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Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What are your thoughts about gun control in your country?

Asked by Pied_Pfeffer (27970points) 1 month ago
54 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Here in America (US), there is an issue with humans being shot every day. It’s for a variety of reasons. A shocking number of people die for no reason.

If you are from the US, do you see this as an issue? What can be done to curtail it?

If you are from another country? What is your advice?

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SQUEEKY2's avatar

Canada has some pretty tough gun laws,most of which are fine but our Prime minister just outlawed 1,500 types of firearms, military, military type, and pocket pistols, the problem he is facing now the Government has to buy these outlawed firearms from these law abiding gun owners that bought them legally and paid taxes on them.

But for the most part I am all for safe storage of guns and ammo, hand gun owners must pass a firearm course to have a hand gun, hand can only legally be used for target shooting and competitions.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Personally I think we need common sense laws like Hunters Ed, CCW requirements and registration in the US. That only limits sales to qualified gun owners.

If you aren’t aware, some states still have neither.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Many gun laws in the U.S. don’t make sense. Take silencers for example. They’re strictly regulated and controlled. This is a safety device that reduces the damaging volume of gunfire. I can’t help but think those who initiated and ultimately passed those laws think they make guns sound like they do in Hollywood. They truth is they’re still loud as hell with a silencer and you’re not hiding anything with one. On the other hand someone with zero training or experience can go get a firearm. Gun laws are messed up on both ends of the spectrum. Attitudes on the ends of the spectrum are messed up too. There is an absurd level of fear with those opposed to them and and almost religious zeal for them by those who make them a core part of who they are. Just like typical politics here in America, the loudest, most opinionated voices rule the dialog. They’re also the least qualified to speak on the subject for various reasons.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m in the US. I wish there were far less guns and far less pride about owning guns.

I’ve lived in cities where there was low gun ownership and very few people ever mentioned a gun and I felt much safer living in those places than cities obsessed with guns.

The thing is, after living in a very gun oriented city, like when I lived in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee, now I know why people there say if you make guns illegal then just the bad people will have a gun. Gun violence is happening all of the time there. It is the least safe I have ever felt living somewhere. I’m not sure how you roll it back.

Seems like we need to do more to fix society in other ways so we don’t have people feeling they want or need a gun in the first place. With political trends in the last five years that seems more impossible than ever. Maybe we can make little steps though.

I guess the most I can hope for is laws like background checks and a waiting period.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@JLeslie Memphis is simply not a safe area regardless….

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I was in the suburbs, but my husband worked downtown. I’m not exactly sure what you mean? That without guns there would still be knives? My suburb was overall fairly safe I guess, I just always felt like a bad person could be out there. Downtown Memphis I never felt safe, I always had my guard up.

The OP lived near me, maybe she has a comment about it. I’d be interested in her opinion regarding the US vs the UK.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Most people in my country have never touched a real gun before, unless they are in the military. And people still get killed. Knives, spears, gas, household objects… you name it. No gun? No matter, they can create their own weapons to kill too.

And not just adults, young kids are involved too. Recently the authority managed to stop a bunch of kids who planned to have a motorcycle race and fight with harpoons. It still baffled me how they got their hand on the harpoons.

And just because guns are banned doesn’t mean people can’t own guns. Criminals smuggle guns everyday. They even create their own guns.

snowberry's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I first learned about silencers when I moved to Texas. People use them while killing feral hogs from helicopters. Feral hogs in the Southern US are not the same as hogs that have escaped from a farm or our native javalinas. They are huge, they’re incredibly dangerous, and they destroy property and crops. They will kill people and livestock. Whatever it takes to get rid of those pests is a good thing.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@snowberry Are the silencers to prevent the rest of the herd taking off? That doesn’t make much sense if they hear the ‘copters. Why silencers?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Blackwater_Park and @JLeslie Memphis has deaths from shootings just about every day. They aren’t limited to the downtown area. Last month, there was a mass shooting in a grocery store in the posh Collierville suburbs. There have been several since then, including individual shootings (which barely make the news because they so common).

The UK is very different due to gun control. Yes, there is the occasional shooting. It makes national news.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Collierville made the national news. Two of our closest friends shop at that store regularly. The Kroger near me had a stabbing when I lived there. There was some other gun scare at Wolfchase mall not long after I had moved away. It does feel fairly constant in the metro area that something is always happening, but it’s not that I was in a constant state of paranoia there, but more aware of crime for sure.

Do you think a change in gun laws would change violent crime in Memphis and surrounding areas?

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@JLeslie Nope. That does not address the core problem. It may help in gun crime numbers but not so much violent crime. It’s mostly drug and/or gang related.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It takes a fair amount of time, as well as effort, to put gun control into affect. The challenge that the US has over Great Britain is border control. The latter is an island, thus the borders can be controlled better.

There are other countries though that have gun control and are successful.

snowberry's avatar

I don’t know. that’s just what they said.

JLeslie's avatar

I never thought about the border problem. Are most of the guns in the US coming through land borders?

LostInParadise's avatar

Guns make it a whole lot easier to commit crimes and kill people. Gun deaths account for the majority of homicides. Another interesting statistic is that 60% of gun deaths are suicides Link There needs to be some kind of gun control. I can’t imagine that the number of deaths would not decline.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie Gun control isn’t about eliminating guns. It’s about having control over who owns them and about how they are used. Right now, most of the laws are controlled by each state, and they widely vary.

There are guns that the general public do not need to own for hunting, personal protection, or target shooting. And yes, some of these guns come from across the border.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Can you please describe what guns those are that people don’t need/use for what you described?

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer My friends in TN, I know some of them don’t have all of their guns registered. They get guns passed down through generations. Other people in Memphis already have a bunch of guns, are we going to confiscate those guns?

The rest I basically agree with you regarding tightening laws to make it harder to buy guns in the future.

This map is interesting. Of course, Florida is high, but it never feels that way to me. People talk about high gun ownership in VT, but not according to this.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I am no gun expert. I was brought up in a household where shotguns were owned for bird-hinting. I was only taught how to fill/make shotgun shells and fetch unbroken clay pigeons when the coast was clear at the gun club.

I have read enough to know that there are guns in the US that are unnecessary and are, most likely, unlicensed. Doesn’t that sound like a place to start?

@JLeslie If your TN gun-toting friends have them registered, and they are legal, then there is no issue.

Antique guns are a separate category. For example, Dad brought back a German Luger pistol from his time in WWII. I’ve never seen it. My brother now has it. Should it be registered? Sure, why not?

Gun control isn’t necessarily about confiscating guns. It’s about what guns are allowed and who has them. It’s about gun education, both in how and when to use one, as well as keeping them safe. It’s about regular testing of the ability/sanity of the gun owner.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I’m all for gun control, I’m just saying after living in Memphis I’m pretty sure a lot of guns are out there under the radar. When I worked at Lakeside I can’t tell you how many patients had guns at home for “protection.” Probably, many of them would not pass a background check to own a gun.

I want more gun control.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer It’s a misconception that there are piles of guns here that have no legitimate civilian use. There are some that just are not practical though. The grandfathered actual machine guns are tightly controlled, very few in number and are incredibly expensive.

snowberry's avatar

The bigger question is that gun ownership and laws are great for people follow them, but what are you going to do about the vast criminal element who own guns and never pay attention to laws?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I have no idea if what you are saying is true, so let’s say it is. That doesn’t address the majority of the US shootings.

@snowberry It comes from creating a culture where gun control is the norm; is acceptable. Other countries have done this, so why can’t we? It doesn’t mean that we need to give up our right to bear arms.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Where are you located? You sound confident so you must be south of the Mason Dixon. I’m not as confident as you in regards to my state.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer It comes from creating a culture where gun control is the norm; is acceptable. Other countries have done this, so why can’t we?

I completely agree with what you wrote.

A friend of mine once said to me she was thinking of learning to use a gun, because in the history of the US that is how we established and fought for our country. She felt a gun was part of the American pride and identity. I couldn’t believe it! It would not occur to me for one second to be proud of gun ownership or violence.

I had just watch watched Fahrenheit 911 the Michael Moore move a few months before where in the beginning he portrays the history of America as full of guns and that we are obsessed with guns and that it’s shameful.

Same history, different interpretation.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t know where any of you live or in what circumstances, but out here, we don’t have cops on duty 24/7. There are times, we’re completely on our own.

Honestly, I wonder how many on this thread would handle a mountain lion or bear attack, because that’s our reality. Just saying that country living is far different than a gated community in the city.

97% of the US is considered rural, which could explain why guns are important to some.

Urban areas make up only 3 percent of the entire land area of the country but are home to more than 80 percent of the population. Conversely, 97 percent of the country’s land mass is rural but only 19.3 percent of the population lives there. For more, go to Defining Rural at the U.S. Census Bureau – Opens as PDF.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I am completely fine with people owning guns for protection against animals or for hunting. I also understand the feeling of wanting protection from violent criminals, and that is why I say to my liberal friends in the northeast that they have a hard time understanding the POV of someone from Memphis, or rural areas, because they have not lived there. Moreover, as a woman, I am empathetic to a gun being an equalizer, because men have more physical strength on average that us, and taller, longer arms and legs, and so they have a physical advantage.

Interestingly, the OP is from the Memphis area, but she also has spent time in the UK, so she sees the differences in attitude towards guns is what I am guessing. I find this thread very interesting specifically because she has lived in both places, similar to me having lived in different regions in the country.

What I took issue with in the South, was not owning a gun, but how people talk about it. It is unsettling to me. It happens here too in Florida, but much less. Florida is a big time gun owning state, but I rarely hear anything about a gun in normal conversation, except for the last few years among Trumpites and QAnons, no kidding, and I don’t think Trump was encouraging gun ownership, but the groups that do used him. My point is even in Florida that has an amazingly high amount of gun ownership, I felt safer than Tennessee. Memphis actually does have high crime rates, so it is not just imagined, and so knowing that makes me on alert to begin with.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie You know that cows are considered the most dangerous animal in the UK? haha, there is really no comparison to me. We have 40 times more land mass and cows are the least of our worries.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie I am not from Memphis; it is only a place where I currently reside. I was born in Ohio and reared by Yankees, while growing up in Virginia. Several adult years were spent living in Washington, DC, Minneapolis, and Chicago before the move to Memphis. Please don’t label me.

@KNOWITALL Gun control in the US is not about taking away your ability to own a gun, as long as you are sane and have a reasonable need.

You bring up a valid point regarding the rural living vs. city living. Don’t discredit it by bringing up some ridiculous rumor of gun control in the UK. You clearly have no idea what it is like there.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer People get shot all the time, that’s no secret. It’s mostly handguns and not military style looking firearms. It varies by state but generally when you buy a firearm it’s not “licensed” or “registered.” You are given a background check and the dealer who sold it to you keeps a record. Most states simply don’t keep a registry but only a few specifically require it or the opposite where registries are prohibited by law. Where registration is required by the ATF is when the firearm is one of those tightly controlled special cases such as an antique fully automatic machine gun. Those are pretty few and far between. Looking at what guns are typically for sale I would struggle to find any that don’t serve some practical utility. Pretty much any I come up with are those that the ATF already strictly controls.

The issue is really that while most guns do serve some purpose they can also be used in crime. Any of them can regardless of what they were made for. It’s not the gun itself that causes crime, it’s the motivation behind it. Drug abuse, mental illness, gang activity, domestic issues… How do we proceed? It’s not so easy and yes we do need to do something. Most people unfamiliar with firearms cry for action to politicians who also generally don’t understand them. We get a lot of nonsensical, ineffective laws as a result. Most practical gun owners/enthusiasts would love to work with our legislators in crafting common sense gun laws. It’s needed. The problem is all the loud mouthed riffraff who resist any such action. (they’re the same people who are anti-vax) They’re actually the minority but they and the “do something” crowd go head to head and nothing that makes any sense results.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer My mistake. I had not remembered that. I know better now, thanks. I guess more accurately I should say you are familiar with Memphis. It’s not like everyone from Memphis is the same or thinks the same anyway. Do you agree from one city to the next there can be a very different feel regarding guns?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I’m with you, thus the question. There are other countries that have successful gun control. The US needs it. Is there anything that they have done that we can adopt?

@JLeslie Honestly, I have no idea. If forced to guess, the answer would be No. I don’t know who owns a gun or their reason why. It varies from person to person, no matter where they live.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackwater_Park a lot of politicians like wedge issues that don’t get solved, because then they can keep using the issue as a wedge issue.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie There was another shooting in the Memphis area yesterday at a post office.

JLeslie's avatar

^^That’s horrible. Downtown? The little post office north of me when I lived in Lakeland had been held up at gun point around the time I had moved there. I don’t remember what town it was in. Not the little Bartlett one near BRC, a different one.

I think that’s why I felt like I understood why so many Memphians feel gun control won’t fix gun crime. They see all the shootings and guns out there and feel like the guns are already owned by the bad people. I don’t agree with that way of thinking entirely, I see there is a flaw in how they look at it. They equate gun control to not allowing average citizens to own guns, rather than just trying to better ensure guns don’t get in the hands of unstable people.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Our constitution did not add qualifiers for who can own a gun. Frankly in my state, there is zero control, no registration and private sales are protected. And sales only go up when gun control is mentioned or a Democrat is in office. Record sales were recorded here when the Democrats encouraged BLM to protest in the streets, too.

I’m sure many thought our ancestors were crazy for kicking England’s ass, but it seems like it’s worked out. :)

What kind of dangerous cows you have over there? Holsteins on crack or ?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie It was in Orange Mound (southeast Memphis). Three employees killed before the shooter shot him/herself.

@KNOWITALL I’m very happy for you for living in an area where guns can be owned and not used to kill innocent people. It’s just not the case in other areas. It sounds as if certain gun control laws would not affect your area, What would be the issue with having gun owners abide by laws that are deemed safety procedures? It wouldn’t be taking away your guns.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Existing laws cover safety issues very well. They’re actually pretty draconian and all but require most people to get a permit which a good number of gun owners do. People comitting gun crime don’t exactly follow the law though. More laws really won’t change anything. More restrictions on guns probably won’t change things either. In certain situations that may actually make things worse. Just look at Chicago.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer “What would be the issue with having gun owners abide by laws that are deemed safety procedures?”

Define safety procedures.

I assume you mean the waiting period and background check? They already do that when you purchase a gun at a store or pawn shop.

But if you handed me a gun as a gift we need zero paperwork and I don’t have to register it. Same thing applies to private sales.
There is also no limit on them, since there’s no registration.

I passed the CCW background check, but how do you know I’m not homicidal or have a mental illness?

JLeslie's avatar

I just watched yesterday’s episode of The View and Sherry Shepherd talked about buying a gun during the pandemic. She explained she was afraid and felt like she needed to be able to protect her son.

Joy pointed out the NRA years ago pushed for gun control laws to try to keep guns out of the hands of Black people. S.E. Cupp (Republican and political commentator, although on some issues takes a moderate position) was a guest host, and she commented that it makes her sad that people feel so unsafe in America. She said she’s a “proud gun owner too…” Sherry said, “I wouldn’t say proud.”

That encapsulates what I’m talking about in the different groups or regions of the country. Using that word proud or how it’s something to brag about.

I don’t see anything changing until there is a cultural shift. Government does sometimes try to shift culture with incentives and penalties, it doesn’t always work.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie What does the use of the word ‘proud’ mean to you that you put a negative spin on it?

Everyone here has them so not sure what there is to be proud of, the beauty, the aim, the carved stock? To me, that’s like saying I’m proud to own a screwdriver.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Do you know anyone who would say they are proud to own a screwdriver? It sounds like they are making some sort of point or enjoy the power in a way that makes me uncomfortable. I do mean “or” not necessarily both. That’s how it sounds to me. Why do you think Sherry Shephard was sure to correct that she does not want to be included in using proud as a descriptor?

It sounds purposeful, and language of the group. Proud to own a firearm, proud to be an American. I am grateful to be an American. I think Sherry was almost regretful that she felt the need to own a gun, not shameful, she talked about it openly, but not bragging like it is an accomplishment.

I don’t use the word proud or pride much to begin with, so maybe I am more sensitive to it. Pride seems the opposite of humble or lacking the the acknowledgement of power the gun has to cause harm.

I guess maybe that is all it is is common usage of the language and not to be read into. I don’t know.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Then perhaps they mean it as an “F*&^k You’ to liberals.

To me, many Democrats are trying to make gun owners ashamed, as if they were responsible for not having safe gun laws made by politicians. Or as if they should be ashamed of protecting themselves, their families or others in immediate danger.

Perhaps a proud gun owner is simply someone who recognizes they are a tool, and refuses to be shamed for crimes they didn’t commit.

Maybe Sherry cares more about being PC than the average gun owner.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Sometimes when we talk about issues like this, I remember you saying there is no ‘white culture’ but I think gun culture is something that can’t be denied.

If you’ve never taken a kid hunting and watched him/her shoot their first deer, or been on a family date at the gun range, or shot beer cans with your .22 as a teenager, I’m just not sure you can understand people who grew up that way. It’s difficult to explain but I’m trying to be as respectful and honest as possible.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Well, I am not trying to shame anyone. Like I said I am fine with gun ownership for protection and hunting and reasonable gun laws.

Do they mean it as a f&%k you to liberals, or are you being sarcastic?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Probably, kinda like the Let’s Go Brandon thing, I’d assume. No, I’m not being sarcastic at all, seriously.

People are upset with inflation, crime rates and mental health issues are continuing to rise as Covid sticks around, it’s not a healthy situation.

And remember, many people still blame Democrats for the riots last year-gun sales rose across the states during that time period.

While Trump may be joking or serious with his comments on Civil War, we are sitting on a powder keg in my humble opinion.

Just remember how close the last election was. Biden didn’t win in a blue wave, Trump got 74 million votes. Now let’s say half of those red voters own at least one gun (likely much more) but that’s 37 million guns alone. It would devastate our country regardless of the outcome. The Civil War had 2.75 million soldiers as a comparison.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL It’s mess. I really have no argument with you on the topic, I am more in the mode of being interested in what you have to say.

I don’t know why I feel like the powder keg has actually calmed down a little. Maybe because I am watching even less news, and maybe facebook is showing me less of my Republican friends. In 2022 things might heat up here locally when the governor is up for election again.

There is one man here who is very outspoken and still has BIDEN signs all over his golf cart, and he got into it with some Trump lady a few weeks ago at a pool and he wound up arrested. It’s so stupid. He is banned from going to that pool for a month from what I understand. Most of us here are shocked people are still wearing any political clothing or have any signs up. It would be nice to be able to rest in between elections a little. I see more Trump supporters with baseball hats and signs, but we have more Republicans here, so per capita I am not sure how out of whack it is compared to Democrats here when it comes not being able to chill for a year or two.

Last I read about the crime stats they are being twisted and edited. I would need to look it up. One group only using very specific years, another only counting murders and not other violent crimes. I never took the time to sift through it, but it is the inability of both political sides to acknowledge the whole picture that I find so frustrating. The Republicans have ZERO leg to stand on regarding the deficit, especially when it comes to Trump. They want credit for a booming economy and did nothing to use the economic growth to make our country in a better fiscal position, in fact the deficit just grew bigger and bigger. I want Biden to work towards reducing the debt, but I also wanted every president to reduce the debt since Reagan. I was upset back then with the deficit growing. Regarding Democrats pushing gun laws and then gun sales going up, it’s a vicious circle, what can I say.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I have never once thought about any of my firearms as a means for self defence.
Most of these laws are being installed or written up by anti gun people that figure no guns in public hands will mean a safe society, anybody try and tell criminals that?
They already are breaking laws using their guns,you think any of them will turn them in when they are made illegal?
A lot of firearms are truly a neat piece of craftsmanship, many more are family heirlooms handed down over the generations.
YES there needs to be sensible gun laws in every country,like safe storage, magazine capacity, bump stocks. and maybe mental health checks .plus criminal checks.
But both sides are going to keep going to their corners dig their heels in and just scream at each other and nothing will ever really get done .

KNOWITALL's avatar

Agreed, I have no issue with you either. But just know we pass cars with Proud Liberal bumper stickers around here, so it goes both ways.
Like your friends at the pool, we are still divided but several factions of Republicans are now banding together that I’ve never seen before. Hopefully it will stay positive.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I agree with all of that.

You have guns but don’t carry? That’s your best defense against armed criminals you know, so that seems odd. Is it illegal there?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@KNOWITALL and another mass shooting in the USA . . . So hope you’re in a “killing zone” ? ?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

No you can’t just carry a hand gun they are very restricted ,legally you can only use them at an approved range for target shooting and competitions.
And when transporting them they must be unloaded in a locked container with trigger locks on.
If you are heading into the bush you can carry a non restricted firearm such as a shotgun or rifle but you must have a firearms licence .

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