I can't imagine a safer world because lots of people carry guns.
Had people nearby (in Santa Monica or other crime areas) also been carrying and shooting guns then It would be difficult to determine who was an accomplice and who was trying to stop the shooter. It would rely on the perceptions of the people 'trying to help' who may themselves be frightened and panicky, and may not be in a state of mind to make rational decisions. It opens up the opportunity for a lot of collateral damage and innocent bystanders getting hurt. And I would not want to test the shooting proficiency of an inexperienced person who thinks he can handle a target near me or my family members.
that would not make me feel safer
Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 6/9/2013 (14:54)
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4 6/9/13 2:32 P
Maybe if someone had had a gun they could have stopped him? All these mass killings have occurred in what you'd call "gun free zones", that's no accident. If a guy intending mass murder knew that the odds were good that there would be armed citizens present I expect he'd choose another, safer for him, target area.
regarding the people in Santa Monica.... 2 of the victims were related to the gunman...and the gunman had a history of mental illness. So If the guns were owned by the family members...they weren't safer. And if the guns were purchased by the gunman (with mental history) that's another point for better gun control. www.cnn.com/2013/06/09/justice/california- college-gunman/
And imagine if we have people with concealed weapons on the scene. How do you determine who are the bad guys and who could be one of the perpetrators if you arrive at the scene of a shooting? And are they going to cause collateral damage?
6/9/13 11:45 A
In Santa Monica, the first two victims were the shooter's own family. They clearly owned guns themselves or at least had access to them in the home. This did not make them safer, did not prevent them from becoming victims to the unfolding tragedy. The victims at the school could not have been made safer by their own gun ownership or less-safe by their lack thereof. Unless we expect students to carry a holstered pistol to class, to the mall, on the bus... the presence or absence of guns in the home is irrelevant to one's safety in the public sphere. And even carrying a gun is no guarantee. Many of the victims were caught completely unawares, with no opportunity to defend.
When I think back on each and every one of the high profile crimes that have occurred over the past year, I ask myself "if they owned and/or had been carrying a gun at the time of the incident, could they have been saved?" and each time the answer comes up as "well, no, not in *this* instance, this was random violence that could not be predicted, prepared for or defended against." Maybe there are stories in which the conclusion reads "but she had a gun and was thus able to get away unharmed" but if so, why I do never hear of these? Whenever I hear happy endings of "escape" it's always due to some other means - hiding, fleeing, improvising a weapon out of something unexpected, etc.,...
Now I am speaking here only of whether I believe guns offer any statistically significant improvement of an individual's personal/home safety. I am NOT making a political statement on gun control nor a critique of gun ownership.
No, as some of the accidents at home can attest to.
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6/9/13 10:59 A
The issue of gun ownership is a very difficult one for me, because I used to be very anti-gun. But I've learned a thing or two about perspective, and that's changed my mind a bit. I agree with a poster a few posts down about how if you want a gun badly enough, you can get a gun. But I believe there needs to be more gun control (yes, even here in Canada) and no, this is not the same as gun elimination.
As someone who struggles with mental illness, I would never own a gun unless my career choice or the career choice of any future spouse required as much, and I would make it so that you have to go through six hoops to access it. We're talking behind a painting on a false panel in a vault that my children do not know exists inside of a closet level of access.
I believe that we need more gun control because there are flaws in the system that can be improved so that dangerous people have a much harder time acquiring weapons, so that people who are prone to psychotic outbursts have a much harder time acquiring weapons, so that the level of suicides go down (suicides are five times as likely to occur when a gun is in the house than not, regardless of the method). I also believe that people need to take more care in teaching their children gun safety and all-around proper storage of weapons. This goes for ALL weapons, improvised to any degree or not.
When it comes down to it, I don't care if you have weapons in your house as long as you and your family do not put my family or anyone else's family in any degree of danger
That being said, maybe my optimism is showing but I don't think gun owners are inherently safer than non-gun owners. For the reasons I detailed above, and the fact that when push comes to shove I don't think there is as much danger as people are lead to believe there is. I think because the media often reports more bad than good, and we as humans are more prone to pay attention and remember the bad that's what sticks out and that we in turn think there is more danger than there is. There's also the fact that I think most people can be reasoned with in any potentially dangerous situation or that the law enforcement can handle it to the best of their ability.
Edited by: RELATIVEOBSCURA at: 6/9/2013 (11:05)
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6/9/13 6:31 A
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6/9/13 6:30 A
In Canada we have very strict gun laws but as with anything, if someone really wants a gun they will get it. Would I feel safer with a gun in my house, should it be legal in Canada, I would say no not really. We have two dogs, one of which has a really big bark and ears like a bat...funny he is a beagle/jack Russell dog small but mighty. The big Lab would invite you in for a beer if you tried to get in.
6/7/13 9:25 A
I dont think this is something anyone can determine for other people. It's a matter of personal amd individual opinion.
6/7/13 9:20 A
As a gun owner and someone with a CCW. I would not say that I feel any more safe than anyone else. I know how to use my firearm and I respect it. I hope the day never comes where I have to point it at someone. That said, I feel better prepared to deal with a lethal situation if it ever comes along.
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6/6/13 9:56 P
It depends on the kind of company they keep, and how much they follow their leaders without thinking it through, just to be "in" at the given moment.
6/6/13 9:32 P
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10,261 6/6/13 8:56 P
well SASSY...I wish you peace. After announcing to the gang across the street that you have guns, I would be concerned about them breaking in to steal my guns. And assuming they live within sight of you, I don't know how comfortable you are leaving your home unattended. Gangs in my part of the world aren't easily intimidated. When I worked in Newark NJ, gangs would crash into Police vehicles as a rite of passage.
After dealing with gang members moving into a rental across the street from us, I have become an avid gun owner. I own guns, I carry concealed, I practice my aim at shooting ranges, and I moved to a state that protects my right to protect myself and my home. The harrassment and threats from the gang members stopped once we let them know we armed ourselves and would protect our home from them. The police always took 10 to 15 minutes to arrive in the middle of the night even though they were 2 miles away at most. Now I'm not scared. If you don't believe in guns, don't buy them. Call the police and hope they arrive in time. I'm not taking that chance again!
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1,213 6/6/13 7:55 P
I personally feel safer with my gun and I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I hope I never have to use it other than on the range. I walk with my dog at odd times and sometimes alone. Coyotes beware. It is very personal. If you cannot shoot it when you need to, you should not have one.
wow ELECTRA7D...that must have been terrifying. I'm surprised they did not come in thru the window.
I grew up in the Bronx and people had gates on the window and police lock bars against metal doors. the problem was that in the event of a fire your family could burn.
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6/6/13 5:29 P
I have a gun, and my husband has several. I used to be very nervous about guns and I was unhappy when my husband had to start carrying one for work. Then one night while he was gone, someone took a pry bar and cracked my door frame. My birds woke me up (they scream when they hear the wrong noises in the dark) and I went out to the living room. My toddler was asleep on the couch, so I stood between her and the door with a spray bottle of Windex and a rolling pin, hoping that would be enough to chase them off. Fortunately, something outside scared them off and they didn't come in, even though they'd broken through the door frame. After that, I bought my own gun and learned how to use it.
We have a safety plan that involves everyone in the house, and we practice. We also picked our house because the floorplan was good for home defense. We've taught our kids about gun safety. My 11 year old daughter has been shooting for a couple of years, and my 7 year old will learn when she's big enough.
I do feel safer with a gun.
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6/6/13 4:09 P
I'd feel safer
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6/6/13 3:26 P
I respect the 2nd Amendment but we need better gun control.
And knowing how hot-headed some people can be and knowing how irrational some people can be and knowing how easy a sick mind can get a hold of weapons I don't feel safe knowing that some of these people own guns or have easy access to guns.
Some people escalate a situation because they have access to a gun. Do they feel safer about getting into arguments because they have a gun? How many times have you read or heard about a situation where a fight breaks out, and someone gets kicked out and returns with a gun? It makes me question the reason some people want to own guns
And even intelligent people can use guns recklessly Remember when Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a campaign contributor during a weekend quail hunt in South Texas. I wonder how safe he felt? I wonder if he made any more contributions
Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 6/6/2013 (14:05)
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6/6/13 1:47 P
kind of surprises me when people are intimidated by my big, goofy, waggy tail golden retriever. But if you just hear him, that bark is very scary. The middle one (a black lab mix) can look fierce. And the newest one (a small terrier mix puppy) is just plain silly.
however, NOBODY is going to sneak up on us.
as far as guns - not for me, but I have no problem with those who want to own them. DH has at least one handgun and a rifle.
6/6/13 1:41 P
As someone below pointed out... a barking dog...
The idea is, for "home safety" you want to prevent them from even coming in. I mean sure you could just shoot 'em if they dared but, as has been pointed out, this could backfire (mistaken-identity accident) or have other repercussions (manslaughter charges).
My current dog wouldn't be much use, but my previous dog, you would have to be out of your MIND to open the door....
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1,065 6/6/13 1:37 P
I am going to guess that for every person who has been saved (or saved him/herself) by having a gun when it was most needed, there is another who was accidentally hurt or even killed by a gun. I will not include purposeful murders here because I believe they would mostly happen one way or the other because it is the mindset of the murderer that makes that happen, not the gun, or weapon of choice. So I won't venture to say whether gun owners are "safer" than others.
I will, however say that I believe in the right to own guns. Their own safety against common criminals and instruders is not the only reason that one might want to own a gun. The constitution protects our right to own guns and I do believe in that right.
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6/6/13 1:23 P
SHERYL, you're very correct about the "element of surprise". That's why I don't feel that safe with a gun, even if it was laying next to me on the night table. The way my house is laid out, I can't hear when someone comes in, especially because I sleep with a fan on for white noise. Our dog does not bark. So I basically wouldn't know someone came in unless they were right outside my bedroom door, and probably at that point it would be too late.
I also thought of another thing that makes me feel safe. My SO drives a big truck that doesn't fit in the garage. So, even when he's traveling for work, the truck is parked out front in the driveway, making it look like someone is home, and that someone is likely a man. Now, that probably doesn't mean much to a robber, but it might to a rapist, and it makes me feel better.
first let me say...I've always lived 20 minutes from NYC...and not in a rural area. And when I had someone trying to break into my apartment, it took at least 10 minutes from the time I called 911 until the cops arrived... even though I am only 4 blocks away from the police station. (I had a psycho neighbor who was harassing me for 8 months). Had I owned a gun and shot the intruder... I probably would have been accused of manslaughter.
when people use the idea of guns against intruders, I'm a little puzzled. Somehow I think most intruders would use the element of surprise, or at least stealth, to break into your home it they think the place is occupied. So unless someone is walking around with a loaded weapon, I don't know how owning a gun would make one safer. And there is always the opportunity for wrongful death.
And if someone has children, I would hope that the gun isn't sitting in the night table. ...again, you would hope that the intruder is noisy enough to wake you from a deep sleep, so that you have time to retrieve your gun from the safe area.
I had a close friend who was ex-law enforcement. 3 guns scattered around his home. He fell asleep on the sofa after doing a double shift and his home was invaded. He was a deep sleeper. Luckily he survived. Even with all of his training...guns didn't make him safer.
And having someone who thinks they have a right to walk around and use a weapon for what they Perceive as a threat...doesn't make me feel safe. Even law enforcement has to use all their training before pulling that trigger. Just because someone owns a gun doesn't make them smarter. In fact .. it might make them prone to put themselves in situations where they should not be.
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6/6/13 12:58 P
I have a gun in my house, but I don't necessarily think I am safer than my neighbors who don't have guns in their homes. Honestly, when we moved to the area, I did feel safer having a gun because my husband was still working in our old city, and I was by myself at night a lot.We don't have any kids, so we keep our gun loaded by the bed. When we have people over, I usually unload it, although I doubt my friends will go rifling through my nightstand upstairs. I think some people may even be less safe by having a gun, depending on who comes into the home and how the gun is stored.
6/6/13 12:34 P
This is a hard question to answer, and I am sure there are going to be a lot of varied opinions on the matter. To answer your question I would simply say, it depends on the person owning the gun.
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6/6/13 12:18 P
I would feel safer with a loud barking dog.
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6/6/13 12:13 P
Edited by: LEC358 at: 6/6/2013 (12:15)
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6/6/13 11:59 A
We have guns in our house, and I don't think they make me feel that much safer. Doesn't help that the loaded handgun is inside a case in the guest room closet LOL I should probably at least move it into our bedroom. My SO travels a lot for work during the week and while we live in a very safe area, we also don't have any immediate neighbors so nobody would hear me if I was screaming, and my dog would probably just go up to an intruder and want to be petted....not a great guard dog. We have a bat in the closet but you have to get close to someone to hit someone with a bat, and if they have a gun, you aren't going to get close enough to do so. There's also a hunting rifle but I have no idea how to even shoot that thing. I've only shot the handgun a few times so I don't even know how useful it would be for me in a stressful situation.
I do agree that allowing regular folks to carry guns won't do much to improve public safety though. Most people do not have the correct training, even if they do the conceal carry permit training, to keep calm and actually hit their target in a chaotic situation (especially if it's dark etc).... it would likely result in more innocent people getting shot. Most people who have guns go do target shooting in the daytime, or in a well-lit facility, without anything else going on around them. Not really a great training set up if someone actually wants to be useful in a stressful situation. In the James Holmes situation, he was wearing tactical gear, so a gunshot may not have done much good anyway.
However, I don't think banning guns of any kind will fix the issues. Guns are here, and criminals will always find ways to get them. I lived in Chicago where guns were banned, and that certainly didn't help curb gun violence.
Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 6/6/2013 (12:01)
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6/6/13 11:50 A
Personally I don't own a gun or plan to, but many of my neighbors do. As long as they follow the laws and act responsibly, I support their right to do so. I didn't always feel this way, but the older I get (and the more I've seen), I no longer assume people are incapable of using a weapon nor that they'll automatically overreact.
For example, here's a news story from the other day:
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6/6/13 11:29 A
@Last20 Intruders can be stopped without a gun, there are plenty of household items that can kill or maim that don't have the accidental death rates that guns do.
Guns are for "fun", knives/bats/crow bars are for protection. Pretty much any household object can be a weapon. Aerosols can blind and I have a very good throwing arm. I also know multiple ways to get out of my house. Granted, I live in an urban area with a good alarm system so police are less than 2 mins away. So I could see how in a very rural area, guns could be considered valid for protection.
But in an suburban/urban area, a responsibly stored gun is too complicated to unsecure and load with little warning. That's why for areas of high population density, I am in favor of people being required to keep their guns at 'gun clubs' where they are stored securely and can be shot at the facility by the owner to their hearts content and mandatory gun safety training in public schools.
Edited by: LEC358 at: 6/6/2013 (11:34)
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158 6/6/13 11:04 A
I have mixed feelings about guns. I think there is a feeling of safety having a gun in your home. Too many women raped by an intruder in their home. They hear the guy breaking in but can't stop him without a gun. Calling 911, they would arrive too late.
I also think having a gun can get an innocent person shot and killed. A kid finds the gun or you shoot someone on your property that you forgot was coming to fix something that day.
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10,050 6/6/13 10:55 A
If you know how to use it - yes!
6/6/13 10:53 A
WOW no need to make it personal.... geez.
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6/6/13 10:39 A
I'm glad to see so many pacifist anti-gun people around. I am COMPLETELY safe with my LOADED gun inside my house. You may not feel safe with a gun around, but fortunately, not everyone believes as you do.
6/6/13 10:37 A
I think it's a false, illusory sense of "improved safety."
It might make sense if you lived in the wild lands and had a legit probability of a run-in with a bear or a cougar....
But I hear people say "I have a right to protect myself, family, home and property from an intruder." Wellll..... if you store your gun PROPERLY (i.e. don't leave it laying around with ammo loaded), then what do you do when someone intrudes? Will you REALLY have time to get to the gun drawer, open the ammo box, load, point, shoot? No, probably not. So, you leave the gun loaded. This DECREASES your safety by drastically INCREASING the opportunity for an accidental discharge. But at least you are ready for those Intruders that are always on the cusp of intruding (the risk of which is highly exaggerated in many people's minds). And it happens - intruder! OPEN FIREEEEEE! Really? No, probably not. If you did, you'd be an idiot. You could open yourself up to charges of excessive force, manslaughter, murder. You could kill or injure an innocent person by shooting before considering "who else might be in my house besides An Intruder?"
So. Yeah. I will take my chances, UNarmed.
Edited by: BUNNYKICKS at: 6/6/2013 (10:37)
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38,639 6/6/13 10:31 A
not in the UK they are not
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6/6/13 10:13 A
I'm a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I own home defense weapons and will use them if necessary. Otherwise, I don't. I will train for a concealed weapon carry permit this year, however.
I feel safer knowing that I have access to a gun in my home. I also feel safer when I have a concealed weapon on me whenever I'm traveling, especially to an unknown area or a dangerous area.
I can use weapons proficiently...so I don't ever feel endangered by having them with me.
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2,116 6/6/13 9:53 A
Criminals don't know you have a gun so that isn't going to stop them from trying to rob you or beat you up and you have to be able to get to it for it to do any good (if it does) so I think it is more important to get rid of guns entirely (including from the criminals) than putting more of them in more hands.
In the Aurora, Colorado shooting last July where James Holmes killed 12 people in a Colorado theater, I shudder to think what could have happened in the panic, if other gun owners also had their weapons handy.
All the guns tied to Adam Lanza (of the Sandy Hook Elementary School school shooting), appeared to have been purchased by his mother (including a semiautomatic rifle ). Lanza killed his mother before he went to the school. So she was killed by a gun she purchased.
6/6/13 6:30 A
In general I say yes, but allow for those few; as in every group; who are not safe at anything.
I think just the physical presence of a gun in a home naturally increases un-safeness (for the perpetrator or home owner). That said, I don't own a gun nor am I against anyone else who does.
6/6/13 6:17 A
6/6/13 6:16 A
I don't think so. If you owned a gun and kept in the glove box could you get it out of there and out of it's holster fast enough to react to someone threatening you? If you kept a gun in the house closet in a locked case could you get to it if someone was standing over you in bed some night? If you heard a robber breaking into your house and you got the gun and unlocked it would you be able to shoot someone? I'm not a gun person!
Personally ... I am sure that some of the victims of shooting in recent years owned guns...but owning those guns didn't prevent them from being victims. In fact some people became victims BECAUSE there were guns in the house, and a family member shot them (accidently or not).
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