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Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?

Pillow Biter

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Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« on: August 11, 2018, 12:56:47 PM »
For a long time I always felt that the USA should treat guns the way other countries do, and if they did, then gun violence would decline the same way. Sure, it's true that most gun deaths are the result of illegal firearm acquisitions. However, statistically, it always seemed obvious that if you reduce the total access to legal firearms, including buying back guns from the street like Australia did, then eventually even illegal access would become harder and gun deaths would decline.

However, over time I've come to question the above view. Not necessarily the logic of it--the tougher you get on legal access, illegal access will also become harder. Nevertheless, I've started to think that perhaps the USA is different than Europe here. Total gun deaths might go down, but perhaps not to the degree that it does in other countries; and law-abiding Americans, without access to self-defense, might actually suffer a lot more fear and intimidation as part of the process.

The USA has significantly less population density than Europe. In Europe, if someone invades your home or threatens you on the street, there are likely to be more people around, and closer. Sometimes in the USA you are on your own. Furthermore, US laws protect the innocent at the cost of making it harder to prosecute the guilty to a greater degree than many other countries. We can argue about whether this tradeoff is worthwhile, but it's part of US cultural DNA. In addition, the USA is more multicultural and multiracial than other countries. This diversity may have benefits, but it has traditionally created more social unrest and violence too. That's human nature. The combination of greater diversity and more difficult prosecutions due to legal protections, along with other factors, results in more street gangs and organized crime than other countries. Finally, there's always been something a bit wilder and more barbaric about the USA. This also has advantages and disadvantages, but may nonetheless result in ordinary citizens feeling more of a need for self-defense.

At any rate, I'm on the fence these days. I haven't reached a conclusion, and these are just some of the thoughts running through my head. I'm curious to hear what yours are.

NeoGreenLantern

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2018, 01:28:06 PM »
Now I'm from Pennsylvania where even the most liberal person still loves guns. I don't own one but I go shooting with my friends. Its a really enjoyable hobby.

But I've been thinking about getting a handgun because of a specific problem in my area. Even though I live in the suburbs we regularly get bears roaming the streets. Its become a thing where I just miss running into one when I'm walking my dogs or taking my daughter to the park.

AP

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2018, 01:33:31 PM »
While I'm in favor for common sense gun laws in the US, I've often felt there are other factors involved than just guns.  The US still has a higher violent crime rate than most first world countries: https://www.numbeo.com/crime/rankings_by_country.jsp  Meanwhile, there are other countries out there with somewhat relaxed (compared to other countries) gun laws and they have a lower crime rate than the US such as Switzerland and Canada.

Pillow Biter

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2018, 02:01:21 PM »
I think it's fair to simply ignore recreational and sport gun use. That's a luxury, and if we needed to sacrifice their hobbies for the safety of other citizens, so be it. Get another hobby. I wouldn't cry.

The need for guns in the wilder parts of the US to protect against animals needs to be considered, but also must be put into a proper statistical context. We'd have to look at just how prevalent that need is. Also, perhaps rifles--and not automatic ones--rather than concealable handguns would suffice.

What really matters is whether there really is something unique or inherent to the USA that makes it more necessary for citizens to have access to concealed handguns and even automatic weapons. Maybe there is. I just don't know.

Wyntyr

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2018, 03:02:30 PM »

But I've been thinking about getting a handgun because of a specific problem in my area. Even though I live in the suburbs we regularly get bears roaming the streets. Its become a thing where I just miss running into one when I'm walking my dogs or taking my daughter to the park.

You say "bears", but we all know what you really mean, NEO.

Shame on you.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 03:07:51 PM by Wyntyr »
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NeoGreenLantern

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2018, 03:04:55 PM »
You mean you? Yeah I mean you.

Wyntyr

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2018, 03:07:13 PM »
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
The tree grows high but the oxygen fails to reach all the branches


NeoGreenLantern

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2018, 03:09:30 PM »
Relax its not to scare you off. Its so you comply.   ;)

#thisjokedoesnotcondonetherapingofwyntyr

Wyntyr

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2018, 03:10:27 PM »
Because of the implications
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AP

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2018, 03:47:22 PM »
I think it's fair to simply ignore recreational and sport gun use.

I'd say the majority of legal, civilian guns in the US are for these purposes.  Growing up, I knew a lot of people with guns who use them for target shooting or for hunting.

NeoGreenLantern

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2018, 04:22:26 PM »
Yeah basically everyone I know who has guns use them for recreational use

Uhtceare

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2018, 04:57:29 PM »
Over 90% of Americans want universal background checks. It should happen. But it won't, because the gun industry controls Congress the same way corporations in general do: via campaign donations, aka legal bribes. I live in a small town. I grew up with guns, but I haven't owned one since reaching adulthood. I've never felt the need for one, simply because I long since realized that guns favor the initiator of violence so heavily. I'm a crack shot, a top member of my schools ROTC team, and I was an experienced hunter in my teenage years, but if someone decided to kill me, I'd likely just die because I can't live my life always in seige-mode. I'd go crazy from the stress if I lived like that. So it is virtually certain that even if I were armed, I'd die because the other guy would simply go first, simple as that. Hell, even if I did live my life in a paranoid seige-mode, the other guy would likely go first. He's sure as hell going first if I just live my life. It's just pointless.

HalloweenJack

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2018, 05:45:25 PM »
Not a gun nut and I don't really go to the range much. I've got friends who are just obsessed with ARs and desert eagles and shit like that, and I don't get it. I couldn't even tell you what gun is what sometimes. I even lost a family member to gun violence.

But I can tell you why I own a pistol and a shotgun.

About a year and a half ago, my wife and I were sitting at home on a Saturday night just trying to relax after a long work week. It was about 11 pm, and somebody tried to kick our door in. They didn't get in and took off almost as soon as they kicked the door.

So we called the cops. They said they'd have someone out to us in a few minutes.

Forty five minutes to an hour went by with my wife jumping at shadows and me trying to reassure her and no cops showing up.

I called back and asked where the police who were being dispatched were.

"Oh, did you want them to come to your house?"

Had that scenario gone a little differently, we could be dead, we could have been robbed, my wife could have been raped, you know it just goes on and on. Even with my guns there's no guarantee we'd have been any better off, but I at least feel a little better knowing I have them. Someone comes to my house with intent to harm me or especially my wife and stepson then their ass is dead. 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 05:56:20 PM by HalloweenJack »

AP

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2018, 05:51:16 PM »
So we called the cops. They said they'd have someone out to us in a few minutes.

...

I called back and asked where the police who were being dispatched were.

"Oh, did you want them to come to your house?"

Holy shit.  What did they mean by "sending someone out" then?  I would have flipped out on them.

HalloweenJack

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Re: Is the USA Different? Why do Americans need guns?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2018, 05:54:20 PM »
So we called the cops. They said they'd have someone out to us in a few minutes.

...

I called back and asked where the police who were being dispatched were.

"Oh, did you want them to come to your house?"

Holy shit.  What did they mean by "sending someone out" then?  I would have flipped out on them.

I'm surprised I maintained my composure like I did, but I was very smartassed with the dispatcher when she said that.

They sent a guy to the general area I live in.