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Old 2012-12-22, 16:04   #45
NBtarheel_33
 
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"Nathan"
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Talking So what might the Founding Fathers have to say?

I have been thinking to myself this week about what our beloved Founding Fathers might think of this country if they came for a visit today. I believe it might go something like this:

Franklin unbuckling his shoes and dropping his bloomers at PHL security: "I knew they'd give up their liberty for security!" Jefferson being driven along Wall Street and then through a ghetto on a tour of NYC: "Didn't I say the banks would have them homeless in their own country?" George Washington observing an angry but apparently wealthy and well-fed mob of college students urinating on an American flag: "My men froze to death bearing that flag as they crossed the Delaware so those punks could be free to do...THAT?!". The three of them - Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin - in unison: "What the hell happened to this place?!" Just then, their tour guide takes them into a gun shop and shows off the latest in weapons technology: "Gentlemen, you will no doubt be quite impressed with the strides we have made in arms manufacture and importation. Moreover, you will be proud that your legacy lives on as the Second Amendment continues to provide every American with the right to own as many firearms as they would like. This baby right here can mow down over twenty people in three minutes and holds over 100 rounds! Much better than those one-bullet, smoky old muskets that you had in your day, eh?" As the group leaves, a kid pushes past the illustrious trio with "hey old dudes, get the f**k outta my way!" and spits his gum at just the right angle for it to become lodged in Washington's famous powdered wig.

Later that night, a break-in is reported at the National Archives. Early reports indicate that every known copy of the Bill of Rights has been vandalized; oddly, the Second Amendment has been carefully cut out of every one. One witness can't be completely sure, but they might have seen a man with white hair and a pigtail nearby around the time of the vandalism. A note is found at the scene: "You think this is bad? If you don't learn to behave, we're tearing up the articles of surrender and sending them back to Britain! Our only regret is that there's no "right to bear pointy scissors" amendment because if there were, the whole lot of you would be plying blunt kindergarten Fiskars faster than you could sing "Yankee Doodle"! Sincerely, TJ, GW, BF and everyone else who was horrifically maimed or killed so that you could embrace failure as a lifestyle choice, sell your souls to Hell, and play professional dunces upon the world stage".
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Old 2012-12-22, 17:27   #46
Brian-E
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBtarheel_33 View Post
It's that dirty R-word that no one wants to hear. Responsibility. If you have a child, mentally ill person, elderly person, disabled person, etc. living in your home, and you wish to own guns, you have a responsibility to keep the guns secure and away from those persons at all times. [...]
Elderly? Disabled? You have some interesting categories of person here from whom we have a "responsibility" to keep guns securely locked away.
As for mentally ill: are you sure you can identify positively who is mentally ill amongst those close to you? Really?
I thought I could until the summer of 2003. I was wrong, drastically wrong. And the resulting incident involved the person threatening others with a firearm. Fortunately no-one was physically hurt in the incident, but people took lasting emotional damage away with them and the repercussions have not died down to this day.

No-one is immune from a sudden breakdown, psychosis, what have you. Firearms must be securely locked away at all times from anyone who is not authorised to use them.
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Old 2012-12-23, 09:33   #47
NBtarheel_33
 
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Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
Elderly? Disabled? You have some interesting categories of person here from whom we have a "responsibility" to keep guns securely locked away.
These categories not so much because I am concerned about them doing damage to others, but to themselves. An elderly person might hear something go bump in the night, stumble downstairs, and shoot into the darkness at the "intruder" who turns out to be little Billy looking for a midnight snack. Or, in panic or confusion, the elderly person injures or kills themselves with the gun. Similarly, a disabled person may hurt themselves or a bystander because they lack certain physical strength required to handle a firearm. Or their reflexes/mental acuity are not sharp enough. Keep in mind the analogy: bearing arms ought to require (at least) the same qualifications as driving a car. And if you know someone, anyone, in your home that is unable to safely (or legally) drive, but that might try anyway whether accidentally or on purpose, you would keep the keys out of their reach.

One of the scariest situations re: firearms that I have personally encountered was that of my great-uncle and great-aunt, who both passed away within two months of each other in 2011. They had lived in suburban Washington, DC - right "inside the beltway" - for 35+ years. As the crime rates had gone up over the years, my great-uncle had acquired numerous firearms, mostly shotguns, ranging from a 1928 Remington to a Ruger .22 with a 10-round magazine to what we thought (and what our uncle had told us) was a Glock, but turned out to be a damn good replica, but just a BB gun. We did find one real handgun, as well. Now, both of these people were in their 80s. My great-aunt had advanced dementia, while my great-uncle had the beginning stages. Their house was so dilapidated that a good foot to the front door would have caved it in. As our family rounded up "Little Ruby Ridge" as we dubbed it, after they had passed away, we commented on how blessed they had been that (1) no one had broken in and used the guns on them, (2) they hadn't misused the guns out of fear or a dementia hallucination, and (3) the guns hadn't been stolen and used in crimes. As if this weren't enough, on the day that we had to tell our uncle that his wife had died, his response was that he'd like to get a gun and shoot himself. I shudder to think that is exactly how things might have played out if they had been home alone and something had happened to our aunt. And that's why I believe that firearms should be kept safe from the elderly if they are exhibiting signs of a weakened mental state.

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As for mentally ill: are you sure you can identify positively who is mentally ill amongst those close to you? Really?
Definitely not. In fact, what generally happens is the well get branded sick, and the sick get cleared as well. But when there is a record of unusual behavior (in the sense of way outside social norms, e.g. no desire to communicate, no sense of belonging to the community, etc.), anti-social leanings, poor psychosocial development, or even a diagnosed mental illness, that person should be precluded from accessing firearms, for their own safety and that of others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
I thought I could until the summer of 2003. I was wrong, drastically wrong. And the resulting incident involved the person threatening others with a firearm. Fortunately no-one was physically hurt in the incident, but people took lasting emotional damage away with them and the repercussions have not died down to this day.
Did that person ever exhibit any signs before the incident in question, that might have lead anyone to believe that there may be trouble brewing? Sounds like a very tragic, frightening situation. I hope that they were able to get the help they needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
No-one is immune from a sudden breakdown, psychosis, what have you. Firearms must be securely locked away at all times from anyone who is not authorised to use them.
That really sums up the crux of the matter. If you want guns, and are hopefully stable enough to own and use them with respect, be my guest. Just take responsibility for them, and don't let others fool around with them, especially those who exhibit clear signs that they are physically or mentally unable to handle firearms. This includes taking such people to gun clubs, the shooting range, etc. as well.
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Old 2012-12-23, 10:56   #48
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The principles you espouse, NBtarheel_33, seem to be summed up by the following:

Guns are desirable in households in the USA for everyone's safety and peace of mind, but those households require responsible individuals within them to identify themselves, take charge of the weapons, and keep them securely away from other people in the household who the responsible member(s) identify as unsafe around guns due to their physical or mental frailty or simply their age.

How much do you trust the general population of the USA to take this responsibility in the way you aim to do?

PS Just to answer a couple of questions you asked me: no, the person in my life showed no outward signs of any problems at all, even though the problems were there for at least several months beforehand because the person secretly and illegally (we're not in the USA) acquired the gun and hid it from everyone else for that length of time. Help for the person did come eventually but only after the person stopped being treated as a criminal as a result of their actions.
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Old 2012-12-23, 12:20   #49
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBtarheel_33 View Post
And that's why I believe that firearms should be kept safe from the elderly if they are exhibiting signs of a weakened mental state.
OK, so in this context you regard "elderly" as being a sub-category of "mentally unsuitable" and are using the term wtith a meaning akin to "showing symptoms of senile dementia".

Makes good sense to me.
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Old 2012-12-24, 15:45   #50
NBtarheel_33
 
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"Nathan"
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Unhappy

And here we go again.

Webster, New York, 6am US EST (11am GMT) this morning. Someone must want the neighborhood burned down pretty badly. Two firefighters have been killed, two injured, and the ensuing delay has caused one blazing home to catch two others and a car on fire as well. Obviously, some deranged excuse for humanity wants to make a point to his neighbors on Christmas Eve.

Perhaps the answer is just to have gun control throughout the month of December. It's a good time for the broken cowards to come out of hiding and make their demented footprints.
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Old 2012-12-24, 19:18   #51
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It would seem you are making a separate argument Kasekoph. One that is much harder to ignore, for sure, but has little bearing on whether violent video games are causally related to violence.
Studying the causal relation between violent video games and violence can't be properly done without taking other factors into account.
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Old 2012-12-24, 19:22   #52
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this thread needs a little humor:
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Old 2012-12-24, 19:24   #53
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Studying the causal relation between violent video games and violence can't be properly done without taking other factors into account.
I don't agree, but that is neither here nor there, the point of my reply was that we were talking about apples and you started down the path of oranges. If you want to have that discussion start your own. Don't hijack mine.
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Old 2012-12-24, 19:28   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy View Post
If you want to have that discussion start your own. Don't hijack mine.
Every thread of any relevance gets hijacked.

Last fiddled with by Uncwilly on 2012-12-24 at 19:37
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Old 2012-12-24, 19:31   #55
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy View Post
I don't agree, but that is neither here nor there, the point of my reply was that we were talking about apples and you started down the path of oranges. If you want to have that discussion start your own. Don't hijack mine.
So ... I'm supposed not to point out glaring omissions in your arguments? You were talking about apples as though there were no other fruit, so I pointed out the existence of other fruit which had a bearing on the relationship you were exploring.
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