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42. Posted by NantesFC (Respected Member 531 posts) 9y

It's easy to make light of the situation when it doesn't occur in your country or doesn't have anything to do with you which is wrong. Banning guns is something that will never happen in the US. They could however do more with the gun laws we have now. When registering/purchasing a gun you need to meet a few criteria. Cho Seung-Hui purchased one of the guns from a pawnshop in VA. Apparently, this was legally done and he met all the criteria to obtain the gun. We are now finding out that he was mentally unstable and that he was VOLUNTARILY admitted into a mental institute. However, had he been INVOLUNTARILY admitted, he wouldn't have been allowed to purchase a gun. We don't know much about him but that he was a loner. He didn't talk to anyone, he kept to himself. I (and most) doubt that he had any connections to the underworld. If gun laws were more stringent he would've been denied gun ownership and hence this would have never happened (assuming he didn't have access to illegal firearms). Current laws aren't good enough. If someone who was admitted to a mental hospital for suicidal tendencies can go and legally purchase 2 handguns something is definitely wrong with the system.

43. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

I've cleaned up this thread. Maybe I was just raised differently than some of you, but in light of what happened at VT, comments like those made earlier in this thread seem totally inappropriate.

I've been discussing the gun issue with some others in recent days. Personally I think the constitution is being seriously mis-used/interpreted when used by the gun lobby to justify the readily available arms. It was written at a time when those writing it couldn't foresee consequences like the ones occurring now. I reckon that very intelligent bunch of people drafting the constitution would have changed the wording immediately if they knew what was to come out of it....

Unfortunately though, the gun lobby is extremely powerful in the States and I don't think this law will change any time soon. Not long after the shooting I heard one of them talking about how it was a pity there were not more guns at the school so someone could have stopped the shooter by shooting him.... that kind of logic is nuts!

I think the number of shootings like this would go down drastically if guns were harder to come by, especially by people who have a record of mental issues/police notings (like this shooter). The easier weapons are available, the easier it is for things like this to happen. For example, in the UK aparently there was a higher rate of suicides several years ago when a different type of gas was pumped through the pipes. It was a more lethal gas than what is used today and immediately after changing the rate of suicides dropped drastically, simply because the easy, convenient method was gone.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on it, but unfortunately I doubt this will change anytime soon and this makes me sad as it's just a matter of time before the next shooting like this

44. Posted by vxmike (Budding Member 64 posts) 9y

Quoting mikeyBoab

It is my understanding that there are approximately 200 million registered firearms in the US. Is banning them really going to get rid of the problem? Isn't it a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted?

Yes. In addition such a change would ensure that only criminals would have guns -- the only people such a law would affect are the law-abiding gun owners.

A gun is simply a tool, IMO. The old phrase "guns don't kill people. people kill people" is true to me. Why don't we try to address the reasons for mass murders in the US rather than restrict what is a useful tool for many people? Cho could have used a bomb, poison, fire, sword, etc not to mention the fact he could have obtained a gun illegally easily enough if needed.

I think banning personal weapons is a violation of freedom. There are many parts of the US that just aren't very safe - I live in one and thus I feel firearms are a necessity. I've had people try to get in my car when I've been stopped at a light at night. If someone tries to break into my house when I'm home there is really little I can use to adequately protect myself other than a firearm.

45. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

Quoting vxmike

A gun is simply a tool, IMO. The old phrase "guns don't kill people. people kill people" is true to me.

To quote Eddie Izzard - 'I think the gun helps'.

Why do people want to own tools for killing people? If it's only criminals that can own them, at least they can be prosecuted for it.

I don't think most Americans are ready to give up their guns though, so its not really worth arguing about - what this case does highlight is that at the very least shops that sell guns need to be forced to be a bit more selective about who they sell to.

46. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Quoting magykal1

Why do people want to own tools for killing people? If it's only criminals that can own them, at least they can be prosecuted for it.

I agree. A gun's only purpose is to kill, so why else would anyone own a gun if not with the intent of killing someone or something? That in itself should be enough to put very, very tight restrictions on who can own a gun.

Guns are also a quick, easy, impersonal way to kill - something people pick up in the heat of a moment. I wonder how many gun deaths would have been prevented if the shooter had been given a 10-minute time out...

47. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 9y

[quote=Fun Bobby WTF!!![/quote]

Wilt thou taketh my acronym in vain

48. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Quoting 'Sam I Am'.
"Not long after the shooting I heard one of them talking about how it was a pity there were not more guns at the school so someone could have stopped the shooter by shooting him.... that kind of logic is nuts!"

I don't think that logic is nuts at all. If the pilots of the 9/11/01 planes had been armed, I seriously doubt they would have surrendered the cockpit to men armed with box cutters. US pilots can now carry pistols after attending a firearms training course. That makes sense.

Armed teachers is another question. That was addressed in the Nevada Legislature this year. It did not pass, but it was proposed that teachers be allowed to carry a firearm in the classroom. This was in reaction to a gun incident at a Vegas school. The thinking was that a kid with a gun could not intimidate a school if he knows the teachers are also armed. The Nevada teachers rejected the idea and it died in committee. However, we do have armed security guards in all middle and high schools in Vegas. A sign of the times if anyone needed another example.

49. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

This has been a interesting discussion on a difficult topic. Isadora gave everyone a history lesson on the reason why the US has so many guns in the hands of its citizens. It is a fact that there are over 200 million legal, registered guns already in the general population. There is absolutely no chance that legal gun owners are going to turn in their guns voluntarily if Congress passed a take back law. And no politican that wants to retain their job would even propose such a law. Those are the facts and all gun discussion has to take into account guns that are already in the hands of US citizens.

Several posters have questioned the ease of buying a gun from a store. Or how a mentally unstable person could pass the background check. The fact is that nobody really has to go to a gun store to acquire a gun. Take a look in any major newspaper and you will see used guns for sale. There is no background check or questions. A willing seller and a willing buyer agree on a price and the transaction is complete. Seung-Hui Cho could of bought a used gun right out of the classified ads and there would be no record of the purchase.

Like it or not, that is the way it is in America.

50. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 9y

I think an issue is that the guns laws... well, most laws actually were drawn up over 100 years ago and have really lost much of their relevance. Laws should flow and change with the culture and current morality.

Yes having guns on the hips of teachers MAY prevent such high amounts of deaths in schools. But it doesn't solve the problem of a Gun-Culture at large. I forget the study location at the moment, but it went into detail people who keep guns for self defence are more likely to be injured or killed by an attacker. The attacker in many cases becomes more violent because they are now threatened.

So unless you can take them down, don't bother pulling it out.