• Tim G
  • Oak Lawn, IL
  • United States

This conversation is closed.

Should those who oppose gun ownership be marked or identified as not needing assistance by police or military personnel?

I think you should have to really live with your decisions, are they not much more meaningful and fulfilling if carried out to their logical conclusion?

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    Mar 20 2012: I thought the whole point of having an army and a police force was to relieve me of the need to defend myself. Just like we have doctors and nurses so that when I get sick some one with expertise heals me. Allowing the general population to arm themselves is like allowing them to prescribe their own medication. By your logic if I choose not to have a drivers licence I should be excluded from using taxis as their existence relies on some one else having a license. You should come to Australia, I'm sure you would find it strangely relaxing walking through crowds of thousands confident that not one person is armed.
    • Mar 20 2012: You have always enjoyed an extremely low murder and crime rate in Australia, even well before the laughable gun laws. You of course realize that over 80% of murders are committed with unregistered guns, as was the case with the infamous Port Arthur Massacre. Gun restrictions are a way to get a warm fuzzy feeling, that's about it. If you don't like guns, don't get one. If you don't think anyone should be able to legally carry one then perhaps you should at least remove emotion from the equation and understand that gun laws have never deterred a criminal from obtaining one. They only serve to placate the masses and allow for Great campaign talking points. Try telling the citizens of Washington DC how well gun laws work.
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        Mar 20 2012: Overall murder rate 2010 U.S. 4.8 per 100 000 pop Aus 1.16 per 100 000 pop. Percentage of murders commited with a fire arm U.S. 67% Aus 17%. Guns per 100 civilian population U.S. 92 Aus 15.. While Martin Bryant wasn't the registered owner of the guns he used, if the same situation happened today it would be virtually impossible for him to find semi auto guns. You can't steal a gun off some one if no one owns a gun. The gun laws introduced in the wake of Port Arthur ensure that any future similar events will most likely involve bolt action rifles with small magazines. There is a big difference between an unregistered gun and a gun that would have to be smuggled through customs because it is unregisterable in australia. 80% of gun murders in the US may be done with unregistered guns but the guns are registerable for general public use. In Australia you just wouldn't be able to get them. The police in Australia recently seized 200 illegal hand guns and it was headline news. In Sydney a city of 4.5 million people there is currently a scandal over the fact that there has been 10 drive by shootings over the last couple of months. How many were there in L.A. or Chicago? Both cities of comparable size.
        • Mar 21 2012: By your reasoning there should be no murders by guns in Australia. Gun laws do not prevent murder or crime, as evidenced by australia leading the way in their crime rate.
      • Mar 23 2012:  I am a prior member of the US Air Force. I received an honorable discharge after serving 8 years. I mention this not to brag, but to give background and lend credence to my arguments.

        In reading the conversation taking place here, I think some facts are being left out. I understand that guns bought through legal venues are not typically responsible for the violent crimes committed with guns in this country. However, that leaves out the statistics involving guns purchased through gun shows. Roughly 2,000-5,200 gun shows take place in the United States each year.

        Such shows are a venue for private sellers who buy and sell firearms for their "personal collections" or as a hobby. These private sellers have no legal obligation to ask purchasers whether they are legally able to buy guns or to check the legal status of the buyer. Guns purchased in this fashion are often used in violent crimes and even account for a considerable portion of illegal weapon trafficking.

        You state that gun laws don't prevent murder or crime, this is true, but more regulation of gun sales can help reduce those guns falling into the wrong hands.

        If you are a law abiding citizen that wants to purchase a gun, then you should have no qualms with purchasing through a federally licensed firearms sellers. You should take no issue with being subjected to a background check. Gun control to me doesn't mean making it so no one can own a personal gun, it means making sure guns are sold responsibly. Just like, the Second Ammendment to me doesn't mean that everyone has the right to bear arms, it's intent was to make sure that an infant country would be able to defend itself, before we had an organized military or police force. Clearly we have an organized military and police force now.
        Consider the young unarmed man killed by gun in Florida recently by a "neighborhood watchman", who claims self defense... The young man had a bag of candy and iced tea on his person, who could do more harm?
        • Mar 23 2012: Guns are just another tool. Without guns, you still have criminals. If anyone thinks that we can eliminate guns outright then they just aren't thinking it through. If private gun ownership is outlawed, then the only ones who will have them will be the government and the criminals. Accidental shootings like the one you cited are the exception not the rule. I am not interested in legislating exceptions, that's what the bleeding hearts do. The second amendment is prophetic, we should always long for and cherish that right. A lot of gun murders are crimes of passion, and would of happened without a gun. The rest are drug, gang and robbery related, these people don't go to Walmart and buy guns. It amazes me that people don't think this stuff through. If you want to restrict my rights, at least pretend you have thought it through.
    • Apr 8 2012: Adressed to Peter Lindsay MArch 20th, 2012:

      People need two forms of self defense. 1) Individuals against criminals 2) Societies against governments with despotic tendencies. This video presents some reasons for the second.

      I do follow your logic but find it incomplete. Who will defend you while you wait for the police to arrive? Once a capable guardian arrives your logic is correct, until such time? A Local deputy friend explained they cannot arrive fast enough in most instances to defend people and as a result the majority of their work is investigation post incident rather than defense.

      On to perhaps a more important question raised in the video, not one of self defense but rather one of societal defense and community peace. History is littered with examples of government takeovers, dictators, foreign takeovers for natural resources and various collapses of democracies throughout history around the globe. If past is prologue there will be more of this. Imagine a populous properly armed and trained. There is then a continuous presence of a capable guardian against a overbearing government.

      "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

      Who will defend you from the police in the event of dictatorially declared marshal law? Rare, hopefully not in your lifetime but perhaps your kids? Ausies enjoy some protection from a geographical isolation not available in Europe and elsewhere.
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    Mar 19 2012: Hi Tim

    Do not take this as an ad hominem but

    I'm actually quite perplexed......I fail to see the connection between the two points you are making based on what you say.

    I am one of those individuals who do not support the second amendment. Now I do understand the rational behind it because I understand the history but I do not think such a law is needed anymore. More harm has been done with regards to civilians having guns then good (as Matthieu has mentioned). Now I'm not stating that taking away guns will stop crime but what I am saying is that the crime and murder rate will decrease dramatically. Instead of sitting and talking all we have to do now is shoot someone simply because we do not like them and I fail to see how someone, who opposes violence brought about by guns (of course there are other factors for crime) deserves to not have the support and protection of the police or military...

    There is a big difference between someone not supporting violence and someone not supporting security.

    Now in response to your recent comment you mentioned that it was about War and other countries...

    With that being said I think a better question would have been "should those who oppose of military intervention in other countries be marked or identified as not needing assistance from local law enforcement and military?"

    my response to that is: I think any form of taking someone life is the most grotesque act that one can commit and anyone who supports or tries to vindicate why someone else deserved to die out outside of self-defense is just as grotesques as the action that they committed. (of course there are exceptions such as self-defense or protecting ones family member or friend but I'm sure its implied that I am not referring to exceptions here although I understand they are out there and could perhaps be justified)
    • Mar 19 2012: Orlando, thank you very much for your thoughtful addition to this conversation. Nearly every major city that has a conceal and carry law enjoys lower rates of crime and also a lower murder rate per capita. Cities and states that are opposed to gun ownership, generally as a rule enjoy the opposite. If given the choice of living in a city that allows citizens to carry their own weapons as opposed to one that does not I think the honest person would enjoy living in a city that they felt safe in. My question of course is a little bit ridiculous and is more or less intended to get people to think about the consequences of their ideas. Those who live in areas where people are allowed to carry weapons seem to really enjoy the safety and freedom of movement that they have. More Harm has never come from law-abiding citizens having guns, and the idea that Crime and murder rates would drop if you took away all the guns is not supported by statistics or the evidence.
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    Mar 19 2012: What kind of piece of illogic is this? Because we don't want the average Joe to have access to weapons designed to kill, we should be abandoned by trained law enforcement? We're sorry that we don't want any idiot handling a gun, taking the law into his hands. How do you feel about the average guy locking some person in their house to set some score? No? Let's let criminals roam the street, because if we don't believe in people's right to emprison, we don't believe in the prison system. If we don't believe in personal vendettas I guess we should also abandon the judicial system!

    That policy sounds more like what pro-gun types would implement to ostracize people who don't agree with them.
    • Mar 19 2012: It's merely a question, not a bit of logic, please respond thoughtfully to the topic, not with an angry diatribe about. Whatever it is you believe
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        Mar 19 2012: Well on the plus side, my "angry" delivery gave you an excuse to completely dodge answering the points I've raised.
  • Apr 6 2012: Well turns out i have fat fingers and hit submit before i was ready. Anyway i understand your fear of untrained local joes running around being dumb. However i live in an area i honestly fear for me and my familys safety, and the stats are there over 3/4 of the murders commited in my city are done with bladed instruments not guns. From what ive found is that people that grow up with guns know them respect them and peolple that never had any interaction with them at a young age are scared of them or just ridicoulous with them when they see them for the first time. Like everything else in society it seems we need some sort of moderation and mandatory education so everyone understands what they can and cant do respect them and use them properly.
  • Apr 6 2012: Your worried about the average joe having weapons that kill. Does that mean once guns are gone your gonna start lobbying to have kitchen knives outlawed. What about cars? They cause thousands of deaths every year cause stupid peolpe drink and drive yet we still give out car licencing like its a right not a privaleg. As a veteran and still currently serving member of the Canadian military if i was gonna kill somebody outside of self defense i would use a knife. Its quiet no ones gonna hear and a lot easier to conceal. where i live is a large community of Somalians newly imagrated to my city. Since theyve been in this area crime has risen dramaticly especially murder, but no guns they allways use knives. In the last year edmonton has had about 37 murders over 20 where stabbing related. As a member of the military yes im trained to use guns and have made sure my wife also knows how to use them. I have mine so that im good at my job and now i have them for protection, cause i literaly live in an area where i fear what my neighbors do. The cops are a reactionary force and can only function once a crime is commited. So should i wait while my wife is raped or should i go get a gun and defend my family and there safety, maybe i should call the police when something happens. whats the average wait for cops to show up? An hour? 2 minutes? It doesnt matter cause it might be too late. I dont know what nice gated community you live in but you wanna come take away my ability to defend my family?
  • Mar 23 2012: It's been a learning experience. I was a little surprised at a few nasty comments, but I enjoy exploring new ideas and I know for myself that my worldview on many issues has changed quite a bit over the years, so I for one am willing to change.
    • Mar 23 2012: I want to make sure I understand what you mean by "restrict my rights". Are you referring to my argument for more stringent gun control? If so, do you not agree that gun shows especially are the cause of guns falling into the wrong hands? I don't want to restrict the rights of law abiding citizens, as I mentioned, go through a licensed seller (which most legal gun owners do anyway). If you have nothing to hide, it shouldn't be an issue. I want there to be more control over the people who know how to go around the system and do it for illegal purposes. Gun shows are a major contributor to weapons used in gang violence and other violent crimes.

      One way that might help with "accidental" shootings, such as that young man in Florida is more regulation around how to get a license. In the military, they don't just hand you a gun and say, "go for it". They put you through training and teach you how to be safe and responsible.
      Just like we require new drivers to learn how to safely operate cars, why shouldn't we require new gun owners to show they know how to safely operate a gun?
      Why should we assume that everything in our constitution is still Literally applicable today? When it was written, as soon as children ( really boys, not girls) were old enough to hold a gun, they were being taught how to hunt. They were taught safety and accuracy. The same does not hold true in most cases today. Yes, it is still a tradition in many families, but not all gun owners have prior experience and even the inexperienced do not always choose the responsible path of learning safe operation before bringing a gun into their home.
      Why are there so many accidental deaths, if everyone deserves to own a gun?
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    Mar 21 2012: If you read the stats carefully you would notice that in Australia we own approximately one sixth as many guns per capita as the U.S. and there are approximately one tenth as many gun murders as in the U.S.. In science thats what we call a correlation. Or are you referring to the spate of drive by shootongs and honestly claiming that there haven't been more than 10 drive bys in L.A. so far this year? FYI the number of gun murders and gun suicides has almost halved since the post Port Arthur gun laws were introduced. Suicides down from 382 in 1996 to 261 in 2001 murders down from 104 in 1996 to 47 in 2001. Do you consider halving the murder rate ineffective?
  • Mar 20 2012: Hopefully, government helps protect the weak from the strong so that both can survive. As Peter discussed, there are bad people out there and a gun used as a means of defense at the personal, national, or international level should be an option for those wishing to be in direct control of their own destiny, or at least believe that they are able to be in control of their destiny in a situation involved armed conflict.

    A gun has the ability to put great power in the hands of the weak, both physically and mentally. With great power comes great responsibility. Misuse of power has severe consequences, again at the personal, national and international levels.

    I support the right of those that want to have or carry a gun to do so.

    I support the right of those that do not want this responsibility, for whatever reason, to not carry a gun.

    I recognize that both groups must live together.

    There are other forms of public service besides serving in the military or the police force. Public service should apply to the entire public, regardless of position relative to gun ownership.

    Freedom of choice and the ability for all these groups to live together is what makes America great.
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    Mar 20 2012: This question should have been posted under "Questions" not under "Ideas". If there was a "Dumb Question" group, it certainly should have gone in that one. Whoever said there is no such thing of a dumb question was wrong.
    • Mar 20 2012: Robert I'm new to ted so yes I absolutely made a mistake. Ted should consider hiring you as the new member welcoming committee , considering how kind and informative you have been. I can easily rephrase my question or even delete it or change my view, unfortunately for you and others around you it appears you have been crafting this attitude of yours for many decades. I hear Walmart is hiring greeters.

      PS I would have preferred some positive thoughts and a prayer
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        Mar 20 2012: Sorry for the not so friendly welcome to the TED community. I do not own a gun nor do I oppose responsible people owning a gun. I pray that our country will continue the 2nd amendment. People who oppose this right still are tax payers who depend on law enforcement to maintain some sort of civility to keep the thugs in check.

        By the way, WalMart has done away with the door greeters. They no wander around the store looking for those customers that may need assistance. Anyhow, have fun on this website.
        • Mar 20 2012: Thanks Robert, I just like to get down to brass tacks. Overall violence in the world is on a decline. So is the murder rate, it was falling before most restrictive gun laws went into effect. Here in Chicago gun laws only keep the honest folk unarmed. I was actually in school when a shooting took place a block away. If allowed, I would occasionally carry a weapon. It is not the weapons or any other inanimate object that murders or causes crime, it's human nature. And when you take powerful deterrents out of the hands of law enforcement and the general public. Well. You get more of the same. Anti gun nuts make this world easier for criminals to operate in. And ultimately less safe for the rest of us. Even in Chicago, you could save more lives if you were anti water, as drowning kills more kids every year than guns.
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    Mar 20 2012: You are essentially making a value judgement. Your point is that if I don't believe that citizens should have individual gun ownership, then the police should not save me from a driveby, nor should the military prevent a hijacked plane from smashing into the skyscraper where I work. What this argument neglects is that police and military (at least in theory) are products of a civil society, set up with laws to protect the citizenry, with the understanding that all citizens are to be protected. To "mark" some citizens as undeserving of civil protection undermines the very idea of civil society.

    (by the way I do believe in the 2nd amendment - I only wish one day we will use it responsibly!)
    • Mar 20 2012: I started a conversation with a question, I made no value judgements. Your hijacked plane analogy is distatsteful and makes absolutely no sense, there are of course other people in the building. Those who decry weapons don't seem to mind them being used when they are used to protect them, but they would deny others the right to use the same weapons to protect themselves. Relying solely on law enforcement is a fools folly.

      By the way it's the criminals who do not use the 2nd amendment responsibly, that's the point, criminals don't check with their local gun laws before obtaining a weapon, they have easier access to guns then I do, and I was trained to handle weapons during my Military career.
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        Mar 20 2012: With all reapect, your very question is a judgement and your own answer to it is obvious. You think that those who oppose gun ownership should not be allowed the protection of police or military. I say that belief advocates foe the dismantling of a civil society.

        Any good police officer knows that they are there to serve and protect, including those who don't want to be protected. The military knows that they are there to protect the freedoms contained in the Constitution, and that includes the freedom of speech of some young person to say we should disband the military.

        Sir, plainly put, the highest form of love is to be loving toward those who will never love you back. To give without expecting anything in return, to lay down your life for those who hate you, this was an example of the ultimate love from our Lord and Creator, and i think police or military would be honored to emulate that, especially by defending those who oppose the very weapons they use.
  • Mar 19 2012: Strawman arguments will not aid this conversation, how do you know that I wasn't planning on answering the " Points" that you made. This conversation is not about individual gun ownership rights. The video if you even viewed it , is more about guns in the context of countries and wars. I was more thinking about people who in general just don't think anybody should have guns or any other weapon for that matter. But I do believe I am a bit off topic here because, it seems obvious that your demeanor is very unbecoming and almost childish. If perhaps good sir you would apologize then I would be more than happy to answer any of the points that you have raised. If not however then I would appreciate if you would just move on. Good day sir.
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      Mar 19 2012: I think you should clarify your question then. It does not follow at all from: "those who oppose gun ownership" that you mean those that would not even have police and the military carry firearms. I don't know that many people would even fit your description, but I guess if you think it's a question worth asking that's fine. I'm sorry for our miscommunication.
      • Mar 19 2012: Thank you, I do however think that there is a large number of people who think that we could do without, as evidenced by the other conversations surrounding this video. So yes I think it is a question worth asking. Thanks again.
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    Mar 19 2012: If you don't care for what I have to say because of my tone, I vividly recommend that you watch the video that you've put up as related talk. Then maybe you might understand the difference between the issue of private gun ownership and law enforcement and why one is desirable by most (including those who oppose gun ownership) and the other not. All that from a respectable general on the internet instead of a big mean TEDster like me.
    • Mar 19 2012: Thanks for your insight, big mean TEDster, you have managed to add nothing useful or positive to this conversation. How very childish. Bonne soirée
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    Mar 19 2012: 'Should' implies there is a 'right' answer. How about "[what if/what would happen if] those who oppose gun ownership are marked as not needing assistance by police and military personnel?" as the framework for this conversation?
    • Mar 19 2012: Good point Tim. Perhaps that will prevent people from responding angrily. I am new to Ted so I really appreciate the feedback and response
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        Mar 23 2012: Yeah, I've found that 'should' tends to elicit (strong, and usually divisive) opinions, whereas 'what if' invites an exploration of possibilities.

        How are these conversations in this thread feeling for you, by the way? I've been watching them and they seem really charged to me.