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Bob Dohse


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What gun-control or gun-rights reference is YOUR preferred source of factual information on the subject?

What published gun-control or gun-rights reference is YOUR preferred source of factual information on the subject?

Everyone, it seems, has an OPINION of guns and the limits of their legitimate use within society (if any). But upon WHAT is your opinion based? And WHY is that referenced source important for YOUR opinion.

Please share a published source of your choice, so others might better understand why you chose YOUR opinion.

And please share WHY that information is important to YOUR opinion.

The conversation is in English, but not limited to only the current debate within the United States.

Facts from around the globe are welcomed, but please don't presume that every nation or citizen must accept YOUR nation's laws, culture, or political process.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation in a considerate exchange of information. :-)


Closing Statement from Bob Dohse

It was interesting to read the different opinions people have on issues related to guns, and also their perspectives which help shape their opinions.

While we might not all agree on every point, I think we demonstrated that it was possible to have an agreeable discussion. That could possibly change in a situation where winners and losers were picked, but we avoided that problem with a TED "question" and not a TED "debate".

Perhaps there's a lesson in this ... that we might possibly be more agreeable citizens if we can somehow (as much as possible) search more for agreement and less for victory. Granted that this is not always possible, it's still a thought to ponder.

If I can keep a gun and find a way to keep my neighbor (who is not a gun advocate) happy, then we both end up happy. Conversely, if I can easily and willingly do something that addresses my neighbor's concerns (perhaps a gun safe to insure safety for children), then we are also both happy.

As a parting comment ... many thanks to Matt MacBradaigh, who provided links to other articles he's written and, thus, shared yet another avenue to exchange information.

And thanks to all for a pleasant dialog without rants and rages.

Warm regards.

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    May 4 2013: "And please share WHY that information is important to YOUR opinion." Thanks for the question.
    I have a story to share that supports my opinion, that I will present at the end.
    When I was a child, living near the city of Gdansk where the system change in Poland began, there were unrests and uncertainty. Special forces sent to control the crowd (ZOMO and ORMO) did not use guns, but batons. Guns were not allowed for the citizens either and grey zones were impossible to be established due to gentle control. There were still justified unrests, struggle between the forces and the people that Lech Walesa put a stop to, which he won a Nobel prize for.
    All this and other stories and situations I've mentioned here on TED led me to the following conclusion - the more forces with no guns and the better the control of the production and distribution of guns, and the forces - the better for both the forces and citizens. Maybe I'm naive, but that's just my opinion. I'm not applying it to the topics mentioned in the conversation, I'm just sharing.
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      May 8 2013: Anna,

      Thanks for sharing your personal history and perspective.

      I tried to design a question with no "right" answers, so that an opinion like yours would fit in perfectly. I don't think it's necessary for dialogs to always lead to mutual agreement on every issue, and ideas about guns are one of those topics with many varied opinions.

      I do think it is good to understand how other people feel about things that are important to them, and I think it is helpful when we understand why they feel how they feel. I think personal histories are a very good way to share the context of how or why people formed an opinion.

      So, again, thank you for sharing. It added a unique perspective that I enjoyed reading.
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        May 8 2013: To share a bit more...

        "...the bullets scream to me from somewhere..."

        NRA - it'snot guns that kill people, people do... but I think the gun helps - E.Izzard.

        Best wishes, Bob.
        • May 9 2013: Anna,

          While I can appreciate your personal story shared above as an anecdote, anecdotes aren't very useful in looking at the larger picture, because by definition, it's a small personal snapshot of one event.

          The question is what "source of factual information on the subject" do you find useful. Do you have a factual source of information, outside of your personal story? Or not? Because sharing quotes from Eddie Izzard doesn't really qualify. He's a funny guy, but not a credible, authoritative source on the gun debate.

          By all means, if you have something substantive to share, feel free. But otherwise, I think the clever slogan quotes don't do any service to the debate or in taking the question seriously.
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        May 9 2013: Hi again Bob,

        I can add another comment if you're interested in perspectives, although this one is not really unique, it dominated the media in Norway some time ago.

        You probably heard of a tragedy that shocked Norway and the world in 2011.


        This occured very close to where I happen to live. The terrorist aquired the rifle legally - for hunting. Had this been regulated/controlled more effectively and with proper risk assessment, the teenagers camping on Utoya-island would still be alive.

        It's not the bombing I'm referring to now but what happened after it, everything's in the article.
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          May 9 2013: Thanks, again, Anna.

          I was raised part of my life in the mountains of Wyoming, near Yellowstone Park, so my heritage is different from Norway. In my part of the world, people generally have a weapon nearby because wild animals (bears, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions) might attack us or our animals. So guns are a part of our daily life.

          That is also a big tourist area, so there are many camping places and other sites where a recreation event (similar to the site of the 2011 Norway attacks) might have happened.

          Had the 2011 Norway attacks happened in that area of Wyoming (and in many other places in America), then a citizen would have used their available gun to stop the killer.

          That - personal defense of self and others - one of the two reasons the US Supreme Court says the Second Amendment exists.

          The other reason for the Second Amendment, according to the Supreme Court, is "deterrence of tyranny". You probably know better than I, but we have some movies and stories here in America about the freedom fighters in Norway who fought against the Nazis. That represents the 2nd example.

          We are having in America a big discussion about guns, and one big complaint is that we don't pay enough attention to helping people with mental health problems or feelings of hatred and isolation. I think the 2011 Norway shooter was in that last group - hatred of others and isolation from people who thought differently than the shooter.

          So we have some similarity of the issues between our nations, and we also have some differences in culture and heritage.

          I do appreciate your perspective, and I thank you for sharing it with us. I think it's important to have peaceful dialog between people who have differing ideas, and your comments help add to that.

          I think we also have much in common ... wanting a better and peaceful life, and a nice place to live without the craziness of these terrible events.

          So we continue to talk ...

          Thank you so much, Anna, for joining and sharing with us.
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        May 9 2013: Hi Matt,

        I see your point.
        My additional comment was just a reply, I didn't concentrate on factual information in this one, as I did in the first one. Still, although what I wrote seems to be an anecdote, there is some truth in it, you cannot dismiss that.
        Best wishes. Please see my other comment too.

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