Gun violence in America: Propose reasonable solutions

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Shacklebolt, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    #1
    There's going to be a fair amount of devil's advocacy going on here, so bear with me.

    Obviously, there's a problem with gun violence in America. I don't know what the MURDER rates (not to be confused with GUN deaths) are in some European countries (for example), but obviously America leads the pack in the non-developing world for gun deaths to civilian population (although, of course, gun deaths and massacres in Africa are a horrible, horrible thing).

    So what's the solution? Should I buy a gun myself, and put it at the bottom of my schoolbag, on the off chance that someone comes into my class and starts shooting up the place? Of course, it's a ludicrous idea, and the odds are very small <knock on wood> that something like that would happen at my college, but I hate the idea, as it is said in Alan Moore's Watchmen that we are allowed to exist on the whims of murderers, and that it is by lucky chance that I wasn't one of the 12,000 Americans - including dozens of students IN SCHOOL - killed last year with a gun.

    Do I hide out in my apartment, fearing murder less, but avoiding all the better things in life? Do people in other countries feel the same way sometimes? I have no idea. Obviously, OBVIOUSLY, violence has been a fact of life in other times/places, but to go from feeling relatively "safe" to "not so much" is unnerving. As Henry Jones said to Indy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, "Those people are trying to kill us! It's a new experience for me," to have his son respond: "I KNOW DAD! It happens to me all the time."

    Do I start fericiously writing letters to the next president, begging him to implement far stricter gun control laws? What do I do between now and then, if we're even lucky enough to have change at all?

    2nd Ammendment: 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.


    Honestly, I don't see a lot of well regulated Militia's in this place. But whatever.
    Hope that nothing happens to me? Again, the chances are <small> but they've felt surprisingly increased as of late.

    Responses from home and abroad welcomed.
     
  2. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #2
    I hate to minimize this to "guns don't kill people, people kill people", but essentially that's the problem. Meaning, if you were to look at the 12,000 gun-related deaths in the US that you quote, how many would have been killed anyway by some other means?

    That is, how many deaths do we really avoid through gun control?

    To stop gun violence you have to get to the root cause of the violence in general, which can usually be attributed to such factors as economic woes, drug usage, gang violence, etc. It's just easy to point at guns and say "That's your problem - too many guns".

    Certainly there are cases, such as school shootings, where the deaths are multiple and likely much higher than someone swinging a shovel around, but those are the exception, not the rule.
     
  3. NAG macrumors 68030

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    #3
    But then you can bring in the question of if guns were isolated to well maintained militias and not just anyone would there be as much accidental shootings or whatnot. Basically the level of training ranges from zero to well trained currently (and probably is heavy toward the zero). Guns can make a person feel powerful yet if they aren't trained they're not likely to use it "correctly"/result in avoidable death given whatever contrived situation they use to justify owning one (this is mostly referring to hand guns).

    I don't see a good reason not to require training. It doesn't seem to be against the 2nd amendment (but then again I'm not a lawyer) and it would save lives.
     
  4. Queso macrumors G4

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    #4
    I think a lot of the problem is that guns are used by the American media as something everyday. You can't watch many US shows or films without seeing people waving guns around like they are natural extensions of their arms. I know it's only fiction, but it appears a lot of people can't make that distinction.
     
  5. elcid macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Taking the guns is a lot like taking the alcohol. It did not work, and taking the guns won't work either.

    This country is too large. Do not compare it to any European country. The black market would be enormous and now all the citizens that could protect themselves will be defenseless against anyone that has a gun.

    To fix the problem you don't address the guns, you address the people.

    Guns are embedded in U.S. society. They are passed down from father to son and the South would put up a bigger fight than it was worth.

    In short the only reasonable solution is to fight the crime, not the gun.
     
  6. stevegmu macrumors regular

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    #6
    The gun can not be uninvited, so banning guns would only ensure the criminals have them.

    Ban rap music. Rappers glorify the gangsta lifestyle.
     
  7. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #7
    Guns are portrayed in countless US films, TV shows and cartoons as the solution to life's problems, the equaliser that empowers heavily-armed, often psychopathic loners to take on the apparatus of the State, the Mob or Johnny Foreigner, and whose heroism quotient is directly proportional to the body-count he leaves in his wake. With such a fantasy culture of easy violence, how can anybody seriously assert that almost unrestricted access to an arsenal of quasi-military weaponry does not encourage multiple killings in the real world?
     
  8. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #8
    Banning guns isn't going to do ****.

    Drugs are illegal, but they're still really easy to get. In fact, if you banned guns you could end up with more violence when people tried to buy them on the black market.

    I think that they should make the background checks and stuff when you purchase a gun more in depth, and require training courses (if they don't already do). But no way should they be banned.

    People need to have the right to carry a gun for self defense and defense of their homes.
     
  9. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #9
    The only reasonable answer: more guns.

    People won't be as quick to try to attack someone if there is a legitimate chance that they are carrying. Handgun murders have dropped pretty steadily in Texas since the concealed handgun law was passed.
     
  10. stevegmu macrumors regular

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    #10
    20 year mandatory sentence for anyone who uses a firearm in the commission of a felony.
     
  11. Queso macrumors G4

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    #11
    Right. Banning anything rarely has the desired effect.

    But you could make them seem a lot less glamourous than at present, maybe even give them an air of being passé. Society's view on things can be changed very quickly if the right message is the one used.
     
  12. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    #12
    IMO the problem is that most people are idiots when it comes to guns. I think it is rational and reasonable to require someone who wants to own a gun to take and pass a class in firearms safety. Include some really good "Blood on the Highway" footage like they did in drivers ed. Until people learn that a) a gun is not a toy, b) the bad guys are not always lousy shots like in the movies, and c) the problems a gun can solve are very limited and the solution can lead to more and bigger problems, then there is little hope in curbing the carnage.
     
  13. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #13
    You don't need to carry a gun to defend your home.
     
  14. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    #14
    That is technically not true. Yes, there was a huge backlash and an underground trade of spirits, etc, but during prohibition, alcoholism/accidents due to alcohol, etc declined DRASTICALLY. When you say "didn't work", you mean, the country didn't accept it, and not that its ends weren't sound.

    And another thing - say you DO have a gun, concealed, and you're walking home at night through a dark alley. All of a sudden, someone comes up to you, puts a gun to your back, and says, "Give me your wallet." What do you do? Try to reach for your gun and hope that he doesn't shoot you in the 3 second window? Go home and work on your quickdraw skills, like back in the 1880s? Have mandatory classes for people to learn how to use your gun FASTER in case of emergency? That's ridiculous. The first person to have their gun on someone has control over that person, at least to the end that they don't want to be killed (Thomas Hobbes would say that as long as you are alive and free from physical bondage, you ALWAYS have a choice as to what to do - if someone has a gun to your head telling you to do something, you are free to say "no", even if it means you die as a result).

    So giving people MORE guns is NOT THE ANSWER. Everyone would have to be strapped, everyone would have to have their guns at the ready, everyone would have to have their eye on everyone else just to make sure they had first crack at shooting them. The answer is take AWAY the guns, and not give EVERYONE guns. The only place they would be useful is in defense against mass-shootings, where at least ONE person gets shot before people have time to respond. Sadly, the vast majority of murders take place in confined spaces, with one person getting the complete jump on another.
     
  15. elcid macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Works well with the drug war eh?

    I am sure that the music industry is going to be interested how to get rid of rap. You can't tell people no when they live in an environment where they always feel threatened.

    I think it is the sentiment in suburban America about how "Guns are bad" and "I would never let my little Jimmy shoot a gun" that is screwing kids up. That just leads to the glamorization. Telling kids that something is so bad just makes them want it more. My kids will know how to handle a firearm.
     
  16. pknz macrumors 68020

    pknz

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    #16
    Haha I love that thinking.

    Actually I find it scary, unless you were being sarcastic
     
  17. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Tell that to Sean Taylor's widow.

    Wasn't being sarcastic and the facts support what I said.
     
  18. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

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    #18
    Do you really think that would have altered the outcome of that evening?
     
  19. j26 macrumors 65832

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    #19
    We have a 10 year minimum sentence. It hasn't stopped gun crime (mainly drug gang related) from going up in the last few years.


    I think a lot of the problem is the glorification of guns that others have pointed to, but another issue is epitomised by someone earlier in the thread saying that those without guns would be defenceless. That's saying something about US culture - exactly what I'm not sure, but I don't have a gun, but don't feel threatened, and it's the same with most Europeans.
    Guns are not a major feature in Irish society, which is ironic given the war that went here for over thirty years. Even our police force aren't armed - they rely on "moral authority".
     
  20. pknz macrumors 68020

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    #20

    Cold war, arms race... Hmmmm
     
  21. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #21
    Solution. No gun without a mandatory class of some type, no gun with any felony record and no gun for people who have documented mental issues. Next:)
     
  22. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

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    #22
    That seems like the best idea to me. If a criminal knows that a certain area has high gun ownership, he won't bother doing anything.

    My college is on the edge of a rough neighborhood. About five months ago, while I was in lab in the building, in the middle of the day, a guy got his car stolen from him at gunpoint right in front of the building's entrance. The only thing that could have prevented that from happening was a) an armed guard or b) an armed student. I'm not in favor of more cops in public areas, so IMO if more students had guns I think the crime wouldn't have happened.

    It is a complicated subject and I can see the advantage of both sides, but like someone else said, if you ban them they'll always be available on the black market.
     
  23. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #23
    He stood in the doorway of his bedroom and tried to fend off the intruders with a machete. Had he been fending them off with a firearm, I do indeed think things would have turned out differently.
     
  24. Spizzo macrumors 6502

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    #24
    The most common cause of death in the US is automobiles, which (according to the NYT in '04) kill 114 people a day, or 43000 a year.

    Should we ban cars, because they are dangerous? No, we make people take drivers education, and pass a series of tests. I'm all for mandatory gun education classes. I've been around guns since I can remember, and have taken more than a few classes on gun safety/small arms training.
     
  25. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    #25
    Okay then, should that guy have had a gun on him, what would he have done at gunpoint? Tried to reach for his gun? Or would his assailant just shoot him first without warning and not risk being shot at? What's his best case scenario, assuming he's armed?
     

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