Guns and video games...

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notnert427

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Waypoint is doing a series on guns and video games. It features some very interesting reads from varying perspectives, and I highly recommend it. I felt I should add my perspective as a gun owner and avid gamer, as well as to provide a place for some discussion here at GB. For some personal background, I'm 33. I grew up both using guns and playing so-called "violent" video games, yet turned out normal and well-adjusted. I've lived in various parts of Texas my whole life (both rural and urban), and presently reside in Austin. I have people I count as friends who are gun-nut types and friends who are militantly anti-gun. I own seven video game consoles (Nintendo, N64, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox One X). I own four guns (Remington 870 shotgun, Mossberg Maverick shotgun, 1911 .45 pistol, and a Winchester Model 70 .257 deer rifle). I am fairly passionate about both hunting and gaming as hobbies. While I'm pretty apolitical and moderate in nature, I get that this thread is going inherently involve some political perspectives, and that's fine. We can cross that bridge when we get there, but for the record, my intent here is not to push my politics or dismiss those of others, rather to have an open discussion on the subject.

Waypoint's series ably explores some of the racial/societal angles far better than I, as an upper-middle-class white male who admittedly has faced very little adversity in his life and recognizes that reality, ever could. The following post won't feature much of that, not because I'm dismissing that facet of this discussion, but because I don't feel equipped to speak in a particularly educated manner to that due to my background. I would be pleased to hear from others who could speak more from personal experience there in relation to guns/video games, whether positive or negative, to hopefully broaden my perspective beyond the lens I've known over the years. Otherwise, out of respect for others and an acknowledgement of areas in which I believe myself to inherently have some ignorance, I will limit this post mostly to that which I feel I can speak with some knowledge to.

I get the sense that much of the gaming community doesn't use actual guns (an observation, not a criticism). This thread can serve as a sort of "ask me anything" if y'all wish there, as I'm an open book. I have experience both pulling the trigger on something virtual as well as on something alive. I can describe the difference between playing some FPS video game (I won't explore that one very much because the audience here should generally be familiar with that) and aiming an actual firearm at a paper target, at an animal, and at an actual person (more on that later). I can't say that I know what it's like to use a gun in malice or hate, which is of course a good thing, but also means that I'm going to struggle to understand the mindset of those who have committed some horrific acts of late. I will, however, do my best to present a perspective of someone who is both generally pro-gun and pro-video game and attempt to explain my reasoning why on both counts.

Guns, for better and worse, are part of American culture, and have historically served to both harm and protect. Sadly, more often the former than the latter, especially of late. I do still support the 2nd Amendment in general. A disarmed citizenry is susceptible to tyranny, and I simply do not trust our government enough not to seize more power/influence if given the opportunity. That may sound a little tinfoil hat or whatever, but I have truly lost faith in our political system to work for the betterment of its citizens, regardless of which party is in power. The only things they can agree on are what serves their interests, so I'd prefer citizens retain a major check and balance. Moreover, I value hunting tremendously as a hobby. I get that there are people who don't like it or understand it, but the appeal of hunting to me is not satiating some kind of weird bloodlust, it's about unplugging from everyday life, restoring proper habitats, controlling populations for the betterment of the ecosystem on the whole, and just preserving the purity of the country itself. There is significant value there, both for me in enjoying it now and for helping to pass down a portion of the world that's largely unspoiled by what we as society term "progress" of urban lifestyle.

Speaking of urban lifestyle, over the past few weeks, there was someone terrorizing my home city of Austin with package bombs, which created a general sense of dread that I've been fortunate enough to be largely sheltered from in my life. Honestly, it wasn't what I ever would have predicted would be something of real concern, but that's the sort of random danger that exists in today's world. I similarly can't help but recall the attack in Nice where a box truck was used as a tool of mass murder. There are areas where guns indeed present the looming spectre, so in no way should legitimate fears there be marginalized, but the sad fact remains that those who truly wish to harm others will find a way. Short of building a fortress that you don't leave, the concept of being truly safe in this day and age is fairly unrealistic. To this point, I will relate a personal anecdote here as to the flipside of what people generally think of when it comes to guns and safety.

Several years back, when I was living in a condo complex, a creeper guy followed a neighbor girl home from the bar. Mistaking our unit for hers, he tried to break into our home at 3 a.m. Waking up to someone fumbling at your doorknob and then scratching at your window trying to force it open is a feeling I don't wish on anyone. I opened the fingerprint lockbox under my bed, grabbed my 1911, chambered a round, and ran up to the door. The wife called 911, and I yelled through the door that I had a gun trained on it, and that if he stepped foot in our place, he was getting shot. He kicked a potted plant outside out of frustration, and moved on the the next unit, which actually belonged to the girl he had followed home. Unbeknownst to me, she had a shotgun of her own and told him the same thing. (Trying to break into houses in Texas is dumb, guys.) By this time, the cops showed up and arrested him in our courtyard. No one got shot, and no one got raped. Guns protected people that day, including the criminal himself.

None of us slept the rest of the night because adrenaline goes through the roof in such a scenario. I have never been more happy to own and know how to use a firearm. The thoughts running through my head were simply about protecting my family and myself, and with some time, I began to consider what I'd have done if I hadn't had a gun and he'd have kicked my door in. Grab a kitchen knife? A bat? I'm a reasonably capable guy, but taking chances on getting the upper hand in physical combat doesn't sound great. Then I thought about, what if guns were illegal, and what if he, as a criminal didn't care and had one illegally where I as a law-abiding individual did not? What then? Plead with him not to shoot me? My pistol paid for itself there, and far beyond staving off potential governmental abuse of power or my affinity for hunting, guns demonstrated some very real value to me that day.

That's not to say that guns are great or that we as a society can't do better with managing guns. I'm not typically inclined towards "reactive" measures, but at a certain point, it's time to acknowledge a clear issue. It is quite arguably past due for us to close some loopholes with improved gun control. I would support restricting assault rifles to Class 3 licensure. Class 3 is currently what automatic weapons, suppressors and the like fall into, in that they are quite difficult and expensive to obtain. This would at least limit the legal sale of ARs to your average citizen, and thus, their prevalence. There is actually a use case for civilian ARs, FWIW. In my state, where the feral hog population is becoming a very real issue, ARs are a favored hog gun. Unfortunately, the same properties that make it a good hog gun make it a "good" choice for mass shootings, so I'm fully on board with people having a tougher time getting their favorite hog gun if it means it's tougher for people bent on killing others to get an AR.

The pessimist/realist in me would be remiss not to point out massive shortcomings in such a measure, though. Heavily restricting ARs would simply lead to a different weapon like shotguns, pistols, or standard rifles becoming used in mass shootings, and their "efficacy" is not much worse, if at all in "capable" hands. (That sentence was incredibly difficult and disconcerting to write, despite its veracity. And again, using guns is far from the only method for committing horrific acts as mentioned above, but guns are the topic at hand here, so I'll stay on topic.) Also, the biggest pitfall in gun regulation is that it only regulates legal gun purchases. The idea that someone who has decided that they don't care about laws against mass murder is going to obey gun laws is utterly asinine. However, perhaps stricter gun laws on ARs help prevent some adult from buying an AR that their kid takes to a school, so I ultimately can get behind such a measure.

Austin and company over at Waypoint hit on the (accurate) point that violent video games don't cause violence, despite a billion studies that have tried to prove that, only to discover the occasional correlation, and nothing definitive in the way of causation. Still, when mass shootings happen, we understandably search for answers. It would be nice if it was as simplistic as we'd like; if the solution was video games or guns or something similarly tangible that can be easily addressed to obviate tragedies. What drives a person to the point of flipping a switch to commit unthinkable atrocities? Is it even a switch, or was it always there within them? What external stimuli factors in, and to what degree? What is applicable to only that particular individual, and what can be applied accurately and broadly to others? We don't have these answers, and psychologically, we're typically grasping at straws after it's already too late.

It is also overly simplistic to just say "they're crazy" and leave it at that. It seems like multiple people, agencies, etc. missed the mark in preventing the latest incident, but there have been many others where people didn't really see it coming. The mind is a complicated, whimsical thing (especially the adolescent mind), so diagnosing violent tendencies isn't as straightforward as you'd think. Adopting said diagnoses towards legal restrictions is further fraught with issues. Privacy laws are part of what kept local/federal entities from intervening more meaningfully in the last shooting, so unless we're ready to give up some freedom there and demonize mental illness (both of which are highly questionable ideas), how do we address this? Not only that, when you're talking about kids who may well have appeared "normal" until they weren't, making life more nightmarish for the mentally ill doesn't even help with prevention there.

Demonizing the inanimate object of a gun is similarly misguided and unhelpful. I often see people express thoughts against "gun culture" or worse, "gun fetishization". Comments of such ilk don't really help anyone or anything, they simply serve as an effort to group and label others as the problem while smarmily absolving oneself of any and all societal responsibility, which is a ridiculously unhealthy mindset. The "gun fetishization" one particularly irks me, as if daring to have fun with guns, appreciating quality craftsmanship of guns, etc. is the mark of some outcast freak who should be shunned by "civilized" society. I've found the VR stuff to be particularly interesting, because so many of the VR games are centered almost entirely around simulating the mere act of shooting guns, and you can strap some of the most staunch anti-gun folks in VR and watch them gleefully play action movie star.

If I were to levy one criticism towards video games in this regard, it would be that they do tend to glorify or at least encourage using guns and/or committing violent acts. That many games force you to do so to even progress the story is something that should give us pause. Video games are obviously a world of fantasy, and I believe that the general ability of people to compartmentalize virtual violence to that virtual space is grossly underestimated, but we should perhaps consider why that's what we consider fun. I love that people take the effort to do things like pacifist runs, as well as that there are games that are built to allow you to do so. I would like to see more of this player agency, where people are given a playground and can choose a playstyle that best suits what they're looking for.

Interestingly enough, HITMAN, of all games, does an excellent job of this. You can play through entire missions only taking out your targets (which often requires some very interesting and fluid pacifist-style gameplay), or you can wipe out the entire map. I have done both. The latter, in retrospect, currently feels a bit uncomfortable given recent events, but that's honestly not how I typically play the game or what I love about it. It is far more satisfying to pull off the Silent Assassin runs, and it's worth noting that you get an achievement for doing so. Conversely, there's no such achievement for murdering the entire level, which is a good thing. That a game about assassination rewards you the less violence you commit is fairly refreshing. It's mostly a puzzle game where you're playing de facto puppeteer with the level and its NPCs, which rewards creativity and somewhat pushes aside the mindless slaughter of enemies that most games arguably lean too heavily into.

That's not to say that using guns in video games can't be entertaining. Obviously there's something there, given the prevalence of them in the medium. It's highly reductive to view such games as "murder simulators" or the like, considering again that there is little to no evidence that people actually apply video game violence to real life. I don't know if it's some ever-present morbid shock value that draws us to virtual shooters, but at this point, even Mario is armed and shooting enemies. The generally adorable Lego games are often shooters at their core as well, so I don't buy the argument that somehow games like Battlefield are offensive and horrible where these games aren't because the graphics are more realistic-looking than those of games where you pew pew totally-not-bullets into something until it "vanishes" and totally-wasn't-murdered. There's something innately enjoyable to virtual gunplay, and I really think it's often as plain as people generally wanting to just role play cool guy action hero.

A cool guy action hero needs cool toys as well. Enter gun modifications, gun skins, and the like. It was, to my recollection, mostly the Call of Duty series that popularized this stuff in the video game world, but many games have adopted it since to varying degrees. Presently, the Destiny games in particular are built almost fully around the idea of creating your weapon. I don't particularly subscribe to the idea that it's horrific to virtually shoot a bunch of enemies, yet fine to take that even further and focus on looking cool doing it. It was then where things sort of shifted towards arguably glorifying gunplay. I don't mean to pick on CoD or Destiny, as they're far from the only culprits. Even deep games like Dark Souls are constructed largely around acquiring and improving weapons, whether that be a sword, a wizard shooting magic from a staff, or whatever. As gamers, most of us are guilty in some respect of wanting "our" character to be a virtual badass with the best weapon who looks the coolest.

Yet owning or customizing actual guns is "fetishism"? Only simulating that is allowed to be fun? Negative. If there is appeal to grinding hundreds of hours and/or paying additional real world dollars to improve and customize virtual weaponry until it looks as cool as it can and is as effective as it can be, then it shouldn't be particularly difficult to understand similar real-world appeal. Guns in the real world can be (and largely are) used for recreational purposes. That is, until some tragedy happens by someone who used a gun, at which point guns are evil, and all those who would dare possess them are for all intents and purposes lumped in with what a psychopath did. "Responsible Adult Uses Gun Safely" has never been a headline. "Student Shoots x People at School" is national news instantly. I'm not suggesting the latter shouldn't be discussed, but I am pointing out that people in general neither hear nor care about the former and thus have an awfully skewed perspective on guns. Ultimately, I do think the media (and society in general) share some blame for making insta-celebrities out of anyone who decides to shoot up a school.

I remember being a teenager. It wasn't that long ago. All you cared about was being noticed and accepted, and your fragile adolescent ego swam in a sea of angst, easily shattered in any given moment. While I can't remotely begin to understand shooting up a school, I can understand how a kid who isn't accepted (or feels like they aren't) would focus then on at least being noticed. The awful reality is that shooting classmates will get you noticed, arguably more than anything else a teenager can do. I don't think that's the single root cause of all these tragedies or anything, but I do think it's a major factor, and probably moreso than mental illness, video games, guns, or these typical things politicians, media, and the public choose to blame. I have to assume many of the highly disturbed individuals who become mass shooters made a choice in which they deemed notoriety to be preferable to insignificance, but I'm admittedly trying to figure out a mindset that's difficult to fathom, and in truth, it's likely not as simple as being only something like that.

Ultimately, we're missing the mark on this, myself included. I don't pretend to have the answer to this problem, and I'm not so sure anyone else does, either (or at least I haven't heard it yet). However, we should certainly try to find it. I do firmly believe that hyperfocusing on some singular, tangentially-related aspect of this like guns (or more ridiculously, video games) isn't really getting us closer to the goal I think we all seek in minimizing the incidence of these tragedies. I'm willing to listen to and discuss with an open mind anything that might help towards that end. Apologies in advance to any mods if this thread elicits some heated responses, but I wouldn't be posting this here if I didn't value the thoughts of this community and wish to hear them. If nothing else, thanks for listening to mine.

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Nodima

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I appreciate your post in a sense of presenting both sides, though I get the sense you yourself aren't as conflicted as you present. Ultimately, you are a proponent of private gun ownership, and you are unsure how to address the mental/social health issues that lead to gun violence applied to living persons.

I get the impression from the beginning of your post that you listened to Patrick's conversation with the professor who studied this issue and wrote a book on it, finding that violent video games had minor correlation to generically antagonistic behavior but no major correlations to actual gun violence. I think that is mostly accurate. Myself, for example, enjoyed the hell out the DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D shareware (never owned the games), Dark Forces, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Turok and Timesplitters as a kid. But, but, but,I have never fired a gun in real life. In fact, when offered the opportunity at an uncle's ranch a handful of years ago, I politely declined. My worry? That the gun would backfire and I would be injured by it. I look at guns and see nothing but the immediate potential for danger. I understand the potential for self-harm, in a controlled setting, is relatively slim; at my own work, I infuse liquor using an ISI machine that anyone with access to the internet can search for and eventually find news of men and women dying in an attempt to make strawberry vodka themselves. So I suppose I understand how gun owners feel when they read some news about accidental gun death, or people fearing accidental gun injury.

However, it does happen, and I do worry about it in every instance that I am around a gun. My most constant contact with a firearm was during my first semester of freshman year of college, when I decided to become a weed dealer for my dorm rather than a committed student. Every time I went to pick up from my supplier we would play some rounds of NASCAR Heat 2002 (it was 2007, and I found this very hilarious considering the amount of T.I.'s King, Three Six Mafia's When the Smoke Clears and general blackness pervaded the house) and stare down the barrel of a pistol of some brand sitting on the coffee table in front of me. I suppose I can be thankful that I never (well, just once) felt in danger at that house over the 6 months I regularly visited it, but I always found it hard to take my eyes off that gun. A couple years later, I went on a run with a friend to his friend's house and was greeted by a room full of assault rifles (unloaded) and racked on walls; during the process of our smoking two joints, he would load an AK-47 and some other weapon, I think a shotgun, just to demonstrate its mechanical qualities. I couldn't help but worry they would go off.

In short, whenever I see a gun in reality, my immediate thought is that it's going to do something its owner (or, more vaguely, handler) doesn't intend for it to do. I find the entire design of it malicious at a base level; I understand single-fire rifles and shotguns for hunting, as it reduces (or adjusts) the need for bow and arrow, or spear. I get that some people will want to acquire their meat that way - I do not at all support hunting for sport, and I'm not really an animal rights person either. I just don't see the point, and considering the number of times per week I see this or that animal population is decreasing, I'd rather we just chill on killing for fun right now (unless it's wasps and millipedes and cockroaches, 'cause fuck 'em). But I also don't live in areas where deer overpopulation, or other sorts of wildlife, is a thing so that's just a me deal.

I like guns in games, and enjoy them, but I would be incredibly happy to live in a world where no one had ever designed, manufactured or fired a gun, I think.

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dstopia

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#3  Edited By dstopia

I'll preface by saying I'm not American, but:

@notnert427 said:

Guns, for better and worse, are part of American culture, and have historically served to both harm and protect. Sadly, more often the former than the latter, especially of late. I do still support the 2nd Amendment in general. A disarmed citizenry is susceptible to tyranny, and I simply do not trust our government enough not to seize more power/influence if given the opportunity. That may sound a little tinfoil hat or whatever, but I have truly lost faith in our political system to work for the betterment of its citizens, regardless of which party is in power. The only things they can agree on are what serves their interests, so I'd prefer citizens retain a major check and balance. Moreover, I value hunting tremendously as a hobby. I get that there are people who don't like it or understand it, but the appeal of hunting to me is not satiating some kind of weird bloodlust, it's about unplugging from everyday life, restoring proper habitats, controlling populations for the betterment of the ecosystem on the whole, and just preserving the purity of the country itself. There is significant value there, both for me in enjoying it now and for helping to pass down a portion of the world that's largely unspoiled by what we as society term "progress" of urban lifestyle.

I'm sorry to say that I think anyone who thinks what you just posted here is in need of a dire reality check. It's not the 1700s anymore, and governments, especially the American government, have access to an immense power of physical coercion that goes far beyond what random people with AR-15s can actually do. I'm not talking about helicopters and tanks, I'm talking about the full-fledged power of the entire American military and its allies. I'm talking about the ability to starve you of food, water and power. If you think you're safe from "government tyranny", you've already lost. You're fighting a war where the victor has been rejoicing in the spoils for more than a century.

There is no way any armed insurgence in the US would have any chance of winning without either taking some form of control of the military or getting outside help (which is how every single modern civil war occurs). The romantic idea of some people in the middle of nowhere resisting against the government with their hunting rifles might sound nice coming from the mouths of people wanting your votes and your money, but it speaks of such a deluded perception of self-worth that it immediately makes any sort of pro-2nd amendment argument absolutely inane.

I have barely skimmed the rest of your post, but I just wanted to point that out. The 2nd amendment looks dumb to anyone living in any country that's not the US.

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shivermetimbers

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I'll be happy if this can stay unlocked, but I doubt it. Nevertheless while it's still up...

Violence has never solved problems, it only creates them. There's a reason why brute force never works. If you ever get into counterterrorism, you'll see that these groups come into power from persecution. But back on the subject of domestic terrorism, I can go on and on about how our fetishing of violence is generally not a good thing, regardless if it has any affect on our state of mind. Video games don't cause violence, but they do more often than not reward us for doing violent actions in their worlds. I'm playing Ghost Recon Wildlands and that entire game is really questionable in that it basically creates a worldview that killing millions of cartel members will solve drug trafficking and terror, which it doesn't. Violence only creates aggression and rebellion. You're not going to walk in and start shooting everyone and expect people to just accept it, people will notice and fight back, and thus perpetual war. These terrorist groups don't just form because they thought it was cool to cause destruction, they form because they have been repressed by violence in some way, shape, or form.

You want my uncensored opinion? I like guns. However, if I had to choose between letting people own them versus not allowing the consequences of the destruction they could cause to happen, I'm gonna go with the latter. So if that means banning them, I'd rather do that then allow another mass shooting to happen. I don't think it necessarily has to go that far, but yeah. At least to the extent where we are with cars.

As far as media is concerned, we can do better. It's kinda time we start moving on from judging games based purely on their mechanics (which is something I'm guilty of) and focusing on what they are trying to say to the player.

G'day!

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shivermetimbers

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@dstopia said:

I'll preface by saying I'm not American, but:

@notnert427 said:

Guns, for better and worse, are part of American culture, and have historically served to both harm and protect. Sadly, more often the former than the latter, especially of late. I do still support the 2nd Amendment in general. A disarmed citizenry is susceptible to tyranny, and I simply do not trust our government enough not to seize more power/influence if given the opportunity. That may sound a little tinfoil hat or whatever, but I have truly lost faith in our political system to work for the betterment of its citizens, regardless of which party is in power. The only things they can agree on are what serves their interests, so I'd prefer citizens retain a major check and balance. Moreover, I value hunting tremendously as a hobby. I get that there are people who don't like it or understand it, but the appeal of hunting to me is not satiating some kind of weird bloodlust, it's about unplugging from everyday life, restoring proper habitats, controlling populations for the betterment of the ecosystem on the whole, and just preserving the purity of the country itself. There is significant value there, both for me in enjoying it now and for helping to pass down a portion of the world that's largely unspoiled by what we as society term "progress" of urban lifestyle.

I'm sorry to say that I think anyone who thinks what you just posted here is in need of a dire reality check. It's not the 1700s anymore, and governments, especially the American government, have access to an immense power of physical coercion that goes far beyond what random people with AR-15s can actually do. I'm not talking about helicopters and tanks, I'm talking about the full-fledged power of the entire American military and its allies. I'm talking about the ability to starve you of food, water and power. If you think you're safe from "government tyranny", you've already lost. You're fighting a war where the victor has been rejoicing in the spoils for more than a century.

Very well said. Adding on from my original post, if gun control manages to save one life by not allowing someone to walk in and buy a gun who shouldn't have one, even if it somehow doesn't stop every mass shooter, it's still worth it. If your government wanted to curb stomp you into oblivion, they have more than enough resources to do so with or without your guns.

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Man there are so many things that can be said here.

Please keep it civil, duders.

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notnert427

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@nodima said:

I appreciate your post in a sense of presenting both sides, though I get the sense you yourself aren't as conflicted as you present. Ultimately, you are a proponent of private gun ownership, and you are unsure how to address the mental/social health issues that lead to gun violence applied to living persons.

That's fairly accurate. I wouldn't say I'm necessarily conflicted on the issue, more that I'm interested in hearing opinions other than my own here.

I get the impression from the beginning of your post that you listened to Patrick's conversation with the professor who studied this issue and wrote a book on it, finding that violent video games had minor correlation to generically antagonistic behavior but no major correlations to actual gun violence. I think that is mostly accurate. Myself, for example, enjoyed the hell out the DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D shareware (never owned the games), Dark Forces, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Turok and Timesplitters as a kid. But, but, but,I have never fired a gun in real life. In fact, when offered the opportunity at an uncle's ranch a handful of years ago, I politely declined. My worry? That the gun would backfire and I would be injured by it. I look at guns and see nothing but the immediate potential for danger. I understand the potential for self-harm, in a controlled setting, is relatively slim; at my own work, I infuse liquor using an ISI machine that anyone with access to the internet can search for and eventually find news of men and women dying in an attempt to make strawberry vodka themselves. So I suppose I understand how gun owners feel when they read some news about accidental gun death, or people fearing accidental gun injury.

I mean, gun accidents happen, but they're almost entirely preventable. Proper gun safety, IMO, goes hand in hand with some level of what could be termed fear. I'd frame it more as respect for what firearms can do in the wrong hands, but the environment for a first-time gun user should be very controlled. I totally get that there are people who want nothing to do with actual guns, as putting a potentially dangerous thing in the hands of someone who is uncomfortable with it obviously isn't ideal.

However, it does happen, and I do worry about it in every instance that I am around a gun. My most constant contact with a firearm was during my first semester of freshman year of college, when I decided to become a weed dealer for my dorm rather than a committed student. Every time I went to pick up from my supplier we would play some rounds of NASCAR Heat 2002 (it was 2007, and I found this very hilarious considering the amount of T.I.'s King, Three Six Mafia's When the Smoke Clears and general blackness pervaded the house) and stare down the barrel of a pistol of some brand sitting on the coffee table in front of me. I suppose I can be thankful that I never (well, just once) felt in danger at that house over the 6 months I regularly visited it, but I always found it hard to take my eyes off that gun. A couple years later, I went on a run with a friend to his friend's house and was greeted by a room full of assault rifles (unloaded) and racked on walls; during the process of our smoking two joints, he would load an AK-47 and some other weapon, I think a shotgun, just to demonstrate its mechanical qualities. I couldn't help but worry they would go off.

The Nascar/T.I. juxtaposition is rather amusing. Also, loading or handling weapons on any substance (especially indoors) is a terrible idea.

In short, whenever I see a gun in reality, my immediate thought is that it's going to do something its owner (or, more vaguely, handler) doesn't intend for it to do. I find the entire design of it malicious at a base level; I understand single-fire rifles and shotguns for hunting, as it reduces (or adjusts) the need for bow and arrow, or spear. I get that some people will want to acquire their meat that way - I do not at all support hunting for sport, and I'm not really an animal rights person either. I just don't see the point, and considering the number of times per week I see this or that animal population is decreasing, I'd rather we just chill on killing for fun right now (unless it's wasps and millipedes and cockroaches, 'cause fuck 'em). But I also don't live in areas where deer overpopulation, or other sorts of wildlife, is a thing so that's just a me deal.

I'm not a sport hunter, either, FWIW. Sport hunting to me is some asshole who just wants some "trophy" and doesn't give a shit about nature in general. I don't shoot anything I don't eat, and I don't shoot any animal in short supply or generally do anything that will adversely affect the ecosystem.

I like guns in games, and enjoy them, but I would be incredibly happy to live in a world where no one had ever designed, manufactured or fired a gun, I think.

Yeah, but guns are here to stay regardless and are woven through history. I don't put them as high on my shit list as napalm, nuclear weapons, et al. in terms of terrible things man has devised, but it's impossible to call guns a mostly "positive" thing that exists.

@dstopia said:

I'll preface by saying I'm not American, but:

I'm sorry to say that I think anyone who thinks what you just posted here is in need of a dire reality check. It's not the 1700s anymore, and governments, especially the American government, have access to an immense power of physical coercion that goes far beyond what random people with AR-15s can actually do. I'm not talking about helicopters and tanks, I'm talking about the full-fledged power of the entire American military and its allies. I'm talking about the ability to starve you of food, water and power. If you think you're safe from "government tyranny", you've already lost. You're fighting a war where the victor has been rejoicing in the spoils for more than a century.

There is no way any armed insurgence in the US would have any chance of winning without either taking some form of control of the military or getting outside help (which is how every single modern civil war occurs). The romantic idea of some people in the middle of nowhere resisting against the government with their hunting rifles might sound nice coming from the mouths of people wanting your votes and your money, but it speaks of such a deluded perception of self-worth that it immediately makes any sort of pro-2nd amendment argument absolutely inane.

I have barely skimmed the rest of your post, but I just wanted to point that out. The 2nd amendment looks dumb to anyone living in any country that's not the US.

For the record, I don't necessarily believe that some modern-day militia could take down the government or anything, nor am I really suggesting they should. However, I absolutely believe that if only the government had weapons, they would be much more inclined towards oppressive measures than they are now. As such, I don't consider the 2nd Amendment dumb. The US government is immensely powerful, but I'm not really keen on aiding them in becoming moreso by disarming the public and hoping they don't exploit that.

I'll be happy if this can stay unlocked, but I doubt it. Nevertheless while it's still up...

Likewise. This has been a rare place where people can productively disagree at times, so I have some hope.

Violence has never solved problems, it only creates them. There's a reason why brute force never works. If you ever get into counterterrorism, you'll see that these groups come into power from persecution. But back on the subject of domestic terrorism, I can go on and on about how our fetishing of violence is generally not a good thing, regardless if it has any affect on our state of mind. Video games don't cause violence, but they do more often than not reward us for doing violent actions in their worlds. I'm playing Ghost Recon Wildlands and that entire game is really questionable in that it basically creates a worldview that killing millions of cartel members will solve drug trafficking and terror, which it doesn't. Violence only creates aggression and rebellion. You're not going to walk in and start shooting everyone and expect people to just accept it, people will notice and fight back, and thus perpetual war. These terrorist groups don't just form because they thought it was cool to cause destruction, they form because they have been repressed by violence in some way, shape, or form.

Absolutely. The video game concept of a lone wolf blasting his way to overpower an enemy to effect a positive outcome is insane. I wish games took more risks with stories/themes that challenged our morality and didn't almost always have "happy" endings with the "hero" standing on a pile of bodies.

You want my uncensored opinion? I like guns. However, if I had to choose between letting people own them versus not allowing the consequences of the destruction they could cause to happen, I'm gonna go with the latter. So if that means banning them, I'd rather do that then allow another mass shooting to happen. I don't think it necessarily has to go that far, but yeah. At least to the extent where we are with cars.

To some degree, it is. I'd like to see some changes with gun control, but the only entity with the means to enforce those things is the government, and I'm not sure them having more say over it is a good thing or will successfully prevent mass shootings. Practically, banning all guns doesn't make guns disappear, it just ensures that people who follow the law don't have them, which isn't a good outcome.

As far as media is concerned, we can do better. It's kinda time we start moving on from judging games based purely on their mechanics (which is something I'm guilty of) and focusing on what they are trying to say to the player.

I'd like games to try and say anything to the player at this point. Most are formulaic and don't deviate from the generally "proven" style of game in ways they should.

G'day!

Cheers, duder. Appreciate the response.

Very well said. Adding on from my original post, if gun control manages to save one life by not allowing someone to walk in and buy a gun who shouldn't have one, even if it somehow doesn't stop every mass shooter, it's still worth it. If your government wanted to curb stomp you into oblivion, they have more than enough resources to do so with or without your guns.

Point taken, but the two sides to that coin are that there are people that should have the right to own a gun to protect themselves against people who will have guns regardless of what the law says. I'm not against (measured) gun control; the problem is accurately determining who should/shouldn't have one, and I'm not sold that the hypothetical lives saved by gun control wouldn't be at the very least offset by lives taken by what would hypothetically be a then-empowered criminal element.

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Those "varying perspectives" were about as varied as you might expect from Waypoint and its contributors, in that they all clearly come from essentially the same perspective.

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#10  Edited By xanadu

@dstopia: I am American and I've always been baffled by people who think their custom assault rifle is going to be anyway effective against the military's drone army. And that's just one tiny faccet of their power.

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#11 FinalDasa  Moderator

Man there are so many things that can be said here.

Please keep it civil, duders.

This. If you can't join this discussion and be respectful, then don't join.

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They're just too easy to get.

Actual guns. Not video games.

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#13  Edited By dancinginfernal

@xanadu said:

@dstopia: I am American and I've always been baffled by people who think they custom assault rifle is going to be anyway effective against the military's drone army. And that's just one tiny faccet of their power.

It's exactly why the modern-war on journalism in this country scares me so much. Journalism has always been the greatest actual check and balance of powers in our government, despite not being an actual branch. Sure it has it's rough spots, especially these days, but as an institution it's so important to maintaining and shaping the fabric of our nation that doing away with it would be like losing our voice. Especially for those already marginalized. Guns in this country are hailed to be this great equalizer, that lends a voice and credence to those who cry out constantly but are not heard. Yet, I feel like they just don't speak clearly enough to really tell the world what you believe, or what you're fighting for. They just speak in fear, bullets, and death. Just as when people riot in this country, all anyone ever seems to take away from it is vandalism and theft, with the root of why taking a back burner.

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#14  Edited By notnert427

@hnke said:

Those "varying perspectives" were about as varied as you might expect from Waypoint and its contributors, in that they all clearly come from essentially the same perspective.

While much of the Waypoint staff and their contributors do seem to have similar political leanings, that doesn't devalue their perspective. Personally, they're typically a fair bit left of where I tend to fall on the political spectrum, but I want to hear from everyone to help form/shape my viewpoints on things. I've been wrong plenty, so I try to always be willing to listen.

@xanadu said:

@dstopia: I am American and I've always been baffled by people who think their custom assault rifle is going to be anyway effective against the military's drone army. And that's just one tiny faccet of their power.

I wasn't really trying to make the assertion that one guy or a militia or whatever could take on and defeat the government in this day and age. That's absurd. However, willfully giving up a freedom that literally was instrumental in the establishment of this country is similarly absurd, in my opinion.

@theht said:

They're just too easy to get.

Actual guns. Not video games.

Agreed. I'd like to see gun shows basically cease to exist, and I'm pretty much for a ban on ARs at this point just because it could have a positive effect.

@dancinginfernal said:
@xanadu said:

@dstopia: I am American and I've always been baffled by people who think they custom assault rifle is going to be anyway effective against the military's drone army. And that's just one tiny faccet of their power.

It's exactly why the modern-war on journalism in this country scares me so much. Journalism has always been the greatest actual check and balance of powers in our government, despite not being an actual branch. Sure it has it's rough spots, especially these days, but as an institution it's so important to maintaining and shaping the fabric of our nation that doing away with it would be like losing our voice. Especially for those already marginalized. Guns in this country are hailed to be this great equalizer, that lends a voice and credence to those who cry out constantly but are not heard. Yet, I feel like they just don't speak clearly enough to really tell the world what you believe, or what you're fighting for. They just speak in fear, bullets, and death. Just as when people riot in this country, all anyone ever seems to take away from it is vandalism and theft, with the root of why taking a back burner.

Good post. I admire your optimism towards the media as an entity serving and protecting the public. I don't quite share it, but I'm not running around screaming fake news at everything, either. I do think the media tends to favor sensationalism out of self-interest, but your observation of what media can ideally be is worth noting. At its best, I would agree that media is capable of being a positive force in ways that guns never can. I don't consider guns a voice, but unless someone can figure out a way to erase guns from existence, they do serve their own purpose and equalize the playing field for citizens against criminals.

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#16  Edited By ToTheNines

@dstopia: I’m a none American and I go back and forth on this whole gun issue, as I find arguements for and against almost equally inticing.

However, as well put as your arguement against armed populace vs tyrannical government is, I do find your unfounded surety somewhat off putting.

The first thing tyrannical governments would want to do is take back the populace’s access to guns, Venezuela is a perfect recent example. And it’s not without reason.

If a hypothetical tyrannical America would have to fight its own armed 300 million large populace the cost would be beyond immense, both physically and to moral. Even if only 5 percent dared to oppose. Also I don’t think it matters much how advanced their military is, I think both the Vietnam and afghan war has proven as much.

They might win in the long run, but I don’t think any government would find it worthwhile. Where as an unarmed populace would have a much rougher time in my estimation.

But I’m open to being wrong.

EDIT: I stand by all I just said, that is until those fully driven AI robot dogs with guns becomes a real thing, then we’re all fucked.

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I definitely feel that a more nuanced understanding of American history really helped me, as a British person, understand gun culture and the debate around it that seems to always be happening in the US. The idea that private citizens should be armed in order to defend themselves against the threat of a tyrannical government makes absolute sense when you consider that the Second Amendment was ratified only 15 years after the Declaration of Independence, a war where Americans saw themselves as throwing off the shackles of a tyrannical monarchic government. They were Rome, George III was Tarquinius, and the Boston Massacre was the Rape of Lucretia. These people had very different ideas about what freedom meant, and how it should be protected. Thomas Jefferson was a big fan of the French Revolution, defending it even after it had descended into a total bloodbath. American ideas of liberty and freedom have been inexorably tied to violence and gun ownership throughout the nation's history, from the settling of the wild frontier and the expansion of the territories at the expense of (in no particular order) the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Mexicans, the Native Americans, and more, and this identity is also strongly tied to a sense of rugged individualism that is exemplified by a desire to be able to protect oneself. I don't mean to sound anti-American, as violence, oppression, and acts of genocide is woven into the history of almost every "first-world" nation, and definitely can be said about the history of Great Britain.

But the problem, as is often the case, is that this mentality, and the legislation that enabled it, is extremely outdated and has no relevance to modern life. As others in this thread have said, if there were to be a revolt against a tyrannical US government, the fact that a decent percentage of the population owns automatic weapons is not going to make one bit of difference. My favourite opinion on this issue comes from an episode of Crash Course US History, where American author and vlogger John Green explains part of his position on gun rights in America - it originally is a rant about one of the articles from the Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, but becomes a rant about the Second Amendment:

"The whole idea of the Second Amendment was that the people could protect themselves from a standing army by being equally well-armed - which these days would mean not that people should have the right to buy assault weapons, but that they should have the right to buy, like, unmanned drones. Or arguably suitcase nukes. And by the way, in the Constitution, this is not listed as a privilege - it is listed as a right. And as a right, if I can't afford my own predator drone, I guess the government should have to buy one for me.

"It's almost as if Alexander Hamilton had no way of knowing that military technology would one day advance pass the musket".

I am very firmly pro-gun control, as I don't think that any circumstances can justify a private citizen having the right or means to purchase an assault rifle, or any kind of weapons designed to kill humans rather than animals. I love shooting guns in video games, and I believe that it can be an important and useful means of catharsis - we all have violent and irrational tendencies, and we're all conditioned to love the power fantasy of being able to solve problems with a rogueish, shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality. I like that we're continuing to explore the possible connections between violence in real life and violence in media, rather than just assuming that there is no correlation and that they're not connected in any way. But anyone who still holds onto the idea that violent games somehow create or enable violence in real life is completely delusional.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem will look like a nail.

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In the end, it's too late. Guns are too politicised.

No one will ever be elected President if they have a firm anti gun policy and politicians only care about themselves, their party and their paycheck. It's all a charade.

Mass shootings are here to stay unfortunately. On the positive side, odds are, it won't happen to you.

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#19  Edited By notnert427

@tothenines said:

@dstopia: I’m a none American and I go back and forth on this whole gun issue, as I find arguements for and against almost equally inticing.

However, as well put as your arguement against armed populace vs tyrannical government is, I do find your unfounded surety somewhat off putting.

The first thing tyrannical governments would want to do is take back the populace’s access to guns, Venezuela is a perfect recent example. And it’s not without reason.

If a hypothetical tyrannical America would have to fight its own armed 300 million large populace the cost would be beyond immense, both physically and to moral. Even if only 5 percent dared to oppose. Also I don’t think it matters much how advanced their military is, I think both the Vietnam and afghan war has proven as much.

They might win in the long run, but I don’t think any government would find it worthwhile. Where as an unarmed populace would have a much rougher time in my estimation.

But I’m open to being wrong.

EDIT: I stand by all I just said, that is until those fully driven AI robot dogs with guns becomes a real thing, then we’re all fucked.

I don't think a "new American militia" could ultimately hold up on its own against the U.S. Government in an all-out war, but I do think it would be, as you said, remarkably costly. It would be extremely difficult to convince soldiers in the U.S. military to attack the country's own people. Moreover, I don't think people from outside the U.S. can really fathom the size and spread of the country itself. While it's true that ol' Jimbo couldn't barricade up his ranch and take on the might of the government by himself, if you're talking about trying to fight millions of Jimbos all doing the same thing at the same time, your force would be spread really thin across a bunch of rural land. The Burt-Gummer-from-Tremors prepper types who have accumulated large weapons caches in bunkers is a real thing. I mean, the government could start doing things like drone strikes, but any sort of American Civil War in this day and age would be so incredibly visible and apparent to the international community that it would significantly threaten global stability to the point where outside intervention would be necessary. A hypothetical situation where the U.S. Government is trying to fight its own citizens AND an international force at the same time is one that they very well could lose. As a Texan, I know enough Jimbos who would be willing and able to "make a stand", some of whom would even relish the opportunity to turn their home into an Alamo. It would be, at minimum, a very ugly and lengthy war, and as you pointed out, we've recently lost wars of similar style to what that fight would be. Given this, I do believe American citizen gun ownership serves as a bit of a check on the government, if nothing else.

@theoriginalatlas said:

I definitely feel that a more nuanced understanding of American history really helped me, as a British person, understand gun culture and the debate around it that seems to always be happening in the US. The idea that private citizens should be armed in order to defend themselves against the threat of a tyrannical government makes absolute sense when you consider that the Second Amendment was ratified only 15 years after the Declaration of Independence, a war where Americans saw themselves as throwing off the shackles of a tyrannical monarchic government. They were Rome, George III was Tarquinius, and the Boston Massacre was the Rape of Lucretia. These people had very different ideas about what freedom meant, and how it should be protected. Thomas Jefferson was a big fan of the French Revolution, defending it even after it had descended into a total bloodbath. American ideas of liberty and freedom have been inexorably tied to violence and gun ownership throughout the nation's history, from the settling of the wild frontier and the expansion of the territories at the expense of (in no particular order) the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Mexicans, the Native Americans, and more, and this identity is also strongly tied to a sense of rugged individualism that is exemplified by a desire to be able to protect oneself. I don't mean to sound anti-American, as violence, oppression, and acts of genocide is woven into the history of almost every "first-world" nation, and definitely can be said about the history of Great Britain.

But the problem, as is often the case, is that this mentality, and the legislation that enabled it, is extremely outdated and has no relevance to modern life. As others in this thread have said, if there were to be a revolt against a tyrannical US government, the fact that a decent percentage of the population owns automatic weapons is not going to make one bit of difference. My favourite opinion on this issue comes from an episode of Crash Course US History, where American author and vlogger John Green explains part of his position on gun rights in America - it originally is a rant about one of the articles from the Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, but becomes a rant about the Second Amendment:

"The whole idea of the Second Amendment was that the people could protect themselves from a standing army by being equally well-armed - which these days would mean not that people should have the right to buy assault weapons, but that they should have the right to buy, like, unmanned drones. Or arguably suitcase nukes. And by the way, in the Constitution, this is not listed as a privilege - it is listed as a right. And as a right, if I can't afford my own predator drone, I guess the government should have to buy one for me.

"It's almost as if Alexander Hamilton had no way of knowing that military technology would one day advance pass the musket".

I am very firmly pro-gun control, as I don't think that any circumstances can justify a private citizen having the right or means to purchase an assault rifle, or any kind of weapons designed to kill humans rather than animals. I love shooting guns in video games, and I believe that it can be an important and useful means of catharsis - we all have violent and irrational tendencies, and we're all conditioned to love the power fantasy of being able to solve problems with a rogueish, shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality. I like that we're continuing to explore the possible connections between violence in real life and violence in media, rather than just assuming that there is no correlation and that they're not connected in any way. But anyone who still holds onto the idea that violent games somehow create or enable violence in real life is completely delusional.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem will look like a nail.

Well stated. I will address a few points. There is not a decent percentage of our populace that owns automatic weapons. The vast majority of the civilian ARs are of the semi-automatic variety. It's actually rather difficult and expensive to go through the process necessary to legally possess automatic weapons, which themselves are rather expensive due to taxation on them driving up all costs involved. Also, the background checks are significant and their sale/transfer is for obvious reasons fairly well-monitored (or as well as the government can). There are people who don't go through the proper channels or who illegally convert semi-auto ARs to full auto, but the same people who do that sort of thing surely aren't going to abide by stricter gun legislation, either. At this point, though, I would be fine with classifying and restricting semi-automatic ARs as we do automatic weapons. Presently, they are not (the argument there being that ballistically, the 5.56 assault round is basically a .223 deer rifle round, which is actually on the weaker side of rifle rounds), but due to their sadly proven efficacy in mass shootings from being generally portable, quick-firing, and low-recoil, I'm on board with more regulation there.

You bring up a notably tragic point in regards to the Native Americans. Arguably the biggest historical mark against guns is "settling the frontier". Horrific stuff, with superior weaponry leading to genocide and massive subjugation of a people. "Manifest Destiny" is among the most crazily terrible things, as if a feeling of entitlement to land and the possessing the means to take it inherently justified itself. It's a part of history no American likes talking about. They damn near tried to skip it and actively rushed through it in much of what you'd term primary school. You hit on a point I'd like to discuss in the ties of American ideas of liberty and freedom to guns, though. Obviously here the American Revolution is viewed as a triumph there, but I mentioned the Alamo earlier because it's the sort of legend that even to this day inspires a sort of gun empowerment ethos. I don't know how familiar or widespread that tale is internationally, but the gist is that a bunch of Texans holed up in a church against a vastly superior Mexican army and held out as best they could until they were ultimately overrun and killed, but the capability/spirit/heroism they displayed inspired other Texans to defeat the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto. Historically, that tale has some holes, but the legend persists. The idea that a Texan with a gun can take on anyone is somewhat ingrained in Texas culture, and goes so far as it being a noble act to go down fighting, out of a notion that the next guy(s) will get 'em. American culture on the whole has a similar mindset, though to a lesser extent.

Interestingly enough, that school of thought is not entirely unreasonable. There's a reason that no force has ever tried (and maybe will ever try) to invade the United States, and it's that not only would they have to defeat the U.S. military, they'd have to defeat a reasonably well-armed citizenry as well. I'm not trying to get too "rah rah 'Merica" and beat my chest there, but it's worth noting. The only thing the Jimbos of the world would enjoy more than taking on the government would be taking on invaders from another country. While it's fairly warranted for non-Americans to observe and even criticize our gun issues, I believe that the prevalence of those same guns here also serves as a highly effective deterrent internationally in terms of maintaining America's status as a world power. Behind closed doors, I think even the U.S. Government would admit that they get to internationally swing a bigger stick, so to speak, because our citizens are armed. I'd further contend that this is at least part of the reason our government hasn't pushed all that hard for disarmament of the populace, as the power they could theoretically gain domestically would be lost in foreign affairs. So, yeah. It's tough for me to argue that all the guns here are necessarily a "good thing", but I do believe that they provide some ancillary benefits to U.S. citizens among some obvious drawbacks.

@thegame983 said:

In the end, it's too late. Guns are too politicised.

No one will ever be elected President if they have a firm anti gun policy and politicians only care about themselves, their party and their paycheck. It's all a charade.

Mass shootings are here to stay unfortunately. On the positive side, odds are, it won't happen to you.

It is too late, but not because guns are politicized. In fact, I'd say it's because they haven't really been politicized over the course of several centuries where people were acquiring guns fairly readily and easily. Even the NRA, as ridiculous as it presently is, wasn't a gun lobby until about 1975. Obama wasn't what I'd call pro-gun, either, for what that's worth. I do agree with the notion of politicians being largely about themselves, and with the notion of the political process here as mostly just a charade.

While I share some degree of your cynicism in terms of a general inability to prevent tragedies, there are signs things are changing in the world of guns. Remington, a major arms manufacturer, just filed for bankruptcy. It doesn't erase the millions of guns already out and about, but that news does challenge the idea of America as this gun haven for perpetuity, and that's somewhat of a welcome development.

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@dstopia said:

I'll preface by saying I'm not American, but:

@notnert427 said:

Guns, for better and worse, are part of American culture, and have historically served to both harm and protect. Sadly, more often the former than the latter, especially of late. I do still support the 2nd Amendment in general. A disarmed citizenry is susceptible to tyranny, and I simply do not trust our government enough not to seize more power/influence if given the opportunity. That may sound a little tinfoil hat or whatever, but I have truly lost faith in our political system to work for the betterment of its citizens, regardless of which party is in power. The only things they can agree on are what serves their interests, so I'd prefer citizens retain a major check and balance. Moreover, I value hunting tremendously as a hobby. I get that there are people who don't like it or understand it, but the appeal of hunting to me is not satiating some kind of weird bloodlust, it's about unplugging from everyday life, restoring proper habitats, controlling populations for the betterment of the ecosystem on the whole, and just preserving the purity of the country itself. There is significant value there, both for me in enjoying it now and for helping to pass down a portion of the world that's largely unspoiled by what we as society term "progress" of urban lifestyle.

I'm sorry to say that I think anyone who thinks what you just posted here is in need of a dire reality check. It's not the 1700s anymore, and governments, especially the American government, have access to an immense power of physical coercion that goes far beyond what random people with AR-15s can actually do. I'm not talking about helicopters and tanks, I'm talking about the full-fledged power of the entire American military and its allies. I'm talking about the ability to starve you of food, water and power. If you think you're safe from "government tyranny", you've already lost. You're fighting a war where the victor has been rejoicing in the spoils for more than a century.

There is no way any armed insurgence in the US would have any chance of winning without either taking some form of control of the military or getting outside help (which is how every single modern civil war occurs). The romantic idea of some people in the middle of nowhere resisting against the government with their hunting rifles might sound nice coming from the mouths of people wanting your votes and your money, but it speaks of such a deluded perception of self-worth that it immediately makes any sort of pro-2nd amendment argument absolutely inane.

I have barely skimmed the rest of your post, but I just wanted to point that out. The 2nd amendment looks dumb to anyone living in any country that's not the US.

I would just like to say, as an American, as a small piggyback to this post: we couldn't even win our own revolution without copious amounts of outside help and that was against a foreign power whose central infrastructure was thousands of miles away. The idea that we could rise about against an entity whose infrastructure is here because a bunch of people have stockpiled a bunch of weapons is a little outlandish in my opinion. A lot of people would probably die and it would be absolutely horrible, but that would be about it.

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#22  Edited By notnert427

@sethmode said:

I would just like to say, as an American, as a small piggyback to this post: we couldn't even win our own revolution without copious amounts of outside help and that was against a foreign power whose central infrastructure was thousands of miles away. The idea that we could rise about against an entity whose infrastructure is here because a bunch of people have stockpiled a bunch of weapons is a little outlandish in my opinion. A lot of people would probably die and it would be absolutely horrible, but that would be about it.

I'm fairly surprised how much of the discussion here has centered around the question of if a homegrown militia could overthrow the U.S. Government, but that's fine. I wasn't ever really making the case for that as possible (or desirable) in this day and age, but I suppose that's what some read into my assertion that civilian gun ownership still protects us from a certain level of tyranny that the government would be much more able/likely to impose on a hypothetically disarmed populace. Apologies to all for any confusion, but it seems some conclusions were jumped to there as if I were saying that I think Jimbo and his cache of rifles can unquestionably overthrow the entire government any old time he wants to, which wasn't what I was trying to say at all.

To your point, though, yes, the outside help we received during the American Revolution is often minimized here in the service of patriotism, despite the fact that there's a decent argument we wouldn't have won without it. Such would be the case in a hypothetical militia v. government war now. Again, though, protection from government tyranny is only one of several arguments I was making towards the practicality of civilian gun ownership, with the others being protection against criminals and protection against foreign invasion. That said, it's worth nothing that these are qualities of passive deterrence which aren't entirely tangible/apparent (with a hope it stays that way), whereas the downsides of firearms are actively apparent, measurable, and undeniable. I think the downsides are both necessary to observe and skewing the narrative a bit at the same time, if that makes sense.

Still, I'm of the opinion that some changes probably ought to be made, so I'm somewhat exploring and thinking through what I think those should be in this thread.

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#23  Edited By kadaju86

@notnert427: A full on gun ban is just not something I think you can feasibly do in the US, at least not unless you make it valid for the entire country at the same time, which I don't think we will ever see happen in our lifetime at least :P Problem with the regional bans that some cities and states have put up is that you can just go across state or county lines and buy them in bulk there to bring over to the region with the ban, which doesn't really help much at all; rather makes the problem all that more skewed most likely. I honestly don't think a gun ban completely similar to what you have in Australia is necessarily the correct path for the US either. Australia has one benefit of being an "island" in that it is hard to for example smuggle weapons in to the country which is very different from how it is in the US where you are landlocked both north and south.

All that said though, I think a much stricter gun legislation than what you have today is quite needed, and that is something that can be rather easily done without the fear of "Oh my god, the state is taking all my guns!" which the most nutty of the gun nuts seem to think is the case whenever anything even remotely about adding extra background checks and such are suggested.

Anyways, my two cents on the matter as someone who has visited the US several times and even lived there for a year (although that is now 18-19 years ago)!

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Namoo

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I really have no opinion either way on the whole gun debate but the argument that an AR15 is completely useless for preventing a tyrannical government due to drones, tanks, jets is just flat out wrong. Drones, tanks and jets are completely useless when it comes to occupation and oppression due to the very nature of the weapons themselves. You cannot use these without unavoidable large scale destruction of infrastructure and large numbers of civilian casualties. Something a government would very much like to avoid inflicting on itself. These weapons also cannot be used occupy land. You cannot put a drone on a street corner to keep the populance in line. Only an infantryman can achieve this task with any modicum of success and for the foreseeable future the modern infantryman is still very susceptible to small arms fire.

Just take a look at the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars for prime examples of just how a modern military force using all the tools at its disposal are almost completely ineffective against any sort of insurgency.

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Rigas

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#27  Edited By Rigas

@namoo said:

You cannot put a drone on a street corner to keep the populace in line.

In the dark dystopian future where the US Government decides to act against its people in such a fashion, what makes you think they wouldn't use the threat of drones to keep people in line? The sight, sound, or idea of hundreds of drones circling above you with thermal cameras and the ability to explode you with pinpoint accuracy or just the entire neighbourhood on a whim would keep me in line.

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Namoo

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@rigas: In the future possibly. Until we reach that point using it as the basis of your argument is just wrong.

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Ekpyroticuniverse

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I live in the UK and we get by just fine without guns, could do with not leaving the EU tho :)

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#31  Edited By SethMode

@namoo: To be fair though, comparing invading foreign countries under the miasma of "win conditions" that comes with such invasions to what would happen with a revolution is kind of absurd as well though. Either way, the point is, the invading force in this scenario was never going to be clear cut and debating it is as silly as the argument itself is. It's why the supposed origins of the amendment don't hold up in modern society (they barely held up at the time -- they confiscated guns from British loyalists immediately after the war as a security measure after all).

But the OP is right, that's somewhat in the weeds of his original points so I'll stop derailing. I just kind of wanted to point out that invading Iraq and an internal rebellion are very much apples and oranges.

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Namoo

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@sethmode: I'm not talking about the initial invasion I'm talking about the insurgency that followed once the main offensive was long done. Afghanistan is a much better example.

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Guns are really cool (i'll be honest, i didn't read the OP).

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fatalbanana

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#34  Edited By fatalbanana
@kadaju86 said:

@notnert427: A full on gun ban is just not something I think you can feasibly do in the US...

All that said though, I think a much stricter gun legislation than what you have today is quite needed...

Then you agree with the majority both on the left and right. I have never seen a full on gun ban seriously be proposed as a valid option. The only time I've seen it brought up is in academic conversation and right-wing propaganda.

@notnert427 said:

Demonizing the inanimate object of a gun is similarly misguided and unhelpful. I often see people express thoughts against "gun culture" or worse, "gun fetishization". Comments of such ilk don't really help anyone or anything, they simply serve as an effort to group and label others as the problem while smarmily absolving oneself of any and all societal responsibility, which is a ridiculously unhealthy mindset. The "gun fetishization" one particularly irks me, as if daring to have fun with guns, appreciating quality craftsmanship of guns, etc. is the mark of some outcast freak who should be shunned by "civilized" society. I've found the VR stuff to be particularly interesting, because so many of the VR games are centered almost entirely around simulating the mere act of shooting guns, and you can strap some of the most staunch anti-gun folks in VR and watch them gleefully play action movie star.

There is a lot ( by a lot I mean a metric shit ton) I want to say on this topic but for now, I'll start on this specific paragraph because it really stuck out to me. For starters let me say by reading the majority of your post it very much sounds like you are in agreement with the majority on this issue. That is to say that this is a bipartisan issue and the majority of Americans are saying exactly the thing you are (give and take some nuances). The problem is twofold and largely lies in how this conversation is being covered and marketed to the public. The loud majority are screaming (by majority I mean the people in power currently) love to yell from the rooftops how all the people on the left advocating for common sense reform want to take all your guns away. This would be normal right wing talking points that only hardcore right-wingers buy into but gun owners on all sides hear this and sadly it becomes the narrative when it wasn't even the conversation to being with. If you're paying enough attention I think that point is obvious but I still can't help but point it out.

Second, is a much worse and widespread problem. You would think if the majority agreed on something it would be an easily winnable thing to get action on but unfortunately, that isn't how our government functions right now. The Republicans in power won't pass reform because they are quite literally paid off by the NRA. Its public knowledge how much money Repub politicians get from the NRA and it's not pure convenience that the people that get paid the most fight the hardest to stop any regulation from getting passed (Marco Rubio). Ok but even with that there still isn't a discussion happening, when that last time gun reform was talked about on a debate stage? Democrats do not take money from the NRA but are largely silent on the issue. That's because the current Dems in power only care about issues that make them money and will please their donors. There's a lot to be said on this issue but I'll leave it at that.

I say all of that just to say that there really isn't much I disagree with you on. I am a pretty avid gun control advocate. I go to the protests, I sign the petitions, I have the debates and time and time again I come away realizing that more people agree with my stance then I originally thought. I don't own any guns but grew up in a pretty gun positive household. Most of my family are avid right-wingers who buy into the propaganda in a big bad way. Needless to say, I don't get along with them a lot politically. But I respect guns and peoples right to own them responsibly and recreationally. My problem is with guns not being treated with the weight and responsibility they warrant. And that's when everything you laid out above comes into the conversation.

"Demonizing the inanimate object of a gun is similarly misguided and unhelpful"

I don't think this is true. Any gun specifically designed for hunting or target shooting is an inanimate object and it's unhelpful and misguided to demonize them. However, when your inanimate object is specifically designed to kill people I think its fair to say it separates it from other inanimate objects/hobbies/etc. I don't think this is a radical take and treating these weapons with the weight I think they warrant isn't to say that people that enjoy their guns should be treated any differently but that's also doesn't mean we should deny what guns are. I see your sentiment echoed by gun owners a lot and the thing I want to make clear is my problem is with the lack of respect guns are treated by a lot of people that own them or claim to be enthusiasts. People that treat them as toys or simple tools and not as a thing designed to take life. Again, not to say you can't have fun with them or enjoy them but all I'm asking for is treating them with the care and responsibility they warrant being what they are. Anyone demonizing anybody for enjoying the thing they enjoy as long as it's not hurting anyone is wrong full stop. If someone encourages (unwittingly or otherwise) the mistreatment of guns or irresponsible ownership of guns I am perfectly fine labeling them as "freaks who should be shunned by civilized society"

"I've found the VR stuff to be particularly interesting, because so many of the VR games are centered almost entirely around simulating the mere act of shooting guns, and you can strap some of the most staunch anti-gun folks in VR and watch them gleefully play action movie star."

Look, shooting guns is fun. I would struggle to find anyone who disagrees with that. Maybe it's just me but I fail to see this as being an argument but maybe I'm missing your point.

Anyway, I like your post a lot and hope this conversation stays civil and doesn't get locked. I think it's important and something the majority of people should get involved in discussing. I rambled a lot but this issue is important to me and I hope as more people get educated on all sides some action can be eventually reached. Thank you for posting this.

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kadaju86

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@fatalbanana: Pretty much agree fully with everything you've said. As for my post, there was more to it as a reply to someone else in here that claimed the gun ban in Australia had no effect and that Norway (which is where I'm from) and Finland had way more gun deaths than Sweden, where the poster claimed to live or be from, which was just factually wrong. He posted no sources, and now it seems his post is deleted along with my response to him so guessing he has infracted on some forum rules of some sort. As someone from outside the US the entire situation is sort of absurd to watch though, but a large part of that is that the media loves to sensationalize so most of what we see does get blown slightly (or majorly, depending on point of view) out of proportion. Hopefully there will be some good coming out of it in the end at least in terms of stricter gun control to make sure that individuals who should never under any circumstance can be more easily kept from getting guns than they are now over there.

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I've never held a gun in real life. I've never even SEEN a gun in real life.

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hippie_genocide

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#37  Edited By hippie_genocide

I own one gun, an World War 2 era M1 Garand, which is really more of a historical relic than a tool of self defense. Like the OP, I consider myself fairly moderate politically. I'm in favor of limited gun control in that I think you should be able to buy a gun that is appropriate for home defense or hunting, but everything else should be off limits. I realize that is kind of a slippery slope, but we're intelligent people and we should be able to figure that out. Contrary to the Constitution, I think gun ownership should be a privilege not a right, and as an American we've shown as a society that we done a poor job of handling that privilege. So, in that sense I do understand where the unilateral gun ban people are coming from, although I obviously don't agree fully.

Sorry, I don't have way to tie this into videogames.

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fatalbanana

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@kadaju86: Oh I see, I must have missed the comment you were referencing thank you for the clarification. I also agree and being an American it's a frustrating thing to watch this debate ebb and flow the way it has over the years. It almost always comes down to everyone yelling and no one listening. I'm hopeful more now than I have ever been though and I hope this new rise in the conversation brings some thoughtful conversation to light and we can all come to some sensible agreement. I think topics like this help and as long as we can stay civil, honest and truthful and hear each other out only good things can come from that.

The idea that someone who has decided that they don't care about laws against mass murder is going to obey gun laws is utterly asinine.

One more thing. I think you already made my point in your post already but I have a real problem with this line of logic. Saying "bad people are going to do bad things anyway so why do anything to try and stop it" its surprising to me how often I see this echoed. I know this isn't exactly what you are saying but what sticks out to me is how you only apply this to guns but seem to ignore the other places where this exact sentiment could be applicable. Why do we have laws at all if bad people are just going to break them anyway? Again I'm oversimplifying your point but I don't think I'm actually doing it that badly. The bias in the way of thinking here is heavily tipped towards guns being some exception to everything else we regulate in this country but I just don't think that's true or even should be true.

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notnert427

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#39  Edited By notnert427

@fatalbanana said:

One more thing. I think you already made my point in your post already but I have a real problem with this line of logic. Saying "bad people are going to do bad things anyway so why do anything to try and stop it" its surprising to me how often I see this echoed. I know this isn't exactly what you are saying but what sticks out to me is how you only apply this to guns but seem to ignore the other places where this exact sentiment could be applicable. Why do we have laws at all if bad people are just going to break them anyway? Again I'm oversimplifying your point but I don't think I'm actually doing it that badly. The bias in the way of thinking here is heavily tipped towards guns being some exception to everything else we regulate in this country but I just don't think that's true or even should be true.

Well, ideally laws serve as a deterrent to crime. With murder already being one of the most legally punitive crimes there is (for good reason), the idea of a far less punitive law like illegally possessing a firearm succeeding as a deterrent to (gun) murder where the law against murder did not is inherently asinine.

Guns are treated differently than other things and often viewed outside the realm of logic for reasons I've never understood. No one blames trucks for the tragedy in Nice. No one blames airplanes for 9/11. Yet when guns are used to commit horrific acts, suddenly the object is somehow to blame? I don't subscribe to that at all.

EDIT: I missed your earlier (very good) post. I read through the whole thing, and damn near completely agree with it. To clarify my point about guns as an object and address your very good point that assault weapons are specifically designed to kill people and effective in doing so, that is largely why I'm for classifying them as Class 3 to make them less readily available.

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odinsmana

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#40  Edited By odinsmana

@notnert427 said:
@fatalbanana said:

One more thing. I think you already made my point in your post already but I have a real problem with this line of logic. Saying "bad people are going to do bad things anyway so why do anything to try and stop it" its surprising to me how often I see this echoed. I know this isn't exactly what you are saying but what sticks out to me is how you only apply this to guns but seem to ignore the other places where this exact sentiment could be applicable. Why do we have laws at all if bad people are just going to break them anyway? Again I'm oversimplifying your point but I don't think I'm actually doing it that badly. The bias in the way of thinking here is heavily tipped towards guns being some exception to everything else we regulate in this country but I just don't think that's true or even should be true.

Well, ideally laws serve as a deterrent to crime. With murder already being one of the most legally punitive crimes there is (for good reason), the idea of a far less punitive law like illegally possessing a firearm succeeding as a deterrent to (gun) murder where the law against murder did not is inherently asinine.

Guns are treated differently than other things and often viewed outside the realm of logic for reasons I've never understood. No one blames trucks for the tragedy in Nice. No one blames airplanes for 9/11. Yet when guns are used to commit horrific acts, suddenly the object is somehow to blame? I don't subscribe to that at all.

The difference is that trucks and planes are necessary tools whose primary purpose is not related to violence. Regular people both need and use trucks and airplanes a lot more than they need and use guns (hunting rifles and shotguns are excluded to a certain degree).

I also wanted to comment on the discussion in this thread about the government becoming tyrannical if the citizens are not armed. As a non-American I always found this argument kinda confusing. Are the people using that argument saying that all the other western democracies where it`s not normal for people to own guns are either already tyrannical or on the verge of becoming so? If not then why will this happen in the US when it`s not happened elsewhere?

I guess I would also add that while I am for gun control and I am glad my country (Norway) employs it I still thinks guns are both cool and really fun to shoot. My father is both a hunter and used to be part of the Norwegian Home Guard which meant that I grew up shooting guns for fun and I still really enjoy skeet shooting. Guns are really fun and cool, but also incredibly dangerous and need to be treated as such.

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I had not really played Metal Gear Solid until the HD collection was released a few years. Once I moved on to MGS 4, I got to use the MK. 2 pistol. I already owned a Ruger Mark III 22/45, so it was pretty cool using it in game.

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#42  Edited By thatpinguino  Staff

@notnert427: Have you seen how much airport security has changed since 9/11? Have you seen how many concrete barriers have been put up around major walkways in major cities since car attacks have started? We absolutely have tightened security to defend against those kinds of attacks. We haven't thrown up our hands and said that plane and car attacks are just a part of living in the world.

That's not even addressing how unfair it is to compare the regulation of a weapon with the regulation of vehicles. Vehicles are already way more regulated than guns have ever been. You can't just gain access to a plane or a car on a whim in the way you can guns. You need training, licensing, and a host of insurances to use a car or a plane legally.

Guns are treated differently because they are different. They are the deadliest, easiest to use, readily available weapon in the US and the most powerful guns have no legitimate use beyond killing or maiming someone.

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notnert427

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#43  Edited By notnert427

@odinsmana said:
@notnert427 said:
@fatalbanana said:

One more thing. I think you already made my point in your post already but I have a real problem with this line of logic. Saying "bad people are going to do bad things anyway so why do anything to try and stop it" its surprising to me how often I see this echoed. I know this isn't exactly what you are saying but what sticks out to me is how you only apply this to guns but seem to ignore the other places where this exact sentiment could be applicable. Why do we have laws at all if bad people are just going to break them anyway? Again I'm oversimplifying your point but I don't think I'm actually doing it that badly. The bias in the way of thinking here is heavily tipped towards guns being some exception to everything else we regulate in this country but I just don't think that's true or even should be true.

Well, ideally laws serve as a deterrent to crime. With murder already being one of the most legally punitive crimes there is (for good reason), the idea of a far less punitive law like illegally possessing a firearm succeeding as a deterrent to (gun) murder where the law against murder did not is inherently asinine.

Guns are treated differently than other things and often viewed outside the realm of logic for reasons I've never understood. No one blames trucks for the tragedy in Nice. No one blames airplanes for 9/11. Yet when guns are used to commit horrific acts, suddenly the object is somehow to blame? I don't subscribe to that at all.

The difference is that trucks and planes are necessary tools whose primary purpose is not related. Regular people both need and use trucks and airplanes a lot more than they need and use guns (hunting rifles and shotguns are excluded to a certain degree).

I also wanted to comment on the discussion in this thread about the government becoming tyrannical if the citizens are not armed. As a non-American I always found this argument kinda confusing. Are the people using that argument saying that all the other western democracies where it`s not normal for people to own guns are either already tyrannical or on the verge of becoming so? If not then why will this happen in the US when it`s not happened elsewhere?

I guess I would also add that while I am for gun control and I am glad my country (Norway) employs it I still thinks guns are both cool and really fun to shoot. My father is both a hunter and used to be part of the Norwegian Home Guard which meant that I grew up shooting guns for fun and I still really enjoy skeet shooting. Guns are really fun and cool, but also incredibly dangerous and need to be treated as such.

I wouldn't go so far as to say guns are a "need", but an argument could be made for some degree of necessity here in terms of protection, given that many others here have guns. Not that I'm trying to somehow give guns "credit" for protecting people from a danger guns themselves present in the first place or anything, but given their existing prevalence here that at this point can't really be rectified unless someone comes up with a magic gun eraser, there absolutely is a case to be made for civilian gun ownership.

Comparing America to other Western democracies is apples and oranges. There isn't a country that makes for a reasonable analogue in terms of size, diversity, structure, culture, politics, etc., all of which somewhat invalidate attempts to apply things that do/don't work here over there or vice versa. I mean, American states arguably make for more apt comparisons to European countries, and the U.S. has fifty of them, which vary wildly, with state/federal governments wrestling over even the ability to enact legislation. It's...complicated.

Similarly, making blanket statements about other countries' governments based on government here isn't something I'm about to do. There are places where heavily restricting guns arguably works and places where it arguably doesn't, as well as governments that are tyrannical over a disarmed populace and governments that are relatively lax with a heavily armed populace. Playing the "well, this works here, so you should do it there" game is a fool's errand, IMO, and is fairly disrespectful as it somewhat intimates an air of superiority that "your country should be more like my country", which I'm neither into saying nor really hearing.

I, too, am for gun control, and while I believe we could employ it better here, I think more effort is presently made in the U.S. to that end than people generally acknowledge. I would be curious to hear about the Norwegian Home Guard and what that entails if you wish to share. Also, I couldn't agree more with your last sentence.

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fatalbanana

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#44  Edited By fatalbanana

@notnert427 said:
@odinsmana said:
@notnert427 said:
@fatalbanana said:

One more thing. I think you already made my point in your post already but I have a real problem with this line of logic. Saying "bad people are going to do bad things anyway so why do anything to try and stop it" its surprising to me how often I see this echoed. I know this isn't exactly what you are saying but what sticks out to me is how you only apply this to guns but seem to ignore the other places where this exact sentiment could be applicable. Why do we have laws at all if bad people are just going to break them anyway? Again I'm oversimplifying your point but I don't think I'm actually doing it that badly. The bias in the way of thinking here is heavily tipped towards guns being some exception to everything else we regulate in this country but I just don't think that's true or even should be true.

Well, ideally laws serve as a deterrent to crime. With murder already being one of the most legally punitive crimes there is (for good reason), the idea of a far less punitive law like illegally possessing a firearm succeeding as a deterrent to (gun) murder where the law against murder did not is inherently asinine.

Guns are treated differently than other things and often viewed outside the realm of logic for reasons I've never understood. No one blames trucks for the tragedy in Nice. No one blames airplanes for 9/11. Yet when guns are used to commit horrific acts, suddenly the object is somehow to blame? I don't subscribe to that at all.

The difference is that trucks and planes are necessary tools whose primary purpose is not related. Regular people both need and use trucks and airplanes a lot more than they need and use guns (hunting rifles and shotguns are excluded to a certain degree).

I also wanted to comment on the discussion in this thread about the government becoming tyrannical if the citizens are not armed. As a non-American I always found this argument kinda confusing. Are the people using that argument saying that all the other western democracies where it`s not normal for people to own guns are either already tyrannical or on the verge of becoming so? If not then why will this happen in the US when it`s not happened elsewhere?

I guess I would also add that while I am for gun control and I am glad my country (Norway) employs it I still thinks guns are both cool and really fun to shoot. My father is both a hunter and used to be part of the Norwegian Home Guard which meant that I grew up shooting guns for fun and I still really enjoy skeet shooting. Guns are really fun and cool, but also incredibly dangerous and need to be treated as such.

I wouldn't go so far as to say guns are a "need", but an argument could be made for some degree of necessity here in terms of protection, given that many others here have guns. Not that I'm trying to somehow give guns "credit" for protecting people from a danger guns themselves present in the first place or anything, but given their existing prevalence here that at this point can't really be rectified unless someone comes up with a magic gun eraser, there absolutely is a case to be made for civilian gun ownership.

Comparing America to other Western democracies is apples and oranges. There isn't a country that makes for a reasonable analogue in terms of size, diversity, structure, culture, politics, etc., all of which somewhat invalidate attempts to apply things that do/don't work here over there or vice versa. I mean, American states arguably make for more apt comparisons to European countries, and the U.S. has fifty of them, which vary wildly, with state/federal governments wrestling over even the ability to enact legislation. It's...complicated.

Similarly, making blanket statements about other countries' governments based on government here isn't something I'm about to do. There are countries where heavily restricting guns arguably works and countries where it arguably doesn't, as well as governments that are tyrannical over a disarmed populace and governments that are relatively lax with a heavily armed populace. Playing the "well, this works here, so you should do it there" game is a fool's errand, IMO, and is fairly disrespectful as it somewhat intimates an air of superiority that "your country should be more like my country", which I'm neither into saying nor really hearing.

I, too, am for gun control, and while I believe we could employ it better here, I think more effort is presently made in the U.S. to that end than people generally acknowledge. I would be curious to hear about the Norwegian Home Guard and what that entails if you wish to share. Also, I couldn't agree more with your last sentence.

If we are talking about protection then we have no argument @thatpinguino and @odinsmana made my point better than I did and I don't just want this to be a thread of us repeating each other so I would refer to his last comment for everything else. Also, you are right guns are ubiquitous here and there are no good ways to go about fixing that but there is something we can do about the guns that have yet to be released into the public and I think that's a fine place to start.

However, I want to focus on one of your last lines here. Can you explain this? I feel like I pay attention more than most to the gun discussion in America and I'm not sure what you're talking about here.

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Namoo

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@notnert427: Have you seen how much airport security has changed since 9/11? Have you seen how many concrete barriers have been put up around major walkways in major cities since car attacks have started? We absolutely have tightened security to defend against those kinds of attacks. We haven't thrown up our hands and said that plane and car attacks are just a part of living in the world.

That's not even addressing how unfair it is to compare the regulation of a weapon with the regulation of vehicles. Vehicles are already way more regulated than guns have ever been. You can't just gain access to a plane or a car on a whim in the way you can guns. You need training, licensing, and a host of insurances to use a car or a plane legally.

Guns are treated differently because they are different. They are the deadliest, easiest to use, readily available weapon in the US and the most powerful guns have no legitimate use beyond killing or maiming someone. Yet, they are regulated far less stringently than things like swords or novelty martial arts weapons.

Actually thats exactly what the mayor of London has said. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/sadiq-khan-london-mayor-terrorism-attacks-part-and-parcel-major-cities-new-york-bombing-a7322846.html

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As a Brit, I just don't have the cultural perspective. However, with centuries of history behind it, the second amendment won't vanish without decades of serious considerations. They're a consumer product now. The market and consumer will decide when it's time to make it a privilege rather than a right.

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#47 thatpinguino  Staff

@namoo: We can't stop every form of attack, but we can mitigate the risks and try new things. There's a difference between saying "this is part of life in the modern world, but let's try to stop as many of these attacks as we can" and "this is part of life in the modern world, so let's do nothing".

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notnert427

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@notnert427: Have you seen how much airport security has changed since 9/11? Have you seen how many concrete barriers have been put up around major walkways in major cities since car attacks have started? We absolutely have tightened security to defend against those kinds of attacks. We haven't thrown up our hands and said that plane and car attacks are just a part of living in the world.

That's not even addressing how unfair it is to compare the regulation of a weapon with the regulation of vehicles. Vehicles are already way more regulated than guns have ever been. You can't just gain access to a plane or a car on a whim in the way you can guns. You need training, licensing, and a host of insurances to use a car or a plane legally.

Guns are treated differently because they are different. They are the deadliest, easiest to use, readily available weapon in the US and the most powerful guns have no legitimate use beyond killing or maiming someone. Yet, they are regulated far less stringently than things like swords or novelty martial arts weapons.

I'm for making some changes. I've proposed reclassifying ARs, expanding background checks, and closing some gun show loopholes. I don't want to throw up my hands here, but I am trying to parse out a measured response that could legitimately translate to positive real-world effects, as opposed to measures that have failed in the past.

Guns are regulated and can be compared to certain legal requirements of driving or flying. In my state, which is on the more relaxed end in terms of gun laws, you can't own a weapon if you're under 18, whereas you can drive at age 15 and fly at any age. There are restrictions on gun ownership if you're a convicted felon, but you're allowed to drive or fly. Hunting here requires a license and a hunter's safety course, which is at least on par with the joke that is American driver's education/licensure, while you can hop on a plane without any ID at all if you're under 18. And again, this is in comparison to a state with lax gun control.

Cars, drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, etc. are far deadlier in the U.S. than guns. Moreover, hunting/target shooting is a legitimate use of guns. Also, please substantiate the claim that swords and martial arts weapons have more regulations than guns do.

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thatpinguino

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#49  Edited By thatpinguino  Staff

@notnert427: I edited that claim about swords and martial arts weapons out of my post because I really don't want to spend my afternoon combing through US sword laws when it really isn't key to my larger point.

I agree on most of your points of regulation and I understand that there are regulations on guns.

At the end of the day, I just don't like guns. I've never felt safer than the few months I spent living in Japan because I knew that the chances someone could draw a gun on me were near zero.

I read your whole op and I don't think there's a paragraph that articulates my issue with gun ownership better than your case for your ownership. You had a creep at your door and not only were you prepared to shoot them down with very little context, but you couldn't even think of what other solution you could or should have used. Having access to that tool almost escalated a breaking and entering into a lethal situation. The man should have been detered and should have been arrested, but a gun made lethal force a much higher possibility.

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@notnert427: Not the one you directed the question at, but can try to give at least something of an answer to it. The Norwegian National Guard is a branch of the military that was established in 1946 after seeing what happened when Norway was occupied during WW2. It is basically a rapid response unit of the army that is meant to secure infrastructure and assist the civilian population in case of war on Norwegian soil. Those who are part of it have undergone the one year compulsory military service, or 3-6 month voluntary training. As part of being in the National Guard you are handed a weapon by the army which you have at home and can use in case the country is occupied. The different weapons used by the National Guard seems to be MP5, MP7, AG3, HK416, MG3 and the FN Minimi; where the MP5, MP7 or AG3 is commonly what you are stationed with outside of active duty. The soldiers in the National Guard are generally civilians, though will be called in for additional training up until the age of 44 which is the maximum age unless you are fully enlisted.

Think that should be a decent general overview of it at least, though I am sure others might wish to add more if needed!