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#94424 - 08/12/03 06:23 PM Guns
judderman Offline

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
I recently read an interesting thesis on aggression, in wich it addressed the use of hand guns.

It indicated that research done by TIME magazine as well as other Police Departments in the US studied the occurences of deaths by firearm. They found that the overwhelming majority were deaths due to suicide or accidental death.

Very few were homicides.

So this poses some questions.

People say that they feel safer in their homes because they have a firearm, even though the majority of burgalries and thefts from dwellings occur when the occupants are away.

Second, which has also been highlighted by police training, the gun is extremely difficult to draw and use accurately and effectively (first shot stops attacker) in stressfull situations. Even trained individuals find it difficult to do so.

So really doesn't the gun mearly propagate its own use and misuse and as such makes it a pointless addition to "self" defence??


#94425 - 08/12/03 06:38 PM Re: Guns
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
Whether guns propogate their own use is an arguement that will never be agreed upon. What I do feel to be proven fact is that the majority of weapons used in non military / law enforcement scenarios are used for their psychological effect rather than their physical effect. In the same way that a punk mugger holds up his shiny flicknife both as a barrier and a tool of coersion, the handgun in the home has psychological effectiveness. The findings that you highlight (which I agree with and have experienced)confirm the view that shooting accurately and quickly whilst under stress is hugely difficult. However, this fact is generaly unknown, not believed or not risked by the majority of people. To the majority of people including muggers and burglers, the handgun or shotgun is still the most lethal killing tool they are likely to face. Therefore when faced with one or considering whether a crime may lead them to face one, the psychological fear of serious injury or death (statisticaly unlikely though it may be)is a powerful deterent to many would be offenders. The flipside result of this mistaken view is that many people have a weapon in their house to take advantage of this perceived fear on the part of some criminals. In many ways then, it is the perceived fear of the gun by its potential victims that propogates its use both for self defence and criminal purposes. It is seen as the ultimate tool of coercion and control (which to be frank is at the essence of both self defence and violent crime) because it is believed to offer a high probability of the ultimate sanction and expression of control - death. Trite as it may sound to state, is is surely a fact that if nobody feared the gun or at least certain persons in society rose above a psychological reaction and took an instant statistical standpoint, guns would lose their attraction. This is never going to happen though is it!

Mr V

[This message has been edited by MrVigerous (edited 08-12-2003).]

#94426 - 08/13/03 09:41 AM Re: Guns
the504mikey Offline

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
I think the answer to your question changes a lot based on where you live.

I always want my response to remain appropriate to the threat I am likely to face.

Here in the United States, that threat is very likely to involve a firearm. I don't want to be the guy who showed up for the gun fight armed with only his knife or fists. Sure, I train for that, but it is the last thing I want to be involved in.

The truth be told, I am not all that excited about the prospect of having to shoot someone either, but the environment I live in may force me to make that choice.

The way I understand it, my odds of surviving that decision point greatly improve if I have made all of the decisions that happen in that moment in advance and I have become proficient with the tools required.

This is where I think the crux of your argument is... many people in the US who own guns do so purely out of an "arms race" mentality, but they do not put in the time required to make sure that they are proficient with their firearm, nor do they take the time to educate their families to the point that they are proficient or at least safe in handling.

My parents were both involved in law enforcement, so we had several firearms in the house. Everyone in the house got gun training from an early age, no exceptions. I think people who believe they can keep a weapon in the house hidden from children or other family members are taking a naieve risk. Education is always the safest route.

Owning a gun requires a lot of introspection and tough decisions. If you (and everyone you share living space with) are not "OK" with using it for its intended purpose then it is best not to have one around at all.

It would be very interesting to see that study extended to include ALL shootings, not just deaths... a surprising number of self-defense shootings are non-fatal-- probably do to the difficulty of shooting well under duress. It also fails to take into account all the times when a gun is used to deter an attack but no one is shot (threats, warning shots, or plain missing the target on both sides...). If the bad guy is not around, and you are not hurt, that was a successful gun defense... even if the coroner is not called.

Like the old saying says, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

#94427 - 08/13/03 12:47 PM Re: Guns

statistics are not cold hard facts.I KNOW THIS GOES AGAINST THE DEFINITON OF A STATISTIC. The fact is anyone doing a study, writing an article, or supplying statistics to prove a point interprets them the way they want.
If I am anti-gun, I will seize upon any statistic involving children being killed by firearms.I will run around screaming how deadly they are to children.This will cause an emotional response and I can hide behind the fact I want to save children.I will of course ignore that the biggest cause of fatalities in children are motor vehicles and bicycles/skate boards. If I truly wanted to save children I would try to outlaw cars and bikes, but the real agenda is to outlaw guns.
Having said that-A firearm is a tool.Nothing more, nothing less.It is up to the owner to properly learn how to use it, just like any tool.

#94428 - 08/13/03 12:57 PM Re: Guns
MAGon Offline

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 1737
Loc: Miami, Fl.
I don't want to copy 504mikey's quote in order to save space, but I agree with his views.
If I lived in the U.K., where gun crime is so comparatively rare, I'd be willing to give mine up, despite missing it as a hobby. The trouble is, the States aren't the U.K.
The use of a gun to repel assault need not require the actual firing of it. Case in point: On one occasion, while on vacation I took my fiancée (Who was visiting) and my mom to a mountain forest in a public park. It was a weekday and off season, so it was pretty much deserted and Park Rangers/ police nowhere in sight. Therefore I was more alert than usual. At a given point we stopped at an observation post to admire the view. After some time there, I noticed a car occupied by four young guys, which slowed to watch us as it drove by. I got the wrong vibes off the occupants and became even more alert. Sure enough, after less than a minute they'd bactracked and pulled into the area where we were parked. Noticing this, I ordered the womenfolk back to our car. While they got in, I reached into my glove compartment for my 9 m.m. to cover their retreat. I held it in a two handed combat grip, but muzzle up, making sure the occupants of the other car saw it. One look at the S & W, and the car took off like a bullet. So did we, once everybody was aboard, in the opposite direction. I shudder to think what might have happened if that pistol hadn't been available.
This type of incident doesn't get reported (I sure didn't. I'd've been in all kinds of trouble had I done so. It was a National Park, firearms are banned. Yet there was no law enforcement presence to deter the possible attack).
Personally, I think of the above incident as one of my better firsthand self defense experiences: Alertness, common sense, the proper tools in place (The gun) and the appropriate levels of willingness to use force (The threat of the gun sufficed) defusing a potentially hazardous situation.

P.S.: Yes, Judderman, I realize the article you are writing about is in an AMERICAN magazine. My comments about living in the U.K. weren't influenced by it.

[This message has been edited by MAGon (edited 08-13-2003).]

#94429 - 08/13/03 08:08 PM Re: Guns
Rand Offline

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 338
on here there is all the controversy about martial arts versus guns

well why not train with both

i plan on getting a semi auto pistol once i turn 21 and getting license for conceled and firearm training etc

#94430 - 08/13/03 09:02 PM Re: Guns

Rand, I will paraphrase an author of an article I read, can't quote because I can't remember who or where I read it.

Firearms and hand to hand fighting skills are both tools.A gun is a sledge hammer,hand to hand is a tack hammer.You would not use a sledge hammer to drive a penny nail into a plaster wall, just as you would not use a tack hammer to knock down a cinderblock wall. Each has it's place and time.

#94431 - 08/13/03 10:38 PM Re: Guns
Sweeney Offline

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 342
Loc: New York, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by the504mikey:

Like the old saying says, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Since that old saying has been attributed to both Mark Twain (the American author) and Benjamin Disraeli (the British prime minister), I suppose I could start a trans-Atlantic debate by asking who REALLY said it...

But all I really want to say is this: guns, knives, swords and all penetrating weapons are virtually incapable of being used reliably as self-defense weapons WITHOUT risking killing. Many people who think they're OK with that have trouble shooting or stabbing when the time comes. Understandably so. One of the reasons I started training with the nunchaku at an early age, and consider that weapon an integral part of my art (and I have dabbled to varying degrees in shooting, knife techniques and fencing) is that the nunchaku can be used in a restrained manner without applying "deadly force." (Hit the hand holding the weapon. Hit the knee. Don't hit the temporal bone unless you have to kill...) Also, the nunchaku, unlike the knife or the gun, can't really result in tragedy if it gets into the hands of your 4-year-old child. What an injustice that mere possession of nunchaku in your home is a misdemeanor here in the "Empire State" in the so-called "Land of the Free"...

But see

#94432 - 08/14/03 02:05 AM Re: Guns
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
I will direct your attention to the studies of John R Lott, who proved statistically that guns have a correlation to murder rates that is neutral or negative.

And states in the US with more liberal gun laws, less regulation have less violent crimes.

If you can't look after your gun and others can, they shouldn't have to suffer.

#94433 - 08/14/03 07:51 AM Re: Guns
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
If you think you're going to have a gun and not use it (Just frighten someone with it) I believe you're deluding yourself.

When you pull a gun, things have got so out of hand, that you'd better be prepared to use it.

On this basis I believe that if you carry a gun, you are a danger to all around you that cannot be justified.

I will not carry or own a gun.


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