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Question to Americans (USA)!!!

Travel Forums North America Question to Americans (USA)!!!

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1. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 11y

Hello American TP members,

What do you think of the gunlaw in the US. For me its kind of strange that guns are legal there. Would there be less killings when gun use was prohibited? Or is it just the opposite (like in Holland with legalised coffeeshops, in Holland less people use drugs as for instance UK).

Do you own a gun yourself and why?

Wouter

2. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Not exactly sure how I feel about the USA gun laws. It has always been a right for American citizens, it's in our original constitution: "the right to bear arms."

There are laws prohibiting people form carrying the gun as a "concealed" weapon.

I guess I think it's ok for people to own a gun, if they wish, in order to protect themsleves. BUT I do think there should be a better screening process (so the wrong types of people cannot get guns so easily), but then again, just as with drugs, or whatever, people would just get them illegally.

So I guess it is better that it is legal to own a gun so that law obeying citizens can also own one, and not just the criminals, who would have them whether it was legal or not.

By the way, I don't own a gun because they scare me, accidents, etc.. But I have a relative that owns about 20.

Is it legal to own a gun in any European countries?

3. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 11y

There is no European country where weapons are legalized. In fact the USA is very well known for this legislation in Europe. From European point of view there will be more killings by gunshotaccidents when its easy for civilians to buy it. I think its better to prohibit weapons because I think its just safer. There are so much people who have bad intentions other then just protect themselves (maybe I have a distorted vision about guns and USA due to wild-west scenes from Hollywood movies and American reality programs on Dutch television).

Ever seen a gunfight in real live?? or is the USA not that criminal as I think

4. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I'd say the USA is not as criminal as it appears on TV :) . But them again I don't hang out in "ghettos" and areas where there may really be more gun type activity.

One time in San Diego, I was riding my bike, and saw a crowd of people gathering around someone on the ground. He had just (maybe 2-3 minutes ago) been shot by someone from the window right above us. The shooter was still up there, so I got on my bike and got out of there quickly. I did see all the blood coming out of his upper leg. By the way, this was in an area where I would ride my bike almost everyday, right along the beach.

But I think that's the only time I've ever personally seen anything involving a gun (and I'm out & about every day for many, many years).

5. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 11y

I guess its not as bad as I thought. Apparently legislation of guns doesn't bring more criminality. I realise that I live in a city (near Maastricht-Holland) where have been a few drugkillings this year. So legal gun use or not there will still such criminalty.

6. Posted by tmc7427 (Inactive 42 posts) 11y

In NYC, most of the shootings occure from people buying guns off the street, not from gun shops. (Unless you see the occasional NYPD operation/arrest f___ up!)But, things have been tougher since 911, so its much safer here now. I work EMS here (Ambulance for the Euros), and have seen a significant drop in shootings. Last year I responded to 2 shootings, where the years before 911 there would be numerous shootings per week. As always, watch your back, but the risk is lower then going to Cairo or Isreal, and I'm planning Cairo for early Dec. See ya.

7. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Hey Wouterrr,

Now that you've discovered that America is NOT as dangerous as you thought is was, does that mean that you're NOT gonna come visit us.

8. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

Hey Wouterrr,

Now that you've discovered that America is NOT as dangerous as you thought is was, does that mean that you're NOT gonna come visit us.

The USA is such a boring country.......you should use your guns more!!! They are not legale for nothing. I want to see some action. I am going to the states for my fun not for not seeing NO ACTION, I want some serious shooting like the Hollywood movies..... In fact USA is not like Hollywood but more like Bollywood

Just kidding......I would love to visit US, really!!!!!!!!

9. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

I have a gun and a concealed weapons permit. I can't take it into hospitals, churches, schools, state or federal offices....and if in my car, it can not be with in 'reaching' distance of me. It must also be locked in a box, unloaded if in the car.
Lots of gun laws, but I don't think it would ever be possible to take the guns away from Americans. It would be like telling us we can no longer vote. As Jeff said, it is in our constitution. And it is always harder to take away something than it is to give it;)
I have seen one shoot-out, in Tucson (no one was injured, they were all terrible shots;)) But I have seen guns drawn many times. I am always in the wrong place at the wrong time;)

10. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 11y

In order to understand why we have the "right to bear arms" in the United States, one must understand from an historical context the original purpose of this amendment (change) to the Constitution.

For those of you who are foreigners and not familiar with the US Constitution, the first 10 amendments were adopted almost immediately after the Constitution itself, and are commonly referred to as the "Bill of Rights" since most of these relate to personal freedoms such as choice of religion, right to meet together peacefully or complain about the government and our leaders, protection against unreasonable searches, the right--if jailed--to know what crime you are being charged with and have a speedy trial, the right to a trial by the people--not just judges, the right to not have an unusual punishment imposed--and the "right to bear arms".

However, the 2nd amendment--which relates to "right to bear arms" was originally established to allow local militias, so as to be able to protect the individual states against a national military that might be organized by a President to establish a dictatorship, against foreign powers, and to protect against bandits and indians (american tribes, that is). However, it was written in a way to allow all individuals--not just groups to have guns.

Note the actual wording of the amendment: It reads word-for-word only 27 words total, which are: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." One could easily argue that the intent was to allow guns only to form a militia--not for every person to protect themself.

See this website for the arguments on both sides of the issue of actually allowing individuals to own guns versus the dangers thereof and what the original intent of the Founding Fathers may have been: http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_2nd.html

Personally, I don't own a gun--though I can understand why people think they (and not just criminals--who seem to always be able to get guns) should be allowed to have them. The reason I don't own a gun is because statistics show that if I own one, I am 3 times more likely to use it on a member of my own family (or them against me) during a fit of rage, than the odds are that I will ever use it to protect myself against a crime being committed against myself or my family.

In fact, to try and lower this statistics, most states have a three-day waiting period to buy a gun--during which time your background must be checked to make sure you are not a former felon or mental patient. Despite this waiting period, most major violent crimes in the US are committed by people who have previously committed a crime. Personally, I think the problem is with the criminal system as much as it is with the law. (and you should know that many states have now instituted "3 strikes and you're out" laws that say the third time you commit a crime using a gun, you go to jail for life with no possibility of parole).

It's a bit of an American cultural problem--with no easy solution.