Skip to main content

Ever since Newtown, I've been thinking about what really drives "civilian" (non-law enforcement, non-hunter) gun ownership.

I'm in a unique position to think about it. I was raised in a liberal family - and I'm the only person in it (with the exception of two uncles who served in the Navy) to have ever owned a firearm. It was a Ruger GP-100 .357 magnum revolver - a big, reliable, easy-to-operate hand cannon. I bought it in 1992 after the LA Riots; and it was part of my LA "earthquake and emergency kit" until I sold it and moved back to the East Coast in 2010.

The reason I bought it was fear, pure and simple. I had been driving through South Central when the riots began, and I had friends in the area. For a while it looked like I would have to drive back down to Exposition Boulevard to pick them up, and I felt defenseless. As I sat home watching the news on TV, I saw how mid-city merchants were successfully protecting their shops from looters with rifles and carbines. Afterward, I bought a gun.

For 18 years, I kept it safely in a case, unloaded, with a speed loader of bullets to one side. I practiced with it twice a year at the shooting range; I cleaned it carefully, disassembling and reassembling it in my yard, to allow the gun-oil fumes to disperse. I contemplated sending it back to Sturm Ruger to have the trigger pull adjusted, but I never did it. Occasionally I would fire other handguns at the range - an Army .45, a Glock 9mm, a Sig Sauer P210. It was fun...like really, really dangerous bowling.

The one time it looked like I might actually have to use my gun - when there was a break-in at my neighbor's bungalow in the middle of the night - I reached for my 18" club of a MagLite instead of my gun. I entered the apartment with another neighbor, and we scared the intruder away. No one died.

Not once, in all those 18 years, did I ever feel like a badass when I held the Ruger. I never asked the mirror if it felt lucky, or if it was talking to me. When I first saw the guns in the case at the shop and realized I was actually going to buy one, it felt cool; but once I actually held it in my hand, it felt like a snake that could bite me at any moment. The feeling faded over time; but if I ever saw a moron at the range posing with a gun for pictures, I made sure to get a shooting lane as far away from him as possible.

Those are the feelings I want all gun owners to have. I don't want them renewing their "man cards." I don't want them playing to the gallery like little Chuck Hestons. I want them to see guns as what they are to virtually everyone but trained professionals - a desperate last resort.

And it occurs to me that I was born in 1965, and I grew up in one of the nastiest big cities in the United States: pre-renaissance New York. I was a pudgy, spectacled, solitary kid who walked the streets by himself for 24 years before he left town, through Central Park and Morningside Heights and Crack Alley...and not once, in all that time, did I ever need a gun.

Originally posted to Average Ted on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 08:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Two words: Dirty Harry (10+ / 0-)

    The gun fetishists want to be Dirty Harry; this has not abated as a result of the 20-year decline in crime rates, it has only grown with time.

    The reason is because this "fear" has nothing to do with fear of real crime. It is about conservative whites no longer feeling a part of the diversified public space of the past 30 to 40 years. Dirty Harry iconography (1971), which arose at about the same time as the modern gun movement (1977), always had to components. One, the actual rise in crime; two, the scary dark faces that the public saw as being the face of crime.  Since then, one of those components has faded (the victims of even today's lower crime rates are overwhelmingly minority, which means it does not touch suburban conservative whites), while the other has continued to grow.

    Gun vigilante fetishism has continued to grow. That tells us which of those two components was more significant. Before the 1970s, the public space was racially pure. Now, it's racially mixed, and only the home is racially pure for most conservative whites. If they can think of their home as a castle, that is not intruded upon but literally invaded as if it were a separate nation, and the public space as the frontier, just like the old west racially mixed cowboys and Indians frontier, they actually feel more secure. At the root of gun vigilante fetishism is a deep seated racism.

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:00:44 PM PDT

    •  Do you believe all gun owners to be fetishts? (8+ / 0-)

      It seems as if you do from your comments and that is an extremely incorrect view of gun owners.

      I'd imagine very very few people in the world would be gun fetishists - in that they need the presence or imagery of a gun in order to achieve orgasm.

      The fact that risk of crime exists is enough reason for any person to seek to prevent or reduce that risk to themselves or their loved ones.  I would consider this to be the responsible action.  Smoke alarms help detect a fire and extinguishers help combat it it should that situation arise and we consider it good responsibility to guard against the small chance of home fire.  So why is it that firearms that help combat a violent situation should it arise not also be considered an exercise of the same level of warranted responsibility?

      This is all aside from the point that mocking opponents based on such insults makes you and your entire argument look weak for needing to use them.

      •  Is it true if you own a gun (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        you are more likely to be shot?

        "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

        by rocksout on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:28:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That depends on the qualifiers one puts into place (7+ / 0-)

          Strictly speaking the answer is yes but once one removes either the qualifiers of "already being engaged in criminal activities" or "suicide" the answer is no.

          However I don't find that this has any connection to my initial question.  If you feel it does have connection please elaborate on where you find there to be some.

          •  Do you have a source for that? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Glen The Plumber

            According to a 2009 university study:

            http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/...

            Results. After adjustment, individuals in possession of a gun were 4.46 (P < .05) times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession. Among gun assaults where the victim had at least some chance to resist, this adjusted odds ratio increased to 5.45 (P < .05).

            Conclusions. On average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. Although successful defensive gun uses occur each year, the probability of success may be low for civilian gun users in urban areas. Such users should reconsider their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures.

            "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

            by randomfacts on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:17:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Fetishists don't "need" fetishes to achieve orgasm (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dejavu, randomfacts

        Fetishists are those who understand and appreciate the "mana" contained in fetish objects drawing comfort and empowerment by their association with the object.

        Guns  are quintessential fetish objects in that their practical function and their symbolic role are so nearly identical.

        The difference between smoke alarms and AR-15's is that smoke alarms save more lives than they take.

        Statistically speaking"*  "armed in self-defense" is a losing proposition ... but it FEELS SO RIGHT!

        *(unless one is a security specialist or professional criminal).

        •  Firearms are used more times per year (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raincrow, BlackSheep1

          in defensive use than offensive use.  Seems the comparison is apt.

          The ones I must see spiritually making firearms into fetish objects are the ones who have placed all the evil of mankind into the object and wish to destroy the evil by destroying the object into which it was placed.   The gun owners you describe are few and far between but those who see guns themselves as having a moral character are quite common.

          •  This (0+ / 0-)

            YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

            by raincrow on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:16:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Except, most of us "Gun Control" supporters (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            randomfacts, Nautical Knots

            really want firearms treated with the same care and respect as say, "Automobiles"  or even "Pleasure Boats"

            Y'know:
            Titled
            Registered
            Insured
            and the buyer/operator licensed.

            And the most outspoken advocates of the Gunner Community make it pretty clear that they want their Second Amendment Blessing  Rights "to resist a tyrannical government" .

            Now when you've got a few million armed citizens (the Somali militias come to mind) you've got a Civil War.  But when it's a dozen, a few, or ONE ... you've got a case of "resisting arrest."   RIP David Koresh.

            And MY personal 2-cents worth is to take the job of registering and licensing firearms (like pleasure boats) AWAY from the Police and turning it over to the Motor Vehicle Bureau, which is equipped to handle such paperwork in an objective and efficient manner.

            And look ... I grew up on shooting ranges and in deer camps.  In my experience, gun owners who do NOT fetishize their hardware about as common as Harley riders who think a motorcycle is "just a cheap and efficient means of transportation."

            I will give you this much:  the mania for outlawing semi-automatic  "assault rifles" and high capacity magazines is foolish in that

            1)  it won't prevent more than a couple of dozen fatalities per year --and we lose that many people to bubonic plague infections from prairie dogs.

            2) there are so MANY unregistered  AK's and AR's with their big magazines already "out there" ... most used for nothing more nefarious than breaking bottles and perforating tin cans ...

            Of COURSE guns have "characters.  "
            Whether it's a "moral character" or not is a little too fine a judgment for me to  make.  Yet it's pretty obvious that the shooter who chooses a Colt 45 Peacemaker is coming from an entirely different place than the one who chooses a Desert Eagle 50.  

            Still ... if any gun does have a "character" it IS the assault weapon.  As a result, the AR-15 is the most popular long gun among American shooters.

            Some say it is "Murderous"
            Some say it "Manly"

            But ... if you do happen to want to kill a lot of unarmed and defenseless people in a hurry -- this these are  the tools you want to have.    

            (In a pinch, a couple of handguns with 15 shot clips has been shown to work well in the hands of a Motivated Marine.)

          •  I wish I could rec this 1,000,000,000,000 times, (0+ / 0-)

            because it is the exact truth.

            A gun, all by itself, just lays there. Sits there. Hangs there.
            In the rack, on the table, under the seat, in the glove box, back in the locked trunk, down in the airline-approved case in the baggage section.

            In all but very, very unusual cases, even if it's loaded, it's just ... there. It's not going to do anything, all by itself, any more than your butter knife or your carpenter's square or your car keys will (well, okay, the car keys may run down the battery contained in 'em). The problem is, whether it's in a fictional story or in a real-life situation, the gun never gets left all by itself. Somebody will come along and mess with it.

            That's not the gun's fault. That's human nature.

            Sometimes out of carelessness, sometimes out of criminality, sometimes out of mental illness, sometimes out of absolute cluelessness, the person who comes along and messes with the gun creates a tragedy.

            Sometimes, though, none of those conditions apply -- and a person uses that gun appropriately, for hunting, or to stop a crime,or to protect livestock, or for self-defense, or to keep the peace.

            It's the person who determines the outcome.

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:48:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ok ... Register the Person, then (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              splashy

              Because everything you say about firearms is also true of automobiles, aircraft, high explosives, industrial insecticides and narcotic drugs.   "The outcome depends on the person."

              So why regulate preemptively.  Just punish severely when "something goes wrong" ?

              Because for example:

              I happen to live in the NY Metro area, where we don't have a lot of lamb-eating coyotes threatening our livestock.

              We do, however, have drug dealers who defend their territory and armed robbers who often resist Interference  by a Tyrannical Government . Those folks  are mostly getting their tools of trade from "straw buyers" who get them from licensed gunshops, who are not required to keep any records of who they sell what to.

              Now ... what exactly IS the problem with the background checking and record keeping?  Hell, I've got to submit to a background check, pay a fee and take out a license if I want to adopt a puppy from a dog pound!

              Snce a  person with nothing to hide has nothing to fear ...  Let the FBI investigate prospective buyers for Wants, Warrants, psychiatric commitments, and Orders of Protection  (and maybe "membership it Terrorist or Subversive organizations ??)

              Those who come up clean,  could get  a "Buyer's License" ... which they can then use each and every time they buy, anywhere in the country without the inconvenience or expense of individual back ground checks.

              Those who come up really squeaky-clean will be able to apply for a "casual sales permit"  which would allow them to sell  "sporting goods" in their yard sales and from the trunks of their cars.

              All in accordance with applicable State laws, of course.

              But  if  some poor innocent weapon just happens to show up at a crime scene ... and the last legal buyer has somehow forgotten to inform Law Enforcement that the weapon is not where he/she thought it was --  don't you think there ought to be consequences ?

              Or is this a case of "It's a Godgiven Right to own firearms without restrictions, and use them without consequences."

              •  If you look over my comments you'll find (0+ / 0-)

                I have advocated for training and qualification and registration of USERS for, literally, years now. Much the way it's done with cars or motorcycles or power boats or aeroplanes. I've been a vocal advocate of better background checks for Every sale -- and I'd extend that to sales of stun guns and automobiles. In this country, if you've got good enough credit, you can buy a BMW and run people down in the streets, with no fear of reprisal from the law.

                But I'm old, and I don't operate from the default setting, as many do, that the mere existence of a civilian-owned firearm is an example of something having not gone wrong yet. That level of fear of an inanimate object, frankly, gobsmacks me.

                I don't endow firearms with that level of mojo; I save my magickal thinking for the notion that by taking an action, such as voting for Barack Obama rather than Mitt Romney, I can have an effect on the outcome of an election.

                I view firearms in the context of power saws and pickup trucks and ladders and kitchen knives -- not in the context of trophies or toys.I don't use my truck to crash people's gates or houses in; I don't drive drunk. I don't mishandle my firearms or store them carelessly, just like I don't mix bleach and ammonia in my mop bucket or my washing machine or crawl astride a motorcycle without walking around it to be sure the chain's not loose and the tires aren't low and the gas tank isn't leaking down onto the cylinder-heads, and I don't ride without a helmet. I don't buy guns at yard sales or sell guns on Craigslist for the same reasons I don't run up to strange horses or try to pet other people's dogs.

                Is it too much to ask that I be allowed to consider the rest of my fellow Americans, until they prove otherwise, to be commonsensical and law-abiding?

                Because I resent the implication that all gun owners are criminals, just like I resent the implication that every single American who wants to get on an airplane to go somewhere is not just traveling, but hiding some kind of exotic explosive in her luggage, elderly companion's wheelchair or child's diaper, or boot soles.

                 I kind of think that it's important that those of us who do live where there are lamb-stealing coyotes and child-killing roaming dogs have an option to defend our lambs or our children that doesn't involve waiting on the cops to show up, by which time the lambs or children very well may be too damaged to save and the predators too far away to catch.

                I agree that straw purchasers are criminals, and should be so treated -- provided that you allow for the exception: the law-abiding person, who'd come up squeaky-clean, who buys a firearm as a gift for a family member or a friend who's also squeaky-clean, and knows that to be so, because, I think, that's not a "straw purchase."

                LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 10:25:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You and I basically agree .. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  splashy

                  Except that you don't seem to be noticing that "demonizing guns and gun owners" is an NRA talking point to describe ANY attempt to register, license, keep track of, or in any way "infringe" the Sacred Rights of the As-Yet Unindicted to buy guns in Virgina and sell them in New York City .

                  All that is being SERIOUSLY proposed at the moment is that the ineffectual ephemeral background checks that licensed dealers perform, ALSO be performed by casual sellers.  

                  There's also an unfortunate amount of rhetoric in favor of an Ugly Gun Ban.

                  Pushed hard, I'd have to agree that banning "assault weapons" is foolish and futile. The mere suggestion only angers the enthusiasts, and the if passed the ban would provide little or no protection to anyone.

                  But that said:

                  Is it too much to ask that I be allowed to consider the rest of my fellow Americans, until they prove otherwise, to be commonsensical and law-abiding?
                  It probably IS too much to ask ... since we test, license and regulate access to pretty much every other process and artifact that when mishandled causes death, injury or financial loss.

                  I agree: 99 44/100% of the time, no harm will come from buying a sporting long gun for a favorite nephew.  

                  So, I'd  LIKE TO agree that one SHOULD  be able to buy firearms as gifts for family and friends.  But that begs a couple of questions

                  "How close" ... Are third cousins "family" ?... Is the guy you met in a bar yesterday a "friend"?

                  and

                  "What if"   Everyone has stories of "the no-good brother-in-law" who borrows tools and loses them, borrows cars and wrecks them, borrows money and spends it on drink or drugs.

                  So ... what should happen when someone makes a perfectly understandable mistake about "who can be trusted  with firearms?"

                  Well, if the guns aren't even registered to the original purchaser ...  the gal/guy who actually pulled the trigger goes to prison,  and the person who enabled him/her goes scot-free.

                  Is THAT such a good thing?

                  (Not everyone is as responsible and conscientious and you and I like to think we are.)

                  •  Adam Selene, (0+ / 0-)

                    are you such a pessimist about all things, or only firearms?

                    It probably IS too much to ask ... since we test, license and regulate access to pretty much every other process and artifact that when mishandled causes death, injury or financial loss.
                    My goodness, I find this claim overwhelming. There are so many everyday objects about to which it simply does not apply. Sporting goods stores are full of ways to maim and kill each other that we don't bar anybody from buying, even on credit, just as one example.  Then there are lawn-mowers, riding or otherwise, and go-carts, and ATVs ... does your state enforce rider safety training and licensure?

                    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 11:35:01 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  BlackSheep1 Are you in denial about everything (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      splashy

                      or just about firearms ?

                      Are  you so trusting of your fellow man that you pick up hitch-hikers, and when someone "has broken down" and asks to use your phone ... you just let them into your house?

                      Do you think everyone else should ?

                      As a matter of fact, my State (NY) it's counties and town, DO regulate riding mowers, go carts and ATVs -- except when used on private land, with the land owner's permission.  

                      My County (Suffolk) has just enacted legislation requiring safety instruction for all operators of power boats; -statewide drunk boating counts as drunk driving for the purposes of motor vehicle licensing.

                      "Lawn darts" have been illegal here for 40 years.

                      The fact is ... firearms are uniquely dangerous artifacts, with only few and limited legitimate purposes.  Unlike automobiles and industrial pesticides, our economy does not depend on them.

                      And yet, "Anarchy" would pretty much describe the trade in those firearms that are not already classified as "weapons of mass destruction" ...  And so, from time to time (like 13,000 times a year) people get made dead.

                      Why is that a good thing?

                      •  I have in fact lent my phone (0+ / 0-)

                        but it's a cell.

                        we've got boating safety and hunter safety courses in Texas.

                        when someone has broken down, I take them to a gas station.

                        It hasn't backfired on me so far, so I guess I think more of us ought to reach out to each other rather than slap one another down.

                        But if you're equating all firearms with weapons of mass destruction ...
                        ...

                        The fact is ... firearms are uniquely dangerous artifacts, with only few and limited legitimate purposes.  Unlike automobiles and industrial pesticides, our economy does not depend on them.

                        And yet, "Anarchy" would pretty much describe the trade in those firearms that are not already classified as "weapons of mass destruction" ...  

                        ... then I don't know how to talk to you.

                        McVeigh's truck bomb was a WMD; the VaTech shooter's firearms were, similarly, instruments of murder (as were those used at Columbine when their bombs didn't ignite; and a WMD was used in Waco to burn the Branch Davidians out).

                        But there is a fundamental difference in the two, even if not in the users' motivations and mindsets.

                        Does your state have no economic gain from hunting or fishing?
                        Does your state have no economic gain from military bases?
                        Does your state have no economic gain from licensed firearms dealers or range operations or gunsmiths?

                        I note you allow firearms do have "only few and limited legitimate purposes." Are none of those to ever be available to anyone not an agent of the state (e.g. police and soldiery)?

                        LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                        by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 01:18:49 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Gun use in the United States: results from two nat (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AdamSelene, splashy

            national surveys

            Results—Even after excluding many reported firearm victimizations, far more survey respondents report having been threatened or intimidated with a gun than having used a gun to protect themselves. A majority of the reported self defense gun uses were rated as probably illegal by a majority of judges. This was so even under the assumption that the respondent had a permit to own and carry the gun, and that the respondent had described the event honestly.

            "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

            by randomfacts on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:22:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  No. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        Read the statistics- having a gun makes you less safe, not more. Fetishism has nothing to do with rational cost-benefit analysis, (as the diarist did when he bought his weapon, understandably based on the time & place he was in).

        "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

        by randomfacts on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 03:10:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Recced for this: (31+ / 0-)
    Not once, in all those 18 years, did I ever feel like a badass when I held the Ruger. I never asked the mirror if it felt lucky, or if it was talking to me.
    Those are the feelings I want all gun owners to have. I don't want them renewing their "man cards." I don't want them playing to the gallery like little Chuck Hestons. I want them to see guns as what they are to virtually everyone but trained professionals — a desperate last resort.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:02:11 PM PDT

  •  This just the thing. You have hit the exact (21+ / 0-)

    and purely personal point.

    I too have been there: two times in the early 1990's things happened near enough to me to shake me to the core.

    This killing was quite near where I lived:
    The nurse midwife story

    and when I was posted to New Mexico, women were being forced off the road and attacked.

    I worked late a lot. Didn't always have the option of well lit and busy streets. I knew I would never get out of my car. I needed a car gun that had enough power to shoot through glass, and not so powerful that muzzle fire or noise would inhibit me.

    So I was trained and bought the same outfit you have talked about here. Familiarity took the mystique and fear of guns away. Respect, oh yes.

    I came from a family committed to no guns: one of my Dad's cousins was killed on a hunting trip. But I found myself in uncharted territory and self contained requirements for protection. I also hiked and skied alone in backcountry quite a bit.

    When I moved to the Kit House in rural pear country, before I could move in, two somebodies broke into my newly purchased house and took everything I had brought.

    I called a couple of neighbors to talk it over: good ole boys raised in the area. They knew I had guns and promised to help me if I ever needed it (little lady). A girl on her own.

    I made sure that I fired it and didn't hide the fact that I had my own protection. New Years Eve and Fourth of July were my own little displays of independence.

    I never had to test the theory, but I had peace of mind.

    I never had my picture taken, nor did I take having that Ruger lightly: I understood the responsibility.

    We each have our own stories and I would have been a less knowledgeable anti gun person if I hadn't had these personal experiences.

    Thank you.

    Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:55:16 PM PDT

  •  Did you ever carry it with you when you went out? (3+ / 0-)

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:57:30 PM PDT

  •  You're not the only one (10+ / 0-)

    "once I actually held it in my hand, it felt like a snake that could bite me at any moment. The feeling faded over time"

    When I was shooting that's how I felt too. It was like my respect for power tools, a feeling that I could never relax around one. Seeing one mishandled was not just scary, it felt like an outrage.

    "Bowling" reminded me of one of the most educational competitions. Five retired bowling pins were set up for each of two competitors, winner being the first to knock down all of his/her pins. Careful aiming and not hurrying was the only way to win.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 10:03:03 PM PDT

    •  Which is why magazine limits are good. (9+ / 0-)

      When you have a six shot revolver, you need to husband your shots, but with a 17 round Glock semi auto, you can spray and hope.

      •  I disagree. (6+ / 0-)

        The idea that one is as accurate in high stress highly-dynamic situations as one will be when one is calm and collected at a range is false.

        During stress the human body has several reactions, tunnel vision, ability to hear surrounding noises decreases, digestion stops, but the most relevant one is that blood races to large muscles (fight, flight) and is removed from precision control muscles.  This makes aiming and even having a steady trigger-pull very difficult.  Add moving targets and the threat of violence about to be perpetrated to the self or family if one has to defend from blows or shots and it becomes even harder.

        Six rounds may be enough to stop one person, it may be enough to stop six, it may not be enough to stop one.  Each situation is different.  I would not want only six rounds if I was faced with multiple attackers.  I wouldn't want any innocent person limited in their ability to stop threats to themselves or family.

        Regardless of how many rounds any person has they should train to be as familiar with their firearm and themselves with it as possible in order to increase their accuracy when under stress.

        •  Consider the OK corral gunfight (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CarlosJ, BlackSheep1

          I was just watching a TV program where they reconstructed it.
          this was a gunfight between hardened men who were good with guns, lived with them , some were excellent shots and the distance was less than 30' for all of them. They stood there and fired at each other, not moving very much

          30 rounds fired, 8 hits, only three of them fatal and two of those were from Doc Holliday's shotgun. Ike clanton and others ran away

          Pulling out a gun and shooting it is no guarantee you'll hit the target. Its not how many bullets you shoot that matter, its where whose bullets end up.

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:44:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You make a good point. Once the guns come out (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Debby, Smoh, dejavu

            people will flee.  You don't need to hit someone and possibly murder them to make yourself safe.

            Just the sight of a gun will make the bad guy flee.  So if your afraid, get a toy gun to brandish.  It's going to be as effective and you don't need to worry you might murder someone.

            Congressional elections have consequences!

            by Cordyc on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:54:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I believe the reported rates are: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Robobagpiper, noway2, raincrow

              roughly 80% of a time a firearm is used defensively it is merely displayed.

              Roughly 80% of the time a firearm is fired defensively the target lives.

              I believe it the case that those not familiar with firearms are likely to believe the movie myths that guns are almost instant-death machines.  What differentiate criminal use of deadly force and defensive use is that one is usually used with the intent to kill and thus actions are pursuant to that goal (multiple hits, finishing shots, etc.) whereas in defensive use the goal is simply to stop the threat (and then the police and EMT's are called and in many cases the victim starts to render what aid they can).

            •  I'm sorry, but this is foolish. (5+ / 0-)

              Presenting a fake weapon is one of the stupidest things you can possibly do when confronted by an attacker. It may invoke fight, rather than flight, and then you will be well and truely fucked.

              •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raincrow, Aramis Wyler, BlackSheep1

                I did not see that it was recommended to carry a toy gun.

                I don't believe that is wise as it removes the ability to back up a No statement.

                •  Not only that, legally speaking a toy gun is still (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Aramis Wyler, BlackSheep1

                  considered to be a deadly weapon.  This gets into the nuance of self defense law, but the key principle in is the THREAT of force, not the actual force.  In this respect, the threat made with a toy gun is still a threat.  Another thing to consider is that things like squirt guns (toys) can be filled with substances that can kill or blind a person and hence still represent a real threat of grave bodily harm.

            •  They won't flee. Dangerous to think otherwise. (6+ / 0-)

              The sight of a gun will make some people flee. It will make others advance. The idea that you can "brandish" a gun to scare people gets quite a few people shot every year - often with the guns they were brandishing.

              This is because predators can spot when you're not serious about pulling the trigger. If you own a real weapon, you must operate under the assumption that if you draw it, you will shoot it. And if you shoot, you shoot to kill.

              And if you wave around a toy gun, you can expect a police officer to shoot you - that happened twice in LA the year that I left. Or you can expect the bad guy to attack you - either to stop you from shooting first, or because he recognizes the toy and is angry that you tried to punk him.

              •  And we don't have good data about how often (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                salmo, BlackSheep1

                (And whose fault is that?)

                The thing that professionals teach and that loudmouths ignore is that violent encounters are chaotic and unpredictable. If guns were magic deflector shields then police would never get hurt.

                There are actually courses in how to take someone at gunpoint. There's much more to it than you might expect.

                Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

                by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:23:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  A gun should not ever be used as an empty threat. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              salmo, BlackSheep1

              These are the things parents should teach their children, whether they expect or want their kids to own a gun 20 years down the line or not.  Parents aren't always able to help, I know.  And it's hard to force training on people, though I would not be against there being a gun permit requirement and a test to get a license, much like a car.  But I digress.

              • You always assume a gun is loaded.
              • If it's semi-automatic and you're checking if it's loaded, check twice.
              • You never point a gun at someone you're not willing to kill, because 'aiming to wound' is a myth; more deaths by shooting are caused from the shock of being shot than the bullet itself.
              • If you ever draw a gun you will immediately be in far more danger than you were before that, so proceed with caution.
              • If you're not willing to kill someone in self defense don't carry a gun.

              I will never fault someone for choosing not to carry a gun - good for them.  I admire their courage, because the OP is right about fear.  But if you're going to carry a gun, don't pretend.  Carry it and respect the death that you are wielding in your hand - come to grips with the fact that you're a person willing to carry it - or don't carry.

              “In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy.” - Fran Lebowitz

              by Aramis Wyler on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 01:59:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Cordyc: not always (0+ / 0-)

              and a toy is a way more dangerous thing to "brandish" than you can imagine.

              LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

              by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:00:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Fantasy bull@#it (5+ / 0-)

          Look, this whole idea that "when the time comes" your gonna' take down the bad guys in a gun fight is mostly fantasy. People who train in combat firearms (i.e police) often miss their targets and or hit civilians. The average civilian, faced with life and death and under fire, would be better off throwing the gun at them and running away. And before you start, I've been shooting since I was 5 years old and own firearms. They are of limited value vis my personal safety. Period. Much better to be aware and avoid trouble.

          •  No one was saying that firearms > SA. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            high uintas, noway2, BlackSheep1

            The preferred method when dealing with risks is always avoidance and situational awareness is key in that however avoidance is not always possible and then we must deal with risk mitigation.  At that point it is always better to have a recourse available than not.

        •  CarlosJ: that's exactly why you *train* (0+ / 0-)

          in martial arts -- katas, sparring, range time.
          Yes. "fight or flight." If you want "fight" to be effective, it has to be there when you haven't got time to think. It has to be "muscle memory." It has to be just like breathing.

          For boxing, for karate, for jiujitsu, for savate, for krav maga, for fencing, for shooting ... you have to practice to the point you can do this thing the same way you walk -- it has to work in the dark, in the rain, in the heat, in the cold, when you wake up in the middle of the night or when you're halfway through your workday.

          That's part of the healthy respect you talked about earlier.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:58:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
    I want them to see guns as what they are to virtually everyone but trained professionals - a desperate last resort.
    And what should they be to trained professionals?

    "with rights come responsibilities." Wrong. Responsibilities continue to exist even if you abdicate your rights.

    by happymisanthropy on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 10:45:32 PM PDT

    •  Hopefully ... (6+ / 0-)

      a last resort, but not desperate.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:51:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Survey yield is 38% for "Home Defense" and (3+ / 0-)

      29% for "Hunting."

      In the options available, the latter might also include target shooting. But the former, clearly, is the big problem.

      People do not use guns for home defense except very rarely. And that use is dominated by houses that experience drug sales. The real uses are tabulated by the FBI as for 2010/2011:

      -- Civilian gun fatalities by accident were 800+ and over 20,000 non-fatal injuries

      -- Civilian defensive fatalities were 232 (for 2010) and over 700 nonfatal shootings

      -- Civilian at-home defensive shootings were 80 of that 232 total (for 2010) and approximately 250 total shootings

      Accidents are one-shot, not aimed shootings. That's why the large percentage of nonlethal outcomes.

      Clearly at purchase the buyers are doing denial with respect to 19,000 suicides and 8,000 in-family gun homicides (11,000 total gun homicides.)

      Also very clearly, NRA is a fraud. They peddle fear with tales of 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 home invasion events. These lies get repeated over and over for decades.

      They recommend breaking laws in all 50 states against "brandishing" a weapon by saying you should demonstrate being armed by showing your weapon during a confrontation. They talk of running off intruders, where pointing a loaded weapon at a person is felony Assault With a Deadly Weapon.

      Those 80 at-home corpses from 2010 project to an absolute upper limit of 25,000 intruder events. That includes every situation where the armed homeowner perceives a human threat and responds with a gun-in-hand opposition. The most likely total for intrusions with a real threat looks to be 8,000 events.

      NRA helps sell $3-billion in "home defense" guns a year. Unless you sell drugs, that is wasting money on a tool that kills more people accidentally than it kills in use. By a ratio of 10 to 1.

      The lying has gone on, selling paranoia for at least 50 years.

      •  how do you reconcile this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1

        from the fact that all attempts to assess the total number of defensive gun uses nationwide come out upward of 700,000?

        the only survey that has ever produced lower numbers is the Crime Victim Survey, and  that one makes absolutely no pretense of representing the population as a whole.

        "with rights come responsibilities." Wrong. Responsibilities continue to exist even if you abdicate your rights.

        by happymisanthropy on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:16:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber
          NCVS is the Nation's primary source of information on criminal victimization. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of about 40,000 households comprising nearly 75,000 persons on the frequency, characteristics and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. Each household is interviewed twice during the year. The survey enables BJS to estimate the likelihood of victimization by rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft for the population as a whole as well as for segments of the population such as women, the elderly, members of various racial groups, city dwellers, or other groups. The NCVS provides the largest national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and characteristics of violent offenders.
          http://bjs.gov/...
          [David Hemenway, an eminent public-health scholar at Harvard University] finds more reliable an annual federal government research project, called the National Crime Victimization Survey, which yields estimates in the neighborhood of 100,000 defensive gun uses per year.
          http://www.businessweek.com/...

          "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

          by randomfacts on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:35:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  As a boy, I was fascinated by pistols (8+ / 0-)

    So, much later, after I moved to a state where buying guns is easy, I got a Glock 17. For the first few months I owned it, it had a kind of seductive aura. Gradually that disappeared.

    I never felt in any way "empowered" by this gun, nor did I feel threatened by it, as if it were a "snake". (In the first few months of ownership, I was fascinated by its destructive power, however.)

    I do not regret buying the pistol. Well designed pistols are fascinating machines, and it is a pleasure to take them apart and see how they work. I cannot afford a Porsche, but I can afford a Glock.

    Nothing I have written implies that I do not think that gun ownership should be strictly regulated, or that concealed carry permits should be given to anyone except those who can demonstrate a clear need to carry a gun. Handguns should be available to everyone who is not a criminal or crazy, but the process of getting one should be made so cumbersome that someone like me wouldn't go through the trouble.

    American exceptionalism is America's road to perdition.

    by Alexandre on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 11:37:10 PM PDT

    •  See above. One of the many reasons is nerd appeal. (4+ / 0-)

      Some people are just plain captivated by cleverly designed precision machinery. A Glock is both a specialized antipersonnel weapon and an elegant piece of mechanical engineering that does elaborate things with a spookily low number of moving parts.

      Which doesn't affect any arguments about what gun laws should be, but it should relieve the fears of those who assume that anyone with a gun must be a dangerous nut.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:29:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  with a title like pink gun thoughts, I thought you (11+ / 0-)

    were going to talk about the Hello Kitty AK-47...

    I am with you as far as NOT feeling safer owning a gun or threatening to use one.

  •  Just had to rec for (10+ / 0-)
    like really, really dangerous bowling
    Very good diary. Clean and clear.

    Republicans represent both sides: the insanely rich and vice versa.

    by Crashing Vor on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:05:43 AM PDT

  •  Average Ted - your post is not average at all, it (12+ / 0-)

    is great writing with great points.  Thank you.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:48:52 AM PDT

  •  What you have to remember is that your (12+ / 0-)

    perspective is yours, others might have a different take on things. There could be many other nuances to reasons for having or wanting to have a firearm. Many of equal validity.

    Some feel more comfortable than you did. No snake ready to bite. Still others might well have used a gun many times and have a different perspective. Lots of ex military on here that were in shooting wars. Others are ex law enforcement.

    Guns are still even in this day of drones and the internet still a very potent thing. I can understand how people would be extremely concerned about them, I am too when one is pointed in my direction and I'm not sure if there is a round in the chamber or not.

    One thing that doesn't seem likely to change. There are a lot of gun in the world.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:49:12 AM PDT

    •  How often do you have gun "pointed in your... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Glen The Plumber, WakeUpNeo

      ... direction?"

      I can understand how people would be extremely concerned about them, I am too when one is pointed in my direction and I'm not sure if there is a round in the chamber or not.

      Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

      by Bob Johnson on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:55:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Besides opinion (3+ / 0-)

      however, there are facts, and the fact is that modern nations that tightly restrict gun ownership have far lower rates of firearm violence.

    •  I've known a fair number of ex-military and (2+ / 0-)

      ex-law enforcement folks. All of my friends had a healthy respect for guns; many of them had been using them since childhood, and were introduced to them by their parents, so I can't speak to their emotions upon first firing a gun.

      I can say that everyone can have their perspective, but guns are not a purely private matter. They give their owners the ability to project their perspectives onto the people around them with devastating force. For that reason the feelings of gun owners are very important to their fellow citizens. A matter of life and death, in fact.

      •  Don't Bloomberg over my rights. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankRose, BlackSheep1

        That's all I ask.  Lets have discussions and lets talk about safety and responsibility but to restrict my ability to undertake my rights because of concern that I may be criminal is both a horrible idea and a horrible precedent (I don't what other rights you would like that precedent to be extended to but I don't want it furthered to any).

        My decisions on how to best protect my rights and those of my family are mine to make.  Whenever I or anyone crosses the line to harm another is when the law should be involved but all people should be free to act how they see fit until this point.

        •  An Army M1911-A1 isn't an oversized Coke- (3+ / 0-)

          -so invoking "Bloombergism" is a little silly.

          Your decisions on how best to protect your rights and those of your family are indeed yours to make...until they violate the rights of others. Their right to personal safety, for instance.

          If my next-door neighbor has an absolute right to any firearm, then he can get an AR-15 with armor-piercing bullets. And if I'm hit by astray bullet, then that's just my bad luck.

          A background check is an excellent application of the NRA's famous saying "Guns don't kill people; people kill people." So let's make sure that people like felons and psychopaths don't have guns. And in terms of their rights, do remember that their rights have already been circumscribed: Your right to the ballot and to personal freedom will be damaged if you're convicted of a serious crime; people who are judged to be a danger to themselves or to others can be placed in psychiatric detention. Come to think of it, a background check also fits neatly into the Second Amendment's "well-regulated" clause.

          I owned a gun. Ultimately, I enjoyed it. I might own one again. But the notion that I have an absolute right to any kind of weapon, no matter where I live, how I behave, or what I do or have done in the past, is simply untrue.

          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.

          •  There is no right to "personal safety." (0+ / 0-)

            The Supreme Court has ruled that police do not have a constitutional demand to intervene to save you. A variety of activities are undertaken that drastically reduce safety every day. Driving cars, for instance.

            However, there IS a right to keep and bear arms. Your desire for personal safety is just that- a desire. It's not a right in any sense of the word, and if it conflicts with my rights, my rights win.

            •  I'll add a necessary caveat: (0+ / 0-)

              You DO have a right not to be threatened with force, assaulted or murdered. Which is why all of these things are illegal.

              However, unless anyone is actually do such things, they are not in violation of any of your rights.

              You do NOT have the right to remove, from everyone around you, the POTENTIAL to do any of these things. Which is what the "my right to safety" crowd is actually advocating.

        •  I would've said, "Don't TSA me," but you, CarlosJ, (0+ / 0-)

          did a better take on the idea.

          Presuming that a person is a criminal is how we got the whole take-off-your-shoes, give-up-your-hair-jel airport follies.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:17:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's only a life or death issue if someone wants (0+ / 0-)

        to kill you, and most people don't. We have armed police all over the place who mostly don't just start shooting up the place. I've been in countries with lots of poorly trained militia and they might not have the best gun handling habits but they don't use their guns to threaten, intimidate, or shoot people. If someone is acting responsibly I could care less what their perspective or feelings are.

        Probably best you no longer own a firearm though.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 04:53:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ban nock: if it's pointed at you, that's deadly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      force being used against you.

      Loaded or not (and whether or not you can tell).

      And yes. Guns, even in this day and age, are still very potent things.
      I was charmed by the Mythbusters' work on the "Red" movie-based myth: you can, or can't, outshoot a LAW with a pistol?

      They did. I think it surprised them.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:13:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like this diary as it is frank and direct. (9+ / 0-)

    I also like it because it is relatable and personal and I find a lot of agreement with the diarist regarding how I feel people should respect firearms.

    Even being well versed with firearms I was a bit apprehensive about walking around with a loaded handgun but grew accustomed to my use as did the diarist.  It is a healthy respect that everyone should have for any tool that can cause serious bodily harm - lawnmower - bandsaw - motor vehicle - firearm.

     I've seen my share of people who didn't have proper respect for firearms and lawnmowers and especially motor vehicles and it makes me think the person responsible for instructing them failed or they have grown too familiar and need a refresher.  

    I would not be against the same kind of class in school on firearm safety that one gets before one uses tools in shop class.

  •  I find it amazing how many electrons are spent (9+ / 0-)

    concocting pejorative and demonized imaginings what the vast majority of gun owners - the ones who never misuse their arms - must really be.

    But the fact that comparatively little ink is spilled on the gun control side wondering about the psychology of violent offenders is proof positive that it's not criminals that gun control means to get at; and that the rage and hate is directed at the lawful citizens who oppose the political agenda of gun control.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:24:11 AM PDT

    •  imaginings of what the *psychology* of what the (7+ / 0-)

      vast majority of gun owners...

      That is. Lawful gun owners are getting a bit tired of bring Fristed.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:55:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or perhaps it's that organizations like the NRA (9+ / 0-)

      ... and its primary backers, the gun makers, don't really care if criminals get guns because, after all, a sale is a sale.

      While the NRA (and even many here) hide behind claims of "Second Amendment!" and "Gun grabbers!" to explain their objection to registration (which could then lead to tracking precisely how weapons reach criminal hands), the reality is that guns in the hands of criminals is a win-win for the NRA and gun makers.

      More sales, and an even better excuse for the NRA to stoke it's "self-defense" fear mongering.

      You can ramble on about "wondering about the psychology of violent offenders," but part of that equation is tracking precisely how these criminals get guns.

      I know you don't want any part of that conversation. Neither does the NRA and neither do the gun manufacturers.

      Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

      by Bob Johnson on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 08:02:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Bill of Rights is now something (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, raincrow, BlackSheep1

        that liberals accuse others of "hiding behind"?

        Is that really how you want to put forth your argument?

        •  The "Second Amendment!" shouts arise any time (5+ / 0-)

          ... any kind of gun laws are discussed.

          There are certainly legitimate claims to discuss these on issues on the grounds of the Second Amendment. But the NRA ratchets up the Second Amendment talk at any instance of discussion.

          "Registration" and "confiscation" are the bogeymen of those who leverage the Second Amendment to detour rational conversation.

          In other news...

          You're still here?

          Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

          by Bob Johnson on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:12:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Address the actions of the NRA to the NRA. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackSheep1

            Registration has already lead to confiscation in the US so it is a valid concern.  Confiscation has been a precursor to some of the most horrific actions of a government on its own people and I don't put anything past the actions of our government because in the past they have: shot protesting students, exposed Americans to sexually transmitted diseases, exposed soldiers to radiation and lsd for testing purposes, exposed American civilians to radiation for testing purposes, rounded up hundreds of thousands of American citizens based only on their ancestor, funded sterilization programs for "unwanted" segments of society.

            Yes I am still here and I will continue to be here to point out how ill-liberal your defense of positions are and how what you believe are attacks on others are historically off-base.  I enjoy being a counterpoint because in the course of review readers, when offered the choice of your or my defense of our positions, will always choose the better-documented and more rational.  I believe that this is best represented by my position.

            •  No, registration has not led to confiscation. (5+ / 0-)

              Not at all. In NYC, owners of certain weapons had to store those weapons outside of city limits. In California, guns were not confiscated.

              But keep peddling those tall tales. Right out of the NRA playbook.

              Your government confiscation fears are directly from the fear-mongering pablum of the NRA.

              And then you try to distance yourself from those kooks! Too funny.

              Again, welcome to Daily Kos. Enjoy your stay!

              Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

              by Bob Johnson on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:45:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your statement is contrary to the facts. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BlackSheep1

                The SKS was first registered and than banned and confiscated from American citizens in California.

                Here is but one of many link (go to google and look up California, Confiscation, SKS): http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/...

                Please cease making assumptions about topics you obviously haven't bothered to research.  You're lack of research reflects poorly not only on you and your position but of every poster on this site as I am sure conservatives are watching.  At the very least please stop repeating claims you now know are false - confiscation of firearms has happened in the US and it has happened directly because those firearms were registered first.  I can also detail the confiscation of firearms of blacks done by agents of government in accordance with law in Jim Crow states (done to some my direct ancestors in fact).

                •  Some rightwing loon website. That's your source? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Glen The Plumber, a2nite

                  Typical.

                  Show me a legitimate news source that cites gun confiscation in California (beyond one guy who made a show of his gun).

                  My claim is not false and your source is from a nutjob conspiracy site.

                  Figures.

                  Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                  by Bob Johnson on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 11:30:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Redirection is not rebuttal. (0+ / 0-)

                    There are readily available results from Google and other search engines.  You can even see the law itself at :
                    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/...

                    But if you want other links:
                    http://jpfo.org/...
                    http://www.afn.org/...
                    http://articles.latimes.com/...

                    The fact that these facts exist and are contrary to what you want and imagine to be the facts has no bearing on the facts themselves.

                    You've been proven wrong.  Accept it and move on.  The more you squirm the more you reveal how you are emotionally anchored to needing your beliefs to be reality instead of matching your beliefs to reality.  

                    •  Show me where ANY of these sources cite guns (4+ / 0-)

                      ...being confiscated. Never happened.

                      You're peddling bullshit.

                      No guns were confiscated. That was your claim. None of your sources support that claim.

                      More NRA hysteria. I wonder why you're spouting it?

                      Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                      by Bob Johnson on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:01:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Incorrect out of the gate. (1+ / 2-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BlackSheep1
                        Hidden by:
                        Glen The Plumber, k88dad

                        The original case which started the endeavor was one of confiscation, it eventually went to the SC of California.  That is the case that had the courts include the SKS into the AWB the state passed which lead to retroactive demands to turn in without compensation and after the turn-in period lead to going to registered owners who did not turn in and seizure of property.

                        Here I even looked up the initial appeals:
                        http://www.constitution.org/...

                        •  Show me where guns were confiscated. (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Glen The Plumber, a2nite, randomfacts

                          Heh.

                          You can't. Because it never happened.

                          Like I already wrote, you're peddling NRA paranoia and hysteria.

                          Guns were not confiscated.

                          You're lying.

                          Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                          by Bob Johnson on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:17:20 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  And here's the example you cite: (5+ / 0-)
                          Around 8 p.m. on March 10, 1993, Officer Richard Campi of the Santa Clara Police Department responded to a call of a disturbance or fight at room 127 of the Vagabond Motel.  Officer Campi knocked on the door; defendant opened the door and told the officer unnamed people were threatening and harassing him, including neighbors and voices he had been hearing.

                          He said he checked into the motel to escape the voices in his head. [footnote 1] The officer was concerned about defendant's mental state and asked him if he had any weapons.  Defendant consented to the officer entering to examine his weapons, including an SKS rifle with a detachable 30-round magazine attached to it, a separate 10- round fixed magazine, a loaded Ruger Black Hawk .45 .caliber revolver, a loaded Colt .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol, 310 rounds of ammunition for the SKS and 100 rounds of .45 caliber pistol ammunition.  Officer Campi  removed the 30-round magazine from the SKS simply by opening the bolt and pulling a latch.  He checked the Penal Code and consulted with his supervisor and the police department armorer, and concluded defendant's rifle was a prohibited assault weapon.

                          The officer was not proactively confiscating weapons. He was responding to call. And the guy was nuts, so the officer used the law (which was never enforced) to pull the magazine and take the weapon.

                          But, of course, I'm sure you;re in favor of nuts like this (who are hearing voices in their heads) having access to a full arsenal of weapons like this guy.

                          Is this all you have?

                          You're spouting NRA bullshit.

                          And that's par for the course for you, and not surprising in the least.

                          Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                          by Bob Johnson on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:23:20 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  The bolding is mine (0+ / 0-)
          While the NRA (and even many here) hide behind claims of "Second Amendment!" and "Gun grabbers!" to explain their objection to registration (which could then lead to tracking precisely how weapons reach criminal hands), the reality is that guns in the hands of criminals is a win-win for the NRA and gun makers.
          Liberals—they're common on this site—will accuse you of hiding behind claims of second amendment rights. Gun nuts ignore the phrase "well regulated" in the second amendment. They also ignore court rulings since the 1790s. Gun regulation and the second amendment are not mutually exclusive.
      •  Same as Big Pharma making oxycontin. (0+ / 0-)
    •  more bullsh#t arguments (8+ / 0-)

      Let me tell you about crime, having practiced criminal law for 20 years. People are not criminals, then they do something, and are criminals, OK? Sort through the data and find all kinds of mayhem being perpetrated by people who never committed a crime before, then shoot their wife, or take firefighters hostage, or shoot up a school. There is no test. Guns give the power of life and death to whoever is holding them, and people become ill and disturbed every day.

      •  Are you making the argument to assume future (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1

        guilt?  Establish a pre-crime division?  Eliminate the already neutered presumption of innocence, right to trial by jury (already gutted), right to face accuser - and who would accuse someone of a future potential crime?

        Cars give the power of life and death, hammers, fists, cinder blocks, sugar and KN03, ammonia and bleach, knives, baseball bats.  Oh wait - living and having free will gives the power of life and death itself - let's criminalize that for after all we can grant perfect safety to everyone if we only gave everyone the safety and comfort of the grave.

        Your thought pattern is injurious to the respect of each person's rights and its logical conclusion is tyrannical despotic control of the populace from some sort of perfect prognosticating rule-making set.  Oh, you're already a member of that rule-making set, how curious.

        •  It is dangerous to assume (4+ / 0-)

          that people come in one of two flavors - law abiding and criminal.  Life isn't that black and white, not by a long shot.  People make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes make them criminal or criminally minded, if only for a short while.  The categorizing of people as criminals as though that makes them not ordinary law abiding people anymore, but some sort of sub-human group, is dangerous in the extreeme.

          I've rec'd a great many of your comments in this diary, and am surprised to see such a hostile rebut to defndr's comment - his statement was reasonable even if belligerent.

          “In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy.” - Fran Lebowitz

          by Aramis Wyler on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 02:16:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The only "life or death" experience (3+ / 0-)

        I ever had concerned a knife and an enraged husband and there was a gun in the house. My niece's husband wanted to kill her and he wanted to take pleasure in doing it.

        This diary isn't the place to talk about how we saved her and the drama that played out after but when given a choice between killing her with the gun or his knife, he chose the knife.

        You just never know.

        I've lived around guns all of my life, my dad and both grandpas, friends and strangers. Guns are a way of life here, mostly passed down through the family and they are 99% of the time out of sight. The only time they are out is when they are going out to play or to hunt.

        "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

        by high uintas on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:00:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  OMG. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1

        (A sane, adult comment. Eureka !)

    •  You're on to an important point there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      I think the gun rights crowd is failing to address the real fear of the reform crowd, which is a fear of gun owners like the alcoholic I knew who had no criminal record but kept talking about how some politicians needed to be assassinated. Or the latest mass school shooter, may his name be lost to memory.

      The Fat Guy Leaning on the Gun Shop Counter makes their argument for stricter gun laws.

      They're not the "vast majority" by any means but they're the ones who occupy the most public mindspace.

      Rage and hate are not good bases for policy but they're completely understandable outgrowths of fear.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:41:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You respect your guns. Your guns are not toys. (2+ / 0-)

    It's sad but that needs to be codified.

    guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

    by 88kathy on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 11:23:12 AM PDT

  •  Yes, it is a cultural problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    randomfacts

    This is why I really don't think banning certain guns or magazine sizes will make a big difference.  It may save some lives, but small vs the overall scale of the problem because it doesn't really address the root of the problem.

    Even background checks are no panacea, since it can only check for existing issues and not for future ones.  And even then people will find creative ways to avoid it because they want so much to have these guns.

    The problem is that guns are indeed fetishized, and are seen as masculine and very American.  Our action heroes generally speaking aren't Jackie Chans kicking and punching, but Rambos and John McClanes and countless others firing enough ammo to wipe out small armies.  Kids are taught by their parents and are reinforced by their communities that guns make therm manly and powerful and make them someone to be taken seriously.  They are filled with fear-mongering that only by having guns will they be safe.

    Progressives like to scoff at the idea of video games and movies beig part of the problem, but I really think they are.  No, playing Halo will not cause a teen to want to shoot up a school.  But the glorification of gun violence and seeing (and experiencing through a game) so many positive outcomes and problems solved through violence surely must have a psychological impact.  Combine that with a culture that already worships guns and it becomes a bigger problem.

    So what's the solution?  The solution is to try to change values.  Yes, I know that will be hard.  Educate against it.  You will never eradicate it just like some people still see smoking as cool, or dangerous driving as cool, or binge drinking as cool.  But you can certainly make it less socially acceptable to hold such views, and cut the numbers down.  That may require ad campaigns.  It may require stricter ratings on games and movies that are very violent.  And so on.

    •  I thoroughly disagree about magazine capacity (5+ / 0-)

      Reloading time is rushing/retreating time. Just a few minutes with teh Google and you'll find several stories where a rampage shooter stopped to reload and gave his targets the time to overpower him or run the hell away.

      There's no way to argue that a civilian shooter is in any significant way inhibited from her/his exercise of RKBA by limiting magazine capacity to, say, 8-10 rounds. There is no shooting task that cannot be accomplished without expending 30 uninterrupted rounds, not in hunting, target shooting, or plinking, or (short of the zombie apocalypse) self defense.

      Perhaps the closest we have come to the unfettered exercise of a Constitutional right -- where it is recognized -- is the enjoyment of equal protection under the law. But where the exercise of a right can cause demonstrable harm to individuals or arguable harm to society, it is accepted in American jurisprudence that the the boundaries of those rights can be explored and mindfully (and reversibly, with the times and circumstances) contracted/circumscribed.

      It is an unequivocally established fact that forcing rampage shooters to reload provides rush/retreat time. That in and of itself, weighed against any injury to RKBA caused by magazine capacity limits, prevails when the worth of a human life is properly balanced against the rights that human can only exercise if alive.

      YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

      by raincrow on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:41:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Non-gun violence kills too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, BlackSheep1

      I don't know how to change a culture either, but American culture is way too friendly to violence of all kinds.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:46:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Video games very are popular in Japan (0+ / 0-)

      Guns are not common in Japan. The result is little gun violence in Japan. The solution is obviously less guns.

      I'll stop being overly simplistic in my responses if you'll quit saying that video games have anything to do with gun violence. Your personal feelings are irrelevant when the lack of a link between violence in culture and real life violence has been proven over and over.

  •  I admit I don't like it when some gun owners (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnel

    have that "Yeee-HAW!" attitude towards their firearm-owning responsibility, and I actively disdain it...

    ...and I also disdain the notion among some folks that every single gun owner falls into the "Yeee-HAW!" category and there is no other alternative. I'm not saying that's your case (obviously; I actually think you have a good perspective) but there are those... sigh.

    The internet is ruled by cat people. Dog people are busy playing outside.

    by Canis Aureus on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:07:11 PM PDT

Click here for the mobile view of the site