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World & Current Events > Does "March For Our Lives" have staying power and the political smarts?

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message 1: by Alex (last edited Mar 25, 2018 11:00AM) (new)

Alex (asato) Obviously, it has a lot of grassroots power, but it takes more than that to succeed.



http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-cana...


message 2: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13775 comments Since it's a constitutional issue, maybe a referendum can answer best what the majority supports? Are referenda an applicable instrument in the US?


message 3: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments I'm encouraged that the youth of the US is marching for change, but appalled that they have to.

Obviously I come from another country (Australia), but I can't conceive of sending my child off to school, and wondering if they might end up in a mass shooting. I applaud the youngsters making their voices heard.


message 4: by Vince (new)

Vince Loggia | 51 comments The problem with this movement is that it misses the point. Apart from being emotional compelling they entirely forget about the fact that if the school had a locked door system with just their administrative offices in the front for example that would probably be all the security they needed to avert this catastrophe. They also forget that they knew about this particular troubled individual and no one including the FBI did anything about him. So instead they martial a constitutional challenge to every citizens' to be armed against the tyranny of an oppressive government which is what the Second Amendment is all about. I, for one, do not intend to abrogate my right to be armed if I so choose because the system failed these particular children and it seems that these school districts have learned nothing about basic security yet. Have doors locked at all times and make the only access point to the school through a door that is monitored at all times. Start with that and then consider things like armed security guards at every school, arming some select administrative personnel, etc. I actually feel sorry for this wasted bit of well intentioned effort. If they actually attacked the problem they might get something done.


message 5: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Have doors locked at all times and make the only access point to the school through a door that is monitored at all times. Start with that and then consider things like armed security guards at every school, arming some select administrative personnel, etc

This is what the rest of us (or at least pretty well every Australian I know at least) don't get.

Despite the imperfect nature of our society, we don't need to consider locked up schools in order to prevent gun violence at school. We have no need to consider armed guards.

When I sent our kids off to school, it was never, ever with the worry that someone might shoot them at school.

It has never crossed my mind that I might want to overthrow the government with violence. We have elections for changing government - even when sometimes it does seem we're voting against dodgy for slightly less dodgy. However, I can run for parliament if I so wish, and so can anyone else.

I think what you may be missing, Vince, is that these kids see that this is not an isolated, one off event, but something that continues to happen month after month. They don't care that some stuff got missed, because this happens all the time, and they want it to stop.

I fail to see how having more guns around will achieve this.


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13775 comments If I understand correctly the message, at least some of them ask for tighter measures to make sure those who buy guns want them to overthrow the government, if that becomes necessary, not to shoot at schools, Vegas or clubs


message 7: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) I would say they've already demonstrated that they have the smarts. As for staying power, I sure hope so. Time will tell, but they have already succeeded in taking the helm on the issue of gun control.


message 8: by Vince (new)

Vince Loggia | 51 comments Again, the point of having the right to "bear arms" guaranteed in the US Constitution has nothing to do with "overthrowing the government". When the founding fathers wrote the document they had just escaped the tyranny of King George by armed revolution which was forced by that tyrant not by them. The idea remains however that any citizen protected by the umbrella of that document has that same right....to bear arms and the language of that amendment is very clear. We have that right to protect ourselves from an oppressive government. As for governmental change the document also contains mechanisms for peaceful change making overthrow usually unnecessary.
As for how perfectly safe you may feel the schools in your country are that is the height of naivety which will end as soon as you suffer your first school shooting or some other form of terrorism. The worst school incident in history took place at a Russian school and involved terrorism not an isolated shooter so there is a place for school security, period, and to me that is the point that these young people are missing. Target the problem not just a buzz word which "gun reform" has become in this country. Guns don't shoot people people do.


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13775 comments We have armed guards in every school, but I'd rather we didn't need to.
I understand the right to bear arms. The question is whether it's absolute, for almost no right is. The right to live, free speech, do whatever in your property, all have limits when confronted with safety, wellbeing and even convenience of the others: from execution for certain crimes to noise regulations in residential areas.
As an outsider, I don't feel I should offer any stance or advice, but don't you guys feel that mentally ill or, say, those with criminal record should have a harder access to guns?


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9751 comments In my opinion, locked schools with only one entrance/exit would break fire regulations, at least in New Zealand. You may have noticed what happened in Kemerovo with locked doors.

As for the right to bear arms "to protect ourselves from an oppressive government" surely that means to overthrow your own government or start a civil war. You surely don't think with the extent of US military power that Mexico or Canada is about to invade (or at least make an armed invasion as opposed to Mexican illegals coming in to get a better income)?

In New Zealand, there are actually a lot of guns, although nowhere near what are found in the US, but ownership is licensed, and they have to be stored appropriately, assault type guns are banned (apart from the police) and some attempt is made to keep them out of the hands of the insane. I still think the US could do more to control guns without taking away the right to have some.


message 11: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5516 comments You guys have to understand that we in the States had to be armed to gain our freedom as a country. That's deeply ingrained in our consciousness. We only won our freedom from tyranny because we were armed. Of course, we couldn't withstand assault from our own government, but we want the right to die fighting.


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9751 comments The use of "tyranny" is interesting. I always thought it was because the Americans did not want to pay taxes to help pay for keeping the French at bay, hence the "Boston Tea Party". I am not suggesting British governance was ideal, but tyranny seems a bit strong.


message 13: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5516 comments Tyranny is not at all strong language. The British felt that the colonies were created to be used by the crown and parliament. British soldiers had the right to search and seize any property they deemed as smuggled or illegal goods. It allowed them to enter, search, and seize warehouses, private homes, and ships whenever necessary, and many abused the power. Colonists were forced to house British soldiers in their homes. Unfair taxes were levied. I'd say this was tyranny.


message 14: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9751 comments Hmmm. It looks like I need to read up more about colonial US.


message 15: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments We were originally a collection of British Penal Colonies, but our indigenous peoples have a completely different view point, and often refer to Australia Day as 'Invasion Day,' which is quite understandable when you think about it from their point of view.

We are unusual in some ways - we're one of the only countries not to experience civil war, for example.


message 16: by Alex (last edited Apr 10, 2018 09:47PM) (new)

Alex (asato) A few months ago, I read a little of The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America's Liberties and I thought it well-researched, well-reasoned, and well-written. So, I bought it to read it fully.

Here's the Second Amendment:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

(Berkin, 145)
Laying aside, for the moment, the required historical context (which the aforementioned book provides)--although anyone is welcome to bring to bear their own knowledge--and without referring to any legal precedent, but instead exercising each of our own powers of analysis, what, according to this text, is the purpose of people being able to keep arms?


message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9751 comments My reading of that is the right to bear arms is for the defence of the state and it suggests such people should be part of a militia, i.e. a semi-disciplined force that knows how to use the guns. In the historical sense, I would say it was there because citizens could find themselves faced with foreign oppressors (French, British, Spanish) and I suppose Indians who might want their acquired land back.

I may be wrong, but I believe that in those days the US did not maintain a standing army, so militias were a sort of replacement.


message 18: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13775 comments Ian wrote: "My reading of that is the right to bear arms is for the defence of the state..."

But since it's a 'free' state, it may also be interpreted as designed to prevent usurpation of power?


message 19: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan To keep the state honest.

That was feasible when the State was small and everyone had access to muskets.

Now you would need Apache AH-64s and Abrams tanks.


message 20: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Leonie wrote: "We were originally a collection of British Penal Colonies, but our indigenous peoples have a completely different view point, and often refer to Australia Day as 'Invasion Day,' which is quite unde..."

Most Australians would rather have a beer and a BBQ than fight a civil war....


message 21: by Denise (last edited Apr 11, 2018 02:18AM) (new)

Denise Baer I think it's great that the young finally stood up for their rights, but I don't believe it will last. There's a deeper issue at hand than guns. If someone wants to wipe out many people, they'll find another way, such as trucks and bombs being used in Europe mass attacks.

Why it won't last:

1) Because no one marched for the Sandy Hook children and adults who were murdered. The president bowed his head, sending thoughts and prayers to the family. Our government gasped, bowed their heads, and sent thoughts and prayers. Society cried, bowed their heads and sent thoughts and prayers. Twenty children and six adults slaughtered and everyone was horrified but nothing was done.
2) Because it doesn't matter whether you believe in guns or not, the U.S. allows guns and there is already gun control.
3) Because these killings didn't occur from a gun, per se, as it occurred by a human, something people keep forgetting. Angry and mentally ill people commit murders.

Mother Jones Report

The one thing missing from the above report is motive. That's a very important key point. Bullying. Disgruntled employee. There are so many reasons why people would create mass murder, but what we should be focusing on are what is causing such anger, hatred, and mental illness in the states.

Granted our society is a huge melting pot, which other countries don't have in mass quantities along with 'illegal' immigration issues. World Atlas

In the 80's, many mental health institutions closed down due to funding and horrible conditions. They were supposed to replace them with mental health clinics but that wasn't done.

After the Sandy Hook shooting, I came across this blog post and it pushed the topic of mental illness. If you get a chance, please take the time to read this post Anarchistsoccermom .

The main issue is the underlying cause, not the method that's used.

Disclaimer: I am not in favor of guns.


message 22: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Denise, there are disgruntled employees and bullied people all around the World, including in countries with large immigration rates, but the United States stands out by a large margin in the subject of mass shootings and murders. The reason is simple and obvious: the widespread availability of guns in the U.S.A., including high capacity, semi-automatic weapons.

As for the excuse of 'protecting ourselves from an oppressive government', I frankly find that a downright paranoid attitude. Even if some unhinged American President would order the U.S. Army to 'invade' an American state, does anybody truly believe that American soldiers, men and women that share the values of the common citizen, would obey such illegal orders? They would more than probably mutiny or desert instead. As for the very rare times when federal troops occupied parts of a state (Arkansas), it was because rogue local politicians and declared redneck racists were flouting the constitutional rights of part (African-Americans) of the population of that state in order to perpetuate racial segregation.


message 23: by Philip (last edited Apr 11, 2018 06:51AM) (new)

Philip (phenweb) If I have a knife I can stab one person at a time and then only fatally with a lucky or well trained stab within arm or throwing reach
If I have a revolver I have six shots before re-load - distance shot is variable based on caliber but beyond 50 feet requires high skill
If I have a semi automatic I may have 20 depending on model and range of approx 100 feet again depending on skill and calber
If I have an assault rifle I have 30 rounds (bump stock excluded) and a range of 500 yards (more if skilled)

What I am getting at is the impact of the weapon. Yes recent terrorist attacks have used trucks and pedestrian zones have introduced counter measures where appropriate. The US counter measures for gun have consisted of possibly increasing age from 18 to 21 and perhaps banning bump stocks. Good to see logic and reason being applied. The rest of the so called western world bans sales without a full license and assault rifles are only available to military or police

The need for an amateur militia in the US probably disappeared by the end of the 19th century and the formation of regular army units including the National Guard. It produces a state of incredulity among the US friends around the world that the US allows such use and ownership of guns. Yes mental health is an issue as is criminality. Both of the impacts are much worse with guns especially when legally obtained. A psychopath with a knife is less of a risk than one with an assault rifle.

For comparison do any search on the Internet concerning accidental deaths from weapons let alone murders or suicides.

This is not an anti-gun rant just a personal view from an ex-US resident who looks at risks of harm to the innocent and whose daughter is moving to the US this summer to teach. Sandy Hook is not something I want to contemplate happening again.


message 24: by Nik (last edited Apr 11, 2018 06:56AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 13775 comments Denise wrote: "After the Sandy Hook shooting, I came across this blog post and it pushed the topic of mental illness. If you get a chance, please take the time to read this post Anarchistsoccermom ..."

Read the post. Indeed it touches a very serious problem. People with mental health issues that unwillingly can enter uncontrollable condition should not have access to any hazardous objects, be it guns, cars, anything sharp or whatever. And surely they need help and should otherwise be, as much as possible, integrated into a normal life.
For all I know - prospective soldiers do need clearance from a psychiatrist, so that unstable person won't have access to the weaponry, and so it should be in a civil society too in my opinion.


message 25: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer Michel wrote: "Denise, there are disgruntled employees and bullied people all around the World, including in countries with large immigration rates, but the United States stands out by a large margin in the subject of mass shootings and murders. The reason is simple and obvious: the widespread availability of guns in the U.S.A., including high capacity, semi-automatic weapons.

Come on! You cannot compare the U.S. to countries whose population is less than the U.S. China and India have the highest population. Yes, their statistics are lower, but they operate differently. China is a communist country. You also need to take into account immigration, which many countries only allow "highly-skilled" individuals along with the plague of "illegals," which no other country has a major issue with than the U.S.

Disgruntled was one thing I mentioned. Many of these students who have committed mass shootings were bullied. Shouldn't we also teach and educate children regarding bullying along with gun control? Shouldn't we look into how companies in America treat employees in comparison to other countries along with gun control? Shouldn't we see how many illegals are in our country committing crimes as well? If you take away the guns, then bombs will increase or another form of weaponry. You can't just take away guns and ignore other factors that separate the States from other countries.

Philip wrote: "What I am getting at is the impact of the weapon."

Yes, and at one point guns weren't a big issue. Their usage has increased over time. Take those away, ignoring underlying factors, and bombs, trucks, etc. will increase.

Nik wrote: "Read the post. Indeed it touches a very serious problem."

It made me cry. Guns are a part of the problem, but they're not THE problem.


message 26: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5516 comments I feel the need to own a weapon to defend myself against criminals who have weapons. Logical or not, I feel the need to be armed should things go wrong with government, and I understand why citizens want to own assault rifles. As far as assault rifles are concerned, banning them now is like closing the gate after the cows have gotten out. What's the point? They're out there everywhere, and any crazy person will have access to them even if they're banned. There's no such thing as gun control in this country. It's like trying to control access to rocks or fire.


message 27: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Come on! You cannot compare the U.S. to countries whose population is less than the U.S.

I'd have thought it would be quite valid to compare population density - particularly as it may well be something that might drive a pressure cooker atmosphere. For example, the UK sits at 51st on the list of population density, with 271 people per km2, while the US sits at 188th on the list with 33 people per km2. Yet the UK has far fewer mass shootings.

Granted our society is a huge melting pot, which other countries don't have in mass quantities along with 'illegal' immigration issues. World Atlas I'll just point out that in terms of proportions of immigrants to 'born in the country' residents, my own country - Australia - according to this list has at least 25% of the entire population born overseas. The US in comparison has 13% born overseas. The UK has a similar proportion to the US. Both countries have far less mass shootings.

And I've also read the article. While mental health issues are problematic, when you consider that about one third of us will deal with mental illness in our lifetime, it makes it even more important that there are checks and balances for those wanting to purchase weapons that might injure or kill many people in a very short period of time. While more mental health facilities would be very helpful (pretty well everywhere in the world), they are not the only answer.

And I can speak from experience in this case, as our eldest battles Bipolar 2 every day of her life.

And for those who are interested, here's a link to my local state gun licensing laws and how to apply for a gun licence. https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/online_...


message 28: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Further complicating gun access is 3D printing.


message 29: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Graeme wrote: "Further complicating gun access is 3D printing."

So true, Graeme!


message 30: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the Swiss have access to assault rifles and are trained to use them as a matter of course.


message 31: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Also, dont the Mexicans have both strict gun laws and lots of gun crime.

The Swiss and Mexican examples suggest there are depths to the overall problem of violence that are well beyond this conversation.


message 32: by Graeme (last edited Apr 11, 2018 10:56PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan My feeling is that the whole gun debate in the US goes around in circles precisely because there is no common conception of what the problem actually is.

Plenty will argue they know precisely what the problem is, but then someone will jump up and argue the opposite with equal fervor.

I'm gonna boldly state that everyone is wrong on this issue, the basic fact is that none of us understands why this violence happens or what to do about it.


message 33: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments I suppose I find it really frustrating looking from the outside in, constantly hearing things like:

'More guns will stop this.'
'Concealed carry will stop this.'
'Armed guards will stop this.'
'I want a gun, so there should be no gun laws.'
'I want a gun.'
'I love my gun.'
'I might need to overthrow the government.'
'I have to protect myself and my family, so I need a gun.'

When it comes down to it. I am astoundingly grateful that I have never felt or thought such things myself, so I don't really understand a society (that on the surface looks quite similar to the one I live in - but clearly isn't) thinking and feeling those things.

Just hearing those thoughts iterated and reiterated to frequently tells me that US social values are hugely different to those that I espouse myself. Sometimes I struggle to reconcile some of those things/comments with people I know personally, and in many ways think similarly, but in this issue particularly, we are poles apart.

I don't think the answer to this problem is easy, but I do think that people have to be willing to look outside their own wants and preconceived beliefs in order to find solutions. And in the end, most will have to choose to make sacrifices themselves in order to protect both their children and themselves from ongoing gun violence.


message 34: by Denise (last edited Apr 12, 2018 12:07AM) (new)

Denise Baer Graeme wrote: "Plenty will argue they know precisely what the problem is, but then someone will jump up and argue the opposite with equal fervor.

I'm gonna boldly state that everyone is wrong on this issue, the basic fact is that none of us understands why this violence happens or what to do about it."


I completely agree, Graeme. No one knows what is the underlying problem.

Leonie wrote: "I'd have thought it would be quite valid to compare population density

China and India have a bigger population than the U.S. And no, I don't think density plays a factor. But again, like the others, you are disregarding other issues because YOU don't like guns and because they aren't in your country, that's your argument for getting rid of them. Other countries don't look at other factors. It's never as simple as getting rid of guns.

Leonie wrote: "While more mental health facilities would be very helpful (pretty well everywhere in the world), they are not the only answer."

I never said they were the only answer. I'm arguing that to fix an issue you need to find the root cause. You and other people focus on ONE thing, which isn't going to fix it either.


message 35: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) In this ongoing debate, we should not forget the influence of money. Since 1989, gun rights advocates have spent $41.9 million in direct spending to political candidates as opposed to gun control advocates, which for the same time period, spent only $4.2 million.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/15/gun-r...


message 36: by Scout (last edited Apr 12, 2018 12:49AM) (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5516 comments Leonie, it's not a matter of social values. It's a matter of circumstance. In the States where I live, most law-abiding people have weapons because most criminals have weapons. That's a fact you don't have to live with, so hold your judgment. Let's say some guys break into my house. I see on my security camera that they're armed and headed toward the bedrooms. In my place, would you rather be able to defend yourself or just be a victim? That's the reality of living here.


message 37: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Scout. I've seen exactly the same perspective from people in South Africa. It's a very difficult circumstance to be in.


message 38: by Denise (last edited Apr 12, 2018 02:19AM) (new)

Denise Baer Leonie wrote: " I'll just point out that in terms of proportions of immigrants to 'born in the country' residents, my own country - Australia - according to this list has at least 25% of the entire population born overseas. The US in comparison has 13% born overseas. The UK has a similar proportion to the US. Both countries have far less mass shootings."

I have no idea where you got your calculations since the U.S. is ranked #1 and Australia is ranked # 9. As of 2017, there are 325.7 million people living in the U.S. As of 2016, there are 24.13 million in Australia. HUGE difference in population.

NY Times

"Every country regulates immigration in its own imperfect way."

"Simply put, the purpose of an immigration policy is to decide what types of people to allow inside the border."

"In 2011, Canada and Australia relied heavily on immigrants who were admitted based on employability, many of whom were allowed to stay permanently. Both countries used a merit-based point system to determine who qualified, assigning a number of points to criteria such as education, language skills and employment history."

The U.S. doesn't have a immigration policy based on employability, plus we have millions of 'illegals' that are in our country.

Our societies are different because way of life is different, so to assume what works for your country should definitely work for ours is a poor assumption. Judgment doesn't resolve anything.


message 39: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Denise wrote: "Leonie wrote: " I'll just point out that in terms of proportions of immigrants to 'born in the country' residents, my own country - Australia - according to this list has at least 25% of the entire..."

The list just listed how many immigrants were in each country. I looked up the populations of each country and calculated the percentages.

eg. Australia's population at the last census was 24.3 million people. The number of immigrants on the list was 6.4 million. (6.4/24.3)*100 = 26% (rounded figure) of our residents are immigrants.

US population: 325.7million, number of immigrants: 45.7million
(45.7/325.7) * 100 = 14% (approx)

And to clarify, I'm trying not to make assumptions, but to understand the whys. I suppose I just don't understand why more guns seems to make sense to so many in the US. And that is a cultural difference.

I think it's awful for you all to have to live with the constant idea of armed intruders - be it at school, home or at your place of employment.


message 40: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Alex wrote: "In this ongoing debate, we should not forget the influence of money. Since 1989, gun rights advocates have spent $41.9 million in direct spending to political candidates as opposed to gun control a..."

Alex - I'm surprised such small amounts have been spent.


message 41: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13775 comments I vividly remember watching TV news in Australia. Coming from Israel, to me it looked so Utopian and unreal. Although it was just a few days after 9/11, there were no violence, threats, fighting, crisis & stuff. A different planet. The most upsetting was the bankruptcy of Ansett and a new law relating to protection of koalas making headlines -:)


message 42: by Michel (last edited Apr 12, 2018 09:14AM) (new)

Michel Poulin Graeme wrote: "Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the Swiss have access to assault rifles and are trained to use them as a matter of course."

That is because the Swiss rely on a mass citizen army, where every male of fighting age has to follow basic military training and is then sent home with a rifle and ammunition, in case of a sudden attack. The rifles belong to the state, while Swiss men take their military duties very seriously. Very few crimes are committed with army rifles in Switzerland. Some in the USA will claim that this proves that 'guns are not the problem, people are'. That may be true but the average American citizen cannot compare with the average Swiss when it comes to responsible behavior with guns, and that by a long shot.


message 43: by Michel (last edited Apr 12, 2018 09:35AM) (new)

Michel Poulin If we look specifically at assault rifle type guns, meaning semi-automatic rifles with high capacity magazines, like the AR-15, AK-47 and their numerous variants and copies, the argument of having them for self-defense is technically flawed. First off, they have much more range than needed for self-protection and, worse, their bullets will overpenetrate walls if the shot is missed, especially if you live in an urban area. A much better choice would be either a pistol or revolver loaded with low penetration rounds, or a shotgun loaded with small caliber pellets (the best option in my opinion). You certainly don't want to fire a high velocity rifle round inside a house or apartment, when that round could blaze through a few wood and plaster walls before hitting your children...or a neighbor. A shotgun is also easier to use inside a house at night, with dispersal of pellets (with only limited range before they lose velocity) making hitting the bad guy much easier.

Assault rifles like the AR-15 and the AK-47 have really been designed for one thing only: killing lots of people. If you really need to fire automatic bursts or quick trigger pulls at the shooting range or while hunting to get your rocks off, then I believe that you have an attitude problem with the use of guns.

By the way, I am an ex-soldier who once owned guns, likes guns and was at one time a foreign weapons handling instructor. I am no rabid anti-gun person, but the situation in the USA is clearly out of control and has been so for decades.


message 44: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Denise wrote: "Leonie wrote: " I'll just point out that in terms of proportions of immigrants to 'born in the country' residents, my own country - Australia - according to this list has at least 25% of the entire..."

Hi Denise,

The US does have an employability test which it applies to different classes of working visa. My daughter is in process for a B1 currently to be allowed to teach for up to 5 years. Other classes apply for tech and arts sectors. Then there is the Green Card lottery.
Despite freedom of movement within the EU coming into the EU from outside also gets various classes of checks but these vary by country.
Illegal immigration affects even countries like Australia. Boat people from Vietnam, Philippines and other SE Asia try to get into Australia
Europe has had refuges from Syria mixed in with economic from Africa and East so illegal immigration is not a reason for gun use.

I do note the crime issue and fear of violence as a reason to hold arms (although again other countries do not). So more statistics -

Accidental death by gunshot
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...

Per 100,000 of the population data from different years so likely to vary a little.

USA 0.15, UK 0 (yes zero) Switzerland 0.04

Murders from same table
USA 4.62, UK, 0.06 and Switzerland 0.21

Now guns per 100 of the population
USA 101.05, UK 2.8 and Switzerland 24.45

Statisticians can correlate or decide if it's causative accordingly.

If you want to save lives restrict and remove guns. But then again if you want to save more lives ban driving


message 45: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer Leonie wrote: "And to clarify, I'm trying not to make assumptions, but to understand the whys. I suppose I just don't understand why more guns seems to make sense to so many in the US. And that is a cultural difference.

I think it's awful for you all to have to live with the constant idea of armed intruders - be it at school, home or at your place of employment. "


That's the thing that shocks me as to why others are so focused on and need to understand. I'm an American living in Germany. I don't like guns in any form, so it's obvious that I'm not going to understand anyone's stance to have a gun. My nephew has them and I agree to disagree with him. It's completely pointless to understand the why. What's more important to me is to educate myself about guns and crime in general. To remain open to information.

I haven't heard anyone argue that we need MORE guns. We have gun laws and they are working on tightening them. The guns involved in many of these mass shootings were obtained legally.

Here is an interesting site I found regarding Gun Facts. I couldn't find the date this was posted, it looks to have older years not recent ones, but some of the information is still be valid. Some of this information is eye opening.

"we can demonstrate that private ownership of guns reduces crime, but from country to country there is no correlation between gun availability and the violent crime rate." This is important because if we're going to discuss guns and killings, you also need to discuss violent crimes in general. Mass shootings shouldn't just be the only violent crime we find tragic. How other countries record their crimes also makes a difference.

"Fact: In Canada around 1920, before there was any form of gun control, their homicide rate was 7% of the U.S rate. By 1986, and after significant gun control legislation, Canada’s homicide rate was 35% of the U.S. rate – a significant increase. In 2003, Canada had a violent crime rate more than double that of the U.S. (963 vs. 475 per 100,000). "

This is dated for 2001 (I think) - "Fact: Many of the countries with the strictest gun control have the highest rates of violent crime. Australia and England, which have virtually banned gun ownership, have the highest rates of robbery, sexual assault, and assault with force of the top 17 industrialized countries. "

"Fact: The United Kingdom has always had a lower homicide rate than the United States, even when British citizens could legally buy machine guns (Briton’s modern era of gun control did not ramp up until the 1960s). The difference is cultural, not legal."

"Fact: In 1919, before it had any gun control, the U.K. had a homicide rate that was 8% of the U.S. rate. By 1986, and after enacting significant gun control, the rate was 9% – practically unchanged."

"Fact: Comparing crime rates between America and Britain is fundamentally flawed. In America, a gun crime is recorded as a gun crime. In Britain, a crime is only recorded when there is a final disposition (a conviction). All unsolved gun crimes in Britain are not reported as gun crimes, grossly undercounting the amount of gun crime there. To make matters worse, British law enforcement has been exposed for falsifying criminal reports to create falsely lower crime figures, in part to preserve tourism."

"Fact: Homicides were falling before the Australian firearm ban. In the seven years before and after the Australian ban, the rate of decline was identical (down to four decimal places). Homicides dropped steeply starting in 2003, but all of this decline was associated with non-firearm and non-knife murders (fewer beatings, poisonings, drownings, etc.)."

"Fact: In Japan, the total murder rate is almost 1 per 100,000. In the U.S., there are about 3.2 murders per 100,000 people each year by weapons other than firearms. This means that even if firearms in the U.S. could be eliminated, the U.S. would still have three times the murder rate of the Japanese."

"Fact: 60% of American “gun deaths” are suicides 45 and the U.S. has a suicide rate 11% higher 46 than international averages. This accounts for most of the difference.

Fact: The U.S. has a violent crime rate lower than 12 of 17 industrialized countries due in large part to the 2.5 million annual defense gun uses."

"Fact: At least 61% of mass public shooters showed signs of mental instability in the days, weeks or months before their massacres. The rate might be higher because privacy laws prevent fully exploring the mental health history of some killers. Mental health is the determinant variable."

Although many other countries are looking at the U.S. in regards to mass shootings, not having guns doesn't necessarily reduce violent crimes.

But as I've been trying to get across, guns are just ONE factor of the problems. Our laws are very different from other countries, so you can't just focus on one thing because you think it works in your country so it will work in our country. There's more to it than just guns.


message 47: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13775 comments Philip wrote: "https://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp"

Interesting data. If anything, from a quick glance on the charts it looks like a ban resulted in surge of homicide.
The described Federal background check procedure seems reasonable and well intended, but the feeling - it's effectively neutralized and not working and have questionable loopholes like these, which render it ineffective: "private individuals are not required to a conduct a background check before selling or transferring a firearm to someone who lives in the same state, but it is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison for a private individual to sell or transfer a firearm while “knowing” or having “reasonable cause to believe” that the recipient falls into one of the prohibited categories above" or " If an FBI background check takes longer than three days, the gun sale is approved by default.[99] This is how Dylann Roof, the killer of nine people at a black church in South Carolina in 2015,[100] was able to buy a gun despite having a police record that included drug possession".


message 48: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13775 comments I had burglars in my place while asleep. If I had a gun now, I think I'd have a better sleep. Not that I think I'd shoot a burglar, but rather would rely on him/her running away at sight of armed house owner...


message 49: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9751 comments Obviously there is a lot more to crime than having guns, and the culture of the society says a lot. Guns do not lead to crime, but their presence tends to make crime more fatal. I don't see a blanket ban will do much because there are so many asking around in the US anyway. However, I agree fully with Michel that assault weapons should not be available to the general public. Their purpose is to kill enemy soldiers, and they are a hazard in the hands of the average person in an urban area where shows could go anywhere.

In NZ you have to have licence to own a gun, so the sort of problems Nik has discussed don't apply. If the guy has a licence, he can buy it; if he hasn't, it is a crime to sell. We are hardly perfect, but it is a start. And assault rifles are banned.


message 50: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) I was trying to make the point about accidental death. The proliferation of guns leads to this far more than murder. That is the true horror of lack of gun control. Humans, show off, are careless and make mistakes. With guns this is often fatal. Yes they do this in cars too but cars have a very practical purpose. We all have major controls on cars from right to drive at a certain age to what speed and which side of the road can be driven on. People still get this wrong and still break the law but...

An assault rifle has one purpose - to kill enemy combatants as Ian states above. If the right to bear arms is invoked the 2nd amendment puts the use with a Militia and that was discussing 18th century muskets with a fire rate of 2 rounds per minute on a good day not 20 rounds per second at much greater range reliability and accuracy. How about a stinger missile? That's a personal weapon too. Do I have a right to carry that and accidentally shoot down a 747? Like most countries the government heavily restricts the sale of surface to air missiles so why not assault rifles?


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