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OK, so im aware this may be a delicate subject for some, but as a resident of the UK it is shocking to tuen on the news and hear of yet another gun related killing. First and Foremost our deepest sympathies go out to the families of those involved, but should this sort of thing still be happening on whay now seems to be a monthly basis?

 

The latest incident made a lot of people sit up and wonder if it was time for the US to tighten gun laws. Most of the killers guns were said to have been bought legally which is a worry.

Now, on our news they had a Professor of Politics from the US and asked her why Obama wasnt doing anything about it and i was suprised by her reply. She said that as the majority of the senate is republican they would never vote in favour of democratic legislation no matter what it was (a little petty and childish on the face of it) and that the NRA provides a lot of funding to the goverment, which seems a bit of a bad "sponsor" to have with all thats going on.

My point of all this is, is for those American citizens on here, where do you stand on this debate, what could be the solution?

As an outsider looking in maybe tighter laws on who can purchase/own firearms and what firearms are legal seems to be a logical step

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Quick take:

 

Enforce current gun laws; cut out loopholes in gun sales that allow purchases without background checks; if they do not file for a gun timely, that's too bad -- wait. We can't have readily available guns for mental health issues individuals, violent crime owners, etc. 

State gun laws will not work because people import guns from other states -- any law must be federal.

We need more free gun education.

I think gun nuts, who go on the defensive every time this issue crops up, need to chill -- they put the fear of Obama taking guns away from responsible owners, when that is not the issue. It's about keeping guns away from people who should not have access to gun ownership.

We need to be more open about mental health issues and getting treatment -- to many people do not obtain counseling, and self-medicate, or do not medicate. We need parents who take charge of their kids.

We need smarter kids -- our education system has taken a downturn.

I don't know if we are still a gun culture in the sense that kids grew up with guns - I was trained to handle a gun early and often with bb guns, air pistols, then a .22 rifle.

I think the video game generation that we have is not educated sufficiently. And we have more mental illness. Guns for too many, I think, are like a video game to some, and that makes it cold blooded.

My initial thoughts without research..

Edited by Mr. Desmond
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I own a 45 pistol, and a 30 carbine that I keep handy.. Both are semi auto. I have all the appropriate permits, as does my wife.  I also own an antique, 60 year old  30/30 Winchester that is kept in a safe, along with a few other weapons, from my military days.

 I used the carbine to stop a home invasion some years ago.  I was taken into custody, investigated,  and released with in 4  hours.

I don't think tighter gun laws will solve anything. It's my opinion that the bad guys will continue to be able to get guns, no matter what controls are put in place. 

As for our current crop of DC politicians, most are (allegedly) owned by others and not those who voted for them. The NRA is one of those owner/handlers. Our Donkey, and Elephant politicians  also like to get into pissing matches with each other as a way of measuring their's and their handlers "johnsons". 

The only solution I see is for more intelligent, armed security in public places. More metal detectors should be in use. You get caught with an unregistered weapon, you spend the the next 10 years of your life  in a prison out in the middle of the hottest part of the desert southwest. 

 

What happened in Oregon was very unfortunate. However, innocent  people from all walks of life are being killed everyday with guns all over the world.   

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I disagree with some of the above, although points made are valid -- But problems are not resolved by throwing up your hands, and say the solution is more security, which leads to more guns (imho).

Common sense restrictions will help over time - we're not talking about people with previous criminal behavior much of the time in these mass shootings- we're talking about demented, mentally ill people.

Apparently, more guns do not make people safer.

______

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/09/19/u-s-has-more-guns-and-gun-deaths-than-any-other-country-study-finds/

The United States has more guns and gun deaths than any other developed country in the world, researchers found.

A study by two New York City cardiologists found that the U.S. has 88 guns per 100 people and 10 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people - more than any of the other 27 developed countries they studied.

Japan, on the other hand, had only .6 guns per 100 people and .06 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, making it the country with both the fewest guns per capita and the fewest gun-related deaths.

Drs. Sripal Bangalore, who works at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Dr. Franz Messerli of St. Luke's Medical Center studied the statistics of guns per capita and gun deaths. They used firearm injury data from the World Health Organization and guns per capita data from the Small Arms Survey to put together a list of 27 developed countries.

They said they carried out their study because of what they said are seemingly baseless claims on either side of the gun control debate.

"I think we need more of what I would call evidence-based discussion and not merely people pulling things out of their hats," Bangalore said. "We hear time and time again about these shootings, especially in the last year or so. A lot of claims are made…so we wanted to look at the data and see if any of this holds water."

They concluded that more guns do not make people safer.

 

From politifact:

Summary: There have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths since 1968, compared to 1,396,733 cumulative war deaths since the American Revolution. That’s 120,130 more gun deaths than war deaths -- about 9 percent more, or nearly four typical years worth of gun deaths. And that’s using the most generous scholarly estimate of Civil War deaths, the biggest component of American war deaths.

 

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/aug/27/nicholas-kristof/more-americans-killed-guns-1968-all-wars-says-colu/

Gunfire deaths

As we did in our previous fact-check, we used a conservative estimate of data from a 1994 paper published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to count gun-related deaths from 1968 to 1980. For 1981 through 2013, we used annual data sets from CDC. Finally, for 2014 and the first eight months of 2015, we estimated that the number of gun-related deaths were equal to the rate during the previous three full years for which we have data — 2011 to 2013.

Here is a summary. The figures below refer to total deaths caused by firearms:

 

Years

Firearm-related deaths

1968 to 1980

377,000

1981 to 1998

620,525

1999 to 2013

464,033

2014

(estimated based on rate from 2011-2013)

33,183

2015

(estimated based on rate from 2011-2013)

22,122

TOTAL, 1968-2015

1,516,863

So the statistic still holds up: There have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths since 1968, compared to 1,396,733 cumulative war deaths since the American Revolution. That’s 120,130 more gun deaths than war deaths -- about 9 percent more, or nearly four typical years worth of gun deaths. And that’s using the most generous scholarly estimate of Civil War deaths, the biggest component of American war deaths.

We’ll offer some added thoughts for context.

These figures refer to all gunfire-related deaths, not just homicides. In fact, homicides represent a minority of gun deaths, with suicides comprising the biggest share. In 2013, according to CDC data, 63 percent of gun-related deaths were from suicides, 33 percent were from homicides, and roughly 1 percent each were from accidents, legal interventions and undetermined causes.

There’s a risk in using a statistic like this to decry mass homicides carried out with guns. Using total firearm-related deaths makes the case against guns more dramatic than just using homicides alone.

However, in our view, Kristof framed this comparison with care. He mentioned suicides not once but three times in his column, and he referred broadly to the "unrelenting toll of gun violence," not specifically to the toll of gun homicides. Indeed, at one point, Kristof specifically referenced the impact that stricter gun laws can have on gun suicides, writing that in 1996, after a mass shooting in Australia, lawmakers tightened gun laws. "The firearm suicide rate dropped by half in Australia over the next seven years, and the firearm homicide rate was almost halved," according to data published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, Kristof wrote.

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Quick take:

 

Enforce current gun laws; cut out loopholes in gun sales that allow purchases without background checks; if they do not file for a gun timely, that's too bad -- wait. We can't have readily available guns for mental health issues individuals, violent crime owners, etc. 

State gun laws will not work because people import guns from other states -- any law must be federal.

We need more free gun education.

I think gun nuts, who go on the defensive every time this issue crops up, need to chill -- they put the fear of Obama taking guns away from responsible owners, when that is not the issue. It's about keeping guns away from people who should not have access to gun ownership.

We need to be more open about mental health issues and getting treatment -- to many people do not obtain counseling, and self-medicate, or do not medicate. We need parents who take charge of their kids.

We need smarter kids -- our education system has taken a downturn.

I don't know if we are still a gun culture in the sense that kids grew up with guns - I was trained to handle a gun early and often with bb guns, air pistols, then a .22 rifle.

I think the video game generation that we have is not educated sufficiently. And we have more mental illness. Guns for too many, I think, are like a video game to some, and that makes it cold blooded.

My initial thoughts without research..

Stricter gun control laws would be beneficial and I think we should have them but like Patch I think they won't change a whole lot.  More education and training are good and I think we should have that too, but that just stops the accidental deaths.  

The issue to me is how do we identify/stop what are obviously(at the time) unstable people from using such an effective means to lash out and murder en masse (and before they do it and without infringing on their rights)?  How do you know if someone is going to be a psychotic?  Lots of people in these situations you hear were quiet types that kept to themselves, they seemed odd but never hurt anybody, and then BOOM they lose it.  Yes, sure they may have written some stuff and posted that after the fact says "oh, wow we should have seen this" but hell, I could go and find numerous posts on this website that would be just as bad.  What are we to do? 

I think one thing that is also an issue is not just the self medicating and not medicating.  I think it is when people are on medication and they stop taking them.  I had a girlfriend who took Xanax, sometimes she would rather spend her money on other things than Xanax and when she was not on it, she would become a completely different person, it was real Jekyl and Hyde stuff.  I think one of the biggest problems is all of the types of drugs they are pumping into people, and then when you can't afford it, or try to stop using it, things can get really crazy.  I do think that pharmaceuticals have played their role in more of these killings than the companies would ever like to admit.

Russ, sadly this is what our system does, the party in power in a two party system where politicians are beholden to the deep pocket money that got them there will vote in their party's interest and the special interest groups interest.  It is a sad way to govern in my opinion, at least in times before, they would get legislation passed for the people.  Now it is all about being the party that brought you this or brought you that, and if they can't be the party to do it, they shut it down.  This is why I am an independent and in favor of a political system with term limits, public campaign funds only, and a federal election system that would work more or less like a US Open,  You have to qualify at lower levels and build momentum, this gives candidates equal footing and in general should allow the platform and ideas of the candidates to take center stage instead of the money that gets them in front of the people.  

 

Edited by Gator Hazard
Horrible grasp of the English language and grammar
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Quite simple really. First off, murder in the usa is illegal, that doesnt stop these people from doing it, so outlawing guns is NOT going to stop people from acquiring guns. Secondly if u outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have them. I HATE any and all violence!!! But I should be allowed to carry a fire arm to protect myself, my family, and my neighbor. Protecting ones self is a GOD given right.

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Quite simple really. First off, murder in the usa is illegal, that doesnt stop these people from doing it, so outlawing guns is NOT going to stop people from acquiring guns. Secondly if u outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have them. I HATE any and all violence!!! But I should be allowed to carry a fire arm to protect myself, my family, and my neighbor. Protecting ones self is a GOD given right.

Well, no one has made the argument for outlawing guns -- the point is to make it more difficult for mentally ill or violent criminals to acquire them (guns show exception - just ship the guns once approved), to educate, to open the doors for more mental illness treatment, for parents to take control of their kids, and be parents. 

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My guns must be defective.  They've never killed anyone.

I do, however, thank God that I live in a country that affords me the right to arm myself in order to protect myself and my loved ones should the need occur.

This tragedy, like so many before, occurred in a "gun-free zone".  Sadly no one mentioned that to the gunman.  I'm sure, had he known, he wouldn't have committed his crimes....

Edited by David in FL
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Quite simple really. First off, murder in the usa is illegal, that doesnt stop these people from doing it, so outlawing guns is NOT going to stop people from acquiring guns. Secondly if u outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have them. I HATE any and all violence!!! But I should be allowed to carry a fire arm to protect myself, my family, and my neighbor. Protecting ones self is a GOD given right.

I heared that before, and  can't wrap my head around that you (and some others) really don't see how weak that 'argument' is. Since we are talking about guns laws and regulations, all legally obtained guns are per definition not owned by outlaws, only untill you start using them for something you are not allowed to do. In other words, and in the specific case of the Oregon shooting, Chris Harper-Mercer was not a outlaw, only untill he decided to shoot innocent people. He bought all of his guns legally. I realise there's no guarentee that with stricter gun laws he wouldn't have weapons, we will never know, but it's a fact it would be harder for him to get and maybe even impossible. It's also a fact that there's no other modern / western country in the world with school shootings on a regular basis. Okay, USA is big, but even if I take the whole continent of Western Europe I can't remember the last school shooting; it must be years ago? While in the USA in 2015 alone it was like the 45th.... (correct me if I'm wrong, I think I read about that number). How many of those involve weapons bought legally? And yet, after school shooting number 25023475 or whatever, people are still lining up saying it has nothing to do with gun laws, while in other countries the count is like 0. Amazing...

 

It's a complete mind**** for me that people honestly believe that bringing more guns in society, will make that society saver. The number of gun deaths (also by guns that are bought legally, or with accidental victims) in USA are enormous compared to other western countries. It's not even close looking at averages. Really. The difference is shockingly big.

 

That being said, I do believe / understand that stricter gun laws won't make your society saver tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Criminals won't turn in their weapons tomorrow. Duh. So for you personally a gun can save your life today. However on the long run, decades from now, I have no doubt whatsoever that your society in total will be a saver place with more gun regulation. So in other worlds, for your (great)grand children it will be saver. On the streets, at home, at school.... I have no doubt. But you need besides stricter gun regulation also a mentality change; and that one is the hardest, if not impossible.

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Discussions like this won't change anyone's minds on either side, however my 2 cents is that we need a combination of stricter gun control laws, notably handguns and any type of automatic weapons.   I don't hunt, but feel that proper hunting equipment is sports equipment and should be locked up.   We also need to start treating mental health issues more importantly and at minimum we need to have a better system for background checks.

I echo something from a prior poster int this thread.   Changes today will take time.   We have more guns that any other nation and hence we have more violence.   If we were completely strict on guns, there are still tons around but hopefully for future generations there will be less, much less.

To me, it's numbers.   Less guns is less violence.   Also it's just a fact that a weapon that cannot shoot as many bullets cannot kill as many people in these situations.   In any horrible tragedy, a knife could kill people but it won't kill as many.   A non-automatic weapon doesn't shoot as many bullets at people hence the people hurt or killed will be less.

I also interpret the Second Amendment as regarding people bearing arms to protect the US, as part of a militia.   Not a universal blanket to own weapons.  I prefer the strict laws that are in the U.K., which has a very low gun violence rate.

 

What's a shame is that where there is agreement on some beginning steps on this issue, politicians won't take it up.   Like a lot of issues people on both sides, either by up-bringing, experience or thought into the issue, have their points and valid reasons for thinking the way that they do.   But even where there is some agreement, people in Washington manage to whizz it.

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My guns must be defective.  They've never killed anyone.

I do, however, thank God that I live in a country that affords me the right to arm myself in order to protect myself and my loved ones should the need occur.

This tragedy, like so many before, occurred in a "gun-free zone".  Sadly no one mentioned that to the gunman.  I'm sure, had he known, he wouldn't have committed his crimes....

This is the real issue. The shooting was stopped when good guys with guns showed up. That guy that heroically charged the gunman with his bare hands would have ended that shooting immediately if he was armed. You can't have a country with guns and then restrict where you can have them. That gives life and death advantage to the bad guys, the "radicals." 

Also, as David said, I am thankful to live in a country with the right to protect my family from criminals. Force wins every time. A country where the only firepower lies in the hands of the government is concerning to me. Who is there to check the government? North Koreans can't have guns, how does that work out for them? The American Revolution occurred because guys with guns were able to stand up do a corrupt government. 

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This is the real issue. The shooting was stopped when good guys with guns showed up. That guy that heroically charged the gunman with his bare hands would have ended that shooting immediately if he was armed. You can't have a country with guns and then restrict where you can have them. That gives life and death advantage to the bad guys, the "radicals." 

Also, as David said, I am thankful to live in a country with the right to protect my family from criminals. Force wins every time. A country where the only firepower lies in the hands of the government is concerning to me. Who is there to check the government? North Koreans can't have guns, how does that work out for them? The American Revolution occurred because guys with guns were able to stand up do a corrupt government. 

Thank you, Reverend Huckabee.

Of course, guys with guns stopped it. 

But why did the shootings occur and how can you prevent them without harming the rights of responsible owners?

I'd like to see if more studies exist that state more guns does not make people safer.

 

Per capita gun ownership is the highest in Louisiana.

Lowest per capita ownership is Hawaii.

Who has the highest per capita gun-related deaths?

(LA)

Edited by Mr. Desmond
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But why did the shootings occur and how can you prevent them without harming the rights of responsible owners?

It may very well be that the price we pay for a "free" society is that bad things will happen. Freedom by its very nature is unstable, it means people have choices and face consequences, it is not a utopia. 

Edited by Braivo
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I think one of the problems is that the guns are already in the population and the only way to claw them back is what many would call radical.  Besides it is the stolen guns and unregistered guns, the illegal ones that are of worry.  I wonder how much changes with stronger gun laws.  If a crazy person can't get a gun but is willing to kill people, why do we think they would not go to extreme measures to get weapons in the first place?  "What?  I can't have a handgun because I am crazy?  That's okay, my neighbor showed me their gun collection, I know they go to work at 8am".  Or more practically, they have a family member, maybe even mom or dad who has one and they just use that one which was gotten legally.

I am still for stricter gun control laws, but just feel like the cat got out of the bag a long time ago.  Over time the guns have to be taken out of the criminals hands. 

I would also like to see technology that only allows authorized persons to fire the weapon, however that may be, so at least if my gun is stolen or an intruder gets in and wants to try and use my gun against me, its basically a paper weight.  This doesn't help with the guns that are already in existence but it's a start.

Edited by Gator Hazard
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No solution to any problem is 100% effective, and I think extreme gun people take that argument too far. 

"Can't do anything, it's gonna' happen."

Yes, but can you prevent some of it from occurring?

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Thank you, Reverend Huckabee.

Of course, guys with guns stopped it. 

But why did the shootings occur and how can you prevent them without harming the rights of responsible owners?

I'd like to see if more studies exist that state more guns does not make people safer.

 

Per capita gun ownership is the highest in Louisiana.

Lowest per capita ownership is Hawaii.

Who has the highest per capita gun-related deaths?

(LA)

Out of curiosity, how many of those are accidental versus homicide? There's a difference between an accidental gun death and a murder. One guy was poorly educated and forgot to unload before cleaning or "messing around" (bad idea) with his gun, the other was a crime with intent. 

I only ask because the fixes for the different causes would be very different. It makes you wonder whether an education or restriction approach would be more effective.

Edited by Pretzel
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Out of curiosity, how many of those are accidental versus homicide? There's a difference between an accidental gun death and a murder. One guy was poorly educated and forgot to unload before cleaning or "messing around" (bad idea) with his gun, the other was a crime with intent. 

I only ask because the fixes for the different causes would be very different. It makes you wonder whether an education or restriction approach would be more effective.

Education would surely help as well.   Despite what people think of the NRA, they do have a number of education efforts.   Requiring taking a class or some type of training might be a good step as well when purchasing a weapon.   Although not 100% required, IIRC, most doctors have prospective parents attend child safety and CPR classes.  Even something that reaches large amounts of people that reminds/educates them that guns need to be locked up, secured and not left loaded.   

 

I live in an area where a lot of people have weapons.  They range from someone opening their window to shoot at a deer (in a housing development (mine sadly) ) to people who own multiple weapons and keep them locked up and are extremely safe and sane about it.   That doesn't change how I feel, but it is worth mentioning that they follow all the recommendations and drill it into their children that they should avoid and find an adult if they ever come across one of those guns.   Not a toy, and something to take a serious as not playing in traffic.

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