I dont mean to be funny,
but serves him right
A Dallas man who accidently shot himself in the head while "showing off his pistol to friends" at a party last Saturday looks certain to make the 2008 Darwin Awards nominations. According to the Dallas Morning News Andreous Robinson, 20, had been partying with chums in West Dallas when he decided to pop outside at around 1am …
"Real life Dirty Harry.
I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a pistol, and would blow a whole in your head, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
I don't think we have a monopoly on stupid people. Whilst I enjoy the banter in El Reg comments, this is just a tad inappropriate, and frankly, idiotic.
I can enjoy the best any culture has to offer, regardless of who their leader is or what their policies are. And I can laugh at the idiots of any nation along with everybody else. However, I don't dislike any nationality just for the sake of it.
2 things that every thing and every one dealing with firearms will hammer into you
Always treat a firearm as if it is loaded
Never point a firearm as some thing you are not willing to destroy.
For those of you that live in countries that don't offer you easy access to a gun, not all americans own guns, and not all gun owners are retarded. There are some that own them for hunting, or in some areas they are used to defend crops and livestock from predatory animals, no we haven't killed them all yet, but not for a lack of trying by some.
Of course there are some people that are just plain stupid, such as the subject of this article, the vast majority of people that choose to obtain a gun in a less than legal way, the people that decide that shooting everyone else around them is a great way to spend an afternoon, and our Vice President's favorite pass time, the shooting of lawyers... wait maybe that last one should be on the good uses list.
....America has over 300M people, and over 1Bn weapons of various types. Per capita, there's enough guns in the US for everyone to have three. Statistically speaking, our gun death rate is really quite low, considering the amount of armed citizens in the populace.
Furthermore, while stupid, this is basically just another death by misadventure. How many people have been killed by misusing other types of machines through the years? Lathes, presses, conveyors, robotic assembly plants, etc?
If anything, this dude is the exception to the rule. The vast majority of gun owners will go their entire lives without ever shooting a person, either accidentally or intentionally.
Finally, the gun laws in the US have nothing to do with this idiot. As long as he's never been convicted of a felony, nor been committed to a mental institution, nor had official restraining orders placed upon him, he shot himself perfectly legally.
Something that I feel my British friends fail to think about is that a comprehensive gun ban and confiscation is simply impossible in America, from both a cultural and logistical standpoint. There are simply too many firearms in the country to ever get them all, and the people who own them are highly unlikely to give them up without a fight. Put yourself into the shoes of a 19 year old national guardsman-- would you really want to be on the detail who goes door to door and asks grizzled redneck types to surrender their grandfather's shooting irons? As that guardsman, would you be willing to arrest, or possibly shoot and kill, your fellow countrymen, who have been charged with no crime, and have probably never committed one?
For good or evil, guns remain a huge part of American life, especially in the Southern and Western regions.
I mean wow! That is just soooo stupid. Overlooking the whole "anyone can have a gun" thing, they should at least be forced to undergo some basic training in the safe use of firearms before being let loose with them. They're not bleeding toys!
Ah well, we can laugh at the guy, but I can't bring myself to laugh at his family/friends :o( At least "the helicopter guy" was trying to do something moderately useful, even if he did make a pigs ear of it. This was plain retarded. The *only* good thing about it is he put the gun to his own head.
As for the safety comment above, anyone relying on the safety for their own and others wellbeing should be promptly sectioned. The only safe gun is an empty one, with the chamber open to prove it.
>To the outside world, (well from the UK,) the US gun laws seem crazy!
Had he lived, he'd be charged with multiple crimes...and potentially felonies. Considering discharging guns into the air are associated with inner city gang bangers, the gun was almost certainly illegally posessed to begin with.
You can't buy a handgun in Texas unless you are at least 21, but thanks for lumping all Americans in with this miscreant; had to be provided by another, likely illegally. I for one am glad he is no longer able to contribute to the gene pool. No thought to where the other bullets went, no concern that there could be a live round in the firearm, or whether or not his miserable life was worth the next trigger pull.
Americans with guns have proven that Brits with guns aren't really all that dangerous, either as foes or as allies. America owes much to that oft-demonstrated fact. Now, a Brit with a beer or 10, that's a scary thought, as these pages have amply documented.
Some of the world's worst outcomes (US and UK both) have been immediately preceded by somebody saying, "Here, hold my beer and watch this." This is an exemplar.
Its surprising how many people do survive when they attempt suicide that way, which is why it's not a recommended method of self termination. Too many end up with brain damage and ironically an even worse life than the one they were trying to escape.
However even if the guy ended his life immediately my guess would be the general "having a laugh" nature of his demise would be clue enough to suggest he thought the gun was empty.
And I think while this will possibly get an honourable mention from the Darwin Awards, usually you have to do something significantly more stupid than merely fail to keep track of the number of shots you fired if you want to 'win'. Something both creative and yet at the same time spectacularly stupid is required.
I must say I was disappointed with last year's winner, I felt the attempted mole eradication was a far more worthy recipient. Succumbing to addiction in a creative manner is less stupidity, more desperation imo.
" I don't think we have a monopoly on stupid people. Whilst I enjoy the banter in El Reg comments, this is just a tad inappropriate, and frankly, idiotic.
I can enjoy the best any culture has to offer, regardless of who their leader is or what their policies are. And I can laugh at the idiots of any nation along with everybody else. However, I don't dislike any nationality just for the sake of it."
It isn't that there are more idiots in the US per capita, its just that your country decides to arm them with guns which can be bought from supermarkets.
Now that is stupid, really stupid regardless of the president your gun laws are the laughing stock of the civilized world.
hole, not whole
We (being the rest of the world) are very specific in which nation we think have a scarily high proportion of idiots.
Yes other countries probably have a similar proportion (discuss); but since USAians wield a disproportionate influence in global affairs, it's a whole lot scarier that so many USAians seem so idiotic.
Especially the Idiot-in-Chief.
"To the outside world, (well from the UK,) the US gun laws seem crazy!"
piss-off. You've got a big problem. Maybe if more of your populace
was well armed, they could scare off some of your criminals.
[Between 1997 and 2003] crimes with [banned firearms] have more than doubled.... In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose — by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offenses were committed....
Clearly since the ban criminals have not found it difficult to get guns and the balance has not shifted in the interest of public safety....
In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century....
A recent study of all the countries of western Europe has found that in 2001 Britain had the worst record for killings, violence and burglary, and its citizens had one of the highest risks in the industrialized world of becoming victims of crime....
And here’s the icing on the cake: “[A] United Nations study of eighteen industrialized countries, including the United States, published in 2002 ... found England and Wales at the top of the Western world’s crime league, with the worst record for ‘very serious’ offenses.” [Emphasis added]
This is exactly why every citizen of this country has the right to own a firearm. Think how much money, time and effort are saved from Social Security, inappropriate voting of thier governor to President, psychatrist payments and other nationalized services (welfare) because he did what needed to be done.
American accomplishments far outweigh the stupidity of a few yahoos. Yank-bashing is just a sport for those embarrassed about their own country's lack of accomplishment. We see it all the time here in Canada. Looking down on someone is so much easier than actually putting in the effort to contribute something worthwhile.
"One stupid american down, 300000000 to go"
I can read your mind. In your mind, this man was a white adult male wearing a wifebeater T-shirt, drinking beer, with a baseball cap and a denim shirt. This is the kind of person you fear and despise, and want to die.
But judging by the name of the victim and the location of the story, Mr Robinson was not one of these people. He was one of the multi-millions of Americans who is not of that type, and you have just insulted them. Which is amusing, because you've now created a cognitive dissonance in your own mind between two incompatible stereotypes.
Oh well. At least we can give him credit for not pointing a weapon (loaded or unloaded) at somebody else. So, like, half credit. Still a failing grade, then.
One idiot offs himself (IMO without much creativity), and that whole "serf" mentality kicks in. "Ordinary people aren't smart enough to have weapons, only the lord's army should have weapons." Heh. Only so many people fit in that castle on the hill, you know.
Though you may think so, the Yanks don't have the monopoply on idiots with guns.
Some years ago I was on a military range training with the old British army SLR ( Self Loading Rifle) ,We had a few new recruits with us who had just been instructed on IAs, that is immediate actions in the event of a misfire or a jam. One of these budding officers suddenly stood up with his finger on the trigger and shouted `Hey sarge I've forgotten what you said about IAs´ as he said it he pulled the trigger again and the gun went off and put a bullet through a round steel circle painted red to indicate the range was in use, the circle was about six feet away from the range warden's position so he was lucky as were the rest of us. Surprisingly the sargeant in charge of us didn't say a word, he just ran up and knocked the offending idiot who is probably a general by now, off his feet and into the land of nod, I would have shot him but the paperwork would have been horrendous.
Is this the american version russian roulette?
Automatic pistol + no counting skills instead of a revolver + luck, seems about right. Give this man a medal, and here's to hoping the fashion goes all the rage as the new national sport! I would pay good money to watch it on cable.
...I live in Britain and I for one would feel a lot happier walking around London (or any other city it seems at the moment) with a gun... I have had friends shot in London and it's always gangs and kids growing up with no sense of identity or belonging (there is no 'Great Britain' amymore, just a multicultural melting pot where the English are treated as second class citizens). Whilst I obviously don't condone gang warfare of illegal firearms (or knives) on our streets you can see with the state of education and the state of the nation why it is happening
"Robinson's counting skills proved inadequate"
Funniest of it all for me was this sentence, really...
Re: Darwin Awards worthiness, I think this one is a reasonable contender. Yes, it is not of the elaborate absurdity variety, but I can't think of things more stupid than point a gun (no matter how sure you are it's got no ammo) to your head and pull the trigger, particularly when you don't intend to get hurt...
"Maybe if more of your populace was well armed, they could scare off some of your criminals."
Oh, yeah, the simplistic moronic "logic" rears its ugly head, as expected.
By your "reasoning", the USA must be really safe and peaceful then, eh? Oh, sure you think it has not enough guns, that's why it's not safer... Japan must be hell then, I suppose.
Yep, ignore the complex cause of the problems (whatever they are) and just get guns and it will be alright.
Guns are not the real problem. Mentally ill societies with guns are the problem.
But definitely with the Americans on this one.. this poor dude might deservedly be up for a Darwin award - but if Joe Public over here were allowed to defend him/herself against our own (myriad) Darwinian candidates - I'm thinking mainly here about the ones that wear hoodies and say "innit" a lot - it would probably be one helluva better place to live.
As for the highly offensive remarks about the cousins from the few ignoramuses on here - I'll apologise on your behalf, Gentlemen, so you don't have to lift your knuckles off the floor or get up...
"Near as I can figure, around a quarter million Americans with guns died saving your butts from Adolf."
You don't figure much, that's why we Americans look so stupid. It was the Red Army that defeated Nazi Germany, not the US. Go read a real history book.
A Fellow American.
I have no idea why The Reg picked this as a ha-ha funny Darwin Award nominee. Stupid gun accidents happen all the time. This isn't exactly like strapping a jet pack to a car and flying into a mountain or something.
Perhaps the author was trying to Prove A Point. Indeed, he ended up proving a point different from the point he was trying to prove.
A person from my high school did this a few years back. He never used the weapon, and never chambered a round, but someone else had before him and didn't clear it, and now he's dead. It really is an exceptionally stupid way to die, but it is still a death and he was someone's son, friend, brother, its still sad.
All you sit here on your high horse like you've never done anything stupid and just happened to live. I can think of a lot of times where I probably should have died, and when my story was told, people would say "That is really dumb, why would you do that?" Hell thats a good question for us all, but the fact remains that I'm lucky and am here, and so are you.
Admit to yourselves you've done stupid things and probably should be dead, and we'll be good. Just get off your high horse for a minute and hang with the peons, you'll see it.
Given that more than 20 times as many Russian military (over 10 million) than yanks (417 000) died saving our butts from Adolf, and nearly the equivalent number of Brits (383 000) as Americans died, why don't you stfu with your whinging about how the US "saved" the world.
The chap does not deserve to be sniggered at, or to die for that matter, because he was momentarily stupid while drunk. Many many people are dead because they forgot to look one time when they stepped into a road. Are they stupid ? Sorry for my sense of humour failure here, but I take issue with the name of Darwin (who, by all accounts, was a really top bloke as well as a great scientist) being applied to this sneering and unfunny enterprise.
Oh and while I agree that America pays dearly for its rather mad gun laws, you can shove your received anti-americanism up your jacksee.
@AC you have forgotten who supplied all the technology for the bombs that dropped on Japan in 1945 thus saving 6 million US butts ( worst case estimated casualties in the first month of fighting on mainland Japan ) or eventually the Jet and rocket technology in use today in Amerika the land of the self induced paranoid !
As always irrespective of country when playing with weapons of any description "Stupid is as stupid does !"
'but didn't we prove that sometime around the 1700's'
Err, no you didn't. Started in 1775, by 1778 you were losing quite badly and had to get the French to bail you out. The French being too cowardly to attack us on their own were quite happy when it was 2 armies against 1.
RE 'around a quarter million Americans with guns died saving your butts from Adolf'
How many millions of Europeans died while you sat back and did nothing? You only started fighting when you didn't have a choice any longer, and even back then no-one wanted you fighting alongside them because of far too many incidences of friendly fire because of your gung-ho attitude and an inability to shoot straight. True story as told to me by more than 1 war veteran.
RE: 'America has over 300M people, and over 1Bn weapons of various types. Per capita, there's enough guns in the US for everyone to have three. Statistically speaking, our gun death rate is really quite low, considering the amount of armed citizens in the populace.'
Have you looked at Switzerland? A country of 7.5 million that is estimated to have more guns than people. It's only an estimate as guns are so ingrained in their culture, they are not all registered and it is impossible to know the correct figure. Total number of gun deaths? so low that official statistics are not kept because they know how to use them and be responsible.
As for the idiot who thinks London would be safer if he was allowed to carry a gun. America tried that and look what happens. The criminals just carry bigger weapons and more of them. People pull them out over petty squabbles that at one time might have been sorted by walking away or a fist fight. If you carry a gun, the temptation is always there to use it and it's always easier to give into temptation. You think things are bad now? It could be so much worse.
Did he say "hold my beer and watch this" first?
Also, with firearms available to the civilian population, wouldn't that mean the stupid people would kill themselves more frequently in the US than over here in Europe? And wouldn't that mean they'll outsmart us in a couple of hundreds of thousands of years (which is really rathter quick on the evolutionary scale)?
Just a few thoughts.
"embarrassed about their own country's lack of accomplishment. We see it all the time here in Canada."
Hold the show their anonymous buddy. Canada suffers from some shortcomings (name a country that doesn't) but lack of accomplishment is not one of them. I suggest you read a history book, watch the CBC, or even stoop to using wikipedia. Start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vimy_Ridge.
"well I suppose a nation that voted for Bush TWICE has it's fair share of loonies..."
Er, we did not vote for Bush the first time. Remember? If the U.S. was a democracy, he would never have entered office. (And, quite possibly, we did not vote for him the second time either.)
P.S. I would never trust with a gun anyone who doesn't know the difference between it's and its, which sadly means you.
In the city that my Mother lives in, Kennesaw, GA, it is mandatory for every house hold head to own a fire arm complete with ammunition. After this law was introduced breaking and entering dropped about 89%.
People supporting gun restriction will sight that the same result occurred when The Village of Morton Grove, IL made it illegal to possess or transport hand guns. This was only hand guns though so rifles and shotguns still remain.
Ridding citizens of their guns is not the solution in reducing crime. People seem to love the thought that if you change a single factor in a complicated senario composed of multiple factors then you will end up with the desired result. Everyone really knows it's the video games that are increasing dangerous and violent behavior in the world. Look at what Doom2 did to those poor Trench coat Mafia boys in Colorado.
If you really give a rat's ass about what happened to the numb nuts in the story then mandatory gun safety classes in school is the answer to prevent accidental shootings. I'm not sure that, considering how few accidental shootings there are in the U.S., it would be worth the tax payers' money in establishing such an expensive program.
>"RE 'around a quarter million Americans with guns died saving your butts from Adolf"
"How many millions of Europeans died while you sat back and did nothing?"
The same number as when Europeans sat back and did nothing.
You never did get "Peace in our time", did you?
Half the anti-American snivel is because we won't mind our own business and keep interfering in other countries affairs. Y'all proved that if we don't mind your business your problems (invariably self-inflicted) tend to become our problems whether or not we want them.
"You only started fighting when you didn't have a choice any longer..."
Sure we had a choice. We could have stopped using our ships to send you the materials that were keeping y'all from starving and then the German U-boats wouldn't have been sinking them within sight of our beaches.
'course, if we'd have done that then we wouldn't be having this conversation... at least not in English....
" ...and even back then no-one wanted you fighting alongside them because of far too many incidences of friendly fire because of your gung-ho attitude and an inability to shoot straight. True story as told to me by more than 1 war veteran."
Not to worry, it won't happen again.
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No, I failed. I just have to shed some light in the capabilities of other cultures also. I was "conducting" (or what ever) shoot while in the military when all of a sudden a private while lying on his stomach starte swatting a fly with his loaded assault rifle.
He was actually amazed that why I was so mad at him.
I'm finnish and proud of it. By the way, I think that theres almost as many guns here than in the States. And I'm also afraid that they might just as well be used as badly, if not even worse.
I have no idea of icons. So I'll just pick a pretty one.
"An insurgency, or insurrection, is an armed uprising, or revolt against an established civil or political authority. Persons engaging in insurgency are called insurgents, and typically engage in regular or guerrilla combat against the armed forces of the established regime, or conduct sabotage and harassment in the land in order to undermine the government's position as leader."
"Historians have estimated that about 40% of the (American) population were Loyalists (that is, about 900,000), but because their existence has been all but ignored since, there are no exact numbers"
I guess the main trouble that USAians have with the whole "right to keep and bear arms" thing at the moment, is that they selectively recall their own history. In the mid 1770s a relatively small majority (The 40%) of the population of the 13 colonies were insurgents. You also have the experience of your inability to beat a relatively poorly armed guerrilla army in Vietnam. Why do you think that you can control Iraq when you know that regular armies can not win against a determined population that has a lot of weapons of its own?
However, I agree that you probably do need guns to protect you against your own government...
i seriously lol at the few americans who have commented here (their grasp of history is also highly entertaining) - half my family is (unfortunately) american and unsuprisingly they are all thick as sh!t - be it locale, be it education, be it the right to bear arms (loool you go ahead and 'rise up and defend' yourselves - here you go heres some guns!), be it genes (dear god) - america is the worlds dunce, get over it and elect someone who either cares about education or has plans for an organised cull.
the latter is my personal preference.
Anonymous Coward writes: "Have you looked at Switzerland? [...] Total number of gun deaths? so low that official statistics are not kept because they know how to use them and be responsible."
Up to a point, Lord Copper. See, for example, http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,480545,00.html The Schnibbles are worried enough about their citizens shooting each other that they have recently banned the keeping of military ammunition at home.
It's amazing, really. One incident. One poor (possibly drunk) young half-wit with a gun manages to terminate his exisistance with an act of stupidity and before long we're all dragging up the national stereotypes and historical animosities (going all the way back to the American War of Independance, some people know how to hold a grudge!).
People with Guns DO NOT make the world a better place. Not now. Not then. Not in the future. Not here, there, or anywhere.
We need to deal with our inability to control our anger, and our total intolerance of any other opinion than our own, which are the biggest problems I think we face. I've just heard about a forty something father who has been killed over some (stupid) argument about a FOOTBALL. A FOOTBALL!! Reality check required all round.
Oh come on, in Britain our drunken idiots manage to kill themselves without guns all the time. Every country is going to have its share of idiots, Its just that America makes it easier for them to kill themselves.
Right, Who mentioned the war? I would not do anything to disparage the brave people of all the countries that fought in the second world war (on both sides). However I'd like to point out that there were many occasions between September 1st 1938 and December 7th 1941 when Brittain and the Allies could easily have lost, but in fact held there own without US help, the Battle of Britain being only the most famous. The US didn't join in until they were sure we could win.
PS I'd like to say to Alex Timchula that yours is the only sensible post on here.
I believe that till recently the Swiss were as well armed as the Americans - every male was in the army and kept a gun at home. However, gun crime and killings were and are not a feature of Swiss life. It's a cultural thing - the same reason perhaps that the Europeans can hold their drink while the Brits make tosspots of themselves.
It's not that something is available, its the culture and type of person who avails themselves of it.
I recall clearly watching the official ceremony for a police officer that died that stupid way, cleaning his weapon, removing the loader, forgetting it has a chamber with a bullet in it, and actionning the trigger while pointing to him. Was in France, by the way, 25 years ago.
I was 14 or something and never had put my hand on any fire weapon, but clearly thought it was a really darn good thing for everyone's security that such a moron, autorised to bear a weapon, shot himself. Never understood why on earth they did such a ceremony though with the prefet and all, speaking of "duty" and so on.
Probably here lie the roots of my passion for sarcasm :-)
And yes, unfortunately, the density of morons being the same in every country, having >2 fire weapons per inhabitant will make the US beat anyone else at that game. Pity, as someone said, from a logistics point of view, noone will ever succeed to remove all those weapons, unless they leave it rust for one century ... After forbidding by law to sell them.
If you can keep your head when that drunk bloke with the handgun is losing theirs and blaming it on booze...
To think he was a poet as well as a maker of exceedingly good cakes. Kipling, that is, not the Darwin award nominee.
Mine's the one made out of Kevlar, thanks.
Wow Lester Haines triggers yet another xenophobe/nationalism flame war! I think he does it on purpose for kicks. ;-)
...and all you sheep played into it.
BTW @Andy Bright -
<QUOTE>And I think while this will possibly get an honourable mention from the Darwin Awards, usually you have to do something significantly more stupid than merely fail to keep track of the number of shots you fired...</QUOTE>
He DID do something more significantly stupid, he pointed it at his bloody head!! He then pulled the trigger!!! Jeez is that not stupid enough? Just refer to Jonathan McCullochs quote -
"there is NO such thing as an unloaded gun"
And whilst he may have been suicidal, these sorts dont generally hold suicidal dinner meetings.
Just for this whole ugly events very simplicity, he should be awarded 'all time' Darwin winner award!
P.S. Anybody thought about how distraught his dinner guests must have been after seeing his brains splattered all over the room? Ironic that he may very well have contributed towards gun safety as a direct result of that!
On the article - Good, one more wingnut incapable of a basic grasp of self preservation is out of the gene pool. Harsh but true.
On the Yank bashing by the Brits -
a) We're hardly a sterling example of common sense either - re guy murdered over football, any A&E Dept on a Saturday night, our Police force's penchant for murdering people "just in case".
b) Not all yanks are the stereotypical braindead rednecks. Just many of the ones that make the news.
c) Not all yanks are gun toting psychos.
On Brit bashing by the Yanks -
a) Excuse me, but you only got involved once Japan made a preemptive strike. Japan... not Europe or any European entity. Your support also came at a huge price that we only recently finished paying off. i don't see you paying us for the wars in the Middle East.
b) You do have a nasty tendency to not pay quite as much attention to the world around you as you might. I drive in the US quiet often and the lack of common sense on the road scares me.
c) You do have a very, very poor rep for dropping bombs on yours or your allies troops. Old saying from WW2 was that "When the British bombed, the Germans ran, when the Germans bombed the British ran. When the Americans bombed, everyone ran" .
Folks, every nation has its own share of wingnuts, maniacs and raving yahoos - some more newsworthy than others. It's not an indictment of the nation in question, merely of the Human Race.
Besides, I'm all for everyone having as many guns as they want. Only I get the ammo as well though.
Let us not judge an entire country on the actions of one moron. Gun politics aside, any responsible gun owner would never handle a gun under the influence of alcohol. Any person who has taken a gun safety course is taught to assume 1) The gun is always loaded, 2) The safety does not work, and 3) Never point a gun at anything you do not intend to destroy. Violating these three principles while under the influence of alcohol is an act of supreme stupidity or gross ignorance.
"I must disagree with the idea that his behaviour deserved death."
@Anonymous coward Darwin
"The chap does not deserve to be sniggered at, or to die for that matter,"
Robert Heinlein had it right:
"Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity."
> To the outside world, (well from the UK,) the US gun laws seem crazy!
The American take on guns comes from a time when they were fighting a war of freedom from oppression against a vastly superior military force; better trained and equipped.
The only option was to give every person the right to bear arms - thus transforming every farmer and smallholder into an instant militiaman and providing a large enough military force to defeat their imperialist overlords.
That was the War of Independance.
Try looking at the law in a historical context and it makes perfect sense - just like it's legal to (use a bow and arrow to) shoot a Scotsman in York. The only difference is that the US has a defined constitution which gives certain rights to it's citizens which can be amended but never revoked.
And yes, I'm English and no, I don't *love* America, the country scares the living shit out of me these days.
It's not just the UK who bash the Yanks - it's the entire world. Your global reputation is at an all time low for numerous reasons - global warming / Kyoto, choice of president, war on "terror" to name but three.
Stop pretending to be "Defenders of The Earth" and throwing darts at a map of the Middle East and wondering who to invade next before finishing the jobs / mess you created in other countries (Afghanistan, Iraq.....)
Not a lot to do with the original, sad cause of this thread (even the brightest of us can do remarkably stupid things to win approval, show off and/or when drunk), however:
1. Switzerland (I live there) has not abandoned keeping service weapons at home. It is under discussion, with one pressure group trying to get this done voluntarily by individuals. Interestingly, as far as I can tell from the news reports, most gun crime seems to involve smuggled weapons from Eastern Europe in a particular (non-Swiss) part of the population. Not unlike UK actually.
2. USA: is this the same country that had such a strong groundswell of support for Nazi Germany that Roosevelt had to be very circumspect until Pearl Harbour? The one whose oil industry (e.g. Cheney's father) was keeping Germany supplied with fuel, even, it is said, into 1944? The one where Joseph Kennedy, as US ämbassador to UK, had to be recalled because he was betraying information to Germany? The land whose generosity to UK was so great that UK finished repaying the financial debt just last year? Thank heavens the UK government from 1939 to late 1943 had the guts to keep going alone and for those such as NZ, Canada, Australia, S. Africa, India. Especially, once they changed sides, thanks for the sheer guts and stubborness of the former Soviet Union army.
Shame. I have good friends from USA and appreciate its good side. I just regret its massive defects and awful influence in all areas. Sadly, whatever the merits of its people, their general+ level of knowledge and education, even within their own borders, makes even the dimmest European look positively educated (as opposed to trained).
And if the militia weapon locker is controlled (which it would have to be, to be any sort of improvement), who has the keys?
There would be a whole organization setup to manage & monitor the control & co-ordination. Which in turn means it's almost definitely going to end up under governmental control.
"Mr government-apointed-key-holder. I think this government is unjust, please give me a gun so I can argue the point".
Doesn't really work, does it?
One of the prices of being able to defend yourself is that you have the ability to hurt yourself and others. It's (as a lot of people have stated) not a simple issue, very little that involves humanity is, but getting the guns into centrally managed facilities removes the advantages as much as the disadvantages.
switzerland (i live there too) has very strict laws on the military weapons held by its men. every year, the case of ammo and the weapon is checked by the army. if so much as the ammo casing is broken, then the holder of the weapon is directly accountable. penalties can be very severe if the weapon is used or the ammo missing. and that's on top of the fact that the holder has a responsibility to ensure that his weapon isn't lying about. i know someone who had their cellar burgled and his weapon stolen. it was eventually retrieved by the police and the army came to his place to investigate whether he had effectively secured his weapon (even though he had been burgled). they checked the locks on the cellar, the doors, the entry to the building before finally discharging all blame.
so i think that when you have those kinds of checks on weapon holders, can you effectively change a culture and make them more conscientious.
Yup, every so often we have to cull the herd. Sometimes they take care of it themselves. We'll keep our guns though. It is amuzing to listen to all you sheep bleat so loud about our freedoms. Too bad you so easily surrendered yours. Maybe that's why we're the super power and you're not.
The incident, worthy as it is of a Darwin Award, being full of grim humour, is sad - for me anyway. It has nothing to do with gun laws, nationality, which state he lived in or anything else. It was just a crazy moment and the pain to his friends and relatives is unimaginable. I'd love a fiver for all the crazy moments I survived; through booze, drugs, reckless driving, featherbrained use of a power saw - and so on. I've been very lucky.
In the US, people can own and use firearms. In the UK that's not supposed to happen (though it does, increasingly). That doesn't make us any better than the yanks - indeed, as all prohibition attempts have proved, prohibited things become more attractive. Gun crime stats in the UK show that plenty of people can get hold of firearms, legally or otherwise. Maybe we would be better off if they were legal ... ?
What any of this has to do with any war, past or present, is beyond me. It's one hell of an escalation to be joking about some Texan kid blowing his brains out and then arguing the toss about a nation's contribution to a war. Real pub car park stuff, though these days, fisticuffs is replaced with knives and guns. If we fight so stupidly on a blog, where won't we fight?
Yes, and where were the yanks when the Spanish Armada was threatening us?