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I don't understand guns...

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    This is more about a question I had, rather than a debate as such.

    So the number of deaths by shootings in the United States is around 40 times higher than in the UK (USA: 4.1 per 100,000 compared to UK: 0.07 per 100,000) and the total murder rate is also 4 times higher (USA: 4.8 per 100,000 compared to UK: 1.2 per 100,000)...

    So how the hell can countries like the USA continue to legalise carrying firearms?! It just seems completely absurd to me.

    Forgive me if my thinking is over-simplistic; that guns lead to murders. Clearly if you don't have to access to a gun, you'd use another method and that's reflected in the statistics...but surely the fact that there are 4 times as many murders in the USA is, at least, partly attributable to guns?

    Is it just political pressure from gun companies that keeps them legalised?

    Vb
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    America has a very different to culture to us, and the right to bear arms in order to protect yourself is something they see as a fundamental right. Despite the high amount of gun crime, they don't want to lose their 'rights'.

    Personally, I'm very glad we don't have it here, but I can't see it changing across the pond.
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    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    This is more about a question I had, rather than a debate as such.

    So the number of deaths by shootings in the United States is around 40 times higher than in the UK (USA: 4.1 per 100,000 compared to UK: 0.07 per 100,000) and the total murder rate is also 4 times higher (USA: 4.8 per 100,000 compared to UK: 1.2 per 100,000)...

    So how the hell can countries like the USA continue to legalise carrying firearms?! It just seems completely absurd to me.

    Forgive me if my thinking is over-simplistic; that guns lead to murders. Clearly if you don't have to access to a gun, you'd use another method and that's reflected in the statistics...but surely the fact that there are 4 times as many murders in the USA is, at least, partly attributable to guns?

    Is it just political pressure from gun companies that keeps them legalised?

    Vb
    Well lets be honest, we know that lots (not all) of Americans are stupid ( no offence).
    We have all seen that video of Americans thinking there are 5 Eiffel towers.
    And they also think that Africa is a country.
    Now apply that same logic to guns...yeah doesn't really work.
    Well said Vazzy
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    apparently it's very 'un-American' if guns were to be criminalized.
    Different social attitude over there.
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    It's in their constitution for citizens to have the right to bear arms.

    Changing the US constitution is pretty much impossible, especially for Obama.
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    The US see guns as a right akin to carrying knives. Now, the US has a lot of social problems. This means that people are going to use guns for negative things like killing a person in a different gang. If you banned knives and compared it to nations that carry knives, knives escalate murder rates as well just like guns (remember the whole gang stabbing epidemic in the UK?). The US is deontological in this regard and doesn't believe that the high murder rates justify restriction on freedom. It's kinda like people don't believe high-crime rates in here justify biometric identity cards. But, it's kinda pointless talking about the US as a whole considering there are states with very restrictive gun laws and some with more liberal gun laws.
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    It's their country, if they want the right to shoot each other that's their choice, it's not like we could stop them anyway.
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    Your approach is a little too simplistic. You forget to mention that much of the US is like a third world country.
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    What about Switzerland?
    Most people have guns in Switzerland yet their murder rate is nearly half ours. This clearly show that more guns =/= more murders.
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    (Original post by hevlar.kelmet)
    What about Switzerland?
    Most people have guns in Switzerland yet their murder rate is nearly half ours. This clearly show that more guns =/= more murders.
    Whereas more Americans = more murders? :confused:
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    They love their constitution and at the time it was written the right to bare arms was relevant.

    Sadly now, the south more than anybody love to go shooting stuff and don't want to give that right up.
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    Firearms aren't just about killing people
    They are used for sport such as target shooting as well as hunting.
    They shouldn't be completely illegal since they do have legitimate purposes. Farmers do need guns to deal with pests, dogs attacking their animals etc.
    I think the current law we have is fine as it allows people to have guns in these circumstances. The main killers in the US are handguns and those are completely banned here.
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    Hey guy with the cool shades and earphones looking in the distance, you're avatar :toofunny: :toofunny:
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    (Original post by Patriot Rich)
    Firearms aren't just about killing people
    They are used for sport such as target shooting as well as hunting.
    They shouldn't be completely illegal since they do have legitimate purposes. Farmers do need guns to deal with pests, dogs attacking their animals etc.
    I think the current law we have is fine as it allows people to have guns in these circumstances. The main killers in the US are handguns and those are completely banned here.
    Not true. Section 5 of the Firearms Act.
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    It is perceived as a basic liberty that one should possess a gun. It derives from the conception of the constitution which, at the time, was mindful of authority, having just beaten the British in the War of Independence. The whole political structure in America dilutes authority and takes a very cynical outlook on the role of the executive. Arming its citizens was previously a way of saying "One day, someone's going to come onto your property and kill/enslave you. We're going to get rid of the legal roadblocks that prevent you from defending yourself". Unfortunately, this is outdated, but to undermine one amendment is to undermine them all.

    It's ironic really, because American politicians tend not to respect the constitution; they cite it when it suits their agenda.

    It's interesting that "in God we trust" has been on American currency for several decades now, despite the 1st Amendment...
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    I think that carrying a personal firearm will make one more likely to impulsively kill...

    e.g a man walks in on his wife in bed with another man:

    if he has a gun, he shoots him in anger... if he doesn't, he uses his fists until the fight fizzles out
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    (Original post by Vazzyb)
    This is more about a question I had, rather than a debate as such.

    So the number of deaths by shootings in the United States is around 40 times higher than in the UK (USA: 4.1 per 100,000 compared to UK: 0.07 per 100,000) and the total murder rate is also 4 times higher (USA: 4.8 per 100,000 compared to UK: 1.2 per 100,000)...

    So how the hell can countries like the USA continue to legalise carrying firearms?! It just seems completely absurd to me.

    Forgive me if my thinking is over-simplistic; that guns lead to murders. Clearly if you don't have to access to a gun, you'd use another method and that's reflected in the statistics...but surely the fact that there are 4 times as many murders in the USA is, at least, partly attributable to guns?

    Is it just political pressure from gun companies that keeps them legalised?

    Vb
    For the people to be allowed to own guns, it is essentially the ultimate representation of freedom. Above everything its just a principle. In a country where the government has firearms and the people are forced not to by that government, the people are slaves, people would argue. The vast majority of gun owners in the US, 80,000,000 legally, cause no harm or crime with their guns every day. Most own one just because they can, because they're free to do so.

    The US constitution was created in the wake of the revolution/independence which required guns to be legal to happen. Hence the clause for the right to bear arms. This is in part to protect against the possibility of the government becoming tyrannical again in the future. So the people can revolt.

    Ironically, firearms are legal in Syria. This has allowed a circulation of firearms for the rebels against the regime, giving them some kind of a fighting chance against the tyranny.

    Ignoring all the arguments for and against guns, it is essentially just about individual freedom. If you believe in individual freedom and limited government, you're pro-guns.
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    (Original post by CJM13)
    Not true. Section 5 of the Firearms Act.
    They are de facto illegal following Dunblane.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearm...o._2)_Act_1997
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    (Original post by hevlar.kelmet)
    What about Switzerland?
    Most people have guns in Switzerland yet their murder rate is nearly half ours. This clearly show that more guns =/= more murders.
    there's very little social inequality in switzerland though and thus less reason to commit the types of crime associated with violence
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    I actually think that Americans set a good example of not giving up their long held rights and criminalizing things just because they are abused by a few morons. Over here everything that is remotely criminal is banned leading to a police state of sorts. Switzerland shows that it's not guns that cause America's high murder rate (people don't just think I'm allowed a gun so I'm gonna go shoot people) it is due to social reasons (widespread poverty, racial segregation leading to gang formation etc).

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Updated: February 21, 2012
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