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  #1  
Old 05-11-2002, 12:45 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Should blind people be allowed to own guns?

As some of you may already know, I have a business on the side, a small gun dealership which my oldest son and I run. My son and my brother were at a gun show a week ago, and 2 gentlemen approached our booth, one of the men was completely blind, dark glasses, red/white cane, the works. This guy seemed genuinely interested in purchasing a pistol, and got kind of pissy when my son questioned him about owning a gun.
His response was along the lines of "I'll pass the background check, Bub!". Then he walked away to another booth.

Now, you don't have to sell a gun to anyone you don't want to, the laws and regulations are pretty good about that. I have friends who are dealers who refuse to sell to anyone with gang tattoos, regardless if they pass the background. Compalints about that always have ended in the dealers favor.

Anyway, what do you think about a blind man owning a gun? I certainly wouldn't sell or allow one to be sold to him. And I believe I'm justified. What say you?
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2002, 12:51 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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I personally think that if you truly don't feel comfortable selling it to him, don't.

As far as a completely blind person owning a gun...well, I don't think so. After all, what about a blind man driving a car, or being a neuro-surgeon? Personally, I don't like the idea of someone owning a weapon like that...
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2002, 02:15 PM
Soisi Soisi is offline
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If you were to be out hiking and you came upon a cave, you might decide to go inside to explore. You turn on your flashlight and you pat the stainless steel .380 that you carry on these hikes. Mainly for snakes and your fear of bears, but also because you just never know when you'll come upon an unsavory character that is also trying to get "lost" in the woods. Inside you go, into the eerie darkness that is broken only by the shaft of light raging from the end of your Maglite.

You can hear the muffled sound of a waterfall. It sounds if it is all around you and you can feel the cool mist of air that is creeping through the mouth of the cave as the waterfall churns it's moisture into the thin air. You can't see it, even with the flashlight focused in it's way to far away and is very likely on the other end of this maze of a cave.

Within all of this noise you can hear faint little sounds that can only come from something alive and on the move. What is it? You don't know but you pat that .380 and brace yourself for the worst. The worst happens, the light goes out! The sounds get suddenly louder and you can tell that something - much larger than you thought - is heading your way. You can't see a thing but you still instictively reach for your .380, rip back the hammer with your thumb and start aiming in the direction of the noise. It's hard to keep focused on the direction of the noise as the sound is being played off the voids of the cavern walls so you are rocking back and forth on your feet straining to hear.

You decide the only way to determine where and even if you fire, is to actually wait for contact. Then you can just jab that gun into it's side and squeeze the trigger and it's over. And you also know that it's not just your imagination and you don't wind up firing without actually identifying what you are shooting.

The contact never comes, in fact, you can now tell that the sounds are getting more faint and whatever it was is running away. But, you were prepared. You had your trusty .380 and you had made a responsible decision on how to cope with your sudden handicap when the light went out.

You were lucky that the dealer that sold you the pistol didn't know you would be going into this cave or he would not have sold you the gun.

This is farfetched, but you should appreciate the analogy.

Being blind, in and of itself, does not preclude the need for personal protection. Just the opposite is true. By definition, being blind makes personal protection even more important as the individual is left more vulnerable than sighted persons.

Just as a responsible sighted person can adapt their use of a gun in differing environments, so can a blind person.

After all, you do carry your gun at night don't you?
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  #4  
Old 05-11-2002, 02:23 PM
Qwertyasdfg Qwertyasdfg is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Soisi
And you also know that it's not just your imagination and you don't wind up firing without actually identifying what you are shooting.
That's where your argument falls apart. A blind man can't visually identify between a mugger and a girlscout. He has to depend on the attacker to identify himself verbally before he shoots.

And then, even if the blind guy shoots, theres a good chance he will miss, and cause his attacker to fire back.

Blind people, like most others, shouldn't have guns.
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2002, 02:25 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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So, I don't agree. A sighted person in a dark situation is one thing, it's a temporary situation.
But a totally blind person is sightless at all times. And if that person has been blind since birth, they have no idea what sight is like.

And this is coming from a person who believes in the right to bear arms, including high capacity "assualt weapons". I also have a gun on/near me at all times except when I'm I'm at my regular job as a consultant. Then it's in my car trunk.
I just think arming blind people would be a mistake, a mistake that would make the pro-gun movement look stupid.
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2002, 06:07 PM
LokiTheDog LokiTheDog is offline
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I think a Tazer would be a better choice of self defense weapon for a blind person out in the world. However, in his own home, I see no reason why he shouldn't be allowed to use a gun for self defense. If he keeps his doors locked then anyone who intrudes on his privacy could reasonably be considered an assailant. A simple home security setup could be installed to give an audible when certain threshholds are passed. For example, a motion sensor could go 'beep' when someone crosses through the doorway of his bedroom, cluing him in on when to pull the trigger.
To insure he doesn't accidentally shoot someone else all he would have to do is yell, "don't come in to this room or I'll blow your head off." (Assuming he doesn't have any deaf friends whom he has given a key )


Hell, just the sound of a shotgun shell entering the chamber of a pump 12 gauge may be enough to ward off an intruder.

Shkk-Shkk .... Oh shit! Let's get outta here.
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2002, 08:39 PM
BF BF is offline
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I don't know PK, I support your stance on selling to who you want, but I think that anyone should be able to have the means to defend themselves in their home. Not knowing the law in this instance, but I find it hard to believe that this blind person could get a CCW.
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2002, 09:47 PM
Soisi Soisi is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Qwertyasdfg

That's where your argument falls apart. A blind man can't visually identify between a mugger and a girlscout. He has to depend on the attacker to identify himself verbally before he shoots.


If some thug grabs me from behind and shoves a knife to my ribs, I don't think I should wait for him to "indentify himself verbally". On a lighter side, I am imagining him introducing himself like the host does at a nicer restaurant, "Hi, my name is Michael and I will be relieving you of your cash this evening."

Quote:
And then, even if the blind guy shoots, theres a good chance he will miss, and cause his attacker to fire back.

There is something to be said for trying. You said there was a good chance that the blind fellow would miss. Does this mean that you believe that he might not miss? You didn't rule this out and most handguns are used whithin arms reach from the target anyway.

Quote:
Blind people, like most others, shouldn't have guns.
And people too scared to allow personal freedom shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion.
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2002, 11:06 PM
Qwertyasdfg Qwertyasdfg is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Soisi

If some thug grabs me from behind and shoves a knife to my ribs, I don't think I should wait for him to "indentify himself verbally". On a lighter side, I am imagining him introducing himself like the host does at a nicer restaurant, "Hi, my name is Michael and I will be relieving you of your cash this evening."

First, if someone has a knife to your back, how will you safely draw your gun. Next, without looking how will you know that the bullet won't go through him (or miss) and hit someone else?

You said yourself above that you shouldn't shoot without identifying your target(s).

And people too scared to allow personal freedom shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion.
Oh, the hypocricy. A fascist paying lipservice to freedom.
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2002, 11:07 PM
Qwertyasdfg Qwertyasdfg is offline
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Gah, I hate coding.
The middle two paragraphs of the above quote are my response, not the quote.
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  #11  
Old 05-11-2002, 11:38 PM
Soisi Soisi is offline
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So, by upholding the intent of the Constitution, I have been labeled a Fascist, a hypocritical one at that.

I am bothered by your slanderous espousals.

We really should work at removing your right to say such things.
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  #12  
Old 05-12-2002, 12:53 AM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BF
I don't know PK, Not knowing the law in this instance, but I find it hard to believe that this blind person could get a CCW.
There is no CCW for civilians what so ever in Wisconsin. The reason I'm allowed to carry is because I'm a sworn peace officer. I do some work park time for a local law enforcement agency. Otherwise, even though I'm a licensed gun dealer, I wouldn't be allowed to carry either.

The entire reason I brought this post up is, to be honest with you, I've never heard of a completely blind person trying to get a gun before. I've never even thought about.
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2002, 01:18 AM
käse käse is offline
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I don't believe this question.

Are you all for real? O.O
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2002, 01:26 AM
stankow stankow is offline
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In answer to the OP, yes, blind people should, if they possess no other disqualifying characteristics, be allowed to own firearms. Frankly, pkbites, I think you're out of line for saying you wouldn't sell to one. What's more, I doubt your refusal to do so, if pressed, would end in your favor. Gang tattoos, as cited in your OP, are A) voluntary, and B) not a disability that's quite clearly covered under the ADA.

I can think of three very good reasons why a blind person should be able to own a firearm:
1 -- They are the very best way to defend oneself, even when the other person is right next to you.
2 -- As mentioned by LokiTheDog, the mere sound of a hammer going back serves as a powerful deterrent.
3 -- It's that person's right.

What is it about blind people that makes you think they don't know that they're blind and have already spent a lot of time figuring out how they can adapt to situations that we sighted folks move through without thinking?

You, on the other hand, have spent an entire week mulling it over while you weren't thinking about your job or dinner or whatever else was going on in your mind. And you feel you've got better judgment about what's good for them and the people around them in this situation?
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  #15  
Old 05-12-2002, 01:44 AM
Gary Kumquat Gary Kumquat is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Soisi
We really should work at removing your right to say such things.
So you think anyone who disagrees with you on this issue should have their first amendment rights removed?

Out of interest, is there any case where you think a person should not be allowed to own a gun?

By the way, I'll state now that I personally think a blind person could not use a gun in a way that satisfies rule number 1 of gun safety as I was taught it:
Quote:
Always point the muzzle in a safe direction; never point a firearm at anyone or anything you don't want to shoot.
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  #16  
Old 05-12-2002, 02:05 AM
stankow stankow is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary Kumquat
By the way, I'll state now that I personally think a blind person could not use a gun in a way that satisfies rule number 1 of gun safety as I was taught it:
Always point the muzzle in a safe direction; never point a firearm at anyone or anything you don't want to shoot.
How about this one:
A blind man (we'll call him Phil) wakes up at night after hearing breaking glass downstairs.
Phil gets his firearm out of the nightstand and says loudly, "Whoever is there, I have a gun." He then pulls the hammer back as loudly as he can while pointing it toward the floor.

This scenario is almost exactly what would happen if I were Phil. The differences:
1 -- I'd have to search for my glasses first.
2 -- I would probably fumble more for the firearm. Blind people have a tendency to remember precisely where they put things.

If the situation escalates, Phil ensures that he is either within point-blank range, which is the range I'd wager most of these such confrontations happen, or physically in contact with the robber before shooting. Either way, I'd say he's satisfying your first rule.

By the way, I always thought the first rule of gun safety was "It's always loaded."
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  #17  
Old 05-12-2002, 05:15 AM
Odesio Odesio is online now
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Re: Should blind people be allowed to own guns?

Quote:
Originally posted by pkbites

Now, you don't have to sell a gun to anyone you don't want to, the laws and regulations are pretty good about that. I have friends who are dealers who refuse to sell to anyone with gang tattoos, regardless if they pass the background. Compalints about that always have ended in the dealers favor.

Personally I'd assume that anyone blind purchasing a firearm would be giving it away a gift. Of course I'm assuming that a blind person would just know that they really shouldn't attempt to be using firearms. I've heard rumors of a blind guy in Texas trying to take the CCW test but I can't substantiate them.

Quote:
[i]Originally posted by Qwertyasdfg[i]
First, if someone has a knife to your back, how will you safely draw your gun? Next, without looking how will you know that the bullet won't go through him (or miss) and hit someone else?


First, if he doesn't know I have a firearm maybe I can draw it without him noticing. Next, if he's that close to me with a knife I'm going to be in fear for my life and unlikely to worry about bullets going through him or missing him and hitting innocent people. Yes, I am concerned that other people may be hit. However when faced with the immediate threat of death or maiming I'm not concerned with the unlikely possiblity that I may hit an innocent bystander.

Marc
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  #18  
Old 05-12-2002, 05:17 AM
Odesio Odesio is online now
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Oh yeah, pkbites....

I understand your reluctance to not sell to him. I don't know whether your technically in violation of ADA or not but I think you did the right thing.

Marc
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  #19  
Old 05-12-2002, 09:34 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Well, because blind people have trouble aiming, they should not be sold guns (IMHO) but instead should be allowed to purchase bazookas, grenades, and small nuclear bombs... things that don't require a lot of fine-tuned aiming.

The same should apply to all the other rights we enjoy -- the blind, or other handicapped persons, should have the same rights! Why should we deprive blind people of their rights to drive, for instance, just because they can't see?
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  #20  
Old 05-12-2002, 09:46 AM
TwistofFate TwistofFate is offline
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Quote:
Frankly, pkbites, I think you're out of line for saying you wouldn't sell to one.
No he's not. If he believes that the gun would be a danger in the hands of the would be buyer, he does not have to sell. It does not affect the buyers satutory rights.
Quote:
a mistake that would make the pro-gun movement look stupid.
Any more than having Charlton Heston as their spokesperson?
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  #21  
Old 05-12-2002, 10:14 AM
Qwertyasdfg Qwertyasdfg is offline
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I can't believe this is even a debate! Common sense, people!
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  #22  
Old 05-12-2002, 10:28 AM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
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A: As witnessed by the fine and wonderful documentary, "The Blues Brothers," blind people are excellent marksmen. Especially if they're Ray Charles.

B: Seriously, I think this is more a matter of gun safety than anything else... so let's see what the NRA has to say. Duck blinds...
Nothing.
http://www.burrelles.com/transcripts/cbs/esho0101.htm
has a blind gun owner discussing his concealed carry permit
So, it must be legal somewhere. Just very unusual.
http://www.jointogether.org/gv/news/...546245,00.html
Here we go. "Danger to themselves or others." is in the wording. Personally, I suspect it's like a driver's license. Yes, I understand it's a second amendment right.
Yes, I personally favor the milita comprised of the _people_ angle.
Yes, I think he should have the right to own a gun.

But I don't see anything wrong with anyone refusing to sell said man a gun without more personal knowledge of his situation. He should buy from a local gun store, not a gun show.
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  #23  
Old 05-12-2002, 11:11 AM
Gomez Gomez is offline
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How about just selling them guns, but not ammo? That way they can instill fear in someone they feel is threatening and scare them away but don't run the risk of blowing some little old ladies head off by mistake.
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  #24  
Old 05-12-2002, 11:19 AM
rsa rsa is offline
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I'd be hard pressed to argue that a blind person should carry a gun in public. He can't be sure of innocents in the vicinity. I would probably say it's OK in his home if he is willing to take the responsibility.

I can understand pkbites reluctance to sell a gun to a blind person and support his right to decide as he sees fit. However, my first thought was that perhaps the man wanted a gun for target practice. In the presence of a sighted person that should be a safe form of recreation for him if that's his bag.
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  #25  
Old 05-12-2002, 01:23 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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E-Sabbath sums up in the last paragraph my position: "I don't see anything wrong with anyone refusing to sell said man a gun without more personal knowledge of his situation" That's the key: more information. What exactly are the circumstances.(*) And the blind person, should he want a weapon for self-defense, should find a reputable gun club in his community, where they can sit down and properly discuss his needs and he can tell them exactly what it is he wants. The gun show is the wrong venue.


(*)I know that some people just now started shouting HE DOES NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN HIMSELF, IT'S HIS RIGHT! I know it is. However, that something is a right does not mean it's always an unconditional entitlement. Amendment II is that the government shall not deny the people the right to keep and bear arms, not that anyone is obligated to arm the populace. Otherwise every citizen who can't afford a firearm would have to be issued one by the welfare office. So merchants not selling guns to the blind is NOT running afoul of the 2nd Amendment. If concerned about a radical interpretation of ADA or something to that effect, I think we could say that in the "gun show" environment there was no way to provide a reasonable accommodation.
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  #26  
Old 05-12-2002, 03:50 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Soisi
So, by upholding the intent of the Constitution, I have been labeled a Fascist, a hypocritical one at that.

I am bothered by your slanderous espousals.

We really should work at removing your right to say such things.
How in the HELL are you "upholding the intent of the Constitution" by denying someone their right to free thought and speech?

Good GOD!!!

Pot, meet the Kettle.
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  #27  
Old 05-12-2002, 05:22 PM
The Ryan The Ryan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Guinastasia


How in the HELL are you "upholding the intent of the Constitution" by denying someone their right to free thought and speech?

Good GOD!!!

Pot, meet the Kettle.
Pot, kettle, meet sarcasm.
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  #28  
Old 05-12-2002, 10:55 PM
lee lee is offline
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Of course blind people should be allowed to own guns. They can own cars, why not guns? Geez. My late father-in-law was a gun collector. He was marksman who made it to the national semi-finals in skeet shooting 4 years in a row. He was also a diabetic. Had he not met an untimely death, it is possible that he would have suffered from blindness long before he died. Would you have his guns taken from him upon his losing his sight? Why injure the dignity of the blind further by legislating against them owning any thing you think they might not be able to operate safely?

If you feel that there needs to be more regulation on who may operate a gun just as there is extensive legislation on who may operate a vehicle, then go ahead lobby your congress critters for it.

I see no reason that you should sell a gun to anyone that you don't want to. However, since the ADA makes it illegal to refuse to sell someone something based solely on their disability you may not have any choice.
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  #29  
Old 05-13-2002, 02:07 AM
GusNSpot GusNSpot is offline
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Ya know, My Grandpa owned a car. When he became blind, he did not drive it anymore. who here would demand that his car be confiscated?

He owned guns too. Should these be confiscated?

As is usual around here, people want to proclaim "I'm right ' without all the information. Does a gun dealer have to sell to the blind? Take it to court? Can a gun dealer sell to a blind man? I bet he can.

Who cares weither anyone likes or agrees with it either way?

The only good thing about our so called justice system anymore IMO, is that they generaly will wait until you do something wrong before you go to jail or court.

It seems a lot here want you to be punished because they are afraid for themselvs because they dio not think that people are natually nice. Bwhahahahah, Look in the mirror folks. that is what you should be afraid of.
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  #30  
Old 05-13-2002, 02:54 AM
Gary Kumquat Gary Kumquat is offline
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OK, first things first. Having read through the posts of E-sabbath, GusnSpot, et al, I can see that I've basically gone off on a complete tangent from Soisi's post about whether a blind person could reasonably use a gun safely for safe defence. As a number of posters have posted the correct answer to the OP - namely that there's no reason a blind person shouldn't be allowed to OWN a gun. Apologies.

To return to Stankow's post though:
Quote:
Originally posted by stankow
By the way, I always thought the first rule of gun safety was "It's always loaded."
Erm, is the NRA an acceptable authority for you?. Do a search for yourself - the golden rule is never to point a gun in an unsafe direction.

Anyway, to the rest of your argument
Quote:

How about this one:
A blind man (we'll call him Phil) wakes up at night after hearing breaking glass downstairs.
Phil gets his firearm out of the nightstand and says loudly, "Whoever is there, I have a gun." He then pulls the hammer back as loudly as he can while pointing it toward the floor...
...If the situation escalates, Phil ensures that he is either within point-blank range, which is the range I'd wager most of these such confrontations happen, or physically in contact with the robber before shooting. Either way, I'd say he's satisfying your first rule.
Ah, the hypothetical game. Let's play along then. Who's in the house? A fireman, rushing to find a reported blind person in a house fire? A policeman who's scared off a burgler, and is checking to see if anyone has been hurt? Or is the burglar a smart guy, who's cased the house, and is happy to shout "No worries mr x, just the police - someone tried to break in?" Ain't it amazing how we can all hypothesize situations all day that will support our argument?

Either way, I can't say you've met the first rule at all. How has he identified that he's pointing his gun in a safe direction? Any cites showing how accurate the average blind persons hearing is? Even at a range of 2 yards, he's going to need to be able to pin noises down to under 10 degrees to just hit the noise he's heard, even before we argue if he's identified what that noise is.
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  #31  
Old 05-13-2002, 05:47 AM
stankow stankow is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary Kumquat
Ah, the hypothetical game. Let's play along then. Who's in the house? A fireman, rushing to find a reported blind person in a house fire?
Who then says, "Sir, I'm a fireman. There's been a fire. Can you hear the sirens?"

Quote:
A policeman who's scared off a burgler, and is checking to see if anyone has been hurt?
Who then says, "Sir, I'm a policeman. We've just scared off a burglar, and I was checking to see if anyone was hurt. Please call 911 and verify that I'm here."

Quote:
Or is the burglar a smart guy, who's cased the house, and is happy to shout "No worries mr x, just the police - someone tried to break in?" Ain't it amazing how we can all hypothesize situations all day that will support our argument?
Quite. For instance, let's hypothesize that a criminal is smart enough to have cased the house and found out that there's a blind resident, yet not smart enough to
A) break in when no one's home, or
B) neutralize the resident immediately.

Am I saying that a blind person will necessarily be as safe as a sighted person with a firearm? No, clearly not. But if your sole criterion is the possibility that a person will possibly be unable to use a firearm safely and appropriately, then no gun dealer would ever sell to anyone.
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  #32  
Old 05-13-2002, 06:35 AM
TwistofFate TwistofFate is offline
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Blind people should have the RIGHT to buy guns.

Merchants should have the right to Deny sales to them if they want to.

But, if a Blind person is refused service, they cannot say "How dare you refuse to serve me! Its my constitutional right to bear arms!"

Its the Merchants right not to sell if they don't want to.

End of Argument.
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  #33  
Old 05-13-2002, 06:43 AM
Mort Furd Mort Furd is offline
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As a matter of law, I don't think it should be forbidden for a blind person to own or purchase any type of legal firearm. To use the analogy of the automobile, there are no laws preventing the a blind person from owning one - but there are laws regulating the safe operation of the vehicle on public roads and punishments for failure to obey those laws. The same already exists with regard to firearms.
Anyone (within certain, debatably constitutional, restrictions) can purchase a firearm. Laws governing proper usage also exist: Negligence, negligent homicide, negligent endangerment, man slaughter, homicide, etc. are punishable in court.

I tend towards a minimalist approach to laws - don't create a new law unless existing law is inadequate to cover new circumstances.

Personally, however, I would be reluctant to sell a firearm to a blind person. As I see it, I would be legally in the clear to simply sell the weapon and go on. Morally, however, I would want to satisfy myself of the person's intentions. In plain words, I don't want to be responsible for having armed a blind Rambo. Or, to use the car analogy, I would find out if the blind person intended to own the car but have it driven by some one else, or whether the intent was to drive the thing personally. No problem with a chauffeur driven car, or if the intent was for the blind person to drive it personally on private property. My conscience would not, however, let me make the sell if I were convinced that the blind person intended to drive the car on public roads.

Legality is the responsibilty of the courts. Morality is the responsibility of the individual.
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  #34  
Old 05-13-2002, 02:11 PM
Kamikazee Kamikazee is offline
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GAWD!!! Seems like ya'll want to turn this into a Second amendment debate. The only two questions in the original post were...

1 - What do you think about a blind man owning a gun?

2 - Is PKbites justified in not wanting to sell a gun to a blind man?

In answer to Question number 1... Yes a blind man should be allowed to own a gun.

Number 2... Certainly an individual should be allowed to choose who they do business with.
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