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Out of the Blue

Here's an unpleasant anniversary I ran across while doing a bit of poking around in the archive: Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the school shootings in Columbine High School, which took place on April 20, 1999. :(

Stories of the Day: Who needs proof? Thanks Mike Martinez.
Why TiVo Owners Can't Shut Up (NY Times free registration required).
Wild Science: Ancient village found under Illinois soil. Thanks Mike Martinez.
Media of the Day: DJ Format. Thanks Mike.
Auction of the Day: John Carmack's Ferrari Testarossa. Thanks Jeff Wilson.
Follow-up: Tattoo of Trogdor. Thanks Gojo. A tribute to TROGDOR!!!

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67 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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67. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 28, 2003, 14:56 Pedle Zelnip
 
Well, according to the statistics on defensive uses, you're a WHOLE LOT more likely to become someone else's victim if you don't have a gun to defend yourself than you are of falling victim to your own gun. Like hundreds of times more likely.

But you're infinately more likely to be injured/killed by your own gun if you have one.

I see your point, it just seems to me that owning and carrying a gun seems to give the illusion of security when you in fact are in no danger (so no need for that security).

PZ
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Currently Reading: Bertrand Russell's "The Problems of Philosophy" -- Last Read: Mike Godwin's "Cyber Rights"
 
PZ
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66. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 27, 2003, 03:18 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Well look at it this way, how can you be injured/killed by your own gun if you don't have one?

Well, according to the statistics on defensive uses, you're a WHOLE LOT more likely to become someone else's victim if you don't have a gun to defend yourself than you are of falling victim to your own gun. Like hundreds of times more likely.

 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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65. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 27, 2003, 03:14 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Somewhere along the way someone got the idea that you should all have guns so that you can brandish them when someone tries to steal your fucking wallet with $20 in it and credit cards that you can cancel when you get home. Boo fucking hoo.

Now there's a disingenous argument if I ever heard one. If all you're gonna to is beat the crap out of a straw man, maybe you should keep it to yourself. We're talking about defending your own home and family here. Not trying to have a quickdraw contest with a mugger. That's something you'll learn if you ever take a class to get your concealed carry license. There are times when its just not smart to pull out a gun. But when it comes to someone invading your home and putting your life or the lives of your family at risk, then you have both the right and the duty to protect yourself (unless you live in a state that has no regard for the Bill of Rights). As I said before, nobody else is responsible for protecting you.

This comment was edited on Apr 27, 03:15.
 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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64. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 26, 2003, 17:58 Pedle Zelnip
 
you may not agree with a law, but until it gets repealed (and I'm fairly certain that no part of the BOR has ever been repealed), were going to have it and people are going to excercise their freedoms under it.

I don't think anyone was disputing that right now in the US citizens have the right to bear arms. I think the debate was more along the lines of should US citizens (or citizens of any country) have the legal right to bear arms.

PZ
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Currently Reading: Bertrand Russell's "The Problems of Philosophy" -- Last Read: Mike Godwin's "Cyber Rights"
 
PZ
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63. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 25, 2003, 20:06 Dwarf_Snowninja
 
Sort of Von, but thats actually another part of the BOR. Granted people like to take it to an extreme, but my point still stands, its part of our laws, we have the right to own weapons. A song by the Arrogant worms comes to mind...

 
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62. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 25, 2003, 18:54 Von Helmet
 
To my British understanding that thing about the right to bear arms means you have the right to bear arms in order to be equipped in the case of having to rise up against or defend yourself from an oppressive government.

Somewhere along the way someone got the idea that you should all have guns so that you can brandish them when someone tries to steal your fucking wallet with $20 in it and credit cards that you can cancel when you get home. Boo fucking hoo.

 
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61. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 25, 2003, 17:51 Dwarf_Snowninja
 
I think 2 prime pieces of work has also been forgotten in this argument, 2 little somethings called the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Maybe you've heard of them? Theres
something in the 2nd Amendment that says, "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."

Now granted, I'm fairly certain we don't need a militia (or want one for that matter), and many people will say that doesn't/shouldn't apply to today because were living in modern times, and don't have to worry about bears or british or whatever attacking us. Well, you can't just throw out part of the Constitution just because you don't like it or because you think its irrelevant for today. By that logic, if someone says something I don't like, I should just ignore the 1st Amendment just because, "that was for then, when they were worried about the a repetition of the oppressing them like the British did," or something to that effect. You may not agree with a law, but until it gets repealed (and I'm fairly certain that no part of the BOR has ever been repealed), were going to have it and people are going to excercise their freedoms under it.

 
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60. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 24, 2003, 16:49 ExcessDan
 
there's a difference between fat bottom girls and fat chicks.. fat chicks are fat all over and are disgusting because they can't take care of themselves... fat bottom girls can have thin nice legs and a nice upper torso and have a bit of soft sexy baggage in the rear

"The" Dan
Intel 486SX, Trident video, 8MB RAM, 14" Generic Monitor, 100 MB HDD, Windows 3.11
Say NO to LOLi LOLersons
 
ExcessDan
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59. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 24, 2003, 09:46 nin
 
p.s. no fat chicks!

Fat Bottom Girls, you make the rockin' world go 'round!



Supporter of the "A happy fredster is a muted fredster" fanclub.
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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58. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 24, 2003, 01:51 Pedle Zelnip
 
There have been studies, such as the Kellerman study, that attempted to prove that you are more likely to be harmed if you posess a gun, but they have been shown to have used a very flawed methodology and were therefore quite misleading.

Well look at it this way, how can you be injured/killed by your own gun if you don't have one?

Well, it's not exactly the kind of thing that police departments and governments like to brag about, ya know?

Sure, and while I said that I've never heard of anything like it in Canada, I'm not saying that because of that that I'm sure that nothing like that has happened in Canada. Scary stuff at any rate.

School shootings are exceedingly rare. They just get a massive amount of media attention when they happen.

Very true. Good point. (don't get me started on media manipulation/sensationalization or this thread will end up with 100's of messages ;P)

Hopefully you'll never be a victim. But then it only takes one time. I hope I never have to defend myself against an attacker. But if it ever does happen, I'd rather be as prepared as possible. I only get one life.

Unless you believe in reincarnation. Seriously though, no I see your point, but like I said in my earlier message I don't feel that carrying a gun will make me any safer than I would be without one, and would in fact make me feel less safe. Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.


PZ
 
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57. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 23, 2003, 19:35 ExcessDan
 
can't we all just get along

let's just all love eachother and have a world-wide orgy coast to coast!

p.s. no fat chicks!


"The" Dan
Intel 486SX, Trident video, 8MB RAM, 14" Generic Monitor, 100 MB HDD, Windows 3.11
Postal 2 sucks LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOOOOOL
This comment was edited on Apr 23, 19:35.
 
ExcessDan
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56. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 22, 2003, 23:39 Wowbagger_TIP
 
and what I was asking for when I asked for evidence was something to back the claim "there is no evidence to support the idea that having a gun makes it more likely for a gun to be used against you." Just because the vast majority of gun use is by people defending themselves does not render the claim that "gun ownership makes it more likely the gun will be used against you" false.

Well, I meant exactly that, but perhaps I should have said "no credible evidence" instead. There have been studies, such as the Kellerman study, that attempted to prove that you are more likely to be harmed if you posess a gun, but they have been shown to have used a very flawed methodology and were therefore quite misleading.

All I can say is that I'm glad I don't live in the US, as I've never heard of anything even close to being as bad as some of the claims made in that article (which seems well backed up with sources) happening in Canada.

Well, it's not exactly the kind of thing that police departments and governments like to brag about, ya know? There have been other similar cases here as well. Someone actually looked up the relevant law in another discussion I had and showed that the police are not legally obligated to put themselves at risk to defend civilians. Some may do so, but I wouldn't want to bet my life or my family's lives on it. Would you?

If I went to a high school I wouldn't be afraid because a student might have a gun and go postal.

Neither would I. School shootings are exceedingly rare. They just get a massive amount of media attention when they happen.

Perhaps that's naive, but I have never seen anything happen in my society to make me believe that my safety was ever in jeopardy. So I don't see why owning a gun is necessary, or even desirable, to provide for my safety.

Hopefully you'll never be a victim. But then it only takes one time. I hope I never have to defend myself against an attacker. But if it ever does happen, I'd rather be as prepared as possible. I only get one life.

 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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55. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 22, 2003, 20:47 Pedle Zelnip
 
Care to provide some evidence of these studies?

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdguse.html
There's 2 other links that I want to post as well, but can't find them at the moment. Probably bookmarked on my home puter. I'll edit and add them later if I find them.

I think this is a case of misunderstanding on my part, I took your original comments a bit differently, and what I was asking for when I asked for evidence was something to back the claim "there is no evidence to support the idea that having a gun makes it more likely for a gun to be used against you." Just because the vast majority of gun use is by people defending themselves does not render the claim that "gun ownership makes it more likely the gun will be used against you" false.

I also read the other link you provided in regards to police not protecting us. All I can say is that I'm glad I don't live in the US, as I've never heard of anything even close to being as bad as some of the claims made in that article (which seems well backed up with sources) happening in Canada.

The only real problem I have from a rhetorical or content point of view about the article, is that it tries to imply that if your safety is threatened and a cop is standing nearby he/she will ignore you and let you be beat/killed/whatever. Again, I don't live in the US, but I somehow doubt that this is the case.

Ultimately though, I don't think you and I will see eye-to-eye on this issue, and much of that reason comes from the differences in the societies in which we live. I don't live in fear of someone mugging me on the street. If I went to a high school I wouldn't be afraid because a student might have a gun and go postal. Perhaps that's naive, but I have never seen anything happen in my society to make me believe that my safety was ever in jeopardy. So I don't see why owning a gun is necessary, or even desirable, to provide for my safety. All the information you've provided me has lead me to believe that this is not the case in the US.

PZ
This comment was edited on Apr 22, 20:51.
 
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54. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 22, 2003, 20:07 Pedle Zelnip
 
I'm not sure what Canadian law says on the subject, but here in the US the police are not required to defend us...

This reminds me of a recent episode of the Simpsons, where somebody's trying to kill Homer and he goes to the cops. Chief Wiggam says "where does it say on my badge that I have to protect you?" and the other cop points to the second word on his badge which reads "To protect & serve". Well, I won't comment on the links because I haven't had a chance to read them yet. As for Canadian law, well, I can't say I'm a legal scholar, so I'd guess that cops are required to protect us, but I could be wrong.

There's 2 other links that I want to post as well....

Please do post them, I'd be interested in reading them.

First of all, those means do not inspire fear or at least caution just from being displayed....

Hmm, okay I see your point. The thing is though that whenever a confrontation involves a firearm there is a much greater chance that the confrontation will end with one party or another dead or at the very least seriously injured. So perhaps I'm not giving the self-defence argument enough credit, but I'm not convinced that we live in such a society that the need to carry a firearm is necessary to ensure my safety (but then again, you and I live in different societies).


PZ
 
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53. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 22, 2003, 16:39 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Well, there is this group of people, perhaps you've heard of them, they're called the police department? </sarcasm>
I'm not sure what Canadian law says on the subject, but here in the US the police are not required to defend us. They aren't even required to respond to a call. Even if they were, they can't be everywhere at once and they can't get to the scene soon enough to be of much help in most cases anyway. They show up later and take pictures of your body and the crime scene and then try to find your killer. That's not much consolation for me. If we can't defend ourselves, it's our own fault. Nobody else is responsible. Here's a link:

http://www.shadeslanding.com/firearms/kasler-protection.html

Care to provide some evidence of these studies?
http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdguse.html

There's 2 other links that I want to post as well, but can't find them at the moment. Probably bookmarked on my home puter. I'll edit and add them later if I find them.

Define "self-defense uses" as well.
Self-defense uses include those instances where a gun is displayed or used to protect against the threat of violence against yourself or others. Going to the firing range to practice would not qualify as you are not being threatened.

Why not non-lethal means, such as pepper spray, etc?
First of all, those means do not inspire fear or at least caution just from being displayed. You generally have to actually use them. They are fairly short range, and not very reliable. Attackers have been known to keep coming even when hit with pepper spray multiple times. Stun guns require you to be very close to the attacker and their effectiveness depends on how clean the contact is. If you're already that close and in hand-to-hand combat, you're probably in deep trouble. Even police don't rely on such things to defend against an assailant unless they are confident that they can control the situation. If their suspect is violent, they will usually resort to the gun first.

This comment was edited on Apr 22, 17:26.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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52. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 22, 2003, 16:23 Pedle Zelnip
 
It's handguns that have next to no purpose besides killing people. I know some people go shooting animals with handguns ...

See my original post, I said: "no other purpose than to kill (perhaps not people, but if not people then animals)" So I'll grant you that some guns are meant more for killing animals, but that doesn't change the meaning behind my statement that the purpose of guns is to kill (either humans, animals, or some other living creature). (In case you hadn't guessed I'm not exactly pro-hunting either ;))


PZ
 
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51. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 22, 2003, 16:19 Pedle Zelnip
 
Every study that has been done, whether by pro-gun groups, anti-gun groups, or law enforcement agencies has shown self-defense uses of guns to FAR excede the number of homicides and accidents

Care to provide some evidence of these studies? Define "self-defense uses" as well. If I go to a shooting range and fire off some guns, does that qualify as self-defense uses, as I'm (supposedly) practicing for the time when I may have to defend myself. And how can simply owning a gun be an "effective deterrent to violence"?

Aside from all this though, why is a gun the most effective form of self-defence? Why not non-lethal means, such as pepper spray, etc?

I suppose we're getting off topic here, but being from Canada I have a problem with the "right to bear arms" mentality, as I can see no reasonable justification to owning a firearm.


PZ
 
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50. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 22, 2003, 16:13 Pedle Zelnip
 
We are responsible for defending ourselves here in the US. Nobody else is willing to take on that responsibility

Well, there is this group of people, perhaps you've heard of them, they're called the police department? </sarcasm>

Sorry for the sarcasm, but I'm sorry I just don't believe in having a right to own a gun for reasons of self-defence. Even if you do think a gun is useful for self-defence purposes, still doesn't change the fact it's too easy to get a gun in the US.


PZ
 
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49. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 22, 2003, 15:33 Wowbagger_TIP
 
People shouldn' need handguns for defense. I totally believe that carrying a handgun only puts you more at risk of being shot or hurt.

You may believe that, but you're still wrong. Every study that has been done, whether by pro-gun groups, anti-gun groups, or law enforcement agencies has shown self-defense uses of guns to FAR excede the number of homicides and accidents. Not just by a large number, but by orders of magnitude. They generally range from around 200,000 up to 2.5 million uses per year. In the vast majority of cases, the gun isn't even fired. Simply having a gun is a very effective deterrent to violence. There is no evidence to support the idea that having a gun makes it more likely for a gun to be used against you. That's a myth that grew out of an amazingly bad and thoroughly debunked study that was done quite a while back by a guy named Kellerman.

 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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48. Re: Bowl O Drama Apr 22, 2003, 13:31 Von Helmet
 
It's handguns that have next to no purpose besides killing people. I know some people go shooting animals with handguns, but for that sort of thing you really need a rifle or shotgun, neither of which really lend themselves to urban gunning.

People shouldn' need handguns for defense. I totally believe that carrying a handgun only puts you more at risk of being shot or hurt.

 
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