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Author Topic: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun  (Read 3618 times)

Sportsdude

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[FONT face=Arial]SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
[/FONT]
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/jamieson/264593_robert28.html

[FONT face=Arial,Helvetica size=4]The price a culture pays for its love of the gun[/FONT]  [FONT face=Arial,Helvetica size=2]Tuesday, March 28, 2006[/FONT]

 [FONT face=Arial,Helvetica size=2]By ROBERT L. JAMIESON JR.
P-I COLUMNIST[/FONT]

 Don't blame the rave scene for the Seattle's worst mass murder in more than two decades.

 Blame the guns -- and a culture that celebrates firepower.

 Blame the murdering madness on a country that has seen Columbine, Kip Kinkel and bullets at the Tacoma Mall, but lacks the common sense to clamp down on weapons of mass carnage.

 Blame the gun lobby on the other Capitol Hill -- not the rave crowd on Seattle's Capitol Hill.

 Gun advocates like to say guns don't literally kill, and they're right.

 People do.

 Problem is, people keep killing people with guns, just as Kyle Huff did over the weekend.

 The National Rifle Association wraps itself in the Second Amendment and bullies anyone who disagrees.

 The uncomfortable truth is, the right to bear arms has become a right for lunatics to get tools of lethal efficiency and shoot up people.

 Huff is the latest example of what happens when high-powered weapons end up in the wrong gun user's hands.

 He brought rage to a rave after-party, walking into the sky-blue home armed with a pistol-grip, short-barrel shotgun and a semiautomatic handgun. He had two bandoliers and extra ammo in his pockets.

 Even more weapons were inside his black Dodge truck outside: a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle with banana clips, similar to the weapon the D.C. sniper used, and shotgun shells.

 If Huff had plenty of means to kill at his disposal -- police removed three more rifles from his North Seattle apartment -- he also had a history. In Montana, he faced a felony criminal mischief charge in 2000 for blasting a statue of a moose with gunfire. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.

 Had Huff shot up a statue in, say, downtown Seattle -- as opposed to in gun-friendly Montana -- he would have been dealt with more seriously, law enforcement and public-policy officials tell me. Had the felony charge stuck and led to conviction, it would have been illegal for Huff to own firearms.

 We'll never know if the slap on the wrist for the statue incident was the last chance to alter this tragic trajectory. We do know that Saturday, the 28-year-old pizza deliveryman executed six people before shooting himself and that two of the weapons used -- a 12-gauge shotgun and Ruger .40-caliber handgun -- were also used to shoot the fake moose.

 Why Huff stalked and stole real lives jousts with another question: Why did he have so many guns, including the 12-gauge pistol-grip?

 This shotgun is easier to conceal than a long hunting rifle, can be used in tight spaces and packs power. That's why Seattle police Chief Gil Kerlikowske says without hesitation that such a weapon has but one purpose: to hunt people.

 After Congress let the federal assault weapons ban expire in 2004, Kerlikowske tells me, he ran into a U.S. senator from the South.

 The senator predicted that the assault ban would see the light of day, Kerlikowske recalled, "after a few more school shootings."

 Or house shootings.

 The blood on Capitol Hill should jolt us to our senses about guns in society.

 Federal officials ought to take a second look at that assault ban, which, though flawed, had its heart in the right place. The ban, which drew strong support in polls, had outlawed 19 types of military-style assault weapons and limited ammunition magazines, possibly including the kinds of magazines Huff had.

 State Senate Bill 5343 tried to close a legal loophole that allows firearms at gun shows and flea markets to be sold anonymously by non-licensed collectors.

 These collectors are not required to make criminal or mental background checks of buyers, as are licensed gun-store owners. The bill failed this year.

 Huff had guns that were legal to possess. The guns he used in the killings appear to have been bought legally, which is disturbing, given the sneaky lethalness of his 12-gauge and his past gun trouble.

 The Capitol Hill slayings present an opportunity for people to talk about how our nation is overrun with guns, including high-caliber assault rifles and semiautomatics.

 A total gun ban isn't the answer; guns are here to stay.

 We do need to talk about stricter gun control, restrictions on some weapons, more thorough background screening of buyers, plugging of loopholes and tough penalties for guns that are used in lesser crimes.

 Seattle now lives a nightmare made possible in a country so much in love with the way of the gun -- fatally so.

  [HR align=left width="50%" noShade SIZE=1]  P-I columnist Robert L. Jamieson Jr. can be reached at 206-448-8125 or robertjamieson@seattlepi.com.

  1998-2006 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"We can't stop here. This is bat country."

Sportsdude

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #1 on: Mar 28 06 10:21 »
Read this article this morning at Sea-Tac. The P.I. has some quality writing that I think Seattlites should be proud of.
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TehBorken

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #2 on: Mar 29 06 06:34 »
 I see nothing wrong with guns. People are too eager to blame an inanimate object for the actions of its owner. Would we see this article if he'd beaten people to death with a hammer?

Cars kill ~50,000 people a year, and I don't see people clamoring to make them illegal.

Sorry, I don't believe guns are the problem. Maniacs misuing guns are the problem. I've carried a firearm (legally) for almost 30 years without a problem. Should I be prohibited from doing so because of the actions of this person, Sportsdude?
 
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Gopher

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #3 on: Mar 29 06 11:40 »
If we only knew who was likely to go berserk with a gun in his or her hand then there'd be no problem....
A fool's paradise is better than none.

Sportsdude

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #4 on: Mar 29 06 11:46 »
No not just one person but its a trend. As they say its only takes one person to ruin the party.  I have always grown up around guns. I don't like them but they are there so what are you going to do about in my opinion. The problem is some of the dumb laws that have been inacted so that pistol gripped shotguns, uzi's, and other assault rifles to stay legal is dumb founding for me.

My stance on gun control is this: Rifles and regulation size shotguns .12 etc are okay. Guns for hunting furry animals are fine, I would not take them away (as the nra loves to say when a gun control bill comes up in congress.)

But being able to buy a pistol gripped shotgun or an uzi should be either banned or have so many steps into getting the gun that buy the thing becomes such a hassle that it deters buying it.

Bottom line is that there are stupid people out there and we need stiff gun control measures to stop the crazy people just like we have alcohol limits on drinking.  
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TehBorken

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #5 on: Mar 29 06 12:40 »
  Sportsdude wrote:
Guns for hunting furry animals are fine, I would not take them away (as the nra loves to say when a gun control bill comes up in congress.)

Ahhh, you do realize that the 2nd Amendment isn't about hunting, don't you?

It's about the right of the people to defend themselves against their own government. When they put guns (of all things!) in the Constitution it was because they realized that without the right and the ability to defend oneself, all the high falutin' laws about your "freedom" mean nothing.

Guns were considered so essential and so directly linked to liberty that they are virtually the only object mentioned by name in the Constitution. There's nothing about horses or anvils or oil lamps, but they went out of their way to mentions guns specifically and even went so far as to put it in a separate amendment.

Trust me, the 2nd Amendment isn't about duck hunting. It's about self-defense from our own government.
 
 
The real trouble with reality is that there's no background music.

Sportsdude

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #6 on: Mar 29 06 12:46 »
So you like guns on the street. Guns fall in the wrong people's hands too easily. I'm not advocating getting rid of guns because well I believe in the constitution (unlike some).  I just think that guns rights has evolved too much in the wrong direction without any checks or balances. We can't even put a bill mandating locks on all guns without having people go crazy. The culture needs to shift back towards the center for anything constructive to be done.  

For example the NRA was against a bill that would make it illegal for terrorists to buy guns saying it would fringe a regular persons right to bear arms.
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TehBorken

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #7 on: Mar 29 06 01:29 »
   Sportsdude wrote:
So you like guns on the street.

So you like kicking puppies?   Seriously, what kind of a question is that? I'm for legal ownership and legal carrying of firearms. That's not exactly "guns on the streets". And that was a cheap shot, in my opinion.


Guns fall in the wrong people's hands too easily.

So do hammers, cars, and bottles of Wild Turkey. Maybe we should license hammers, they're awfully easy to get.



I'm not advocating getting rid of guns because well I believe in the constitution (unlike some).

Just certain kinds of guns, eh? Like some people don't want to get rid of books, they just want to get rid of certain kinds of books. Or news stories. Or thoughts.



We can't even put a bill mandating locks on all guns without having people go crazy.

They are of no use if they have a lock on them, or are locked in a safe. Seriously- most burgulars and muggers won't wait while you go unlock 'em.

   
The real trouble with reality is that there's no background music.

Sportsdude

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #8 on: Mar 29 06 01:32 »
They are of no use if they have a lock on them, or are locked in a dsafe. Most burgulars and muggers won't wait while you unlock 'em.


So its okay for you to have them sitting on your dresser and junior comes along takes the gun and shoots himself accidentally.
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TehBorken

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #9 on: Mar 29 06 01:35 »
  Sportsdude wrote:
[em]They are of no use if they have a lock on them, or are locked in a dsafe. Most burgulars and muggers won't wait while you unlock 'em.
[/em]
So its okay for you to have them sitting on your dresser and junior comes along takes the gun and shoots himself accidentally.

Lol, c'mon- another cheap shot? I'm surprised, SD.

I've taught my son gun safety and believe me, he knows what not to do. When other people come over they get stored back into another room, but they're not locked up. My ex was the one that left her Sig Sauer laying around for our son to find and play with. True story. And that's just one reason I have custody.

 
The real trouble with reality is that there's no background music.

CK

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #10 on: Mar 29 06 01:40 »
My 2 cents from the Canadian experience.

Gun registration sucked away a lot of money up here the past decade or so.  Majority of the honest people (not criminal element), refused to register. Yet the policy was still in place, but not enforced. What a waste of $$. And whoever would think a criminal is going to register his gun?? What the F&%$$#&!!!

Not a big fan of our Conservative gov., but they are abandoning the gun registration, I do agree with this.

Sportsdude

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #11 on: Mar 29 06 01:44 »
Your responsible and I respect that. I've have just seen way to many people have guns just lying around at parties loaded but with the safety on. I've seen people get drunk and bring out there guns to show people. People like that in my opinion should not have guns. My counsins have there guns locked in a safe.

Sorry with the cheap shots, was just trying to play devils advocate.

It was just me getting angry at the Second Admendment folks for a second wishing people got that defensive at the First Admendment and 4th Admendment which are disappearing as we speak.  
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TehBorken

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #12 on: Mar 29 06 02:17 »
  Sportsdude wrote:
I've have just seen way to many people have guns just lying around at parties loaded but with the safety on.

You need to hang out at a better class of parties!   lol

[/div][div]
It was just me getting angry at the Second Admendment folks for a second wishing people got that defensive at the First Admendment and 4th Admendment which are disappearing as we speak.

 No argument here, I feel the same way.
 
The real trouble with reality is that there's no background music.

Sportsdude

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Re: The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
« Reply #13 on: Mar 29 06 02:36 »
You need to hang out at a better class of parties!

Well I tend not to considering the only time I do go to a party is when I'm down on the farm and rednecks from the hills are involved.
"We can't stop here. This is bat country."

 

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