God bless the fallen

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http://www.baynews9.com/video?clip=http://static.baynews9.com/newsvideo/bn9 /web_video/Gunshots_124.f4v

This just happened a half a mile from my house and all you could hear was gun shots. 2011 has been a bad year so far for my family because we also lost Deputy Suzanne Hopper who worked with my uncle in the same precinct. They were a legit couple but broke up a couple years ago. She gave him custody of now my cousin Charley when they broke up. She was still part of the family and she is very greatly missed, this happened January 1st.


posted by  99integra

My sympathy to your family.

I'd like to dare a question if I may. It seems to me American individuals are by and large armed to the teeth in preparedness for imminent attack from some evil doer. Does knowing the person you are having a conversation with, may be armed, prevent you from having a frank, open and heated argument?

I suspect I'm not alone with many people around the world when we see clips of tragic shootings in the USA and think there is something very wrong with a cultural mindset that seems to worship the gun. I still can't get used to seeing our coppers carrying guns, something I never saw as a boy.

posted by  Wally

Since this forum no longer seems to be centered around cars (or anything for that matter), we may as well make it about guns. If you'd like to have an open and honest discussion about guns and gun ownership in the US I'll be happy to oblige. If not, this’ll be my only post.

To answer your question directly, no. Guns in the hands of law abiding citizens are not a problem, and they really never have been. I carry a gun essentially everywhere, essentially all the time. So does my wife. The only places we don't carry are because they're restricted by unconstitutional laws, but we still try to respect the law. Many of my friends and acquaintances do the same.

We (gun owners/carriers) most certainly have discussions, disagreements and even heated arguments. Having guns present are never a reason not to speak our minds and are never used as a form of intimidation. They are just tools that we have in our possession.

We carry guns not because we have an unreasonable fear of others, but because we know that evil does exist. We don't carry because we want to scare, intimidate, injure or kill another human being, but because we want to be able to go home and sleep in our own bed at night. Keep in mind that just because you see the headlines about some unfortunate circumstance where people have been killed by gunfire, that is the exception rather than the rule. More people are killed every year in the US in car wrecks than by guns. And guns are used from 1.5 to 2.5 million (with an “m”) every year, depending on whose numbers you believe, to stop a crime. Most of the time, shots are never fired.

I'll bet you have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home not because you expect it to catch on fire, but just in case it does. I know you wear your seat belt not because you intend to have a wreck, but want to be prepared if you do. We maintain guns for self defense for exactly the same reason.

Keep in mind that self defense is not the only reason to own a firearm. We enjoy collecting (accumulating) guns because of their history, their design, for sport and because sometimes we just like to hear them go bang.

There’s a lot more to say, but I’ll hold off for now. If you have any specific questions to ask, please do. I think we can make this a great learning opportunity.

In closing, here is a picture of the gun I have on my hip right now. It's an FN Herstal FNP9-M. It’s been around for a while and hasn’t shot anyone yet. My hope is to keep it that way.


http://www.fnherstal.com/index.php?id=269&backPID=263&productID=78&pid_prod uct=295&pidList=263&categorySelector=5&detail=&print=1&no_cache=1


posted by  vwhobo

I would like to understand it a bit better without getting into statistics and hyberbole.

They tightened up here after the Port Arthur massacre, with owners needing to keep ammunition in a safe, seperate from the gun. There has to be a good reason to gain a licence, I don't think personal protection is one of them. Even before that event guns licences were hard to get.

I myself spent many a night, as a youth, spot shooting. From the very beginning the rules were drummed into me to prevent an accident. This, of course was rifle use, something that isn't generally close at hand and even then I would not have pondered using it to repel aggressors. I'm fairly sure the laws here are reasonable force and gun play is seen as fairly extreme.

In our culture gun ownership tends to be something that isn't thought about much, if at all. A cocky might have one to shoot a few vermin in the paddocks or put down the odd sick sheep, there's the usual target shooting clubs, professional pig, horse, buffalo and roo shooters, but personally I'm not aware of anyone who carries a side arm (except coppers).

posted by  Wally

Okay. So fire away (pun may be intended) with any questions you have. I'll do my best to explain and help you understand why about 1/3 of the US population owns at least one firearm.

posted by  vwhobo


First question: a) What is primary perceived threat that can be mitigated by owning a handgun. b) Is it deterent value or intent to use?

Second question: Is there an expectation that guns will decrease the severity of violent attack or an acknowledgement that criminals will use excessive force in an attempt to exceed the risk?

Third question: Is there a degree of pride and prejudice in toting a gun? I ask this because it seems to me a lot of stock is put in "patriot" history, especially the colonial civil war with England, the Indian wars and your Civil war. Ever vigilante as it were.

Fourth question: Do people require proof of training in the use of firearms?

Fifth question: Can citizens, by and large, carry a concealed gun? Do sidearms need to be carried in latchable holsters?

Sixth question: Practically speaking, what calibre of people are prevented from purchasing firearms.

Seventh question: Is there a frequent review of licence holders and traceabiility/whereabouts of their firearms?

Eighth question: Cars have registration/ID plates visible for all to see. Is gun ownership similarly transparent or is covert ownership part of any deterent? Do the local police hold a register of licenced guns within their district? Are owners compelled to register with the local police or face prosecution?

posted by  Wally

I don't know much about gun laws in the US, other than that they vary greatly from state to state. I have always been interested in purchasing/owning a gun, but have never made an attempt to obtain a gun license knowing that they are very difficult to obtain here in NJ, especially a permit-to-carry or CWP. One of my primary intentions for use would be to do away with the destructive groundhogs and rabbits that ravage our vegetable garden every year. Unfortunately, even a pellet gun requires a license in NJ, so I am rather forced to trap them and move them to someone else's neighborhood, or to bludgeon them to death. Even if I where able to acquire a pellet gun, I couldn't legally discharge it in my neighborhood because the houses are too close together.

I think the prevalence of gun ownership in the US has to do with the history of our country. When European emigrants first came to our country, to venture out of your house without a gun of some form would be extremely dangerous. Between wild animals, native Americans, and criminals, someone or something would rather see you dead than alive. To some extent this is still true in places like Alaska or several regions of Western US. People from urban settings need to realize that the majority of the land area of the US is rural, where police response times aren't measured in seconds. Owning a hand gun isn't only for paranoid people, it is for people with common sense that care about their life and the lives of their loved ones.

posted by  dvdrose18

None of these are simple yes or no questions/answers, so I'll knock them out a bit at a time instead of all in one shot. Keep in mind that while some of your questions can be answered objectively, some are purely subjective. I do not pretend to speak for all American gun owners, but I do think my answers will be a pretty good reflection of them.

* 1a. I don't know that there is any one “primary perceived threat”. At least not the same one recognized by all handgun carriers. And you have to do more than simply own a handgun to mitigate any threat. You have to carry it, you have to be proficient in its operation and you have to have already decided not only that that you’ll use it if need be but that you’re also prepared for the legal and psychological ramifications of doing so. A violent confrontation is a lousy time to think about these things.

I suppose the main potential threat for most people would be a violent criminal looking to do serious bodily harm to you during a rape, burglary, carjacking, hold-up, etc. There are as many possible scenarios where a sidearm may allow you the opportunity to defend yourself as there are criminals. Remember, as the victim you don’t get to pick the time and place when something bad may occur to you. If I knew that my wife was going to be attacked this evening when we’re leaving the grocery store, we just wouldn’t go to the grocery store. The first step in self defense is avoidance. As long as there have been humans there have been those who would take advantage of others. Carrying a gun can simply give you a chance the even the odds.

* 1b. I'm not sure if I understand the fragmant of a question.

There certainly is a deterrent value in either carrying a gun or even the chance that you may carry a gun. In states that have passed or relaxed concealed carry laws, crime rates go down. Substantially and immediately. Criminals may be lazy and misguided, but not entirely stupid. Just knowing that law abiding citizens (LAC) may be armed has been shown to deter crime.

In states that allow open carry you have an obvious visual deterrent. Just recently in Georgia a group of thugs had gathered outside a fast food place that they had previously planned to rob. They sent in two members of their gang for a last minute recon. When they went in they saw two LAC’s drinking coffee while exercising their right to open carry. They left and took their crew with them, only to rob a different place down the road. We know this is true because they told the cops when they were arrested for the robbery. Armed citizens didn't stop their criminal activity, but they certainly altered it.

As for intent, I don’t know anyone who leaves home intending to use their gun. But everyone I know who carries is prepared to do so if necessary. I certainly am. Guns save lives.

An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

posted by  vwhobo

Time for another quick answer. As I expected, you’re editorializing your questions instead of asking them straight. Shame, shame.

* 2. Of course there is an expectation that use of a defensive firearm will decrease severity of and probably stop the attack. Why else carry one? If I am unable to avoid a violent confrontation and have reasonable fear for my life, I will bring my sidearm into the equation. I will not fire warning shots and I will not shoot to kill. I will fire on my assailant(s) as required to stop the threat. That means starting with a triple tap (Mozambique drill) and then reassessing the threat for further engagement. Hopefully none is needed.

Criminals are not known for trying to use the least force possible to complete their deed. They generally bring all they have to start. So I’m not worried about them attempting to exceed the risk. Honestly (and this is a made up scenario), if I were attacked by a group of 20 armed thugs I’d be pretty much f*cked anyway so my weapon wouldn’t do me much good. On the other hand if I felt that I was going to die anyway, why not go ahead and make their lives as miserable as possible along the way.

"Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them." - Thomas Paine

posted by  vwhobo

Interesting comments there. As a lad I was always intrigued reading the classifieds at the back of the National Geographics, where boys holding air rifles often figured; that and the adverts for summer break Military Colleges.

Oz is a similar story of european migration, where the gun was used to control. It's interesting how our cultures have diverged since the 18th century in respect of personal protection.

posted by  Wally

3. Pride and prejudice, huh? That’s certainly a subjective question.

Pride. I suppose there is a certain amount of pride simply because lawful carriers are exercising a right enumerated in our country’s founding documents. And a right unexercised is a right lost. Also because most carriers in most states have submitted to some sort of training and some sort of permitting above and beyond what the average citizen does in their lifetime I suppose it may be a bit of a brotherhood. But the thing that most of us agree that sets us apart, and therefore would be the greatest source of pride, is the fact that we’ve taken positive action and responsibility to ensure our own, our families and potentially the general law abiding public around us. That is only a good thing.

“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." – Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

Prejudice? I’m not really sure what you’re getting at. We don’t look down on people who chose not to carry, but we are likely to feel sorry for them. Most of them have an unhealthy and irrational fear of an inanimate object. Hoplophobia. We do debate vigorously with and against people who feel the need to limit or regulate our rights. We do our best to educate them as to the hows and whys concerning the benefits of taking ownership of their own lives and safety, and how firearms can help them do that. And if they still chose not to become responsible for themselves, we’ve done what we can.

"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." - Zachariah Johnson

posted by  vwhobo

Can anyone justify assault rifles or extended clips? I can understand using them on a firing range, but outside of that there seems to be no practical use for them.

posted by  chris_knows

I don't know about anyone else here, but if I where in Egypt right now, I think I would like to have an assault rifle AND an extended clip. And this same logic could easily be applied to any riot situation. As much as I respect the police, I wouldn't want to have to count on them if there was a riot in my neighborhood. And you can't exactly say riots (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_riots) are limited to underdeveloped countries. Then again, I don't think an extended clip would make that much of a difference, people experienced with the use of their gun can usually reload in a matter of a few seconds max. [/disjointed ramblings]

posted by  dvdrose18

My guess is that you don't even know the true definition of "assault rifle" or "clip".

First off, assault is a verb, not a noun. If someone whacks you upside the head with a baseball bat, it's assault, so does that make it an assault bat? If someone throws a rock at you, it's assault, so is it an assault rock? If someone punches you in the face, it's assault, so is it an assault fist?


Real so called "assault rifles" are generally military design rifles that fire low to medium power ammunition. The single feature that makes them true "assault rifles" is the select fire switch that allows them to fire in three round (usually) bursts or full auto.

Contrary to what the generally left leaning press wants you to believe, "assault rifles" are almost never used in crime in the United States. I have to say almost because I'm sure it may have happened somewhere, sometime. Assault rifles are hard hard to obtain, extremely expensive and highly regulated.

Below is what uneducated people and the mainstream media call an "assault rifle".


Pretty scary looking huh. 50-round mag and all.

Here is a Ruger 10/22 .22 long rifle exactly like my wife has for plinking and teaching little girls to safely handle a firearm and to shoot.


Nothing at all scary about that, huh? Well, here's the actual truth. While people (maybe like you) want to ban the rifle on the top, they're just fine with the on on the bottom. Here's the rub. Functionally they're the same rifle. Exactly. The only difference is that one is dressed up to play war and the other is dressed up to play princess.

Clips. Clips are an item used to load ammo into magazines. With rare exceptions clips are not used in guns. And of all the clips that are actually used in a gun, the highest capacity I'm aware of are 8-round clips for the M-1 Garand. Scary.

High capacity magazines on the other hand are used for many different reasons in many different guns, both rifles and pistols. They're great for storing ammo in a "ready to go" manner. They also allow for fewer reloads while out plinking or target shooting. I don't know where you draw the "hi-cap line", but most non-gunners think it means more than 10. If that's the case I personally own in excess of 200 hi-cap mags for various guns.

And once again, although the mainstream media and gun grabbers would like you to believe differently, they are very seldom used in crime.

Finally, why do "assault rifles" or "extended clips" need to be "justified"? Millions of people own them and use them without breaking the law. The Second Amendment says that I can own them. Maybe you and people like you need to justify why you think millions of law abiding citizens should be stripped of their rights because you don't understand something. Can you?

ETA: Justification! (sort of)


posted by  vwhobo

* 4. That all depends on ths state, the locality, the type of firearm and what they want to do with it. Since the questions so far seem to be related mostly to carrying a sidearm, I'll continue that theme.

There is no overriding national law related to carrying a firearm. Currently there are 48 states in the US that are recognized as allowing some form of concealed carry and 45 states that are recognized as allowing some form of open carry. The reason I say "recognized as allowing" is because the remaining states may allow one or the other but the regulations are so onerous that it's basically impossible.

Three states allow Constututional Carry. That is where anyone who may lawfully possess a handgun can carry it either openly or concealed, usually most anywhere except for schools, courthouses, jail/prisons, etc. There is no training required. Several more states are currently in the process of (hopefully) passing similar legislation to return our Constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms This is a very good thing.

Other states have an unfortunate hodge podge of laws and regulations concerning the carrying of handguns. In my home state, to become permitted to carry a concealed weapon (we are a mostly non-open carry state) you have to successfully complete a minimum of 8 hours of training consisting of firearm safety, state law and ethics of deadly force. You also have to qualify on the range by firing a minimum of 50 rounds from distances between 3 and 15 yards to display firearm safety and shooting proficiency.

So the answer to your question is a definite maybe. Now with everything I've said here, there is one thing to keep in mind. There is no proof that training or permitting makes people better prepared to safely and lawfully carry a weapon. But what it does do, buy essentially placing a burdensom tax on a right, is make it harder for people of lesser means to effectively protect themselves from predators. And let's be honest, people who live in poorer neighborhoods are generally more likely to be vitims of crime, so they are the ones who need to be able to protect themselves the most.

Permitting and mandatory training are just two forms of gun control. And in this country (actually most countries) gun control has it roots in racism and classism. Gun control is not about guns, it's about control. But then that's another discussion entirely.

"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms..." - Samuel Adams

posted by  vwhobo

I've got nothing against guns, def not saying to ban them...either way, if people want guns, they will be able to get them.

For clarification, by "assault rifle" I meant a rifle with selective fire. From what I've read, they are extremely popular with gangs that smuggle drugs from Mexico, and a majority of the guns were bought in the U.S.

By high capacity magazines I wasn't thinking of an exact number, but I guess more than 15-20 rounds? I just brought that up because with almost every school, mall, etc shooting that I've hear about, the shooter would use high capacity magazines. If the gun held 20 bullets instead of 30, that could mean a couple of lives saved.

On a little side note, is there any truth to the saying that guys with big guns are overcompensating? :wink2:

Video was cool, but that chick was annoying as f*ck.

posted by  chris_knows

5a. Citizens by and large can carry a gun depending on what state they live in and whether or not they chose to go through the permitting process. Nationwide, it's estimated that about 3% of the adult population lawfully carries a sidearm either openly or concealed. This approximate number does not include anyone who may carry unlawfully, whether it's because they simply chose to disobey the law or because they are a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

5b. No. Holsters come in seemingly as many configurations as there are guns to carry them in. Active retention, passive retention, no retention, outside the waistband, inside the waistband, shoulder, ankle, deep concealment, leather, kydex, polymer, nylon, etc. I am not aware of any states or localities that have a specific requirement for type of holster to be used. It is up to the carrier to use the appropriate type for his or her situation and weapon being carried.

For example, yesterday I attended a funeral and then an luncheon afterwards. Due mostly to the type of clothing I wore, along with the fact that I wanted to be discreet, I carried a compact 9mm semi-auto in a leather, non-retention, IWB holster. Today because I'm going about my more or less normal business, I have a medium frame, 6-shot, .38 Special revolver in a ballistic nylon, active retention, OWB holster on my hip. My choices are made by what works best for my expected environment.

6. Felons, wife beaters, illegal aliens, drug addicts, drunks, anyone with certain documented mental health issues, people who were dishonorably discharged form the military. Here is a link to info on the form 4473 that you have to accomplish prior to purchasing a firearm at the retail level.


Then before the transaction can be completed, the retailer must contact FBI/NICS to be allowed to proceed. Info here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Instant_Criminal_Background_Check_Sys tem

Firearms are the most heavily regulated consumer product in the United States. They are the only one that you have to get permission from big brother to buy. Still, the gun grabbers want to further infringe my right to keep and bear arms because of their own personal insecurity.

"No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson

posted by  vwhobo

You mean from what you read in the left leaning, anti-gun, lamestream media. Shocking! Here are the facts about those guns in Mexico. You can easily confirm what I'm about to tell you with just a little independent research.

What percentage of guns would need to be traced to the US for you to consider them "the majority"? 90%? 75%? 50%? How about the actual number which is 15-17%? Hardly a majority. And even that's not what it seems.

The truth of the matter is that most of the guns used by and confiscated from drug cartels in Mexico have no serial numbers, as in never had not as in removed, so they couldn't be traced to the US in any way. But of the ones that do have serial numbers, the Mexican authorities select the ones they believe came from the US and send them here for tracing. And while about 80% of the guns sent here for tracing do have US origins, they only account for 15-17% of all the guns confiscated.


Note the term "US origins". A lot of those guns were not stolen or illegally purchased in the US and then smuggled across the border. A lot of them were sold by the US government to the Mexican government for use by their military and police. There is no secret that corruption runs rampant south of the border, so many firearms are sold or traded to the cartels. Even more are issued to military and police who then desert and join the cartels. Some of them were manufactured in the US and exported to other countries either for military or civilian use and end up in Mexico. All of those situations are a lot different than “came from the USA”.

And here's something for you to think about. Many of the guns that are confiscated in Mexico are select fire/full auto weapons. As mentioned earlier they are highly regulated and incredibly expensive in the US. Why would a cartel come to here and go through the expense and hassle of obtaining a full auto AK-47 when they can get them from China, North Korea, and South America for about $200 a piece delivered to their door? I can't figure out why either.

As for your concern about hi-cap mags. Except for the recent shootings in Tucson, hi-caps are actually very seldom used in crime. They make the weapon harder to conceal so most bad guys don't use them. They also tend to be less reliable than standard capacity mags. That's what stopped the Tucson freak. He had already reloaded and his hi-cap mag malfunctioned so good citizens had time to take him down.

That is a fact, but that's not what you'll read on Huff-Po or see on MSLSD.

If you want lives to be saved, the facts will tell you the best way to do so is to make it as easy as possible for law abiding citizens to carry a defensive weapon. After all, when's the last time you heard of a mass shooting at a gun show or a police picnic.

I'll go ahead and throw this out now for both you and Wally. Look into John Lott and Gary Kleck and their research and writings on the subject. Especially the book "More Guns, Less Crime”, available on your Kindle. They're way more convincing than me.

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." - Alexander Hamilton

ETA: http://morningjournal.com/articles/2011/02/06/news/doc4d4e19b7cc90d00552910 7.txt

posted by  vwhobo

I'm not trying to be convinced or unconvinced. I'm trying to get an understanding of the subject, in this case from you. I won't be judging, ridiculing, praising, defending etc, you for responding to my questions. There are any number of papers written by pointy heads on the subject, but I'd rather garner raw responses.

posted by  Wally

Wasn't trying to start an argument either, just trying to get some perspective. Def brought up some good points, hobo. I'll check out the book when I get some free time.

posted by  chris_knows

7. Again, this all depends on the state you live in. Here, the closest we get to a review of any sort is during renewal of a Concealed Weapons Permit which we have to do every 4 years. Of course that only affects those of us who have submitted to the permitting process. Otherwise there is no registration of any type on firearms owners or firearms, so obviously you can't review or trace anything.

Some places, like the state of Illinois, you have to obtain a Firearms Identification Card just to touch a gun legally. Statewide all firearms have to be registered with the state government (I don't know which agency). And in Chicago you can only have one assambled and working handgun in your home, but it can't be loaded. And you can't carry it outside, even to go to your car, without disassembling it. And it has to be inspected and test fired every 2 years (I think) by the local police.

Shall not be infringed indeed.

"If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege." - Arkansas Supreme Court, 1878

posted by  vwhobo

* 8a. Once again this depends on the state, and/or locality. Some people believe advertising their ownership is a deterent. Some people prefer stealth. I personally don't care either way as long as the wrong people don't know. My main concern is theft while I'm away.

* 8b. I think this was covered in 6 or 7. Some places yes, some places no. Not where I live.

* 8c. See 8b.

One thing I wanted to add concerning open public records of gun registration, gun owner registration (see Illinois) and Concealed Weapons Permits. In just about every place in the US this has been done, there has been problems. Anti-gun, anti-rights nut jobs have culled the names and addresses of gun owners and harrassed law abiding citizens simply because they own guns. The anti-gun, anti-rights loonies know no boundries when it comes to making themselves heard.

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." - Mahatma Ghandi

posted by  vwhobo



posted by  vwhobo

I'm sorry. I thought we were going to have a discussion.


posted by  vwhobo

Well we can discuss it if you like. But bear in mind this is one of those cultural divide subjects: I reside in a place where guns aren't proflic (supposedly).

No one could deny the economic and political success of the USA over the last century and I have a feeling that gun ownership is an ingredient in that recipe. Whether that translates into desirable lifestyle is something that is a qualitative decision; we see peoples around the world who live in abject poverty and deprivation, but many still champion their nationality and faiths, a few manage to escape into first world countries..

posted by  Wally

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