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Thread: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

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    Re: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend_Hellh0und View Post
    I for one am far more offended that the UK put these citizens at risk, depriving them of the basic right to self defense. I find it far more offensive that a nation disarms itself, and shows its belly to the wolf.


    It's an offensive act, this shooting, but a far more offensive act that thier government, made it easier for this savage to prey on the sheep.


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    Rev, people are only vulneraqble if the society is awash with firearms. As Alexa pointed out, the last spree killing incident was in 1996. Yes, there have been gun-related crimes since then, especially in gang-related crimes, but in an almost zero-crime area like Cumbria, people simply do not need them. Violent robbery, drug crime, gang membership and violent assault are virtually unknown in this rural region. Gun ownership would have made not one iota of difference to this incident unless people were walking around, living their daily lives carrying handguns. The perp shot a friend then got in his car and drove for 50 miles shooting from the window as he drove. The police didn't locate him and no one had any idea where he was until he drove by, blasting away. Who, armed or not, would have been able to do anything about it?

    Please read my previous post on the difference in the cultures of firearms between the US and the UK. Your system and approach would work no better in the UK than the introduction of the UK anti-gun culture would in the US. It certainly wouln't make the events and outcome of yesterday any less likely.
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    Re: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Rev, people are only vulneraqble if the society is awash with firearms. As Alexa pointed out, the last spree killing incident was in 1996. Yes, there have been gun-related crimes since then, especially in gang-related crimes, but in an almost zero-crime area like Cumbria, people simply do not need them. Violent robbery, drug crime, gang membership and violent assault are virtually unknown in this rural region. Gun ownership would have made not one iota of difference to this incident unless people were walking around, living their daily lives carrying handguns. The perp shot a friend then got in his car and drove for 50 miles shooting from the window as he drove. The police didn't locate him and no one had any idea where he was until he drove by, blasting away. Who, armed or not, would have been able to do anything about it?

    Please read my previous post on the difference in the cultures of firearms between the US and the UK. Your system and approach would work no better in the UK than the introduction of the UK anti-gun culture would in the US. It certainly wouln't make the events and outcome of yesterday any less likely.




    here in the US, it is quite the same, most "gun violence" is savage on savage in inner cities amongst the criminal element. Point being, the tool, used to kill these folks, could also have been the tool to save these folks.


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    Re: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend_Hellh0und View Post
    Point is, disarming the populace seems not to solve the issue of gun violence on the island.
    You are missing the point. You can't disarm a populace that has never owned guns, never needed to use guns for personal protection and has no desire to do so. In 1996 when the last spree killing event took place and the new tighter contols came in (they were already tighter than you would ever permit in the US), there was overwhelming (I think c. 88%) public approval for the new controls. Your position would require that the populace be armed... for the first time since the Napoleonic Wars, with no understanding of firearms, no skills in handling and safe-keeping. What kind of disaster waiting to happen would that introduce?
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    Re: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend_Hellh0und View Post
    here in the US, it is quite the same, most "gun violence" is savage on savage in inner cities amongst the criminal element. Point being, the tool, used to kill these folks, could also have been the tool to save these folks.


    did you read my link?
    Reading it as I write. Bear with me 10 minutes...

    A
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    Re: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    I'm afraid I think that this issue might have a certain Clash of Civilisations aspect. In the UK and here in Spain, I wouldn't presume to speak with any confidence about other European countries, gun ownership has no philosophical, political or cultural weight. Owning a gun is something you do if you need to for hunting, pest control or sporting reasons. Gun ownership appears in neither the Spanish constitution nor any of the canon of laws and precedent that makes up the informal British constitution. Added to this, in Britain at least, the idea that gun ownership for personal safety purposes is a quite alien concept, the (unarmed) police are there to protect the citizen and someone who might claim the need to own a gun for personal protection has always been seen as an oddity, a bit weird in fact. And this has always been the case for at least 200 years. I realise that this culture is utterly different from the attitude to gun ownership in the US.


    Beause of this culture of scepticism towards gun ownership spree killings seem to be a very rare and therefore very shocking event. The last spree killing in the UK was in 1996 in Dunblane. I certainly haven't been aware of any spree killings having taken place in Spain since I moved here in 2005. I think the incidence in the US is much greater. I'm not claiming any correlation between high levels of gun ownership and high levels of spree killing incidents as I don't have evidence to support such a claim. What I would claim is that the general public attitude towards such a tragic event is usually to support greater control of gun ownership.

    When I use the expression "Clash of Civilisations" I mean that attitudes on either side of the Atlantic seem to be diametrically opposed. The same issue, the same set of circumstances seem to elicit entirely different reactions. I'm not going to be so arrogant as to claim moral superiority for our attitude, but I hope US posters won't do the same and might give some thought to the idea that one size of solution might not fit all.

    A thoughtful reply, thank you. Yes, I expect there is a dramatic clash of cultures involved. America retains a historically recent frontier mindset, in that the oldest living citizens can still remember when a third of our nation was wilderness and the rule of law was as often enforced by citizens as police. We tolerate a certain level of disorder for the sake of individual liberty, in certain regards, and most of us still have a degree of admiration for the vigilante-icon. Despite eight decades of relative civilization, we retain a high regard for self-reliance and self-determination.

    Most Americans, when they first become aware that British police do not normally carry firearms, react with incredulity. It is difficult for us to conceptualize, when millions of citizens lawfully carry guns on a daily basis, and it is assumed that most criminals will be armed and many of them willing to fight.

    We do indeed have a higher murder rate than probably any European nation... but based on evidence that I've gathered from various sources, many of them British citizens, it would appear that we actually have a lower incidence of overall violent crime and petty theft. There was an intresting article by a Brit journalist who lived in America for a while, on how he actually felt safer on American city streets than on London's. He concluded that there were two reasons: one, that private citizens were armed and able to defend themselves and their property; two, that in America public drunkenness was not remotely tolerated to the degree it is in Britain.

    As for the incidence of spree killings in America, I have some points on that I'll address momentarily...



    Quote Originally Posted by alexa View Post
    As Andalublue has accurately said this is a very uncommon occurance in this country, and, to be perfectly frank, I do not think I have noticed that having guns has been of much help to people caught in a similar situation to this in the US.
    The overwhelming consensus in this country is that we do not want guns, not for ourselves or for our police. I think Andalublue's putting it as a 'clash of civilisations' over this is a very good one. Understand we do not want guns. No one is asking for guns. If there were anyway of having even less guns that is what they would be asking for, but again, in a situation like this, I have not noticed that having guns helps the US one bit and the US has a lot more incidents like this than we do.

    To address the bolded sentences: if you look carefully at the details of mass-murder spree-shootings in the USA, you will find that they almost exclusively happen in what we call "gun-free zones". These are areas that are mandated by State or Federal law to exclude privately-carried firearms. They include schools, universities, churches and so forth. Others are business properties which are posted "No concealable weapons", excluding private citizens with carry permits from carrying a gun on the premises. The corrolary to "gun-free zones" is that only law-abiding citizens obey the ban, and criminals and crazies do not. Mass-murder events almost always occur in these "gun-free zones" and very rarely does any spree-killer attempt to commit mass-murder in a place where he expects to encounter armed opposition by citizens.

    This should tell us something right there: the majority of spree-killing crazies have enough sense to be deterred by the thought of armed opposition. Eliminate gun-free-zones and we might well reduce the incidence of spree-killings to even less than Europe's.



    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    Although I believe people should have the right to own guns, I'm far from convinced that it would make much of a difference in situations such as this. These were people who were just going about their daily lives when this crackpot started shooting at them. If they owned guns, it's doubtful they would have been carrying them or had time to respond.
    It's just a horrible incident.
    This is a common fallacy. I've addressed the fact that most spree-killings usually happen in "gun-free zones" above, but let me address this bolded sentence. People who have concealed-carry permits vary greatly in their habits of carrying; there are those like me who carry all the time, everywhere it is lawful for me to do so; many are more irregular in their carrying habits; some only carry if they feel they have an "elevated risk" situation.

    Whether someone can deploy a firearm in time to stop a spree-killer will be dependent on many things: their own mental preparedness and awareness, in particular, and the circumstances of the event as well. As I've said elsewhere, I teach defensive handgunning to citizens and I heavily emphasize awareness, mental readiness and decision-making as being vitally important.

    An example would be the massacre in Luby's Cafe in Texas, one of the earlier examples of public spree-killings in the US...roughly two decades ago now I think. A woman who survived the incident wrote a book on the subject. At the time Texas did not have a concealed-carry permit system that was accessible to regular citizens. The woman in question had a gun, but it was in her car. She told of how she and her companions hid behind a table, and how a considerable amount of time went by as the killer casually strolled around, shooting people in the head or chest at close range. She noted that if she had had a firearm on her person, she could easily have had time to draw it and opportunity to shoot him from cover while he was otherwise distracted, perhaps cutting the death-toll dramatically. She also noted that she WOULD have had a gun on her person, had it been lawful in Texas at that time.

    Incidents like Luby's were part of why 41 states have enacted easy-to-get concealed carry permits. To date, armed citizens have proven to be remarkably responsible and law-abiding.

    The whole subject is much more complex than any simple comparison of statistics or listing of incidents. The devil is in the details, as they say.

    At any rate, sympathies to our British posters for this tragedy they have suffered.
    Last edited by Goshin; 06-03-10 at 11:30 AM.

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    Re: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    You are missing the point. You can't disarm a populace that has never owned guns, never needed to use guns for personal protection and has no desire to do so. In 1996 when the last spree killing event took place and the new tighter contols came in (they were already tighter than you would ever permit in the US), there was overwhelming (I think c. 88%) public approval for the new controls. Your position would require that the populace be armed... for the first time since the Napoleonic Wars, with no understanding of firearms, no skills in handling and safe-keeping. What kind of disaster waiting to happen would that introduce?



    I think far less a disaster than you think.


    We heard similar cries of some regarding the expiration of the AWB here. They said the streets would run with rivers of blood and other nonsense.... AK's would be sold to childeren on every street corner, crime would sky rocket, etc...


    Do you know what happened?


    Lawful folks could decide for themselves what firearms they could buy... No one was hurt by the lifting of restrictions. Have a little faith.
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    Re: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend_Hellh0und View Post
    here in the US, it is quite the same, most "gun violence" is savage on savage in inner cities amongst the criminal element. Point being, the tool, used to kill these folks, could also have been the tool to save these folks.


    did you read my link?
    Yes, just finished with it. I think it's a very well-written article with a lot of truth and a morally unimpeachable honesty. I have nothing to say in criticism and I am, despite being an unreconstructed lefty, always grateful for the sacrifice and the commitment of the security services, even though I'm often critical of some of their short-comings.

    What I'm trying to argue is that you cannot make a one-size-fits-all solution to incidents such as the one we are discussing when each one takes place in radically different social environments and cultures. Britain and the US are culturally divided by much, much more than Churchil's quip about a common language. One of the most fundamental differences is in relation to the degree of socialisation vs. individualisation of each society. I'd explain that by suggesting that British people are at root trusting of authority and hence constantly disappointed by the behaviour of their political elites. US society seems to approach authority with a fundamental suspicion of governmental authority, and might generally have their suspicions reinforced, occasionally proved wrong.

    The British as a whole (and countless opinion polls and consultations with police officers reveal the same) DO NOT WANT an armed population or police force, not because they want to behave as sheep, as per your link article, but because if you limit access to firearms to all, you limit access to sheep, sheepdogs AND wolves. If you make gun ownership and the procurement of weapons more difficult, vigilance of the illegal trade becomes tighter too; you cannot then mistake an illicit trade transaction for a legitimate one if there are no legitimate ones.

    In fear of repeating myself, you cannot turn a non-gun-owning society into a gun-owning society in the hope that the small number of shocking incidents such as yesterday's, the like of which happen on average about once a decade, might possibly have been prevented had someone, somewhere had a gun to hand.

    I'm making no recommendations about what the attitude of Americans should be towards gun ownership as yours is clearly not a society I'm too familiar with. I am saying that any move towards turning British society from a gun-rejecting into a gun-accepting culutre would be a very, very bad transformation and would lead to a situation where the gun death rate, which currently stands at less than a third of that of the US, would supersede it very quickly because of the ignorance and unfamiliarity of using, storing and maintaining weapons and through ignorance of the dangers and consequences of gun ownership and misuse - a practice and tradition that is entirely alien to the vast majority of Britons.
    Last edited by Andalublue; 06-03-10 at 11:51 AM.
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    Re: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    You might like to reflect that this has zero to do with US domestic politics. This didn't happen in the US, the issues of gun ownership in the UK are completely different and the entire culutral significance of firearms ownership is different. Why not restrict such polemics to incidents where your pro- vs. anti-gun debate has relevance.
    Dont be silly...I dont LIVE in England anymore...so therefore what the brits do HAS no relevance to me. The ONLY relevance is in COMPARING ineffective policies (like...you know...banning firearm ownership...as effective as banning drug ownership...criminals somehow seem to consistently NOT get the memo...).

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    Re: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Yes, just finished with it. I think it's a very well-written article with a lot of truth and a morally unimpeachable honesty. I have nothing to say in criticism and I am, despite being an unreconstructed lefty, always grateful for the sacrifice and the commitment of the security services, even though I'm often critical of some of their short-comings.

    Thank you for this.


    What I'm trying to argue is that you cannot make a one-size-fits-all solution to incidents such as the one we are discussing when each one takes place in radically different social environments and cultures. Britain and the US are culturally divided by much, much more than Churchil's quip about a common language. One of the most fundamental differences is in relation to the degree of socialisation vs. individualisation of each society. I'd explain that by suggesting that British people are at root trusting of authority and hence constantly disappointed by the behaviour of their political elites. US society seems to approach authority with a fundamental suspicion of governmental authority, and might generally have their suspicions reinforced, occasionally proved wrong.

    The British as a whole (and countless opinion polls and consultations with police officers reveal the same) DO NOT WANT an armed population or police force, not because they want to behave as sheep, as per your link article, but because if you limit access to firearms to all, you limit access to sheep, sheepdogs AND wolves. If you make gun ownership and the procurement of weapons more difficult, vigilance of the illegal trade becomes tighter too; you cannot then mistake an illicit trade transaction for a legitimate one if there are no legitimate ones.

    In fear of repeating myself, you cannot turn a non-gun-owning society into a gun-owning society in the hope that the small number of shocking incidents such as yesterday's, the like of which happen on average about once a decade, might possibly have been prevented had someone, somewhere had a gun to hand.

    I'm making no recommendations about what the attitude of Americans should be towards gun ownership as yours is clearly not a society I'm too familiar with. I am saying that any move towards turning British society from a gun-rejecting into a gun-accepting culutre would be a very, very bad transformation and would lead to a situation where the gun death rate, which currently stands at less than a third of that of the US, would supersede it very quickly because of the ignorance and unfamiliarity of using, storing and maintaining weapons and through ignorance of the dangers and consequences of gun ownership and misuse - a practice and tradition that is entirely alien to the vast majority of Britons.


    but see, it is a one size fits all approach. Freedom, fits everyone. Just because one ends prohibitions on freedoms, guns in this case, would not mean that the hordes of british masses would all seek out guns and ammo but would mean the average brit would have the freedom of choice to choose his own destiny not rely on an inneffective govermnent to protect him.
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    Re: Gunman kills several in west Cumbria

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    A thoughtful reply, thank you. Yes, I expect there is a dramatic clash of cultures involved. America retains a historically recent frontier mindset, in that the oldest living citizens can still remember when a third of our nation was wilderness and the rule of law was as often enforced by citizens as police. We tolerate a certain level of disorder for the sake of individual liberty, in certain regards, and most of us still have a degree of admiration for the vigilante-icon. Despite eight decades of relative civilization, we retain a high regard for self-reliance and self-determination.

    Most Americans, when they first become aware that British police do not normally carry firearms, react with incredulity. It is difficult for us to conceptualize, when millions of citizens lawfully carry guns on a daily basis, and it is assumed that most criminals will be armed and many of them willing to fight.

    We do indeed have a higher murder rate than probably any European nation... but based on evidence that I've gathered from various sources, many of them British citizens, it would appear that we actually have a lower incidence of overall violent crime and petty theft. There was an intresting article by a Brit journalist who lived in America for a while, on how he actually felt safer on American city streets than on London's. He concluded that there were two reasons: one, that private citizens were armed and able to defend themselves and their property; two, that in America public drunkenness was not remotely tolerated to the degree it is in Britain.

    As for the incidence of spree killings in America, I have some points on that I'll address momentarily...






    To address the bolded sentences: if you look carefully at the details of mass-murder spree-shootings in the USA, you will find that they almost exclusively happen in what we call "gun-free zones". These are areas that are mandated by State or Federal law to exclude privately-carried firearms. They include schools, universities, churches and so forth. Others are business properties which are posted "No concealable weapons", excluding private citizens with carry permits from carrying a gun on the premises. The corrolary to "gun-free zones" is that only law-abiding citizens obey the ban, and criminals and crazies do not. Mass-murder events almost always occur in these "gun-free zones" and very rarely does any spree-killer attempt to commit mass-murder in a place where he expects to encounter armed opposition by citizens.

    This should tell us something right there: the majority of spree-killing crazies have enough sense to be deterred by the thought of armed opposition. Eliminate gun-free-zones and we might well reduce the incidence of spree-killings to even less than Europe's.





    This is a common fallacy. I've addressed the fact that most spree-killings usually happen in "gun-free zones" above, but let me address this bolded sentence. People who have concealed-carry permits vary greatly in their habits of carrying; there are those like me who carry all the time, everywhere it is lawful for me to do so; many are more irregular in their carrying habits; some only carry if they feel they have an "elevated risk" situation.

    Whether someone can deploy a firearm in time to stop a spree-killer will be dependent on many things: their own mental preparedness and awareness, in particular, and the circumstances of the event as well. As I've said elsewhere, I teach defensive handgunning to citizens and I heavily emphasize awareness, mental readiness and decision-making as being vitally important.

    An example would be the massacre in Luby's Cafe in Texas, one of the earlier examples of public spree-killings in the US...roughly two decades ago now I think. A woman who survived the incident wrote a book on the subject. At the time Texas did not have a concealed-carry permit system that was accessible to regular citizens. The woman in question had a gun, but it was in her car. She told of how she and her companions hid behind a table, and how a considerable amount of time went by as the killer casually strolled around, shooting people in the head or chest at close range. She noted that if she had had a firearm on her person, she could easily have had time to draw it and opportunity to shoot him from cover while he was otherwise distracted, perhaps cutting the death-toll dramatically. She also noted that she WOULD have had a gun on her person, had it been lawful in Texas at that time.

    Incidents like Luby's were part of why 41 states have enacted easy-to-get concealed carry permits. To date, armed citizens have proven to be remarkably responsible and law-abiding.

    The whole subject is much more complex than any simple comparison of statistics or listing of incidents. The devil is in the details, as they say.

    At any rate, sympathies to our British posters for this tragedy they have suffered.
    Thanks for that post, really very thoughtful and convincing, but in its American context. Your analysis of the difference in the historical social evolution of our societies is spot on. The two societies are not the same and to try to fix the problems of one using the methods of another isn't always advisable. We have and do exchange many ideas and social innovations across the Atlantic and with much success, but I think that success only derives from a rigorous process of contextualising those ideas and making them relevant where they can be relevant. There are European countries where gun ownership and attitudes to it are more comparable with the US (Switzerland and Sweden spring to mind) but others, like the UK, Ireland and Spain, have an utterly different mindset.
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