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Thread: Country's gun culture fosters fear, distrust. Doud is a political science major and editor of the UW

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    http://www.spectatornews.com/media/s...31183.shtml%5D

    In the past year we have seen at least three college campus shootings - Virginia Tech last April, the recent shooting at Northern Illinois University and Louisiana's Technical College's Baton Rouge campus that left three dead. School shootings and various other accidental and purposeful gun deaths seem to be becoming a part of mainstream media. How does this happen?

    It seems as though the excuses come in droves. The perpetrators were not loved enough as children, they were made fun of in school, and my personal favorites - they watched too many violent movies, played one too many violent video games or listened to one too many depressing songs. It's hard for me to buy any of these, but on the other hand I don't think a healthy diet, vitamins and exercise would have cured them, either. Perhaps, though, those things are not the real issue at hand.

    I know there are a lot of people out there who believe guns are a right because not only is it written in the Constitution, but because this is America, land of the free. Clearly, the purpose of carrying a gun, among other things, is the feeling of security that cannot be sustained with baseball bats or mace anymore. It seems that excuse has been exhausted.

    The more prominent feeling people purchase a gun out of is fear. This intense fear of what might happen generally causes rationality to take a back seat.

    There was a case, among several thousands of the same nature, that happened last June. According to The New York Times Web site, a 12-year-old boy spent the night at a friend's house. When they came upon a loaded gun, the boy was accidentally shot and killed.

    According to MSNBC's Web site, a truck driver stormed an Amish school in Pennsylvania last October and killed five young girls before shooting himself. What about Buell Elementary School where a six-year-old girl was shot to death by a seven-year-old classmate? Do you think the classmate who shot the girl feels secure now?

    It seems as though innocent victims are becoming the byproduct of the fear flowing through the veins of irresponsible gun owners. There is an article on CNN's Web site about a college student in Utah who consistently carries a gun to school; obviously, he may not be alone in this venture. When this student's classmates were asked what they thought about his carrying a gun, they responded that as long as they do not see the gun, they do not care. If students are carrying guns to class, then what is going to happen to the safety of college campuses? If everyone is allowed to carry guns, what is going to happen to the safety of our cities?

    Interestingly enough, the article went on to say that to carry a gun in Utah you must be 21 years old, have no previous criminal record, and be mentally competent. How do you measure mental competency? What are the variables on that scale? In Wisconsin, you do not need a permit to purchase a handgun, nor do you need any sort of safety training prior to the purchase. You need to be 21 years old to buy from a licensed gun dealer and unless the dealer is not licensed, there is no law restricting the sale. There are no laws that require guns have child safety precautions, locks and the like, but if something should happen where a child is wounded or killed, the gun owner will be held responsible. These laws seem a bit lax and unrealistic in today's world.

    Many say we need to enforce the laws on the books already. What laws? Legislation is being passed all over the country to allow people to carry concealed weapons. According to the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action Web site, "48 states have a process for issuance of licenses or permits to carry firearms, and 40 of those states provide the opportunity for average citizens to legally carry firearms for self-defense."

    What is an "average citizen" and who are the "above average citizens" who are already allowed to carry concealed weapons? Again, how does one measure what an average citizen is?

    It seems every time I ask a person why they own a gun, they always answer the same thing, that being for security and self-defense. But it seems to me that they are causing more harm than good. We are protecting ourselves from each other. The trusting nature of generations past is holding on for dear life and we have settled into the mindset that everyone is out get us. I am not out to get anyone, I am just trying to live and so is everyone else. Although I am an advocate for strict gun-control laws, I am not saying that a person does not have the right to feel secure. But gun ownership definitely needs to be heavily regulated.

    I was previously a bartender in a small town, which meant that I was able to listen to the drunken ramblings of ultra-conservatives that are immensely anti-gun control. Their biggest arguments about gun control were that "you don't want to bring a knife to a gun fight" and "if you take guns off the streets only cops and criminals will have them." Other arguments I have heard were if the people inside schools, shopping malls and so on carry guns, then criminals would be less likely to start shooting the place up. Will the world truly be safer if we all carry hand guns? Somehow I doubt it. I have seen too many irrational people do too many irrational things, have heard the news stories and have been witness to the drunken tomfoolery; the last thing this nation needs is for every Tom, Dick and Harry to possess firearms.

    I am not saying the arguments of those in favor of lax gun laws are not valid, I just do not think that they are realistic. These thoughts are idealist visions - do you really think if everyone carried a gun they would only use them in cases of self-defense? The evidence suggests a very clear answer to that question.

    Still, most people hate to think their rights are being violated, their right to bear arms that is. My question is how many more innocent people have to die to maintain these so-called rights?

    http://www.spectatornews.com/lettertoeditor/

    Doud is a junior political science major and chief copy editor of The Spectator.

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    "The more prominent feeling people purchase a gun out of is fear. This intense fear of what might happen generally causes rationality to take a back seat." Students are petitioning for the rights to carry weapons to defend themselves, but the author is ignoring that subject. Anyone with common sense knows "intense fear" is not driving most gun purchases. Chances are you haven't heard anyone talk about having "intense fear" of being shot, evenpublic school teachers, or anyone who's purchased a gun because of school shootings. I'm sure someone has "intense fear," but it's uncommon, or the 6 o'clock news would have stories daily.

    "If everyone is allowed to carry guns, what is going to happen to the safety of our cities?" Crime will decrease, according to Federal statistics. http://johnrlott.tripod.com/op-eds/N...Post61504.html

    "These laws seem a bit lax and unrealistic in today's world. Many say we need to enforce the laws on the books already. What laws?" Laws against keeping a murderer in prison are lax, so why not talk about them?

    "48 states have a process for issuance of licenses or permits to carry firearms, and 40 of those states provide the opportunity for average citizens to legally carry firearms for self-defense." Citizens must meet strict requirements to obtain a permit. His argument is not only already in action, but unconstitutional.

    "It seems every time I ask a person why they own a gun, they always answer the same thing, that being for security and self-defense." Maybe the author needs to realize guns are tools people use for self defense.

    "But it seems to me that they are causing more harm than good." Legal gun owners commit the fewest crimes, so everyone should be required to own a gun, according to the author's incorrect line of reasoning.

    "We are protecting ourselves from each other." So the author is also a criminal?

    "But gun ownership definitely needs to be heavily regulated." Gun manufacture, transport, sale, purchase, carry, etc.is already heavily regulated.

    "...do you really think if everyone carried a gun they would only use them in cases of self-defense? The evidence suggests a very clear answer to that question." It is clear that criminals tend to commit crimes, law-abiding citizens tend to remain that way.

    "My question is how many more innocent people have to die to maintain these so-called rights?" Perhaps his question should be, "Why don't gun-free zones work?"

    --Edit: fixed link, added:

    Thinking more of the whole issue, do anti-gun persons not realize why officers carry guns? Since officers can't be everywhere, as evidenced by another college "gun-free zone"incident today, why shouldn't we be able to defend ourselves?

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    Because of fear or preparedness?
    Do you buy fire extinguishers because you fear a fire or wear your seat belt because you fear a collision? Somebuy them out of fear, some buy for preparedness, some buy out of necessity and some buy just because they can.

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    The original author has horrible reasoning, and no logic.

    ...and some people buy extinguishers because it too is the law.

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    Law abiding citizens realize that they have nothing to gain by using their guns to shoot other people for no good reason.

    When Doud said "My question is how many more innocent people have to die to maintain these so-called rights" that is just plain infuriating. So what he is saying is that my rights depend on other people liking it. He should go back to polysci 102 and restudy the definition of rights. I was endowed by my creator to own guns just as much as any other tool, the constitution didn't grant me that right....only privledges can be granted, rights just exist!

    If I was a gun-hater I would never go on record with it....like Pointman said it would make me a target since there would be no way I would be carrying.

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