Coalition of the Confused

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Commonwealth refugees swilling chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.

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Guns. Yes, let's have a discussion   General Confusion

Started 10/5/17 by Johneeo; 28988 views.
In reply toRe: msg 199
Jenifer (Zarknorph)
Host

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

May-14

Di (amina046)

From: Di (amina046)

May-18

P1tbull

From: P1tbull

May-25

I beg to differ. In New Zealand, we don't live with the constant fear that should we walk down the street, or someone breaks into our homes, the perpetrator will have a gun and want to kill us. We never did have, and we still don't have. The reaction was simply a means of making it more difficult for people to get their hands on guns. I don't know anyone, nor have I ever known anyone in this country who would keep a gun for "protection." We have a much lower homicide rate than the average in the OECD, which is the complete opposite to the USA. 

Imagine if you will, living somewhere, let's say an island with for example with 5,000 inhabitants and no guns are allowed. Everyone is a law abiding citizen on that island. Your children can play out in the yard, or head over to the neighbours place to play with their children and when you look out and see they aren't in your own yard, you know they will be at one of your neighbours houses. Tell me, do you still feel the need for a gun? I'm curious as to whether having the peace of mind that you and your loved ones are perfectly safe is enough, or whether now you feel like "I need a gun just in case bad people come over to the island."

RRBud

From: RRBud

May-26

If - I repeat, IF everyone is peaceful and law-abiding, there is of course no need for civilians to go around armed,  Of course, that also implies that there are no dangerous predators where anyone works.

My job takes me out onto a test range for the US military, and there are wild predators living in the general area, including bears, mountain lions and coyotes.  Generally, one can pretty much ignore the coyotes, provided one keeps an eye out to see what they're doing.  Rabies has been known to infect one or two, so it's always best to be aware of their activity and behavior.  But generally they pose no hazard.

The bears are usually not a serious threat, unless one is foolish and has food along - - that might include a candy bar,  When they smell food, the bears can become aggressive.  Usually bear repellant is adequate - for me it has always been sufficient.

The mountain lions are a different matter.  Usually they'll avoid even a lone human, but you never, ever assume they will.  Some will attack even a fairly large human if - IF - that human seems unwary, weak, sick or injured.  But then one can also run across a mountain lion who seems to have been raised by a human while a very young cub - - I encountered one of those some years back.  That one was openly friendly, although I will admit to having my side-arm in my hand the first time that cat approached.  We became friends, he used to like having his ears scratched, and when a 70-pluk kilo wild mountain lion head-butts you, purring and asking to have his ears scratched, it's a very emotional experience.  Sadly, he died a while back, literally while sitting on the seat in my pickup truck - - I did say he was friendly.  So I buried him in a place where one can see the mountains - - he was almost like family,  so of course I'd care for him that way after he passed.

So where I live and work these days, a sidearm is only a normal part of my clothing, and is very seldom used.  Last time I had to use mine was to put down an injured young elk who had been struck by a passing car, and whose rear legs no longer worked.  One shot, then report the animal to the local road cleaning crew.

Something I truly do not understand:  You and others have said that it must be "fear" that causes many of us to carry or own firearms.  I cannot speak for others, but for me it has nothing to do with fear, and everything to do with being able to take care of myself or others if necessary.  One doesn't expect to have to use toe weapon, it's merely a normal tool, very like the sheath knife I always carry at work.  It's used for everything from cutting boxes open to trimming vegetation that's too near some of our instrumentation, to cutting open plastic wrap on materials shipped to us, to any other normal use of a knife in a work environment.  It's no more a dangerous implement - if handled with care - than is my belt buckle.  These are simply normal accessories for my work, as are the boots I wear and the fact I need a good 4-wheel-drive truck with all-terrain tires on it.  Necessary here, stupid to have in any major metropolitan area for the average civilian, who can wear nice dress shoes, a business suit, and drive a fuel-efficient car with street tires.

Different environment, entirely different culture, different dress and accessory requirements.  Even my wife drives a 4-wheel-drive pickup truck, though not needing its off-roat capabilities every single day.  Most city dwellers find themselves extremely uncomfortable out here in "my" part of the desert, and rightly so - they don't know the threat environment.  Our biggest threats are spiders, scorpions, Mojave Green rattlesnakes, and open mine ventilation shafts up in the local hills.  And all our dangerous criminals and drug dealers are from out-of-town.  Our valley of 25,000 people is a pretty quiet place.

Jenifer (Zarknorph)
Host

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

May-26

Do you have any pictures of the mountain lion?  That is such a sad, but lovely, story.

Anyway, everything you said was perfectly reasonable.

Especially given that you can do all this without the need for a rapid-fire rifle with 100 rounds of ammunition.

RRBud

From: RRBud

May-27

Jen -

Sorry, there are no cameras permitted up in that part of the range, so I have only memories of that cat.  I even have to leave my personal cell phone at the office, but that's normal around here.  Kitty was a normal-looking local mountain lion, lighter in overall color than the ones found in many other parts of the Sierra Nevada mountains, but that's normal for this part of the desert.

As for the "rapid-fire" rifle - - I have access to one, but generally it's back at the armory in a locked safe.  I have to practice with it on a regular basis to keep my skills current, but that goes with the job.  My personal one that I own is optimized for competitive target shooting, but nobody in that sport uses one of those huge magazines - - though I will admit to using a modified 30-round magazine to give me the most uniform possible feed pressure on the ammunition in it - 10 rounds, as per California law.  I used to be quite competitive in that sport, but age slowly erodes one's visual acuity, so I can no longer see as well as once I did, and my accuracy is not quite as good as I'd like it to be.  Oh well, price of being an older man - -

P1tbull

From: P1tbull

May-27

With all due respect, if it's not fear, it sounds like paranoia. When you said if everyone was a law abiding citizen then there would be no need for civilians to be armed, that is exactly how we live our lives. I have never been in a situation where my life has been compromised due to a gun! Now I'm not so naive as to say there is no crime here in NZ, or that other weapons can't or haven't been used in crime, but violent crime here is minimal. It would never cross most peoples minds here that if they go out (shopping, school, work, recreation) that there "could" be someone with a gun. I'm not claiming that it is like some form of utopia over here but it perhaps much closer to it than the US. 

As for anything else, and in particular your job, I get it. But your circumstances are very different to the average person living in a big city. 

Regarding your story about the wildcat, that's pretty awesome. When I was over there years ago I never encountered any dangerous animals, but then I never ventured out into the wilderness either. The closest I ever got to anything wild/dangerous was a rattlesnake which had just left the area as I approached the top of a hill to look out over the Grand Coulee Dam. A local was already up there and told us the snake had just gone down the other side. Can't say I was disappointed as coming from a snake-free country, I'm not in any hurry to come face to face with one!

RRBud

From: RRBud

May-28

If one remains fairly alert, most of our venomous snakes can be fairly easily avoided once you know what to look for.  That works best if one is raised in an area where those snakes are fairly common - - shile in high school, my daughter ran track and cross-country, and the team trained in the hills south of town.  The older kids knew where the static hazards were - the abandoned mine shafts, for example - and everyone had looked at photos of the kinds of snakes to avoid.  So, sometimes they'd detour off the usual running path if a Mojave Green was sunning itself in the middle of that path or found crossing it.  Not a problem, and the kids knew to be alert.  Non-venomous snakes were carefully avoided, as well - it's their desert the kids were running through.  But for someone not from this area, walking those paths could be dangerous if you didn't know to avoid walking too near the brush growing right adjacent to the paths, because some of our Mojave Greens are very aggressive.  The kids here haven't had a snake bite for years, even before I came to this valley - but one sees those snakes from time to time.

Regarding the human predators - if one were to remove something like seven to nine of our largest cities from the violent-crime statistics, the rest of the country drops from one of the more crime-ridden countries to one of the most peaceful countries - and the most "heavily armed."  Of course, most rural people regard their rifles as hunting arms, not tools for committing crime, so their cultural attitudes are massively different from attitudes in the high-crime parts of our larger cities.  Unfortunately, there is a growing problem with drug use, and there's violent crime associated with that, but too much of that is directly attributable to our own Government's century-long adamant refusal to secure our southern border.

I don't think that firearms in the posession of ordinary, peaceful and generally law-abiding Americans is a particular problem.  In the posession of the criminally-inclined, of course, it's an entirely different issue, for they mess everything up for everyone.

Jenifer (Zarknorph)
Host

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

May-29

RRBud said:

Of course, most rural people regard their rifles as hunting arms, not tools for committing crime, so their cultural attitudes are massively different from attitudes in the high-crime parts of our larger cities. Unfortunately, there is a growing problem with drug use, and there's violent crime associated with that,

Agree.  While I will never personally see the need for a citizen to own the high powered, large magazine capacity guns, it is short sighted to think that banning them will solve all the problems.

You have to tackle drugs, poverty, lack of education, self esteem and mental illness first.

RRBud said:

but too much of that is directly attributable to our own Government's century-long adamant refusal to secure our southern border.

Here I disagree.  Too many times in history a singular group of people has been labelled as the cause of all the problems in a country. 

It is done so often because the message is easy to sell.

They are the reason you don't have a job, a house, a girlfriend, a car...  They are the reason you don't feel safe.  They are the enemy that must be destroyed.  Once that is done, you will live happily ever after.

In reply toRe: msg 208
Jenifer (Zarknorph)
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From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)

May-29

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