Gun Nuttery

I don't own a gun, and I find the gun-nuttery of everyone I know who does own one to be offensive enough that I think they all ought to be in therapy. They all own guns because of some fucking Rambo tough-guy fantasy, and not for any kind of defense. For example, Octal and every single person who camps at Thunderdome: I don't know one person who owns a gun who doesn't think it's just a big loud toy, rather than a tool whose only purpose is to kill people (and not in that fun video game sense, but in the "mess up your head for the rest of your life" sense).

But after watching the Libertarian hootenanny that New Orleans turned into, I actually started considering whether owning one might not be such a bad idea, living as I am in a place that's prone to both earthquakes and zombie attacks.

Then, of course, the morons who live in this town went and voted to outlaw handguns. It's ineffective, unenforcable, and probably Unconstitutional, but wow, it sure is irritating.

Godwin in... five... four... three...

Tags: , , , ,

209 Responses:

  1. phreddiva says:

    I'm willing to bet that fewer than 50% of the people who camp w/ DGTD actually own guns. In fact, I'd wager less than 20%.

    • pygmalion says:

      yes, but I am sure those that do have enough between them to outfit the other %80 when it finally comes time to take the bridges.

      • phreddiva says:

        Let's just say I know where I'll be when the revolution comes.

      • glocka says:

        Похоже на то. Вот во время беспорядков в ЛА у председателя NRA знакомые понабежали его коллекционными ружьями разжиться на время - в магазине бы несколько дней ждать прошлось пока проверят, не псих ли или уголовник. После того, как десятки людей убили, так никто лишних пару дней жить безоружным не хотел.

  2. jsbowden says:

    I find the nuts on both sides annoying, but the anti-gun edge out their overzealous pro-gun brethren.

    Personally, I don't own a gun. I have no objection to them. I like target shooting on a range, but I don't feel the need to keep a gun in the house, and I'd rather not have to worry about my kid finding it.

  3. relaxing says:

    It's a tough call, but the anti-gun nuts score higher on the self-righteousness scale for me.

  4. phreddiva says:

    However, that said I do agree with the following:

    I don't know one person who owns a gun who doesn't think it's just a big loud toy, rather than a tool whose only purpose is to kill people, I just think TD is full of more of a different type of person than the 3 people you're thinking of. ;)

    • m4dh4tt3r says:

      that used to be the case for me, too. since i've become a wildland firefighter, that has changed. for most of the people i've met, guns are a way of life, and they're for hunting or self-defense. keep in mind, most of these people live in the sticks.

      point of interest: alaskan wildland firefighters are required to attend annual firearms training and are permitted to carry firearms in the field. they're not permitted to carry anything smaller than a 44. the reason? grizzly bears.

  5. Large blunt melee weapons are better against zombie attacks. Those, and vehicle-mounted flamethrowers.

    • coldacid says:

      Blunt? You're kidding. Swords and axes, man! Chop off the head and they'll just fall over and die (usually).

    • pfrank says:

      I would think chopping things would score high, for the decapitation factor. I guess that depends on if not having a head matters to a zombie or not.

    • m4dh4tt3r says:

      you clearly haven't read the Zombie Survival Guide.

      melee weapons are out. close quarters combat is a no no. guns are where it's at. :-)

      • tyggerjai says:

        Yeah. If they're close enough for a sword to be effective, you have Already Lost.

        (we live 100 metres from Melbourne's original cemetery - <lj user="bunnikins"/> has appointed herself Captain of the Zombie Patrol, and explained this in great detail to me.)

        sol.
        .

  6. lilamp says:

    i vote the gun nuts more annoying because they actually own weapons with which they could hurt me. i can beat up the anti-gun nuts.

  7. transgress says:

    get a shotgun, if it came time to use it, you would be pretty happy to have such a showstopper instead of something like a 9mm or whatever.

    • roninspoon says:

      This is what I was going to suggest. Handguns are good for only one thing, concealment. Every other thing you can do with a firearm, can be done better with a shotgun or rifle.

      Shotguns are better suited for home defense for a variety of reasons, and are not as difficult to obtain, are cheaper to use, and possesing them does not violate the new legislation in San Francisco.

      • no_brakes23 says:

        I would add that Handguns can be good for Home Defense, because you can operate it one handed while you hold a flashlight or dial a phone, etc.

        But in this day and age of Weaponlights and Bluetooth, a shotgun is still hard to beat.

        So is ammo illegal in SanFran?

      • transgress says:

        Well one of the key advantages of a handgun in a home defense type situation is the ability to manuever, particularly around corners, a long gun strongly restricts that. This is a lot of reason why you sometimes see people saw off shotguns (aside from better ability to conceal).

        Either way, if handguns are illegal, you either break the law or you view it as a no choice situation. Another good thing about a shotgun, depending on ammunition of course, is that its less prone to go through walls and kill a neighbors child, at least when compared with a high velocity round.

        • xenogram says:

          It depends on the kind of round as well. Some bikies took pot-shots some other bikies on the intersection outside my flat once with a .44 pistol*. The rounds weren't steel jacketed, and the one the police recovered went through an upstairs window and into the wall, where it flattened itself against a wooden stud.

          I've put .22 rifle rounds right through other chunks of wood (they take out a conical section), and a .22 is a small round, only about the size of a pistol round. I'm guessing it's because it's a faster round, but buggered if I could be sure of the difference. The ammunition might well have been old, I don't think there are many modern .44s.

          * That's pretty rare round here. We don't have a second ammendment, so mostly it's knives, and not much of that either.

          • basal_surge says:

            Yeah, there was something funny in that case. The round I saw the cop dig out of the wall was a .44 magnum, but the the witnesses all said they saw an automatic of some sort being used that ejected out the side of the pistol, which would be an unusual weapon (.44 magnum's in NZ are almost always revolvers, I don't think I've ever seen someone with a .44 auto-mag in this country.) I think the witnesses extrapolated the gun they thought they saw from too many movies.

            If your .22 was hollow point, that'll take out a conical section in a narrowish bit of softwood. .44 magnum is powerful enough to take down deer and similar sized animals at close range, but the one that hit that wall had gone through a window, a curtain, then about an inch of plaster before it came up against the rimu stud in the wall. It probably started tumbling after the window and curtain, so bled off a lot of energy that way.

            I like my .303, with nickel jacketed rounds I can go through rather a lot of wood, and up to a centimetre of armour plate. Good for taking down large cattle with a headshot.

            Mind you, while we don't have the mad gun culture of the US, NZ is still armed to the teeth. Its all those old soldiers, I tell you. We only finished getting rid of all the stuff Grandad brought back from WW1 in the late 'seventies, and I'm still mostly using ammunition loaded in 1943.

            • xenogram says:

              If your .22 was hollow point, that'll take out a conical section in a narrowish bit of softwood.

              It was hollowpoint, and in that country it would have been pinus radiata or or willow, or that scrub pine (can't remember the name). So yeah, softwood, and rimu is pretty hard.

              Mind you, while we don't have the mad gun culture of the US, NZ is still armed to the teeth. Its all those old soldiers, I tell you. We only finished getting rid of all the stuff Grandad brought back from WW1 in the late 'seventies, and I'm still mostly using ammunition loaded in 1943.

              Yeah, I know, and the petty crooks don't seem to own much of it, although there is stuff like the RSA murders sometimes. Buggered if I know why this is, but the relative shortage of handguns probably helps.

            • no_brakes23 says:

              "...the mad gun culture of the US..."

              That kills me.

              • basal_surge says:

                Mmm? Well, from what I can see of it, the obsession with guns over there is basically nuts (and I'm a gun nut who uses everything from .22 to medium grade field artillery (77mm, Krupp, as in icon)). I think its the handgun prevalence and the crap about 'Home Defence' that does it, combined with full scale modern marketing behind selling the weapons.

                • no_brakes23 says:

                  "...crap about 'Home Defence'..."

                  People is this country use legally obtained firearms, (Including handguns,) to defend their homes from criminals.

                  That is a fact. You can marginalize that with comments like the above all you want, but people exercise their rights to defend themselves.

                  When you suggest that home defense is "crap" you are either being willfully ignorant of the fact that people do defend their homes, or you are saying that they should not do so.

                  Either statement goes perfectly well with statements like, "...the mad gun culture of the US..."

                  Your characterization of it as an "obsession" makes no sense at all.

                  "...full scale modern marketing behind selling the weapons..."

                  That is precisely what businesses do to sell their product. Do you find car adverts offensive? What is the difference between advertising a tool of defense and a tool of convenience?

                  • basal_surge says:

                    Neh. I live in a country with as high a level of gun ownership as the US. Our per capita death rate through guns is not even a tenth of yours. When I'm at home (I'm currently out of NZ) I have access to around a hundred or so rifles and a couple of dozen handguns. Generally, my impulse when I think there's someone unauthorised in my house is to A)call the cops or B)Pick up a good stick and softly sneak up on them. If I go for them with a gun, and miss, when they come back for another try, they're going to be armed. Not worth the bother. I've shot a lot of animals, and been accidentally shot at myself, and have no wish to escalate any potential fights with burglars to the point that they have a gun.

                    I think its crap that you need to have gun to defend your home. If the guy coming in my window has a gun, he's welcome to the home, its only material goods, I can get them again anytime.

                    Obsession? It is. You all rave about the right to bear arms over there, and forget the second bit; 'In a properly ordered and regulated citizens Militia' isnt it?
                    That, to me, means the army, navy, air and police forces, and your national guard.

                    Marketing? Offensive? No, but the full force of media and consumer culture behind your national weapons obsession does seem to be a bit of a positive feedback loop on the old gun violence, what? I've got no problem with basic advertising. But the videos of gals and guns? Bikini-clad women with firearms? The whole 'home invasion/defence' thing? Its only property.

                    Your country, dude, you can live there. I still think you're all in some sort of collective delusion.

    • OK, I'm not totally ignorant, but can you tell me what a good plan for having an unloaded shotgun I can quickly load would be?

      I'm not convinced yet that I need anything for home defense, but just in case I change my mind. One appeal of a handgun to me is that it would fit into a small safe and I could keep it locked up and unloaded 99% of the time.

      • sc00ter says:

        Shotguns are great for a few reasons...

        1. they're usually very easy to load depending on the style.

        2. they're big and scary, and a somebody in your house will probably run if they see it.

        3. if they don't run, a warning shot will usually cause them to shit their pants.

        4. If you do have to shoot them, you don't have to be as accurate as a handgun, and it usually only takes one shot, even if it's a really big dude/animal in your house.

        But really, if you have a gun for home defense you should keep it loaded (yes, I said it), with the safety on. If you are serious about using your gun for home protection, the quicker you can fire off a round, the better.

        • sc00ter says:

          Oh, let me just say before I get flamed..

          You should also have proper training and go to the shooting range to test your skills regularly.

          You should also keep your gun clean.

          Don't be stupid, the thing can kill you and others.

        • jsbowden says:

          Generally speaking, unless you're firing slugs, shotguns don't go through walls and kill your [kids|spouse|neighbors|etc].

        • king_mob says:

          There's also the additional intimidation factor provided by the unique sound that shucking a shotgun makes, and the fact that buckshot is less likely to go through a wall and kill your neighbor than a full metal jacket is.

          Of course, you can get Glaser Safety Slugs or other home-defense ammo to alleviate the first concern. Glasers will apparently also kill nearly everything they touch, as well.

      • transgress says:

        They have autoloaders for shotguns, which are a little bit of a pain to use, but quite easy after you get used to it.

        Here is the plain simple truth though, most ecounters happen within 5 feet or less and last only a few seconds. This is why having 60 round magazines are silly in all situations minus a full on combat situation.

        With that said, the other simple truth is that if you need it, there is a good chance you will not be able to get to a safe, unlock it, lock the gun, and then combat the person before you are dead. Sad but true. The recommendation is to keep it loaded, as thats the only way guns are useful, and easily accessible.

        I understand that you may have children to factor into the equation, and this is really a hard issue to tackle, however you are much better off teaching the children about the gun and its capabilities than trying to hide it from them and hope they never find it/get access to your safe/etc.

        • sc00ter says:

          Exactly.. I child that is shown a gun, given a BB Gun to use, and is taught proper gun safety, then it shouldn't be an issue.

          These kids that get into guns usually find them, have never seen or used one, and then think it's a toy.

          Just like a car is not a toy, neither is a gun. Same goes for chainsaws :)

          When I was 8 I knew where the two loaded guns in the house were. I knew not to mess with them.

        • No children. Just clumsy. :-)

        • no_brakes23 says:

          I have kids, and teach them to respect firearms.

          But I take the added step of storing my firearms in a safe.

          I take out the HD weapon(s) at night, and put it in a retention holster mounted on my bedframe. My wife can't even pull my .45 out of that holster, so I doubt my kids can.

          But in the morning, the first thing I do is put everything back in the safe.

      • no_brakes23 says:

        A digitally keyed entry trigger/receiver lock that stores and secures a loaded shotgun would be better.

        Also, you can just load the tube magazine and don't load the chamber. Then if you have to use it, just chamber a round.

        If you are genuinely curious about using a shotgun for Home Defense without introducing added risk into your home,check out this forum.

        http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=7

    • dealingwith says:

      plus these are the best for offing zombies. one in the face is a lot faster than shooting holes through them or hacking at them all day.

  8. saltdawg says:

    I love my black-powder guns. They are loud toys. BUt I also have my shotgun. Just in case.

  9. tongodeon says:

    Octal and every single person who camps at Thunderdome: I don't know one person who owns a gun who doesn't think it's just a big loud toy

    I grew up around guns, and I'm a very strong opponent of laws that would prevent me from owning them, but it bothers me quite a bit when they're used in that chest-thumping macho posturing bullshit that seems common with many gun owners.

    Guns are interesting historical artifacts. They're interesting engineering challenges. They're compelling recreational activities. They're useful tools for certain tasks. But they are not fashion accessories and they are not penis extensions. You don't drive a car the way that people drive cars in action movies, and you shouldn't think of guns or handle guns the way they handle guns in action movies.

    Seriously you people, cut it out. Your senseless macho-gun jackassery is ruining it for those of us who would actually like to do something safe, fun and responsible with our guns rather than just brag about them.

    • xenogram says:

      Guns are fun. I love blasting the hell out of targets, and I love the smell. Can't really say I fantasise about using them on people though.

      You're wrong about the alternatives to your 2nd ammendment situation though. Total bans are an alternative, but the other is gun licencing. It really does keep guns out of the hands of the vast majority of small time crims; most people who bother to get a licence and own a gun are people like yourself.

      The NRA tried to set up an advocacy group in conjunction with some local enthusiasts here quite a few years back. Caused quite a lot of negative publicity, and didn't last long. Outside the US, most people probably consider the NRA to be a collection of barking mad crazies.

      • jwz says:

        And inside the US, most people consider the NRA to be a wholely owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.

        • xenogram says:

          Same thing really.

        • tongodeon says:

          More or less. Apart from Kerry going duck hunting a few days before the election the Democrats don't seem interested in courting the responsible gun owner vote.

          • xenogram says:

            I never understood that. All they're offering is guns and god, and that won't keep anybody out of a trailer-park. If the Democrats said something like "Oh hell no, we don't wanna take guns off you boys, just off those damn gangbangers", well.

            There's probably some US political reason that I don't understand.

            • strspn says:

              Once an argument gets loud enough and drawn out enough (guns, abortion, evolution in schools), rationality gets shot by "the principle of the thing." I know this happens in other places, too; not just the U.S.

              • xenogram says:

                Yeah, but it's been going on for decades, and the Democrats don't ever seem to have come up with a counterargument that you can express in small words. In politics here, that would make them a lame-duck party.

                Do I need to point out that the US is pretty unique in the western world as far as guns, abortion and evolution goes? I don't want to start ragging on your country; all I'm saying is, I really don't get it, and it's probably because I'm not an American.

      • tongodeon says:

        You're wrong about the alternatives to your 2nd ammendment situation though.

        I wasn't aware that I was offering any alternatives, I was just suggesting that the "my gun is my penis and my penis is big" crowd might tone it down a notch.

        • xenogram says:

          Sorry to get the wrong end of the stick there, it was the remarks about laws that would prevent you from owning them.

          I guess that's why that chicks with guns stuff is so popular. Like chicks on cars. Cars & Guns = Sex. It makes me think "overcompensation" though. When I see rice-rockets and goat-mobiles cruising round on a friday night I grin and wiggle my little finger.

          Guns and cars don't make your penic bigger. Everybody knows that saying rude words like "bitch" and "motherfucker" and "bush" is what makes your nob grow.

      • no_brakes23 says:

        "...It really does keep guns out of the hands of the vast majority of small time crims; most people who bother to get a licence and own a gun are people like yourself...."

        How does registration/licensing keep guns out of criminal hands? It doesn't. Registration is just a ploy to make firearms ownership more expensive so all those troublesome minorities will be less inclined to buy them.

        And as we shall see here in California, registration is a tool for further gun control.

        • edge_walker says:

          It does work. It doesn’t particularly affect crime rates (those depend on other factors), but it does mean fewer net deaths (on the side of both criminals as well as innocents).

          However, that’s true only if a gun ban has always been in place. If you already have hundreds of millions of guns in circulation, it will just create an intractable black market. I have no idea how outlawing guns under such premises is supposed to work.

          • xenogram says:

            I don't know about that. Guns aren't quite as interesting, or even as common and easy to produce as weed. We've got guns and weed over here, and weed is the thing that everybody under the age of 30 seems to have at least tried.

        • xenogram says:

          In the 1930's, my grandfather was walking the railroad tracks shooting rabbits. We have more guns per capita than you; then when people were hungry and despirate, and now that people aren't. We don't have anything like the kind of gun crime you do. You can say it doesn't make a difference, but I live there, and I can tell you it does.

          There could be two reasons for this:

          1. Your gun laws are screwed up, and the second ammendment was a bad idea.
          2. Americans are just dangerous-crazy. Bad blood you know.

          Personally, I go with number 1. Still, if you like it that way, you're the one who has to live there. The main thing that bugs me about it is that I have friends over there.

          What the hell are the city dwelling poor supposed to do with guns anyway, eat them? Are they regulars down at the gun range?

  10. sc00ter says:

    But I don't talk about it much unless it comes up.. like here.

    I originally got it from my dad, who said we all (we == myself and siblings) get one when we move out. He has an alright collection, and he hunts, so it's fitting.

    I picked a nice, old, British 303 that was used in WWII. I got it mostly due to is history and collectibility. It was an investment more then anything else.

    I have since moved to the boonies, where there are bears and other nasty big creatures that can kill me, my wife, my pets, or destroy my property. I only have the 303, but I've been thinking about getting another for protection.

    I also live in NH, the state that the crazy people of the Free State Project picked, so I'll probably have to defend myself against those nutjobs at some point..

    But basically I agree that the new law in SF is stupid, even more so when people in neighboring towns/cities can legally buy one, and have it on them.

    Also the fact that most crimes are already committed with illegal firearms.

    • relaxing says:

      Oh yeah, the free state project. Have you actually been seeing any effects from that?

      • sc00ter says:

        Considering only something like 150 people out of the 20k that pledged to move here so far have, no, not really.

        I did meet two of them right before I moved out of Manchester. Now, I'm all for gun ownership and stuff. But this guy was in downtown Manchester, at noon, on a weekday, with a freakin' 9mm on his hip. No reason for that. The guy seemed like a doofus and I doubt he had much training. One can hope some punk pulled it off him and shot him with it.

        • glenra says:

          Why so bitter? If he wants to be wearing a 9mm in public, why is that skin off your nose? Maybe the "reason for that" is to combat your hoplophobia.

          If somebody is in public with a bow and arrow, a baseball bat, or an umbrella, do you have similar hopes?

    • As Fatboy Slim said, everyone needs a 303.

      (Sorry, it had to be said.)

    • basal_surge says:

      The .303 is a good all round calibre. Its a little powerful for knocking over varmints, but I've been using one for deerstalking for 20 years now. I prefer the WW1 Pattern 1914 mauser action .303 for accuracy, over the Lee-Enfields, but I use both regularly. For big things (bear, waterbuffalo, etc) a .303 will do if its all you've got, but I'd move up to an M1 Garand at least if you've any likelyhood of having to take down a bear.

  11. ch says:

    you're going to report these survey data to homeland security, right?

  12. myth says:

    On the upside, there's never been a better time for surrounding municipalities to invade and occupy San Francisco. (Go Milpitas Militia!)

  13. radven says:

    I just watched Bowling for Columbine.

    It is not anti-guns, actually. But it does really shed some light on the gun nuts out there. Charlton Heston ends up looking like a fool.

    I recomend everyone on both sides of the debate watch this.

    • sc00ter says:

      You should also watch Michael Moore Hates America.

      It sheds some light on how he manupulated footage used in Bowling for Columbine to make Charlton Heston look like an ass, and how the events taken place when he got the gun at the bank didn't happen as shown in the film.

      • king_mob says:

        When you call your movie that, you don't get to be taken seriously.

        • sc00ter says:

          Perhaps you should watch it before passing judgement.

          • king_mob says:

            Completely don't need to. Title says it all. A serious, fair-minded person doesn't call his or her movie that. QED.

            • sc00ter says:

              If you would actually watch it, you would see that the title is not the case.

              Also, Mr. Moore has said that the worst thing somebody can do is be like an American. This is where the movie starts, and that's why it is titled the way it is.

              In the end he agrees that Moore does like American, but he may be misguided in the way he's trying to fix it.

              It really is a good film.

              • radven says:

                Glad to hear that the conclusion works out that way.

                One thing that is clear about Michael Moore is that he passionately loves America. I may not always agree with him, and he certainly has an agenda in his documentaries... But I would never say that he was not a true patriot.

            • down8 says:

              The better way to get it watched and taken seriously is to let it be sold as a documentary, when, in fact, you are just making half the content up, right?

              Michael Moore is an ass.

              -bZj

              • king_mob says:

                You know, I've never seen Bowling for Columbine or Fahrenheit 9/11. I'm not in a positiion to comment on them. I've seen Roger and Me, and I thought that was pretty good.

                That said, I suspect "making half the content up" is at best hyperbole and at worst total bullshit. How much content can you make up if you didn't, you know, hire actors and stuff?

                • down8 says:

                  You turn a blind eye, like those Mr. Moore swears he's enlightening, by refusing to head the earlier call: "You should also watch Michael Moore Hates America."

                  That movie will show you that he did, in fact, make up much of his content. No more hyperbole there than in his mockumentary of the "truth".

                  -bZj

        • spendocrat says:

          When you're Michael Moore, you shouldn't be taken seriously. Bolwing for Columbine was bullshit.

          Who quotes population statistics NOT per capita? Assholes.

    • ctd says:

      That really surprised me when I finally saw Bowling for Columbine. Moore winds up unable to show that guns cause violence, but every single person who had recommended the movie to me thought that it did.

      • radven says:

        Moore is a lifetime NRA member. He doesn't have an issue with guns in general - just the US culture of fear, and our general insanity on the issue.

      • daerr says:

        It's funny-- the only people I've met who think Bowling for Columbine is anti-gun is the pro-gun lobby. In my opinion it pretty thoroughly says that our violence problem is not caused by guns.

    • tongodeon says:

      BFC was a good movie. Moore seemed to be making a fairly nuanced point: it wasn't "guns are bad", it was "people in our country seem to have very different attitudes toward guns, and end up using them very differently than people in other countries". It was certainly a lot more thought-provoking and less choir-preachy than F911.

  14. ioerror says:

    Guns are for killing people. Oh and opening gas cans. It's a tool Jamie! It's a TOOOOOOOL.

    In all seriousness, I'm going to give money to defeat prop H in court and I'm going to buy a Mossberg Combat Shotgun. It will likely fare better in the event of The Shit Hitting The Fan.

  15. bistronaut says:

    Pro gun:
    It's part of the bill of rights: Even though I think it's the least important one, if they take one of them away they're more likely to take some of the others.
    Protecting yourself is nice and all - although I would take a shotgun with some "less leathal" rounds. Maybe rock salt or those bean-bag shells if you can get them.

    I don't own a gun myself. We live in a pretty good time and place where we don't usually need to protect ourselves with violence. That is awesome. I choose to take extra advantage of that by not owning a weapon. I'm like the guy who doesn't bring an umbrella when there's a 5% chance of rain. That doesn't mean that I fault those cautios folks that carry one anyway.

    • sc00ter says:

      Well I don't think I'll ever have to defend myself from people with a gun..

      animals on the other hand, different story.

    • You umbrella analogy breaks down at some point: it's unlikely that people are going to accidentally kill you with their umbrellas.

      • no_brakes23 says:

        Every analogy breaks down at some point.

        Perhaps <lj user="bistronaut"> should have used some analogy involving cars or seatbelts or intoxicating substances. That would include accidental death that occurs far more often than with firearms.

  16. g_na says:

    A few days ago I would have said gun nuts were more annoying. Now i think it's the anti-gun nuts.

    I like shooting guns at targets, but never had the desire to own one until Prop H passed. Now I want one Just Because.

    (And nice Gang of Four reference there.)

    • That's exactly how I felt in 1989 when California passed the Roberti-Roos "Assault Weapons" ban. I went right out and bought a Glock 19.

    • fxl says:

      I am curious, is this anything that could not be done with a bb gun, a pellet gun, or a paintball gun?

      I was anti Prop H until I thought about it long and hard. I do not own a handgun now, but I have thought about buying one after buying a house.

      I now wonder if I could not protect my self just as well with a rifle, or shot gun. The only difference between a handgun and a rifle is that a hand gun can be concealed. Who besides criminals need to hide their weapons?

      Even the sight of a large paint ball gun or getting shot with a red paint ball might make an intruder pause long enough to be knocked upside the head.

      I think I consider my self more anti handgun than anti gun in general.

      • inoah says:

        I'd be happier if there were fewer nutjobs out there with projectile weapons of any kind. All in all I think the 2nd amendment is inappropriate for the times--if you really wanted to defend yourself against a modern government's military, you would need to acquire all kinds of heavy arsenal like surface to air missiles, mid-range nukes, etc. possession of which would have you disappearing to some eastern european CIA-managed prison faster than you can say "waco texas".

        But I dislike it when the 1st, 4th, and 6th amendments are ridden over roughshod, and it irritates me when people waste time and money on "symbolic legislation" that has no practical benefit, and just requires more time and money and ties up our already-jammed court system to overturn. So unless there is going to be a real effort to rescind the 2nd amendment, I wish both sides would just shut the fuck up already.

      • qweltor says:

        "I am curious, is this anything that could not be done with a bb gun, a pellet gun, or a paintball gun? ... Even the sight of a large paint ball gun or getting shot with a red paint ball might make an intruder pause long enough to be knocked upside the head."

        I'll present to you a hypothetical situation. You are a customer in the convenience store (or bank, or video rental, or whereever) when it is robbed. Besides the robbers, in the store are:

        • Youself (Customer A). You would have brought your self-defense shotgun with you, but decided it was too cumbersome to carry around.
        • Customer B, who has a paintballgun with a hopper full of bright red paintballs.
        • Customer C, who has worn unconcealed on the belt (not a criminal, so there's no need to hide it), who is not a San Francisco resident (and for whom Proposition H does not apply)
        • Customer D, who would have carried a concealed pistol, but is a San Francisco resident and thus prohibited by Proposition H.
        • The other customers in the establishment have faith that the police will be able to protect the proud residents of San Francisco when crime might occur.
        • None of the staff members are armed. The employer has a "no weapons" policy and directs that robbers' requests should be complied with.

        Multiple gun-toting robbers enter the establishment and announce the robbery. Customers are ushered into a corner; Customer C (pistol on belt) is immediately shot because he might attempt to prevent the robbery. Employees are moved away from their registers/workstations before before any silent alarm switches can be activated. All cash is removed from tills/registers. A customer tries surreptitiously attempts to call 9-1-1 via cell phone, is spotted by a robber and fatally shot.

        The robbers have collected the cash. One of the robbers says, "Take them to the back room; get rid of the witnesses." Customer B takes out the paintball gun and shoots the robber then runs up to knock the robber upside the head. Although surprised by the spot of bright red pain on his chest, the robber is not disabled; Customer B is shot and taken into the back room. As he is herded into the back room, Customer D bemoans Proposition H.

        • jwz says:

          This is what Schneier correctly refers to as a "movie-plot threat-model".

          • qweltor says:

            Yes, it is. What really should have been emphasized are the citizens who had the mindset and wherewithal to act in a crisis situation, not upon the political machinations that eliminated some of those tools from easy availability.

            Fortunately, because Schneier advocates spending "more money on emergency response: lessening the impact of a terrorist attack, regardless of what it is," the police and ambulance coroner's office folks will probably arrive very quickly after the robbers leave. (:

            • strspn says:

              The practical probems with your scenario are that even where concealed carry is legal, a small enough proportion of people actually carry as to deter less than a statistically significant number of robbers, and moreover, the difference in penalties between armed robbery and murder result in almost all armed robbers choosing to flee from witnesses than kill them.

              I'm not saying it will never happen, just that the stated outcome is so unlikely given the initial situation as described that using it as an argument is the strawest of men.

              Legal concealed carry deters rape, murder, and aggravated assault, but not armed robbery; and burglary is much more common in concealed-carry states.

        • lherrera says:

          Heh, this is one of the most ridiculous post I've read in a while. Thanks :)

  17. Two trick questions in a row!
    1. Obviously they're both fucking annoying!
    2. Yes, if any of them are in season.

  18. defenestr8r says:

    ah, and for this post, i <3 <lj user=jwz>. even more than usual.

  19. bed says:

    Gun nuts certainly...

    I administer http://www.guncontrol.org.au (supporting better control, not outright banning), I don't write content or anything, I just maintain it on their behalf. Can you imagine the emails I get from these nuts... "we have the right to own guns and if you dont like it we'll kill you"...

    aha... stability plus there :D

    • ctd says:

      As a gun owner and strong proponent of the Second Amendment, I'm sorry that retards like that exist. The proper response to folks who want to give up their personal freedoms should be mockery and derision.

      • bed says:

        Hey, I don't lump everyone who supports gun ownership into that category. Hell, I support gun ownership, I just support responsible gun ownership...

        end of the day, anyone wth any extreme beliefs will go too far - regardless of the context.

    • basal_surge says:

      I dunno about Oz, but in NZ our licencing system is beginning to filter out that sort of nut - they just can't pass the crazy-filters very easily, or if they do, they usually loose their licence through firearms offenses, and generally before they kill someone.

      • bed says:

        Which is exactly why GCA support a comprehensive licencing system :D

        • basal_surge says:

          Yeah, but Australia has far more stringent licencing than NZ, and to my mind, overly stringent gun licencing already. Mind you, seeing as Australia is busily turning itself into even more of a police state under Johnny H, disarming the populace is something they want.

  20. mysterc says:

    Gun ownership is a responsiblilty that most legal gun owners take seriously. If we actually enforced the gun laws on the books, I wouldnt even have a problem with this one. If the idea is to get illegal guns off the street, then obviously we should go to those who own them legally and demand that they hand them over, then the criminals wont have as many to steal! These people are in public office? Running major metropolitan cities? I am disgusted.

  21. God damn it. One of the things I was looking forward to, after moving here from Chicago (where they repealed the Second Amendment years ago), was buying a gun.

    Still, as other people in the thread have recommended, shotguns are apparently still legal, and that sounds like a good choice to be packing in the event of an emergency.

    A young New Orleans lady named <lj user="ultraluxe"> made an interesting series of LJ entries regarding her Katrina experiences. You might want to check it out.

  22. merovingian says:

    I own a gun, and yet, I generally find gun nuts more scary than anti-gun nuts.

  23. mysterc says:

    I just decided. I will give my gun up as soon as Feinstein turns hers in, along with CCW.

  24. rsheridan6 says:

    It guarantees the right to bear *ARMS*. If you want to violently overthrow the government, you're better off with RPGs and IEDs. There's a reason most of our casualties in Iraq are caused be those weapons and not guns, and that over time guns are killing an ever smaller proportion of our troops. It's because, if you face US authorities with guns, well, say "Hi" to Randy Weaver's wife and kids and David Koresh in Hell for me. You're going to get your ass kicked because the gov't has more and better guns wielded by more and better trained people.

    Guns are still useful against criminals. My brother-in-law successfully defended his life with one in New Orleans during Katrina, for example, and I'm anti gun control. But I get tired of this crap about how we're supposed to overthrow the government with our handguns, like 72% of the people who took your poll apparently believe.

    • thealien says:

      People such as myself who gave the overthrow answer weren't necessarily talking about handguns. The poll says, "The Second Amendment guarantees your right to:" ... I do believe that the people who wrote that had in mind that people might need to defend themselves from the government.

      That being said, it's entirely impractical these days. The people can't afford the costs of an arms race with the government, even if maintaining a private air field, with private air defenses and private attack aircraft, was legal.

      • strspn says:

        Oh, and ordinary people could afford to challenge the government in 1780? No way, not even the richest had a chance against their local municipality back then. It's always been that the whackos could get as far as a branch davidian compound, but after that it's all smoke and flames.

        The gun nuts always forget the "well regulated militia" part. The 2nd Amendment was about state militias, i.e., the National Guard, period. Pass the asbestos.

      • rsheridan6 says:

        But you don't need any expensive weapons to take on the government. Right now insurgents are whupping our asses with RPGs and IEDs, which are both cheap. The idea is that you do hit-and-run style attacks, and avoid engagement with the US military's superior hardware. I'm just wondering why you never see bumper sticks that say "You'll take my ammonium nitrate fertilizer from my cold dead hands."

      • nelc says:

        Beats me why you need permission from the government to overthrow the government. If things actually got that bad in the States, would the absence of a right to bear arms actually stop anybody from acquiring weapons?

    • master_meio says:

      You think those Waco kids are in hell?

      Damn...

      i mean, shit dude...

      you must be some twisted, amoral insect to think something like that. I guess there's no room for a heart in that cold, hard exoskeleton of yours?

  25. cyeh says:

    I own a gun (a Browning shotgun that was made when Jimmy Carter was the president) and I go duck hunting once a year with my father and godfather.

    With any issue, there is going to be irrationality on either side. Just a fact. As someone in the middle, I can honestly say the following:

    * I like owning my shotgun. It was handed down to me by my father. It's something that I hope to pass down to my son. It has heritage and meaning for me.

    * I go hunting once a year. I enjoy it, not because I enjoy killing things, but there is something, well, good about knowing how to hunt and experiencing the cycle of procuring your own meal. It's a connection to nature and reinforces that meat comes from animals that were once alive. It's a visceral and real, as opposed to buying shrink-wrapped cutlets in the store. (Nothing against that either, some of them can be damnned tasty.)

    * I do not think of the gun as a toy. It is a weapon of destruction. It is not to be trifled with. But all weapons can be useful tools under the correct circumstances.

    * I have no beef with people that use guns 'recreationally' to do shooting or target practice or just to go blow the shit out of aluminum cans. As long as they understand that it's a weapon of destruction and respect it as such, I want them to have a great time.

    * Guns are a big responsibility. If you own a gun and haven't taken a gun safety course and aren't willing to secure it against theft and minors, you are not fit to own one.

    My recommendation to you, jwz, is that if you are interested in owning a handgun, go spend a couple of evenings attending a gun-safety or hunters safety course. They will teach you to respect guns. They will teach you how to handle a gun...any gun safely, whether you own it or not. (This will prevent you from shooting off your own foot when you find a gun in the alley in the middle of a zombie invasion.)

    If you're still interested in owning a handgun after that, then go for it. Get a trigger lock and store it safely. But above all, treat it for what it is.

    • strspn says:

      This is perhaps the best advice in this thread so far, but the overwhelmingly rational perspective here made me realize that if I ever feel the urge to get a gun, I'm going to try to get a taser instead.

      • cyeh says:

        * limited range (I think public versions limit you to 15 feet)
        * limited shots
        * cost
        * taser training costs

        It depends on why you're purchasing the taser to begin with. Is it to make yourself feel more confident in case of disaster? Is it to potentially stop someone during a home invasion?

  26. bifrosty2k says:

    I think some people go overboard in their zealotry, but I usually find anti-gun nuts more annoying because they can never come up with a truly good reason to ban them.

    I grew up with guns and guns are a tool much like anything else.
    I own some because I like the skill of shooting targets, and I like venison and other game meat - MEAT IS GOOD! :)

    I even have a special handgun that its sole purpose is hunting, you could never really fire this thing in self defense, so what good does that do to ban me from having it?

    Back in the '89 quakes we had riots and looting, so I am certain it can happen again.

    • thumperward says:

      How about so people don't get fucking shot?

      I mean, seriously. I know for a fact that I'm never going to get shot in my home town. I'm never going to get held up at gunpoint in my home town. The government of my country is never going to be overthrown in a bloody coup. These things make me feel safe. In return, the newsagents in my home town probably sell more porn and car magazines. Win-win.

      - Chris

      • bifrosty2k says:

        How about so people don't get fucking shot?

        See, thats what I mean.
        Banning guns will never prevent people from getting shot.
        Getting shot requires an act of conciousness to pull the trigger.
        You can use that same logic with cars and it makes just as little sense then - "ban cars so pedestrians don't get run over". People get killed in car accidents way more often than people get shot.

        I'm never going to get held up at gunpoint in my home town.

        Oakland/Richmond are right across the bay, I work in HuntersPoint which used to be the most crime ridden part of the west coast, its just a matter of time before I get accosted again.

        • thumperward says:

          Banning guns will never prevent people from getting shot.

          See, thing is, it actually does. No guns in the UK, no civilian gun deaths. And using selective gun bans in a country where people can travel through State borders without screening as a counter-example? Fucking idiot.

          - Chris

          • bifrosty2k says:

            No guns in the UK, no civilian gun deaths.

            If you mean by "civilians", you mean "non-gang members" then you're close, but people do get shot in the UK. Amazingly they get shot by people who own guns illegally...

            This article basically debunks that whole pretext.

            Fucking idiot.

            I spent 30 seconds googling that, you might wanna check who you're calling a fucking idiot, dolt.

            • thumperward says:

              If you mean by "civilians", you mean "non-gang members" then you're close

              Oooh oooh! Heavens, whatever will I do? I want to move to a country where I can join a street gang and not get violenced! I definitely include "street gangs" whenever I use the word "civilians".

              I spent 30 seconds googling that

              And you've somehow disproved my original assertion that I, a non-member of any street gangs or private armies, am not going to get shot at any time ever in my whole life? Wait, no, you haven't.

              - Chris

              • bifrosty2k says:

                And you've somehow disproved my original assertion that I [...] am not going to get shot at any time ever in my whole life? Wait, no, you haven't.

                And you haven't proven that banning guns will keep you from getting shot.
                So stuff your attitude till you learn the real facts about the issue.

                • thumperward says:

                  Yes I have. I'm not a criminal, and therefore are bulletproof while I remain in a country where nobody except career criminals and those cops trained to deal with them are in possession of firearms.

                  There are three real facts here. The first is that guns make people dead. The second is that making guns illegal and enforcing this adequately works. Thirdly, you're an idiot. The third is the most important, because while those who carry your eejit-genes remain fertile, America will go Mad Max every time there's a social catastophe.

                  - Chris

                  • jwz says:

                    Thank you for elevating the level of the debate to name-calling. We really needed that.

                    I hereby dub you, "cock-knocker".

                  • bifrosty2k says:

                    The first is that guns make people dead. The second is that making guns illegal and enforcing this adequately works.

                    Seriously, this is what I'm talking about; Most anti-gun people can never come up with a serious argument supported by facts.

                    This is turning into a circular debate; I've already debunked your second point pretty well, and your first is pretty much pointless.

                    I give up I guess...

          • bifrosty2k says:

            Ohyeah, Washington DC is a great example of how well banning guns works too.
            The murder rate there is HUGE.

  27. As Washington DC has proven, gun band won't lower the crime rate one damn bit.

    Once upon a time, I had a literally psychotic stalker. At the time, I was reasonably confident that I could handle this asshole with a combination of martial arts and running the fuck away.

    These days, I'm a cripple in an electric wheelchair. Outrunning a mugger is not an option, and beating them off with my spare cane looks increasingly unlikely. If I get another psychotic stalker, I'd have liked the option of concealed carry, damnit.

    But I can't conceal-carry a goddamned shotgun, although I'm tempted to try to build one in as a wheelchair accessory.

  28. nightrider says:

    Hi. My name is Nightrider and I keep a magazine-filled 12 gauge in my house.

    I live in San Francisco.

    I agree with the shotgun sentiments voiced here.

    I would venture to say that if an intruder enters your house and even *hears the sound* of the shotgun being cocked, they'll most likely have sense enough to get the hell out. Thanks to the wonderful people in Hollywood, 98% of Americans know exactly what that sound is and what usually follows it.

    You hear that sound, you run. I don't care if you're carrying a .22, a .38, a .45 or a freakin wakazashi. You leave. End of story.

    Also, in truth, most home invasion robbery scenarios would not leave you with
    a) enough time to get to your firearm
    b) in an area of your house/apt to readily access your firearm before an intruder sees you/grabs you, whatever.

    Think about it. 2am, you wake up groggy ... hear someone rummaging around in your living room. What are the chances that you are going to have time to get up, get your keys to your gun locker/remember combo, get the gun out, remember to turn off safety, try to stop shaking, remember to check to make sure it's not some drunk friend of yours with a key to the place, confront the intruder & successfully aim & shoot at another human being (something most of us have never done before)?

    It takes a lot of practice & mental conditioning to conduct yourself properly in a situation like that. Just be prepared to put yourself through some training if you really want a firearm for home self defense. It's the equivalent of saying you want your own backhoe for ditch digging. Sure you can probably wing it, but would you be better off with a good amount of training before you go off digging ditches? You betcha.

    That being said, I agree with JWZ in his justification for considering the purchase of a firearm. I read one too many accounts of "friends of friends" of mine down in Louisiana where they probably wouldn't have gotten out of there in one piece if it weren't for the fact that they had their own guns to protect themselves.

    I'm sure most of this stuff was already covered in other people's replies, but I'm too freakin' lazy to read through all these posts. :P

    • cyeh says:

      If you purchase either a shotgun or a handgun for self defense, for fuck sake, please take the time to take the long gun/handgun to the range and shoot it a bit and get familiar with the weapon.

      It's not like you can purchase a gun and instantly say "Alright, I'm good, I can cap any motherfucker coming in here." That's not the way it works. You need to know how to handle it properly.

      Better yet, get practice shooting at moving targets that require you to make target identifications _before_ you shoot. Shooting is easy. Making sure that you're in a good spot to pull the trigger is hard.

      When I was 12, I went pheasant hunting with my Dad. We had a friends dog at the time and he flushed out a bird a little early out of the pocket. The bird only made it up a few feet off the ground for several seconds before it was snatched in mid-air by canine teeth.

      If I had pulled the trigger, I would have blown the head off the dog. But I didn't. Why? Patience, and a healthy familiarity with the effects of a Browning 12 gauge at 10 yards.

      I know I said this before, but guns are not toys anymore more than backhoes and table saws. Treat them with respect, care, and training and you'll be fine owning.

  29. korgmeister says:

    You know, it's funny. I make sure to talk about a gun in terms of it being a tool designed to kill people and my anti-gun friends think I sound psycho because of that.

    I guess some people just plain old hate guns so much that any pro-gun kinda talk just sounds nutty to them.

    But I agree, thinking of a gun as a big, loud toy is a Very Bad Idea. That is the sort of thing that causes idiots to wave them around like they're some sort of a big man, clumsily shoot someone and then start blubbering "Oh man, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to shoot anyone".

    Fucking idiots. They broke safety rules 1 through 3. People like that ruin it for responsible gun owners.

    Presuming that SF doesn't pass that handgun ban (although I'd say that's a pretty sure thing in a left-leaning city like SF) I think it'd be great if you got one. Just make sure to get plenty of safety training. Although you strike me as the sort who is smart enough to do that rather than just mosey on down to Wal*Mart, buy a .45 and start shooting cans in your backyard.

  30. octal says:

    You think I should be in therapy because I own/carry/use guns to retain my head in a country where there are hundreds of thousands of people who have the sworn goal of separating it?

    Guns are tools. As tools go, they're the wrong choice for domestic political change in the US, the right choice for putting down insurgents one on one (suicide bomber vs. suicide bomber is kind of a bad idea), and possibly the right tool for home defense in the US (probably stronger doors/windows and not living in a ghetto are better first steps, though).

    As for making interesting loud noises, fuck guns, bring grenades.

  31. xenogram says:

    In the 1930's, my grandfather was walking the railroad tracks shooting rabbits. We have more guns per capita than you; then when people were hungry and despirate, and now that people aren't. We don't have anything like the kind of gun crime you do. You can say it doesn't make a difference, but I live there, and I can tell you it does.

    There could be two reasons for this:<lj-raw>

    1. Your gun laws are screwed up, and the second ammendment was a bad idea.
    2. Americans are just dangerous-crazy. Bad blood you know.

    </lj-raw>

    Personally, I go with number 1. Still, if you like it that way, you're the one who has to live there. The main thing that bugs me about it is that I have friends over there.

    What the hell are the city dwelling poor supposed to do with guns anyway, eat them? Are they regulars down at the gun range?

  32. spendocrat says:

    I really like that almost every gun owner is a huge gun nerd.

  33. exiledbear says:

    Is they are the one-person equivalent of nukes. They are destructive, they can cause lots of damage, and if you have to actually use one, you've lost already.

    But like nukes, they serve as a great deterrent. But you have to be able to pull the trigger, when the time comes. Not to threaten, but to shoot.

    They're not for everybody. They do deter criminals and other chaos-causers. They do put an extra burden on your maturity and judgement. They make more sense out in the rural areas.

    It's your call. I'd suggest you go to Jackson Arms and try out some weapons first, before deciding anything.

  34. giantlaser says:

    Guns are excellent tools. For instance, some of them are perfect for opening bottles of beer.

  35. allartburns says:

    I'm alive in part because when someone broke in and tried to kill me I had ready access to a gun. I know this because the dumbass complained to the cops that arrested him for B&E and attempted murder that I was psycho and would hunt him down and kill him like a deer.

    The 2nd Amendment doesn't mean much to me but the right to defend myself does. If the other guy has a pointed stick, I want a sword. If they have a sword, I want a gun. If they have a gun, I want a killbot or a light saber or a mecha or whatever.

    Firearms are also geeky in the same way that homebrew computers are geeky. You can get into loading your own ammo, tweaking your guns for competition shooting, and so on. If you're at all into making things out of metal, firearms can become a very interesting problem space.

    Then there's the "blowing shit up" aspect -- shooting watermelons with a 12ga and #4 shot is just fucking fun.

    In the end, this is a debate that's been going on since before firearms:

    Quintilian, INSTITUTIO ORATORIA, II, xvi (first century AD):

    "Doctors have been caught using poisons, and those who falsely assume the name of philosopher have occasionally been detected in the gravest crimes. Let us give up eating, it often makes us ill; let us never go inside houses, for sometimes they collapse on their occupants; let never a sword be forged for a soldier, since it might be used by a robber."

    Aristotle, "Politics":
    "Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms."

    From "The Woman Who Spent Her Life in Love", Ihara Saikaku, Japan, 1686. Believed to be a response to the bakufu's attempts to ban the wearing of swords by commoners:

    "Since even the lowest townsman carries a short sword the world is spared many arguments and quarrels. If samurai were the only ones allowed to carry sowrds, a little man would always be at the mercy of a big, strong fellow."

    Attributed to Ben Franklin, but I can't prove it:

    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

    And from modern times...

    Mahatma Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. 446.
    "Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act which deprived a whole nation of arms as the blackest."

  36. lohphat says:

    Learned to shoot a government issue .45 at the police range when my dad was a cop (after 20 years in the army and now a Deputy US Marshall). I don't own a gun, but I know how to use one and know what it can do and when to use it without blinking.

    The 2nd Amendment for me is not about overthrowing the US government -- "Hey Sarge, Joe Sixpak here has a gun, we better go away now." Yeah right. The anarchy in NOLA instead, has changed my mind. The country was formed on the principles of self-reliance and limited governmental power over its people -- the cops/military are not my parents and I don't expect them to take care of me like a defenseless child -- when the going gets rough, you're on your own as there's not enough law to go around.

    To that end, I would never think that I would ever conceal carry unless in a rural setting where are are animals who would harm me or deputized in case of emergency by an established agent of law enforcement (e.g. keeping the peace after a natural disaster).

    For those of you who say it's a bit "Wild-West" then I would remind you that yes, we rejected the concept of monarchy and serfdom and don't trust the state too much. Ever been to the DMV?

  37. codenazi says:

    I think this, in all my many years of reading on the net, is the most sane and rational "gun debate" I have ever seen. I don't usually chime in much, but this demands it.

    All of these people recommending training and a simple shotgun or similar are right. It's one of the best things you can do to defend yourself.

    As a programmer like myself, you know you protect for many edge cases you think will "never happen". Except for the unlucky few it does happen to.

    When I was younger, I had the wonderful chance to have real gun training, in how to handle them, and shoot them accurately. I wouldn't know what to do with them today, without that training. I really wish I had a gun available today, for no other reason than to have around. I don't really like them, but given that the "bad guys" have such dangerous weapons, I wish I had something equivalent to keep pace with.

    This brings me to an important point, though. I DON'T have a gun these days. I don't feel safe handling one. My life is too messed up right now, and that's far too much /responsibility/ to handle right now.

    Maybe, some day in the future, once my life is saner, I can buy a gun, so I can put it in a secure but accessible place near my bed and forget about it. Until then, though, I'll have to wait.

    I strongly second the idea of training. If you can find a local range that offers classes, it's a great experience. Even if the local range doesn't have such classes, most of the owners/etc will be happy to teach newcomers basic gun handling and safety. It's a great learning experience, if nothing else.

    After you have the training, only then would I consider a purchase of a gun. The shotgun idea is great. It's relatively simple to use, and easy to aim for "normal folk". The thing to remember, though, is to get a gun that YOU feel comfortable with. If the shotgun is too intimidating, it's not for you. If you are not comfortable with it at the shooting range, you will be useless in a real situation.

    In fact, without being comfortable with the gun, and the appropriate training, you are probably worse than useless. That's when people cause their own accidents.

    I wish you good luck on this hard decision, though. You are already beyond most people in thinking about it rationally. Guns suck, but are unfortunately a necessary evil in many cases.

    -brent... the codenazi

    • bifrosty2k says:

      My life is too messed up right now, and that's far too much /responsibility/ to handle right now.

      Funnily enough, the law in the almost PRK says you can't have a gun under conditions like that; albeit its one of those things that people tend to lie about.

      Here is the list of prohibiting categories in case anyone else is interested. Amazingly, criminals aren't allowed to have guns, who woulda thought! :)

      I strongly second the idea of training.

      I do too, the PRK requires that you get some amount of training before you're allowed to buy a handgun. Training after that requires personal responsibility which is missing from a lot of people's minds these days.

      • codenazi says:

        sigh...

        It's strange, sometimes. It often seems I'm the only one who has not gone with what I want to do and bought a gun... because I know I'm not responsible enough to own one right now.

        Which, in great irony, is probably the responsible thing to do, thereby demonstrating "good responsibility". Which should make it ok to own a gun, which would... *** head explodes from circular loop ***

  38. telecart says:

    I have no idea why anybody civilized would want to own a gun.

    • lohphat says:

      Why just us? Every able-bodied Swiss male is required to own and maintain a gun.

      You said "civilized". Yes, when it is we don't need them, but when it is not, we do.

      I also wouldn't walk around wearing a raincost 365/24/7 just because it might rain either. It's just good to have when you need it.

      • telecart says:

        Why would you need it?

        • lohphat says:

          ...to protect myself and property when the authorities no longer can.

          • telecart says:

            yeah, but what are the odds of that happenning?
            and what are the odds of misuse?

            It doesn't seem to be very rationally sound.

            • lohphat says:

              Do you hear about piles of bodies on Swiss sidewalks?

              If you're going to talk about odds -- the oods are that you're not going to be in a headon collision in your life, but you still wear seatbelts.

              Yes, there are greater odds that if a firearm is in the home then you may be a gun victim.

              But heay, the oddsare that if you're a motorcycle rider you'll not survive your injuries in a crash, but I still ride a motorcycle.

              This is not about odds, it's about freedom to live your life they way you want to.

              • telecart says:

                Your arguments are counterfactual.

                The risk-taking compared to risk-aversion by wearing a seatbelt is not comparable with those of owning a firearm.

                There's nothing wrong with taking risks if we so choose, but don't try and convince yourself (or me) that being irrational equals being free.

                Might I suggest you read up on Kahneman and Tversky's Nobel Prize winning Prospect Theory.

                • lohphat says:

                  I suggest you read Thomas Jefferson.

                  • telecart says:

                    I fail to see the relevancy.

                    While I can see the sentimental value of ye olde amendment, it was written in and for a different world.
                    The USA is an established nation now, with Rule of Law. It is not the Wild West, where every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

                  • lohphat says:

                    telecart

                    I fail to see the relevancy.

                    While I can see the sentimental value of ye olde amendment, it was written in and for a different world.
                    The USA is an established nation now, with Rule of Law. It is not the Wild West, where every man did that which

                    So you only see relevancy when it appeals to your position. Interesting.

                    You apply the concept of "rule of law" only when it applies to the laws *you* like.

                    I am following the rule of law.

                    Until the 2nd Amendment to the US constitution is repealed it is law.

                    The fact that federal law trumps state law, and state law trumps local laws (unless specifically exempted) the rule of law is crystal clear.

                    Prop H is an *illeagal* attempt to trump state and federal law.

                    As to the 2nd Amendment being "out of touch with modern life" I ask you again how you can pick and choose arbitrarily what is and isn't -- is freedom of the press outdated as we need to trust the federal government to do the right thing and the pesky press keeps getting in the way?

                    I suspect you feel that the police will always come when you call -- i personally do not as the breakdown in civil order in NOLA and LA and elsewhere over recient memory has demonstrated.

                    I state again: The governement and police are not my parents -- fundimentally I am responsible for my own safety and I will protect myself by whatever means *within* the law.

                    [why is "don't auto format" busted in lj?]

                  • telecart says:

                    Oh, come now. There's a plethora of websites out there dedicated solely to listing all the laws out there that exist which are obsolete, unlawful or downright ridiculous (I particularly like the "No whale hunting in Utah" law).

                    We can have a Wittgensteinian debate on how is it possible for there to be Laws which are not in accordance with the Rules, (is language and rulesfollowing in general descriptive or normative?) but I think it's pretty self-evident that laws can become obsolete or outdated to the reality they are suppsoed to either describe or dictate the norm to.

                    Fundamentally, I think your error stems from the fact that you are not in any actual danger.
                    I know that if out here people were allowed to "take care of business" themselves, there would be no Rule of Law, and no Justice.
                    Vigilantism, Lynch Mobs and Blood Feuds galore.

                    This is cOming from an Anarchist-Libertarian point of view, one of the good things about government is precisely it's duty to limit Human liberties at the exact points where they might obstruct others' basic rights.

                  • lohphat says:

                    >Oh, come now. There's a plethora of websites out there dedicated solely to listing all the laws out there that exist which are obsolete, unlawful or downright ridiculous (I particularly like the "No whale hunting in Utah" law).

                    If you are classifying the US Constitution with those laws the discussion is over.

                    >We can have a Wittgensteinian debate on how is it possible for there to be Laws which are not in accordance with the Rules

                    As long as *you* get to decide what the Rules are because you know what's good for me. How democratic.

                    >Fundamentally, I think your error stems from the fact that you are not in any actual danger.

                    You seem to have a background fortunate enough never to have personally lived through natural disasters or civil unrest -- you are naïve. Civil order is a thin vaneer which exists only if the participants in the system play by the rules. What part of the LA riots and NOLA do you not understand? If someone violates the civil contract and invades my safety or property, they will not project their power and unwillingness to participate in a civil society without resistance from me.

                    > I know that if out here people were allowed to "take care of business" themselves, there would be no Rule of Law, and no Justice. Vigilantism, Lynch Mobs and Blood Feuds galore.

                    Once again you keep missing the point of Rule of Law -- those groups are not within the law -- I never once advocated anarchy or mobs et al, you did by briging up a theoretical scenario. Given that the 2nd amendment has been in force for 225 years and no such breakdown has happened unchecked in recent memory to a significant scale. Once again from the top: I am only operating within the rule of law. if *you* don't like it, that's your right -- it's also your right to change the 2nd amendment by communicating to your democractic representative and having it changed -- there is a process for that. Until then, arguing pointless, theoretical fluffy aphorisims is mental masturbation. BTW, you missed the fact that I don't own a gun. But I support those who do WITHIN THE LAW. I do not advocate operating outside the law. BUt my points stand: There are not enough peace keepers to protect you or your property when the shit hits the fan -- NOLA and the TWO LA riots demonstrated that. Those are facts, not hyperbole.

                    [damn lj formattig sux]

                  • telecart says:

                    > If you are classifying the US Constitution with those laws the discussion is over.

                    So dramatic, but yes I do, and no, you do not have to reply to this if you do not want to further discuss it.

                    >As long as *you* get to decide what the Rules are because you know what's good for me. How democratic.

                    I fail to see where this was implied in what I said.

                    However, if you'd asked me, I'd tell you there's a worrying notion that democracy is merely the will of the majority. Here's a little statistical fact;
                    In a normally distributed population (a Gaussian or "bell" curve), 50% of the pop. are under the mean.
                    That goes for rather important social paramaters, we'd like to think have a thing or wo to do with decision-making, like intelligence.

                    > You seem to have a background fortunate enough never to have personally lived through natural disasters or civil unrest -- you are naïve

                    Actually, that's what I said about you. I live in Israel.

                    My take is that civil unrest becomes all the more easy when lethal weapons are a readily available commodity.
                    I don't claim to know more than you about NOLA or the LA riots, but it is still my belief that if lethal weapons weren't as common, lives may have been saved.

                    > Given that the 2nd amendment has been in force for 225 years and no such breakdown has happened unchecked in recent memory to a significant scale
                    Because for the most part, you were not in a situation that may have brought it.

                    > BTW, you missed the fact that I don't own a gun
                    I don't think I said you did.
                    Might as well mention that I served 3+ years in the military, and did carry an assault rifle for certain tasks.

                    > There are not enough peace keepers to protect you or your property when the shit hits the fan
                    That is categorically false, and your examples do not demonstrate that.

                    IMO, were lethal weapons less available, the peacekeepers job would be an easier one, and the chances of someone putting you or your property in danger would be slimmer.

                    > if *you* don't like it, that's your right -- it's also your right to change the 2nd amendment by communicating to your democractic representative and having it changed -- there is a process for that.
                    As mentioned above, I am not American, I am commenting from what I preceive is a birdseye-view (though may just be another POV) on American Law and Culture.

                  • lohphat says:

                    [this better post correctly as it looks good in preview]

                    Actually, that's what I said about you. I live in Israel.

                    My take is that civil unrest becomes all the more easy when lethal weapons are a readily available commodity.

                    Then if you believe as you do, if all of Israel disarms, then there would be peace? The problem is that the "bad guys" don't follow the rules.

                    Violent crime in the UK is on the increase as criminals have less to fear.

                    I do not advocate conceal carry, that would indeed lead to mob mentality -- I'm all for gun control and demonstration of competency. If you set foot on my property with intent to loot or injure me or my family I will take action *and* be responsible for my actions.

                    Because for the most part, you were not in a situation that may have brought it.

                    I leved in LA during *both* riots. When people are breaking into your stor and home and looting and setting fires, the police were not in control -- thus, given the self-reliant tradition of the US (and Switzerland, et al) I will protect myself.

                    > There are not enough peace keepers to protect you or your property when the shit hits the fan
                    That is categorically false, and your examples do not demonstrate that.

                    Did you miss the lack of law and order in NOLA and the police walking off their jobs? And the violence in LA? How about the violence in France right now? The law has not been in control until the last few days. It's ok to say "let them burn your house, store, and car" when they don't belong to you.

                    The paradox of disarming the public is that criminals don't disarm. I choose to do what I can, within the law, to even out the odds.

                    Do other systems work better? Yes. The japanese "koban" system is great but works becasue of the high population density and economy of scale in a small country. I'd *love* to see community policing for the deterrent it offers.

                    But, you have to respect the history of the US -- we're founded on the fundimental belief that the governemtn and the police are not to be trusted wit too much poper. That sentiment runs very deep. Until your country survives 225 years, then you can comment on how well your system works.

                  • telecart says:

                    > Then if you believe as you do, if all of Israel disarms, then there would be peace?
                    Quite the contrary, if civilians armed themselves there'd be chaos, and a lot of dead Palestinians.

                    > The problem is that the "bad guys" don't follow the rules.
                    That is only true to some extent, and either way it would become an increasingly difficult task to own one. After a while it would become a minute problem.

                    > Did you miss the lack of law and order in NOLA and the police walking off their jobs? And the violence in LA? How about the violence in France right now? The law has not been in control until the last few days

                    But these are not the steady state, they are precisely the exception case.
                    And assuming the police work to investigate and reach conclusions from their functioning in these trying times, they should learn to adapt, and such cases should be avoidable in the future.

                    > Until your country survives 225 years, then you can comment on how well your system works.
                    Well, that's a bit of a castration, no? Maybe we won't last 225 years, but it won't be because of violent crime.

                  • lohphat says:

                    Quite the contrary, if civilians armed themselves there'd be chaos, and a lot of dead Palestinians.

                    Unlike now. You (the country) may not kill them all, just discriminate and treat them like 2nd class citizens systematically without due process and equality.

                    > Did you miss the lack of law and order in NOLA and the police walking off their jobs? And the violence in LA? How about the violence in France right now? The law has not been in control until the last few days

                    But these are not the steady state, they are precisely the exception case.

                    Your analogy is a non-starter. I have Epi-Pens in my possession to fight allergic reactions so I don't die when stung by a bee. I don't use them daily, but I have them at the ready. A gun, like the Epi-Pen is a tool to have at the ready, not for daily use. Same with an AED. I wouldn't recommend dail use af that either.

                    And assuming the police work to investigate and reach conclusions from their functioning in these trying times, they should learn to adapt, and such cases should be avoidable in the future.

                    They've had 225 years to ramp-up and obviously they haven't gotten it right yet. Until that happens, I'm taking care of myself thank you very much. You keep forgetting that we *intentionally* limit police powers given the reason for our country's founding: Overreaching police powers.

                    Maybe we won't last 225 years, but it won't be because of violent crime.

                    And we've survived dispite it.

                    It's an ugly system, but over the long haul it's worked -- socialism and police states have better social "protection" but at a cost we won't pay by choice.

                    We are not Sweden, we are not Switzerland, we are not Israel. The social stasis is a high cost which in itself unsavory to a free people. But I'm not going to get dragged into that discussion.

                  • telecart says:

                    > Unlike now.
                    Yes, unlike now.
                    > You (the country) may not kill them all, just discriminate and treat them like 2nd class citizens systematically without due process and equality.
                    It's hard to treat them as 2nd class citizens when they are not citizens at all.

                    Besides, it'll be a cold day in hell when anyone representing the US, (and especially one residing in Mexican California) will lecture me about right and wrong in the Israeli-Palenstinian conflict, or are you indigenous to the land you so strongly claim is your property and are willing to forcefully protect?

                    > Your analogy is a non-starter.
                    I'm not familiar with that idiom. What does it mean?

                    >I have Epi-Pens in my possession to fight allergic reactions so I don't die when stung by a bee. I don't use them daily, but I have them at the ready. A gun, like the Epi-Pen is a tool to have at the ready, not for daily use. Same with an AED. I wouldn't recommend dail use af that either.

                    I also have an Epi-Pen for bee-sting allergy. I don't see it as analogous to a deadly weapon. You can prepare yourself for "a rainy day" without being armed with a lethal weapon.

                    > They've had 225 years to ramp-up and obviously they haven't gotten it right yet.
                    No they have not, they only have a chance to learn from exception cases, not from status quo. But I digress, my argumment is counterfactual.

                    > The social stasis is a high cost which in itself unsavory to a free people. But I'm not going to get dragged into that discussion.
                    Does kindof beg the question, though?

                    Anyway, I'm going to bed. It's quite possible we are simply sitting at opposite paradigms that never reach, until a paradigm shift occurs..
                    and to quote Max Planck on Kuhnian Paradigm shifts -
                    "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

                    ;)

                  • strspn says:

                    I think it's amazing that you both have bee-sting allergies. And you both live in occupied lands. Viva las Mexican California!

  39. lovingboth says:

    Living in a country that has banned private ownership of most guns, US gun debates are a little odd.

    I'd say the second amendment belongs in the bin alongside the old English law about having to practice your longbow skills. They were there for much the same reason, they made sense at the time, but that time has long gone... just as having a figure of twenty dollars in the seventh amendment is outdated.

    In your situation, for day to day living, I'd probably rig up something that plays the 'shotgun cocked' sound effects from Doom on demand.

    When 1906 repeats itself, I would probably want a real one, but mostly because lots of other people will have have one.

    • sherbooke says:

      Banning guns in the UK hasn't stopped people from owning them...au contraire...if you know where to go, there are a lot of them. They're just under (supposedly) stricter control, particularly after Dunblane.

      In the UK, you can use "reasonable force" to defend yourself and your property. So in theory, there's nothing stop you shooting a burglar, it's just that the burglar has to threaten you in extremis in order to justify your use of murder as a defence.

      None of this gun control stopped either the IRA, UVF, UDP etc from arming themselves to the teeth when the time came.

      I think having a strict gun control policy in place limits potential damage to one's family. I believe to this day - even with drug-related killings - that most murders are non-stranger related. In other words, you're more likely to be used to kill a known person with it than in the mythical self-defence. Having no arms means, to me, a peaceful, civil soiciety with trust in the police and a healthy community.

      I agree about the Second Amendment.

      • thumperward says:

        The thing is, it's not armed militias and paras who scare me. It's plain old regular junkies. Thomas Hamilton would probably not have gone trading with the Russians if he wasn't able to get weapons through legal channels.

        - Chris

        • sherbooke says:

          the provos and the UVF aren't just "armed militias", they're proscribed organisations. They're illegal.

          I think this post-NO thing is turning into group-think. I thought you-all were better than this.

          • thumperward says:

            the provos and the UVF aren't just "armed militias", they're proscribed organisations. They're illegal.

            Same diff. The argument that gun control doesn't work because the IRA / Mafia / Brotherhood of Evil Mutants still have guns is pointless, because violent criminals do have this funny tendency of breaking the law anyway. The provos don't often break into my house to steal my VCR.

            - Chris

      • violentbloom says:

        Yeah well tell that to the fucker who tried to kill me! And waiting an hour and twenty minutes without a gun would mean I'd be dead.

        So as a person living alone in the only place I could afford, next to the hood, a gun was sensible, and saved my life.

        I grew up with guns. I don't know of anyone in my community that harmed themselves with the guns or had children who did.

        • sherbooke says:

          I like yr blog and yr idiosyncracy about IRIX. Yr look dead attractive. However, I don't know, living close to the hood doesn't seem good to me. I wish you better, I wish you peace.

  40. darkengobot says:

    Dear Red Menace,

    Please invade Oklahoma first, that's where all the missiles, money, and women with loose morals are.

    Yours,
    America

    P.S. Please disregard the cutie-pie 7-year-old who is currently shooting your ass full of holes.

  41. violentbloom says:

    I don't know one person who owns a gun who doesn't think it's just a big loud toy, rather than a tool whose only purpose is to kill people

    You are in error my friend.

    I owned a gun for years!
    And you know the only reason I owned it was because I lived right next to the fucking hood. Noting I no longer own said gun and no longer live next to said hood. And I ONLY ever used said gun to point at the fucking psycho trying to kill me. Which worked quite well I might add. I never actually shot it myself. But I would have if necessary during my one hour and twenty minute wait for the cop to show up.

    However, I owned a shotgun, which still remains perfectly legal. And a much better choice for either self-defense or open warfare. Handguns you have to aim.

    Also, jet owns guns and he also does not think they are big toys.

  42. Y'know, I've done some thinking about this over the past few months, and come to this conclusion. I don't have any real problem with gun ownership, although I don't really want one myself. I grew up with guns in the house and it was never a concern -- they were in a safe with trigger locks, and I never wanted to know where the ammo was stored. They were used for hunting and probably still are.

    What does weird me out is the idea of owning a weapon for home defense. Maybe I'm naive, but unspecified bad guys kicking in my door and trying to kill me is on the list of things to worry about somewhere between lightning strikes and getting hit by a meteor. I understand that it could happen, but I'm not going to invest too much time into preparing for it. On the other hand, the idea that everyone else in my apartment building has bought a handgun, trained to use it, and sat sweating in bed night after night thinking about killing someone does make me a bit uneasy.

    That's a bit of an exaggeration of course, but I can't see how everyone getting a gun with the express purpose of using it to kill (only if it comes to that, of course) is a good idea. Even if society does breakdown, do you want to find yourself on the street with hundreds of homeless refugees, or hundreds of homeless, armed, twitchy refugees?

    At the end of the day, I guess what I'm trying to say is, I don't see the overall cost of a general trend of gun ownership for self defense purposes as worth the benefit. You have more guns around, which is going to lead to more opportunity for accidents and migration down to the criminals (if not through theft, then through eventual chain of ownership), for the purpose of defeating some boogie man I don't really believe in. If you want to win me over to the side of free gun ownership, this is the argument you're going to have to make.

    (on topic, all nuts are annoying, and my uninformed hunch is that your constitution was written with the intent that an armed populace be a balance against a potentially corrupt government)

    • jwz says:

      Even if society does breakdown, do you want to find yourself on the street with hundreds of homeless refugees, or hundreds of homeless, armed, twitchy refugees?

      The point is, the twitchy refugee junkies will have guns. Me not having one doesn't prevent them from having them. Banning them now won't make the zillions of them already in circulation go away.

      • Banning them now won't make them go away in the short term, but it might have an impact in 50 years or so, and it'll certainly slow the increase in numbers right now. I suppose there is a tradeoff to be made. I suspect that it's not a coincidence that illegal weapons (say, hand grenades) don't see as much use as weapons that can be legally acquired, and I tend to believe that restricting weapons is eventually going to restrict the supply, and that's a good thing. In the short term maybe this isn't so comforting, but you'll be doing your part if you go with a shotgun or peppers pray instead of that highly concealable pistol. And if this is legislated, we just don't have to rely on the forward thinking of the greater population.

        I still think it's sort of weird to plan on getting into an armed conflict at some point in your life, and I'm not sure if this is a cultural thing in the United States or what. I've known people in Canada with this mindset, but very, very few.

      • sherbooke says:

        Do you really want to reinforce a post-NO type mentallity? If you do, then others will. It seems to me that you're thinking yourself into this situation. If others do, then kah-baam! Another Y2K mentality. I don't know, I thought better of you.

  43. cranaic says:

    Probably mentioned above, but I believe much of the New Orleans weirdness was grossly over reported.

    I felt the same way about getting a gun. Actually, to buffer yourself against temporary social breakdown, get a year's supply of food. Not as cool as a gun, but probably more useful. I'm not a survivalist, either.

  44. coolug says:

    Ok so I'm british and we don't have guns around here, even the police only carry guns when dealing with really nasty people.

    But if I was in america and wanted to protect my home during some katrina type disaster, I'd want something big and fearsome looking like a shotgun, somthing that just the pure sight of could scare away an attacker before I would have to use it.

    What legitimate reason would a law abiding citizen have for needing a small gun they can hide under their clothes?

  45. newtzipper says:

    POINT 1: I too had socially and politically liberal SF friends consider the personal gun ownership issue in the wake of Katrina. Here's the thing that seems *not to come up* in their analysis: Q\ who got out of the big N.O. A\ The middle and upper classes in their cars! Yup, people quite similar to my SF gun-curious friends. Logically then, why would my gun-curious SF friends want handguns?

    The majority of those people either left behind or unable to leave were poor folk, which in New Orleans means that they were also mostly african-american. I see the Katrina situation as a hybrid of race & disaster panic (remember all of those widely reported "rapes" in the refugee centers, uncorroborated and reported by newspapers... the stories that turned out not to be true?).

    I think the issue of gun ownership is less about safety and security and more about deeply held societal racisms (and the material factors that produce these conditions). It could also be Iraq War / rebuilding Iraq dis-ease percolating up into peoples consciousnesses.

    POINT 2: Canada and the UK (personal handgun ownership is minimal) do not have a gun violence epidemic. Switzerland has a fairly homogeneous population, a high level of well regulated gun ownership, and a low level of gun violence. America has a high level of gun violence, a diverse population, and a poorly regulated system of gun ownership. Where would you rather live?

    POINT 3: It's odd that most gun-curious people turn to the handgun when their stated purpose is defense. Obviously, a shotgun would be much easier to use and more effective, yet they want the handgun. During a very, very rare disaster / period of social unrest firearm concealment is not what one wants. If we assume the firearm's owned for its largely symbolic value, then a shotgun's the answer. In the everyday, handguns are easy to conceal (and thus very easy to use unlawfully). When did the handgun become the SUV, the gold standard in personal defense?

    POINT 4: Chicago instituted a citywide handgun ban a number of years ago. So far, the number of gun related violent incidents (post ban) per year is down.

    • jwz says:

      People don't usually get a three day "you might want to think about getting out of town now" warning before an earthquake, so I think that when a big one hits here, you won't see the same demographic division in SF as New Orleans.

      And it's already impossible to get out of SF by car when there's a baseball game...

      As to why a handgun: if I'm looking at a 20 mile on-foot hike to get out of town, I think a highly visible shotgun is likely to cause more problems than it solves. Also, heavy.

      I agree with everyone who said that if all you're defending against is a "home invasion" scenario, a long gun makes more sense. But I'm not really that worried about someone breaking into my house: I live on a middle floor in a big apartment building. It's the "we're out of food, time to walk to Walnut Creek" scenario that I think has at least some possibility of coming true.

      • newtzipper says:

        Yeah, there will be no getting out of peninsular SF if there's an earthquake, and no 3-day warning. The bridges will be unstable, clogged with cars, in pieces, 101 south unlikely, ferries too few. Kayaking to Sausalito for life sustaining hot chocolate, impractical. Mt. biking possible... where to go?

        If "the big one" comes, *everyone stays* (unless the Pretty Princess Cruise Ships evacuate us from Ocean Beach). BUT, assuming fire's not widespread, that might not be such a bad thing (provided the majority has laid in their earthquake preparedness supplies) in terms of getting aid for everyone and having a socially stable city during a disaster (unlike N.O. where deep social divisions were dissimulated). SF is the HQ for BM after all...

        The "Walnut Creek Hike Scenario," the even more likely to go Hayward Fault aside, if a weapon's symbolic purpose is deterrence, a visible shotgun has more mojo than a concealed or not easily spotted handgun (and there's the rock-salt option).

    • cranaic says:

      "POINT 1: I too had socially and politically liberal SF friends consider the personal gun ownership issue in the wake of Katrina. Here's the thing that seems *not to come up* in their analysis: Q\ who got out of the big N.O. A\ The middle and upper classes in their cars! Yup, people quite similar to my SF gun-curious friends. Logically then, why would my gun-curious SF friends want handguns?"

      JWZ will stay behind to protect the mirrors in the club bathrooms.

  46. sheilagh says:

    Did this post make it? Looks like it missed Godwin's Law entirely!

  47. shagg says:

    I don't own a gun.

    But if I ever felt the need to purchase and keep one for protection, or any other lawful reason, I should be able to.

    Criminals don't obey the law. So passing anti-gun legislation would do little curb murders and the criminal use of guns. Criminals aren't going to stop buying, and using, guns just because it's against the law.

    What it would do is keep many law-abiding citizens from possessing them.

    I think the whole reason they enacted the 2nd Amendment was to help keep history from repeating itself. It's hard to have tyranny when they're trying to oppress an armed population. An armed population is much harder to impose your crazy will on (as some leaders do) than an unarmed one.

    Here's something interesting.. (I love it, and I'm a Libertarian who normally hates Republicans and Democrats) :)

    "Citizens need to be armed, in order to protect themselves from a tyrannical government." -- Ted Kennedy

    Listen to it here:
    http://favewavs.com/wavs/misc/kennedyarms.wav

    Tim
    http://tim.rocketry.org/