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    (Original post by Overground)
    Well, no, secondary school children can't legally own firearms in the US. Just as secondary school children can't legally get drunk in this country... The fact is, it is far easier to get a gun in the USA. Thus, a mentally disturbed teenager is more likely to be able to massacre his class mates extensively and rapidly because of the increased access to guns. In this country, firearms are much more difficult to get hold of, so a similar situation (yes, I know of the Dunblane tragedy) would likely be carried out using a knife or other instrument. No other weapon has the emotional detatchedness of a firearm, or the speed or distance from which is can be used to kill.
    Firearms aren't all that difficult to get ahold of in this country, illegally or properly licensed (people seem to assume it's difficult, but getting hold of a shotgun licence is not by any means a stressful procedure, and very few applications are actually refused). The simple fact is that the vast majority of people don't want them and don't much see the point in having them.

    If a teenager can get firearms, despite that being illegal, then the question must arise: how are they getting them? The answer is as a result of improper storage and keeping, amongst other things, and there are a lot more effective answers to that than repeating a completely unacceptable and impossible mantra of banning firearms from private ownership. Have extremely harsh penalties for those who do not store weapons safely, and when such negligence results in other people getting hold of their weapons (obviously outwith the supervision of the keeper), even if they don't use them.

    But to return to the original point, the fact is in most of this country (save perhaps London) children don't stab each other or whatever the gun-free equivalent is. Even in rural schools where the rate of firearm ownership will be high, guns do not end up in schools. That's a cultural difference, not a by-product of draconian legislating.
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    If I wanted a gun I could quite easily make one, or obtain one from people with black market connections. The real issue is understanding what lies at the root of the problem, and what can be done to solve it. Since this relies partially on creating a legacy, there isn't a huge lot that can be done about that, however measures can be put into place that can monitor people buying guns and tracking black market copies.
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    Indeed. What needs to be done is allowing handgun conceal-carry for teachers and seniors.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    The answer is as a result of improper storage and keeping, amongst other things, and there are a lot more effective answers to that than repeating a completely unacceptable and impossible mantra of banning firearms from private ownership. Have extremely harsh penalties for those who do not store weapons safely, and when such negligence results in other people getting hold of their weapons (obviously outwith the supervision of the keeper), even if they don't use them.
    Everything else you wrote was spot on, but I would say this factor is pretty insignificant.

    Legal gun owners are required to store their firearms in a safe which isn't exactly easy to break into. The average street criminal doesn't know which houses store firearms and which do not, and considering only ~0.5% of households in Britain do, the chances of a burglar just breaking in and bumping into one are particularly minimal. The safes also cannot be located within view of a ground floor window, so a would-be burglar can't have a quick peak through the windows either.

    Each firearm is registered onto the gun owner's FAC, and when that FAC is terminated, each firearm must be accounted for. It's not possible to just "lose" one (read: sell to a criminal). Gun owners have a legal duty to report the theft or disappearance of a firearm to their FAC-issuing police constabulary.

    The major sources of firearms on the black market in Britain are smuggling from Eastern Europe via the Chunnel, and reactivation of previously deactivated pistols (which are legal to own) by drilling out the barrel block and reinstalling the firing pin.
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    (Original post by ConservativeNucleophile)
    Everything else you wrote was spot on, but I would say this factor is pretty insignificant.
    Well, I was referring to the US situation rather than the UK one, and more to children accessing their parents guns than burglars getting at them, but fair enough.
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    (Original post by burninginme)
    America's problem is due to a fundamental flaw in it's society and upbringing of children, I don't know what that flaw is but banning guns would not solve America's problems. Switzerland's gun policy is as open as America, and gun owner ship is probably higher in Switzerland per capita, yet they don't have anywhere near the problems of the US or UK.

    There is something about American society and social structure that is causing lots of kids to feel hopeless, seriously depressed and isolated.
    I think I agree with this from experience. Hard to really explain but I can "understand". I feel like because (especially in highschool) there is a huge culture of being very, erm, "at one with the spirit of the school" and with the school's colours/team/mascot that if you aren't interested it's seen as something almost pathological.
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    Calling something a cultural problem is code for, "I'm don't want to legislate on it." Well, I'm sorry, but school-shootings are a form of crime, and governments are supposed to reduce crime. So, let's move on from that nonsense.

    Fire arm control isn't going to take private gun ownership out of existence - in the same way that banning cocaine hasn't eliminated its use. But it will reduce acccess, in terms of raising both the monetary cost and practical effort required to acquire a weapon. In the cases of school shooters who lose their heads and blow their peers' brains out, gun control is extremely likely to be prohibitive. The black market represents both a practical, time consuming stumbling block; and it also necessitates that the individual concerned has a cool head - something which people don't generally possses when they walk into canteens with their parents' shotgun.

    No, you can't legislate guns away, but to not try because you think it's going to be too difficult is as absurd as legalising theft simply because you can't eradicate burglary.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Firearms aren't all that difficult to get ahold of in this country, illegally or properly licensed (people seem to assume it's difficult, but getting hold of a shotgun licence is not by any means a stressful procedure, and very few applications are actually refused). The simple fact is that the vast majority of people don't want them and don't much see the point in having them.

    If a teenager can get firearms, despite that being illegal, then the question must arise: how are they getting them? The answer is as a result of improper storage and keeping, amongst other things, and there are a lot more effective answers to that than repeating a completely unacceptable and impossible mantra of banning firearms from private ownership. Have extremely harsh penalties for those who do not store weapons safely, and when such negligence results in other people getting hold of their weapons (obviously outwith the supervision of the keeper), even if they don't use them.

    But to return to the original point, the fact is in most of this country (save perhaps London) children don't stab each other or whatever the gun-free equivalent is. Even in rural schools where the rate of firearm ownership will be high, guns do not end up in schools. That's a cultural difference, not a by-product of draconian legislating.
    The general thrust of your argument is correct, but any proposed solution to gun problems can't merely be addressed from a social angle. A genocidal desire and access to effective weapons are two seperate prerequisites for the kind of incidents we are talking about here.

    Your assertion that there are high rates of firearm ownership in rural areas is a stereotypical and false view of the countryside. Farmers may have a need for guns, but not many others do, and even so rates of gun ownership in the British countryside come nowhere near to approaching rates of gun ownership in most US states.
    Its patently false that children in this country outside of this London don't stab each other, as the links posted by ConservativeNeophile demonstrate, and as Dunblane demonstrates. We have plenty of behavioural problems with British teenagers; I would think this is self-evident from the chav culture we have and from the number of recent stabbings involving secondary school kids
    --> We have the same kind of social problems that the U.S. has, but no comparable record of school shootings (though we do have a long record of knife crime). Social issues do need to be addressed, but it is a massive task that may never be successfully resolved and which takes decades. The underlying causes need to be addressed for all sorts of reasons, but it isn't the most effective way to control gun atrocities now

    It is false that people get guns from improper storage; this is a minor issue. Much more important is the black market. If people can easily obtain firearms, it is easy for them to sell these firearms on for a profit. If you can throttle the source of guns, you can make guns much harder to obtain, as the price is driven up: its a matter of simple economics.
    --> If you control gun supply, its harder for people to get guns, and the negative effects of firearms are reduced irrespective of the social position. Obviously we aren't that successful at controlling firearms in this country at the moment, but its still an improved situation to what you have in the U.S.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    The general thrust of your argument is correct, but any proposed solution to gun problems can't merely be addressed from a social angle. A genocidal desire and access to effective weapons are two seperate prerequisites for the kind of incidents we are talking about here.
    Yes, but my contention is that one of those prerequisites, the associated social problems, are the ones that should be addressed as a matter of greater urgency. Sure, you'll always have lunatics who want to kill people, but they are small in number and usually well controlled as things are, even in the United States.

    Ultimately, you can cure neither of the two problems absolutely, but I think it is clear what is the more effective remedy and indeed the one which least threatens the liberties of decent, law-abiding people.

    Your assertion that there are high rates of firearm ownership in rural areas is a stereotypical and false view of the countryside. Farmers may have a need for guns, but not many others do, and even so rates of gun ownership in the British countryside come nowhere near to approaching rates of gun ownership in most US states.
    You've not actually contested my point there at all. I maintain there are higher rates of gun ownership in rural areas. Do you believe that to be false? As for a stereotypical view, I've lived in the British countryside for virtually my entire life; I think I'm rather well placed to take a view of it that does not rely on stereotypes.

    Its patently false that children in this country outside of this London don't stab each other, as the links posted by ConservativeNeophile demonstrate, and as Dunblane demonstrates. We have plenty of behavioural problems with British teenagers; I would think this is self-evident from the chav culture we have and from the number of recent stabbings involving secondary school kids
    Obviously they do on some occasions, but it is by no means regular. Attempted murder in playgrounds over the UK is a very rare event indeed. Quite how Dunblane demonstrates anything of the sort, being both done by the use of guns and by an outsider rather than a pupil, is beyond me.

    It is false that people get guns from improper storage; this is a minor issue.
    Good thing I didn't make that assertion then, eh?

    Much more important is the black market. If people can easily obtain firearms, it is easy for them to sell these firearms on for a profit. If you can throttle the source of guns, you can make guns much harder to obtain, as the price is driven up: its a matter of simple economics.
    --> If you control gun supply, its harder for people to get guns, and the negative effects of firearms are reduced irrespective of the social position. Obviously we aren't that successful at controlling firearms in this country at the moment, but its still an improved situation to what you have in the U.S.
    I'm sorry, but exactly how many secondary school pupils in the United States who were involved in these school shootings got their guns on the 'black market'? More or less zero, I'd imagine - they generally got them from their fathers' gun cabinets.

    As for controlling supply: impossible, in both the US and UK. We are already awash with guns here.
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    (Original post by Overground)
    Though the number of people knifed in this country is miniscule compared to the number shot in yours. Also, you can kill a lot less people less quickly with a knife.
    How do you really know for sure? Something that is rarely mentioned is that, in the US statistics, unlike the British ones, manslaughter (and other lesser charges) is included in the murder rate. This makes it very hard to compare the US murder rate to the murder rates in other countries. I think the real murder rates are a lot closer than people think.

    The problem with knives is that you can't take to the streets and fight your government with a knife if it becomes too powerful and oppressive.
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    (Original post by Moitessier)
    Calling something a cultural problem is code for, "I'm don't want to legislate on it." Well, I'm sorry, but school-shootings are a form of crime, and governments are supposed to reduce crime. So, let's move on from that nonsense.
    That's bull-**** logic. By that argument you could endorse castrating the entire male population to prevent rape, or imprisoning the entire working class to prevent violence. It's ludicrous.

    It is quite proper for the government not to legislate when it feels that matters can be better resolved by other means. Indeed, it should be positively encouraged.

    Fire arm control isn't going to take private gun ownership out of existence - in the same way that banning cocaine hasn't eliminated its use. But it will reduce acccess, in terms of raising both the monetary cost and practical effort required to acquire a weapon. In the cases of school shooters who lose their heads and blow their peers' brains out, gun control is extremely likely to be prohibitive. The black market represents both a practical, time consuming stumbling block; and it also necessitates that the individual concerned has a cool head - something which people don't generally possses when they walk into canteens with their parents' shotgun.
    Again, you're missing the point that these children (1) did not legally hold those guns, and (2) did not get them on the black market.

    They got them off decent, law-abiding people who had every right to hold them. Now you can either criminalise that entirely, or retract your ill-informed comments. Which will it be?

    No, you can't legislate guns away, but to not try because you think it's going to be too difficult is as absurd as legalising theft simply because you can't eradicate burglary.
    It's got nothing to do with it being difficult - it would be a fairly easy thing, logistically, to completely ban the use of firearms in a given society: several countries do it. In fact, it would be easier than operating a complex licensing system. But the reason nobody does it is because there's no credible argument in favour of it, and countless good ones against it.
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    Ignoring the irrelevant faff,
    (Original post by lib)
    Yes, but my contention is that one of those prerequisites, the associated social problems, are the ones that should be addressed as a matter of greater urgency. Sure, you'll always have lunatics who want to kill people, but they are small in number and usually well controlled as things are, even in the United States.

    Ultimately, you can cure neither of the two problems absolutely, but I think it is clear what is the more effective remedy and indeed the one which least threatens the liberties of decent, law-abiding people.
    You certainly cannot cure either of the two problems absolutely, which is why you need to attack the problem from both sides rather than simply going for social solutions of dubious effectiveness. ie, not putting all your eggs in one basket

    (Original post by lib)
    Attempted murder in playgrounds over the UK is a very rare event indeed.
    I have no idea what news sources you have been reading recently, but a cursory search of BBC reveals this as false, http://search.bbc.co.uk/search?uri=%...chool+stabbing , it is fantasy to deny that the UK has a problem with school violence, one need only look at the related and recent controversy over the disturbing number of teachers that are assaulted in UK schools. Our inner-city schools have exactly the same kind of problems that US inner-city schools have.

    (Original post by lib)
    As for controlling supply: impossible, in both the US and UK. We are already awash with guns here.
    Patentely false that controlling supply is impossible. This is easily demonstrated by comparing rates of gun ownership in the UK and elsewhere in Europe with rates of gun ownership in the US and Switzerland. Admittedly we haven't been that great at controlling supply recently as a direct result of the rise in gang-related violence. However, thats not to say that we couldn't do an awful lot better, its not to say that gun control isn't effective elsewhere in EUrope, and the point remains that even with the problems we are having, theres still an awful lot less gun crime over here than there is in the states!
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Something needs to be done about that society, more importantly. If you weren't so ridiculously blinkered with anti-firearms rhetoric then you might just realise that.
    Couldn't agree more.

    I believe in gun control, but I also believe that guns don't kill people, people kill people. Don't blame the tool, blame the user.

    Instead of trying to rid society of guns/other weapons, why don't we try to change society so people don't feel the need to use guns. If you get rid of guns, the number of deaths by stabbing/poisoning/whathaveyou will increase. It's not the tool that's to blame, it's the workman.
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    (Original post by [email protected])
    Couldn't agree more.

    I believe in gun control, but I also believe that guns don't kill people, people kill people. Don't blame the tool, blame the user.

    Instead of trying to rid society of guns/other weapons, why don't we try to change society so people don't feel the need to use guns. If you get rid of guns, the number of deaths by stabbing/poisoning/whathaveyou will increase. It's not the tool that's to blame, it's the workman.
    Um... I don't want to appear as being overly contrarian, but I have to ask, if you don't blame the guns, then why do you believe in gun control?
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    You're actually... supporting... the "right to bear arms"...?

    Oh yeah, we're on TSR.
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    Because guns are still dangerous and we should know who has them.
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    (Original post by punktopia)
    You're actually... supporting... the "right to bear arms"...?

    Oh yeah, we're on TSR.
    I'm not saying it's a 'right'.
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    (Original post by [email protected])
    Because guns are still dangerous and we should know who has them.
    Ah, so when you say control you're talking about registration and the like, rather than blanket bans? I certainly find that a lot more palatable.
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    (Original post by numb3rb0y)
    Ah, so when you say control you're talking about registration and the like, rather than blanket bans? I certainly find that a lot more palatable.
    Yeah, sorry if I confused you.
 
 
 
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