Crazy Americans with Guns

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Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby DHodges » Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:15 am

Leyla wrote:I could have sworn someone around here once made the argument that the right to bear arms mean that "we, the people" could topple our own oppressive governments when they infringed upon our freedoms.


That was me.

I started re-thinking that position when that guy went into the capitol building in Denver and tried to declare himself Emperor. I thought, this is what I've been defending. This is what happens when you express your politics with a gun.

A conversation with a friend got across to me that to really oppose the government in a meaningful fashion, you would need a hell of a lot more than handguns. You would need real military equipment - howitzers, tanks, all that. And I have to admit it would make me nervous and suspicious if my neighbor had that kind of arsenal.

Still, that is hardly the only argument in favor of 2nd Amendment rights. I decided what I needed to have an informed decision on the issue was personal experience. I've never really been around guns and found it a little freaky to be near one. I didn't really know anything about them, except in a very abstract way.

The first step was to go to a gun show. Here in Pennsylvania, these are fairly common, and there is a huge variety of handguns, rifles, knives, ammo and literature on display and for sale. (As a side note, the AR-15 is once again legal to buy and own. The AR-15 and the AK-47 were banned for a while.)

This was a completely alien environment for me. It seemed very wierd to be in the middle of this arsenal. But I've been to guitar shows and motorcycle shows, and this was really no different. After a while I calmed down and started talking to people and such. The people were generally very nice, with the exception of one very crappy old man in a wheelchair that was trying to sell model cars. (WTF?)

The next step was to take the NRA basic gun safety class, which I just finished on September 19. This entails handling and firing pistols, and learning how to do that safely. After nine hours in the classroom and on the range, being around guns is about as exciting as being around a table saw. Yes, you need to treat it with respect and follow the right safety precautions - but it is just a tool.

During the class, I fired a .22 target pistol, a huge revolver, and a Glock 9 mm. I preferred the Glock and ending up shooting a box of 50 rounds through that.

Shooting a gun at a range is very much like archery - particularly Kyudo - and actually had a strange similarity to bowling as well. You have a bunch of elements to deal with - grip, stance, breathing - and it takes a lot of concentration to get it all working at once.

Anyway, handling and owning guns is not really a big deal, if you go about it properly and follow all the relevant safety precautions. Hmmm... kind of like riding a motorcycle. If you go about it right, it's pretty safe. It takes a certain level of personal responsibility.


A particular issue that came up a lot in the class is Concealed Carry. Here in Pennsylvania, you can go to the Sherriff's office and apply for a CCW permit, which they will issue unless you have a felony or a history of domestic abuse or something. However, across the river in New Jersey, the laws are completely different. The instructor referred to New Jersey as a "Communist country." In order to cross over into New Jersey, you are supposed to write to the police ahead of time, explain why you need to do that (e.g., going to a shooting match in NJ), and they are supposed to write back with a letter giving you permission to do so. However, they never actually send out such letters, and no one bothers to actually write to them.

I have no idea how many people in Pennsylvania actually carry on a daily basis. From what I've read, if they are doing it right, I should never know that they are carrying.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Trevor Salyzyn » Sat Sep 22, 2007 3:44 am

Dave, the American government, by requiring you to acquire licenses, is trying to violate the Second Amendment. You have the right to bear arms -- even without their knowledge. In fact, it should be without their knowledge. The government should not know how much of a threat you pose to them, and this should be what prevents them from storming your house and arbitrarily imprisoning you. It should also be what guarantees that you can form underground movements and topple a corrupt government without actually breaking a single law. (Any law that prevents you from doing this is not an American law, since it violates the Constitution.)

All weapons are tools, and almost any tool can be used as a weapon. One of the best ways, imho, of learning to use an unfamiliar weapon is by relating it to something you already know how to do. For instance, you related the gun to a bench-saw, and it became substantially easier to use.

Myself, one of the weapons I am comfortable with is a large hunting knife, and I relate it to a musical instrument when it is in my hands. This allows me to do quite complicated things with it, without the least worry of cutting myself: my skills with guitar translate easily to knife-tricks.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby daybrown » Sat Sep 22, 2007 1:23 pm

The right to bear arms wont do you any good unless you are a part of the "Well Regulated Militia" the same 2nd amendment speaks of. Whatever guns you own, are not nearly adequate against the tools of the modern military, which you cannot afford. Altho- against the thug or burglar, certainly.

Jodi Foster now plays a female vigelante, which I expect is another factor neither the NRA nor those aspiring to tyranny have really come to grips with. Smith & Wesson guarantee equal rights for smart women. The brave heart, strong right arm, sword in hand... no longer cuts it.

There's a good case to be made that the electorate is so crazy that the system is headed for tyranny or anarchy; personal guns will only be useful with the latter. And even at that, wont do much good for very long if you find your ass in an urban area during civil unrest. If you are a good enuf shot, you get to starve to death instead of bleed to death.

If however, you live in a remote rural community, you will be ignored by tyranny and your own well regulated militia will be far better at providing security if there is anarchy. And if you can find a militia of young sexy women who can shoot, that's max security. Any armed man who sees a hot bod will hesitate, not wanting to kill that which he hopes to rape later. the Hot bod wont hesitate.

What the NRA boys dont get, is that guns are necessary, but not sufficient.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby ChochemV2 » Sat Sep 22, 2007 3:22 pm

Saying that the second amendment is supposed to act as a barrier between the people and government seems fairly ridiculous to me. A codified right to own weapons or forced ownership of weapons existed far before America's 2nd amendment for many practical reasons. People were supposed to own and be familiar with weapons so a country could raise an army and be sure that it would be at least moderately trained in the use of it's weapons. Police forces were rare for much of history so people were supposed to carry arms to protect themselves and their towns from external and internal threats. Also, I believe the colonies had their right to bear arms taken away or severely infringed upon before and during the revolution so it would make sense for a new government to specifically grant people such a right to distance itself from their oppressors.

Either way it's up to us to interpret our constitution as it applies to the modern world and not try to force it's rules to fit a world which barely resembles the one that created them. All the arguing over what the founders would have wanted or which interpretation of the amendment is correct ignores the most important point: does the law still apply or has it become too arcane to be taken seriously?

EDIT: In an age where "arms" can mean anything from a kitchen knife to a ballistic missile we really have to break away from the crutch our constitution has become and consider new options. That will never happen as long as Americans are stupid enough to believe our form of government is "the best form of government on Earth" which basically means it will never happen but I can dream...
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Leyla Shen » Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:55 pm

Dave wrote:That was me.


Thanks. Couldn’t quite recall whether it was you or Chochem.

Dave wrote:Still, that is hardly the only argument in favor of 2nd Amendment rights.


OK, but I seemed to have missed another argument in its favour in your post. Did you personally have another in mind that you’d care to detail?
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby DHodges » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:51 am

Trevor Salyzyn wrote:Dave, the American government, by requiring you to acquire licenses, is trying to violate the Second Amendment.

I think you are being facetious, but this is essentially the argument Ted Nugent makes. (Presented with some embarrassment, since Ted is obviously a complete redneck jackass.)

You have the right to bear arms -- even without their knowledge.

Well, in most states, there is a background check to buy a gun at a store, to make sure you don't have a felony or something. I don't know if they keep any records after that.

I am (of course) a law-abiding citizen and would do nothing illegal. My interest is mainly in gaining some practical experience to have an informed opinion on the matter. I don't intend to tote a gun around. I may do some more target shooting at the range.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby DHodges » Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:15 am

ChochemV2 wrote:Saying that the second amendment is supposed to act as a barrier between the people and government seems fairly ridiculous to me.
Well, possibly, in the modern world. I can see arguments on either side. What I don't see is an argument that I consider strong enough to justify stripping people of a right, and giving that right solely to the government.
Taking away gun rights seems to me like taking away free speech, because some one might misuse it and commit libel (or incite a riot, commit perjury or whatever).

Either way it's up to us to interpret our constitution as it applies to the modern world and not try to force it's rules to fit a world which barely resembles the one that created them.

I personally don't think that
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
is ambiguous or needs very much interpretation. (The relation to a "well-ordered Militia" is not so clear.)

If you want to argue that the Second Amendment should be repealed or changed to suit the modern world, that's a different issue altogether. It seems to me that directly addressing the Second Amendment would be the honest thing for the anti-gun lobby to do. Instead, there has been a very gradual infringement and encroachment over time. The Supreme Court is supposed to iron those things out.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby DHodges » Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:24 am

Leyla Shen wrote:OK, but I seemed to have missed another argument in its favour in your post. Did you personally have another in mind that you’d care to detail?

You are correct that I did not post such an argument.

However, that seems kind of backwards to me. Do you think there is a strong argument in favor of stripping law-abiding citizens of a right they currently have?
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby daybrown » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:48 am

But the whole idea of having a gun to resist tyranny does not make any sense unless you also have the "well ordered militia".

Now, for instance, Arkansas received 919 million in unexpected tax revenues. And one of the things that Gov. Beebee said they were going to do with the money, was re-equip the Arkansas National Guard, going on to say that none of this equipment could be used outside the state without the governor's consent. To the overwhelming approval of the citizenry.

This is, in fact, a well ordered militia. And everyone understands, that if there's another problem at Little Rock Central High, it will be handled by the governor, not the president.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Alex Jacob » Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:02 pm

Daybrown mentioned:

"Jodi Foster now plays a female vigilante, which I expect is another factor neither the NRA nor those aspiring to tyranny have really come to grips with."

I had a little free time and went to see it. Superficially, it's about an enraged and emotionally devastated woman who takes revenge on low-lifes who murdered the man she was going to marry, but along the way she takes out some other nogoodniks who commit violence against innocents, but I'd have to say that it really dealt with issues of race and class, and in a greater symbolic sense seemed to have a great deal to do with attitudes toward the on-going Iraq war, strangely enough, identifying villians, working up the strength to attack them, feeling both justified and guilty for doing so. I actually read it is a 'text' that traces a shift from passivism to an involvement in acute violence to deal with vilified enemies.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby daybrown » Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:02 pm

Thanx for the review Alex. The last movie I saw at a theater was the Truman Show, and even then, at the behest of friends, who like the actors in the movie, are always so considerate, even tho they are always lying.

Course, we'd all done shrooms together. so we thot it was great. But the allegorical message of *this* movie, is a whole nother trip. Cosmologically, Truman is like Arjuna in the Bagavad Gita, a Bohdisattvah in search of greater truth, whereas Jodi battles with her Avatars, assuming they are, in fact, real.

That delusion permeates the whole culture, which does not really want to win the war with Islam, so much as keep the struggle going. Reminds me of what Shelby Foote said of the North regarding the Civil War, that it was fought with one hand against its back battling the South, and all it really had to do, was take out the other iron fist.

Jodi's message is also a sign of the end of Liberalism, that telling the Jihadim just play nice was not going to cut it. There is no real effort to apply the new weapons of greater understanding of the violent alpha male personality and the biochemistry of the mind that drives it. She, and the whole culture are unaware of Sun Tzu's advice to understand thy enemy, and to do that, first- understand thyself. She, and they, are all too neurotic to handle the truth.

Of course, to refer back again to the Truman show, it all assumes that what is represented in the sources I get to see of the world is what is really going on. "The Matrix" comes to mind, which also harkens back to the Bagavad Gita and the concept of reality in the Vedas. We all, so far as I can see, which may not be all there is, are living in Plato's cave looking at the shadows... another clue to the acid trips in the Telesterion.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Leyla Shen » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:41 pm

DHodges wrote:
Leyla Shen wrote:OK, but I seemed to have missed another argument in its favour in your post. Did you personally have another in mind that you’d care to detail?

You are correct that I did not post such an argument.

However, that seems kind of backwards to me. Do you think there is a strong argument in favor of stripping law-abiding citizens of a right they currently have?


Well, that's a loaded question! Especially as it relates to the rights of a "law-abiding citizen." :)

But, to answer your question and without clarifying my above comment any further here, I think I do have an argument for you, though it will take a little time to properly formulate.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby DHodges » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:27 am

Leyla Shen wrote:Well, that's a loaded question!

Nice one.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Alex Jacob » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:01 am

Daybrown wrote:

"Of course, to refer back again to the Truman show, it all assumes that what is represented in the sources I get to see of the world is what is really going on. "The Matrix" comes to mind, which also harkens back to the Bagavad Gita and the concept of reality in the Vedas. We all, so far as I can see, which may not be all there is, are living in Plato's cave looking at the shadows... another clue to the acid trips in the Telesterion."

I never realized that those mysteries might have had to do with a psychedelic, but it would seem to be true. It is strangely unconceivable, and how easy to forget, that the world we think is so real is just one of billions, zillions, of 'lokas'.

It is true that there is a sort of central 'concept of reality' in the early Vedas---but it is an honest, open wonder at the fact that all this stuff is there, that there is a perceiver who is there perceiving. And from that flow out the prayers and the affirmations to the elemental forces, the winds, fire, the dawn, the luminaries, the sun.

"That delusion permeates the whole culture, which does not really want to win the war with Islam, so much as keep the struggle going."

I don't think the culture, I mean most people, want war with anyone. But those architects of the 21st (American) century sure do, as a means to an end. Yet it does seem to me that, to have all the stuff the people have grown used to (perhaps I should say 'we'), they'll have to accept some sacrifices, some of the blood of conquest.

(Trying to draw this back to 'crazy loons with guns'...)
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Leyla Shen » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:00 am

DHodges wrote:Nice one.


Thanks, Dave. I thought so, too. Y'all ready for this...

DHodges wrote:However, that seems kind of backwards to me. Do you think there is a strong argument in favor of stripping law-abiding citizens of a right they currently have?


I don’t think it is a right they already have as much as it is one merely assumed. Is there a difference, do you think? What is it?

The Second Amendment, so far as I can tell, is an amendment intended to limit the power of the federal government, particularly Article I, Section 10, which states:

No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.

No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.


Amendment II:

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.


The French Revolution (1789-1799) saw the middle-class city militias revolt against feudalism--Paris literally forming the first such National Guard in 1789; the US’s Second Amendment coming into effect in 1791.

Now, an important distinction here between what you are talking about and what I am talking about comes down to the term “the people.” It does not say the “right of the private citizen/individual” and, therefore, mean or ratify that “the private citizen/individual has the right to bear arms as a private citizen/individual.”

Hence, I cannot be arguing backwardly since such rights were never ratified and seem to be assumed in the absence of both Constitution and regulatory law, in which circumstances any claims to any rights to specifically bear arms might equally be made by anyone as they relate them to their own sense of freedom. Since this right to which you refer is not, in fact, a right ratified by the Second Amendment at all, we can toss any discussion of the rights of private individuals (citizens) to bear arms on the basis of the Constitution, together with any objection to same as being backwards, out the window.

In the Second Amendment, “the people” clearly refers to the individual states as individual states and not the individual citizens who comprise them.

More later, but feel free to exercise your right to comment on the above beforehand...
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Dan Rowden » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:19 am

This thread is precisely why I think America is a totally scary and fucked up nation. You don't know how to be sane. You literally don't. You talk about gun shit like it was the fucking 1700's.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby DHodges » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:28 am

Leyla Shen wrote:In the Second Amendment, “the people” clearly refers to the individual states as individual states and not the individual citizens who comprise them.

I am not a Constitutional scholar. Many things in the Federal constitution limit the Federal government, but allow the states to regulate themselves as they see fit, and that does seem to be a common interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

Here in Pennsylvania, the State Consitution says:
Right to Bear Arms
Section 21.
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.


Other states, for instance California, seem to have a much different view on the matter.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby DHodges » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:33 am

Dan Rowden wrote:This thread is precisely why I think America is a totally scary and fucked up nation. You don't know how to be sane. You literally don't. You talk about gun shit like it was the fucking 1700's.

You seem to feel strongly about this, Dan.

What in particular do you think is so much different today, with respect to guns? Are you talking about differences in gun technology, differences in the political situation, or what?
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Alex Jacob » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:39 am

Dan, hunkered down, exclaimed:

"This thread is precisely why I think America is a totally scary and fucked up nation."

The best is yet to come, Dan. Hold on to your seat. Master revealed symbolically in the long view of the shuttle that ominous forces are moving in the heavenly realm, and lo! a trumpet sounds! Mark my words, forumites, you shall know the truth of Master's revelation within 18 months...

Selah...
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Dan Rowden » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:57 am

DHodges wrote:
Dan Rowden wrote:This thread is precisely why I think America is a totally scary and fucked up nation. You don't know how to be sane. You literally don't. You talk about gun shit like it was the fucking 1700's.


You seem to feel strongly about this, Dan.

What in particular do you think is so much different today, with respect to guns? Are you talking about differences in gun technology, differences in the political situation, or what?


I'm talking about the fact that you had to ask me that question.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby DHodges » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:04 am

Dan Rowden wrote:I'm talking about the fact that you had to ask me that question.

Well, you seem to be either having a knee-jerk reaction ("Guns are evil") or you are assuming something is obvious, when it isn't obvious to me.

You response - which amounting to "You just don't get it, do you?" - is not at all helpful. In fact it doesn't even seem very rational.

The impression I get is that you don't really know much about guns and have never been around them - which would be pretty usual for an Australian, I take it. It's pretty normal for Americans as well, actually, unless they grew up in some back woods area or are into hunting. There is a "gun culture," but like "model railroading culture" it's not something that is forced on you. It's there to explore if you are interested, or ignore if you are not.

Until two weeks ago, I had never been around guns and didn't know much about them. Now I have at least handled them and fired them, and so I at least have a taste of what that's about.

Do I really need to clarify that I'm not advocating running around shooting people for fun? That should really go without saying.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby daybrown » Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:16 am

Wallace, in his anthro classic, "Culture & Personality" noted that when a system is on the skids, people's coping skills dont work so well any more, and they engage in "magical thinking".

Thus wicca, astrology, and fundies awaiting "the Rapture". But also the NRA BS about gun ownership. That ownership dont mean jack schitt if you are not part of a "well ordered militia". Otherwise, all it does is make you a target for the SWAT teams of goon squads. And they can bring in tanks, like they did at Waco.

And when it comes to guns, they better be rifles and shotguns, not streetguns. Clamp a pistol down in a vice, and watch the spread pattern go all over the place. The SWAT teams have the urban hit worked out pretty well. If you are going to stand a chance, it hasta be as a sniper in steep wooded terrain. The advice of Clausewitz to generals when confronted with this still stands:"Go around it."

And even if your right to bear arms protects you from opposing forces, it does not grow food, and you get to starve slowly rather than die quickly. Whoop dedoo. Again, if you are worried about your survival, either from street thugs or uniformed thugs, you need to be in a rural community that has a mutual self interest and enuf common sense to grow its own food and manage a local resource base.

What's going on in most poster's minds on this issue looks like a video game. The orginal is in the Bagavad Gita. If your personal security is an issue, look at Sun Tzu. "know thy enemy, but first, to do that, know thyself." and to do *that* the Vedas praise Soma. The Greeks used Kykeion. Ugarit Shamen still use Amanita Muscaria slathered with reindeer tallow to make Soma. As a result, Christianity never got anywhere with them.

Archeology also found another Greek site that used a potion concocted out of specially managed legumes. The Oracle of Delphi is thot to have been under the influence of gasses emanating from a sacred spring. EW Barber, "The Mummies of Urumchi" shows how they found cannibis, opium, & ephedra in the oldest ashrams ever found, at Gonur and Togoluk in the Kara Kum. 4000 years old. Transylvanian witches were making psychedelic douches that used transdermal on potions that were too poisonous.

Groups also used hypnotic chant, drum, & dance, usually augmented by an entheogen. The only diff between the Aryans and primitive tribes in anthro reports, is that the former were literate, and thus wrote down some of their visions. Ramprasad describes the addition of sacred sex. In time greater minds experienced both the texts and the visions, and learned to extract the allegorical message about the "projected matrix" that passes as 'reality'.

Like any good video game, danger always *looks* to be imminent. You have to play it like it is, But aware, like Arjuna in the Gita, that it is all just a delusion. Do I expect any of the forgoing to be convincing? No. Of course not. You either know it, or you do not, and if not, I'm not going to get my panties in a wad over it. If you want to know, try some combination of the above methods to achieve an altered state of consciousness. If not, that's OK. You can still play the game.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Dan Rowden » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:35 am

DHodges wrote:
Dan Rowden wrote:I'm talking about the fact that you had to ask me that question.


Well, you seem to be either having a knee-jerk reaction ("Guns are evil") or you are assuming something is obvious, when it isn't obvious to me.

You response - which amounting to "You just don't get it, do you?" - is not at all helpful. In fact it doesn't even seem very rational.


It may not be helpful but it certainly seems perfectly rational to me. My point is, basically: why does a modern western democracy talk about guns the way America does? i.e. obsessively to the point of paranoia? I mean, is it just me that finds this state of affairs bizarre?
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Kevin Solway » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:08 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:why does a modern western democracy talk about guns the way America does? i.e. obsessively to the point of paranoia? I mean, is it just me that finds this state of affairs bizarre?

Imagine you are were in a democracy where the majority of people are fundamentalist Muslims, and they democratically voted to "cleanse" society of all the non-Muslims.

In this situation you might wish you had taken the issue of guns more seriously earlier on.

In this sort of context I can understand people's obsession with guns.

P.S. In Australia we have more of a socialist government than the US, so we feel a bit safer. But in the US, and increasingly in Australia, it is every man for himself. That's when you feel the need for guns.
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Re: Crazy Americans with Guns

Postby Jamesh » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:42 pm

I think it is more to do with the continuing effects of "The Wild West", the Civil War, the child like minds of the religious south and the emotionalism of the blacks as they gained rights often leading to criminal bejaviour and racist conflict, and were drug fuelled, in the 70's-80's. The memes created by the early american situtations continue to be passed down from generation to generation to this day.
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