Had a discussion with my friend the other day about guns. I’ve got no statistics to back me up, but here goes. This is for guns in the private sector.
His point was the old “Outlaw guns and only criminals would have guns”.
My point was that there are more “hits” by legal guns on accident than on purpose.
I define “accident” as the owner hitting something not intended or somebody else using his gun. The owner shooting in self defence would count as on purpose whereas the robber stealing the gun and then shooting the owner with it would count as an accident. A child getting hold of the gun and killing his friend would of course count as an accident and so on.
Anybody got stats on this?

There was an interesting bit about guns and violence in The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker:

What about the other usual suspects? Guns, discrimination, and poverty play a role in violence, but in no case is it a simple or decisive one. Guns surely make it easier for people to kill, and harder for them to de-escalate a fight before a death occurs, and thus multiply the lethality of conflicts large and small. Nonetheless, many societies had sickening rates of violence before guns were invented, and people do not automatically kill one another just because they have access to guns. The Israelis and Swiss are armed to the teeth but have low rates of violent personal crime, and among American states, Maine and North Dakota have the lowest homicide rates but almost every home has a gun.

The idea that guns increase lethal crime, though certainly plausible, has been so difficult to prove that in 1998 the legal scholar John Lott published a book of statistical analyses with a title that flaunts the opposite conclusion: More Guns, Less Crime. Even if he is wrong, as I suspect he is, it is not so easy to show that more guns mean more crime.

I do not own a gun and never would for the following reasons:

  1. If you keep your gun safely (locking it up unloaded in a gun safe with the ammo locked up separately) then it is utterly useless for self defence. You have to trade safety for utility and we’re all familiar with the tragedy that can result from that.
  2. A gun is far more likely to be stolen by a criminal and used against you than you having the opportunity of using it on a criminal. I suspect that owning a gun makes you a target of crime.
  3. Drawing a gun escalates a situation that may not have been life-threatening to one that most certainly is. I have to ask myself whether or not I would be prepared to shoot an intruder dead. I suspect that I would not.

I agree with st0nes for the same reasons. I was involved in a road rage incident a while back and if I had a gun… Think I would be in prison now. We have moved on. Guns belong in the hands of policemen - not in Piet the baker’s safe.

Piet the baker’s quite a respectable fellow. Your average policeman can barely operate his walkie-talkie, and that’s when he isn’t high off the drugs he “confiscated” from some poor sod.

Dunno about stats, but far too many reports each year of young children “accidently” killing a brother/sister/friend. The case of the man who mistook his domestic’s 13 year old grandson last year for an intruder and killed him still haunts me.

Last week a lad of 9 or so shot his 13 year old friend. These incidences are horrible to contemplate. Guns should not find a way into children’s hands, and if that means a complete ban, well then so be it. I dont know of many gunowners that are truly responsible either, if you have a need to brag about your “GUN”, then you’re not fit to own one imo.

speaking from personal experience, i grew up with rifles in my hand. i had been hunting with my dad since i had a mind. i cleaned then, i shot them, i knew how to take them apart, and put them back together.
and i still managed to nearly kill myself.
sometimes, being comfortable with your gun, makes you arrogant.
i had access to the safe, i could take them out, shoot, put them back, and my dad was none the wiser.
there was a particular gun, an ancient .22, that a cousin of my dad’s shot himself dead with by accident.

i think, that not knowing your weapon, and being TOO blaze about it, can make the difference between shooting your assailant, and getting shot with your own piece.
guns need respect.

on the other hand, i no longer have any kind of gun. i have pepper spray. i dont need a licence for it. i have a big ass knife ass too.

i think, in our country, people who have a gun, and dont know how to use it, store it, look after it, they are the people handing guns over to the assailant.
and, of course, our half-baked legal system handing guns to anyone who has the right price. much fun.

Guns are tools that in a fool’s hand will kill/injure: I’m a farmer and a gun is an essential part of the territory. The notion that a gunless society will be a society with less crime is a fallacy; take knife crimes in the UK as an example. If deaths through the injudicious use of guns is the main criterion for its banning, then swimming pools should go and cars will be a thing of the past ??? People who allow kids (or anyone else) access to guns should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Stupidity kills!

That DEA agent that shot himself in the leg in front of a classroom jumps to mind. Should still be around on youtube if anyone care to view it. (blocked at work so can’t provide currently)

I’m divided on this issue. I was 18 when they first put automatic machine guns in my eager hands. And for the next nine years guns was part of my life. I have been shot at a couple of times and pointed my own firearm at people with the intent to shoot. That I never shot at anyone is in at least one occasion more luck then anything else.

Not having shot anyone sits good with me but I don’t think I would have had too many sleepless nights had I shot anyone either.

I don’t own a gun now and have no intention of acquiring one. I’d love to live in a gun free society but don’t think it is practical currently.

problem allso is, you arm yourself. some dude enters your house. you shoot him dead, or paralyze him. you will look after him and/or his family for as long as you life, and/or go to chookie.
you dont even have the right to defend yourself in your own home anymore. you are only allowed to defend yourself when attacked, and only with equal force. so if he comes at you with a knife, you are only allowed to defend yourself with a knife. bollocks.
and then should one wait untill he tells you how he intend to kill you before you tell him, hang ten, i just need to arm myself with equal force.
if i find one of them bastards in my house, he is tickets if i can help it. if he survives my dogs, then he has to deal with me and a 20 inch knife. and my trigger-happy landlord, and his equally trigger happy neighbourhood.
what is the point of locking a door, when a burglar can enter your house, and do to you whatever he wants, and take whatever he wants. you seem to be public property then.
i will defend myself and my property. if someone wants to take what is righfully mine, that i worked my ass off for, then i will mace his ass, and kick the shit out of him. and yes, that sounds windgat, and in the moment i might be quite useless, but i will rather have an agressive attitude, than whither in a corner and wait to be exploited.
if i had it in my power to own a gun, then i would. i would go to the shooting range at least once a month to keep my gun and myself well oiled, and i will kill dead the bastard that enters my house.

That is not quite correct. You are allowed to defend yourself, but not to use excessive force. If a burglar breaks into your house and storms you with a knife, you can certainly shoot him/her.

I got myself an axe behind my front door… I’m good at axe throwing… :slight_smile:

that’s good to know. i’ve heard many a story where the victim got arrested for defending themselves. in fact, a neighbour of my best mate shot a dude with a paintball gun when he threatened her with a screwdriver in her house, and she got arrested, and the guy didnt even arrested, the cops just chatted to him and let him go. i dont know what the outcome of that particular story was. but i know that bad news travels faster than good, but surely there are a good number of instances where the victim ended up chewing the rough end? i hear plenty of them, and im sure one can tick a few off to urban legend and gossip, but surely there is a thread of truth in it somewhere.

I am very liberal about these things I must say. Banning everything that can (and does) kill people of all ages on an everyday basis is nigh-impossible. I’ve heard in the UK you need a license to carry a knife on you… at that point it gets ridiculous and the point for me is driven firmly home.

Another example is that in the USA it’s now very hard, if not impossible to get your hands on a child’s chemistry set. The rationale being that they can be used to make bombs. Due to this, they are expecting to see a decreased rate of new chemistry students. Yes, that one chemistry set can be the reason you become a chemist… Or that one little bomb you made with said chemistry set. To be fair, I made my fair share of combustable compounds as a kid without requiring any kind of “set” of anything. I could get the ingredients down at the local chemist. And I know some other sciency people who had much the same childhood.

In life, things are risky. Bicycles can kill kids, so can dogs, and playing rugby, and any number of everyday things. I don’t think we need to make an exception for guns. They CAN protect you when the shit hits the fan, and if treated properly. If someone does mishandle a gun, go for it, prosecute them to hell… I DO buy that a country where gun ownership is rife can be safe, and that disarming your populace has downsides. (like only criminals having guns)

This brings me back to a talk I saw by legendary aerospace designer Burt Rutan over progress and taking chances:

In short, I think a degree of danger is a good thing for people, but that’s just my theory.

Oh I so gotta see that! ;D

DEA Agent Shoots Himself

Gee that was kinda lame. Amazing how the dumbass tries to continue with the demonstration though.

Hey, those were the days. I also have fond memories of blowing up all kinds of stuff.

Thanks for the link, Peter, that is the one. :smiley:

“I am the only one qualified to work with a gun…” BAM!!! “oh fuck”

As for combustibles, I recall break fluid and chlorine making quite a nice bang >:D

What really cracked me up was the way the students reacted when he picked up the automatic. ;D

Pressure was required for maximum effect, as far as I recall.

Shows you they have savvy, they already knows he is a retard with a gun.

Pressure was required for maximum effect, as far as I recall.
Oh yes, screwing the cap on, was part of the fun. It is a slowish reaction, but deliciously so. I'm sure it is safe to mention these? Anyone has access to the [i]Anarchist's Cookbook[/i] anyway?