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Defending Ourselves

  • Even with a few minor missteps, this has to be one of the most civilized discussions about guns in which I have ever been involved.  This topic often gets people rather angry.

    Even in the U.S., opinions on this subject run the full range, and discussion can get heated and nasty.  It is as bad as debating abortion or evolution.

    Judging from the civilized nature of this thread, trannies must be better than the general public at engaging in reasonable debates about subjects in which opinions are strongly-held.  Perhaps we should be in politics.

    Heather H.
    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
      January 15, 2003 1:31 AM GMT
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  • Two counties seperated by a common language was how the UK/US has been described.I think that has been proved once again.It was not my intention to critisise in the way it was taken.

    I apologise unreservedly for the unintended offense.

    My thoughts ran along the lines of 'why bring up the subject of arms?',when the original topic was 'how to AVOID trouble'.My reply was intended to make that point, but I obviously made an error in my wording,and then took things too far by putting words into someone else's mouth.Sorry.
    Sue.X
     
    Sue. X Psychiatrists are like the eunuch in the harem. They know what transvestism is, they can describe it, they can demonstrate it, but they cant actually explain it!
      January 14, 2003 8:59 PM GMT
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  • Ladies:

    Whoa, STOP. It's getting  a little ugly in here...I think a time out is called for.

    There has to be a respect for the various laws on both sides of the puddle, like them or not.

    Do I think banning guns is a bright idea? Not really.
    Do I think carrying one in Self-Defense is a winner? I don't think so.

    Words are strong indicators of ideas. I make a living with words, so I know when to back off...and when I need to chime in. This is one of those times.

    Part of this discussion must be based on some measure of respect for all sides. Let's not lose that. After all, that is what makes TrannyWeb special.

    Okay, I've said enough for now. Come out of your corners, shake hands, and let's continue to discuss this civilly. It's been too good a thread.

    Luv 'n hugs,

    Jayne Sakura :)
    "Almost-Angel, T-Girl Genius, and Ultra-Flirt"
    Living as the woman I am!
      January 14, 2003 5:56 PM GMT
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  • So, it's inappropriate to mention arms within the context of a self-defense discussion? I thought tolerance was a two-way street, but I stand corrected.

    Well, from now on, whenever I see the Union Jack, I'll be sure to mind my own business.
      January 14, 2003 3:07 AM GMT
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  • Perhaps the wording was a little strong,but it cannot have escaped anyones notice that whenever the subject of self defense is raised,in your replies you invariably mention the fact that you go about armed and ready.
    In this instance,I felt it was particularly inappropriate,as the girl asking the question is in the UK.
    Though I rsspect your rights and beliefs,and readily admit if I had been brought up within the gun culture as you were my views would probably be similar to yours,I wasn't,and they aren't.
    I have never seen a gun on the streets here,and don't wish to.When visting Europe,just the sight of armed police scared the **** out of me.I was certanly very well behaved!
    On this subject,I think we must agree to differ.
    Love,Sue.X
    Sue. X Psychiatrists are like the eunuch in the harem. They know what transvestism is, they can describe it, they can demonstrate it, but they cant actually explain it!
      January 13, 2003 6:00 PM GMT
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  • Suekie's comment from another topic (How to Avoid Trouble):

    Stevie, much as the idea of pulling your gun and blowing a few heads off seems to appeal to you (you brought it up), we don't carry guns over here. At least, law-abiding citizens don't (can't).


    Suekie, why do you assume "blowing a few heads off" would appeal to me?

      January 12, 2003 11:36 PM GMT
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  • http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Smile01.gif
      January 9, 2003 1:00 AM GMT
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  • Yes, Nancy, firearms are definitely designed to kill, so those who aren't ready to do so really shouldn't have them. That's a decision one has to make before going armed.

    As our technology advances, perhaps stun guns will become more reliable. If I thought I could trust them, and if they could be used repeatedly between charges, I might consider them a good non-lethal option.

    Jayne, say no more. New Orleans is an automatic excuse for avoiding revealing outfits. I've been there only once, but it was great. I want to go back, but I'll have to get down to about 110 pounds first, so I can eat without worrying! http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Wink01.gif
      January 8, 2003 1:04 AM GMT
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  • Just my 2 cents:

    I've always found the constitutional amendment, so oft-quoted, poorly written and almost contradictory. It states:

    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.


    This can be looked at 2 ways. Pro gun side takes the second half of the statement, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". But what does the first half of the statement mean? "A well regulated Militia"? What "well regulated Militia" are you a member of if you are "the people"? This has to be one of the most poorly written amendments and is not even proper English.

    Personally I have never owned a gun and probably never will. Have I shot a gun? Yes. everthing from a NYC police off-duty snub nosed 38, to a H&K semi-automatic to a pistol grip 12 gauge shotgun. (About the 3 shot you hand really begins to feel it). Want to sit in the frezing cold and shoot Bambi? Be my guest, just slide me some of the venison. I have no problem if you want to own and carry a gun but the responsibility that goes with it you have to own also.

    Most of the gun owners I know are very responsible and I trust them with their weapons. It's the criminal use of weapons and the use of them in self defense that have been the problem. Personally, you use a gun in a criminal act, the punishment should be very severe.The ACLU has been doing a great job defending people and their rights but I think they lose sight of the big picture. You trespass, a.k.a. climb over a six foot fence in the middle of night and break into my house, should I have the right to blow your brains, though small, out? Who is the victim? The dead robber or the person with the gun defending themselves their family and their property? The ACLU defends the dead robber, and you are arrested. This is where owning a gun, you are fooked.

    You have the right to own and bear arms but, does this give you the right to fire it? I don't know.  :-/

    </rant>

      January 7, 2003 8:11 PM GMT
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  • Okay, so I've fallen asleep and can't shut up:

    Stevie--you buy the first round of lunch.

    I don't trust the current administration, and I didn't trust the last batch, either. Fear is a bit strong for me. Like Heather, I haven't trusted them since...never mind how long it's been. Let's just say it was before Reagan and drop it. ::)

    Heather--I'll let them play off each other...but only if they play nice. To date, they haven't. If they continue to not play nice, I think we should erect a big fence around the beltway...and lock them all inside until they behave. ;D

    Phyliss: Shakespeare said that we "Should kill all the lawyers" in one of his plays. Since most politicians have a law background... ;)

    Everyone: Nobody, but NOBODY sees me in anything too revealing for the next few weeks, until I'm back down closer to 165 lbs. or less. Jaynie was a little piglet over her vacation  :-pop tart pop diva, Ms. Spears.

    Luv 'n hugs,

    Jayne Sakura :)
    "Almost-Angel, T-Girl Genius, and Ultra-Flirt"
    Living as the woman I am!
      January 7, 2003 3:02 PM GMT
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  • THAT'S WHY THE ROMANS MURDERED THIER SENATORS  :o  PHYLISS
      January 7, 2003 2:02 AM GMT
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  • I fear the Bush administration, and I feared the Clinton administration.  In fact, I have feared every administration since I was old enough to understand such things.  Both sides have so many bad ideas that the only way to prevent great damage is to play them off against each other so that little can get done.  In the present situation, I hope the Democrats in the Senate are as obstructionist as they can be.

    Heather H.
    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
      January 7, 2003 1:25 AM GMT
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  • ...and regarding our titles, only at Trannyweb do we get rewarded for failing to shut up! http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Laugh01.gif
      January 6, 2003 11:20 PM GMT
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  • Jayne, if you and I were both in Congress, we'd spend all morning debating issues, but we'd still have lunch together. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Laugh01.gif

    You fear the Bush administration, I feared the Clinton administration, but neither of us trusts the government! http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Cheers.gif

    Yes, it would be nice if we could put down the weapons and get along, but I'll wait until people get along first, then I'll put down my weapons. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Wink01.gif  When and where I grew up, most people didn't lock the doors to their houses when they left in the mornings. Maybe that was unwise, but they really didn't think it was necessary. I can't imagine doing that today, in my current environment, but it would be nice to live in that type of situation again (on a much larger scale, with much broader social advancements). Until then, I'll prepare for the worst (within reason) and hope and work for the best.

    Oh, I think we all want to see you in your best "Spears" outfit!  http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Laugh01.gif
      January 6, 2003 11:15 PM GMT
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  • ...I favor a hybrid approach, taking a liberal or conservative position based on each issue's ramifications.
    Sarah, you do make a good point about nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. In my opinion, there is a big difference between conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction, and we do classify small arms, artillery, explosives, WMDs, etc. differently. Neither civilians nor civilian government agencies (police forces, intelligence agencies, etc.) have any legitimate use for WMDs; they are strictly for use by the military. Of course, there's plenty of room for debate on military use of those weapons, and we have to carefully monitor the use of those weapons by our military (which is part of the government). The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and we can never afford to ignore what our governments are doing.

    To bring this all to a relevant point, my being a tranny reinforces my beliefs and positions. I think I should have the right to dress (publicly and privately) as I please, but even if our laws recognize that right, many of my fellow citizens still have problems with trannies.

    "Ultra Goddess" Stevie--

    First of all, the title fits you well. Way to go.

    Second of all, circle your calendars, ladies, because this is a red letter day: Stevie and I actually agree on something! ;D

    I also take a hybrid approach; I think both sides have gone too far to the extremes. Can we Puh-LEEZE have a return to a middle, more common ground? With a little common sense thrown in?

    I agree that there are no sane, rational uses for WMD's, period. 'Nuff said.

    And I think that I should have the right to dress any way I choose. (well, okay...maybe at the point in life where I am at, attempting to look like Britney Spears is asking a bit too much... ;))

    Does the general public have problems with us trannies? Duh. Will it take an enlightened society to overcome that? Mmmhmmmm....will that society (hopefully) have the sense to put down the weaponry and get along with each other?

    Goddess, I hope to shout!

    That's the kind of society I want to work toward.

    Luv 'n hugs,

    Jayne Sakura :)
    "Almost-Angel, T-Girl Genius, and Ultra-Flirt"
    Living as the woman I am!
      January 6, 2003 4:14 PM GMT
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  • Yes, Sarah, we have been a bit serious, lately, but I think that's a good thing. There's a lot to be said for being silly, too. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Wink01.gif

    So, I'm an anarchist who favors the rule of law, am I? http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Laugh01.gif  Actually, that might be a good definition of a Libertarian (which I am).

    Yes, I do favor "the rule of law," in that I believe we should respect our social contract with each other. If we each consider ourselves individual members of a nation, we are, in effect, agreeing to live by the guidelines that we, as a group (by majority rule), have established. Laws and rules can't be optional and still be laws and rules.

    No, I'm not an anarchist (see the topic "Politics - Social Issues" for my definition), but I do favor limited government. An anarchist would favor no government at all. I agree with our nation's (USA) founders in that government should be limited in scope and play a limited role in our lives. We gave our federal government very specific rights and powers in order to perform only those functions necessary to any society. Our government wasn't created to rule the people, but rather to give the people a mechanism for self-rule. I don't want the government expanding beyond it's necessary functions.

    I don't want the government to attempt to protect us from ourselves (motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws, gambling laws, prostitution laws, drug laws). I don't want the government trying to provide for us (Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid). I certainly don't want the government to deny us the ability to defend ourselves against criminals, foreign invasion, and the government itself by banning or controlling the ownership of firearms (infringing on our right to keep and bear arms).

    Government does serve important functions. We should have police forces, courts, public roads and traffic laws, regulation of industry, etc., but we shouldn't rely on government to live our lives for us. Economically, I'm a capitalist, but socially, I'm neither liberal nor conservative all the time. I favor a hybrid approach, taking a liberal or conservative position based on each issue's ramifications. Regarding arms, I take a liberal position, favoring the freedom of the individual to defend himself. Those who favor banning or controlling arms are taking a conservative position, restricting the individual's freedom in the interest of promoting and/or maintaining social order.

    Regarding what I said about responsibility, yes we individual citizens do have to want our societies to work. If the majority of us don't want civilization, it can't be forced on us. Most of us have to be voluntarily law-abiding or the system breaks down. Law itself isn't enough to control us if we all decide to violate the social contract. Modern Western democratic republics exist because the peoples of those nations (for the most part) want to live in civilized societies. We each have different views of Utopia, we often have heated debates in our legislatures, and sometimes things can even get a little ugly (strikes, riots, etc.) but we manage to run our nations relatively peacefully because most of us want it that way. That doesn't mean that I want anarchy or that I think government and laws are unnecessary.

    I agree with your comment that "death is so final." That's why I don't want to murdered for lack of a way to defend myself. Those tragedies you mentioned are terrible, but I can reference equally tragic deaths that could've been prevented by firearms. If you pass a law that bans firearms, and I get murdered by a criminal because you removed my means of self-defense, would you feel responsible? Should I be sacrificed for feel-good legislation?

    In the USA, some claim that they want to control or ban firearms to save lives, and that they would never carry firearms themselves because they could never take other human lives, not even in self-defense. However, many of those same people turn right around and support the death penalty and/or legalized abortion, which tells me that they aren't really interested in preserving life. They just want the government to be in control (I don't want to start debates on those two issues here, I'm just making a point about motives). Those who really value life would better serve society by supporting the rights of the good guys (law-abiding citizens) to arm themselves.

    Sarah, you do make a good point about nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. In my opinion, there is a big difference between conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction, and we do classify small arms, artillery, explosives, WMDs, etc. differently. Neither civilians nor civilian government agencies (police forces, intelligence agencies, etc.) have any legitimate use for WMDs; they are strictly for use by the military. Of course, there's plenty of room for debate on military use of those weapons, and we have to carefully monitor the use of those weapons by our military (which is part of the government). The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and we can never afford to ignore what our governments are doing.

    To bring this all to a relevant point, my being a tranny reinforces my beliefs and positions. I think I should have the right to dress (publicly and privately) as I please, but even if our laws recognize that right, many of my fellow citizens still have problems with trannies. I don't live my life in fear, but I am aware of my environment, and whatever course I decide to take as a tranny, I have to be cautious in many ways. One thing I do have to accept is that there are those who wish to do harm to trannies because we don't live by the approved male script (some trannies don't even consider themselves males). In the event that I am confronted by one or several of those individuals, I don't want to be in a position to have to rely on their mercy. I want to have a say in the matter of my life. Therefore, I choose to arm myself. That doesn't guarantee my safety, but it does increase my odds of getting home alive and uninjured. I have no desire to be a sacrificial lamb for any political trend.

      January 5, 2003 4:34 PM GMT
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  • Hi Stevie
    Heather

    Gosh, this morning's been very serious, so this is the last serious one I'll answer today.

    Stevie,
    1  we can never have too much insight, even though we find it disturbing.

    2  you seem to be entirely in favour of laws and the rule of law. Given that laws are society's ways of regulating itself for the benefit of all its diverse (not just gender) members then there are always going to be restrictions that each of us will disagree with but that is the price we pay for a "civilised" society.

    You also seem to be advocating an anarchic approach. I don't mean that in a derogatory sense since, philosophically speaking, if I look ahead to what might be considered the perfect human society then it would be largely anarchic but, as you say, relying on individual responsibility at all times.

    We aren't there yet, we may never get there, it is certain to be millenia away. In the meantime how do we regulate ourselves? In my view, recognising human frailty we should seek to mitigate the worst excesses. Annie cited the Dunblane school example and tragically you have similar such examples, however we had another example, sorry can't remember where, when a bloke ran amok in a school with a machete and far fewer people actually died. Death is so final.

    How far would you go? Do you consider it legitimate to held e.g. nerve agents, nuclear weapons, etc.. OK, I exaggerate, but do I. What about anthrax? (spectacularly ineffective as it was). In these days is it beyond the bounds of possibility that Ross Perot, say, acquired a personal nuclear weapon? What price are you prepared to pay for the "right to bear arms"? bearing in mind that even the most balanced and responsible of us can become unbalanced, present company excepted of course.

    I like your analogy with motor vehicles. You may be aware that recently in the UK we've had a number of rail "disasters", typically one a year, 15-20 dead, much beating of breasts and "this must never happen again"ing. Yet we continue to kill about 2000-3000 people a year on our roads with barely a murmer. I think this, like guns, represents a more primal, baser part of human nature. That we are prepared to tolerate, or rather ignore, the effects of our desires. If humanity is ever to make progress then we must surely move away from this. So, how? and when?

    On this I think we are going to have to agree to disagree.

    Hugs

    Sarah
      January 5, 2003 11:25 AM GMT
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  • I have to agree with Stevie about the "other" reason we value our firearms in the U.S.  Our system is based on numerous checks and balances:  the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government are all independent and to some degree work against each other.  Add state and local governments, and there are additional checks.  The final check on the power of the government is an armed public.  If the day comes that we need to rise up against a tyrant, we will have the means.

    Heather H.
    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
      January 5, 2003 2:24 AM GMT
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  • Sarah,

    Here's the short version of my response:

    If guns are so evil that citizens shouldn't have them, then why do governments need them? It's all about power and control.

    Here's the long version:

    My answer is almost the same as Heather's, with the exception that I carry constantly. Three things I always take with me when I leave home (no matter how I'm dressed) are my keys, a wallet, and a firearm. It's an automatic behavior with me. I'm responsible and safe in the way I handle firearms, but the fact that I have one on me isn't something on which I dwell. It's not that I'm so scared or nervous around people that I've been driven to some extreme measure or anything like that, it's simply a fact of life and part of my daily routine.

    There's a whole different psychological approach involved with those of us who consider an armed public a good thing, and I don't know if I can properly explain it. Regardless of which country you're in, I suppose it's just different for someone who didn't grow up around firearms or who has rarely been exposed to them. I wasn't born with a holster, so I do remember how it felt when I first started carrying a pistol with me, but I had firearms in my home long before that, so it still wasn't a drastic thing for me to get used to.

    As adults, we have an amazing degree of freedom (at least in most Western societies), and with that goes a great amount of responsibility. We control large automobiles on public streets, we use lawnmowers with sharp blades and keep gasoline in our garages, we clean our homes with all sorts of poisonous chemicals, we have sharp utensils in our kitchens, and electrical appliances all over the place. The world is a dangerous place for those who act irresponsibly, but I don't think we should try to avoid danger by eliminating those items from our lives or by limiting our freedoms.

    Of course, there are those who are very familiar with firearms and still don't like being around them. Carrying a weapon isn't right for everyone. Weapons (firearms, knives, swords, clubs, pepper spray, etc.) are different from those other items in that they were designed to inflict injury and/or death to humans, but the obligation to handle them responsibly is the same. I don't take my firearms lightly, but I am comfortable with them. As with anything else, if you handle them correctly and use them only for their intended purposes (defense), accidents are extremely unlikely. I've always driven large cars and trucks, and I know that I'm capable of doing a lot of damage when I'm behind the wheel. Every day, I have the opportunity to kill myself and/or someone else with my vehicle. That being the case, why am I allowed to own and operate a 100 MPH, 6000+ lb. instrument of death? If we're going to live together in a free society, we have to expect a certain standard of responsibility from ourselves and each other. When we prove ourselves irresponsible, then we lose rights and freedoms. That's as it should be. However, those of us who do behave responsibly should not have to pay for the irresponsible acts of others.

    That's the one thing that really concerns me about the whole issue of weapons laws. It's one thing not to want weapons as an individual. I can respect that. It's another thing, though, to want to take weapons away from the rest of us, by supporting and enacting restrictive laws. From what I can tell, all of us involved in this conversation  are peaceful, responsible, law-abiding individuals, and we don't have anything to fear from each other. Unfortunately, all humans are not like us, and those are the ones who concern me. I never know where or when I'll run into a criminal, but I've chosen to be prepared for that event, in the interest of preserving my own life.

    So, Sarah, taking the long way 'round to answer your primary question, yes, I would certainly want to go armed in the UK or anywhere else I visit (where possible). I don't think British criminals are any better or worse than American criminals, but as criminals, they all have something in common. They have no respect for my rights or my life. If my rights and life aren't worth fighting for, why live?

    There's something else that might be unique to the USA (maybe we'll hear from some other countries on this), and that is our desire to keep the government in check. I carry a pistol every day so I can defend myself against random street crime, but let's say that's not an issue. I would still want the American people to have the right to keep and bear arms, because it's very difficult for a tyrannical government to seize power if the entire countryside is well armed. Today, some might joke about that being possible in the USA, but the reason it's so unthinkable is because we currently enjoy so many freedoms. However, once we give up our right to arms, we'll see the other rights disappear. Free speech, freedom of religion, etc. mean nothing unless we the people are in control, and the right to arms is a major factor in our ability to control our government.

    Like it or not, brute force is the only legitimate source of authority in this world. The USA and the UK are still sovereign nations today ONLY because we defeated the Germans and the Japanese in WWII. Our national and local laws carry weight ONLY because the police forces have physical force at their disposal (probably why they're called police forces). As I mentioned before, a free society won't survive unless most of us choose to act responsibly and within the law. Still, for those who choose not to obey the laws, we must have physical force to bring them to justice. There's not a single law, regulation, right, freedom, concept, or document that has any meaning at all without brute force behind it. We are not operating on the honor system.

    In my opinion (and in our founder's opinions), we Americans, as a group, should have and do have power over our own governments, at all levels. The government should have enough power to deal with criminals, but it should never have the power to enslave the people. As Americans, we place more trust in ourselves than we place in any government, and we consider ourselves (as a nation, not as individuals) as the ultimate source of civil authority. We did not receive our rights from the government. We already had those rights, and we created the government. We gave the government its rights. If we can't have arms, then who else should have that right?

    Sarah, I'm sure these opinions of mine I don't represent the opinions of all Americans, but at least I've given you an insight into my attitude toward the whole issue (probably much more than you wanted http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Laugh01.gif ).


      January 4, 2003 6:41 PM GMT
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  • Regarding Sarah's response, I would want to own a gun - no matter where I live.  Crime is a worldwide problem; I see crime stories frequently on the BBC website.  I also look at other international news sources, and it is the same story everywhere.  No gun laws can prevent violent crime.  As far as carrying it, I would want the right to do so, but I would not always carry it.  Pepper spray is probably fine in many situations, and many places are safe enough that I might not carry anything.  In fact, at present, I seldom carry either a gun or pepper spray.  Typically, I only carry such things in the wilderness.

    Heather H.
    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
      January 4, 2003 4:44 PM GMT
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  • Stevie
    Heather H

    Picking up on something that was posted on the other thread. Heather said that she reads UK news sites and would certainly want to carry a gun over here. (Sorry Stevie I can't remember whether you expressed similar sentiments).

    I have to say that I'm astonished by that. It would never cross my mind that I would feel safer carrying a gun. It never crosses my mind that other people would be carrying guns. After all our police still don't really carry guns, although there will be an Armed Response Vehicle on the streets of most cities.

    Sorry Heather, I'm gobsmacked by your observation. I wonder what other Brits feel about it?

    Phyliss

    My heart goes out to you and your experiences. Whatever one might think about the rights and wrongs of any particular war we should always remember the debt we owe to the people who have to fight it.

    Bless you.

    Hugs

    Sarah
      January 4, 2003 8:14 AM GMT
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  • I've read some really great comments from both sides (even from those of you who are wrong http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Laugh01.gif ).

    Jayne,
    I hate to hear that you were mugged at gunpoint, but would laws restricting the ownership of firearms have helped? After all, criminals break laws. They laugh at gun restrictions. If I have to choose between an idiotic law or no law at all (on a given issue), I'll take no law at all. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Wink01.gif

    It's funny you should mention schools. When I was in junior high, we had to take the hunter's safety course, which included studying written material, watching films, and actually learning how to use shotguns by shooting clay pigeons (all on school grounds). The instructors constantly drilled us on safety. Of course, that was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These days, such a course would shock parents. It wasn't a year-round class, just a short course over a week or two, but I really enjoyed it.

    Regarding governments mandating such training, even at the state level, I still don't like the idea. We do make drivers prove they can handle vehicles before issuing licenses to drive on public roads, but, unlike owning arms, driving isn't a Constitutional right in the USA. The phrase "shall not be infringed" means that we can't place conditions on ownership or the freedom to go armed (well, not legally, anyway - governments violate constitutions at all levels).

    I do love your idea of a firearms responsibility (or general weapons responsibility) course, similar to driver's education or civics (perhaps it could be part of civics). I think it should be an elective, at least, but if the local residents want, it could be mandatory in any government school (I say "government" rather than "public" to avoid confusing non-Yanks). Private schools could do the same.

    I strongly agree with you that our culture has a screwed-up set of priorities where legal ages are concerned. If you're old enough to vote and serve in the military, you should be able to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, and hold public office. As you implied, maturity is relative.

    Phyliss (and all other veterans),
    I've known veterans who are very well adjusted after having been in combat, and I've also known those who've had some serious problems dealing with it. As far as I'm concerned, the people and the government owe a debt to all veterans, and they should get whatever help they need for having served, especially during times of war. Individuals like you have made this country much safer for people like me, and some of us do appreciate it.  http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Smile01.gif

    Annie,
    So, I take it you're more of Churchill than a Chamberlain? http://mywebpages.comcast.net/fashionlab/Images/Smileys/Laugh01.gif

    Suekie,
    If you're interested, here's a short interview with John R. Lott, Jr., author of More Guns, Less Crime. Click here.


      January 4, 2003 1:38 AM GMT
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  • HI GALS, I'M RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT THE NEXT GO-AROUND...I'M USING THE HOMELESS/HUNGRY PLATFORM.THAT'S WHERE WE'LL FEED THE HOMELESS TO THE HUNGRY  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o  SHADES OF SOYLENT GREEN     NO MORE FOR ME,THANKS, I'M FULL,PHYLISS
      January 4, 2003 12:46 AM GMT
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  • Don't care if you want it or not,Jayne for world pres.I agree on all your points,especially the first and last!
    Sue.X
    Sue. X Psychiatrists are like the eunuch in the harem. They know what transvestism is, they can describe it, they can demonstrate it, but they cant actually explain it!
      January 3, 2003 10:16 PM GMT
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  • Ladies:

    "I MAY NOT AGREE WITH WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY, BUT I WILL DEFEND TO MY DEATH YOUR RIGHT TO WEAR IT ON A T-SHIRT"
        --Ashleigh Brilliant


    Part of me agrees with you.

    But the part of me that got mugged in the summer of '86--at gunpoint--still maintains that there needs to be something done, preferably intelligent. (I also understand that government and intelligence are opposite ends of the spectrum...;D)

    Heather H: I have little trust of any government. I see your point: "The United States government has proven on countless occasions that it cannot be trusted.  I am sure that most, if not all, other governments in the world share this characteristic."

    However...I also maintain that even a idiotic law can be better than no law at all. Case in point: I think it is asinine that we allow teens to drive at 16, but can't drink or smoke until 21. You are in effect saying that "We can trust you with 2,000 lbs. or more of screaming engine and chrome, but you can't defile yourself until you're an adult." I know adults who are less mature at 40 than some kids at 17. End point.

    Stevie: How's this for a training idea, if you don't want the feds involved: Make a statewide thing, and teach it in the schools. That way, when the little b@st@rds start shooting at each other, they'll hit their target, and not some poor slob who was unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sorry, hon. I must insist there be some sort of training as part of ownership. Think of it like driver's ed.

    Phyliss: I agree totally. If you remember Peter, Paul and Mary, their song, "Blowin' in the Wind" (or at least their arrangement of it) speaks to the futility of war. War, however, is a topic I am not gonna start. Oh, by the way...at least you are getting some vet benfits. I've been f*cked out of most of mine....I still qualify for a VA loan, I think, and perhaps some money for my burial, if I die. (I may not just to annoy the cr@p out of everyone...;)) Geez, I DID read that right (Time to put on my glasses): You really ought not to arm bears--at least in the spring and during hunting season. There are enough shots being fired out there.... 

    The largest part of the problem is that there is just too d@mn much testosterone ruining running the planet...

    Luv 'n hugs,

    Jayne Sakura :)
    "Almost-Angel, T-Girl Genius, and Ultra-Flirt"
    Living as the woman I am!
      January 3, 2003 9:55 PM GMT
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