Comments for en-gb 30 Wed 16 Apr 2014 14:22:10 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at happylaze 165 TowersofDub thats another nail hit squarely on the head.or well said that man. Wed 14 Jan 2009 01:05:48 GMT+1 moniman2 A lot of people find this American gun issue to be strange and confusing. Disregarding of the effects of gun laws on violent crime (an issue that is far from clear), let's look at what gun laws mean.They mean that people aren't allowed to own guns. Fine, but the question is, on whose authority?As always, where Europeans ask only "what ought to be?" Americans ask the additional question: "who ought to make it so?" The framers of the constitution knew too well what it could mean to have a malevolent government confiscating weapons from its citizens, and I as an American was ambivalent on this issue until I realized that although gun ownership ought to be discouraged, I would not be willing allow police the authority to insist that I not be armed. Wed 14 Jan 2009 00:48:32 GMT+1 L A Odicean Let's face it, it probably isn't a good idea to let the vast majority of people, (who haven't already shot someone), own a gun. But then I don't believe in God, so they wouldn't listen to me anyway. Tue 13 Jan 2009 22:20:50 GMT+1 Edu Gomez That's quite the debate! I like that Americans seem to think their second amendment is more of a commandment, but no problem, it's your country, and you can run it however you want. I don't think america's crime problems are related to the availability of guns, anyway. I think all the problems in America stem from greed. If a greedy crack addict needs money for a fix, he'll shoot someone and rob them. That's simply a fact of life. If you want to eliminate gun crime, then decriminalize drugs. Most crime in the western world is fueled by the illegal drug trade. The people who sell want to keep making their money. The addicts have no choice but to commit crime to feed their addiction. Just think about it. If the government provided crack free of charge to addicts, how often would an addict need to execute a convenience store clerk for $50 for a bag of rocks? Just give people free drugs. They're going to use them anyway, and at least if they're free no one needs to die, and criminal gangs won't get rich. You'd be in control of the supply, you'd know who is using. The only way to win a war is to take over whatever it is you are at war against. You want to win a war on drugs, then take over the drug trade. With less crack addicted criminals roaming the streets, less people would be held up at gun point, so less people would need guns to defend themselves. That's what this is all about, right? Self defense? Well, be pro-active, defend yourself by getting rid of the root cause of most crime. Decriminalize drugs. maybe you think everyone would become a junkie, but I ask, are you all alcoholics and smokers!? Some people don't even use sugar or coffee, so decriminalization isn't a precursor to mass addiction. Necessity is the mother of invention. Addicts need a fix, the drugs are illegal and expensive, so they have to assault, murder, and rob to pay for it. Tue 13 Jan 2009 19:42:09 GMT+1 kymrukatz While I am in favour of the freedom of the individual (which may, in some cases, include the right to own a weapon) I fail to see why anyone would need to own an assault rifle or AK-47. These are designed to do nothing less than kill people. A handgun would be an acceptable substitute, if you are REALLY afraid for your life... A news item just today reported how teen shot and killed his mother, and injured his father, after an argument regarding a video game. If a gun wasn't available, he wouldn't have been able to do that.I rest my case. Tue 13 Jan 2009 19:32:42 GMT+1 JohnInFortCollins I am a Brit with permanent residence in the United States. I welcome the Supreme Court's decision on gun ownership. We own guns which we enjoy shooting for recreation and for land maintenance. If only the criminals have guns (as in the UK) law-abiding citizens have no way to defend themselves. Dialing 911 (999 in the UK) could be the last thing you do if your home is invaded by armed criminals. Our office in the UK was burgled some years ago. When the police arrived they were about to arrest me because, wait for it, I had an umbrella in my hand. The burglars were coming in through the window. When I dialed 999 the dispatcher told me not to put myself in any danger. I said, 'They're coming in NOW!' Law-abiding citizens need to be able to defend themselves against the brazen violence of criminals emboldened by the well-meaning but delusional activities of do-gooders. Enough said. Tue 13 Jan 2009 19:20:07 GMT+1 improbable_handle I think the 'people kill people' has some truth in it. Switzerland has militia and members keep them at home, it's a question of culture. America was not founded peacefully, and this influences the culture. On a slightly oblique note, why aren't gang members thought of in the same way as cowboys? I think the job descriptions would be very similar. Mon 07 Jul 2008 19:23:11 GMT+1 jacksforge And here's number two big shot. I have all the proof I need. I have lived here in tte US less time and seen more stupid police work with my own eyes than in a life time abroad.Including communist Bulgaria. And Thatchers UK.Night and if you don't like it go back to where YOU came from.And leave it . it may be you that is ruining america.Bud Sun 06 Jul 2008 05:15:30 GMT+1 jacksforge I find it funny you will give me one last post. that is not your call. your US cops have little respect. and are lackeys of big business. Go get your gun.Big deal.I'd give some respect if you were talking about the fire fighters, but cops, man they are just donut jockeys. I trust the FBI before the city cops. Sun 06 Jul 2008 05:11:17 GMT+1 AmericanProud I think i'll give you one last post jacksforge. To base your opinion of any profession or group of people based on the actions of one individual, or based on what Billy Bob the village idiot, or based on what you see on TV, or based on the infamous 'some guy in NY' is about the most childish, ignorant arguement for a stand that I have ever seen. Find someone to help you locate a web sight for a big city police department, say Seattle, and have that person help you go to the recruiting section. Have them explain the qualifications for a basic rookie police officer. If you understand it, you may be surprised. Whether you like them or not, cops are going to be around. That's because thinking people know there is always a need for someone to locate the occasional lost child,bust a pedophile or 2, and sort through the bloody car crash and try to make sense of why the idiot thatwas driving drunk lived and everyone else died. Not so bright? Sir, you aren't good enough to carry a good cops hat to a dog fight. Sat 05 Jul 2008 17:09:04 GMT+1 jacksforge i'll have that nicelife. and point you to past letters where I have said I am fine with people owning guns.I have one rule in my shop . guns are off the body in a box. no one should be fire welding with a gun it the back pocket.and no one else should have to worry that the OTHER idiot isnot as safe with their weapon. those military trained respect that and understand that any pointing loaded or unloaded is not allowed.And you may feel great about cops , but i have yet to meet anyone that thinks they are much more than unconstitutional tax collector, these days. where they cannot respond to crimes because that does not raise money for them.Traffic fines do. as for cops enforceing laws that is an old and easy one to counter. some would think there are three laws in america. no foreigners and no drugs and don't speed.There is little else they show concern over.keep you guns and keep them safe and don't allow anyone to get them ,or use them that might harm themselves or other. or face the punishment. I agree with that.In the above letter I told of being threatened by a cop ., in the court room. the Judge said it was OK and you all think i should "respect cops".No I was smoking an american spirit hand rolled cigarette. which he realised once he pulled me. not the Joint he jumped on his bike to follow me for. It is a little hidden fact that american cop on the whole are not very bright. some , but not so many. infact a guy sued NY because they would not let him in saying he was over qualified. he had a degree. Sat 05 Jul 2008 16:05:06 GMT+1 AmericanProud To Phantomofinferno I don't feel unsafe now, never really have. I've lived around and owned guns most of my life, and feel perfectly safe walking around unarmed 90 percent of the time. What I worry about is the attempts to take away or marginalize all of the rights guaranteed in our constitution, and like it or not, the second amendment is one of them. There is no proof that disarming any citizen of any country makes anyone but the criminal safer. I believe if you are going to have a weapon of any kind in your home, that you have an obligation to make sure that weapon is stored properly, and if someone else is harmed by your neglect, be prepared to face criminal or civil charges. Call me a dinosaur, but I do not believe the constitution is a 'living document' to be interpreted or changed when convenient. There is a process written in to the constitution itself to change it, but you do so at your own risk. Iv'e read post on this subject that would have you believe that gun owners in america are a group of beer drinking, wife beating, racist white guys just dying to shoot anyone. It doesn't quite match the reality I know. I know people of just about every race that own and shoot guns, and we view a day at the range as someone else who may spend a day on the golf course. To make it seem like anything else just makes us less likely to listen to the other sides views on the subject. Sat 05 Jul 2008 15:01:55 GMT+1 AmericanProud Regarding post 155 It's so nice to know that jackforge knows so much about everything! Give him an excuse and he'll let you know how 'bent', racist, etc. that cops are. Sounds like someone who's probably been on the wrong side of the law and isn't really aware that;a) Cops don't make laws, they enforce them.b) Cops don't decide revenue increases. State legislators and the voters, in some states, do.c) Last time I checked, it seemed to me that cops bleed red too. Our citizens seem to think that once a man/woman puts on a badge they become something less than human. That would give me a bad attitude.The focus of this post was a decision by the high court to recognize something that most THINKING americans knew, The right to keep and bear arms is an individual, not collective right in america. I am way to mature to worry about anyone that will try to make it a racial, anti-government, anti-corporate rant. Don't like cops? Don't call 'em when you need help. Don't like the country? Don't come here or leave it. We won't stop you. Myself, i'll stay and enjoy the freedoms that I believed in enough to serve in the military for, and keep my gun handy in case one of those BRAVE, HONORABLE, and COURAGEOUS police officers you hate so much needs a bit of assistance. Have a nice life!! Sat 05 Jul 2008 14:28:08 GMT+1 jacksforge 301 million. wow did the supreme court tell the cops to stop trying. did they say people you are the law now?forget the cops. if cops are so popular how come they fail to get tax revenue increases approved by the peopel.,here in Oregon. If the cops are so good how come they arrest people for protesting illegal destruction of buildings. as in New Orleans where two are charged with terrorism because they used a device that makes it hard for cops to remove them. the last thing the cop need is a gun happy jerk shooting him as he follows a perp around a building.british gun crime still WAY less than america but every enent is big because we still do not like armed idiots out there. people jump under trains etc.yea, but that was not what I was answering. he asked if the swiss were obliged to own and know how to use their gun. I said they may reconsider your pathetic.I'd forge your money its one of the easiest. except one thing that would stop me. it is illegal tender. even the supreme court said the money Must be in some way identifiable to the blind, which american money is not. the most advanced society , with the most concern for peoples rights and the blind have to rely on people no to rip them off. which is not good enough by even your courts standards. yet despite this they continue to introduce money with no blind accessibility.Phantom of inferno. Where do you guys get your names from.?check the links. they have slow response times in the UK to.And i have lived in both. and well. I thought the brits were crazy until I met more yanks.All you nationalistic peopel are idiots. Oh and btw, I still KNOW american cops are bent. screw you if you think other wise. the reason I say they are bent is because they " don't break the code" Read 2000ad they had a character,judge dread, now he saw a crime no matter who commits it. not so with american police. only a little more so with UK police.Check out Who killed the electric car. there is a great sceen where the cops force the protesters away from a demonstration so GM could take perfectly good working cars in order to destroy them. They had payed leases on them until the company decided to bury the EV project. they took these cars back despite owners liking them and crushed them. the owners had offered to buy them out right. but all along the cops are there for business. cops putting pepper spray on towels and dabbing protesters eyes. because they sat and did not move when told to. Your cops are thugs. If they do not stand up and call out the bad apples then the barrel goes rotten. hell I got a step bro in law who's a sheriff.He's a nice enough guy. I would not trust him to make the right decision.He's not racist, just not racially aware. I agree with others that say they are underpaid. but then they are overpaid if they are not preventing crime. Your cops are little more than corp. protection rackets.Some do it to be fair, many do it because they think they are tough, some want to give back, others want to control.Either way I will not trust cops until I see a reason to. and being threatened in a court room is not a good way to get me to think good of the poLICE.I don't give a damn what you say because you could be just like MA , a self serving idiot with blinkers on to all other problems. I'll treat cops like humans when they behave like it. american cops do not. british cops do,on the whole. they do not bristle , they do not look at all , like they are criminals .Watch cops. wow and they put that on TV. those cops are often(not always) total thugs.Love it stick with it. but don't tell me to agre with you until you can show more honesty in the US system.OH and they are racist . like i said just look at the prison statistics. Sat 05 Jul 2008 07:49:16 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII One good reason for Americans to have guns is that we never know when the Redcoats might try to return. I have a hunch the next time they come it will be in disguise. Now what do you supppose they will be disguised as? Forgers? :-) Sat 05 Jul 2008 00:54:24 GMT+1 PhantomofInferno #130 jacksforge,"yea check your news better M erronious. the Swiss are having a problem.suicide too easy with all those guns.BBC did a story on that a few months ago,"People who want to kill themselves always find a way. Look at Japan, which has extremely tight restrictions on firearms within the country. They have a disproportionately high suicide rate. How do they do it? Jumping off buildings or in front of subway trains, etc.People are creative.#150 jacksforge,"149 nice well put , but if america did not have the guns and instaed spent that money on police wages would you not be safer?I agree if you say no.but only because OUR cops are so bent."Unfortunately, police cannot arrive on the scene instantaneously. Once we develop teleporters, however, the situation will change. Until then, those 10-15 minutes will be an eternity as you and your family are being robbed. Sat 05 Jul 2008 00:24:16 GMT+1 AmericanProud Forgot to tell you jacksforge. I like, respect and admire most cops. My parents were both involved in law enforcement, and I grew up knowing good cops. 'Bent' cops never seemed to last long in the honest company I knew. Fri 04 Jul 2008 20:37:06 GMT+1 AmericanProud jacksforge, Have any idea how big, population wise, America is? More police is a fine concept, however, the Supreme Court ruled years ago that the police cannot be held responsible if you are a victim of a crime. There is no obligation to protect anyone from crime in other words. I feel uncomfortable about asking a man or woman who may barely make enough of a wage to put their lives on the line for me if I won't take at least some responsibility for my own protection. I read BBC on-line as much as possible and i'm pretty aware of the serious crime problems the UK is going through right now. I guess gun bans really do work, for the criminal element that is. Fri 04 Jul 2008 20:21:14 GMT+1 jacksforge 149 nice well put , but if america did not have the guns and instaed spent that money on police wages would you not be safer?I agree if you say no. but only because OUR cops are so bent. Fri 04 Jul 2008 18:05:34 GMT+1 AmericanProud I think most people posting here have missed a key point to the court ruling, that being that the majority found a HISTORICAL basis for the individual right. Having researched the history of the 2nd amendment, I came to that conclusion years before the court decided to look at the case. Take some time to look at what the founding fathers meant when they wrote it. Look to the Federalist papers and other writtings during that era and I think you will find that a majority of them meant an individual right when the amendment was written. I realize that many europeans have a hard time understanding why some of us americans fight so hard for this one right, as outdated as some of even my fellow americans may feel it is. The easiest, and strongest answer is that when you give up one right, the government will begin to feel free to take any other. I live in a state that recognizes and practices the right to carry and LAWFULLY use firearms. The state also has laws on the book that punish the misuse of those weapons. I also live where at night, we may have 2 county Sheriffs deputies covering the whole county. Your first defense is often yourself, and many of the criminals you may encounter are not locals, but come from outside the community. I will finish off with an old saying my father was fond of, 'An armed society is a polite society'. Fri 04 Jul 2008 16:28:51 GMT+1 afreeamerican Many quotations from our founding fathers embrace us in society today.The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.James MadisonThe means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.James MadisonIf Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.James Madison Fri 04 Jul 2008 12:47:00 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill TFrederick (#146), I can't find anything in the Intolerable Acts specifically relating to the seizure of firearms, but apparently General Thomas Gage, then Governor of Massachusetts, thought it prudent to do so in connection with his trying to enforce the Acts. That's an interesting bit of history which you have introduced into the discussion.As for your remarks concerning the "militia," this is, of course, where all the controversy has been centered for many decades in discussions of the meaning of the second amendment. The Supreme Court gets the last word (that counts), however, and the recent opinion addresses the question for the first time and settles it by making a distinction between the "prefatory" clause (regarding the militia) and the "operative" clause. The second amendment has been interpreted to mean that the people, generally, have an individual right to possess operable firearms which is not dependent on their actual service in a militia. This is now settled law, and whatever people may think the "militia" clause meant, the Court's opinion is the only one that matters. Wed 02 Jul 2008 16:05:20 GMT+1 TFredrick I had intended to stay out, but after reading some of the comments, I thought I should comment.The 2nd Amendment was a direct response to one of the Intolerable Acts, specifically the seizure of firearms from Crown citizens.At that time, it was legal to own them. The colonial governors fearing resistance to their OTHER violations of Crown Law, sought to seize private weapons. It was NOT a response to the invasion of Redcoats as has been stated. It was amended to the Constitution, written 11 years AFTER the Revolution, to ensure that the Government would not be able to repeat the act of seizure.Secondly, the wording is very specific. "a well regulated militia".The Militia Act of 1791 (amended several times, but still in effect) stated that the militia was all able bodied males 16-55 years of age. It most certainly was NOT the standing military, but rather the citizenry of the states. The 2nd Amendment expressly prohibits Congress from restricting the membership of militia from owning weapons.Gun control laws have been on the books for some time. When enforced, they work well. When they are not, they're useless. Oh, one other point, the long rifle was not invented in Pennsylvania per se, it was adapted there from a combination of German hunting rifles, and french fusils. TF Tue 01 Jul 2008 23:58:49 GMT+1 ray564k Homicide rate per 100,000 in USA (with guns) in 20013.98In UK in 20020.15How can there even be a debate? There is less gun crime in Britain because fewer people have guns.The Supreme Court could hardly have decided the other way- can you imagine the uproar? There would be so many 'illegal' guns not handed in there would be no point in having the law at all! Mon 30 Jun 2008 21:20:15 GMT+1 peterm99 re: #143 NoRashDecisionsA large part of the 2nd Amendment issue revolves around what the intent was at the time of its inclusion into the Bill of Rights. The only way to do that in a systematic and objective manner is to assess the origins of the concept of a right to keep and bear arms from historical sources and to determine via contemporaneous writings what the understanding of that concept was at the time of adoption and thereby to infer the actual intent.The origins of the concept as written can be traced back to the late 1600s when the right was established in England to protect the populace from the caprices of autocratic monarchy. As someone has previously mentioned, when the US gained independence, they adhered to the basic principles of the English legal system and its legal writing and precedents, including basic rights of the people, rather than starting a new legal system from zero. Therefore, for all practical purposes, when the Constitution was adopted in 1787, the population of the US had the same rights as the British population at the time (of course, we threw in a few extra rights for good measure, but that's beside the point here). At that time, the British population had the right to keep and bear arms in accordance with the English Bill of Rights in 1689.Obviously, since independence, the status of the two legal systems have diverged. What the Brits have done with their legal system _since_ US independence has no bearing on anything here anymore: referring to the state of current British law serves no purpose whatever in trying to infer the meaning of anything in the Cunard's little jest in post #80 - if you look up the definition of "bare" (as opposed to bear) in the dictionary, it will become obvious. Mon 30 Jun 2008 03:56:40 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions Gary A Hill (#73) and peterm99 (#74): Yes, and that is precisely my point Why would the Supreme Court refference out-of-date English laws? I honestly don't understand. The UK has (rightfully so) adopted their laws (be they regarding guns/self defence or otherwise) to fit the changing times and we, in my opinion, despritly need to follow sute!! So why, if the laws which the Supreme Court refference such non-existant laws anymore? What good does it do? I mean its not as if the Supreme Court is trying to make the case that UK citizens get to do X, Y, and Z, and so therefore US citizens should get to do so as well, So why refference it at all?David Cunard (#80): I don't understand your joke refferencing my post at #66. British citizens don't have the right to bare arms because some citizens missused that "right" during the Dunblane shootings! Isn't it true that one gets a minimum of 5 years in prison for just owning a gun in the UK? Never mind using it, just owning one lands someone in prison, right? So how exactly is that funny? I don't understand.I'm not being sarcastic-I'm serious!! Mon 30 Jun 2008 00:55:59 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII jacksforge #130"yea check your news better M erronious. the Swiss are having a problem.suicide too easy with all those guns."Yeah, with socialized medicine, accumulating enough pills at one time to kill yourself on an overdose are too hard to come by. And it's so hard climbing the Matterhorn to jump off. What's a Swiss to do without a gun to kill himself. He just can't find another way. Take away their guns and there will be no more suicides in Switzerland. They'll just be forced to live out their miserable lives as yodeling Euros. Sun 29 Jun 2008 22:50:48 GMT+1 Robin_Starveling ... it is even more interesting that Good Samaritan and Jacksforge are able to conflate Communism, a faith that Man is God and mankind an end, with America Revolutionary ideals embracing the individual as an end with government, his servant. Sun 29 Jun 2008 18:03:53 GMT+1 jacksforge good samaritan watch out the erronious will be on you for talk like that.:)and all so true.good Sam"Interesting how many people on the right romantacize the idea of the "average man" in the same way the Communists and Socialists do with the so-called "proletariat". Hard-working and honest all of them. With a pure heart absent of any ill intentions. "I also find it amusing that a revolutionary country for the people etc. hates communists so's the same concept,at a different time. America and russia should be buddies till death but history prevails. Sat 28 Jun 2008 15:06:44 GMT+1 goodsamaratan Interesting how many people on the right romantacize the idea of the "average man" in the same way the Communists and Socialists do with the so-called "proletariat". Hard-working and honest all of them. With a pure heart absent of any ill intentions. And yet the reality is almost opposite to all this when you see the number of suicides, family fights, friends turning on friends, lovers turning on each other, road rage, or just rage because you looked at me the wrong way. This reality is about to get much worse with this Supreme Court decision and, in the end, we will come to a complete circle and go back to a time when everyone was for themselves. We will in essence devolved from an advanced industrialiazed nation to one resembling the fractured and corrupt societies of third world countries and the warlords that run them. It''s bad enough to have religious freaks trying to prevent our children from understanding the basics of evolution and biology and in that way dumbing down our country and helping it to implode. Now we have to worry about most everyone being armed most everywhere risking the further loss of more American minds needed to keep the US part of the advanced nations in the world. While we keep a lookout on our science curriculum and of each other the rest of the industrialized nations will replace the US in the fields of scientific and social progress this country used to pioneer. Bye-bye US of A, I hardly knew ye. Sat 28 Jun 2008 14:09:36 GMT+1 WyomingPat The difference in the UK is that we always seem to follow the government's guidance on what they think is good for us. The 2 big shooting events/crimes were as a result of the failure to implement existing laws and regs. So we make new laws. It seems that when ever "the majority" does not like something they want new laws to forbid it. Both the gun ban and the hunting ban were forced through the Lords using the Parliament Act which was intended for times o\f national emergency. This is not democracy, it is popularism. We seem to forget that only the law abiding abide by the law. Criminals by their nature break it. Banning guns or knives or anything else only removes them from the hands of the law abiding. Kind of makes sense. So as a boy I and all my friends had knives which we took to school - most of my boyhood activities are now either criminal or against health and safety regs!Were not the US founding fathers incredibly visionary in creating the constitution and the means to protect it? Fri 27 Jun 2008 23:20:00 GMT+1 peterm99 re: #135 bluejay60" . . . functional = not disassembled . . . "The law was quite comprehensive - they had to be either disassembled, or locked away in a gun safe, or have a trigger lock installed. The instant the rifle or shotgun was taken out of the gun safe, or if it was re-assembled, or if the trigger lock was removed, it was at that instant illegal to possess, even if these were done in response to an attacker breaking in the door.There were some verbal mumblings along the lines of "we'd never prosecute anyone for defending themselves" but, according to some statements, weapons were in fact confiscated (permanently) in exactly those situations after the cops finally showed up to investigate the attempted break-in.So, for all practical purposes, the DC ban was a total ban on _all_ usable firearms at all times. Fri 27 Jun 2008 22:43:49 GMT+1 Reuben34g The human race has been going on murderous rampages for thousands of years before fire arms came into play.If you look at the recent past in some African countries you will see that where fire arms weren't readily available, they used what they had: machetes.Violence and aggression are part of human nature, and that's why people need to defend themselves. A few words on pieces of paper won't change that. Fri 27 Jun 2008 20:28:37 GMT+1 turningblueandgrey A lesson to me in the danger of 'skimming' the news. I was sure this was a handgun only ban. I see now upon re-reading, functional = not disassembled, for non-handguns. Thanks Peter.Happy birthday Noble. Fri 27 Jun 2008 20:22:58 GMT+1 peterm99 re: #128 bluejay60"D.C. tried to ban handguns. . . homeowners could have loaded up shotguns, rifles, etc. to defend themselves at home. . ."NO! DC banned all handguns, and made it illegal to possess a functional rifle, shotgun, etc. in the home as well.Many people posting here apparently have no understanding of what the decision actually was. The decision does very little, if anything, in the area of "gun control".The USSC decision did only two things:1. It formalized what the large majority of Americans have always assumed: that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right to own guns, and is not limited only to the National Guard and Reserves.2. It affirmed that "reasonable" gun control laws and regulations are permissible if valid rationale can be articulated. In this affirmation, it held that absolute bans are not "reasonable". Fri 27 Jun 2008 19:05:03 GMT+1 SalemDesign Re: #121 ruralhillsI don't have any problem with a farmer or a rancher having a rifle or a shotgun or two.The law that was struck down was an inner city ordinance... Why not leave it to the voters of your state or city to decide what sort of gun laws they want to have.And just in passing... I had a friend who owned a farm up in Vermont (i.e. rural America)... Who owned a gun and felt he needed it. Do you know why? 'Cause every hunting season he had to defend his property from drunken hunters who couldn't figure out which part of "Posted No Hunting" they didn't understand. Fri 27 Jun 2008 18:57:42 GMT+1 joe_young90 #113 CorduroyMonkey No idea what you are smoking.America is the second most educated country when it comes to college degrees. In fact the US has the best Universities in the world. It is part of the reason why so many foreigners want an education here.Do a little reasearch and you will find US universities at the top of the list. Fri 27 Jun 2008 18:54:58 GMT+1 parritchmaker "Bare" Arms????Surely it should be "bear arms"? Only a little point maybe but it is important!! Fri 27 Jun 2008 18:32:11 GMT+1 jacksforge I think it is wise for every American adult to have a gun if for no other reason than that the Redcoads might try to come back. Aren't adult men in Switzerland required to own a firearm and know how to use it? I don't hear any of you Euros who would emasculate the United States EVER talk about that.yea check your news better M erronious. the Swiss are having a problem.suicide too easy with all those guns.BBC did a story on that a few months ago, but hell there's so much better things to discuss.or read, maybe thats why you remain Ignorent. PS I LOVE VENISON. oh but you can use a bow for that.but then you could use a gun and I would say go ahead.I ain't confused bout guns just don think they need little hidee hide guns in the city.Old days you check your piece at the gates,Oh no that way the movies. Fri 27 Jun 2008 17:56:08 GMT+1 jacksforge Christian left, the documenteory (which I thought was great had a clip of all the news hounds standing outside giving their little said that (not exact words) they have just found a diary of one of the boys . in it he talks of hatred or revenge and says he wish's he could hijack a plane and fly it into the trade towers. this is the news journalist. and yes I know of the first bombing I was in new york working for a removals company and the lads all said quick turn round and take us down to the trade towers,there's been a bomb. but then I was working with the newyork Irish lads .they wanted a look.of course the job got done no quicker and we say nothing. the trade towers were always a target,yes. so why are we going to replace the target with a new one:)seems strange to me.but seriously watch it again wait for the reporters out side in the carpark, and tell me you do not hear the same thing as a discription of 9/11. think before , NO ONE thought of flying an air liner into a building. Except a little boy in colombine.I don't give a damn who came up with it unless there is some thing to be learned. And there is. chance yes , but some one like Bin who hates the states would watch any news of how they screw up, any disaster, and if he saw that broadcast he say a vision. He was crazy enough to get on the case. and even if not we should have hired the colimebine killer as a consultant before he went mad because he guessed what none of us guessed. keep up the good posts I like them . Fri 27 Jun 2008 17:47:44 GMT+1 turningblueandgrey The poster who distinguished between gun protection and gun control made a good point. Any gun legislation seems to rile people up at the mere thought of making sure that you get a background check to buy a gun - consider that home and car loans don't kill people, but we don't have NRA-like groups protesting the very concept of credit checks.D.C. tried to ban handguns. Granted that was extreme compared to background checks, short wait periods, and other typical efforts to keep gun purchases sane and legal. Even under this unusual ban, homeowners could have loaded up shotguns, rifles, etc. to defend themselves at home if they truly felt it necessary. The D.C. mothers interviewed on the radio were pleased with the ban and dismayed at the USSC decision.Now the ban is overturned, and hopefully the city will move on to crack down on dealers (and with Federal help cut off the sources of many D.C. guns in neighboring states), require background checks, keep up the military style checkpoints to disarm gangs, etc.The death toll from our mythological, unfettered liberterian gun policies is not confined to the USA. 100,000s of US-purchased guns enter Mexico every year (and BBC reports the weekly assasinations of their top police officials). Many of those US guns were purchased at shows (still the no background check loophole there) or from private dealers. On two sides of the political spectrum we rationalize using and flirt with legalizing drugs that support criminal industries and subvert our southern neighbors, and we fight even the simplest, practical efforts to make sure only sane law-abiding people buy guns, and thus add part of the drug cartels death toll to our domestic toll. Fri 27 Jun 2008 17:05:04 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill stephen_h222 (#124), rampage killings are not unique to the United States. These have also occurred in Australia, Canada, and the UK. Fri 27 Jun 2008 16:29:19 GMT+1 Web_dweller DC is certainly not this trigger happy nation no ruling like this could have been worse.SE DC will officially turn in an open gang war.Recent shootings in that area made the police establish a worthless checkpoint scheme, what will they do now? Fri 27 Jun 2008 15:48:10 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill Even though it was a 5-4 decision, it is unlikely to be reversed by a future court. It is extremely rare that Supreme Court decisions are reversed for being "wrongly decided." Much more common are decisions arising out of circumstances not considered in earlier cases, which modify the earlier rulings in ways that can either strengthen or weaken them. Thus, the interesting question at this point is not whether some future Supreme Court will reverse this ruling, but what firearms regulations will be permitted by this and future Courts in light of this ruling. Fri 27 Jun 2008 15:46:10 GMT+1 stephen_h222 The thing that gets me about this debate is that it goes completely past what has just happened. The Supreme Court has ruled on gun control, while everyone here is debating whether people in the US should be able to have a gun. They're not the same thing. Even if you have pretty strict gun control like having a background check, cooling off period, longer application process, no massive machine guns without a particular need (god knows what that could be) etc, then you can still own guns legally. So what's the problem? The way you hear it here it's as if people were trying to ban guns. That will obviously not happen as the US is oddly addicted to them. What americans need to remember though is that, fine, have your guns, but you have to accept that every now and then you'll get a Columbine or Virginia Tech. Fri 27 Jun 2008 15:09:48 GMT+1 deschloro On a related note, did anyone think McCain's response was a bit over done? He sounded like Bush the way he immediately used an unrelated court decision to make a political punch at Obama. Sounding like an angry GOP candidate is not a good idea for him for obvious reasons..... Fri 27 Jun 2008 14:39:46 GMT+1 csgators illiniwatcher,Your opinion of your fellow Americans is exactly why many people cannot stand the political left in this country. The idea that everyone (except of course the liberal left) is a gun toting freak that would like nothing better than to blow someone away on a whim is just one example. Everyone (except of course the liberal left) is so stupid that big brother must take care of them and make sure no hurts themselves. This type of elitism is what cost Kerry the election and will end up costing Obama the the militia crowd,To claim that the second amendment was granted solely for militias is to misunderstand the bill of rights. The bill of rights was a list of INDIVIDUAL freedoms that cannot be infringed upon.Thus the second amendment grants the individual right to bear arms. Fri 27 Jun 2008 13:23:13 GMT+1 ruralhills In the rural parts of America, isolated farms, etc., ther are two staples prevalent throughout: guns and dogs.When strangers approach in the night, the dogs bark and the guns come out. Without that protection, the rural farmers would be literally helpless, alone in the middle of the countryside.Crime in these rural settings is relatively rare because criminals are well aware of the risks. Death is a real occupational hazard to burglers out there. Gun ownership keeps those peaceful settings peaceful. Fri 27 Jun 2008 13:19:16 GMT+1 justcorbly #88: (jacksforge) wrote:"US are only guarenteed the right to bear arms to defend against the state."That's nonsense. The Second Amendment and the Court's decision say no such thing. Taking up arms against the government is called rebellion, and the Bill of Rights does not protect that.As I've said before, this decision is wrong, as wrong as the Dred Scott decision. And, like Dred Scott, it will be be overturned by a more civilized court. Fri 27 Jun 2008 13:01:10 GMT+1 Iapetus Re #59 NoRashDecisions wrote:When I mentioned culture, I didn't mean Holywoon (or rap music, or any of the other such things that periodically get blamed for all of society's ills).As you rightly point out, these are younger than the disparities in crime rates, and have since spread to the UK and most of the rest of the world.Rather, I meant general cultural attitudes about government and society and how people should relate to them.Now, I haven't visited America myself, but from reading about it and its politics (from multiple perspectives), and from talking to numerous Americans on blogs and internet forums, I would say that as a general rule, Americans, compared to Britons, are more individualistic, more willing to sieze opportunities to make money, more distrusting of authority, and more sceptical that the government can solve their problems.Now, this isn't meant as a criticism - in fact, I rather admire the Americans for those attitudes. However, I think they also have an unfortunate side effect of making a larger numer of people willing to resort to violence or other crime to get what they want.Another issue may be the "melting-pot" nature of much of America. Again, this is not a criticism - the melting pot creates a vibrant culture that can draw on the best of all its contributors. But at the same time, it also can (and does) risk importing some of the less pleasant aspects of the donor cultures. Plus, with a greater diversity of peoples living together, it may be harder to build a unifying identity, and there are more potential fault-lines for (those who are so inclined) to exploit or use to excuse prejudice.In contrast, consider Japan (which I have visited), which (at present) is an extremely peaceful, law-abiding, clean, well-ordered, polite (and ethnically-homogenous society). (A couple of examples: underpassages wit hflower arrangements in glass cases, where the UK would have graffiti, and public transport that is punctual to a few seconds). On the other hand, it can also be stiflingly conformist, supposedly often very racist (although I never experienced that myself), and still periodically produces nutters who go on killing sprees (just with knives rather than guns). Fri 27 Jun 2008 12:55:06 GMT+1 SalemDesign Re: #98 joe_young90Yeah, I know AK47's are inexpensive. And I gather the ammo was cheap until the DOD started buying it all and shipping it to Afghanistan.My issue wasn't that the person kept and *AK47* by their bed... It was that they felt the *need* to keep *any* gun by their bed.By your statistics, death by any kind of gun in the US is quite far down the list... Heart Disease is number one on your list... Do you keep a defibrillator by your bed? Fri 27 Jun 2008 12:17:01 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII fordie1000Your room-mate could be an axe murderer too. Would you also ban axes? Kitchen knives? The thing about a gun is that it is a great equalizer. A 100 pound woman can defend herself against a 250 pound man. The criminals will never have a problem acquiring a gun. Opponents of gun ownership would disarm their victims. This is NEVER going to happen in the United States. It's been talked about forever. Around 1970, a very popular Senator from Maryland, Joseph Tydings came out in favor of gun control. That was the end of his political career. It is hard for Europeans to understand that ownership of a gun for hunting and protection goes back to the earliest beginnings of life among European settlers in North America and is an inseparable part of American culture. And no, I myself do not and never have owned a gun. But I would not give up my right to so that I could have one if I felt threatened. Fri 27 Jun 2008 11:23:58 GMT+1 fordie1000 I lived in the US for the past 2 years and I found it really hard to come to terms with the fact that I my room-mate could be some nutter with a closet full of weapons!! No wonder we read about people going on shooting sprees! Also, the fact that people over there are so passionate about keeping their gun rights is bizarre! No training or anything given with the weapon ... people keep saying that gun owners should act responsibly but there is no system in place to ensure this. I am not a "gun hater" or anything ... I served for 3 years my National army and enjoyed learning about and shooting guns. I must stress that the amount of time you spend being trained at how to clean/maintain/hold/store your gun is huge before you are allowed anywhere near a shooting range. I would never have a gun in my house ... the place for them is in the armed forces. Without proper training you will more than likely end up killing/injuring someone you know rather than an intruder. Fri 27 Jun 2008 10:06:56 GMT+1 british-ish As so often, this is an issue that is more politically polarised than well-argued. And opinion and anecdote I find it peculiar that so many appear to believe that individuals in the US require guns so as to defend themselves at some time in the future against an elected government. Isn't that usually called either an insurrection or a revolution?And again, the old argument of 'democracy' v. 'monarchy' crops up in a discussion of the 'rights' of a citizen. While the proper term for a British citizen is n 'a subject' it is naive to imagine that British citizens are 'subject' to a monarch, or, practically, have been in even the most minimal way for well over a century, and, it could be argued, not since 1688.Where comparisons of the right to bear arms between the two countries fall down in this discussion is the simple fact that precedents in American law can be derived from English law, but only where there is no other, and when it predates the independence of the US. Any 'right to bear arms' in the UK dating from before that has long been superseded by legislation enacted by an elected parliament.Firearms began to be restricted in the UK in 1920, because of the number of weapons left around after WW1 and automatic weapons restricted to collectors first in 1938 or thereabouts. The 'Dunblane' and 'Hungerford' shootings are irrelevant, since in both cases it was a failure of regulation that allowed them to occur, not the availability of the weapons. Similarly, the oft-quoted example of the Swiss having arms in their homes is not a matter of an individual right to do so, only their requirement to do so as part of 'a well-regulated militia'.It seems to me that given the historical circumstances, surely the original intention was that individuals should be allowed to bear arms for the purpose of forming an organised militia rather than an army (not a population of armed unorganised individuals) if required to repel another English invasion?There also appears to be a problem with statistics quoted here, let alone anecdotal opinion. According to the New York Times, 29,569 people were killed and 64,389 injured by firearms in the USA in 2004; according to a Parliamentary Answer in 2007, in the UK in 2006 210 people were killed by firearms. (That figure also includes murder, accidental death and suicide.) I couldn't find a recent figure for firearms injuries, but in the late nineties it was about half the number of those killed. To maintain a proper perspective, the population of Great Britain is approximately one-fifth that of the USA. There is a lot of concern here about the use of guns, and the number of young people killed by them this year, but even if the number of those deaths continues through the year at its early (we think appalling) rate, the total would not come to more than 20 or 30 at the most. Fri 27 Jun 2008 10:01:58 GMT+1 The_Mighty_Sarcasmo It seems like the prevelant point of view by the advocates for gun ownership seems to be that crime statistics fall when both criminals and non-criminals own guns.So... Are they going to be handing out guns to tourists who come from countries, like the UK, where no one is allowed to carry guns (and where, not-so-coincidentally, the homicide by gun rate is 3000% less than in the US)? Or perhaps an armed escort? I mean, if you're only going to the States on a two week holiday, half of that is going to be spent waiting for your background check. Fri 27 Jun 2008 08:57:31 GMT+1 CorduroyMonkey Imanamericanguy, in the U.S. we do have a heterogeneous population, but you really aren't telling the entire story of why crime is what it is here. It is no secret that we have the highest rates of violence of any industrialized country. We have high crime rates in inner cities because we have huge socioeconomic disparities and institutionalized racism. It's as simple as that. The way that you combat crime, like gang crime and gun crime, is to provide people with well paying jobs and decent educations (not more guns). We have the largest wage disparity in the Western world. It's basically a class issue, which we here in America also don't like to discuss. The Euro countries and Canada do have smaller populations than us, but they also have something we don't have: They have economic safety nets for their citizens, like universal health care, affordable education through college, old age pensions, and other services that we in America continue to describe as "communist," "socialist," "Maoist," and "Stalinist." And yes, I read those last 2 on a website this morning. Universal health care is apparently "Stalinist." Americans are the most uneducated of everybody in the industrialized countries - there's no question about that. Either that, or the right wing does a great job of brainwashing them. Maybe both. Our education system is abysmal, and many folks simply want to abolish it altogether because "the government" pays for it! The U.S. S.Ct. decision today makes me want to leave the U.S. because I support everything this country is not - I support a government that provides services to its citizens, doesn't pay 10B$ a month for endless "war," and doesn't shred its constitution, like we have ours. I've never been so ashamed to be an American. Fri 27 Jun 2008 07:14:21 GMT+1 ozbloke1 thanks for your kind remarks bluejay60. i work at the australian war memorial and so am reminded of the close co-operation between the u.s and aust. for nearly 100 years in various theaters of conflict.I am also reminded however of the need for guns(until the day we can lay them in the ground) and the terrible damage they can do not only to the human body but also to the human heart and all concerned. We here in australia have had our fill of our own gunslaughter and shootouts too, but i still argue that guns be left ih the hands of the professionals.joe_young90, thanks for your comments and insights as well and well done on understanding some of aust's issues and activities in our little corner of the world. Cheers mate! Fri 27 Jun 2008 07:04:17 GMT+1 joe_young90 #107 ozbloke1I see nothing wrong with owning a weapon for self protection or to protect others.I honestly don't feel like I will ever be a victim of violent crime. That being said I don't think my house will ever burn down or that I will die any time soon. That being said I pay good money for fire and life insurance and have a coupble of fire extenguishers in my house. I know from my study of human history and behavior that there are some truly evil people on this planet. People that care nothing for their fellow man.Why did the Australian lead UN peacekeeping force take weapons into East Timor? Obviously to protect a new government from those that would use violent means to enforce their will on the country. Those weapons were needed and although there was bloodshed the outcome was far better than if you had never gone in with a military force.So yes sometimes things do go terribly wrong. I would just rather be able to deal with the problem than simply be a victim.America's problems with violence have almost nothing to do with guns but rather our culture and society. Once we fix those the problem with guns will disappear. Fri 27 Jun 2008 06:03:58 GMT+1 turningblueandgrey Ozbloke #63, thanks for the heartfelt tone of you post directed towards America. Puts me in mind of the Australian-American memorial at the garden in Adelaide. I did not get as far north as Canberra when visiting your country but left with wonderful memories. Fri 27 Jun 2008 05:59:37 GMT+1 haniella Senator McCain is quoted as saying that "today's ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right - sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly". As a US citizen, I am startled that free speech and assembly are "sacred," since "sacred" connects these items to "holiness," hence to religion. The United States still has separation of church and state, does it not? Fri 27 Jun 2008 05:37:15 GMT+1 ozbloke1 ...actually,joe_young90, the treatement of those kids is the shame of all australians, white or black. Fri 27 Jun 2008 05:27:33 GMT+1 ozbloke1 r.e.joe_young90 *101, i hav'nt had my kids shot at school or friends at work either and 10 year old aboriginal children are the most vunerable citizens in our society, are at great risk and their treatement is one of white australia's greatest shame.However, i wouldn't advocate arming australian people to protect them. We have our police and the courts to do this and as slow and difficult this might seem, in the end the actions of a civil society must prevail.Blood, weapons, shooting and killing to protect our own families and friends must surely tell us something is terribly wrong.I am more than willing to learn from an american voice as media must only give me a limited viewpoint(thanks to iamanamericanguy and norashdecisions) but i tell ya something, dosn't look good from here. Fri 27 Jun 2008 05:19:08 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Didn't a loony in Scotland blow away a lot of school kids and then kill himself around 1996? Doesn't seem like gun control in the UK worked very well to stop mass murder there? And then there was that kindly old country doctor in the UK who didn't need a gun at all. I think his weapon of choice for mass murder was a hypodermic needle. Fri 27 Jun 2008 05:08:57 GMT+1 joe_young90 #102 ChristianleftI actually did see a report of police looting a Walmart in NO after Katrina. Just do a search on a popular video sharing site for police looting katrina.I really have a VERY LOW opinion of Louisiana law enforcement in general. That goes for any skin color. Fri 27 Jun 2008 05:07:31 GMT+1 christianleft Just one more thing joe_young90 about #92 though this is sort of off the point in NY in the summer of 1968 there was this huge rolling black out. My mother, grandmother, aunt, cousins were in the South Bronx at the time and can tell you that it was the police some black many white that were rolling their cars up to liquor stores and supermarkets in full uniform and blantanly stealing booze, food, money whatever. It isn't white or black but that was a predominantly and notoriously black neighborhood and these were majority white cops not only looting but allowing complete lawlessness in the citizentry. The white and more influential areas however were realitively safe because of get this police protection. So who then will protect minorites from the police? That's the question forty years later. Fri 27 Jun 2008 04:49:20 GMT+1 joe_young90 #75 justcorbly wrote:"Even if accurate, that has no bearing on today's reality. We should not be constrained by 18th century practicalities."WOW !!!! Just WOW !!!!So your advice is to just ignore the constitution. Amazing?If you don't follow the constituion then it is worthless. There are ways to change it if we feel "constrained". Fri 27 Jun 2008 04:46:27 GMT+1 christianleft Jack's forge #91 you do know that the World Trade Center had previouly been attacked in the early 90's (I forget what year) by terrorists? It was already a terrorist target because of symbolism and strategic location no doubt. I hope you aren't suggesting that the an the seeds of an operation as complex and diabolical as 9/11 were planted by a documentary? Come on be for real. Joe_young90 yes NO was majority black but not true nessasarily of the police force. Let me ask you something did you ever hear any news braodcasts on police(white or black) looting? No you did not but every five minutes the same clip showing a few black guys stealing a plasma rolled again and again reinforcing peoples sterotypes. There was also the story that women and children were being raped; we now know that very little if any of these things happened. They were exaggerations to play on people fears of "well you know how they are " to prove to you why you should be frightened of your neighbor. I know that these things happened because I have friends, family and neighbors who were eye witnesses. Yes a taser at the right setting could stop a persons heart. But I'm not promoting any sort of weapon baseball bat, hand gun or pop gun(LOL). As I said before I'm really not into weapontry and do not particularly care to be schooled this art.... I live in the south and I have a rural family many of whom have a small arsenal. If I wanted to know I'd know. The difference from them and amny Americans is that my family members are hunters and farmers, they eat what they kill. They are also trained outdoorspersons. It is awesome that you know this info. I'm glad for you. To each his own. I stand by pop gun by the way; its what we call my grandmother's gun. All I need to know about her pop gun is that it has bullets and could possibly end your life. Nothing else is really that important(besides the fact that she has alzheimers and the state should'nt have allowed her to purchase a gun).Aquarizonagal and joe_young 90 #92 I agree with you that a person has a right to self defense. No one has all of the answers on this issue... I still believe that there should be some sort of regulation to protect the innocent.(Aquarizonagal I don't think the mod's posted one of your comments about brown sugar in the freezer. Cute.) Fri 27 Jun 2008 04:29:08 GMT+1 joe_young90 #68 Ozbloke1 wrote:"oh america, your friends are shot at work, your children are shot at school, you can die just going to the corner store, all this while the weapons industry rubs their hands and counts the money. Blood stains the grass in your parks and on your footpaths and STILL you debate your rights."I have never had a friend shot at work. My child has never been shot at anywhere. I could in fact die anywhere, not just the corner store, just like you.You also seem to say that there is nothing in Australia worth protecting with a weapon. I would disagree. I believe my family and friends are worth protecting.I guess 10-year-old aboriginal girls don't merit consideration in Australia either. Fri 27 Jun 2008 04:24:18 GMT+1 gunsandreligion joe_young90, stairs should be illegal, orregulated, or ... something. Fri 27 Jun 2008 04:22:28 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII I think it is wise for every American adult to have a gun if for no other reason than that the Redcoads might try to come back. Aren't adult men in Switzerland required to own a firearm and know how to use it? I don't hear any of you Euros who would emasculate the United States EVER talk about that.If you come to America could you get shot? It's just a chance you'd have to take and everyone knows it. Judging by the number of people who come here from around the world, it doesn't seem to scare a whole lot of them off. Fri 27 Jun 2008 04:02:34 GMT+1 joe_young90 #64 SalemDesignYou had a question about the AK47.Well it is a gun so cheap and simple that it can be bought in many countries for less than the cost of a live chicken. There are an estimated 70 million of them in the world.That being said it could be quite a bit cheaper to buy an AK-47 or SKS than a nice Winchester bolt action rifle. The two previous rifles will be easeir to take care of and be more forgiving to the user.Sometimes you just want a gun you can throw in the back of the truck and not worry about. Think cattle rancher worried about new born calves.This all being said there are VERY FEW murders commited in the US every year with rifles that are considered ASSAULT RIFLES. Lets just put it in perspective.Number of deaths for leading causes of death for the USHeart disease: 652,091Cancer: 559,312Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 143,579Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 130,933Accidents (unintentional injuries): 117,809Diabetes: 75,119Alzheimer's disease: 71,599Influenza/Pneumonia: 63,001Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 43,901Septicemia: 34,136Suicides: 32,637Chronic liver disease: 27,530Hypertension: 24,902Accidental poisoning: 23,618Parkinsons: 19,544Homicides: 18,124Homicides with firearems(all):12,352Accidental drowning: 3,582Accidental exposure to fire: 3,197Complications of medical care: 2,653Homicides committed with rifles:725Homicides committed with assault rifles: 145So there you have it. You chance of being killed with an AK-47 are 1 in 2 million. Your chance of dying while tripping down some stairs, 1 in 15,000. Fri 27 Jun 2008 03:57:33 GMT+1 FearedInLasVegas To #24 and any other who suggested teaching gun control in schools:What kind of country is it that is teaching children how to use guns carefully, but cannot bear to educate them properly about sex?No doubt there will be some people looking to the Constitution to tell everyone what is the more fundamental right... Fri 27 Jun 2008 03:52:04 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions ozbloke1 (#63): You're not the only one, trust me, you're not the only one!!! Although I must disagree with you on our debating of our "civil rights", as you put it. "Civil rights" are rights which were hard fought for, and won to ensure the equal treatment of basicly non-white males over the years, not the rights to ensure the ability to own guns. We are still furvantly debating the right to own guns, as you have pointed out so elliquently in your post!! O, and I would describe our system of government as "Democratic" (all be it the most complicated democricy on earth by far!!) We aren't as "democratic" as Australia, though, as we don't have more than 2 main parties to choose from, where as Australia has 3, but nevertheless, I would classify us as "democratic".andfreedom (#68) wonders: "on one hand Americans want to keep the right to bear arms to protect themselves from their democratic Government, and on the other they will happily support illegal wars to spread democracy around the world."I think those who are n favor of the "right" to bare arms (myself not being one of them) are rather saying when they make the case for protection against their government, that somehow they think that if the government tryed to mess with their lives (I.E. restrict freedoms, enforce laws etc), that somehow having a gun would deter the government from doing so, or at least make them think twice. Now I don't agree with this in the least!! I think it is stupid immature way to think!! But I think that that is what those people mean when they say things like that. And prey tell, please, where on this thread, or indeed other commentary on other blog posts, did American posters declare that they would be happy to support illegal wars to "spread democracy" around the world? Unless I'm missing something, I don't believe, if my memory surves me correctly, that any American even mentioned the Iraq war, much less that they supported it!!And with regards to your UK gun law mention, so the few criminals in the UK who own guns do so soly because of US imported "gang culture" huh? Its not because, say, heaven forbid, they chose to have them for one reason or another and be criminals for one reason or another and who were not influenced by our culture, is it? I mean I seriously doubt that gangs were introduced to the UK only after they iniciated, and started springing up in the US!! Gang history is as long as criminality itself. But forget the fact that they very well might've chosen this path on their own, its all the US gang culture's fault!! If they hadn't existed, crime as we know it wouldn't!! There would be no need for police or millitaries! Also, surely gangs originated somewhere outside the US, making your case even harder to prove? Fri 27 Jun 2008 03:15:03 GMT+1 Bvarapanyo I am an American and strongly defend the right of free speech about the right to bear arms. There are many advantages to bearing arms—just look at the case of Neil Entwistle. Unarmed, he was unable to protect his child from his malevolent American wife. Now he will spend a lifetime in jail! This should be a lesson to all of us. Fri 27 Jun 2008 03:10:23 GMT+1 gunsandreligion jacksforge, by the way, I suggest thatyou actually come here before you assertthat one goes to jail for smoking...I know that it's hard to understand a countrywhere the largest cash crop is illegal, butenforcement varies from state to state.It's a large, heterogeneous country. Fri 27 Jun 2008 02:36:59 GMT+1 gunsandreligion jacksforge, #89, the DC regulations notonly banned handguns, but required thatother arms be unloaded and dissassembled,or secured with a trigger lock. Fri 27 Jun 2008 02:33:44 GMT+1 joe_young90 Christianleft.Popgun? White cops looted the most? Tasers?Ok what exactly is a pop gun? There aren't too many rifle rounds smaller than the 7.62x39 mm that the AK fires. I guess you mean that 5.56mm that we shoot out of the AR-15 (M-16). Maybe you meant a handgun?It's clear that your understanding of firearms balistics is all but non-existant. Also, tasers do NOT knock people out. The type of device you could buy is hand held. A nice base ball bat would be far more deadly. The reason you see Black people looting in New Orleans is because NO was 70% black. It's why if you saw looting in San Antonio they would most likely be Hispanic and if you saw looting in Portland they would most likely be white.How is self defense murder? No offense but you have a lot of assumptions that are just flat wrong. Fri 27 Jun 2008 02:16:41 GMT+1 jacksforge Christianleft, when watching" bowling for colenbine" did you notice the reporter said that the shooter had in his diary the words" "I wish I could steel a plane and fly it into the trade towers" this was before 9/11.I suggest that Bin laden saw this report and thought"now there's an Idea.Check it out all you, hire the film and watch it.The seeds for 9/11 started here. Fri 27 Jun 2008 02:01:15 GMT+1 jacksforge So how do I phrase this so the Mods don't cut it.In the UK the smokeing of Hashish was reduced in terms of how Offensive it is considered by the law.Guns are Illegal.In the US you go to jail for smoking(even if you have a state user card).(did i condone anything here mods?)but you can buy a gun and shoot at the river across from the campsite and when your bullets ricochet into the camp site you will get a slap on the wrist and not loose your gun right and certainly will not go to jail.peaceful hippies to jailstupid gun owners nothing.(not all gun owners are this dumb ,but some are.) Fri 27 Jun 2008 01:57:44 GMT+1 jacksforge "illiniwathcer, #10, considering that thelong rifle was invented in Pennsylvania,I think that it would be hard to make thecase that the framers of the constitutionintended to restrict private ownershipof firearms in any way. In fact, firearms were as essential a toolfor survival in 18th century as the dishwasheris today. And, if anybody comes to takemy dishwasher away, I'm moving to anothercountry."this was a handgun ban.Hunting rifles I am sure they believed in they all shot and hunter.But a pistol is different.Hard to hide a 4 ft rifle. Fri 27 Jun 2008 01:51:23 GMT+1 jacksforge US are only guarenteed the right to bear arms to defend against the state.A lot of you must be worried and the justices must be worried too.(or they are trying to raise the gun issue at this time ,Great insight Lefty.In the UK given the poll tax riots, the student grant riots and anti globalisation riots, i'm not supprised the gov doesn't want us all armed. Fri 27 Jun 2008 01:48:34 GMT+1 jacksforge Again christianleft spot on. all the way.You got my vote. Fri 27 Jun 2008 01:48:26 GMT+1 imanamericanguy RE: #63, ozbloke1May I kindly remind you (and everyone for the matter) that the culture of America is completely different than that of Europeans and especially Australians. We have one of the most heterogeneous cultures in the world. We are also the 3rd most populated country in the world. Therefore, we will have more crime. I mean, when you have 300+ million people in one country you are bound to have a few people who do not get along.Australia has what, 20.5 million people? Almost all being descended from the UK. You obviously will have more homogenous cultural mores, traditions, values, etc. I understand you have your own problems. But c'mon, my state (Florida) has almost as many people as your entire country.My point is, that its easy to sit in your office across the Atlantic or Pacific and make fun of barbaric Americans; but in all honesty, until you've grown up here you cannot fully understand the issue at hand. Fri 27 Jun 2008 01:46:59 GMT+1 JackDuBoy Enjoy your totalitarian state England. Enjoy being watched everywhere you go. Also enjoy cutting your steaks with spoons. Fri 27 Jun 2008 01:26:57 GMT+1 jimk9999 The comments of people who are literally saying they are panicked that there will be a lot more shootings are clearly either posturing or they just don't even know what the laws are currently.The immediate effect of this ruling is relatively small because only a very small number of states and cities have any significant restrictions on gun ownership. In over 40 of the 50 states it is relatively simple to get a concealed carry permit let alone just keep a gun at home.Sure it is an important decision long term because it will make it very difficult for people in the future to restrict gun ownership in the US but again, except for a very small handful of cities most restrictions have already been lifted prior to this ruling. Fri 27 Jun 2008 01:25:00 GMT+1 majorfoxpaws While I think the second amendment is written to be too broad, the meaning is pretty clear. If it really needs to be modified, the congress should do it. I am much more alarmed by the idea that the city of Washington DC thinks they can change it to suit the city's purposes. It would be rather like the city of London invalidating the magna carta because it makes collecting property taxes too difficult. One would hope the city would at least appeal to the national government to address the issue. Fri 27 Jun 2008 01:24:29 GMT+1 peterm99 re: #78 joshkin2001Your argument is not correct.From the decision itself: "The phrase “security of a free state” meant “security of a free polity,” not security of each of the several States . . ." Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:51:56 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill bilkarns (#76) seems to imply that this decision means that citizens may form private militias to protect themselves from their government. The opinion clearly does not permit this, however. The decision is that the people have the right to keep and bear arms individually, for lawful purposes, explicitly including the right to defend themselves in their homes. Very little on the subject of gun control is actually changed by this decision, because very few jurisdictions (notably San Francisco and the District of Columbia) have attempted outright bans.There have been and will continue to be groups of gun nuts who fantasize about citizen militias (e.g. Posse Comitatus), but they get very little from this decision which they did not already have. Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:50:48 GMT+1 David Cunard #66. NoRashDecisions "British citizens don't have a right to bare arms."And the fashion police are going to make sure they cover up! :)On a more serious note, the wording "2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."DC simply overstepped the mark by refusing to licence Mr Heller, but the above indicates that the decision does not give blanket permission for everyone and anyone to buy firearms, the purpose for which must also be lawful. Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:32:34 GMT+1 BK And Justin as it regards your "...on a lighter note..." I reckon that Barack would kiss more than my baby if it meant he could get get my vote. Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:28:48 GMT+1 joshkin2001 It's certainly fair to say that the Second Amendment has caused a disproportionate number of people to suffer pain and death, but the debate about desperately needs to be held in context. The Right to bear arms is accorded the people not for their personal protection. It is not to protect life or property. It is not to defend oneself from criminals, nor wild animals, nor even from the government. The language of the amendment is very clear:"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,..." state, not nation, not individual, "... the right of the People to keep and bear arms..." not just possess arms, but to bear arms, "... shall not be infringed." Infringe: to encroach upon.The Second Amendment exists to ensure the independence of the States of the United States from their Federal Government. It is crucial that this understanding be kept foremost in the mind when the Second Amendment is under discussion. To bring into the discussion crime, or hunting, or any other subject is to talk about something other than the amendment itself and the right that it conveys.It's in the Constitution because the States had just completed a bitter and costly war to free themselves from a central authority, and there was real fear that a Federal American government would simply assume the place of the Monarchy that had just been evicted. Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:26:09 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #68andfreedom"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:23:27 GMT+1 BK Interestingly enough Mexico has the strictest gun laws in North America...even stricter than the UK-West (Canada)...and yet the murders, robberies and other assorted weapons related violence persists in Mexico.If owning a gun became criminal in the U.S. only the only change would be that the criminal enterprises selling guns would prosper...the price of a weapon would go up, the voluntary registrations and waiting periods, background checks and screens would be eliminated as would the safety classes and licensed target ranges...but I would still own weapons, and carry them when I chose...that's the practical side of this argument.As a Constitutional matter, a 'militia' is by definition a group of armed civilian warriors whose right to gun ownership is both symbolic of freedom and a cautionary warning to those who would abuse their privilege to govern. It must always be on the mind of those governing that their contituents volunteer to be governed and are armed. Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:22:16 GMT+1 justcorbly >>" The retention of a State's militia was a strongly persuasive argument in the battle over ratification of the Constitution."Even if accurate, that has no bearing on today's reality. We should not be constrained by 18th century practicalities. The Framers wrote for he society they lived in then. We live in a different country. The court's decision and the Second Amendment are wrong for our times. Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:10:16 GMT+1 peterm99 re: #66 NoRashDecisionsIn most rulings, the USSC justifies its decisions by precedent, history, intent, etc. In this particular case, the language of Brit subject rights, the language thereof, the history of the meanings of those rights (in this case, writings of Brit law back to the 1600s), etc. were among many historical precedents used to explain the intent of the language of the US 2nd amendment.Contrary to your statement, you still, even today, are protected from your queen attempting to deprive you of your right to keep and bear arms. It is not your sovereign, but your Parliament, that deprived you of those rights.Referring back to my post (#49), you (Brits collectively) don't have the same protection against the encroachment of your rights as we Americans, because you were insufficiently inclusive in the definition of "them". Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:08:39 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill NoRashDecisions (#66), the opinion refers to British law (Parliament, Blackstone, Johnson) because our common law originates in England, and the principles embodied therein were not discarded when the colonies became independent. It is common when interpreting the U. S. Constitution and other old documents to consider it in the context of the times in order to understand the original intent of the founders. This is more conservative (which the law is, generally) than applying whatever modern meaning one chooses. The way that historical documents and events from Britain are used in deciding questions of American law should be clear from a reading of the original opinion. Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:06:37 GMT+1 joe_blow_69 I feel very sorry for my friends in the UK. There is nothing more fun that cracking open the bolt of your AK-47 and shooting a few targets at the end of the day. I hope you get your rights back at some point. Shooting is an enjoyable sport. Thu 26 Jun 2008 23:34:27 GMT+1 aquarizonagal salemdesignSouth Africa was a little scary for me,as well!I worked for years in some places where as they say 'even angels fear to tread.' However, a can of Aquanet hair spray, a large flash light and some self defense tactics I learned from an ex-marine gave me some, no-doubt, spurious confidence. I did survive!Hey! I'll go for the ticker tape parade for the abused wife. Thu 26 Jun 2008 23:29:51 GMT+1 gunsandreligion #63, ozbloke1, it is really sad. It's notthe country I grew up in. If I didn't havefamily and friends here I would emigrateto Australia, it sounds like such a nice place. Thu 26 Jun 2008 23:28:46 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #61gunsandreligionWow! I hear you! You should be able to defend yourself and those you love. Thu 26 Jun 2008 23:19:05 GMT+1