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Weekly sober thread: Gun control.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by $100T2, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. $100T2

    $100T2
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    Yes, technically this is political. Can we have a reasonable discussion about it?

    Mostly, my point of view is simple:

    DISCLAIMER: I am NOT being insensitive to the victims in Colorado. It's horrific what happened, and (speaking as a Daddy) even more sickening that one victim was a little 6 year old girl.

    That being said: I do NOT believe the 2nd Amendment guarantees anyone's right to have whatever guns they want. The 2nd Amendment states: "In order to have a WELL ARMED MILITIA"... Which we do not have. There is no civilian militia, because frankly, we don't need one as our military is basically awesome in every way. I do believe, however, that responsible adults SHOULD be able to have pretty much whatever guns they want... They shouldn't need an amendment to justify it! Want a rotating mini-cannon like in Terminator 2? Fine. Just don't use it to commit a crime, and we're fine... Whatever blows your hair back.

    Now, on to the rant about the idiots next door (Yes, Connecticut Legislature, I'm looking at you) trying to use what happened in Colorado as a justification for more strict gun control. Guess what? I own a gun. Guess what? I do not aim it any anything I do not want to shoot. Why? Because I am a reasonable, responsible adult. (Yes, really, I am.) I'm the kind of person who buys a gun at a gun store, fills out the form, waits the two weeks, etc. I'm the kind of person who has signs out in the woods behind the house that say "Do not discharge firearms within 500 feet of a dwelling" so I don't discharge firearms within 500 feet of a dwelling. I'm the kind of person who follows the laws, and does the right thing. The guy who killed the people at the movie in Colorado wasn't going to be stopped by gun control laws. The guy who will use his gun to rob a liquor store is not going to be stopped by gun control laws. The guy who ALREADY has stockpiled weapons and ammunition for the day he loses his mind and goes on a shooting spree is NOT going to be stopped by gun control laws. Want a great example of gun control legislation? How about this: It is ILLEGAL for a convicted felon to own a firearm. How many repeat gun crime offenders do we have in prisons right now? How did that legislation work out? Oh, yeah, that's right, it didn't. Want to have more strict gun control? Fine, write the bill, pass the legislation, whatever, but stop using the images and memories of people who just wanted to see a Batman movie to further your agenda. Call it what is is: You want more strict gun control because you want more strict gun control. Don't pervert the deaths of 12 people because you think it's a sail to raise on your ship so you can sail to the Land of Righteousness. Make no mistake about it: No law, no rule, no paperwork, no waiting period, no ban on this-that-or-that type of gun would have stopped that guy or anyone else willing to maim or murder innocent people.

    The way I see it, gun control laws are aimed not at stopping crime or protecting people from gun related crime, but are more likely to make it difficult for rational, law-abiding citizens to go out and get a gun. And it's horseshit.

    FOCUS: Is there a method of gun control that isn't as helpful as a soggy Kleenex when you sneeze?

    ALT FOCUS: What the fuck is wrong with people that they do shit like the guy in Colorado?
     
  2. Dcc001

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    A few things:

    Our tendency lately is to take these serious topics, single out a few people with opposing views, and run the subject into the ground with a bunch of e-tough posturing. Do not do that here. Fair warning; he-said, she-said posts will be deleted. Surely to god we can have an intelligent discussion about gun control, where we exchange ideas and there's some give and take.

    Also, let's try not to make too many tasteless jokes about the Colorado massacre. That dude was crazy, and quite a few families are suffering right now.

    There have been some interesting events lately in Canada, namely in Toronto. A string of gang-related shootings has put that city into red alert when it comes to violence. The mayor, who is so out of place it's unreal (he should be a mayor of a small city in the West, because his politics are soooo not Ontarian), has said "No more hugs-for-thugs programs [meaning programs that deter kids from gangs or try to re-integrate gang members into society]; I'm going to see that legislation gets passed that bans anyone who has a gun-related crime in their record from living within Toronto's city limits." The premier disagrees, but oddly enough the Federal Immigration Minister seems willing to talk.

    Personally, I think it's a thinly veiled way of saying, "We're going to send these gun-totin' foreigners back to where they came from." Because the crimes tend to be within ethnic gangs.

    Another thing that happened fairly recently - last year - was that the Feds finally abolished the long-gun registry. Thank god. If ever there was a poorly executed "public safety" program, it was the one that spent over a billion dollars to force farmers and hunters to register guns they've owned for twenty years.

    This is my problem with any proposed government-sanctioned gun control: the government never comes up with a good solution to anything. Now that the weapons are sold, how should they be effectively contained? Once they're out in the public's hands, I don't know what the avenue is to try and retroactively impose a legal control onto things. One that will actually work, I mean.

    Just my ramblings. Have at 'er, but please be nice.
     
  3. gfunk

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    Coming from a country (Australia) that implemented gun controls as a result of a similar type of tragedy (The Port Arthur Massacre) I find it puzzling why so many people are so strongly against any form of gun controls. I understand the right to bear arms but it seems anytime steps are suggested they are quickly shot down, pardon the pun.

    I feel taking some steps can work and Australia has had some success. Is the solution perfect, no. Did governments get everything right, no. But something was done to try and address the problem. Obviously the issue was different with Australia because the number of homes with guns prior to Port Arthur would be significantly lower than in the US now, and support for gun controls was much higher, even before Port Arthur. But my view is gun controls wont work unless the majority want it and that doesn't seem to be the case currently in the US.
     
  4. Nicole

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    I'm actually not interested in wading into this debate, but I am curious: it seems like when people debate gun control, it's posed as a "yes or no", or "pro or con" issue. It's not such a black and white issue though, whether you're analyzing the types of controls used (from registry lists, to waiting periods, to quantity restrictions) or the types of weapons (and weapon features) being banned.

    Particularly on the types of weapons/ammo/features being banned, as we all know, there's a whole lotta firepower out there to be had. For those folks that are anti gun controls, do you really agree with civilians owning and using, say, an M2? MK19's? I think most folks would agree that a line must be drawn somewhere on which weapons/ammo/magazines/etc can be owned by the public...where's that line and how do you determine it?

    And I have a hard time accepting that someone's reaction to this recent shooting is to write it off as unpreventable.

    for the record, I love shooting the AR 15...it's weight, the trigger pull, getting off a nice shot...and there's no way in hell I think civilians needs or should have access to semi or fully automatic firearms.
     
  5. audreymonroe

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    I don't really have a strong opinion about the whole gun control issue, but what I do get confused about is how it can be a topic that people who are against more gun control laws get so damn passionate about. The argument tends to end up being about how more gun control laws wouldn't solve anything - and to some degree, I do agree with that - but never really about why it's so important to them except for The Constitution. Is it really all about just wanting a gun around just in case one day you may need to use it to protect yourself? Because, yeah, in a way I can understand that, but I've never been clear about how that can lead to such an emotional debate that this tends to turn into. For some reason, I seem to have a higher than average likelihood of winding up in all sorts of dangerous or risky or uncomfortable or generally bad situations, and I can say that I have never once looked back on any of those stories and thought "You know what would have helped that situation and made everything better? If I had a gun." Sure, I have my revenge fantasies just like most other people where the person ends up dead, but they're fantasies for a reason. I just don't think I could do it, or if I did have to do it that I would be at all okay with it or make anything better. Not only do I not think a gun would have fixed any of those situations, but would have added to the trauma of it all if I added the fact that I shot or killed a person, and then more than likely had to go through court. (Besides all that, it's not like any of the times I'm thinking of happened in my home where I'd have access to my gun anyway. So, unless I'm carrying my weapon on me at all times, the hypothetical doesn't even matter. Even if I could have just waved a gun around and not had to do anything with it and it stopped anything from happening, it wouldn't have been there in the first place. Sure, the idea of that is nice, but it just doesn't fit into reality for me. And I don't much like the idea of a life where I walk out the door and think "Ok: keys, phone, wallet, iPod, gun. Good to go." because just in case something bad might happen to me once I step out that door. What an awful, paranoid, joyless way to live. )

    So, I guess I just have a hard time imagining a life or a world where I'm not a criminal but still hold that right so incredibly dear to my heart, and I'm interested in the insight into that whole mindset. There are certainly situations where I can support the idea of that kind of vigilante justice. I can't remember if it was ever talked about on here, but there was recently a story where a guy killed the man he caught sexually assaulting his kid (not with a gun, but still relevant), and I didn't have to blink an eye before deciding that I was fine with that. But, generally, I don't cherish my right so much to have that open as an option and find it surprising that so many people do, and have always been curious as to how that political pet project, of all things, develops into such a fiery passion.

    Edited to add: I don't have much faith that this thread won't end badly, but when everyone's fighting at least we can all remember that we're not these people. I think. I hope?
     
  6. caseykasem

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    Responsible citizens gets licenses for firearms such as a concealed carry permit, register firearms, and comply with gun laws. Criminals don't do any of that. If someone needs a gun to commit a crime, they will stop at nothing to get that gun. Gun control simply impairs responsible citizens from protecting themselves and their homes.

    In Wyoming, we have what is known as "the Vermont Law". It does away with concealed carry permits altogether. Anyone over 21 years old (except convicted felons) can carry a concealed firearm in most public places. I've spoken with several police officers who have no problem with this. Their thinking is that someone who wants to shoot a cop will do so anyway and wouldn't get a concealed carry permit and may illegally obtain a firearm. Joe Citizen who is carrying to protect himself is the type of individual who would follow the steps needed to obtain a concealed carry permit, follows the laws while carrying a firearm, and would lawfully purchase a firearm. Only one of these people is affected by stricter gun control.
     
  7. wexton

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    This is my thoughts exactly. Someone who wants to go shoot someone, will do so anyways, weather guns are legal or illegal. As a Canadian who ones a pistol, the only thing i can do with it is 1) clean it, 2)take it directly to a shooting range(you can put it on a plane, but there has to be a shooting compition where you are going, this is basically taking it directly to a range, just not the one closest to you), 3)take it directly to a gun smith. Any other reason if caught, and you are so screwed. And two of the 3 major political parties in Canada want to make them completely illegal, which is the only reason i vote the way i do.
     
  8. Sully

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    As a quick aside, the point of a militia isn't necessarily always to supplant a government-led force; it may also be to oppose a government-led force, should the need arise. While I'm not suggesting that the United States would ever or even has any capacity to reach that type of situation, keep in mind the circumstances that caused the birth of this country. The first shots fired against British oppression came from newly-organized militiamen and their personally-owned firearms.

    With that, I'll doff the tinfoil hat and get to the topic.

    I have a very liberal attitude toward the right to own arms that I swear is not related to my immediate previous statement. I wouldn't have a problem with private ownership of anything short of a main battle tank.

    That said, the main caveat to that philosophy is that obtaining a license to own and carry guns has to be more proactive and less reactive. My state's requirements for a handgun carry permit, for example, only bar those who have been convicted of a crime, or have been deemed mentally ill by a judge. While I do enjoy basking in the warm fuzziness of freedom unencumbered by the government I can't help but wonder if it would be prudent to administer a basic psychological exam prior to issuing a license to own and/or carry a gun rather than waiting for people to demonstrate their inability to handle them in a manner that attracts the attention of the courts.

    Continuing my train of thought, I think it's interesting how quickly the public jumps to how a person commits this type of act and not why. One thing that every spree shooter in recent history has had in common is that they've all had some form of mental illness. As I said, more thorough screening would help prevent these people from acquiring weapons, but as you said, it wouldn't stop a person from killing another.

    I hesitate to point the finger at any one cause, but the poor state of mental health awareness in this country is certainly a contributing factor. It's not difficult to imagine that a little easily-accessible counseling or similar services would have gone a long way towards keeping these people from doing what they've done. Instead there's a culture of stigmatization and isolation that forms a sort of positive feedback loop to those with mental illness. And yet we continue to be surprised that they would snap and commit these acts of violence.
     
  9. KIMaster

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    Focus- Wait, so by making guns illegal, we're going to deter a mass murderer?! Last I checked, murder was also illegal. Why didn't that deter him?

    The funny thing is the conclusion people should draw from the tragedy in Colorado is the exact opposite of the one many are; we need more people carrying guns, not fewer. If there had been someone in that movie theater with a gun, more people would still be alive today.

    Amusingly enough, a few days before the tragedy in Colorado, there was a story of a 71 year-old man in Florida successfully foiling an armed robbery by two men by pulling out his gun and firing it.

    Few, if any media reports make the obvious connection to the Denver tragedy.

    Did you hear about a shooting massacre at a university in Virginia a few years back? No, it's not the one you're thinking of at Virginia Tech, which killed 32 people.

    This was back in 2002 at Appalachian Law school, and it killed 3 people. After those initial deaths, two different students (one an off-duty police officer) retrieved their guns and got the suspect to surrender. Appalachian Law school allowed its students to have guns. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, had a very strict zero tolerance policy before the massacre. You see the results.

    It's simple, really. A crazed mass murderer is not going to be bothered by guns being illegal or harder to get. You can make guns illegal, but what are you going to do with the few billion firearms already inside of this country? And what about the black market? Criminals and psychos will always have access to guns. Making them illegal only takes them out of the hands of responsible citizens.

    And unfortunately, when someone nowadays decides to wreak havoc on society, they can often succeed to a large extent. The only thing you can do is to minimize the death and damage. A well-armed citizenry is the way to do this. Notice that we don't read much about shooting rampages in Texas.

    Alt Focus-

    This is a new strain of behavior/reaction in society. It's a new reaction to dealing with overwhelming stress and sadness. Humans have felt this during every generation, as have many people on this board. But most of us deal with it ourselves. However, for a certain group of people, they direct their problems outward in this violent, destructive manner.
     
  10. LessTalk MoreStab

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    Hard drugs are illegal, that’s working out pretty well.

    I hate the fact that we effectively banned guns in Australia and would love to have a nice warm .45 in my bedside cabinet and a 12 guage under the bed. The stats are hard to find but from what I’m led to believe the gun clawback has made virtually no difference to the numbers of gun related crimes in Aus. I also understand home invasions have increased. Happy to be proved wrong by one of you statistic monkeys.
     
  11. archer

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    Speaking as an honest (for the most part), law abiding (for the most part) and responsible citizen of Australia who would very much like to own a gun (for fullbore target shooting and possibly hunting down the track) i think all our strict gun laws have done is punish law abiding citizens who would have done the right thing (i.e. not fucking shoot people) without stricter gun laws anyway.

    The fucking hoops i have to jump through to get a license for a centrefire bolt action rifle (category B) are pretty ridiculous.

    When i look at what i have to do and compare it to the almost weekly news reports about high powered full auto rifles and semi-auto handguns being picked up by police from criminals it boggles my mind.

    These super strict gun laws have not stopped criminals getting a hold of these weapons, if anything all it has done is drive up the price and the allure of these deadly weapons for criminals.

    Hell, theres a report at the moment of a facebook page openly offering illegal handguns for sale (amongst other illegal items) http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8494930/aussie-facebook-page-spruiks-illegal-weapons

    Openly offered on bloody facebook... yeah those laws are working real well aren't they?

    Gun control as far as im concerned only affects people with a legitimate use for the weapons. People with mass murder or crime on their minds are just going to source them illegally.

    The gun control lobby here has been using the recent drive by's and shootings over in the eastern states to push for even stricter fucking laws and i just dont get it... the guns being used in these crimes are already illegal in this country... how the fuck is making more guns illegal (or harder to get when you have a legitimate legal use) going to stop anything?

    Edit in response to rep: Yep, this is the same country that until recently banned 18+ content in video games (just recently changed, after a lengthy public consultation process. Which they initially thought had been rigged because the response in favour of allowing this content, under an appropriate rating, was so off the charts it really did look like it had been rigged). Yes, we live in a fucking nanny state.

    It should also be added that small breasted women in porn is also technically illegal here, as is the female orgasm. The former because apparently small breasted women in porn promotes pedophilia and the latter because its offensive. Yeah our politicians put American politicians to shame with their idiocy.
     
  12. Juice

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    I love the idea that guns should be legal, but assault rifles and tactical ammo shouldn't be. So if a murderer can't buy a high powered carbine, he's not going to bother with a different firearm? Please. Thats also assuming a gun can't be obtained illegally or made, which is much easier than you think.

    There's 270 million legally owned guns in the United States. One of these killings might happened once every year or every other year. Statistically, based on population and volume of firearms, that's extremely low.

    I love guns, I own a pistol and an AR-15. Why do I need one? Because fuck you that's why. I'm not going to waste my time justifying to anyone why I should have one, because it doesn't matter. I follow the law, I pay my taxes, and I wanted one just cause. I keep it locked up and I don't get waving it in people's faces when I get angry and most other people are the same way.

    What happened in Colorado is a tragedy, but more restrictive gun laws aren't going to deter a psychopath. It's a shame the left is using it to push another retarded anti-gun agenda out of nowhere.
     
  13. Cult

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    What's really dumb is that people seem to think that assault weapons (as defined by the Federal Assault Weapon Ban should be illegal, but when they were illegal the decrease in crime was so miniscule that it could barely be measured. The AR-15 that Holmes used and similar "assault weapons" are rarely used in crimes, outlawing them is pointless. I just don't understand how controlling guns more strictly and keeping them out of the hands of people who are going to use them legitimately is going to make it harder for criminals to acquire them.

    There is a reason that theaters, schools and other gun free zones are targeted so frequently in mass shootings and generally have such a high number of deaths, it's because shooters know more than likely no one is going to be armed in any of those places and their supremacy will be unchallenged until the cops finally arrive. When the seconds matter, the police are minutes away. That doesn't mean I live my life in fear, but in the event that I need to defend myself, my home or my family I will be prepared to do so.

    Frankly, I just don't think there is a good way of keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals that doesn't infringe upon the rights of people who are going to use them legally, and at the end of the day, people are the problem, not guns. Controlling guns to stop crime is like fighting the symptoms but not curing the disease that is the root cause of those symptoms.
     
  14. ODEN

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    http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=17847

    I'm not sure what measure of success Australia has used but if this data is correct, I wouldn't say it has been a great success.
     
  15. ODEN

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    Here's an honest question for everyone here to ponder: Where does an unemployed PhD student get the money to buy assault rifles, shotguns, pistols, ammunition, body armor, gas masks, incendiary devices, etc.? Is it possible that this PhD student used federal grant money to buy this material? Perhaps.

    The reason I bring this up is that the immediate knee-jerk reaction after these events is for the liberally-minded individuals on this board and around the world to immediately point to readily available firearms as the cause. Why is that? I think that concept is as preposterous as if I said that federal grant money was used to fund this operation and now we should ban federal grants.

    Focus: I stand with many of the rest of the people on the board. I don't want anything done with current gun control measures. I don't think anything positive will come from further gun control laws. I think our energies would be better served looking at the socio-economic issues related to violent crime and current public mental health policies.

    I am a gun owner. I am a CCW permit holder. I take the responsibility of carrying a firearm very seriously. I go further than I ever would have before to avoid any form of confrontation in public. If I am carrying and I get cutoff in traffic, I don't honk or flip them off...I let it go. I didn't purchase and start to carry a firearm as a means of being tough or trying to be Clint Eastwood. I did it because I have a wife and child in an area with higher than normal violent crime. I can't afford to be at someone else's mercy while waiting for the guy on the other end of the 911 call to get help to me.

    That being said; Colorado, Aurora in particular has some local statutes that make legally carrying a weapon more difficult and in some situations impossible. Looking back, I'm not sure of this but I would guess that if given the opportunity, many of the people in the theatre that night would have liked to have had a way to protect themselves.
     
  16. Dcc001

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    With regard to the whole "If people in the theatre had guns, it would have ended things right there," argument:

    Given the high percentage of military personnel in that town, I would be surprised if a crowd of 500 people or so DIDN'T have a handful of people in it with CCW permits. You have to look at context, though: it's midnight. Densely crowded theatre. Lights go out, now it's almost totally black. Suddenly a figure comes into view, and smoke starts to rise. You're coughing, and your eyes are blurry, because that smoke is tear gas. Now automatic gunfire is heard. Now some people are stampeding, some are pushing you out of the way to hide. If you are a responsible, trained citizen I don't see how you could start firing your gun, because you can't see the target and the risk of shooting innocent people is astronomical. And it would happen quickly. If the whole event took more than five minutes, it would be surprising.

    Someone made a fantastic point about mental illness. People who suffer from any form of it are really on the butt end of society, because the amount of programs and aide they can draw on is so narrow, and their capacity to fight for their own welfare is greatly reduced. I don't know what kind of test could be effectively administered by someone selling a gun to ensure that the person buying wasn't afflicted, though. If you had a high-functioning illness - as this fellow might have - then you'd pass. Or you could buy online, as he did.

    Like I said, this is where I come up short with a solution. Now that so many guns and so much ammunition is in circulation, how do you regulate it? Is it the best form of action to just allow responsible citizens to act responsibly, and have the police handle the nutballs and the gangs? Because the thought of government legislating this away makes me shudder.

    I work with guys who hunt. What they had to go through to LEGALLY register guns they already owned would make you want to reach through the glass window at the provincial office and choke the teller. And expensive. One guy spent over $2000 trying to get things in order. It seems that whatever legislation any government passes will be some watered down, ineffective BS that causes more grief to regular owners and costs more money than you can imagine. So while it's tempting to wave the "Gun control!" flag, I falter thinking of a realistic, effective implementation of it.
     
  17. Juice

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    Further on this point-- the problem with mental illness in society, especially American society (though I cant imagine Canada being much different) is that the finer concepts of mental illness/disability is still widely unknown to the general public, and unfortunately negatively stigmatized. Youre a freak if you go therapy or seek counseling. Maybe its part of a macho mentality in the US thats usually pervasive among males, but this shooting is another unfortunate consequence of it being unaddressed as well as the shooting last year when Gabrielle Giffords was hit. Guns just happen to be a coincidental factor in it.

    Its pretty difficult to get a firearm, at least in Connecticut/New York/Massachusetts anyway. You need at least a CCW permit for each state you want to carry in. If you want any of the really fun stuff, you need a Class 3 or FFL (not necessarily required, but helpful) dealer permit, and have each weapon registered with the ATF/FBI depending on the state. Its not like you can walk into a store and buy an Uzi 9mm. The taxes and hoops alone will cost you thousands before you even buy one.
     
  18. sartirious

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    America exists as more than an extension of Great Britain solely because the citizenry were able to procure and utilize a level of martial weaponry comparable to that of the existing armed forces.

    I'm not saying that this kind of rebellion will ever again happen in America - but it is an integral part of who we are.

    Also:
    Similarly, firearms are what have helped rebels in the Arab Spring countries to put some bite behind their bark.
     
  19. sartirious

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    Just showed up on Reddit: is relevant.
    [​IMG]
    I'm a BIG fan of the Swiss model, and am perfectly fine with all of the criticisms regarding a well regulated militia.

    If there were any options whatsoever to be part of something like that - I would start later today and continue until the day I die. Unfortunately, the National Guard is being used more and more as a reserve corps to help fight foreign wars. I'm not willing to put my life on the line for anything other than protecting home turf.

    Other than Project Appleseed, I haven't seen any proposals that touch upon the concept of actually building a militia - anyone else hear of anything?
     
  20. joule_thief

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    The problem with this statement is that the theater doesn't allow concealed carry on their premises, as they are allowed to do by law. So, if you carried in that particular theater, you yourself would actually be breaking the law.

    Bottom line, a gun is a tool. It's the asshole that uses it to cause harm that has malicious intent.