1. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Gun sales surge in California - up 300%

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by NaCl, Nov 7, 2008.

    The day after Obama's election, gun and ammunition sales in California surged by 300%. Many gun dealers report being out of stock due to the demand. Ironically, it is not the established gun owners who are making these purchases...it's first time gun owners. As a long time gun owner, I am alarmed at this activity.

    My wife and daughters wanted guns many years ago and were surprised when I suggested that they should NOT own guns. When asked why, I explained that anyone can own weapons and fire them accurately into silhouette targets at a firing range, but it is entirely another mental/emotional process to kill a human being in self defense. It requires judgment and resolve that can not be acquired at any shooting range. Then, I proved my point...

    I handed my wife a spray bottle of water with the nozzle stopped down so it would emit a narrow stream over a long distance. I told her to stand on the far side of the kitchen and I would come at her as an assailant. She was to decide when I had crossed some invisible barrier of safety and "fire" at me with the squirt bottle when she felt she needed to.

    To add realism, I stepped outside the back door and entered slowly, peeking into the kitchen like any burglar. My wife immediately aimed the bottle at me and ordered me to "Get out." Of course, I ignored her and continued inching forward...slowly...while promising her I would not harm her. She backed up and repeated her command more forcefully. By now, I was half way across the kitchen with both empty hands held up in front of me in a gesture of "I won't hurt you. I just want some money."

    When she backed into the wall, her tone changed. Our little "game" had begun to frighten her. With fear in her voice, she issued her "last" warning.

    I lunged at her....careful to take only one long step forward! She reacted exactly the way an inexperienced and untrained person does with a gun...she lifted the weapon to eye level, extended her arms out and pulled the trigger. The water stream passed to my right because after my one long step I zigged hard to my left with my second long step. I KNEW what she would do (just as most criminals know such things) and the delay in her action when she lifted the weapon, gave me the instant I needed to get out of her line of fire and close the distance to the weapon. I was not concerned about the person...only the weapon in front of her.

    Before she could track me and fire again, I was close enough to slap her weapon hand to the side and in the next instant I removed the "gun" from her hand and shot her in the face with water.

    The frightening realism made her cry. Of course, I held her in my arms and gently explained that I would be happy to buy her a gun, but not until she took a gun safety class that included ample training in WHEN and HOW to use such a weapon against a serious threat. Most gun safety classes do not cover such training. I also pointed out that I am an old fat man. A younger assailant or one on drugs might be much faster.

    I repeated this "test" independently with all three of my daughters. The result was the same each time. They waited too long before deciding that lethal force had become necessary and then their execution in defending themselves with a gun was inefficient and hesitant. This is why many people end up victims of their own weapons.

    I am a strong proponent of the right to bear arms, but we provide better training to 16 year old kids for driving a car than we do to novice gun owners.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Personally, I don't think that the right to bear arms is a good idea. But I'm not an American, and I recognise guns are part of your culture. And I know all the arguments about how banning firearms doesn't decrease crime rates, but I agree with your sentiments that putting weapons in the hands of untrained individuals is a dangerous concept. I'm continually frightened by how easy it is to get hold of a gun in the US... Possibly that could have something to do with all of the school massacres over there.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Oh, and just to get in at the start, this is going to be another zero tolerance thread. If I even suspect it's going to turn to flame, I'm closing it. And if you cross the line, you will be infracted.
     
  4. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    If American citizens had not owned firearms, we'd still be speaking British! LOL
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    You say that like it's a bad thing :p
     
  6. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't get me started on my opinion on the right to bear arms thing. I am a big supporter of gun control. I support lock boxes, trigger locks, waiting periods, and think that everyone should (As NaCl said) have gun safety training including when, why, and how to use a gun safely. A 300% increase is a temporary kneejerk reaction to what people are percieving as a big change coming up. I am hoping that it is not a sign of things to come, just a short term reaction.
     
  7. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Gun control just seems like common sense to me. But then, as I said, I'm from a completely different culture.
     
  8. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am American born and bred, and I don't like guns. I think the intention of the whole "right to bear arms" thing was in reference to forming civillian militia and also from a time where you shot your dinner. My dinner comes in a package that says "tofu." I am not shooting anything. I don't need or want a gun. I think they are entirely too easy to get and too dangerous for the average person to handle safely. I just read an article recently about an 8 year-old who shot himself in the head at a gun show when his dad and a vendor let him fire an uzi. http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/10/27/boy.shoots.himself.ap/index.html. I think guns are too dangerous to have around. I am not trying to take anyone's rights away or anything, but guns aren't cool.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Total non sequitur, but I almost wet my pants when I read that! That was awesome :D
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    was it obama causing all those gun sales, or was it all those outraged gay couples who were told they can't have the benefits of marriage, arming themselves to protect them from those uptight religious folks who think it's sinful?
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    LOL! Maia! You kill me!

    Ok, this thread is turning out to have way more comedic value than I would have ever expected! :D
     
  12. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm against gun ownership in any way, shape or form, if I'm being absolutely honest. I'm of the opinion that guns all too often encourage crime, and that the only way of sorting out that problem is banning guns. In 2000, the USA had a gun crime rate 3,000% higher than the combined gun crime of the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Those six countries all have restrictions on guns to the effect that it's nigh on impossible to get hold of one. Whilst statistics are often misleading, this statistic I believe shows the outdatedness of the US constitution's right to bear arms, and the naivety of those who argue that a gun offers self-defence.

    How easy it is to get hold of a gun in the US and hold one in the house is at fault for the school shootings, and yet nothing has been done to limit this. After the Dunblane tragedy in February 1996, where over a dozen primary school children and their teacher were shot dead in a PE class in Scotland the Conservative government acted quickly to ban handguns. One incident sorted a problem in the UK, and yet dozens of similar incidents in the US haven't seen the pro-gun lobby open their eyes to the realities of liberal gun laws.
     
  13. Chickidy
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    Chickidy Contributing Member

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    An understatement. It actually causes crime to go up. Example, the UK gun ban. Handgun crime is up 40%. So, I'm just gonna let that one speak for itself. Also, the right to bear arms is actually quite positive. I mean, look at this. 400,000 gun crimes a year in the US. Not only this, but the majority of those crimes are committed by people who can't legally own guns, so a gun ban wouldn't effect a lot of the crime being committed at all. And finally, we come to the law abiding, gun owning citizens like me who use their guns 2 million times a year defensively. The way I see it, you'd have to be blind to support a gun ban in the U.S.
     
  14. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    If you outlaw guns, then only outlaws will own guns.
     
  15. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Folks, this thread is NOT about the right to bear arms. We have that right already. It is about the responsibilities of gun ownership. My concern about the present run on guns is that these people are not properly trained in either safety, or in the mindset to know when to pull the trigger in self defense. It is a recipe or mistakes.
     
  16. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    In a previous I said not ot get me started on right bear arms. LOL I'll get off track. I agree that the importantthing at this point is how easy is it to get guns when your ire is up or you are freaked out about an election or something. That is NOT the time to buy a gun. If the numbers jumped 300% over night, that not demonstrating responsible purchases of guns.
     
  17. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow..we finally find something on which to agree! LOL

    Fortunately, gun purchases in California require 1) a minimal course in gun safety (insufficient training but it acts as an impediment against impulse purchases), 2) a background check to rule out nuts and criminals, and 3) a mandatory 10-day waiting period before the gun can be delivered....it will be interesting to see how many (if any) people cancel their purchase during the 10-day wait.
     
  18. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am as shocked as you are that we agree about something. :) About time.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    People often forget that the right to bear arms was amended to the Constitution by men who had just fought for freedom against a government that had become too oppressive. It is an essential element in our nation's checks and balances.

    I don't personally own a gun. Perhaps that makes me less of a good citizen. However, I learned how to safely handle guns when I was in my early teens. You know what they say, that guns don't kill people, people kill people? Well, ignorance about guns also kills people.

    Both of my children learned to safely handle guns in their early teens as well. They were also taught that every gun is real - they never were given toy guns. Too many tragedies have occured because someone mistakenly believed a real gun was a toy.
     
  20. Rem Nightfall
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    Rem Nightfall Banned

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    Even the most trained person in safety management of gun may accidentally kill someone. If the situation makes you afraid enough fear can take control even with the most trained person in the world, but I am not saying all trained people are this way some have been taught to null out death. We are victims of our fear. And fear can sometimes give us irrational.

    For those about gun control issues, hope this is okay, but I am sure it will clear the constitutional right to bear arms:

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3
     
  21. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've found that on average the individuals who most oppose others having firearms are those who have little to no knowledge or experience with them.

    A former co-worker has a son-in-law who was a secret service agent...the ones who protect the president, vice president, etc. When she went to visit her son-in-law, she struggled to sleep at night just knowing that he had a firearm in the house. Went to sleep in hotels because of it. She'd never held a gun, didn't know anything about them, but was sure that 'something' would happen.

    I learned about handling firearms as a youth (through my father, my uncle, and some might find surprising...in the Boy Scouts). There is a serious responsiblity that comes with owning and maintaining and handling and using them.

    Am I a crack shot? Ummm, no. Competent, yes. Truth be told, my wife is a far better shot than I am (with a revolver--shotguns and rifles are another matter ;) ). I find nothing wrong with that. Her father instilled in her the respect and caution and confidence to properly maintain and use firearms. When our daughters are old enough, we will do the same with them.

    If the point of requring training is to ensure law abiding, safe and competent ownership, I am all for it. If it would mutate into a 'tool' to inhibit reasonable ownership, I would be against it.

    Terry
     
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  22. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Here's an article I cam across somewhat related to this: Fears of Democrate Crackdown Lead to Gun Sales Boom ~ Yahoo! News

    Apparently gun sales around the country have gone up and some people are saying they're doing it because their afraid that with Democrats having a near majority in Congress and a Democrat as president that buying guns will be harder so they're stocking up.

    As for gun laws, I think that there are common sense sort of things. Background checks, waiting periods, and required training on proper use maintenance and security (and personally the standard for passing those courses in my opinion should be very high). A gun is worthless if you don't know how to use it and outright dangerous if you use it improperly, so if you can't use it right and with a little sense you shouldn't have one at all. That said, people imo should be free to pursue the ownership of weapons if they so choose and if they can give show to a degree they can care for such a thing with the respect and severity it deserves I see no reason to stop them.
     
  23. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Nacl--loved your post.

    There was description, detail, and thought provoking analysis like a well-researched essay rather than a message board post.
     
  24. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    I recall discussing guns and gun control with my coworkers a year and a half ago. I prefer guns to be as safe as possible (waiting periods, LOCAL background checks, mandatory training, etc.) but I have no problem with other people owning them. As many as they like, really.

    Still, one of my coworkers was very deeply anti-gun-control, and we ended up in a discussion about my pacifistic stance. (I don't want to own a gun at all.)

    "Don't you think you'd want to fight back if someone threatened your wife or your kids? Wouldn't you want to hurt them when they try to hurt you?"

    "See, that's the thing," I told him. "I think that in that situation I could hurt someone, even kill them... and I don't like that about myself."

    I'm never going to be able to easily wield a gun with intent to kill, and I think if you're not going to use it properly, you shouldn't use it at all. I'll get pepper spray and martial arts training for personal self-defense, but if I say that killing is morally reprehensible, it would be hypocritical in the extreme for me to own a firearm.
     

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