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  #101  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:48 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Originally Posted by gms453 View Post
Congratulations. You've crammed more ignorance into fewer words than I would have heretofore thought possible.
I've read more of the thread now, and I take exception to this post. I think you're threadshitting in this thread, gms453. The OP is specifically asking for opinions on an issue from non-Americans; criticizing those opinions the way you are in this thread is very poor form. Why don't you start your own thread on why all non-US Americans are wrong about gun control?
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  #102  
Old 01-27-2013, 06:33 PM
gms453 gms453 is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
I've read more of the thread now, and I take exception to this post. I think you're threadshitting in this thread, gms453. The OP is specifically asking for opinions on an issue from non-Americans; criticizing those opinions the way you are in this thread is very poor form. Why don't you start your own thread on why all non-US Americans are wrong about gun control?
I disagree. The stated purpose of the SDMB is "fighting ignorance," and that was my purpose in submitting the post you take issue with. Furthermore, I suggest you brush up on your reading comprehension skills; I have never indicated in any of my posts that any--let alone all--"non-US Americans are wrong about gun control."
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  #103  
Old 01-27-2013, 06:36 PM
the_diego the_diego is offline
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I ruv guns! And some people aren't getting shot soon enough.
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  #104  
Old 01-27-2013, 06:53 PM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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Originally Posted by elbows View Post
How can you say that when a mandated, trans vaginal ultra sound for anyone seeking an abortion passed? As did giving the police power to check 'ethnics' for immigration status violations whenever they felt like it. They stripped unions of their bargaining powers. And isn't the argument about your employers religious beliefs determining employee access to contraception headed to the Supreme Court?
He can say that because, unlike you, he understands the difference between passing a bill vs. adopting an amendment to the constitution.
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  #105  
Old 01-27-2013, 07:32 PM
elbows elbows is offline
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Thanks for the condescension, always nice after dinner, but my point was that all of the things I mentioned, people well believed they 'could' not pass. Yet they did. My point.
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  #106  
Old 01-27-2013, 07:40 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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I don't get why Americans tried to regulate military-style guns in their Assault Weapons Ban, going after bayonet lugs and flash suppressors and such, when basic run-of-the-mill handguns were far more commonly used in crime.

It's almost as if they believed their own movies and thought all criminals ran around spraying bullets on full-auto from assault rifles and machine guns.
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  #107  
Old 01-27-2013, 07:44 PM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Thanks for the condescension, always nice after dinner, but my point was that all of the things I mentioned, people well believed they 'could' not pass. Yet they did. My point.
So? His point is that you're not going to get a supermajority on anything even even remotely controversial right now, and he's absolutely right. The examples you listed happened on the state level, and weren't surprising in the least.

Last edited by Labrador Deceiver; 01-27-2013 at 07:47 PM..
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  #108  
Old 01-27-2013, 07:55 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
I don't get why Americans tried to regulate military-style guns in their Assault Weapons Ban, going after bayonet lugs and flash suppressors and such, when basic run-of-the-mill handguns were far more commonly used in crime.

It's almost as if they believed their own movies and thought all criminals ran around spraying bullets on full-auto from assault rifles and machine guns.
Gotta start somewhere. If they're going to get us used to the idea that certain things are going to be heavily controlled, registered and/or banned, they want to start small and build up.

If they just jumped straight in with the Australian solution, that would never fly; besides, even for that to work, they have to have registration in place for all the guns, so they want to start a total registration system now so that in 40 or 50 years, the vast majority of all guns will be registered, then they can start work on the Australian solution.
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  #109  
Old 01-27-2013, 09:04 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Originally Posted by Shmendrik View Post
You do realize that "recreational gun culture" has as much to do with the American view of freedom to bear arms as writing poems about flowers has to do with the American view of freedom of speech, right?
I'm aware of the Second Amendment. As far as I can tell from here, there is no threat from tyrants today as there might have been when the Amendment was written over two hundred years ago and the American experiment was still on wobbly legs. Without the threat of tyrants, what use is there for private ownership of semi-auto weapons with high-capacity clips, except for recreation?
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  #110  
Old 01-27-2013, 09:14 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
I'm aware of the Second Amendment. As far as I can tell from here, there is no threat from tyrants today as there might have been when the Amendment was written over two hundred years ago and the American experiment was still on wobbly legs. Without the threat of tyrants, what use is there for private ownership of semi-auto weapons with high-capacity clips, except for recreation?
People who expect to own guns for self defense don't want the government telling them how often they need to reload while fighting for their lives: a Glock with a 17 round magazine is a better defensive weapon than a Glock with a 10 round mag.
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  #111  
Old 01-27-2013, 11:22 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Originally Posted by gms453 View Post
I disagree. The stated purpose of the SDMB is "fighting ignorance," and that was my purpose in submitting the post you take issue with. Furthermore, I suggest you brush up on your reading comprehension skills; I have never indicated in any of my posts that any--let alone all--"non-US Americans are wrong about gun control."
Oh, bullshit. Don't try to hide behind the "fighting ignorance" line. What you're doing in this thread is shouting down any opinion of your country that you don't agree with.
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  #112  
Old 01-28-2013, 12:39 AM
Qin Shi Huangdi Qin Shi Huangdi is online now
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
I've read more of the thread now, and I take exception to this post. I think you're threadshitting in this thread, gms453. The OP is specifically asking for opinions on an issue from non-Americans; criticizing those opinions the way you are in this thread is very poor form. Why don't you start your own thread on why all non-US Americans are wrong about gun control?
Because much of the opinion here seems to be that America is some sort of a bizarre mixture of Puritan Massachusetts from the Crucible and violent racist frontier society from Huckleberry Finn. If there was a thread that asked for foreigners' opinion of Britain and people began to write about how its a Victorian society with gentlemen in top hats and retired British army officers talking at the pub about hunting "wogs" in the Punjab and Natal, you wouldn't think Brits would be offended and defend their country? Or if people had a notion of Germany that they were all a bunch of beer-drinking, sausage-munching Nazis in brown shirts and stomping in jack boots while singing the Horst Wessel lied?
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  #113  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:18 AM
SecretaryofEvil SecretaryofEvil is offline
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Originally Posted by EmAnJ View Post
I should add, the way America portrays itself on reality TV shows doesn't help either. Yikes.
Do you base your opinion of Japan on anime or your opinion of Mexico on telenovelas?

Last edited by SecretaryofEvil; 01-28-2013 at 02:20 AM..
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  #114  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:24 AM
penultima thule penultima thule is offline
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Originally Posted by Qin Shi Huangdi View Post
America is some sort of a bizarre mixture of Puritan Massachusetts from the Crucible and violent racist frontier society from Huckleberry Finn.
Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings
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  #115  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:35 AM
Qin Shi Huangdi Qin Shi Huangdi is online now
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Originally Posted by SecretaryofEvil View Post
Do you base your opinion of Japan on anime or your opinion of Mexico on telenovelas?
Are you implying that sodomy by tentacle is not as prevalent in Japan as I have supposed? My childhood is ruined.
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  #116  
Old 01-28-2013, 03:39 AM
SecretaryofEvil SecretaryofEvil is offline
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman View Post
To gms453

Because I want Americans to know that the rest of us experience a better way. That you can have safety and security without a gun. That you can actually live without fear. Learn from us DAMMIT !

"Live by the sword and you will die by the sword". So why are so many bible thumpers in America defending guns ? Would Jesus strap on a gun ? Americans in general appear to be blinded to the truth.
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
I've read more of the thread now, and I take exception to this post. I think you're threadshitting in this thread, gms453. The OP is specifically asking for opinions on an issue from non-Americans; criticizing those opinions the way you are in this thread is very poor form. Why don't you start your own thread on why all non-US Americans are wrong about gun control?
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
Oh, bullshit. Don't try to hide behind the "fighting ignorance" line. What you're doing in this thread is shouting down any opinion of your country that you don't agree with.
If any non-Canadians actually cared enough about Canada to criticize it, and you felt these criticisms to be inaccurate, would you remain silent? You're allowed to disagree with his opinions. You're allowed to explain why you disagree with his opinions in a fairly harsh manner. But it's absolute horse shit to try to claim he doesn't have the right to express his opinions.

For example, if an American started a thread asking what Americans thought about Canada's UHC, and there was information that you as a Canadian felt was incorrect in the thread, would you flip a shit if a Canadian expressed an opinion defending Canada's health care system in that thread?

I am, of course, fully qualified to make all sorts of claims and comments about Canadian politics and society because I watched Trailer Park Boys and Degrassi.
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  #117  
Old 01-28-2013, 06:48 AM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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No, I wouldn't 'flip a shit'. That's the thing right there. I'd explain why their information is correct in a calm, non-shit-flipping way and move on. It's the anger and condescension and vehement defence that is associated with Americans, in particular when it comes to this gun thing.

And yes, don't all Japanese women have giant eyes and Hello Kitty handbags?
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  #118  
Old 01-28-2013, 08:11 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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We'd be arguing opinion against opinion. I think the point that posters like gms453 are missing is that this thread is about the opinions held by people outside of the US - not looking for opinions of people inside the US, or reasons why those opinions are incorrect, in your own opinion. I think US Americans have an idea that their opinions are more correct; this is not true in this case. They have an opinion formed by living in the country, and living within the system; they know what their own experience has been better than anyone else, of course, but they don't have a better opinion of how their country is viewed by other people, and that's the opinion that the OP is looking for here. I don't know how I could argue with someone about how they *see* Canada and Canadian politics - I don't have their perspective.
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  #119  
Old 01-28-2013, 09:38 AM
eno801 eno801 is offline
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Ahh so a circle jerk it is.
Who was it that said."I don't care what you think about me. I don' think about you at all."?
I was going to post on what my family in Mexico thinks about gun ownership in America, but I have a feeling it would not go well with all hand wringing going on here.

Last edited by eno801; 01-28-2013 at 09:41 AM..
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  #120  
Old 01-28-2013, 09:47 AM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Too bad. I'd be really interested in what they think about the US gun culture in Mexico given all the carnage that takes place there.
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  #121  
Old 01-28-2013, 09:48 AM
DrumBum DrumBum is offline
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We routinely transfer Angolans - including their family - to short term assignments in the US ( Houston, TX and San Ramon, CA. ) and they are required to attend a safety meeting. Needless to say, gun violence makes up a significant portion of the lecture and in several cases, this has persuaded several employees to turn down the assignment.

Angola ranks 34th in terms of gun ownership ( 2.8 MM guns in private hands ) but the last reported gun murder I could find occurred in 2010 when FLEC rebels attacked a bus carrying the Togolese football team in Cabina Province. Despite this, when I tell people in the US that my family and I live and work there, they remark on how dangerous it must be. I tell them to watch local their evening news and tell me how many shootings occurred.
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  #122  
Old 01-28-2013, 09:57 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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Americans proudly shouting down different perspectives, even when qualified repeatedly as 'not condemnation, simply seen from an outsiders view', and specifically requested by the OP 'those not living in the US'. Who could have predicted the thread would take such a turn?

Congratulations on shutting down any discussion, and demonstrating to everyone exactly why this board isn't really anything but American centric! Well done indeed!
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  #123  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:14 AM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
People who expect to own guns for self defense don't want the government telling them how often they need to reload while fighting for their lives: a Glock with a 17 round magazine is a better defensive weapon than a Glock with a 10 round mag.
Is there much chance of needing a high-capacity gun for self-defence, or is it an excuse to own a powerful weapon? I'm asking honestly (not snarkily) because it's hard to imagine a criminal wanting to get shot at once, let alone getting into a firefight.
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  #124  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:48 AM
Agent Foxtrot Agent Foxtrot is offline
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Originally Posted by gracer View Post
This is what I see: the government of the US doesn't take care of the people, and Americans think this is fantastic and want even less of it. Well, so long as I don't have to live there that's fine. I do feel bad for the people who suffer for it, but there's not a lot I can do about it.

The government not taking care of people on principle seems to me to be the source of most of the problems: it's why people want guns in the first place, but it's also why the healthcare system is so bad, it's also why lawsuits spiral out of control and why you absolutely have to tip in restaurants.

The government doesn't protect you, so you (think you) need guns. The government won't look after you, so there is no sense of balance and fairness in general, so people are out to take care of themselves and seek these ridiculous lawsuits. The government won't look after you by setting minimum wage, so customers supplementing income becomes an informal law.

Inexplicably, Americans think this is called freedom and are proud of it. For the life of me I cannot fathom it, but so long as I don't have to live there they're welcome to it.
Nail on the head.

Agent Foxtrot, American


ETA: Just to be clear, not every American thinks this way. Some of us would rather scrap the whole government and start fresh with a new one, maybe imitating Iceland's government before they massively deregulated business.

Last edited by Agent Foxtrot; 01-28-2013 at 10:50 AM..
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  #125  
Old 01-28-2013, 11:24 AM
eno801 eno801 is offline
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Well to put it bluntly they want access to guns. Oh you can get them in Mexico they are not illegal per se, but unless you are rich or well connected (often go hand in hand) you ain't getting one. Maybe your family still owns one from when they were not as highly regulated back in the 50' early 60's before the goverment cracked down on private ownership in the name of protection because of all the protests going on. But try to use it in self defense and you will most likely go to jail.
Meanwhile the upper class can hire protection services "guys with guns" or carry themselves. The criminal element which used to keep to themselves, but now is attacking more and more innocent people daily have no trouble with getting guns or using them. And before you go into the whole well of course they get them from America. That is such a small percentage. Of course Mexico politicians are going to blame someone else. Not the corrupt people who conveniently lose military shipments,etc. With all the grenading going on over there I'm sure they have some sort better supply line than straw buyers here,but that is for another thread. With that derail out of the way. A lot of people favor being able to get access to guns for defense. It was not this way a few years ago.
The tide changed when the robberies and kidnapping of ordinary citizens shot up. Home invasions and shop shakedowns in broad daylight and knowing the cops ain't coming or are probably in on it has a way of changing a viewpoint. I can only speak for Monterrey, but since the narcos started hiring poor kids with no other options besides washing windshields (tell me how many you see nowadays there) no fucks are given now. Basically everyone is armed military, police (corrupt), gangs, except the general populace which makes for easy marks. Well they don't want to be so easy anymore.
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  #126  
Old 01-28-2013, 11:42 AM
eno801 eno801 is offline
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Forgot to say with regards in how they view American gun laws and control debate, they want similar ones and don't believe we should give up the rights we have now. They see what happened to them defacto disarmament of the populace under the guise of the greater good. Like I said sentiments were different in the 80's and 90's when the only folks getting blasted where narcos fighting over turf. Back then mentioning you owned a gun back here in the States led to questions of "Why?" now it's "Why can't I get one?"
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  #127  
Old 01-28-2013, 12:35 PM
SecretaryofEvil SecretaryofEvil is offline
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Originally Posted by DrumBum View Post
We routinely transfer Angolans - including their family - to short term assignments in the US ( Houston, TX and San Ramon, CA. ) and they are required to attend a safety meeting. Needless to say, gun violence makes up a significant portion of the lecture and in several cases, this has persuaded several employees to turn down the assignment.

Angola ranks 34th in terms of gun ownership ( 2.8 MM guns in private hands ) but the last reported gun murder I could find occurred in 2010 when FLEC rebels attacked a bus carrying the Togolese football team in Cabina Province. Despite this, when I tell people in the US that my family and I live and work there, they remark on how dangerous it must be. I tell them to watch local their evening news and tell me how many shootings occurred.
OK, this isn't me shouting down someone's opinion. I thank DrumBum for his (her?) perspective. I will note that Angola's murder rate seems to be a great deal higher than America's. But the numbers I can find for Angola seem to date back to 2008. Has there been a dramatic drop in violent crime in the past couple of years? I say this with genuine curiosity because I don't know that much about Angola. I'm not trying to prove some jingoistic political point.
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  #128  
Old 01-28-2013, 12:45 PM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
It's almost as if they believed their own movies and thought all criminals ran around spraying bullets on full-auto from assault rifles and machine guns.
Your bullet has hit the heart of the problem IMO. We love, love, love vigilantly justice, the bloodier the better as long as it includes a good tagline at the end. It's the cornerstone of Hollywood movies. That love both comforts us and scares us, depending on which side we imagine ourselves on in a given situation.
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  #129  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:11 PM
RedMud636 RedMud636 is offline
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Originally Posted by gms453 View Post
Congratulations. You've crammed more ignorance into fewer words than I would have heretofore thought possible.
Dear sir, even though you seem to be an American, and the OP does not ask for your opinion at all, I would enjoy to hear your perspective. However all your posts are simply attacks on other people opinions, or inane arguments over the minutia of this very thread!. WTF? Simply calling someones post ignorant and running away without even making a counter argument, especially in the condescending way you did with mine, is quite revealing of your character. I am embarassed for you.
Perhaps you misconstrued my statement and think I am somehow anti-gun?Rest assured I am well armed myself and do believe it is a basic right to own a firearm(s) for pleasure, collecting, hunting, defence or whatever. I couldnt care less about the reason honestly. As my first post alluded to, America is a large and very complex country wiith many social and justice related problems which despite your apparent insistence, ALL play a role in the incidence of gun violence in America.It is not meant to debase or slander your dear homeland as these conditions exist in varying degrees whereever you go in the world. If you can not agree to this on some level then you sir must be the IGNORANT one. Warmest regards
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  #130  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:46 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
Is there much chance of needing a high-capacity gun for self-defence, or is it an excuse to own a powerful weapon? I'm asking honestly (not snarkily) because it's hard to imagine a criminal wanting to get shot at once, let alone getting into a firefight.
There isn't much chance of needing ANY kind of gun for self-defense. However, if one is needed, the type and capacity of gun to be used is not something that pro-gun advocates want the government deciding for them.
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  #131  
Old 01-28-2013, 04:23 PM
Essured Essured is offline
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Originally Posted by Qin Shi Huangdi View Post
Because much of the opinion here seems to be that America is some sort of a bizarre mixture of Puritan Massachusetts from the Crucible and violent racist frontier society from Huckleberry Finn.
Maybe that's how it looks from the outside? Yeah it's going to be exaggerated, because everyone's only looking at the differences, not the similarities.

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If there was a thread that asked for foreigners' opinion of Britain and people began to write about how its a Victorian society with gentlemen in top hats and retired British army officers talking at the pub about hunting "wogs" in the Punjab and Natal, you wouldn't think Brits would be offended and defend their country?
Actually, I reckon the majority of Brits would chuckle and think "Huh? That's what they think life's like here? hehehe" and move on. A few would post something 'in character' about how hard it is to find the right shade of black for their new top hat, or something about the uppity colonials, just to play along.
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  #132  
Old 01-28-2013, 05:56 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
There isn't much chance of needing ANY kind of gun for self-defense. However, if one is needed, the type and capacity of gun to be used is not something that pro-gun advocates want the government deciding for them.
That probably highlights the root of the problem, that individual rights are more important in the U.S. than societal obligations.
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  #133  
Old 01-28-2013, 07:51 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
That probably highlights the root of the problem, that individual rights are more important in the U.S. than societal obligations.
From this outsider's opinion, that's what it looks like - I hear a lot of talk from the US about their rights, but almost no talk about their concurrent responsibilities. I don't think you can have one without the other; I think they are two sides of the same coin when you're trying to have a non-barbaric society.
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  #134  
Old 01-28-2013, 08:31 PM
typoink typoink is offline
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USian here, so disregard as needed:

The Second Amendment is the worst damn thing our founders ever wrote. It's worded just poorly enough that we can argue endlessly about what the Hell it's getting at.

If it said, "People can have whatever deadly weapons they want, whenever, end of discussion," that would have been so, so much better. Then the Something-or-otherth Amendment would be there to say, "Whoa, nevermind, let's be a little more clear." Or maybe not, and we'd all just practice mutually-assured-destruction all the time. Everybody gets a dirty bomb!

But they didn't say that. Why didn't they say that? They gave us a convoluted sentence with militias and "bear arms." It lets both sides interpret its meaning and intent wildly and it becomes completely intractable and borderline undiscussable.

I have a lot of sympathy for people who genuinely worry about gun laws because they think the Second Amendment makes them illegal. The Constitution is important not because it's perfect (Amendments, duh) but because it's the core of our legal system and it's the foundational document dilineating the operation and limits of our government.

I have zero sympathy for people who complain that their personal safety is going to be compromised. Your personal safety is already statistically compromised by owning the gun.
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  #135  
Old 01-28-2013, 09:55 PM
SecretaryofEvil SecretaryofEvil is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
That probably highlights the root of the problem, that individual rights are more important in the U.S. than societal obligations.
You might consider that a problem. Honestly that's one of the things I love about America.

A couple of years back I was in Paris and this Danish fellow who bummed a cigarette from me said pretty much the exact same thing, and he meant it negatively. But, as I explained to him, I genuinely do favor individual rights over societal obligations. I value freedom very highly. Now, I recognize that there has to be certain limits. Not falsely shouting fire in crowded theater is an example of a limitation of freedom that very few people disagree with. Whether citizens should be allowed to own firearms has less agreement, and I just don't find that preposterous. I, like many Americans and people from other countries, am very wary about surrendering any type of freedom.
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  #136  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:00 PM
SecretaryofEvil SecretaryofEvil is offline
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Originally Posted by EmAnJ View Post
No, I wouldn't 'flip a shit'. That's the thing right there. I'd explain why their information is correct in a calm, non-shit-flipping way and move on. It's the anger and condescension and vehement defence that is associated with Americans, in particular when it comes to this gun thing.
Really? You think the Americans are the ones being condescending in this thread? I've witnessed many Americans being condescending on a variety of topics, but we're not the ones writing "Because I want Americans to know that the rest of us experience a better way. Learn from us DAMMIT!" in this particular thread.

Last edited by SecretaryofEvil; 01-28-2013 at 10:01 PM..
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  #137  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:31 PM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
That probably highlights the root of the problem, that individual rights are more important in the U.S. than societal obligations.
Ah, I think of UHC as a social right. The obligations that go with it are taxes (to pay for it) and submitting to vaccinations/health checks (the horror).

Last edited by Nava; 01-28-2013 at 10:32 PM..
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  #138  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:51 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Originally Posted by SecretaryofEvil View Post
Really? You think the Americans are the ones being condescending in this thread? I've witnessed many Americans being condescending on a variety of topics, but we're not the ones writing "Because I want Americans to know that the rest of us experience a better way. Learn from us DAMMIT!" in this particular thread.
If it is any consolation, I regret posting that. I wanted to express my exasperation to my fellow non US dopers not condescension to US dopers.

I'm sorry.

For the record I have a great respect for America as a bulwark of freedom for the world.
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  #139  
Old 01-28-2013, 11:56 PM
SecretaryofEvil SecretaryofEvil is offline
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman View Post
If it is any consolation, I regret posting that. I wanted to express my exasperation to my fellow non US dopers not condescension to US dopers.

I'm sorry.

For the record I have a great respect for America as a bulwark of freedom for the world.
A polite apology? OK you're definitely a Canadian. I suppose I'm lucky you're not an American. If you were you would have probably shot me instead of apologizing.

And seriously thank you. After a long day of bulwarking freedom, it's nice to come home and see that I'm appreciated.

It's a good idea for a thread. I do like getting an outside perspective. But the idea that Americans shouldn't be allowed to respond to the comments irked me a bit. I mean, what's better: an international dialogue with back and forth or a silent one sided scolding?
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  #140  
Old 01-29-2013, 02:14 AM
gracer gracer is offline
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Originally Posted by SecretaryofEvil View Post

It's a good idea for a thread. I do like getting an outside perspective. But the idea that Americans shouldn't be allowed to respond to the comments irked me a bit. I mean, what's better: an international dialogue with back and forth or a silent one sided scolding?
Agreed: we do need some live 'uns or what's the point
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  #141  
Old 01-29-2013, 06:37 AM
DrumBum DrumBum is offline
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Location: Luanda, Angola
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Originally Posted by SecretaryofEvil View Post
OK, this isn't me shouting down someone's opinion. I thank DrumBum for his (her?) perspective. I will note that Angola's murder rate seems to be a great deal higher than America's. But the numbers I can find for Angola seem to date back to 2008. Has there been a dramatic drop in violent crime in the past couple of years? I say this with genuine curiosity because I don't know that much about Angola. I'm not trying to prove some jingoistic political point.
You are correct that the crime rate has increased but a much of this seems to be petty street crimes - pick-pocketing, purse snatching, car break-in's, etc. The majority of these crimes are against Angolans but I do know a few expats that were accosted at knife point. It was on a side street but they had no money/jewelry so the robbers left without incident. We all have drivers that keep us out of trouble and, as it is with any big city, there are places in Luanda you simply don't go to at night.

Strangely enough, some of the more recent violent crimes have been against Chinese that are working here in Luanda. As it turned out, the crimes were committed by other Chinese, who were caught and have been sent back to China. It was quite a sensational story that made the front pages and the evening news.

The information on the number of guns and and murders was from one of the security staff who pointed me to this article and to the US Embassy notices. I also get the local newspaper -Jornal de Angola - which covers Luanda as well as the other provinces.
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  #142  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:18 AM
BlinkingDuck BlinkingDuck is offline
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Originally Posted by EmAnJ View Post
Honestly, it kind of scares me. I sometimes joke that we need to put a fence around the U.S. and just 'let them take care of themselves' and eventually they'll kill each other and the rest of the world will move on. Of course, I know not all Americans are the same, and I'm sure there are many that have a more global point of view, but the loudest are the ones that I hear, and the loudest right now are the pro-gun folks.

I don't know really what to say. I try not to get involved. But unfortunately a lot of the people I speak to are of the opinion that the U.S. is becoming more and more radical, which is frightening. Will I still visit? Probably. Would I ever live there? Hell to the no.
Just remember that as more extreme ideas/movements start to die off, they get more radical and noisy. Guns and religion are , IMO as a U.S. citizen, are in decline and this provokes radicalness and noise.

Just trying to cheer you up about your fear.
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  #143  
Old 01-29-2013, 03:02 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Originally Posted by SecretaryofEvil View Post
You might consider that a problem. Honestly that's one of the things I love about America.

A couple of years back I was in Paris and this Danish fellow who bummed a cigarette from me said pretty much the exact same thing, and he meant it negatively. But, as I explained to him, I genuinely do favor individual rights over societal obligations. I value freedom very highly. Now, I recognize that there has to be certain limits. Not falsely shouting fire in crowded theater is an example of a limitation of freedom that very few people disagree with. Whether citizens should be allowed to own firearms has less agreement, and I just don't find that preposterous. I, like many Americans and people from other countries, am very wary about surrendering any type of freedom.
Valuing freedom isn't unique to the U.S., by the way. Canadians are free to own guns too, but we also expect to be free from deadly idiots with guns. Stricter controls and regulations are there to protect the public, not to punish responsible gun owners who, to repeat for emphasis, are still free to own guns.

There's no denying what a powerful instrument the U.S. Constitution is with respect to individual rights, but as Cat Whisperer said, the freedom to own guns is just one side of the coin. From here, it looks like the Constitution is being abused to not just allow, but actively encourage, the widespread proliferation of deadly weapons among the whole population, which guarantees that too many guns fall into irresponsible hands. In the name of the individual's right to bear arms, the societal rights of the general public against random gun violence have been short changed.

My take on the American gun culture can be summed up like this: Without a gun, an idiot is just an idiot. With a constitutional right to bear arms, he's a deadly menace to society.
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