy beef, and my ability to have multiple tabs open in a web browser (which astonishes the locals) is all the power I'll ever need.

I don't live in fear, don't plan to live in fear, and would rather die because I should have been afraid than live 90 years in fear while never having needed to.

But thats just me. I live in Montana, so I'm an anomaly here. Most folks around here own guns, albeit for hunting rather than shooting skittle-munching black kids. I don't care that they own guns. I'm not one of those folks that think a free country has to look exactly like I want it to. And so while I do wish there were no guns floating around the neighborhood, such things are legal and I'm not going to go on a campaign to rid the county or the state or the country of weapons of mindless destruction simply because I wish they'd go away. I've learned to adjust. And, when needed, duck.

Note: Besides Montana, I've lived in Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Texas, Massachusetts, Indiana and Pennsylvania. In towns and cities whose populations ranged in size from well under a thousand to whatever the heck Boston has. And I never had a gun in any of those places either. I did volunteer work in an inner-city community center is a moderately large Indiana city, where the crime rate was fairly high, and never considered carrying a gun. Notice that I'm fortunate enough not to have to live in Watts or any other marginal community in this country, so my views of reality are skewed in favor of a normal life.

Anyway, how do the rest of you look at gun ownership?
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: wright on July 28, 2013, 01:52:48 AM
I was raised to see guns as not necessarily bad, but very, very dangerous. Despite having friends who own guns, and having gone target shooting with those friends, my first reaction to seeing a gun is always fear.

But I recognize that's largely my own lack of experience with weapons. I certainly don't object to other people owning guns and using them responsibly and appropriately.

It only takes one irresponsible user to make a tragedy, though. When I was young, my family lived in what was then a lightly developed area on the outskirts of Redlands, Ca. Our closest neighbors were hundreds of yards away, and there were canyons and hillsides on three sides of our rental. One afternoon I was playing in the front gravel drive when I heard a strange humming sound, then another, from close by. As I stood there, a few seconds later there was a sharp crack and my mom was yelling from the house for me to come inside. Someone had been firing from far enough away that I'd heard the bullets passing me (how closely I'll never know) before the sound of the actual shot.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Traveler on July 28, 2013, 02:07:21 AM
I've fired two guns in my life, both on the same day. Two co-workers invited me to shoot. They were both women, and both owned and/or carried guns for their protection. I started out with a 22 target pistol. It was fun. Sort of like archery, which I've enjoyed since I was a young child. It felt like a sport. Hand/eye coordination, getting something into a target, a game. Then I was handed a 38 police special. Crap. It felt like death. It felt like exactly what it was. Something made to kill a living being. It was heavy, it was dark, it had a stronger kick. I hated it. HATED it.

I have never lived in a "wild wild west" location, and I never want to. I also don't want to hunt. On an intellectual level I can appreciate hunters who hunt responsibly. I knew folks out in Washington state who used every part of an animal, just as native americans did. One guy built his own home, using antlers as drawer pulls, knife handles, wall hooks, etc. He used everything he possibly could, and shared the meat with poorer neighbors.

But I can't shoot Bambi. I just can't. I'm too soft-hearted, too separated from that primitive, hunter past.

I have very mixed emotions about a gun-toting society. I feel that gun ownership should be something that is not so easy that any asshole can own one. We train and test to get a driver's license, but any idiot can buy a used gun at a gun show without even so much as a background check. I don't get it. Guns have one purpose. To kill. Yes, we can shoot at targets, and I'm sure many of them do. But if one is planning to carry for protection, or to hunt, you'd better damn well know how to be safe with it. Because there are too many accidents. I forget the numbers, but the number of kids who accidentally shoot someone because a parent left a loaded gun around is heartbreaking.

Safety first. Then you can have your guns. But, please, be safe.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: rev45 on July 28, 2013, 08:19:50 AM
I grew up in the country where we raised some rabbits and chickens.  Racoons and possums getting into the feed or the chicken house was always a problem so we put up traps to capture them.  When we'd get one my dad would have my brother or me get the rifle and kill it.  Racoons and possums are the only things I've ever had to shoot.  I've gone shotgun hunting a few times but the land that surrounded the land I was hunting on was crowded with other hunters so I never saw many deer in my area during hunting season.

I don't have guns in my house for now.  I have two little kids and no gun safe so my shotgun is at my dad's place.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Graybeard on July 28, 2013, 09:47:11 AM
In the days when it was legal, I had the opportunity to shoot a Smith & Wesson .357 at a gun club. The targets remained in pristine condition. In South Africa, my friend has a Sig Sauer P228 and I attempted to shoot up a couple of trees on his land but they evaded me by swaying slightly. Every time I have fired a handgun my only concern has been the cost of the ammo. I’ve never bought any, but it can’t be cheap. I saw no point in having a handgun, which seems to be a close-quarters weapon designed to kill people; no use for hunting or competitive target shooting.

I have a .22 air-rifle and have used it in anger only once. A squirrel had taken residence in the attic and threatened to chew through the electric cables… it had to go. I took the dog into the garden, found the squirrel and shot it. It wasn’t a clean shot and the dog had to finish it off. The dog thought it was fun. Other than that, I have shot it a few times at a target and am not too bad at 25 yards. But, and this thread made me think, I have not used it in 3 years for anything and if I didn’t have it, I don’t think I’d be bothered.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 28, 2013, 02:46:33 PM
This little guy was resting 50 feet from my front door last summer and I still had no desire to own a  gun. Well, actually I had less of a desire to own one. I can't shoot stuff.

(http://25.media.tumblr.com/fbd6d8d06ca6f02b6bd69603e66f936a/tumblr_mqnw4tugVv1qz4baxo1_1280.jpg)
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Traveler on July 28, 2013, 03:12:12 PM
The only way I'd shoot that guy is with a camera.  ;D
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Nick on July 28, 2013, 03:56:14 PM
Wow, how great would it be to wake up to that each morning.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Nam on July 28, 2013, 04:38:48 PM
Guns, in my opinion, will never be out-right outlawed on a national level. There are just too many out there. I don't own a gun, never have. Doesn't mean I never will; I like old guns but I'd probably never fire it. I have, in the past, practice shot with targets. I have gone paint-balling. Been awhile since I last went. I have no problem with guns, at all, except in concern to criminals being legally allowed to own them, mentally diagnosed people and guns being allowed in places where they really shouldn't be. And I am for harsh restrictions on them for those who do legally obtain them.

-Nam

Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 28, 2013, 05:11:53 PM
I agree, Nam. We will never outlaw guns in this country, at least in our lifetimes, and most certainly restrictions should be placed on who can purchase a gun. No matter where they buy it. That won't solve every problem, but it will reduce some of them. And that is about all we can realistically hope for in the current political climate.  Well, it's more than we can hope for, but at least it feels slightly realistic.

Which automatically disqualifies it from serious consideration by nutjobs in politics.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Spit on July 28, 2013, 06:33:55 PM
Anybody here is more than welcome to go shooting with me. You might find out that gun owners aren't nuts or fearful. We just have a backup plan much like having a spare tire.   :blank:
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: neopagan on July 28, 2013, 06:53:00 PM
I do live in the wild west in Oklahoma, but surprisingly they do have some rather sensible gun laws (albeit the open carry law they just passed is silly).  They require anyone who will carry, either concealed or open, to attend a certification class taught be a firearms instructor and to demonstrate some proficiency with their weapon - then there is a skill test and written test.  I've sat through a couple and they have been pretty good.  I go to the range occasionally and like to shoot zombie targets - never know!  I take my kids also and they enjoy it.

Note: I have lived a few other places, OK is just the latest stop, so I haven't fully learned the culture or the language...

I'm for sensible gun ownership and usage and I'm all for requiring classes for folks who even consider carrying one around.  I've found a lot of people out here take the class, get certified but never carry - others, it just seems like a power trip and it somehow makes them feel better (they scare me a little). 

I don't/won't hunt - so that will never be an issue, but should someone take to breaking in my home - should the alarm system not deter them, I will.  But, hey I'm a pagan :)
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: wright on July 28, 2013, 06:55:11 PM
Anybody here is more than welcome to go shooting with me. You might find out that gun owners aren't nuts or fearful. We just have a backup plan much like having a spare tire.   :blank:

No argument from me about that. I know at least three gun owners I regard as at least as intelligent and responsible as I am. I would venture to say that most are; it's just that the crazy, fearful ones sell ad slots more easily.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Odin on July 28, 2013, 07:55:47 PM
All we need is a bunch of people who don't own guns, have never owned or shot guns, and can't see any reason for guns to exist, discussing gun ownership.

Go to a skeet, trap or sporting clays range, hire an instructor and shoot a few rounds, and then get back to us.

On the issue of using guns for self-defense:  Since I don't believe in an afterlife, I feel justified in using a gun to protect my life, in legitimate self-defense, against some idiot, robber, rapist, thug, murderer, or other ne'er-do-well, rather than succumb like a lamb before a lion.

Your mileage may vary.

Odin, Armed King of the Gods
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Spit on July 28, 2013, 08:29:41 PM
I have to agree Odin. What a bunch of tools/fools. They have no clue about 99% of gun owners.  :police:
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: jaimehlers on July 28, 2013, 08:50:26 PM
Having fired guns at a target range (admittedly, when I was in Boy Scouts, so it was a while ago), I think I'm qualified under Odin's criteria to talk about gun ownership.  Also, my dad owned (probably owns, but I don't know that for sure) guns and took me hunting a couple of times.

That being said, I don't have any particular reason to own a gun, let alone carry one around with me.  Sure, that leaves me vulnerable to the occasional psycho or armed robber, but I practice the rules of self-defense (don't go places which might be dangerous, avoid people who look like trouble, and - although this hasn't come up - evade rather than confront), and that will cover me in most situations.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Spit on July 28, 2013, 08:54:23 PM
^Cool until a methhead decides he needs your stuff! As for me he gets a bullet. Let the courts decide what's next.  :police:
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: jaimehlers on July 28, 2013, 09:37:19 PM
^Cool until a methhead decides he needs your stuff! As for me he gets a bullet. Let the courts decide what's next.  :police:
If it comes to it, I can replace stuff I own.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Azdgari on July 28, 2013, 09:42:46 PM
But jaimehlers, isn't your stuff worth way more than any human life?
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Spit on July 28, 2013, 10:34:19 PM
^^Cool. Until he doesn't want a witness!  :police:
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: jaimehlers on July 28, 2013, 10:35:53 PM
But jaimehlers, isn't your stuff worth way more than any human life?
I have a bit too much empathy to think that way.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 28, 2013, 10:48:49 PM
All we need is a bunch of people who don't own guns, have never owned or shot guns, and can't see any reason for guns to exist, discussing gun ownership.

Go to a skeet, trap or sporting clays range, hire an instructor and shoot a few rounds, and then get back to us.

On the issue of using guns for self-defense:  Since I don't believe in an afterlife, I feel justified in using a gun to protect my life, in legitimate self-defense, against some idiot, robber, rapist, thug, murderer, or other ne'er-do-well, rather than succumb like a lamb before a lion.

Your mileage may vary.

Odin, Armed King of the Gods

Odin

This is obviously a contentious issue. Gun owners like owning guns for a variety of reasons. But with rare exception, everyone hates getting shot. So as far as I'm concerned, all of us subject to death by flying bullets should have a say in certain aspects of the issue. If gun deaths were a rarity, or better yet, always clearly justifiable, then there would be no issue.

Car wrecks used to kill nearly 60,000 a year, back when there were a hundred million fewer people in this country. Now days the death count for car wrecks is in the mid-30k range and dropping, while gun deaths are staying fairly static, at around 32,000 a year. Yes, almost 20,000 of those are suicides, and I guess if someone is determined to kill themselves, the lack of a gun isn't likely to have the despondent give up and just go on living. Ropes and aspirin and razor blades will probably always be legal. But the 11,000 annual murders and 1,000 annual accidental shootings are getting kind of old.

Because of that, there are some that question the current laws on the books. Because of that, some of us who might otherwise think about owning a gun decide not to because we feel that it would only add to the possible number of incidents.

I know one person in Texas who owned, back in the mid-90's, over 300 guns. And I've no doubt that his collection has gotten larger in the past 18 years. He loves shooting things, he loves being paranoid, and he loves that he's rich enough to buy lots of guns. Yes, he keeps most of them in a large, walk-in safes (he owned three large houses around the country) that were bigger than my little cabin, but when I was in his house, his six year old daughter had an unlocked gun case in her bedroom with her own set of custom, downsized guns, including a Remington 700. With boxes of bullets on the bottom shelf. And there are those of us who understand that you can get away with stuff like that some of the time, but you can never get away with it all the time.

I started this thread mostly to see where people stood on the issue, but I'll admit that I have ulterior motives when discussing guns. I understand that they will never be legislated away, but I would love to see changes in the law that improved the chances of more people dying less. I would apologize for my humanity, but I don't think that is necessary.

I know that there are no easy answers. I know that most people with guns are not total bullet-heads with nothing else of importance in their lives. I know that law-abiding people who own guns are usually very responsible and aware of the dangers. But I also know that there are plenty of armed idiots and plenty of armed fools and plenty of armed irresponsible dicks and I would think that the responsible gun owners in this country would also like the occasional law that helped ameliorate some of the dangerous situations made easy by lax and/or crazy gun laws. But usually they don't want that.

I live about two miles from a shooting range, and hear people there every day. It doesn't bother me, and I often only notice when someone opens up with some large caliber device that makes more than the usual amount of noise. A huge percentage of the people I know here in Montana are at least hunters, and many own sidearms as well. And again, if every gun owner was mature, responsible, safe, not prone to fits of rage and generally a nice person, I would have little to worry about.

But the situation isn't that good. The outlook for about 500 more people this year isn't good in the accidental shooting department. The outlook for the rest of this years 11,000 gunshot murder victims isn't that good. Hence I am concerned. And interested in why those who do own guns find firearms so important.

Edit: Spelling, which is hard to do when being shot at  :)
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Spit on July 28, 2013, 10:52:09 PM
^Canada?
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 28, 2013, 11:57:20 PM
^Canada?

Nah, I don't run.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: jaimehlers on July 29, 2013, 12:10:51 AM
Actually, while I think nobody would want to be one of those killed or injured by a gun (excepting suicides, but we're not counting those), that's a remarkably low number considering the number of people and, more importantly, number of guns in this country.  Though that doesn't count guns used to commit crimes that don't hurt or kill other people.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 29, 2013, 12:53:30 AM
Well, 3,000 dead on 9/11 was remarkably low. Our measured response reflected that.

No, remarkably low is the 5 people a year (on average) who die falling on knives sticking up in their dishwasher before they can close the door.

You are right, of course, 10 deaths per hundred thousand (the national average) isn't terribly high. And since liberal states loose folks at a lower rate (Massachusetts, 4 per 100k) and bible belt ones loose 'em at a higher rate (19 per 100k for Louisiana) you would think I would be less concerned. Even though I live in a state where 15 per 100k die that way. However, the uselessness of it all nags at me, so I think I'll keep saying that I don't like it.

Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: jaimehlers on July 29, 2013, 01:54:42 AM
3,000 people dying all at once tends to trump 300,000 dying over the time of a year in the public mind.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Mrjason on July 29, 2013, 05:49:39 AM
I did own a gun when I lived in SA. I don't know what make or model it was[1] I fired it once at a lump of wood and then locked it in a safe until i moved back to the UK.
It was supposed to be for protection but the 3 german shepherds that I kept were a far more effective deterrant to would be burglars and much more fun to boot.
I personally don't see the need for anyone to own a gun.
I'm happy that in the UK gun owners are few and far between.
 1. some sort of snubnosed 6 shooter
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: screwtape on July 29, 2013, 08:24:44 AM
I grew up in a rural area.  Many people in the community had guns.  The first week of hunting season meant most of the other boys from about 3rd grade up were absent from school.  My family did not hunt.  I had several BB guns as a child, as well as a bow and several utility knives.  We did have a rifle later on, which I shot and enjoyed.  I was comfortable around guns, having been trained how to use them and handle them safely.  I enjoy shooting guns and always have. 

I would not describe myself as anti gun, though I suspect many gun advocates would take me as such (I'm lookin at you, Odin).  I was even considering buying a gun for home defense as recently as a year ago.[1]  However, the recent statistics on gun violence gave me concerns. 

As I looked at the data, and at gun owners themselves, I realized that owning a gun does two things.  First, it actually makes you less safe.[2]  Owning a gun makes you 4 times more likely to be shot than someone who does not own a gun.  Having a gun on you during a violent crime makes you 5 times more likely to be shot and 4 times more likely to be killed than if you were unarmed.  If protection is the motivation, it seems that owning a gun does not achieve that goal.  It does the opposite.

The second thing it makes you do is become even more insecure and paranoid.  This is anecdotal, but seems to be a common trait of literally every single person I have ever known or heard of who owns guns for "protection" and not some other reason.  Several of my family members have caught gun-mania, particularly, Screwtape Sr.  He's gone so far as to put a gun holster under the coffee table in the living room.  I suspect he is going to have more weapons hidden about the house in the near future.  I can only imagine the weird, paranoid fantasies have driven him to this.  I would not bring children into his home now. 

So, that, coupled with input from Mrs Screwtape, made me decide against the Mossberg.

My views on gun rights have shifted as well.  Given the ease with which armed fellow citizens - and especially the police - may execute one another, I feel much less comfortable around people with guns.  I see them as paranoiacs.  Maniacs who see danger in every shadow.  I have no idea what they will perceive as a threat and thus justification for shooting any given person within 100 yards.  And unfortunately, the laws in so many states support them. 

In my mind, the goal is to reduce the number of people killed or injured by guns.  To me this means keeping guns from the wrong people.  The wrong people include criminals, the mentally ill and morons.  I think that is practical and sensible.  I think registering every single gun is a good idea.  I think requiring background checks for every transfer of every weapon is a good idea.  I think carry permits are crazy.  I think unless you show exquisite responsibility with your weapon, your gun owing rights should be revoked.  See the gun fail thread for what I'm talking about.

The last thing I will mention is there are people who think the second amendment is there to ensure the people can overthrow the government.  They are wrong.  That ship sailed a long, long time ago, if it ever even was true.  I suspect it was not.  I've discussed this in other threads and will not take it up here.


 1. this lovely: http://www.mossberg.com/product/shotguns-autoloading-930-special-purpose-tactical-5-shot/85336 (http://www.mossberg.com/product/shotguns-autoloading-930-special-purpose-tactical-5-shot/85336)
I even planned to get a wieldy 20 gauge for Mrs Screwtape.
 2. Yes, it does. There are links to data in posts I've made.  Look 'em up.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Traveler on July 29, 2013, 09:07:46 AM
I found this video very interesting. Without consistent crisis training, folks who carry guns may not be any safer ... in fact, they might be in more danger than the rest of us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QjZY3WiO9s
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: DumpsterFire on July 29, 2013, 09:47:41 AM
I don't/won't hunt - so that will never be an issue, but should someone take to breaking in my home - should the alarm system not deter them, I will.  But, hey I'm a pagan :)
Neo, I assume you owned firearms while still a theist, so perhaps you can explain something for me. Why would someone who truly believes he is under the direct protection of god feel it necessary to own a gun? Either god is going to protect you or he's not, right? I always found it strange that so many theists are also big on guns for protection. Then again, it has always puzzled me why someone who truly believes they and their loved ones will go to heaven after they die would fear and mourn death.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Nam on July 29, 2013, 03:02:26 PM
I agree, Nam. We will never outlaw guns in this country, at least in our lifetimes, and most certainly restrictions should be placed on who can purchase a gun. No matter where they buy it. That won't solve every problem, but it will reduce some of them. And that is about all we can realistically hope for in the current political climate.  Well, it's more than we can hope for, but at least it feels slightly realistic.

Which automatically disqualifies it from serious consideration by nutjobs in politics.

And the NRA who, if they could make guns for babies: they would.

-Nam
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: naemhni on July 29, 2013, 03:04:20 PM
And the NRA who, if they could make guns for babies: they would.

*sigh*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Eagle

Quote
The Eddie Eagle program and its namesake character were developed by the National Rifle Association for children who are generally considered too young to be allowed to handle firearms. While maturity levels vary, the Eddie Eagle program is intended for children of any age from pre-school through third grade.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Nam on July 29, 2013, 03:08:16 PM
In the last city I lived in outside Orlando, Fl there were city signs all over the city saying, "No shooting guns in the air". One doesn't need to shoot at someone to be shot as a bullet falls from the sky and hits you on your head.

Apparently it happened a few times, thus the signs.

-Nam
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Dante on July 29, 2013, 03:26:08 PM
In the last city I lived in outside Orlando, Fl there were city signs all over the city saying, "No shooting guns in the air". One doesn't need to shoot at someone to be shot as a bullet falls from the sky and hits you on your head.

Apparently it happened a few times, thus the signs.

-Nam

Looks like a prime market for my newly designed, patent pending, kevlar umbrellas.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: neopagan on July 29, 2013, 04:51:42 PM
Neo, I assume you owned firearms while still a theist, so perhaps you can explain something for me. Why would someone who truly believes he is under the direct protection of god feel it necessary to own a gun? Either god is going to protect you or he's not, right? I always found it strange that so many theists are also big on guns for protection. Then again, it has always puzzled me why someone who truly believes they and their loved ones will go to heaven after they die would fear and mourn death.
Yes, I owned them then as well, and I have no logical explanation other than I believe theists really don't believe what they preach deep down.  Obviously, I didn't rely on god to keep me safe "literally" but always did crazy things like pray for protection during a road trip, flu season, etc... 

The last funeral I sat through as a theist in Oct of last year was for a friend my age who keeled over dead waiting for his kids at judo practice. I sat there amazed at how devastated they all were despite all their rambling about the glory of heaven he saw now first hand... blah, blah.  My days were numbered as a believer, and I was seeing things differently to say the least.  I was sad because he was gone and his family was left in a bad way, but I took no solace in promises of a god who allegedly called him home.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: G-Roll on July 29, 2013, 04:58:33 PM
I am an occasional hunter. I only hunt waterfowl though as I have no idea what I would do with all the meat a deer would provide. I enjoy hunting geese and ducks and coming up with new ways to make them taste good. 
I don’t own a gun though. I don’t hunt alone and use my buddies Remington 1700. I provide the ammo/shot and he lets me borrow one of his shot guns. Maybe that makes me less of a man but.... who cares. I do plan on buying my own shotgun so one day I can hunt on my own.

As for the idea of using a weapon to defend myself I honestly don’t see the point. In most cases I can think of I wouldn’t be the first person to draw their weapon, nor would I sit around and watch tv with my gun waiting for some hooligan to break down my door. So unless I am some kind of super fast Quick Draw McGraw I am only going to get myself shot pulling out second or running through my house to my weapons location. Perhaps if I was sleeping and kept it in my room and heard someone break in it might be useful. But unless zombies rise from the dead or the US turns into a Mad Max movie I don’t see the need for owning a gun for safety. I don’t believe in shooting unarmed people and feel quite competent with defending myself with my bare hands. I am not afraid of a good old ass kicking enough to kill an unarmed asshole.

I do have a long semi interesting story though...
We were at an exercise where the MILES gear was used. MILES gear is the laser you attach to your weapon to simulate shooting the enemy. When they are hit a little buzzer goes off and their gear is shut down so they cannot engage back, because they are "dead." Anyhow the way it usually worked is that Security Forces (cops) would set up the perimeter and defend the base from any threats. Well they just deployed without the training so we had no cops and thus no real perimeter security.
I worked in the mortuary where I would process the "KIA" and was their first stop to process them back into the exercise. Most of my time was spent sneaking out shooting at bad guys (not my job) the rest of my time was spent processing friendly fire casualties. You wouldn’t believe the number of friendly fire casualties on nights we were attacked.
After this experience I have kind of come to the conclusion that if the Aurora theater shooting happened in a theater packed full of gun carriers the people in the back would shoot the people in the front. Sure someone would kill the bad guy but chaos and armed people who don’t know what they are doing is a tragedy waiting to happen. To think that everyone in the heat of the moment and fog of adrenalin can perform precisely what needs to be done in the precise moment the precise way is silly and laughable. Clearly the fear mongers who say differently are brainwashed by those who want to sell guns, or sell guns themselves.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Traveler on July 29, 2013, 05:08:08 PM
By the way, on a slight tangent, why do they still sell lead bullets? As I understand it, they're finding unacceptable levels of lead in deer meat and other wild game. And ditto with wild animals higher up the food chain such as eagles. With lead being so toxic, doesn't it make sense to eliminate them entirely from the market?
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: naemhni on July 29, 2013, 05:43:36 PM
By the way, on a slight tangent, why do they still sell lead bullets? As I understand it, they're finding unacceptable levels of lead in deer meat and other wild game. And ditto with wild animals higher up the food chain such as eagles. With lead being so toxic, doesn't it make sense to eliminate them entirely from the market?

The science on the "lead in the environment" thing isn't settled yet, but that aside: the main reason that bullets are typically made of lead is that, for various reasons, it's the best metal for a bullet.  It's very dense, so bullets don't have to be very large, and lead is also fairly cheap and plentiful.  Some manufacturers are starting to make lead-free bullets, but they're difficult to find, they tend to be expensive, and they're generally inferior to lead bullets for most purposes other than good old target shooting.

Sinterfire, for example, makes a 90 grain 9mm round that is lead-free.  It sells for $30 for a box of fifty on CheaperThanDirt.com.  By way of comparison, a typical 115 grain 9mm standard lead round can usually be had for about $20 for a box of fifty.  Price discrepancies for other types of ammo can be a lot higher, since 9mm is one of the more economical handgun cartridges.

EDIT:  Also, lead has a very low melting point, making it easier and less expensive to cast.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Nam on July 29, 2013, 07:04:54 PM
Let's make bullets out of diamonds[1]. They could be reusable.

-Nam

 1. they did that already, no? Doesn't matter: my sarcasm is still valid.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Azdgari on July 29, 2013, 07:05:28 PM
In addition, lead is very soft, meaning it is less likely to shatter or splinter on an impact (or inside the gun for that matter).  This would, at least in theory, make lead bullets safer to bystanders.

Soft and heavy metals are typically toxic, so it's hard to get around this.

Nam:  Diamonds are incredibly hard, but not necessarily all that strong, nor are they especially dense compared to something like lead.  They would make awful bullets, and would not be re-usable because they would often shatter.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Dante on July 29, 2013, 07:10:30 PM
And being softer, it also mushrooms and expands fairly easily, creating more damage than a hard bullet that stays the same diameter. And since it mushrooms and expands, there's less of a chance of it passing completely through a live target and hitting something/one else, though I suspect that was an unintentional attribute.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Chronos on July 29, 2013, 07:41:23 PM
I found this video very interesting. Without consistent crisis training, folks who carry guns may not be any safer ... in fact, they might be in more danger than the rest of us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QjZY3WiO9s

Showing that the best weapon during a crisis is your own brain.

Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Backspace on July 29, 2013, 10:00:40 PM
I enjoy target practice as a hobby.  I spent 20+ years in the military, so I've had plenty of training.  While my wife isn't as enamored with shooting as I am, she's gone to the range with me and done well despite being a novice.  Several people from  work also shoot, and we enjoy making a day of it at the local range - especially on days we're furloughed due to the sequester, we pretend we're shooting politicians (just kidding).  I'm not a member of a regional or national gun organizations,  I'm not a hunter, and I don't have children in the house (I do have 2 cats, but as long as I keep them fed and their boxes clean, we stay pretty civil with each other).  Goodness knows, I did far more hazardous things than shooting while on active duty.

Would I shoot someone robbing my house? Not likely.  Would I shoot a thug directly threatening me or my wife in my house?  Without hesitation.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Nam on July 30, 2013, 02:00:13 AM
This is why I have enjoyed paintball. Though, not at all like the real thing[1] close enough, and the bonus: no one dies.

When I did paintball on a regular basis, me and my friends would go out to this 2 or so mile long acreage and play war games.

I have seen, and been a part of enough real life violence that fake violence is more suitable.

-Nam
 1. who would really want to experience the real thing but a nut or thrill seeker
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Chronos on July 30, 2013, 02:50:09 PM
Quiet Loner Really Comes Out Of Shell At Gun Store (http://www.theonion.com/articles/quiet-loner-really-comes-out-of-shell-at-gun-store,33307/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:1:Default)

Sometimes you can catch The Onion slumming around by writing in the mainstream.


Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Nam on July 30, 2013, 02:58:06 PM
In addition, lead is very soft, meaning it is less likely to shatter or splinter on an impact (or inside the gun for that matter).  This would, at least in theory, make lead bullets safer to bystanders.

Soft and heavy metals are typically toxic, so it's hard to get around this.

Nam:  Diamonds are incredibly hard, but not necessarily all that strong, nor are they especially dense compared to something like lead.  They would make awful bullets, and would not be re-usable because they would often shatter.

They've already made bullets out of diamonds, should read up on it.

-Nam
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Azdgari on July 30, 2013, 03:46:11 PM
Yes, I agree that you should.  Then you can cite the relevant information.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Willie on July 30, 2013, 09:59:53 PM
In addition, lead is very soft, meaning it is less likely to shatter or splinter on an impact (or inside the gun for that matter).  This would, at least in theory, make lead bullets safer to bystanders.

Soft and heavy metals are typically toxic, so it's hard to get around this.

Gold seems the obvious choice then. Heavier than lead, nearly as soft, and non-toxic. Damn near perfect, other than having a higher melting point. And that little problem with cost.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Azdgari on July 30, 2013, 10:18:38 PM
Yeah a golden bullet would probably be ideal, if it weren't for that minor little cost thing.  Hey, then maybe there'd be fewer random shootings...!
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 30, 2013, 10:38:21 PM
Gun owners tell us that they are the experts on guns. They probably are.

I would think that gun owners would be a little miffed about innocent people being shot, and that, using their expertise, they would work on figuring out ways to reduce that number.  Right now they seem to be pretty good at saying everyone should have a gun and that that would help, but that doesn't solve the problem of accidental shootings (statistically it makes that problem worse), and it adds to the number of depressed people with access to guns. So if current gun zealots could just put their heads together and come up with some new ideas about how to shoot fewer innocents, that would be great.

Otherwise, it seems legit for those of us without guns to question the whole culture of guns and offer up a variety of solutions, which inevitably will include drastic ideas like making gun ownership illegal, etc.

Problems that don't solve themselves are inevitably going to deal with outside forces that are not inherently sympathetic. Until gun lovers can find a way to make guns cute and cuddly and lovable, they are going to have to put up with folks who think the current situation sucks.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: carstensenscott on July 30, 2013, 10:54:46 PM
I was raised by a marine. Partially deaf by age seven. Served two years in the army (not wartime, not veteran....not proud) and shot many variations of weapons. My father handed down the 8mm Mauser that was the first weapon he ever bought. And a couple years ago gifted my son a .22 bolt action rifle. They are both dusty and in the attic. We have shot them a few times. But for the past two years they have been hidden.

I have killed two animals with weapons. And both times it was horrific and traumatic.

The first was while my father, brother and I were shooting targets in the southern California deserts. My father had his .22 pistol on his hip. I was carrying my BBgun.
From the right a large jack rabbit popped out of the bushes. My dad drew, fired from the hip, and winged the hare. He proceeded to track it to the bush where it lied. Then, he forced my brother to "put it out of its misery". We both were crying in horror. Finally he shot it himself with the pistola and we left. (PTSD anyone)

Second, as I obviously hadn't learned my lesson, was a few years later. After my parents divorced and my father moved out to the country, my brother and I gave my mother such hell that she gave us up to live with my abusive father. l had trekked out one day...probably a 1/4 mile from home...and snuck up on a flock of beautiful meadow larks. BEAUTIFUL birds. I shot one. When I found it lying in the grass, I broke down in tears. Falling to the ground and apologizing for minutes on end. I can't remember what I did after.

Sorry about the sob story.

I think guns are redneck and a power show of reckless hillbillies. IMO. I don't even fish. And I live in the Pac NW. On the banks of the mighty Columbia. Surrounded by gun shows and gun toting shrimps driving lifted Ford's. It's a joke.

Thats what I think. I am a big fella and it would take a good group of tweakers to overpower me. And if they were packing and had the balls to use it...the chances that they new how to fire a handgun with any accuracy would be very slim.

I don't place myself or my family in situations where violence would be a concern. (Sure it happens)

Guns dont equal love.

Love is all we need.
Title: Re: Generic gun discussion
Post by: Nam on July 31, 2013, 03:04:30 AM
Yes, I agree that you should.  Then you can cite the relevant information.

I didn't say they were effective, I said they already made them. My original comment was tongue-in-cheek; if your head wasn't stuck in your ass, you would've got that.

-Nam