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551 Re: Debate Thread on Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:37 am

Gorgro

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Comparative map

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552 Re: Debate Thread on Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:52 am

Notice: none in Switzerland. There are almost no laws on guns in Switzerland. The problem the US faces is one of culture. I can't tell you what aspect of our culture makes us want to shoot up schools, but there is obviously something that we have that no other country has.

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553 Re: Debate Thread on Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:08 am

Gorgro

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Switzerland doesn't have an army, but relies on a militia system. People who own guns there have actually been trained in how to use them and generally have them in their house because of the military obligations. They also actually require permits to buy and carry weapons in public.

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554 Re: Debate Thread on Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:16 pm

Jonny wrote:
Top Hat Zebra wrote:

Cars are perfectly acceptable to own, do tricks with, and be informal with in day-to-day life. And they're giant boxes made of metal capable of going faster than any creature on earth, and they are fueled by explosions.

So, clearly, we should take them off the streets, and only let trained professionals use them, right?

Well, isn't this something we already do, to a degree? We license people to drive. This doesn't stop every drunk driver or psychotic car-murderer, but is it unreasonable to think it stops some irresponsible people from using a car?

This brings me round to the issue of gun control again. As the Newtown shooting has demonstrated it wouldn't and couldn't end all gun crime, everywhere. But could it reduce it? If the Newtown shooter hadn't taken his mother's guns, where would he have gotten one from?

Most states that I think of require you to have completed a gun-training course of some type before you are legally allowed to purchase, but there are so many guns that are on the street, it doesn't really matter.


Yes, it's true these things happen less in Ireland, and Britain, and most other parts of Europe. But EVERY type of crime happens less over there. We have more Irish people here in the US than you do in Ireland.

You're tiny, compared to us, both in landmass, and in population.


If you look at that map, there's an equal amount in place with tight gun control, and in places with basically no gun control, so that proves nothing.

Washington D.C has the most strict gun control in the country, and it also has the most crime. Im not saying there's a correlation, Im saying there's NO correlation.


Switzerland is a bad example, because they are unique in many different ways. Besides, like, 5 people live in Switzerland.


It goes beyond just being a cultural issue. It's a human issue. People do it everywhere, always, at any moment.

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555 Re: Debate Thread on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:10 pm

Jonny

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A little under 8 million people live in Switzerland. It's not the most but it's still a lot.

I also think your assertion it's a human issue is a bit shaky. Are you saying the high percentage of school shootings in America is purely down to it having a higher population?

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556 Re: Debate Thread on Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:12 pm

No no, I don't deny that we do have something that makes gun crime more common. We see guns as fantastic, awesome things. It makes you cool, to be "Gangsta" and shoot guns, and what not. (Well, not so much in the South.)

It's a lot like smoking, really.

But Im saying that you can't attribute it solely to our culture, as that's not true. We like guns, but we don't like shooting children. There's not been a single case of someone just walking into a school and shooting kids because it's "Cool"

All of them, that I can think of, have had some sort of mental disorder.

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557 Re: Debate Thread on Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:00 am

JT_the_Ninja

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http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/17/there-s-little-we-can-do-to-prevent-another-massacre.html

Worth a read.

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558 Re: Debate Thread on Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:02 am

Jonny

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Perhaps the solution, then, is to ask what drives a person to commit such an act rather than just looking at the availability of guns?

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559 Re: Debate Thread on Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:29 pm

Gorgro

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But that's sort of the point. We can't control what a person thinks, but we can at least attempt to control the tools they have access to.

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560 Re: Debate Thread on Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:54 pm

And we can't do that either, so it's better to focus on mental health care, or maybe some sort of retarded gladiator games, or something.

That article actually pretty much sums it up.



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561 Re: Debate Thread on Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:59 pm

Jonny

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I'm not sure it's an issue of controlling what a person thinks. Who was Adam Lanza? What environment did he live in What drove him to do this? That strikes me as the sort of questions we should be asking if we accept gun control is a finicky business.

I've just pulled up this article from the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/18/newtown-gunman-adam-lanza-what-we-know) and although there's still a lot we don't know this was one thing that caught my eye.

Adam Diaz, another student at the high school who was in the year above, got to know him. Diaz told CNN that he was "a very intelligent person, he really was, though the way he acted around other people was a little withdrawn."

The two teenagers attended the school tech club together where they made videos. "Adam had this typical nerd look: belts, tucked-in shirt. He had a computer case instead of a backpack like everyone, and he even had a pocket protector to keep pens in," Diaz said.

"We had a feeling that there might have been something wrong with him, but we never asked. We thought it wasn't appropriate to do so."


The article also states his parents divorced and he broke off relations with his father and his brother. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it's not so much about control as it is taking an interest in someone if you think there's something up.

Would any of this had prevented the shooting? No idea. But the point, ultimately, is to try and do something.

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562 Re: Debate Thread on Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:33 am

Gorgro

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I read a pretty relevant comment on reddit earlier

In regards to Sandy Hook, my personal perspective as a foreign observer is that the US holds two values unusually sacred, personal responsibility, and the right to firearms. These two points are cultural, they're not legislative, they're not religious, they're inherited values from generations past. You've been taught that they're worth holding, so you do.

Unfortunately, the consequence of these values is a lack of available care for mental illness, and a supply of readily available firearms. In fringe cases, this nurtures a few dangerously unstable people, who have access to deadly weapons.

What I see in people's responses to this tragedy, is that these values are too important to change, so blame is being diverted to various straw-men, like religion and violent video games. Nobody wants to embrace social responsibility, despite the fact it would create safer, healthier communities by providing care to the mentally ill, and nobody wants to limit the availability of firearms, because they feel they have a near sacred right to own them.

My perspective is from a nation where psychiatric care is available from both public and private institutions, and where it's virtually impossible to get handguns or assault weapons. I could buy a bolt-action rifle with a small magazine, or a break-action shotgun, if I payed a hefty fee and passed a license test, but realistically the mayhem a person could cause with a weapon of that style is very low. When shooting events happen here, there is seldom more than one casualty, because of the nature of weapons available.

My perspective is that America is not willing to make compromise to it's values, because psychiatric care is expensive and "not my responsibility", and gun ownership is sacred, but that is the price of lowering the likelihood of freak shooting events.

There are other issues, like the duality of a nation mourning these children dying, while being utterly accepting of the US Army murdering dozens of children with drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. The value American citizens give to the lives of their own people over the lives of foreigners is troubling. Ideas like that have lead to very unfortunate periods in history.

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563 Re: Debate Thread on Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:38 pm

Gorgro wrote:I read a pretty relevant comment on reddit earlier

In regards to Sandy Hook, my personal perspective as a foreign observer is that the US holds two values unusually sacred, personal responsibility, and the right to firearms. These two points are cultural, they're not legislative, they're not religious, they're inherited values from generations past. You've been taught that they're worth holding, so you do.

Unfortunately, the consequence of these values is a lack of available care for mental illness, and a supply of readily available firearms. In fringe cases, this nurtures a few dangerously unstable people, who have access to deadly weapons.

What I see in people's responses to this tragedy, is that these values are too important to change, so blame is being diverted to various straw-men, like religion and violent video games. Nobody wants to embrace social responsibility, despite the fact it would create safer, healthier communities by providing care to the mentally ill, and nobody wants to limit the availability of firearms, because they feel they have a near sacred right to own them.

My perspective is from a nation where psychiatric care is available from both public and private institutions, and where it's virtually impossible to get handguns or assault weapons. I could buy a bolt-action rifle with a small magazine, or a break-action shotgun, if I payed a hefty fee and passed a license test, but realistically the mayhem a person could cause with a weapon of that style is very low. When shooting events happen here, there is seldom more than one casualty, because of the nature of weapons available.

My perspective is that America is not willing to make compromise to it's values, because psychiatric care is expensive and "not my responsibility", and gun ownership is sacred, but that is the price of lowering the likelihood of freak shooting events.

There are other issues, like the duality of a nation mourning these children dying, while being utterly accepting of the US Army murdering dozens of children with drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. The value American citizens give to the lives of their own people over the lives of foreigners is troubling. Ideas like that have lead to very unfortunate periods in history.


See, the problem with foriegn observers, is that they usually have no idea what they're talking about, and say silly things like this.

"Personal Responsibility" doesn't mean "Oh, well, that's not my problem, therefore I do not care."

Gun ownership is a right, the same as any other right. It's mentioned specifically, because it's one of the most important things to keep. We have the right to bear arms, so that our leadership cannot do what they want to do, anytime they want to do it.

If people tried to limit our ability to have cars, then I would fight it. Same with guns. I don't own guns, but I support peoples' right to own them.

Again, that article JT posted pretty much sums it all up.


As for the last part of that comment, uh, yeah, that's sort of how every country that has ever existed has worked. We care more about five of our soldiers dying that we do about 20 of their random people on the street. That's how you are, too. And all of your countries.

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564 Re: Debate Thread on Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:06 pm

Jonny

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Top Hat Zebra wrote:Gun ownership is a right, the same as any other right. It's mentioned specifically, because it's one of the most important things to keep. We have the right to bear arms, so that our leadership cannot do what they want to do, anytime they want to do it.

Let's look at what the Second Amendment actually says.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Now this is something I can understand, but is a well regulated militia what we have in America? A body that scrutinises the Government and has the forethought and reasoning to act accordingly if it gets out of hand? We could argue in many respects the battle has been lost. To take a recent example, look at the controversy surrounding HSBC.

US authorities defended their decision not to prosecute HSBC for accepting the tainted money of rogue states and drug lords on Tuesday, insisting that a $1.9bn fine for a litany of offences was preferable to the "collateral consequences" of taking the bank to court.

Announcing the record fine at a press conference in New York, assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer said that despite HSBC"s "blatant failure" to implement anti-money laundering controls and its wilful flouting of US sanctions, the consequences of a criminal prosecution would have been dire.

Had the US authorities decided to press criminal charges, HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking licence in the US, the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilised.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/11/hsbc-fine-prosecution-money-laundering

Which on the surface makes sense, but as Glenn Greenwald argues:

That's not merely a dark day for the rule of law. It's a wholesale repudiation of it. The US government is expressly saying that banking giants reside outside of - above - the rule of law, that they will not be punished when they get caught red-handed committing criminal offenses for which ordinary people are imprisoned for decades. Aside from the grotesque injustice, the signal it sends is as clear as it is destructive: you are free to commit whatever crimes you want without fear of prosecution. And obviously, if the US government would not prosecute these banks on the ground that they're too big and important, it would - yet again, or rather still - never let them fail.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/12/hsbc-prosecution-fine-money-laundering?INTCMP=SRCH

How is the ownership of guns preventing underhand, if not blatantly corrupt, practices such as these? And if in some nightmarish scenario the government did bring the fight to the public, could the public reasonably fight them?

It's not enough to merely own guns and treat it as a symbol of your own liberty. You have to do more than that.

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565 Re: Debate Thread on Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:28 pm

This shit Texas is pushing about how we should give guns to teachers in the eventuality of an attack on a school?
Mexican standoffs are not a way to fix this.

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566 Re: Debate Thread on Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:49 pm

Wrong tread
nothing to see here



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567 Re: Debate Thread on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:54 pm

Jonny wrote:
Top Hat Zebra wrote:Gun ownership is a right, the same as any other right. It's mentioned specifically, because it's one of the most important things to keep. We have the right to bear arms, so that our leadership cannot do what they want to do, anytime they want to do it.

Let's look at what the Second Amendment actually says.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Now this is something I can understand, but is a well regulated militia what we have in America? A body that scrutinises the Government and has the forethought and reasoning to act accordingly if it gets out of hand? We could argue in many respects the battle has been lost. To take a recent example, look at the controversy surrounding HSBC.

US authorities defended their decision not to prosecute HSBC for accepting the tainted money of rogue states and drug lords on Tuesday, insisting that a $1.9bn fine for a litany of offences was preferable to the "collateral consequences" of taking the bank to court.

Announcing the record fine at a press conference in New York, assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer said that despite HSBC"s "blatant failure" to implement anti-money laundering controls and its wilful flouting of US sanctions, the consequences of a criminal prosecution would have been dire.

Had the US authorities decided to press criminal charges, HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking licence in the US, the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilised.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/11/hsbc-fine-prosecution-money-laundering

Which on the surface makes sense, but as Glenn Greenwald argues:

That's not merely a dark day for the rule of law. It's a wholesale repudiation of it. The US government is expressly saying that banking giants reside outside of - above - the rule of law, that they will not be punished when they get caught red-handed committing criminal offenses for which ordinary people are imprisoned for decades. Aside from the grotesque injustice, the signal it sends is as clear as it is destructive: you are free to commit whatever crimes you want without fear of prosecution. And obviously, if the US government would not prosecute these banks on the ground that they're too big and important, it would - yet again, or rather still - never let them fail.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/12/hsbc-prosecution-fine-money-laundering?INTCMP=SRCH

How is the ownership of guns preventing underhand, if not blatantly corrupt, practices such as these? And if in some nightmarish scenario the government did bring the fight to the public, could the public reasonably fight them?

It's not enough to merely own guns and treat it as a symbol of your own liberty. You have to do more than that.


The second Amendment does not say that a well regulated milita is required. It says that it is important, therefore they will not take away our right to bear arms. If we choose to make a milita, then we are free to do so (Although, in this day and age, it would be a really strange, useless thing to do, and would probably get you put on a list.)

Im not saying owning guns automatically makes the government free from corruption. That would be ridiculous. I just woke up when I wrote that, and, re-reading it, it's not clear. We have the right to bear arms for two reasons. One, the government has no right to take them away from us, therefore we have the right, by default, to keep them. The other being to protect our liberty and freedom, although that is less relevant in modern times. We can't shoot someone for making a ruling. Also, the banks here are private, so they were the corrupt once. To be perfectly honest, that's an extremely complex scenario, and I would support that ruling.

Those kinds of problems stem from people just not caring enough to do something about it.




As for whether the American populace can fight back against the government, well, yeah. Easily. At least half of the army would desert, if it were ordered to attack it's own country, and even if it didn't, there are so many armed groups that would pop up, it would be almost impossible to clear them all out without destroying half the country. It's one of the reasons an invasion of the US would go so poorly, because most of us (Especially in the South) would fight to the death. And there's a lot of swamps and mountains in the US to hide in.

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568 Re: Debate Thread on Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:51 am

Jonny

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I'm not sure if it's fair to compare a gun-owning populace (that is probably familiar with gun usage) with a highly trained, highly equipped military force. Still, I think it's a moot point as any sort of assault on the American public wouldn't be done with guns.

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569 Re: Debate Thread on Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:55 am

Tuomey

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King Under The Bridge
I'm going to go ahead and say that the second amendment is outdated.
It's a good idea - a fantastic idea, really - but guns were much different at the time.

You couldn't take a musket and go beserk on a school - you'd get swarmed while you were reloading.
An assault rifle? It's designed for a military assault. You can fire a whole bunch of bullets and be ready to fire a whole bunch more in seconds.
I'm not saying get rid of the right to bear arms - that would certainly not work for America - I'm saying rules should be updated as the tech has been.

JT's link makes some good points.
We're never going to stop murder.
We're never going to stop mass killings.
Anyone with a good enough plan to do so will succeed in killing, possibly even a lot of people.
Police forces are reactionary by nature: they act after the fact or after the danger has begun. You generally can't arrest a person for what they will do unless they write it on a wall and point spotlights at it.

Evil is here to stay, regardless of the tools afforded or denied it.

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570 Re: Debate Thread on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:46 am

Jonny wrote:I'm not sure if it's fair to compare a gun-owning populace (that is probably familiar with gun usage) with a highly trained, highly equipped military force. Still, I think it's a moot point as any sort of assault on the American public wouldn't be done with guns.

The Taliban, the Vietcong, the Koreans. That is all.

I agree with 2Me, but, at the same time, I have to note that it's already been done. Im pretty sure that high capacity magazines (I.E. anything over ten rounds) are already illegal, and have been for some time, depending on where you are (Individual states, counties, and even cities can have their own laws on the matter)

But again, I have to say, it wouldn't help. I mean, look, everything the shooter did was already illegal, so it's not like making more laws to restrict guns will somehow make the already-established ones more effective.


The United States is a very unique country, and, due to it's uniqueness, it has it's own problems that other countries don't. We really like guns, because, throughout our history, guns have been key to our survival, on an individual, and national level.

Take the UK, for instance. Jonny, I hear there are just, like, shit tons of bombings over there. Bombings are incredibly, ridiculously rare here in the States. Seriously, you NEVER here of a bombing. But, from what I understand, they are, more or less, common, over there (At least as common as mass shootings are here.). On the other hand, gun violence is quite uncommon.

In Japan, there were something like two gun murders last year. Do you know how many suicides there were, though?

My point is, each country has it's own unique problems, and it's not so easy to fix them. Why don't you guys ban bombs, in the UK? Why doesn't Japan make suicide illegal? Because it would be fucking stupid, right?

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571 Re: Debate Thread on Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:10 am

Tuomey

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Zebra, hate to burst your bubble here, but bombs are illegal.
No one can own a legal bomb and then do illegal things with it or have it stolen and then have sone else do illegal things with it.

It's not fucking stupid to ban bombs.

They find the bombs.
They dispose of the bombs.
This happens more frequently than actual bombings.
There aren't "just, like, shit tons of bombings".

Equating bombs with guns is ridiculous.
People don't use bombs for self defence, regardless of what the IRA and other factions might say.
Bombs are purely an offensive weapon.

If you're going to equate guns in the USA with bombs in the UK and Ireland, you should just stop right there.
I have family in Northern Ireland.
I lived in England and now I live in the Republic of Ireland.
I've read books by SAS members and IRA members and politicians and both sides and so on and so forth.
I've looked at this particular thing from all of the sides.

It is nothing like guns in the USA and it has nothing to do with that issue.


Also, uh, signs of suicide or attempted suicide are generally enough for mandatory admittance to a mental hospital, making it effectively illegal.
(Sending a depressed person to jail is considered unhelpful.)

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572 Re: Debate Thread on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:56 pm

Tuomey wrote:Zebra, hate to burst your bubble here, but bombs are illegal.
No one can own a legal bomb and then do illegal things with it or have it stolen and then have sone else do illegal things with it.

It's not fucking stupid to ban bombs.

They find the bombs.
They dispose of the bombs.
This happens more frequently than actual bombings.
There aren't "just, like, shit tons of bombings".

Equating bombs with guns is ridiculous.
People don't use bombs for self defence, regardless of what the IRA and other factions might say.
Bombs are purely an offensive weapon.

If you're going to equate guns in the USA with bombs in the UK and Ireland, you should just stop right there.
I have family in Northern Ireland.
I lived in England and now I live in the Republic of Ireland.
I've read books by SAS members and IRA members and politicians and both sides and so on and so forth.
I've looked at this particular thing from all of the sides.

It is nothing like guns in the USA and it has nothing to do with that issue.


Also, uh, signs of suicide or attempted suicide are generally enough for mandatory admittance to a mental hospital, making it effectively illegal.
(Sending a depressed person to jail is considered unhelpful.)

You completely missed the point.

In the United States, no one ever uses a bomb for anything ever. Seriously, if you hear of a bombing, it's usually something massively big, or.... Well, in another country. Instead of using bombs to kill people, we simply kill with firearms. They fill the exact same slot, and are pretty much as common as each other, in our countries. (Relatively, of course, our country is, like, six times the size of yours, population wise.) Since 1982, Great Britain has had about 41 bombings (That weren't thwarted.) The US has had about 62 mass shootings, since 1982. And, again, keep in mind we have roughly five times your population. So, I think it's fair to say that bombing is a pretty big fucking issue over there.

Do you know what else is illegal? Taking a gun into a school, or carrying someone else's firearm in public. Hell, if you don't have a permit, you can't carry ANY firearm in public, regardless of how legal it is.


Almost all crime done with firearms in the United States is done with an illegal firearm. (Adam Lanza stole his weapons from his mother, I believe.)

So, making firearms more illegal would do absolutely nothing at all. Short of putting tracking chips in every firearm in the world, there's not a whole lot we can do about this particular issue.

People don't seem to get it. The person who killed those children (Just using him as an example, because it applies to pretty much all of the mass shootings) everything he did, prior to shooting all those children, was already so illegal he would have gone to prison for years.

My point with bringing up suicide was that, due to Japan's unique nature, it has a massive suicide problem. It's a pretty big deal over there.

Due to the United States' unique nature, gun crime is, and always will be, a big problem.

Take Switzerland for instance. A large percentage of their population is armed with military-style weaponry, and yet gun crime is very low. Why? Because Switzerland handles guns differently than we do. In order to own one of those guns, you have to be an official part of Switzerland's milita.

Personally, I think that, in order to own a firearm, people should have to go through a week-long mandatory training course, complete with full, intensive background and health checks. But, again, that does nothing for the people that already own guns, and it does nothing for the bijillions of unregistered, stolen, or just plain MISSING firearms out there. It also won't stop criminals from getting them illegally.

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573 Re: Debate Thread on Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:35 pm

Tuomey

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King Under The Bridge
I didn't miss the point.

You equated guns in the US with bombs in the UK and Ireland.

I then told you to stop and you continued.

I said nothing about what to do about gun crime in my previous post.
I said not to equate guns in the US with bombs in the UK and Ireland.

I actually agree with most of your other points, I'm just telling you don't equate two issues that shouldn't be equated.
(Especially to someone who has been personally effected by both of the issues you brought up that weren't relevant.)

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574 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:51 am

Tuomey

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King Under The Bridge
I told you to stop, Zebra.

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575 Re: Debate Thread on Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:39 pm

This is the Debate thread. You joined the Debate, made an invalid point, and I contradicted it. If you didn't want to debate about it, why did you post it in the Debate thread? Because that's what the debate thread is for.


Debating.

If it affects you personally, then don't look at it. You have no reason to come to the Debate thread and delete posts because you disagree with them.

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