Help Save the Youth of America


#1

I couldn’t help but think of this song over the weekend.

But from the March to Save Our Lives events that took place All over the USA, and elsewhere around the world, this weekend I’d say they don’t need saving. In fact it may be the Youth who are saving the rest of us.

We have spoken about gun control before in this forum but I am interested to know if opinions are changing.

In different parts of the world opinions vary greatly so while I welcome opinions from all here it’s probably a good idea to let us know where your from unless you post frequently enough here that we all know already.

I’m fairly confident that you know that @sil and myself are both British and I grew up not far from where Stuart now lives though I now live in an Essex seaside town. I believe @joe was born in Malta but now lives in the UK. @jonobacon was born in the UK but now lives the USA and we all know that both @jeremy and our old friend @bryanlunduke are from the USA. I won’t go on further but that at least gives you the background for the moderators, current and former presenters.

My thoughts:

I know the right to bear is enshrined in article II of the constitution but I don’t think it should be, Many people in the UK would like to see guns banned altogether and I’m sure a good number of those on the marches this weekend but by no means all and I know a few gun owners who went along in support of gun control.

I think:

  • Gun ownership should be a privilege, not a right

  • Potential gun owners should have background checks to ensure they have no relevant criminal or violent history.

  • They should be licensed and this licence should depend on regular mental evaluations to ensure there are no relevant metal health issues.

  • All guns should be registered so we not only know who owns guns but exactly which weapons they own including serial numbers. I know people are going to say that criminals will not register their weapons so what’s the point: We should set a very high penalty, years in jail, for owning an unregistered gun and the authorities have the right to search where they have any reasonable suspicion.

  • The ownership of a gun must be consistent with its intended use and where sensible, precautions taken to disable its use. This would ban completely assault weapons and weapons with large ammunition magazines. If your interest is in say target shooting then you may be required to keep your weapon in a locked box with two locks: your shooting range has the key to one lock, you have the other. If however the purpose of your intension is hunting then clearly you need access to the gun and ammo but it is not unreasonable to insist the weapon and ammo are stored in a locked box or case when not being used.

Thoughts?


#2

You’re right, it shouldn’t be, because it’s not. Article II describes the establishment and operation of the Executive Branch and the Presidency. You mean the Second Amendment, which only until the mid '80s was widely perceived to mean that owning a firearm was something any American citizen could do, but regulation against such ownership was not impermissible. Heavy lobbying from the NRA and firearms manufacturers turned court decisions towards the current interpretation, where firearm ownership should be as unencumbered as possible.

A retired SCOTUS associate justice describes this change in his New York Times op-ed from yesterday, where he opines on the repealing of the Second Amendment:

For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation. In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated militia.”

During the years when Warren Burger was our chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge, federal or state, as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment. When organizations like the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and began their campaign claiming that federal regulation of firearms curtailed Second Amendment rights, Chief Justice Burger publicly characterized the N.R.A. as perpetrating “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Apple journalist John Gruber said last night about the op-ed:

Serious gun control is coming. It’s like gay marriage — stalled with no progress for decades, and then, boom, it’s the law of the land in 50 states. I don’t know when it will happen, but when it does, it’ll happen fast.

Given recent events, gun rights advocates should have their choice described to them in nothing less than stark terms. Which do you believe is more important: the life of a child, or owning a firearm? Or to put it in a “you’re either with us or against us” context: if you’re for owning a firearm, you’re for child murder.

A gun is designed to kill or injure. When everyone comes to terms with that fact, things may go rather differently.


#3

Sorry @neuro I should have responded to this much sooner.

You are correct a gun is intended to kill (or injure). I own a shotgun because I live on a farm and like to eat rabbit, pheasant and other game. I think it is morally correct that I should have rigid checks regarding my mental status and there should be clear rational as to why I own such a weapon.

I would argue there is never a justification to injure.

If I lived in a town it would not be justified as I could always hire a gun if I were to go on say a grouse shoot, but having my own land and, game living off it this makes sense to me.

As I have gathered from earlier posts of yours you are from a beautiful town on the west coast of Scotland and if I lived there I certainly couldn’t justify owning a gun but I feel I can on my farm.

The gun has to be appropriate however: I can see no justification for anyone to own a concealable weapon, such as a pistol, or an assault weapon.

I also live (weekdays) in a see-side town but the gun has never left the farm.


#4

Just to confirm did the Proclaimers claim the chief put sunshine on your town?


#5

Point of order Mr Chairperson. Leith is in Edinburgh, and therefore not very much on the west coast of Scotland at all :wink:

</pedant mode>


#6

No, because I don’t live in Leith, I only work there.


#7

It’s a suburb of Edinburgh I used to know well. I used to live on the other side of the country, near Port Glasgow, Inverkip. I now spend most of my time travelling between Cambridge and Southend-on-sea with my engineering consultancy. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I knew you had a link to Leith from another thread but as usual I added 2 and 2 to get 5.


#8

Not strictly true but Cambridge is the closest place I expect people to have heard of: The farm I live on is about 6 miles from the centre of town. Just noticed I mentioned living places as two towns. Could not justify a gun in either of them.


#9

The funny thing is, I don’t live on the West Coast either; Cumbernauld is closer to Edinburgh (40mi by road) than it is Inverkip (43.8mi)!


#10

Just to add another perspective “from Europe”: in unruly and anarchic Italy, firearms are heavily regulated (and taxed hard, as anything else over there), but scenarios like “I live on a farm and like hunting” are still very much accepted.

My dad loves the outdoors and has a friend who hunted regularly, so they went out fairly often until age made it a bit too hard to walk for hours in tall grass, and he let his license expire. His friend still owns quite a few guns (which are historical pieces by now), but in Europe hunting has class and cultural connotations that are very different from the US: he’s an extremely well-read, super-pacifist leftist who came from money, and if the State were to step in and “take his guns to protect the children” he’d probably bring them down to the police station himself on day 1 (and proceed to lecture presents on how the socialist revolution is inevitable anyway).

Gun crime is limited to a few main categories: gang wars, which can occasionally flare up especially in the South; private security people/policemen/military people suddenly going crazy (usually over “passion” issues with wives and ex-wives); and racist cunts being racist cunts, which unfortunately happened recently. The first two are somewhat unavoidable, the third is a political reality that is very hard to discuss (especially at the moment) but in the past, similar situations were defused precisely with accurate gun regulations: if the police has a list of all gun owners in a city, they have a fairly precise knowledge of the most dangerous troublemakers and can keep them under control.

99.999% of the population will never see or worry about a gun in their lifetime. Obviously it’s not a paradise: knife crime and equivalents do exist, the Mediterranean illegal arms trade does go through some Italian ports… but considering that we still have a sizeable manufacturing industry (Beretta!), gun crime is very very low and stuff like high-school kid-on-kid shootings is unheard of.


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