Why do so many Americans have guns?

Guns guns and more guns

Asking the question: Why do so many US citizens own guns?" prompted a variety of answers and seemed to follow a common theme: to protect oneself from violent criminal activity and because it is deemed the constitutional right of the individual.

As an Australian who lives in a country where the vast majority of people don't ever think about owning a gun, the perceived US attitude of gun ownership is a mystery.

One argument put forward for gun ownership was that "you need a back up plan" while another was "because we can." To those of us who live in countries where we do not have a penchant guns, these are very strange reasons for owning guns and frankly a liitle scary.

A gun is designed to be fired at something or someone with the aim of harming that object or person. If you have a gun sitting in your bedside drawer chances are one day you'll use it or someone else will.

If we adopt the position that "I have to have a gun to protect myself from the other person who has a gun" then that logic can be applied to other weapons eg nuclear weapons. Now we all know that some countries, including the US have nuclear weapons and most likely argue that it is its right to possess such weapons to protect itself. However, from what I read, the US doesn't like other countries to have nuclear power and actually goes to war to stop these countries from having the right to protect itself.

So you can see my confusion. On one hand you say it is your right, but you don't extend that same right to others? How does that work?

Another point put to me in support of gun owner ship was that : "The American constitution is the most unique constitutions in the world to date, and one of the only documents ever written to protect individual rights and natural freedoms, especially in relation to government over-control and guns. Part of what makes our constitution so unique, is the 2nd Amendment (which everyone should read)."

To make a superlative statement " the most unique constitution" one would presume that the author has undertaken extensive study in the the constitutions of a large number of countries. Perhaps the author is very knowledgeable in this area but with no detail of other constitutions it can only be viewed as a biased statement and as a result falls flat as a credible argument.

Another gun ownership supporter said:"I have taught 2 sons, my wife, several ex girlfriends over the years and proud to say hundreds of soldiers how to shoot and in a few years will help my sons teach their children firearm safety and shooting. I pray that none of them ever have to use a weapon against another human being but I want them to have the knowledge and the ability to be able to do so. When seconds count the police are only minutes away. By the way the Second Amendment doesn't pertain just to firearms, it is the "right to bear arms". People seem to be confused by that but yes it is an inalienable right a right that we feel does not come from the government and that the government can not take away. So your government has taken something from you that was not theirs to take. Ponder that and instead of asking why we own firearms ask why you don't, as the criminals take over your cities."

This comment, along with the other comments, makes me think that US citzens don't realise that not all of us live in fear with criminals running our cities.

Sure we have criminals, some use guns but many don't; the criminals don't run the place and we don't live in fear nor do we feel any need to know how to fire a gun.

Most criminal activity, and I imagine this is the case in most countries, is corportate crime which is the reason the US economy is suffering at present and has been for the last few years.

I think the USA is a fascinating country with a rich culture, but it worries me that many US citizens believe that violence is the only answer to violence.

Another commentator claimed that gun related crime had increased in Australia, a statement that is false.

Australia ranks low in world gun ownership and consequently gun related crime has declined in the last 15 years.

Australia has one of the lowest rates of gun ownership in the world, according to the annual Small Arms Survey, released in Europe, 2007.

The independent research project, based at the Graduate School of International Studies in Geneva, catalogues weapons production, stockpiles and illicit arms transfers.

In recent decades the Government has tried to reduce civilian gun ownership, notably through a weapons buyback scheme after the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996.

It has worked, with figures estimating there are only about 15 guns per 100 Australians.

In comparison, the United States has an estimated 90 guns for every 100 civilians - the highest rate of gun ownership in the world.

Gun related homicide in Australia has decreased in the last 15 years. For more information on gun related crime in Australia go to: http://www.ssaa.org.au/research/2008/2008-09_criminal-use-handguns-Australia.pdf

Finally the greatest contradiction in US gun ownership debate for me is the argument that it's a "God given right to own a gun" - nowhere in the Bible does it say "go forth and own a gun to protect yourself" in fact, if I recall correctly, Jesus said to "turn the other cheek."

I accept that US citzens have acquired guns because they feel threatened, but I am not convinced that gun ownership will solve their problem.

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geordmc 5 years ago from Beliot, Wisconsin

The problem is, here in the U.S. if you criminalize gun ownership, only criminals and police would have them. That would leave the majority of citizens defenseless. Besides the biggest criminals here are IN govt.

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Greyaxe 5 years ago

Once again you have missed the point you have low gun ownership because you have allowed your government to take away your ability to own a firearm. Also you might want to check the crime statistics in Australia compared to what they were before your government confiscated your handguns and semi-auto and pump longguns. It is a fact here in the USA that as more people are being allowed to carry concealed weapons that violent crime is going down in the cities and states that allow concealed carry you see criminals prefer their victims to be unable to fight back. But from your writings so far you are not concerned with facts, you just trying to justify your thought that firearms are dangerous and you don't want anyone to have them. Well firearms are dangerous, so are cars, bicycles, electric carving knives, and ideas. Let's get rid of all of those as well. More people are killed by cars or bicycles each year than by guns but I don't see anyone trying to take those away, yet.

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Longhunter 5 years ago

Maddot, you wrote "the perceived US attitude of gun ownership is a mystery." Simply put, it's not yours to understand. You've relinquished your rights of gun ownership thus the government has the ultimate power over you.

I have a permit to carry and do so everywhere. I carry because, when seconds count, the police are just minutes away. If we had a system in which criminals were put away and left there and capital punishment was used for murder, then I wouldn't have a need to carry.

I can assure you the opinion of the rest of the world or even our own president means nothing to most people who own guns and carry.

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geordmc 5 years ago from Beliot, Wisconsin

Even those who carry openly deter threats when certain people see it . It means I won't give you anything and you can't take it. I'm ready for you.

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maddot 5 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

Texas ‘Santa’ Killer Shoots Family (25/12/2011)

The killer, dressed as Santa, shot six of his family members around the Xmas tree before committing suicide.

WOW! sounds like the right to gunownership makes for a real nightmare of a Xmas!

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Longhunter 5 years ago

There's crazy people everywhere, Maddot. Take for example the people that originally inhabited your country.

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maddot 5 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

Yeh there sure are crazy people everywhere..even in Australia but the beauty is..we don't encourage gun ownership. We have a universal health system that lasts for life so they can access never ending health care, lifelong social security and a comparatively safe environment that fosters patience and tolerance. If 90 per cent of us owned guns here..there would be a lot more useless deaths, fear and suffering...it's sure good living without guns..I wish you could experience the lifestyle we enjoy and obviously take for granted. Thank you for your comments.. i appreciate you all taking the time to share your thoughts.

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Greyaxe 5 years ago

Yeah your countrymen just do it with cricket bats, butcher knives, other assorted tools and items. Please don't tell me what a paradise Australia is I've been there. And if your socialized medicine is so wonderful why do Australian citizens often have to travel out of country to have procedures performed after they were told that they couldn't have them done there. You are such an elitist idiot, you must be having a grand time trying to sell you pablum to the world

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maddot 5 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

Greyaxe re/ health system. i think you'll find that people travel overseas for more cosmetic procedures plus some dental work such as getting all their teeth capped because it's so much cheaper. Regarding your assertion that I'm "eletist idiot" and claim Australia is a pardise while selling pablum (soft baby cereal) to the world.....well what can I say..?

Regarding the cricket bats, butcher knives and assorted weapons assorted weapons.. yep you're right (except for the cricket bat..we would never use a cricket bat..that's just not cricket)..I think I'm getting a better picture of why gun ownership is so important to many US citizens. Thank you for your comments.

Please 5 years ago

Let's take Great Britain for an example of harsh gun control laws shall we? More and more crimes are being committed with guns because the law abiding citizens can't defend themselves. So yeah, let's ban guns so the criminals who ignore the law anyway can keep theirs.

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maddot 5 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

Every year just over 30,000 people die in the US from gunshot wounds. Every two years more US citizens are killed by gunshot wounds than were lost in the entire Vietnam war.

Lets look at this another way. With a population of 310 million and an annual death rate of 8.3/1000 , we can calculate that 2,573,000 people die in the US each year.

Of which 30,000 die of Gun Shot - so if you live in the US you have a 1.166% chance that you will die of Gun Shot wound. The rate of gunshot deaths is about 8 times that of economically comparable nations.

Approximately 8,000 homicides annually occur with gunshot wounds. About 16,000 commit suicide with handguns. Nearly 1,000 die in gun related accidents each year. The number of persons shot by police is slightly elusive.

UK gun shot deaths 2008 = 42

The number of deaths in Britain from gunshot wounds has fallen to a 20-year low despite concerns about levels of violent crime.

Most of the 42 gun-related deaths last year took place in London, the West Midlands, Manchester or Merseyside, with swathes of the country recording no homicides, suicides or accidental deaths from firearms.

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ANewConservative 5 years ago from Chicago

One of my favorite historic quotes if from Thomas Jefferson-“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

No matter how many laws we pass, criminalizing gun ownership will not act as a deterrent from any criminal intent on using a gun, they will always find a way to arm themselves. The only alternative is to allow the common people to have the option to legally arm themselves, and be able to defend should the time ever come.

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Greyaxe 5 years ago

You mentioned that 42 people died the the U.K from gunshot wounds in a country that has outlawed most firearms and has draconian laws concerning the few types or firearms left available to the common citizen. How many people have died by being beaten, stabbed, strangled or poisoned. Everyone seems to think that people only die by by being shot. People are killed in a variety of ways every day in every nation on this planet. Who are you really trying to convince, yourself. By the way I also noticed that you mentioned the "gun buyback" programs. First it was not a buyback program as the government did not own the firearms before the citizen did, you also failed to mention the outright confiscations of firearms. Why is that? Yes you may have a lower rate of death by gunshot, but whereas owership or firearms has gone up in the U.S. violent crime has also declined steadily over the last decade. If Firearms are the problem, isn't that the opposite of what should be happening. Have a Happy New Year.

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maddot 5 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

Greyaxe thanks for your New Year wishes.

The gun buyback by the government followed an horrendous shooting massacre by a very disturbed young man who stalked and killed toddlers, mothers, teenagers etc and killed a lot of people in a very short space of time.

It shocked the nation and the government's move to buyback guns was overwhelmingly supported.

If this disturbend young man had only had access to knives and bows and arrows etc there is no way he could have killed so many people in such a short space of time.

I had to do some work for a woman who had taken her 15 year old daughter to Port Arthur for her birthday on this day of the massacre. The gunman shot this woman who fell and lay over the top of her daughter to protect her. The gunman returned and shot the woman through the shoulder which blew her daughter's face off. the daugher died.

The never ending trauma of these shootings is unthinkable. I dislike violence of any kind be it by guns, knives, hands, bombs, germ warfare et etc.

My point about guns is that they are specifically designed for harming and if any tom dick or harry has one then chances are one or all of them are disturbed and will use it in a fit of rage and maddness killing and harming many many innocent people.

I'm not sure if you are aware but in the state that I live it is illegal to walk around with a knife.

In Australia most homicides are crimes of passion where in the heat of the moment someone gets so angry they strike out and if they have a gun handy then chances are much greater that they will use that gun. Yes they may go for knife but I think if they have a gun they will use it because they know it will do the job more effetively and it gives the perpetrator the power.

It certainly is a different mentality towards gun ownership in the USA as compared to here. I don't think you will change your minds in a hurry just as the vast majority of Australians will not embrace gun ownership in a hurry. Probably the different ways in which our countries were settled by our forefathers has a lot to do with our differing attitudes.

As John Lennon said "give peace a chance" but then some nutter with a gun shot him..didn't they?

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Greyaxe 5 years ago

Before making such generalizations about your countrymen you might want to talk to Sporting Shooters Association of Australia and The Coalition of Law Abiding Sporting Shooters. These are Australians that want their rights restored. And it's a crying shame that you can't carry a knife, it is a very useful tool and I've had a knife in my pocket since I was 5 years old. And just like with firearms I have never had a cause to use one as weapon oustside of military service. What will they take from you next your kitchen cutlery, your letter openers. I as stated in a previous note on this, violent crime of all types has seen a constant drop in the U.S. over the last decade, as the ownership of firearms and incidentally the carrying of concealed weapons increased. 49 states now issue carry permits. But yes among your friends I'm sure that no one wants anyone to have a firearm or a knife and you would probably be happier if no one was allowed to have a carving knife without a license. Sorry but your statements are all made from an emotional point of view and have little logic behind them. Also I would not quote John Lennon as a reference for anything and then call someone else a nutter in the same sentence. But if you like quotes here's one of my favorites it's from Thomas Jefferson "Those that beat their guns into plowshares will plow for those that don't".

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maddot 5 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

Greyaxe re/ popularity of gunlaws in Australia..it is no generalisation. In 1996 our then Prime Minister John Howard ( a conservative) introduced the new gun control laws. The gun lobby of course reacted but they are in a minority here in Australia. If the majority did not want the gun control, John Howard would not have been re-elected..I can assure you of that.

Australia approaches gun control as a public health issue not a criminal issue.

If you are interested in reading about Australia's approach to gun control and comparison between here and the USA please go to the following website


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Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

I suppose, here in Maine, guns are a big part of life. Hunting is a major money-maker from tourists and allows us to use the meats and furs to add a little extra to make ends meet. In a small community like mine, we aren't really afraid of gunmen breaking into our homes... we know almost everyone and the people we are unfamiliar with at present normally become known through a friend or work associate.

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whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

The United States is a country that most people around the world would like to live in a become a citizen. Yes the constitution gives the citizens the right to have guns and defend themselves. Our country was begun and relied upon this right in order to establish security for its people and futures. If we all laid down and gave up our defensive rights, then aggressive factions would seize the opportunity to take control and attack.If a pot of gold sits in the open and is viewed by good and evil intended,alike,do you think that the gold would be safe for long? Would the United States be safe, if we gave up rights of the constitution? I don't think so!There are unlawful elements in the U.S. and they would most likely take over if citizens could not defend their homes.

kam 4 years ago

Last night in the USA a young man stormed into the midnight opening of the new Batman movie shooting many people. Here in Canada at the same midnight openings, no incidents. I am so thankful to live in a country where people do not live in such fear. Where shooting incidents would make national news because they are a rare exception, and where fools who think its their "right" don't Have guns. Americans think the government has taken something away from us? That's very funny to me, since I am the one living in a country where locking your door is something you do at bedtime, and shootings are rare! I have lived in the USA, where locKer checks of GRADE SCHOOL children is routine! Have never been happier to say I am Canadian, and that my Canadian "rights" protect me far more than all the guns in the USA. Look at the numbers. Heck just watch Michael Moore's movie Bowling for Columbine! Cheered through the entire thing!

calum 4 years ago

can't believe that above person said that almost everyone in the world wants to live in USA.He is most deluded.Ihave been on holiday to visit friends many times and enjoyed my holiday but never in my wildest dreams would i ever want to live there.Been to Canada too and it is wonderful.I am Scottish and the thought of our country having guns repels me.You know the old saying He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.Istill feel folk who own guns will use them so they should all be banned.

JRC 4 years ago

I suppose one could argue, "Why should anybody own anything?". Let me lay it out for you in several points.

1. We have guns because it is one of our primary Constitutional rights. People tend to use the word "right" very loosely. You hear it all the time, the "right" to marriage, the "right" to health care, the "right" to insert your personal political objective here. But when it comes down to it, the Constitution of the USA lays out certain very specific rights. The right to free speech, peaceable assembly, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and yes the RIGHT to keep and bare arms. Unless we all agree to resend the second amendment to the Constitution we will always have that right.

2. The founding fathers of this nation realized that "when the government fears the people then there is liberty, when the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

3. The police can't protect you. They're great at cleaning up after a crime has been committed but they simply cannot protect you when it comes down to it. We all have the right to defend ourselves but, unfortunately God did not make all men equal, Mr. Colt did.

To calum, let me give you quote from Thomas Jefferson, "Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."

What happened in Colorado was not about guns any more than a plane crash is about planes. It was about people and a tragic series of events. When a plane crashes our immediate knee jerk reaction is not to blame the plane. We try to figure out what caused it to crash. It's almost never because of one thing, it's usually a series of unfortunate events that leads to a plane crash and to this kind of thing. The fact is, if someone wants to kill a lot of people they don't need guns to do it. Hell, Timothy McVeigh killed 162 people without firing a shot.

Shane Ryan 4 years ago

One of the best way's I can begin to explain my feelings towards this is death is death..... I'll start by saying yes I own 3 guns.... Why, because I want to... Reason's does it really matter... If I decide to mass murder I don't need a gun.. More effective than a knife maybe.... Who's hand is it in... If the best weapon is a gun more people will be better at it than other options. If the best is a rock.... Yes people would e better with a rock rather than a stick..... It's unfortunate that murders, homicides, deaths etc. Human nature is to exceed the previous, better the future..... The next worry will be s weapon more effective than a firearm...

My point is simple.... US mentality..... To any other is arguably the same..... Each have decide a choice, path, right, or wrong. Who's to say what's best statistics that really are stupidly weighed to either end if the spectrum .... Yes more guns mean more deaths by guns ...... Less would mean less....... Here's the fact's wether guns are embraced or not they still are a extension of an individual person making their own conscious decision to harm, kill another. It's not guns, knives, bat's etc. that are a cause or blame.... Nor is it society, state, country, province, blah blah blah.. It's a person's decision that cause horrible things to happen... If not a nuke, a gun, if not a gun a sword, if not a sword a stick, if not any other physical weapon, the human mind, will power, emotion..... You can have your own opinion on what is right or wrong.... But this is the slap on the face, cold, frightening truth of it....

P.S......... Yes as I said before I own 3 firearm's my believe..... Wether it is my right or not, I feel privalaged, joyous, to own mine...... Regardless of what ever disastrous choice a faulted individual makes

Travis 4 years ago


"If he would have had only access to knives, bats or etc... He wouldn't have been able to kill that many people in that short of time." Are you serious? Really? How about this scenario. You ever been to a parade? How many people could be killed by a person plowing through a parade line in a truck doing 60 miles an hour. Now is it the cars fault that all of them people were killed or the person driving it?

That's what I thought. Open your eyes. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Geez!

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maddot 4 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

Question for Travis..why do people buy cars?

answer: to get from A to B

Why do people buy guns?

answer: to shoot at things including people.

Very rare to hear of anyone deliberately driving a car into a crowd unless of course it's got a bomb on board!

Shane Ryan 4 years ago

Ok maddot

First of all you asked a question you have no reason to be bias about the answers given.

Second, yes congrats you concluded as well as anyone with two pinky toes that we all know guns, yes guns, firearms, projectiles can, do and always will kill people. Bombs, knives, sharpened sticks as well also kill. Weapons are intended to maim, harm, dismember, kill etcetera all of which are also all man made ideas. Yet no weapon can do any of the said mentioned actions with out any physical motion carried out from a mental decision from someone. If people tell you they bought their gun for protection, sport, or leisure than believe them. It is most likely the truth...... NO need to be retarded about honesty..

Third, here's what you need to find, determine what was the intent for any of the persons who decided to buy a gun to kill all of those people.... Oh wait, as any monkey can see it was to kill people.. Yes someone said it.... And as crazy as it may seem it's a firearms owner.... Yes guns kill people.. Omg no way....... Truth is that some people buy a gun to kill random people with.. Some buy them to protect them self from said idiots. Some buy them to hunt, as well and leisure....believe it or not it's up to you.

My last question for you is this.... Would it make you happy and end this moronic debate if someone posted that they bought their gun to kill 30 or so others random or not.... Is that what your looking forward to seeing on this site..........?????

Shane Ryan 4 years ago

So I take it I got my point across firmly.... Being that you won't allow it to be posted

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maddot 4 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

Do you own a gun Shane?


Shane Ryan 4 years ago

Yes I own 3, a rifle and 2 handguns..... With intent to buy a shot or two... And more than likely more rifles and hand guns....... I assume you'll ask why

Rifle which I own for hunting large game....and targets. No intent, thought, or even provoktion would cause it to be used otherwise...

Handguns targets, I bring at least one hunting incase needed... Some large game might hunt the hunter if provoked and a rifle is not always the quickest draw....... Also I have both for the simple reasons as protection. Yes I feel the need that of someone threatens my life that I would not hesitate... As far as just being rob.... Without threat I can tell you from experience I do not resort to any said weapon other than the extremities I was born with..... Even when carrying

Travis 4 years ago


My point is that the gun is not the problem. The person is the problem. People by guns to shoot at things, yeah duh you wouldn't buy a gun expecting it to play music. I wouldn't buy a car expecting it to shoot bullets either. Car crashes kill and hurt more people a year then guns do. But I don't see anyone saying ban cars. Prescription medicine has surpassed all death rates and doctors hand them out like candy. But my main question is why an Australian is writing an article about why so many Americans have guns win all the writer had to do was read the U.S. constitution. It's a right, and if you don't exercise a right it will be taken away. You have the right to freedom of speech. If you don't protect it by speaking freely they will take it away. I can't believe when they started taking your guns away in 1996 that ALL Australians didn't go up in arms. Its easier to keep something than to try and get it back.

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maddot 4 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

You are right Travis the USA has more deaths from car accidents than guns each year.

In 2005 car accidents caused 40,000 deaths while deaths from guns was 30,694.

Interestingly "the Atlantic" (www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/a-land-without-guns-how-japan-has-virtually-eliminated-shooting-deaths/260189/)

compares the Japanese and USA attitudes to guns in the following article:

"Waikiki's Japanese-filled ranges are the sort of quirk you might find in any major tourist town, but they're also an intersection of two societies with wildly different approaches to guns and their role in society. Friday's horrific shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater has been a reminder that America's gun control laws are the loosest in the developed world and its rate of gun-related homicide is the highest. Of the world's 23 "rich" countries, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22. With almost one privately owned firearm per person, America's ownership rate is the highest in the world; tribal-conflict-torn Yemen is ranked second, with a rate about half of America's.

But what about the country at the other end of the spectrum? What is the role of guns in Japan, the developed world's least firearm-filled nation and perhaps its strictest controller? In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.

Almost no one in Japan owns a gun. Most kinds are illegal, with onerous restrictions on buying and maintaining the few that are allowed. Even the country's infamous, mafia-like Yakuza tend to forgo guns; the few exceptions tend to become big national news stories."

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belleart 4 years ago from Ireland

I agree completely. For the most part I think owning a gun helps people feel safer, but with everybody being allowed to own a gun, doesn't that mean that the majority of criminals will think the same way and more than likely have one with them when committing said crimes?! In Ireland it is illegal to own a gun without a license but the license is not easy to procure, which means gun crimes are quite low. So is it really worth it?

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Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

An interesting debate which says more about peoples attitude than the simple fact of gun ownership. As one of your commentators said guns in the UK are controlled by one of the most draconian sets of laws in any country. My wife and I have shotguns, rifles and long-barreled hand-guns but these are for sporting purposes only. However, we would not use them to kill people as the concept would be totally alien to us. Our shooting club was originally set up to enable us to teach members of the military, police and special services how to shoot accurately and safely. We employ and applaud these organisations to protect us from our enemies whether criminal or military.

Our Home Office figures, even prior to handing in hand-guns, of crime committed by legally owned guns was so small that it didn't show as even 1% of gun crime.

There is gun crime in the UK but this, almost without exception, is carried out by illegal guns and is still so low it warrants a mention in the national newspaper.

The ownership of guns and the criminal use of them does not go hand in hand. If we look at Switzerland where more or less every household is required by law to have a gun (part of their national defence) their rate of gun crime is among the lowest in the world.

With regard to the USA the high ownership of guns has more to do with the historical fact that during the 18th and 19th century the USA was so vast and lawless that self-defence was the norm and I think this attitude has carried on until today.

Kind regards Peter

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BranMcNobre 4 years ago

I´ve been reading this and I see most answers come from US citizens who own firearms. Honestly I'm with Maddot here, although all of the comments made by various people make him seem like the crazy one. This comment of mine ended up being long by I felt I had to aproach the main points.

The truth is that the fact that there are so many firearms in the US is one of the most scary aspects of that country to those in EU. Maybe it is also scary to people from other countries - as it seems from what I read from Maddot - but since I'm from EU I can only speak for the general feeling over here.

I live in a small country in the old continent, with a heritage of about 800 years of violence that took place essencially during medieval times, in wars, skirmishes and religious based "pogroms". When you visit a castle of ours and you look around the remaining of the old medieval city walls you would end up thinking "If I was to get out of the relatively safety of this walls into the that scary "medieval" outside I would, for sure, want to carry something that would allow to defend myself". After all, one just needs to read a couple of documents and books about some events in my country's history to understand that, even inside towns, some of the most abhorrent and bizarre violent acts took place ocasionally.

But still, this was centuries ago. The country is not a "Mad Max" nightmare for centuries now and an armed population is now part of a very distant past. Although there is crime, which is worse in some areas, it is far from being the wild west misconception most US commenters seem to translate to justify gun ownership and so no one is afraid to walk around and be mugged usually - and being afraid to be shot to death by a criminal is even considered ridiculous.

The thing is times are different and things change and evolve. Tha is what I mean. So why do so many US citizens face the Amendments like dogma? Can’t they be questioned? Can’t they evolve or adapt to the changes in humanity’s social features?

Because, the problem is that if you set firearms in this equation (the social life in my country) things would be very different here. I must say I have been mugged twice in my life: one when I was but a child and another when I was a teenager and my younger brother was with me. We were aproached by five guys. Although I didn't exactly feared for my life or my brother's, if I had a firearm in this situation the feeling of impending danger would have made me used it. Thing is, if I could had one in my country, they could probably had more then one also. The result could be a tragedy and not worth the 5 euros or so that they ended up taking. Plus, I noticed afterwards that they were some poor assholes, not much older then us, doing stupid stuff mainly because they were drunk.

Instead of a tragedy that would mark and maybe destroy my family, involving us in court cases and having to move from our house due to retaliation, instead of having to live for ever with the burden of taking a human life, instead of taking the risk of getting killed, we just lost 5 euros.

The mantra “guns do not kill people, people kill people” is also not a justification, because guns are made to maximize the efficiency in killing. They may be used for sport and whatever, but the origin, their purpose is this one. With a stick or a knife you have to get close, you have to put yourself in direct danger, but with a firearm you may kill from a safe distance with the “press of a button”. Multiple times. So people do kill people, but should we give them more and more tools to do it in a more efficient manner?

Even if people around such a situation where some lunatic attacks a crowd are also carrying the tragedy has already taken place. And if those people draw and try to shoot back how many more are going to die? All kinds of accident happen in military skirmishes and that is with trained and organized individuals who are usually prepared – emotionally and rationally – for such events.

And how many people lose control and give in to rage so many often due to incredible stress situations? How many times does one hear “If I had a gun in that moment I would have shot him right there”? The Access to guns makes all the difference, just like Belleart stated above.

Firearms are amazing tools, with perfected design, and I love to shoot them in videogames and to see them in action movies. I have a friend who loves and plays airsoft and I was a couple of days back shooting some targets with my father in law’s BB guns in the backyard. But that’s it. Beyond that, in “real life” I hate guns. They are scary and risky – no matter the amount of training and macho talk you put into it – problemas are bound to happen. And with a firearm those problems have an exponentially higher price to pay.

Again, sorry for such a long comment :)

P.S. – Switzerland should not be compared to the US in any way in this case. It is an exception to most of the EU countries, mainly because it has no army, but rather a militia. Still those people are conscripted and trained like military, but since there is no actual military structure, they must maintain their personal weapon in their houses in order to be able to respond asap to a foreign threat. Either way, in these days, ammunition is not stored in their homes but it is, instead, only allowed to special units and the police. The weapons are kept under registration and inspect regularly (they come enclosured and in case it was used without official authorization an investigation is ensued to evaluate the reasons). Besides ,firearm ownership is only allowed under very specific conditions and carrying any gun in public is proibited unless it corresponds to a listo f very strict condictions – one of them requiring that the weapon is not loaded and another requiring that the transport is direct into authorized places or events (army warehouses, shooting courses, etc).

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BranMcNobre 4 years ago

By the way, since the Second Amendment's states, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." it seems to me that Switzerland is actually doing a better job at following this then the US - which uses the ambiguity of the Amendment to justify complete access to guns at the same time lacking on the "well regulated" part..

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

To Americans this is clearly a very emotive issue. It evokes rationalizations usually rather than reasons - and personal attacks! The 2nd amendment does give a right to bear arms but does not specify which arms and does not say a 24-7 right to carry deadly weapons everywhere you go. Some say carrying guns protects them from government tyranny and means the people are in control. Maybe 200 years ago that meant something, not now. Democracy is supposed to mean the people are in control, too. In countries where guns are strictly controlled, most people feel safe; Americans say they feel safer when everyone is armed. That doesn't change, no matter how many multiple shootings there are, (according to figures published in the Daily Mail, one every five days) so I don't think it will ever change. I prefer our way: I used to teach teenage boys with all kinds of problems, including behavioral, anger control, ADHD, etc, and if we had US laws, many of them would now be walking round with guns in their pockets. Doesn't bear thinking about.

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maddot 4 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

Mazzy Bolero ...couldn't agree more

Combat Veteran US Army 4 years ago

You obviously have never had to fight for your freedom/rights. Every time one of these silly gun bans is passed it is a slap in the face to every guy who has fought for God and country. Ideas do not run the world, people do. Disarming a populace opens the door to tyranny/enslavement/genocide/etc. People who deny this are whistling past the graveyard of history. Charlton Heston said "If we don't do something now, our grandchildren will curse us." He was old enough to remember. The 2nd. amendment is not about duck hunting, it is about freedom. There will come a day in the future where people who have been disarmed by their govt. realize that ideas do not run the world, people do. A Dictatorship does not settle matters in a court of law, it settles them on the battlefield. Those who do not live by the gun, get killed by those who do. A famous quote by a guy named Jesus Christ... "He that does not have a sword, let him sell his cloak and buy one." Luke 22:36 If you don't have a gun, sell the shirt off your back and buy one... people who call themselves a christian are commanded by GOD Himself to be armed. Thank GOD I live in a country with religious freedom(not persecution). Being armed makes it possible to defend yourself/family from common criminals (and the type of criminals who hi-jack legitamite governments). For those who have fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

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BranMcNobre 4 years ago

Combat Veteran I really hope that was sarcasm because I laughed hard. Specially on the part where you quote Jesus. You made my day!

bobby tacos 4 years ago

what day is it?

Combat Veteran US Army 4 years ago

Concerning BranMcNobre : I feel sorry for people who live in a country that is not free. One day they will learn the lessons of history/human nature. Saying that things are different now than 200 yrs. ago is like saying human nature is different now than back then/we are more evolved/civilized. The same things were said in Europe in the 1930s. (Ideas do not run the world, PEOPLE DO !... Please remember these words as they will explain why things like the HOLOCAUST happened. Who knows what evil mankind will face in the future. Gun ownership is based on a very long experience with human nature). I enjoy owning guns because it pisses people off that do not believe in freedom/want control/absolute power/ always insist that history can't repeat itself/ that can't happen because things are different now, etc. Dictatorships/Communist forms of govt. thrive on an unarmed populace. Europe may one day see the same things previous generations fought against. MOLON LABE! Interesting that a very large number of gun owners in Austrailia hid their weapons instead of turning them in. Ideas do not run the world, people do.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Times have changed so much and the government nowadays does not need guns to control people. People are more than willing to be controlled. It's not a wild west shoot out any more, or anything so simple. The government controls the infra-structure, they can also control the media. All the time we read about so-called government conspiracies - even on this site. We read about the Government putting out fake information, taking away rights, pushing corporate agendas against the public interest. Did they need guns for any of this and did the public having guns prevent it?

Combat Veteran US Army 4 years ago

George Orwell would describe what you are saying as new-speak(Govt. approved speech). Washington didn't use his right of free speech to defeat the British, he shot them. The militia (armed citizens) saved Washington's bacon many times throughout the American Revolution. I think it is interesting that some people claim it is imposible for modern people to defend themselves from criminals/criminal governments. If being armed doesn't affect anything, why do liberals put so much emphasis on gun control? I have to give these people credit, disarmament is required to achieve Absolute Power. The Clinton gun ban was the reason why Clint Eastwood did the movie "Absolute Power". At a local public gun range, one of the staff members is from England. He left England because it is no longer free. You will not see a govt. use guns on it's own citizenry on a mass scale until enough people are disarmed/making Absolute Power easier. Dictators would pray that they never lived in a free country like America. The people of the U.K. blindly trust their govt., and may someday understand/relearn the painful lessons of history/human nature. We are not a docile species capable of co-existing under everlasting benevalent rule. Some governments/media have successfully conditioned certain countries on gun control. There may be a reason for this in the future.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Combat Veteran, in response to what you say above:

1) Washington lived a long time ago. He was an officer of the colonial army fighting for independence from a distant country, not your average Joe fighting the government of his own country. I ask again how the people of this country intend to use guns to protect them from the withdrawal of their freedoms by the government?

2) People put emphasis on gun control not to prevent people defending themselves from tyranny, but because they believe there would be fewer deaths if guns were not so easily obtained by all and sundry.

3) The British government does not use guns on its own citizenry on a vast scale, or any scale, even though the public is not armed. The British Police do not carry guns. Your gun club staff member says he left England for the U.S. because 'England is no longer free'. Could you explain in what ways England is no longer free but the U.S. is free? Does he mean because every nutter is not allowed to carry a loaded weapon?

4) 'The people in the UK blindly trust their government.' You obviously know nothing about the UK! In fact, in the US people seem far more trusting, accepting GM food being force-fed to them, forcible multiple vaccinations of their babies, accepting being in the thrall of corporate power, which has destroyed the livelihood of once-thriving cities, without so much as a murmur, let alone a shot heard around the world.

It's not the people with guns but the people in control of the money that rule the world these days.

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Ladymudd 4 years ago

I'm glad I have a lawful right to own a weapon to protect me and my family. Whether anyone else agrees or not is irrelavant to me. I grew up with guns, learn to shoot and respect them. Yes they are intended to hurt something, an intruder, someone who means me or mine harm. It is there to protect. It provides a protection like nothing else can. I'm good with words, but I know I can't always "charm" a thief, drug addict, psycho, or rapist...I am responsible with it and I will use it if necessary. The idea that "chances" are that I will use it are obvious by the statistics to be false. But if it is needed I have it. I won't wind up the statistic on the obit page.

Big V 4 years ago

I live in australia, and i think the laws here are ridiculous, i wish it is law for everyone to carry a weapon at all times. this would stop so much crime. who would rob a petrol station knowing the cashier and all the customers could shoot him? anyone stupid enough to try deserves to be shot. u worry about one guy killed a bunch of people at a school or cinema, if all those people had a gun he would have been stopped so fast. Australians have no rights except the right to be forced into what ever the government wants. we can't even ride a bicycle without a helmet. we can't drive a car without a seatbelt. all these stupid laws and fines to find a way to squeeze more money from the people. we don't even have the right to die if we are unhappy. any country could invade and there would be no one to stop them.

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Alberic O 4 years ago from Any Clime, Any Place

I shoot as a hobby more than anything and I do use and train on firearms as a profession. Accidents are 100% preventable with firearms- more so than automobile accidents. I can care less about the emotions involved.

If you can get out of a situations without resorting to ANY violence, that is a good day. However, the law should not sacrifice you ability to use a tool (firearm) in defense if the situation warrants. Are there risks? Yes, there are always risks to a certain degree in terms of legal, psychological and physical aspects for anyone, citizens, police and even the military.

The ability to use force or lethal force (such as using a firearm) lies in self defense laws.

Ralf 4 years ago

Well how dY'all feel now that yet another nutbag has gone and killed 20 poor kids? mmm? Still think its ok to have guns everywhere? Nice counrty you have there.Guns don't kill people bullets kill people.

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BranMcNobre 4 years ago

Come on Ralf!! If each of those children or teachers had a winchester none of this would have happened! Any of those children - if carrying - could had set a couple of bullets in that killers head before he could fire a single shot. I mean... why can't children be allowed to carry? It's unfair! /end of sarcasm

If this sounded disgusting and disrespectful, it's because it is. But unfortunately, unlike me (I am using sarcasm...) there was one guy who actually wrote something like this when the news about Columbine where out and he meant it.. he was not being sarcastic... In a "gun" magazine... I was so disgusted I never forgot that article.

And Big V, it would be great if we lived in a society where people were all capable of being fully conscious of their decisions but that is not the case. Seatbelts are vital not only because they prevent the user from dying, but also because they prevent a child from losing it's father to a car accident, or a wife from losing it's husband, etc. Your life, or your absence, does not affect only you but all of those around you. And most of the time, we are not aware of that or the consequences of our acts. That is why we need laws and a structure that allows us to live in society and not in perpetuous self-destruction. That is what separates us from animals, besides self-awareness.

Btw Big-V, almost everyone feels a "boss" behind a firearm. It's part of the appeal of a gun - it's power, what it represents. So, when the guy sitting in the petrol station feels safe because he has a shotgun under the counter, so does a criminal who also carries a shotgun when assaulting the place.

At the end of the day, although I believe one might need a firearm in some areas of this planet (where defending oneself or his family is emergent, being the threat wild life or rampant criminal surroundings, i.e.) I don't think any country, in the 21st century, in the civilized world, in a first world context, should do an effort to widespread the use of weapons. The opposite should be right. Otherwise the killing of innocents will continue, the fear will prevail, the militarization will grow and the governments will have more ways and justifications to inflict and create oppressive and over-controlling means of surveillance and "security". So when one says, guns allow people to control political power, it is quite the opposite in the long run. Politicians love situations where they can create or take advantage of fear. And what can one say when they are actually right? When indeed innocents have paid the highest price. When children have indeed died by the hands of a crazy man who only had to "push a button" to take a life.

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stricktlydating 4 years ago from Australia

I'm in Australia, and I also don't understand why US citizens believe they need a gun to protect themselves. I do remember not so many years ago certain firearms were banned in Australia and those who were in posession of them were requried to hand them in. I hope something like that happens in the USA. Families living in cities and suburbia should not need to, or be allowed keep a gun in their house. I just don't get it.

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mikedean84 4 years ago from Childersburg, Al.

When someone kicks your door in and slits your throat and rapes your wife or daughter maybe then, you will understand. You won't understand til that happens I guess.

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SanXuary 4 years ago

There is no way that you our ever going to convince Americans to give up there rights to own guns. It is a terrible argument and a hopeless endeavour. All the recent massacres were done by people who did not even own one. In your favour I will tell you that semi automatic weapons are not needed. Anyone who uses a firearm knows that aiming and controlling your fire is more important. Police only have them because the bad guys have them. The other dumb idea is that fighting a Government gone bad that having a gun is going to help you. Running, hiding and destroying infrastructure is your only hope. No one is going to beat tanks, fighter jets and artillery shooting at you from twenty miles away. They can find you at night better then during the day. Knowing how to avoid them and running the bank account dry is about the only thing you can do. The real problem is owner responsibility and a culture that believes that murder by proxy is their only voice in solving problems. Until we change a culture that turns reasonable people into suicidal lunatics this problem is not going away. Look up murder by proxy and you will learn that this problem is only a few decades old in America. When our children stop playing unrealistic scenarios on their video games for 18 hours where they have killed everyone on Earth 10 times. Made by the same people who created military training aids. Maybe we will change the culture that kills others in the work place, where men legally harassed to death in divorce court no longer kill their entire families, just maybe are children might stop killing total strangers. This is a culture problem and a sign that our society is sick.

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mikedean84 4 years ago from Childersburg, Al.

You just made more sense than just about anybody on here.....

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Californialaw 4 years ago from San Diego, CA

America was founded on the constitution- which explicitly states the right to bear arms. What I think is the problem here is media sensationalizing these criminals- and readers eagerly digesting one gruesome story to the next. Sensationalism sells- and what's more sensationalist than targeting small innocent children?

These people are trying to go out with a bang, and we let them. Unfortunately in America stricter laws have never meant a safer environment. What we should examine is how are these usually connected? A lack of education, poverty, empathy and little attention given to mental illness. I see bullying as a huge connecting factor in many of these cases-yet we treat it as something that people should suck up until someone kills themselves or hurt others. Then suddenly it's a problem. Many people are saved every day from responsible gun owners- but they are given little attention compared to these monsters.

Why do we always focus on the effects and not the problem at hand?

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

According to the newspaper, this guy pumped up to 19 bullets into each six year old using some kind of machine gun. Is this what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote "the right to bear arms?" Could they have anticipated this when they pictured their fellow settlers defending themselves with their muskets?

As some have said, society does indeed have wide, deep problems at present, but how many more kids have to die in a hail of bullets while people sit chewing the fat about the problems of society and how to fix them? If Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson could come to the present day and see the result of the words they wrote, I think they would be in favor of gun control.

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mikedean84 4 years ago from Childersburg, Al.

No they would tell you to whoop your kids ass more often. Another thing I see on here that I have a bone to pick with. A lot of people seem to think that guns would have no effect against a government that has fighter jets, drones, and tanks. Well..... it takes people to fly a jet doesn't it? These people have to have a place to eat and sleep don't they? Jet engines are also extremely fragile as well. Does anybody know how many passenger jet engines have to be replaced from hitting the occasional bird. Guns would be useless? Drones have command centers. They have to have access to a satellite signal. These centers would have people operating them. Guns would be useless? Tanks have to have people operating them as well. With barracks somewhere. And with the exception of another tank the tanks greatest threat is a foot soldier with a bomb. Another thing is that all these fancy toys would have to have supply lines as they use huge amounts of fuel. Guns would be useless in controlling these supply lines? I don't care how many toys a government may have a gun will always be useful in the event that that government oversteps it's boundaries. A good example is world war two. The Germans had better tanks, better planes, and better guns. Yet where there was a will there was a way. The north vietnamese and the islamic extremist have made all these fancy toys look foolish for years. So don't say that a gun is useless cause when shit hits the fan I bet everybody that gave theirs up will wish they had it again.

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Californialaw 4 years ago from San Diego, CA

To address your comment Mazzy, as I know the UK is not quite as polluted with violent crimes as the US, In the united states tougher laws do not have a positive relationship with less crime.

Arizona has some of the toughest criminal laws in the entire country, and yet its cities are consistently listed amongst the most dangerous places to live in the United States. You know what helps reduce crime and poverty? A quality education. Not tougher laws, less freedom or higher taxes.

Im not for people owning high volume assault rifles, but there's nothing wrong with a simple handgun. The problem is that prohibition doesn't work- it didn't work with the drug trade and it didn't work with alcohol. If crazy people want to get these guns they can easily get them illegally.

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LindaQ79 4 years ago

Guns are a problem in this country. We are gun happy and stupid! I don't need a gun to defend myself. I would be more scared to own one and know that someone could break in and steal and kill me or others with it. I would never want to kill anyone with a gun or anything for that matter. Guns are not needed and I hate them! I hate that 90 out of 100 civilians own on in this country. That is scary. That tells me there are more chances for more senseless murders in the future.

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mikedean84 4 years ago from Childersburg, Al.

There will come a time when you wish you had one. Not all people are as nice as you.

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maddot 4 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

It's truly astonishing to many of us who live outside the USA that so many of you have a seemingly religious fervour about the right to own a gun/s.

Does the fact that little children can be murdered in their school by a mentally ill person with a semi automatic rifle..does this not shake your belief system to the core? Last year more than 10,000 US citizens lost their lives as a result of gunshot wounds..this is not happening anywhere else in the industrialised world...and even if it was..it does not make it right or moral or beyond change.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Californialaw, thanks for responding to my comments. However, it's not a question of tough criminal laws - obviously that won't stop a crazy person who is going to kill himself anyway. It's about keeping such powerful, dangerous weapons out of the hands of such people. The UK has strict gun laws, but some people do legally own guns - for hunting or sport for instance - gun control doesn't mean no guns at all, it means balancing the freedom to own a gun with protecting the freedom of other people to live their lives without the constant threat of such insane violence. I wouldn't really like to be in President Obama's shoes right now. Whatever he does, some people will be up in arms. I just hope he has both the wisdom and the strength to get the balance right and make it happen.

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BranMcNobre 4 years ago

I Think your comment was quite interesting Californialaw, but this sentence... "there's nothing wrong with a simple hand gun"?

I think there are not many countries where one can utter such words without being considered crazy. In my country most people would think you are a psycho if you would go and say such sentence. Maybe most US citizens could come visit some EU countries to understand that it is possible to live without fear of a crazy man, in a random day in the subway, i.e. drawing his handgun faster than you...

I mean, how can you live like that? Thinking you may some day need to kill another human being? Carrying an equipment specialized and created for hurting and destroying other living beings? How do you get to think that such way of life is normal?

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Californialaw 4 years ago from San Diego, CA

Having been chased, followed, threatened and nearly robbed many times, I think I am entitled to be somewhat weary of those around me. I've never lived in anything lower than a middle class neighborhood, yet rarely did I feel safe or were these void of crime. I was grabbed on my own college campus for heavens sake. Have enough people grab and chase you, you'd be weary too.

Before you dismiss someone as being "crazy", have you ever been to the United States? I spent months traveling all throughout Europe and I remember what it was like- and its not the same. And many people outside of the US are judging us through their understanding of the world. The number of deaths by gun in the United States is something to the tune of 11,000-12,000, I think I saw UK Australia was only in the 40 ish range (granted our population is larger but even if you adjusted for population its nowhere near)

This isn't an issue of gun control, its an American mentality. I remember hearing on the news people touting Japan's superior gun control to their safety. No, it is in the Japanese culture to treat people well. During the hurricanes they had entire cities with not a single house looted. That would (unfortunately) never happen in the United States. Katrina is an example, tons of homes looted and valuables lost.

There is something deeply and intristically wrong with the United States right now, and its not gun control. As a female I would LOVE to feel safe wherever I lived. I'd love to be able to save a bit on rent here and there and live in a more affordable neighborhood but I can't. Its just not safe. I can't control others actions, I can only do everything I can to try to ensure my own safety.

There are many countries where one would sound crazy to be so paranoid, but obviously these people have never lived in a city in the United States.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

There was also looting in London last year - it's not just the USA that has suffered a decline in values and behavior. I lived in Massachusetts for 8 years some decades ago - the only guns I saw during that time were in policemen's holsters and I was never attacked. Things have changed everywhere - there's more violence and less social responsibility. To me that's all the more reason not to let those who indulge in such behavior easy access to deadly weapons.

I can see where you are coming from - you just want to be safe. The question is what's the best way to keep citizens safe. Not by arming every lunatic with a semi-automatic weapon, surely? You might not have your own gun ready and aimed when the lunatic fires at you, so it's not a foolproof solution.

There is no easy answer, and I don't think the American public would accept a restriction of guns to hunters, etc., but does anyone really need to build up an arsenal of modern military hardware in their living room? They didn't have these kinds of mass murder weapons when the Bill of Rights was put together.

These horrors will keep on happening if they don't do something. If it was your child being filled with bullets, would you still think that it was an acceptable price to pay?

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tipstoretireearly 4 years ago from New York

The statistics about gun ownership in the U.S. are depressing. This is even more so when one considers that a household's guns are more often used against someone living in the household than against an intruder. Hopefully the recent school tragedy will start changing the U.S.' attitude towards guns and start making it more similar to that in Australia.

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BranMcNobre 4 years ago

I understand what you say Califonialaw, but believe me I was but a small child when I was robbed by two grown-up thugs while waiting for the bus right in front of my parents house in broad day light.

I was a teenager when I was robbed by a gang at the entrance of my house, along with my younger brother. The feeling of being useless for not being able to protect my younger brother at the time was pretty powerful until I realize not fighting back when it happened was the right thing to do. That was the best way to protect ourselves sometimes.

Some other times though it was a bit different. I was afraid of being mugged at school at all times, because I was indeed mugged and robbed a couple of times. I had to defend myself sometimes. I had to literally run from gangs. There was a really complicated hood near my school and there were fights everyday. I saw and did some violent things I'm too ashamed to talk about. But you really had to step up unless you wanted to be punched, pushed, insulted or maked fun of every single day. It was a reality many people who live in the vicinity still have difficulty to believe when I or other people who were there talk about it. But there were worse places. A friend of mine back then was in a school where they were robbed every day by gangs at the entrance. One time a little kid was stabbed because he didn't wanted to give up his wallet.

But I just can't imagine if all of this was mixed with an open access to firearms. Tragedy would have happened year after year for sure, in many places around here. And death creates a spiral of violence that goes through generations.

Owning a firearm is a false security that brings only problems. One must remember that if he is carring so are the other psycho characters roaming around the school entrance predating in people weaker or not able to group in gangs such as them.

So, my social reality was and probably still is closer to yours in more ways then you imagine, but I still cannot comprehend the need to facilitate the access to guns as a way to change this. And how a country reaches the cultural point where the majority seems to think that carrying a gun around will solve such security and social issues is really beyond me.

Mikeg422 profile image

Mikeg422 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

maddot I enjoyed your perspective from a different country, and I may be able to offer a little insight into the American obsession with guns. To start you have to look back to how our country was founded, and by whom. Our country was founded by rebels of the crown of England, they were outgunned and outnumbered. They won out only through determination, and brutality. Since our country was founded by rebels, of course logically they would install laws that would allow for revolution to happen again.

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.

The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is

wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts

they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,

it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...

And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not

warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of

resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as

to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost

in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from

time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

It is its natural manure." Thomas Jefferson

So you see, even though the misconception exists amongst many Americans, that we need firearms for protection, it is in fact a tool of leverage against our government growing too out of control, and removing the rights, and liberties of our people. Obviously it hasn't worked recently, because the vast majority have forgotten their duty to reign in our government, but that was the truest intent of the Second Amendment. I myself don't own a gun, but I also don't watch the mainstream media either, so I don't live in fear of my neighbors. What I do fear is our corrupt government, so I will always stand for gun ownership's side on this debate.

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maddot 4 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

Mikeg422, thanks for your comments.

It's interesting isn't it, how differently people feel about gun ownership. In Australia we are very cynical about our politicians and we know that some of them are up to no good but we use elections and jail to sort them out. We just don't feel so threatened by our government. We do have shootings here but it tends to be among groups in the underworld. We had a huge massacre in 1996 when a madman went on a rampage in a tourist spot killing 35 people including children. It was horrific, he stalked a three year old, returned to shoot and finish people off. Following that incident guns were out and the vast majority of the population supported strict gun control. Since then we have had no massacres. We have violent crime but the gun control means that it's much harder for someone to go crazy with a gun particularly a semi automatic.

We don't have capital punishment here either as the majority of us are so not into violence even if some one has murdered and raped. When I read about the US attitude to the right to bear arms and the gun lobby it seems to me that there are a lot of $$$ being made from guns plus the minds of many have been soaked in this attitude for so long it's going to be hard, very hard to change. I can't imagine living in fear that my children's lives are at risk from madmen with a semi automatic in a school, in the cinema, in church, in malls, etc. There are enough crazy people getting around let alone giving them unfetted access to semi automatics. I hope the loss of these small children lives serves to open the hearts and minds of many.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

whoisit, with respect, there is no such thing as unlimited freedom. That would be anarchy, not democracy. We trade one freedom off against another. You give one person a freedom, you take a freedom away from another. We have to prioritize our freedoms.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

whoisit, you were saying Australians were accepting limited freedoms but Americans would not. That is what I was responding to. As for the freedom to bear arms, there is nothing in the Bill of Rights to say this is without limit. If so, you couldn't object if the lunatic who lives next door has an atomic bomb in his closet.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Yes, there are already laws restricting weapon ownership in the USA. That is an established principle. So why is it an affront to many Americans that the matter of weapon availability should even be considered?

You say you will not stand for what others will. Yet you will stand for children and other innocent people being mass murdered - it seems to happen in the US on a regular basis - while others will not. On the rare occasions it happens in other countries, they make laws to try to prevent it happening again. The fact that the US has not done so is baffling to the rest of the world.

We realize people feel threatened and want to defend themselves from potential armed intruders, etc., but the American zeal for unlimited gun ownership seems to go way beyond that.

They quote the phrase "the right to bear arms" as if it was gospel, written by God Himself, and not by humans like ourselves at a particular point in history. The Declaration of Independence also famously claimed for Americans the "unalienable" rights to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness".

Did the 26 murdered at that school have any of those rights? Didn't those kids and their teachers have had a right to life? Didn't those dead children's parents have a right to the pursuit of happiness?

Why is it that the right of every homicidal lunatic to carry a semi-automatic weapon is regarded as more important than the right of decent people to LIFE ITSELF?

I now know that James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, with a little assistance from Ben Franklin. The rights enshrined in each cannot co-exist in an absolute form: each has to be modified. If we take the "right to bear arms" as an absolute right, then the right to life cannot be an absolute or "unalienable" right as Jefferson stated. We have to strike a balance which is both workable and wise.

Of course, I was just making a point. Your neighbor can't have an atomic bomb in his cupboard. However, a human time-bomb just murdered 27 innocent people with a semi-automatic. Why would you think that's OK? Why would you not want to stop it happening again.... and again.... and again..... and again.....

That, whoisit, is what foreigners cannot get their heads round.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

It's not about defending yourself, is it? You don't need multiple military weapons to defend yourself from a burglar. And I don't believe I was ranting.

Look at the statistics - this kind of crime happens far more often in the USA than in the UK or Australia, even taking into account size of population. It doesn't mean such crimes never happen in those places or that Americans are essentially more murderously inclined.

The IRA was a terrorist group. The USA has had terrorist attacks too, and having guns didn't help.

I am not aware of any mass murder being committed using natural gas canisters tied to a car. Firing a gun is just so easy.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

I am not a victim - those 26 people in that school were the victims.

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Mikeg422 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Mazzy one thing that I've noticed repeatedly is folks from other countries that can't get their heads around why we let this happen so often also are not looking at the US for what it is. We are not Australians, French, British, German, Indian, Chinese etc. We are all, we are a melding pot of races, cultures, religions, we are something other nations can not possibly understand, we have no true overwhelming majority. You might be wondering what this has to do with debates over gun control. Obviously there is a level of diversity here in the US that does not exist elsewhere (I know every country is not soley made up of indigenous nationals). We live in a society full of tensions and undercurrents that foreign peoples could not possibly understand without living here. I'm not saying that guns are the answer to deal with adversity, what I am saying is that because of the complexity of our society there will always be violence, and mass killings. Did you know that 85% of gun related murders in the US are gang related? How many gangs are there in Australia?

The recent school shooting is beyond tragic, it is always tragic when masses of people are mindlessly murdered. Taking guns away from law abiding citizens is not the answer, everyone keeps going on, and on about the guns, but what about the mental health of the individuals that perpetrate these kinds of atrocities. Have you seen a picture of the screw ball who committed the latest heinous crime? Just looking at a photo of him you can see he was mentally disturbed...he was 20 years old. In all his years of schooling no one noticed that he was a little off kilter? That is where the problem in this country lies, not with gun ownership, but with the mental stability of it's citizens. Look at Switzerland for instance, almost every single individual in their country is armed and trained to use their weapon, why do we not see more mass shootings in Switzerland? Because they also have programs that weed out the mentally unfit and prevent them from owning a weapon. The US is so wrapped up in being politically correct we will no longer label a person "crazy as batshit" regardless of their condition, it's sad really we let people like this guy go through life without help or guidance. People like him are not normal and need special consideration, they really don't fit into America's one mold fits all attitude. That's just my opinion, I hope I could add some insight to this debate.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Thanks for your input, Mike. I do agree that it's necessary to prevent mentally ill people from owning guns. However, in this case his mother owned the guns and she apparently had an arsenal of them, including semi-automatics, which he used on the kids. Is it really necessary to have that type of gun, and so many?

The situation in Switzerland is unusual, in that most men are part of the militia as they have no army. They are allowed to keep their guns at home - but no ammunition. You are probably right that the Swiss have a very orderly and stable society compared to the US and other European countries.

Britain and Australia both have gangs, by the way, and both have a diverse population. It does lead to tensions - but would everyone carrying guns make those tensions better?

I am not convinced we should simply accept there should always be so many mass killings in the USA. We don't know the reasons this last killing happened, but the guy wasn't normal and his mother was allowed to collect deadly weapons as if they were toys. She showed him how to use them. He was obviously angry with his mother and may have been bitter about his treatment at school. What did his actions have to do with the diverse population of the USA?

It's true the treatment of the mentally ill could be improved - but not everyone who carries out these mass killings is diagnosed as mentally ill. In short, the US does have problems but I don't agree that the proliferation of deadly weapons can make those problems better.

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Alberic O 4 years ago from Any Clime, Any Place

I'm not gonna go into the ethics, morality, legality, etc about why carrying guns are important. I've had my experiences and my views but I'll leave it at that- don't need to start making someone go ape crazy. I will ask the following:

Why should the majority of the 55 million gun owners who did no harm or break any laws pay the price of what a few mass shooters did? Why should conceal carry permit holders who have broken no laws and have gone through training (some were police and military as well), give up that right?

This is what gun owners (forget the NRA and other lobbyist- they can screw themselves) are asking and it's a legit question.

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AntonOfTheNorth 4 years ago

"I can assure you the opinion of the rest of the world or even our own president means nothing to most people who own guns and carry."

And this is why positive change is so difficult. Too many people unwilling to listen to too many others.

Your rights to a gun are not more important than the rights of a child to not get shot at school.


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Alberic O 4 years ago from Any Clime, Any Place

The logic is they didn't break the law. 90% of the problems are caused by the 10% of the population.

Most shootings are done by repeated felons who are in and out of jails-many on out on parole after serving part of their prison sentences.

Get rid of the repeated felons and gun deaths will drop. If this doesn't work, then go for drastic measures but until then, you have nothing to go on.

The Swiss allows each household to have 50 rds at a time. They may have more then they go to the ranges to shoot but that's it.

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Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Alberic O, your argument does not convince me because there is no reason 55 million civilians should need - or even want - the right to keep hoards of deadly military weapons in their home. The fact that they are mostly "law-abiding" people is irrelevant. Such things need to be kept out of public hands precisely because not all people are law abiding or even sane - or ever will be. The crimes may be caused by 10% of the population, but if you allow 100% of the public to own uzis, then you are not protecting life. The right to life itself has to be more important than the right to own unlimited amounts of deadly weapons.

If you have an instant method of preventing offenders re-offending, which your above post suggests, other than shooting them dead, of course, or imprisoning them permanently, please let the world know.

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Alberic O 4 years ago from Any Clime, Any Place

3 strikes law for any violent crime: felony assault, assault with a deadly weapon, rape, armed robbery. No appeal after the third conviction. No parole, no pardons. Life in a special prison with one meal a day and minimum medical care (not like the excellent ones US prisoners get). I personally prefer the death penalty on these people since they blew their chances at turning their lives around but that's just me. I prefer punishing those that actually did the crime.

I did combat martial arts (we trained with all types of weapons, including firearms) in the civilian and military. To me, a firearm like any weapon, is an extension of the body- any legit martial artists, service member, security and police will know this. This training served me well in security, the military and in the streets. A weapon doesn't violate others rights, people do. This is why I don't believe in blaming inanimate objects like firearms.

More effective background checks (including for ammunition) to include mental illness (any history of psychopathy, schizophrenia, anti social personality disorder, bipolar disorder and/or severe depression by a mental health professional will be imputed into the database) this will cut down the amount of deaths without penalizing those who obey the law. Like Mike said, the US has gotten too politically correct with this. Every time people want to include mental illness on the data base for background checks, it gets shot down by civil liberty organizations. So many shooters claim the 'mental illness' excuse with psychiatrists backing it.

Mandatory safety courses and shooting qualifications are key to include courses on lethal use of force. If a moron can't pass it, he will be banned from possessing or buying firearms of ammunition.

If the US government wants to limit amount of guns to 1-2 per person, I wouldn't care. They have the tools to do it- the vast majority of firearms purchased is traceable.

RM58 4 years ago

eh that's a a bit silly. They got a bit extreme and over dramatic with their words. My great uncle kept a pistol on his hip and next to his bed for 80 years until he passed away of illness and never had to use it nor did it burden him. And we can't apply that logic to nukes cause our effect is one on one, small scale.

The right for us to protect our selves and not others with nukes is up to our corrupt agencies or officials, the citizens can't help that. That's like blaming North Koreans for being slaves. They don't want that, and we don't have any say in war tactics. That's up to government and secretary of defense and is not up to debate. I think this writer above strongly dislikes American's and doesn't understand that we don't have any say what our government does... And like he said, they don't know what it's like here, it's all speculation to him. Also aiming your gun is not always to hurt. It's a hobby for most and spends a lot of time on the shelf like a paint brush or a chef's knife. We hunt, go to shooting ranges, collect history and museum pieces, and keep them for self protection yes, and if you look at statistics here you're facts are off. Most people here never personally see a violent crime in their whole lifetime. In your country your not allowed to harm an intruder in they break into your home, you have to wait on cops. Here we have a choice to save our wives lives, protect our children from a crook at 1am at night. 1/33,000 chance you'll get hurt by a gun crime and a 1/333 chance a gun will save your life here. I think I'd rather be safe, it's no burden to carry a gun, it's an honor as a loaw abiding citizen to have to option to save lives adn protect my fellow brothers and sister. Strangers or not. I fight to preserve life, I'd rather have one dead criminal on the ground and 100 good people alive than vice versa. People should live here for year to see how everything works and get fully involved in politics and sports and hobbies and food and everything they can to understand how they all work before speaking their opinions so confidently. If not that talk to someone from here for a long time every day for years, then they can't truly get a glimpse at all the good things and all the bad things.

And the write posted pictures of Glocks. It's because they got all their info from news media, and CNN/Fox. Anyone who is uneducated on the matter always turns to "Glocks" "AK" or "assault weapons" even though aw's are nowhere in USA, no one own not a single one here but they insist we own them in every home. There are thousands of more guns that glocks or aks. so silly. Did you here about what else happened the day the guy in USA shot 20 kids? That same day a guy in china went into a school and stabbed 22 kids.... Guns are every where and always will exist and they at least give you an opportunity to stay out of arms length of a knife, other gun, or reach somebody further off who is harming other with any other type of weapon. You need to rethink you're logic. Also our 2nd amendment protects all our other amendments and ensures that we wont ever be come a country like North Korea, we can fight back a corrupt government or foreign invasion during time of crisis. Hitler put in a complete gun ban ... before killing all of the Jews... you're idea seems to favor this method...

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maddot 4 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author


If you are referring to me as the "above writer who hates Americans" let me assure you I do not hate Americans or any race or creed. I do however have a very strong dislike of violence of any kind whether it be with guns, knives, hands, bombs etc

Thank you for taking the time to make your comments; they are appreciated.

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BranMcNobre 4 years ago

A lot of US pro-gun people around this "hub"! :)

Anyway it seems, to me, that most "pro-gun" defenders here just ignore the questions or arguments that the few "anti-gun" folk here post.

Basically I see four points being repeated constantly:

1 - The right to carry arms is stated on the Constitution of the US

2 - Citizens have the need to defend themselves directly due to the high levels of criminality

3 - Guns do not kill people, people kill people, therefore what is necessary is a more strict law and punishments more harsh towards "wrongdoers".

4 - Prohibition did not worked for alcohol, so it won't work for guns.

These points have been confronted by the people who defend a civil society without weapons, mainly guns, but "pro-gun" posts seem to keep paddling on the same four points over and over ignoring previous arguments, not answering them.

To me the arguments against this four points are:

1 - The right to carry arms is stated on the Constitution of the US

a) The Constitution referes to a well regulated militia. That seems to be closer to the definition of a police force than the definition of an entire population carrying weapons that would be science-fiction to those who wrote such document. Actually, Switzerland is perhaps the closest there is to a country with a well regulated militia, with an enfaces on "well regulated" - it doesn't take much to read about it and understand that it is very, very far from the open access to firearms that exists in the US, starting from the fact that they do not have a typical army.

b) The authors of the Constitution lived in a totally different economic socio-political and cultural context than most US citizens live today. They couldn't even dream about the amazing and exponential accessibility to weapons that could shoot, in a minute, more projectiles - and with more precision - than a squad could in the same interval of time. And who knows… Maybe they would even consider it as coward to use such a "demoniacal" device.

c) Isn't it fundamentalist to take any document, be it the Constitution or any other, to the letter and/or as a dogmatic truth? Just because it says something on a document written in a totally different context - centuries ago and that it may seem some things may apply today- we should just abide to it?

2 - Citizens have the need to defend themselves directly due to the high levels of criminality

a) Most people here state they feel the need to carry because they live in complicated areas, because they were robbed, etc.. There are socially complicated areas in most highly populated areas of Europe now, i.e. A lot of minority guettos have been spawing all over the old continent and many people have been threatened, robbed, etc. But if you ask around, in most countries, you will find that most people still do not wish for weapons to become more accessible. Mostly because they know putting guns in such equations could had a very different outcome other then losing their smart phone to a gang of thugs.

b) Another point that has been brought up, closest to this, is that criminals carry guns, so we must carry guns also in order to protect ourselves and those around us. The thing is that it was the vast firearm accessibility that brought this situation, not the other way around. Just look at Europe, for example. It is very different in this. Although there might be, in some EU countries, a significant percentage of criminals carrying guns the fact that they are not widespread means it is really, really hard to get hold of one in most places, in civil society. This creates radically different situations. Besides if only the military and police forces are actually armed (who respond to civil entities such as a government elected by the people) their effectiveness and menace to criminals is greater.

3 - Guns do not kill people, people kill people, therefore what is necessary is a more strict law and punishments more harsh towards "wrongdoers".

a) Not wanting to insult anybody, but I think we really have to be naïve to believe we will ever have regulamentation or a justice system that is perfect and reaches everyone. Thing is there are many people with problems and the range of those are not immediately measurable. I mean, everyone has completely lost their mind once or twice, right? Now throw access to a gun at the same time. It's easy to picture that right? And that is really common. Specially against those closer to us. Take a look at the statistics police entities provide which show that most guns are used against close relatives and not for self defense. " If a gun is used during a domestic violence assault, there’s a 23-fold increased likelihood that the victim will die. Women who are victims of domestic violence are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser owns a firearm." (from a very interesting article http://www.forbes.com/sites/robwaters/2012/07/24/g...

b)People kill people indeed, but modern guns improve such individual "skill" to levels never seen before. It is absolutely and completely different to try to hurt someone with, i.e. a knife (no even talking about the survival chances of the victims which are radically different also) then with a automatic rifle, where you pull a trigger - you push a button - and four or more people die.

4 - Prohibition did not worked for alcohol, so it won't work for guns.

Such a different time and context that was. And I guess most "pro-gun" people who use this argument also believe drugs of any spectrum should be legalized? Otherwise there is a paradox in there. Of course such reduction in firearms accessibility could not be done overnight. It would take decades or even more, but this too are not comparable due to different historical, political and cultural context.

This is not an easy issue and it must be seen in different perspectives, because the US is a social and cultural caleidoscope that needs different approaches in each state. But still, innocent people, children included in the demographics, keep being victims in situations that could be avoided. A look at other countries where such things do not happen prove it is possible to avoid them, to live in a society where such tragic events are incredibly rare.

Billy Jones 4 years ago

FREEDOM... fries.

Billy Jones 4 years ago

And sorry, but we're not living in lawless badlands or saloons anymore. The government has a place to regulate guns, just as they regulate everything else, including your alcohol, petrol and social payouts, as meagre as they may be.

A loss of free gun ownership is no less a loss of freedom as the lack of free access to uranium or nuclear weapons to the average person. It's a very reasonable control to be bestowed upon the people you democratically voted for.

If you believe that guns are required to control the level of crime then there is something seriously wrong with the mentality of the people in the country. Look at every other country in the world and try and argue it. Sure, we all have crime, but the gun related (also knife related, poison, etc) murder is so much lower than ANYWHERE else in the first world.

The gun laws that allow people to freely have weapons are draconian as they relate directly back to older times when there were no laws and no real order (draconian). What about free access to health care (Socialist, I know?!!!)?

B-Dawg 4 years ago


The best protection for a suburban white man would be a black face. Nobody would mess with you if you were black. Black skin is the best protection a white man will ever know moving forward. Black skin would be a shield for the white man.

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maddot 4 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

B-Dawg...don't understand what you are talking about...sounds racist..is racist....

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slcockerham 4 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

It's really comforting to hear the views of people that live in a crime free bubble, Not. I've survived a dozen armed robbery attempts, mostly because I was aware, armed, and prepared to defend myself. By the way, Jesus asked his disciples if they had swords; the defense of the day, and said they should sell their cloak and buy one. They replied that there was two among them and he replied that was enough. Nice opinions Ausie, but good luck defending yourself against crime or tyranny. After such your understanding may mature.

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AntonOfTheNorth 4 years ago

"Jesus asked his disciples if they had swords; the defense of the day, and said they should sell their cloak and buy one."

Jesus also said: "all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (King James version)

You have freedom of religion in the US so the words of Jesus do not hold automatic sway, but even if they did, which of Jesus' words are the correct ones in this context? Go and buy one, or using one will get you killed by one? Depends on your bias, I suppose.

My bias is that the situation will not be improved by reducing control or adding guns.

"It's really comforting to hear the views of people that live in a crime free bubble, Not."

Likewise, you can't expect someone who has not been subject to a dozen armed robbery attempts to accept your view of the world that they(I) should be content with laws that let both you and the robber bring lethal force into a civilized society.


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Kate143 4 years ago

Hi there. The reason gun ownership is so important to Americans can be summed up in a quick review of 20th century history: Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, 1950s China, Cambodia during the blood soaked reign of Pol Pot. The people of these countries were disarmed and tyranny prospered. Wishing for peace in the New Year, but glad I can protect myself and my family in the real world.

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AntonOfTheNorth 4 years ago

Living in the same 20th century as you do, but not in the same country. I haven't yet been in a situation where a gun would have improved it, so clearly I don't share your perspective.

I do share your wish for peace in the New Year, and always.


B-Dawg 4 years ago

The best protection for a weak white man is a black face. I am half black myself. I know how people think. The white man is looked at as weak on the streets. He is vulnerable to racial politics. Black skin would be a shield, an insurance policy for the white man. Black skin would be a gift for the white man. Black skin would help the white man win presidential elections.

In my opinion I think many white men should dye their skin black and live as black men. I had a blue car. I had it painted black. I did this to make a statement on what i think the white man should do moving forward. Peace.

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ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

gun control will not reduce violent crimes.

I wrote my hub on the root cause of violent crimes


33,000 gangs in the US with over 1.4 million members

There are also about 250,000 gang members in prisons and jails.

zorn 4 years ago

Frankly, I must say that I indeed absolutely do not understand the fact that U.S people have the right to buy and use lethal weapons such as handguns or even war guns. I mean these are not toys , they should be left to professionals such as soldiers, cops or some law enforcement agency employees like it is the case practically everywhere in the world.

When you think about it, why is it an inalienable right of any U.S citizen? Because that's how the U.S.A has been built : by armed popular rebellion against the authority of the English king and by permanent violence : killing of the natives, killing of other citizens, killing of competitors, killing of animals, of black slaves, etc... so in that kind of 'democratic permanent killing' it is important that every citizen can be provided with a lethal weapon. As it is pointed out,their constitution does not just mention firearms, it could be any possible weapon, a minigun, a portative laser cannon, why not?

Strangely enough, is the country more violent than France? Than Mexico? Than many country where weapons are not allowed for ordinary citizens, apparently not.

But what I think is a problem is when massive troubles will happen in a country that have been more or less spared by huge problems during that century. Let us imagine that a massive collapse of the economy happens tomorrow, then 200 millions of mad guys will kill each other with guns, guns and guns!

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alans27 4 years ago

I am a newcomer to this website and I am following this thread with much interest in view of the tragic events recently in Connecticut, USA.As a citizen of the UK it does indeed baffle many as to why there is a need for so many of the citizens of the USA to own firearms when people in this country (UK) ,as many others in the world ,do not find a need to own or have access to firearms.

I suppose it is easy to understand the american mentality that if it is allowed to own a firearm I might as well have one too, same as everyone else.

Moving on to the Constitution of the USA, as I understand it this was conceived in the very early days of the USA when there most likely was a need to" bare arms" as stated in the second amendment.Surely this was written in times very different from today,James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights in 1789 and it was adopted in1791, in times when the country was in its infancy and there was indeed a need for a "well regulated militia".Is this well regulated militia still required today? Perhaps many think it is!

Does this mean that these amendments and "rights" of the people will endure forever and a day without change, as circumstances may require? Surely laws must change as times change,surely it is necessary to change the Constitution as is required for the wellbeing of the people,are these amendments written in stone?Of course this may mean having much tighter controls on the purchase and ownership of firearms.

Just a few thoughts of my own, enjoy your guns.

caseywalk 4 years ago

After reading through this, I kept seeing a common theme. "Those of us outside of the US don't understand...." I see many comments from those in the UK and Australia.

If you remember correctly, a couple of hundred of years ago our forefathers shed blood to get out from under the laws you are required to abide by.

Keep drinking the koolaid. You have been fed the propaganda for far too long. You don't know what freedom taste like.

That's OK. You never will. Owning a gun is not a macho thing. It's not about sport. It's not about hunting.

It's about liberty. It's about being free. The government does not give us the right to own a gun. Therefore they cannot take them away.

I am more terrified of my own government than any criminal with a gun. My worst fear is living in a nanny police state like those of you have to endure.

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ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

This country was founded by British Citizens that overthrew the British Rule. They did this using guns because at the time of the revolution guns were the weapons of choice.

The countries where guns are not allowed by private citizens were old countries where guns didn't exist or weren't the favored weapons.

If you want to be against gun ownership then you are against the founding of the United States.

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alans27 4 years ago

It is unfair to say a person is against the founding of the USA because someone is a bit sceptical about allowing the easy purchase and ownership of firearms.Many or probably most countries of the world get along just fine without firearms being owned by the majority of their people and it just seems a bit strange that a well developed country such as the USA finds that there is need in this day and age for so many people to own these weapons.

The writer caseywalk writes that the government of the USA did not give the people" the right to bear arms" As I understand it this right was given by the first government of the US of A in 1791, he says it cannot be taken away but your Constitution states that it can amended but to change the Bill of Rights is a very difficult and long winded process, so I suppose this will probably never happen.

The writer IB RADMASTERS states that "at the time of the revolution guns were the weapon of choice" as you say that was probably so when the early citizens of the USA where defending their young country and fighting for freedom, but aren't those days long gone?

By the way I very much admire the USA and its people and maybe one day I will get to visit the country.

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ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California


MY comment was the answer to why Americans have so many guns. I didn't mention that the spread of Americans across the territories that would eventually become states was done with guns to tame the West.

The US was founded on guns, and it grew with guns so it is no mystery that Americans like their guns.

Mexico has a very strict gun control law, but that doesn't stop the Mexican Drug Cartels from having serious weaponry. They kill Mexican Police and even the Mexican Military.

Laws cannot really control products that the people want, so looking at gun control is not a solution.

Contorted 4 years ago

Imagine if the United States government turned into a corrupt organization trying to take over the world. Imagine citizens start to disappear without reason until eventually people begin to protest but those people are arrested. The people lose heart and go into hiding.

Imagine eventually the government just keeps pushing its hidden agenda backed by powerful forces that are hidden in plain view.

Imagine the peoples protests and pleas are ignored for decades. Suffering worstens until there is no choice but violent revolution because of a police state that slowly and quietly is taking over.

Imagine the citizens no longer have weapons only the police and those private military organizations that would be hired and used by the government to follow orders no matter what. Without the means to remove this power the world falls under there control while other countries governments follow in line with promises of neverending wealth.

oops nevermind that could never happen in this day and age. Get rid of the military grade weapons I must of just been having a nightmare. My imagination does that to me sometimes. =)

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BranMcNobre 4 years ago

It seems many US citizens live with fear. Fear from the government, fear from criminals, fear from their neighbors. It sounds quite paranoid to be honest. I couldn't live like that. I have been mugged and robbed but I never have been threatened with a firearm or even a knife. I never feared for my life on the streets. And I lived in some complicated areas believe me.

Having fear as a base to defend the total access to heavy duty weapons capable of potentializing killing in great numbers seems quite awkward to me. The true weapons of democracy in this civilized age (21st century) are information, education and culture. A retarded person or a iliterate citizen are defenseless from the supposed big brother wether they carry a gun or not. Actually if they carry they are probably more dangerous than that supposed threat.

If one wants to defend himself or society from the government one is probably better using a PC or a Smartphone then a gun.

Try coming to some countries in Europe like Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Finland. You'll see it is possible to live without such fears.

Contorted 4 years ago

I wont argue opinions on why we keep guns, but even if the laws change to the point where access to new weapons are restricted or removed completely from the legal market what will it change? Since theres already so many guns in the United states how will it change anything. Does anyone believe that people will give up there guns? People would hide there guns if a law was passed trying to remove military guns or any type of weapon that has already been purchased.

H.W 4 years ago

How many people are killed by drunk drivers??? Will they ban liquor ? Oh, they can't do that! That has to be served at the big, party's that is given with our tax dollars. Ok, if they take our guns, is everyone in Washington going to give up there guns? Will they live by the rules given to We the people? If you make the rules, are you willing to live by them? If the government (all of them) are not willing to live by them,

Why should we!! Is our and our children's life not as important as Theirs.. MINE ARE!

I think mine is, I want the right to do all I can to protect them..

Does th

Patriot Quest profile image

Patriot Quest 4 years ago from America

I would like to add this note for what it is worth, I was brought up from a small child believing my country was great because the common man held firm to the idea of being able to form a militia at the drop of a hat. Yes it can be argued that our military now has missiles and bombs with witch to maintain order but no matter how powerful they are when forced to turn on their own people as long as myself and my neighbors own guns we can torment and fight them off. Anyone who doesn't believe this is a factor can simply look at the defeat of Russia after years of trying to overpower Afgans on horseback compared to their planes, tanks, and helicopters with superior firepower................guns guarantee my freedom !

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QualityContent 4 years ago

So let's suppose one day an Australian Tyrant rose to power in your country. Don't tell me it can't bloody happen because there's Mao, Stalin and Hitler among dozens of others. What then? Tell me what would you do? I know what you would do you would roll over and die because you're disarmed. A firearm is to protect against tyrannical power. It's not about hunting, or sports. World govt may be powerful but I don't think Americans are going to roll over and die very easily. Maybe you want to live in a society under slavery, but others don't.

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murphaticlaw 4 years ago

Do The Math

Admit your fear and anxiety to your Doctor. You have socialized medicine so it wont cost anything. Then find the answers to these questions. How many people die out of the total population, how many are gun deaths, how many are gun murders, how much is 80% of all homicides, how much is 80% of gun homicides, Subtract the 80% crime on crime homicides from the total. Subtract the 80% number from the gun homicide to get the number of law abiding who are victims of homicide gun homicide. How many deaths is that compared to the U.S. death total.

Memorize the principle that 'when a hypothesis is contradicted to the evidence, change the hypothesis. Every year we have more guns, more gun owners, more people with carry permits. Each year Homicides drop, gun homicides drop, violent crimes drop. The claim is that more guns increase the potential of gun violence and potential gun violence leads to increased gun violence is not supported by the evidence. As more and more people familiarize with the way guns work, who learn the rules about gun safety, the lower the number of gun deaths.

Sadly war doesn't confine itself to just the evil and guilty so I cannot hope that when your country is invaded, as portrayed in 'Tomorrow When the War Began", our country would just kickback and say things like, violence is never the answer, guns have no useful purpose, when the soldiers line you against the wall we could say, hey your about to die by violence why don't you call the police. But we will probably pull your asses out of the cleft you created for yourselves, just like last time. Since there are still innocent children and poorly defended old folks and since the war will affect them too, I guess I got to be happy.

The truth is the only reason people talk about evil guns in America is because the media constantly keeps it as a current issue. Check out how many deaths are the results of other causes and how much it is reported. Look at the lowering number of criminal assault. Look at the rhetoric and how rarely it links to actual numbers how it's all mights and could's and it's common sense everybody knows. LOOK AT THE NUMBERS, DO THE MATH and find another cause to champion.

maddot profile image

maddot 4 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

murphaticlaw..thanks for your thoughts

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QuestionMarc 4 years ago

The reason we have more gun related crime is because we have guns. The reason "American Dream" through hard work in line. America is a free country. You're free to succeed and free to fail. Some people go to school while other rob. If you keep you're head in the game of work force long enough you'll retire a wealthy person and your future generations may retire on just your wealth. With that said if you choose not to work hard your fortune will be great but, short lived. But, is that the truth? No that's just the American Dream. How many people do you know have lived their dream? Probably none. The scum I called Dad for the first 7 years of my life... Was a wealthy business man in small town U.S.A! He raped my Mother at gun point in front of me when I was 7 years old. When my older brother of age 18 arrived during this he just let it happen. Why? He's the main account holder as long as he's a good son. Little did they know. I called the police afterwards. When the police arrived nothing happened! It turned into a high school reunion. This is reality. This is why America owns a gun. We are a humanist society. Everybody in this humanist society naturally has their "Idea of Welfare." I own a gun because I will not let someone like that walk all over my "Idea."

Tian 4 years ago

hi people, i think maybe its needed to have a technically improved gun that when you shot, it also shots back.

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BranMcNobre 4 years ago

So... No one is going to talk about how Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in the history of US military and a companion were sadly shot by a fellow veteran whom they were trying to help? How the old "pro-gun" argument of "wild west" justice that states that the better way to stop a guy with a gun is another guy with a gun seems to have fallen flat. Even so because this were military, specialized people who know better then anyone how to handle a firearm. Even so, because this were former special forces operatives, certainly the men I wanted to be close at when a shooting would start because they were certainly the best men to stop such a situation.

Maybe I'll get "trolled" here like some people with the same opinion were on Twitter, but I think this must be brought up - without any sense of disrespect for Chris Kyle - specially if we consider that some people are trying to push laws that allow teachers to carry weapons in schools and classrooms.

jomama 4 years ago

government taking over you blah blah blah...yah know i remember times in kindergarden where i was thankful the classroom authority stepped in. It was necessary.

Josh 4 years ago

What you can not grasp is the 90% does not commit violence. The 10% most likely have illegal guns. That 10% are robbers, gangs ect. Everyone across the pond will never understand! We the people a short years ago did not have our freedoms we enjoy now. It is our job as citizens to protect them.

freedom costs a buck o five 3 years ago

Secondly, lets be clear, Obama is not ‘confiscating’ guns, he is merely making them harder to come by. BIG difference.

Thirdly, attempting to reduce these types of mass shootings is vastly different to trying to reduce the use of firearms by a drug dealer or theif. They are not one in the same, so stop treating them like they are.

Which leads me to four: yes criminals come by guns illegally, largely stolen, largely stolen from any one of the ridiculous number of US households that have them! If you can’t see the correlation you are blind! When the amount of guns in circulation go down, they go down. Plain and simple.

Whoever quoted Charlton Heston, please, an actor come NRA jockey is not worth mentioning. Don’t do that again tssk tssk.

Just because you nickname your country ‘the land of the free’, doesn’t mean it actually rings true. George W sent your military into Iraq under the false pretense of WMD’s and has resulted in the the loss of life of numerous soldiers. You were sold a lie, you knew and know it was, yet we are all waiting for you to ‘bear your arms’ and bring the power back to the people or GWB to some kind of justice. Guns stop tyranny my a**. Missiles and Tanks and Battelships and Jets do! Do you bear them!?

Finally, why not look at like this: Your way of life, including love of guns and loose gun laws is failing its people. Tried, tested, stamped a failure. Many have turned to those that wrote the constitution and fought for a republic. The US was founded by some very intelligent, forward thinking minds, but instead of thinking to yourself that making changes is some sort of historical insult, consider them turning in their graves as you use them as a means to continue the failure. They were radical thinkers that brought about radical change. Has anyone stopped to consider that if they were still alive they would be fighting tooth and nail for a progress that betters the people and that might mean restricting gun access?

Myron Crawford 3 years ago

All I can say is people who don't live in the US will never understand the gun culture here. I am a gun owner. I target shoot with my rifles and have a pistol for personal defense. If you look at the estimated amount of firearms in the US (which is a lot) and then listen or read comments from people in other countries you'd have to assume the US is the Wild West and how in the world is anyone still alive? Yet with what estimated 20, 30, 50 million (may be higher or lower) firearms in US only 30,000 gun related deaths a year? My point is yes every death from a gun is a terrible thing. In fact any death caused by a person on another is terrible but only a small percentage of these millions of guns is ever used with the intent to harm another and even a smaller percentage are caused by the vaunted assault rifle! The stats bear this out! Yes we have a higher gun death rate (which has been consistently coming down for last two decades) than other countries but its should be higher than countries that have banned or made it impossible to own a firearms. Less guns means less gun deaths! That's obvious to anyone with common sense. So people who want to compare our gun death rates to say the UK or Australia I believe are using stats in a misleading manner. It's not an apple to apple comparison if you break it down! Like I stated a country who doesn't allow or severely restricts owning a gun will and should have a lower gun death rate than a country that allows its citizens to own guns! Less guns available so less gun deaths! So that comparison needs to stop! And once again for the amount of firearms in the US and to only have 30,000 gun related deaths a year? That's actually a low percentage! Not making light of any of those 30,000 death a year but when you think of the estimated 20-50 million firearms in this country 30,000 deaths is a supremely low number. I'm just sick of people in other countries assuming Americans are just running around shooting each other like the Wild West! With the amount of guns here if you listened to non Americans you think it was a miracle that there is anyone left alive in America

kalen 3 years ago

Everyone has there point of views but what the Foreigners don't realize is if we didn't have guns then the u.s wouldn't be the u.s today guns helped form America so we are simply defending our history and our culture but most of all our Amendement. In the 1670's The law required us to have a gun in our house, In the 1700's George Washington encouraged hunting t-shirts and the use of fire arms, In the 1800's They where known has an equalizer and where also required, 1900s we still owned guns and there wasn't many problems at all they are now handed down through families guns represent our culture, protection, family tradition, equality, hunting, some make a living off them and so much more.

2,000 now they're trying to take our guns because of a couple people with medical issues got a hold of one guns aren't the problem even if we didn't have them they would still kill people just with another choice of weapon sword, axe, hatchet getting rid of guns won't fix the problem. they won't be able to take them anyway cause 9-10 of us will defend our right to bear arms it's who we are and 99% of us recognize this Guns represent who we are and how this country was formed I could go on butI'll end there.

AUSTRALIA has a population of 22MILLION

AMERICAN has a population of 300MILLION plus so obviously your percentages will be dramatically different

patriot 3 years ago

how can you ask that question when you already know why first hand.


Leeboy 3 years ago

Why do so many Americans have guns? Because we can,next question.

maddot profile image

maddot 3 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author


Why do sooooo many Americans die from gunshot wounds? Because they own guns!

Bill Redmon 3 years ago

To maddot: Because the unarmed are easy targets for cirminal minded young people.

I believe in owning guns for protection of myself, my family, my home and anyone else I see in troule. The Constitution GIVES us permission to carry guns, and the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT should abide by it and not call it a piece of paper to be shredded, but to be fought for.

maddot profile image

maddot 3 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia Author

It's all a state of mind.....

brian 3 years ago


Black skin would be like a security guard for george zimmerman right now. I think black skin would reduce a person chances of being the victim of a random crime. People are less likely to step to you if you are black. White people need to paint their security and police units black. Black skin would be like a race card proof vest for a cop.

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BranMcNobre 3 years ago

Another sad gun-related event on this past monday...

southernborn 2 years ago

we the people choose to own guns, defend our constitution from all enemies, including our own fed gov. There is no perfect government on earth and won't be till Jesus returns. Until then we stand ready to fight.

Matthias D'hiet 2 years ago

Very nice article.

Some very nice cases where explained here.

Brendan 2 years ago

Well, when your people need a gun and don't have one then you'll understand what the United States Constitution is about. Also, To the contrary, The Founding Fathers of the United States were amongst the most credible, wealthy, educated men of their time. The Founding fathers were read well into history regarding governments amongst other personal enterprises. The American Constitutional Republic is so far not the greatest the World has ever seen but it is close.

To understand the American system of Government is complex to the unlearned. America is divided into Counties which in turn make up the State. In America the Counties hold more Authority then the State and Federal Governments. Each state also has it's own Constitution and nearly every state varies in it's laws and Government. The Individual states hold more power then the Federal Government. In fact, the local Country Sheriffs have more power in their jurisdictions then the President of the United States would have under any given situation regardless of Federal or State Law.

The last Revolt in France against out of control Federal Government was only nearly over 100 years ago, that is not a lot of time. Also consider The first and second world wars - Hitler's National Socialist Germany where millions died innocently whom were citizenry less then 100 years ago, Americans are generally weary of strong centralized Government as we all should be if we can stop to think about where our ancestors might have come from and the reasons why they might have come or perhaps to think about those who couldn't defend their rights and were slaughtered in cold blood by Government and then you might see the need for an armed citizenry.

Johnb658 21 months ago

Your goal is to breed all the different dragons available to you cggakcedeegg

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