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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Simon in Hampshire, England BS: I'm scared of Americans and Guns (117* d) RE: I'm scared of Americans and Guns 20 Apr 00

Amazing how this topic can rouse such ire. Over on the Fairport Convention list recently this also came up. The main lesson from that is that there is a huge gulf between the US and the UK on the okay-ness of owning guns.

Now, being English, perhaps I underestimate just how handy a gun is. There must be no end to the uses other than shooting people, eh? As Little Bill Daggett says in 'Unforgiven', they're for "snakes an' such". But I'm not exactly convinced by the 'hunting helps preserve the countryside' argument – if a nation is serious about preserving the countryside, it leaves it bloody well alone, not just bloody.

Speaking personally, I'm afraid of ANYONE with a gun, be they American, Iraqi or Martian, and I doubt that owning one myself would make me feel a whole lot better. There is a proportion of nutters in any population. If guns are available, that means ARMED nutters.

If I may paraphrase from memory the late great Bill Hicks (stats are for demonstration purposes only – proportions, not actual figures): "Here in the United States – and I think you know how we feel about guns – whoo, I'm getting a stiffy just thinking about it – we had ten thousand deaths by firearms last year. In Britain, where not even the policemen carry guns – twenty. Ten thousand… twenty. Now I don't want you to get the wrong idea. There is no connection – none – and you'd be a fool and a communist to think otherwise – between having a gun, and shooting someone with it, and NOT having a gun, and NOT shooting someone."

Oh and by the way Bud: "If you think that outlawing guns will solve the problem, then all Britain has to do is outlaw them in Northern Ireland and voila! everything is peaceful and problem solved", eh? Kindly refrain from talking of a subject about which you evidently know nothing. The only people who have guns in Northern Ireland are the paramilitaries and the police/army. Guns ARE outlawed, and, oddly enough, who does the shooting? People WITH guns, or those without? Surprise surprise, people with guns shoot people! And there are (were?) active efforts to get rid of the guns, not just let everyone keep them in case they come in handy, "oh well, we've got 'em now, may as well join the Americans".

Yes, if people want to hurt others, they'll do it anyway. Bridget says: "it doesn't mean that no one should have guns because a few people abuse the privelege." Yes it does, because nothing else (except maybe swords) is specifically designed to harm other people as easily, efficiently, and as many at a time, as possible. What you do is very carefully CONTROL those that are allowed for wildfowl, targets etc. Mistakes will be made, but rather fewer than in the present US free-for-all. But it's this simple – if you're not into targets or hunting, if you don't want to / think you might 'need' to / intend to shoot someone, ordinary folk don't need a gun.

And if anyone disagrees I'll shoot 'em.


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