back to article Tell Santa to bring more assault rifles

It's guns and ammo for the holiday season if you read the news following Black Friday, the time annually reserved for the great annual shopping spasm in the US. "Panic at Gunfire in Toy Store," blared the November 29th frontpage headline in the Los Angeles Times, reporting a uniquely American muzzle flash. "Instead of the …


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  1. Joe

    Guns don't kill people...

    rappers do!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A wall?

    I propose that the rest of the world unite and build a great big wall around the US to keep in all the crazy before it leaks too much into the real world.

  3. Simon C

    America is a fabricated place

    Where fabricated people go about making fabricated stories.

    All in the name of entertaining the good folks of normal countries.

    Why else would you get such a collection of ignorant, bullish and downright stupid comments and stories about these Merkins.

    I raise my merry glass to those who created the "America" program for providing such entertainment in these dark and cold times.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, but

    If Americans didn't hate taxes and love guns, this would be Baja Canada.

    The anxiety is amusing, given the recent ruling by the Supremes, affirming the 2nd Amendment.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes perfect sense

    The finally get rid of the group of people responsible for eroding their constitutional rights, then they start to get up in arms about it. (Literally).

  6. Paul


    "People are buying guns because they have seen too many constitutionally guaranteed rights taken away, as with wiretapping phones under the premise of searching for terrorists"

    So the Republicans take away rights, the democrats want to give them back and this makes the democrats a threat how?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Rusty Shackleford say's

    If we here in the UK had as heavily armed a populace as in the UK. Maybe just maybe that pie faced facist Jackboots Smiff would think twice before trampling over our liberties. Stick that in your uber database and I hope the corners hurt!

    Papers Citizen or go to Jail !

    Election NOW!

  8. Scott

    Always confused

    I am always confused by the need to own enough hardware to take down the next town, who are the enemy that are taking over the good old US of A?

    I can accept a gun or 2 for hunting and at a push as the "baddies" have guns maybe having a home protection gun? but what does anyone need an assult rifle for?

    Don't get me wrong i'm sure if all the UK owned guns wacki jacki would have to think twice before locking us all up in interment camps but i'm sure it would only be a split second hesitation as here starzy style police are happy to shoot unarmed electricians no questions asked.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    (a ways) down the road from me...

    "St. Louis Alderman Quincy Troupe calls on residents to carry handguns for safety"\news\stories.nsf&docid=29150EE3A06EA92C862575130014DD3A

  10. Daniel Wilkie


    An Assault Rifle has selectable fully automatic fire. Unless I'm mistaken there won't be a rush to buy these as I believe even in America their ownership is tightly controlled.

    Presumably they are infact referring to Semi Automatic Rifles or Carbines...

    I'm a pedant, I know.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Santa Baby !

    Santa baby, just slip a semi' under the tree, for me

    So I can get me a "squirrel"

    Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

    Santa baby, a '45 ACP too, light blue

    I'll wait up for you dear Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

    Think of all the fun I've missed

    Think of all the fellas that I can "desist"

    Next year I could be just as good

    If you'd check off my Christmas list

    Boo doo bee doo


    Ah God bless the land of the free . . .to fear everyone and arm yourself better than your neighbour.

  12. Scotty

    Its odd, sad, but...

    "An Assault Rifle has selectable fully automatic fire. Unless I'm mistaken there won't be a rush to buy these as I believe even in America their ownership is tightly controlled."

    I think that is part of the rush. The definition of what is an Assault rifle is not well enough defined, and the 'fear' is that weapons controlled under 'rifle' laws will be re-classified to be under far more control 'assault rifle' definition.

    Guns scare the crap out of me, but I do concede that no one would help the American people take out there own government which is nominally what that right is for.

  13. Seán

    What about the Belgians?

    Those yanks have made the Belgians redundant. The phrase "As stupid as an uhmerican" has replaced the need for Belgians as the butt of jokes. 30,000 dead every year from gunshots and they think more guns will make them safer, how can the Belgians compete with that?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    *sigh as well*

    @Scott - they are not assault-rifles; in other words, not capable of fully-automatic (ie. machine-gun) fire. It might look identical to a military rifle but it fires only a single round per pull of the trigger.

    Second point - it's not a "need" issue at all; I mean, after all, why would anyone possibly "need" a Porsche capable of a speed more than triple the current speed-limit anyway, right? I have the freedom to own one (well, I have 3 currently) and I don't misuse them - they're a lot of fun, actually.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    People are generally idiots...

    Most people killed while attempting to defend themselves at home are killed with their own firearm.

    Most murders are committed by people who know or are related to the victim.

    Most guns in the hands of criminals have been stolen from private citizens during home burglaries.

    The departing Repubs are still trying to complete their goal of eviscerating the Bill of Rights and yet these slack-jawed mouth breathers are terrified that the hated "liberals" are going to usurp their 2nd Amendment rights.

    Mencken was right...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 13:34

    "given the recent ruling by the Supremes, affirming the 2nd Amendment."

    I think you'll find it was Martha and the Vandellas.

  17. Scott


    But you can still buy assult rifles or semi-automatic assult rifles (which fire 3 bullets at one pull of the trigger i think)? i will point back to my first question why are these needed? home prtection? hunting? russkys? squirrels? and i don't think you can compare a car to a gun as one is designed to kill people and the other is for transport might as well compare chalk with say cheese. You're better off asking why by a gun that can hold 20 bullets when a clip (think thats right) with 10 will quite as happyly kill you loved one?

  18. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    RE: Paul

    Actually, Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker of the House of Reps for over two years now, which means the Democrats have had just as much say in all the "reductions in rights" passed by Congress if not more. To blame the Republicans alone id just blinkered groupthought.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Wow. Are you brits completely disengaged

    One. While we had a Repub President, we had a DEM congress, and guess who makes all of the laws??? NOT the President. Oh, and we have more of them now AND a Dem President.

    Two. Dems ALWAYS have wanted to revoke the 2nd amendment.

    Three. Now that we have a Dem Pres that will probably have the opportunity to replace at least 2 supreme court justices, that ruling they just made could have a very short lifespan.

    Four. Assault rifles are popular in the US because they are some of the best made weaponry in the world. However, they have to be changed to semi-automatic. You have to have a special license (that is EXTREMELY hard to get) to legally have fully automatic weaponry. Technically, an old WWII M1-Carbine or M1-Garand (both super shooting weapons fully appropriate for deer hunting) would be considered "Assault Rifles"

    Five. The vast majority of gun owners in this nation are completely legit and usually some of the finest citizens that we have. Your statistics only show a very tiny part of our populace that would probably try to kill others even if all they had were sporks at their disposal. This country was founded on our right to "bear arms" and is the primary reason why our government hasn't run slipshod over us and why no foreign nation would try to take us in a land war.

    Six. Don't forget, it was a lot of these good 'ol boys who had grown up around guns all of their life and were crack shots before they were drafted that ended up taking care that little mess we had in Europe called WWII :)

  20. Joe
    Thumb Up

    @ AC 14:58

    " I think you'll find it was Martha and the Vandellas."


  21. Michael

    Why own an Assault Rifle?

    Cause not everyone in teh US can aim and get the shot with one attempt! look at the friendly fire incidents in WW2, Iraq etc.

    Why only shoot one when a couple of mags will totally do the job?

    (I see it all the time playing paintball! "My Angel can shoot 25 balls a second!!" LMAO)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @AC 15:42

    "Six. Don't forget, it was a lot of these good 'ol boys who had grown up around guns all of their life and were crack shots before they were drafted that ended up taking care that little mess we had in Europe called WWII :)"

    Maybe if they'd got off their butts and arrived earlier a damn sight fewer people would have died? :)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Yankee AC

    @Yankee AC: "why no foreign nation would try to take us in a land war."

    Why would they? You didn't make such a good job of it when you tried it yourselves.

    Plus the fact that you're 3000+ miles from anything that could possibly pose a danger to you helps considerably.

    Still, however, with the prevalence of armed wackjobs over there, I reckon President Obama's greatest achievement will undoubtedly be staying alive. If I were in his shoes I'd try to cut down on guns, too.

  24. Hollerith

    their voice

    Small towns felt that their voice had not been heard on 4 November. Well, if everybody in town voted, yes, it was heard. It just didn't carry much volume.

  25. Danny
    Thumb Down


    You aren't being a pedant but you point out exactly why people here in the US are stocking up. The fact is most people, including this article's authors, don't know what an "Assault weapon" IS.

    By definition a military assault weapon is fully or selectively automatic and; fires a high or medium velocity rifle round. A 3 round burst is still automatic fire.

    ALL automatic weapons regardless of round or burst are controlled in the US and have been since the 40s. In order to legally own an automatic weapon you must hold a federal firearms license that requires a fairly extensive background check to obtain and isn't particularly cheap to maintain.

    The last "Assault Weapons" ban in the 1990s didn't actually ban ANY automatic weapons of any type. It was a cosmetics bill that banned large round clips and bayonets and a couple of semi-automatic rifle stock types. All it did was make a lot of formerly legal weapons a lot cheaper for thugs who don't care what the laws say to obtain. Way to go there.

    And a shooting in L.A. by a couple of thugs isn't really news any more than a bear taking one in the woods is.

  26. Bob

    @Wow. Are you brits completely disengaged

    Nope, we aren't disengaged, we are just too polite to get to the point:

    The entire mentality of gun ownership in America is completely and utterly stupid and we just can't understand how the (apparantly) premiere nation in the world can be so collectively idiotic.

    As mentioned previously, must gun crime is an act of passion, or accident. Husbands shooting wives, kids accidentally shooting parents, robbers without guns taking guns off home owners and shooting them.

    Normal citizens need guns like penguins need pet polar bears.

    I can understand having gun clubs which are tightly monitored and allow people the delights of firing guns, but I can't understand allowing you to take the gun home afterwards.

    And finally, your country doesn't get invaded by land because apart from Canada which politically isn't going to think about invading you for a very, very long time you are surrounded by two huge oceans and only a tiny, tiny strip of desert to mexico. America is quite safe as far as a land attack by a standing army is concerned, you really should stop worrying.

    Really, really finally: You waited as long as you possibly could with WWII, then you came over and shot all the allies whilst charging us billions of dollars for the privaledge. Looking back, I think we shouldn't have bothered asking for help.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Wow. Are you brits completely disengaged

    > our right to "bear arms" and is the primary reason why our government hasn't run slipshod over us

    Please tell me you're joking.

  28. Mike

    Rights, laws, parties

    Scattershot here.

    As others have noted, the Democrats (particularly DiFi) have been _more_ than willing participants in gutting the bill of rights. The Bush admin has, however, broken new ground in placing the executive branch above even what few tattered remnants remain.

    As some have missed, the Dems and GOP switched in the South. Remember when the GOP was the "Party of Lincoln" and the Grand Dragon was the local Dem leader? How soon we forget. GOP was also the party of small government. And the Dems were guns and bubba and huge slabs of pork. Just swap the labels and you have today.

    While one cannot legally purchase a full-auto rifle, anyone who can't find a conversion kit just isn't trying. I'd bet you-all even go to the one honest smog-check station in your county, instead of paying the "extra handling fee" to get old-smokey to pass.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's the beauty of living in the US, Bob - you might not see the need for it and you'd be perfectly entitled to live your way. However, your choice is yours and yours alone and as such should never trump *my* right to choose for myself.

    As for "most gun crime is a crime of passion" - I'd love to see where you go those stats from. Most "gun-crime", as you call it, is caused by career criminals - gangsters, drug-dealers and the like.

    To answer Scott's question yet again about "need" (because he's very slow and just doesn't get it) - need has nothing to do with it. Zero - zip - nada - zilch. How much of those foods in your fridge should you have to prove that you *need*, Scott? "Uh oh - out with that ice-cream and pizza, tubby...." - in truth, there's not a whole lot that any human really *needs*, see?

  30. Anonymous Coward


    "The entire mentality of gun ownership in America is completely and utterly stupid and we just can't understand how the (apparantly) premiere nation in the world can be so collectively idiotic."

    Correction, a large portion of the UK population has never touched a gun, or met a US gun owner (at least knowingly). Thus all their views are taken from Hazel Blears-esq anti-gun nutters and hollywood films.

    Those of us who have actually travelled to the US, and been taken to a range by some locals, (some even with concealed carry licences) find them to be perfectly normal well-adjusted people who enjoy a social and interesting hobby.

    the "Assault Rifle" ban in the US was almost completely ineffective, most crimes being carried out with .22 pistols. Criminals being smart enough to understand slipping an M16 under your jacket will be a little conspicious...

  31. Nic

    @AC - 17:10

    "To answer Scott's question yet again about "need" (because he's very slow and just doesn't get it) - need has nothing to do with it. Zero - zip - nada - zilch. How much of those foods in your fridge should you have to prove that you *need*, Scott? "Uh oh - out with that ice-cream and pizza, tubby...." - in truth, there's not a whole lot that any human really *needs*, see?"

    That's the scary bit AC. The want to keep guns it what bothers me. Why not collect nooses electric chairs too?

    Don't get me wrong, I am all for hunting for food (I am in the process of getting a shotgun for exactly that purpose here in the uk) but are you honestly telling me that's why you keep your guns? It seems to me to be more a weird obsession.

  32. Phil

    @Bob: yeah, bobbo, we wish we hadn't helped you, too.

    In answer to Bob's stupid comment "Really, really finally: You waited as long as you possibly could with WWII, then you came over and shot all the allies whilst charging us billions of dollars for the privaledge. Looking back, I think we shouldn't have bothered asking for help."

    All I have to say is this:

    We Americans supported you Brits materially for years. If it wasn't for shipments from the U.S. Britain would have folded VERY quickly. It was OUR merchant marine that kept trade with England open and kept you supplied, and without us the Nazis would have wiped their asses with you in 1939 or 1940.

    Try and remember that until WE entered the war and landed on the beach at Normandy, you Brits were LOSING. All of Europe had already LOST. You were already LOSERS in the war and without us you would have been DOOMED.

    After we won the war for you, AFTER we saved France and Belgium and Britain and Italy and all the other weaklings who couldn't defend themselves, WE REBUILT EUROPE. We provided the support that made that happen. WE did. Not you. Not your useless grandparents. It was US. The U.S.

    There's a famous joke here in the U.S, and it goes like this: Why do British and European men dislike Americans so much? Because they'll never forgive us for saving them in WWII.

    On behalf of my grandparents, who saved yours, I would like to say, Bob, that if it weren't for us you'd be speaking German right now, so you can go soak your head in that rotten black beer you people like so much.


    An American

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One little thing...

    Something which needs to be pointed out - here in the US, the Supreme Court has decreed - a number of times - that police are not obligated to come to any person's aid. See ”Castle Rock v. Gonzales” as just one example.

    So where does that leave someone who wants to make sure his/her family is protected?

  34. Mike Moyle

    @ Bob

    First off, I'm not a gun-owner -- I haven't fired a shot since I used to go target shooting with my father and brother better than 40 years ago.

    So; no rabid gun-nut, here.

    That said:

    "The entire mentality of gun ownership in America is completely and utterly stupid and we just can't understand how the (apparantly) premiere nation in the world can be so collectively idiotic."

    The fact that something that you don't understand must therefore be "completely and utterly stupid" is -- well -- completely and utterly stupid. (And WE don't have train-spotters' clubs so... you know... <gr>)

    The fact that needs to be remembered apropos the American fascination with guns is that the national mythos centers around the explorer, the adventurer, the wanderer going off alone into the lawless wild -- generally with gun in hand. This is our history within, at the very least, our grandparents' memories, if not our own.

    To expect a complete 180-degree turn-around in attitudes within a couple of generations is foolishly naive, at best. This is also, unfortunately, a good part of the reason that the race issue has been so intractable for so long in this country. Presumably, having never had much in the way of slavery in the UK in the first place and having legally abolished what there was more than 200 years ago, you folks on that side of the pond are blessedly beyond racial prejudice. Otherwise, one might have to assume that societal attitudes take more than a generation or two to change. ;-)

    "As mentioned previously, must gun crime is an act of passion, or accident. Husbands shooting wives, kids accidentally shooting parents, robbers without guns taking guns off home owners and shooting them."

    You seem to be trying to make one of two points:

    1 - If an otherwise legal and legally-owned implement can be used as a weapon in a moment of passion, it should therefore NOT be legal (and the implied assumption is that all of these cited ARE legally-owned. Unregistered firearms or guns in the possession of unlicensed owners are already illegal, so in terms of the "good people wouldn't do bad things if the couldn't own guns" argument, these shouldn't even be on the table -- they're a whole 'nother issue.) or;

    2 - If something was designed to be a weapon, it should not be legal for private individuals to own.

    In regard to either of those arguments, I can only reply: *Huh?*

    Any other argument that I can see from you post would be reducible to "I don't like/understand guns, therefore i don't want anyone to own them." I really can't see any choice other than those three.

    ...Well... unless you are saying that stupid people shouldn't own guns, which is a stance with which I happen to agree. OTOH, I also believe that stupid people shouldn't be allowed to drive, vote, get on the internet, or breed; so, there you go.

    " are surrounded by two huge oceans and only a tiny, tiny strip of desert to mexico."

    Ummm... since when is almost 3,200 km a "tiny, tiny strip of desert..."? I'm not sure what map you were looking at, but that's a border roughly the same length as the Russian border from St. Petersburg on the Baltic to Rostov on the Black Sea.

    I'm just sayin', is all...

  35. Charles Manning

    I call their bluff

    The "we need guns for liberty" argument is just nonsense. GWB has been the least popular president in history and has eroded more liberties than any other president and gun owners did nothing. How far do things have to go before they actually do rise up?

    No, the only liberty that the NRA care about is preserving the current lawless gun ownership.

    I'm all for gun ownership, but within a proper framework of training and oversight - something like the Swiss. Give Americans all the guns they want, so long as they can show that they have suitable training.and are fit to own and operate guns.

    What is really wrong with gun licensing? Not licensing individual fire arms, but licensing the owners to ensure that they have correct training and are mentally fit.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    I see the same old tired cliches..

    What our "cold dead hand" colonial friends cannot grasp is the difference between a gun and a weapon. Also the use of the word "NEED."

    Need means "require" certainly but the British are asking the other meaning of need which is DESIRE.

    It doesn't matter if you have a .22 rimfire, an AK47 or a Steyr .50. All that matters is why YOU, PERSONALLY need (desire) to have it. If you want it for target shooting or hunting then good for you. If you want it as a WEAPON because you are scared then sooner or later something very, very bad will happen.

    In the UK we can have assault rifles but they are de-rated to manual load and cock. We have to convince our county police HQ that we do not DESIRE it for a weapon. Only then do we get permission to buy one.

    If you measure your freedom by the ability possess weapons to kill your fellow countrymen, should the unlikely need arise, then you will never know true peace and freedom. Freedom from fear as well as oppression. American owners of WEAPONS wear chains they can never see or remove.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down



  38. Chris G


    Has NO similarities to real shooting, if you wasted ammo the way paint ballers do,you would in a real shooting war soon be out of ammo and out of luck ( and in a body bag).

    When you know the stuff being fired at you can only sting (and make you pink and orange at worst) you can't take it as seriously as when the rounds being fired at you can with a hit in the arm stop your heart with hydraulic shock as it rips your arm off.

    As for the States many keen shooters there who enjoy all kinds of weapons and hunting, target shooting etc are not tobacco chewing banjo players who are called Bubba, they just have respect for the fact that they still have some rights and would like to keep them, after all in the name of `The war against terror´ haven't all of us already lost enough rights?

    What is the problem with assault rifles? If one soft nosed round from something like a Wetherby 308 magnum hunting rifle hits you, the others in the mag won't matter, and it's still assault!

  39. Anonymous Coward

    I'll never understand Americans

    I once got a lift from an American after a conference over there and we discussed the differences between America and Britain. He couldn't understand why I couldn't see a problem with people having sex at 16, drink alcohol at 18 and the "extreme amount" of sex and nudity we supposedly have in Britain. On the other hand he also couldn't understand why I found it strange that almost anyone who wanted one could buy a gun in America. As far as he was concerned sex being legal at 16 and drinking legal at 18 was a much bigger anger to society than everyone owning guns.

  40. Martin


    Please, please please can everybody stop using the word 'liberal' to refer to left-wingers, without regard to whether they are actually liberal or not.

    Thank you.

  41. Steen Hive


    "Six. Don't forget, it was a lot of these good 'ol boys who had grown up around guns all of their life and were crack shots before they were drafted that ended up taking care that little mess we had in Europe called WWII :)"

    Fuck off.. "Sharpshooting" merkin good old boys are about the only things a soldier can have around that are more dangerous to his life than the enemy..

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Needs

    You're doing it again A.C. with the false arguments.


    "To answer Scott's question yet again about "need" (because he's very slow and just doesn't get it) - need has nothing to do with it. Zero - zip - nada - zilch. How much of those foods in your fridge should you have to prove that you *need*, Scott? "Uh oh - out with that ice-cream and pizza, tubby...." - in truth, there's not a whole lot that any human really *needs*, see?"


    You cant compare guns with food. Let me turn it the other way for you. I don't need a nuclear bomb but why shouldn't I have one if I want one? In the same way that people get a kick out of fireworks going bang and boom, imagine how much fun that nuclear device could be, and boy is it a deterrent to m neighbours.

  43. william henderson

    @ phil again

    "Try and remember that until WE entered the war and landed on the beach at Normandy, you Brits were LOSING. All of Europe had already LOST. You were already LOSERS in the war and without us you would have been DOOMED."

    did you forget Russia?

    also, half the troops landed on D-day were British and commonwealth.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2nd Amendment

    The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting or sporting. It is about personal protection. It is about protecting the population from a tyrannical government. The mass media would like us to believe otherwise.

    As for the store shooting... First of all, it happened in California which is a 'may issue' state. That means regular law abiding citizens cannot carry weapons concealed without a reason good enough for their local law enforcement. Bad guys know this. That is why crime is so high in places like LA, Chicago, and NY - all may issue states.

    'Shall issue' states are required to issue concealed carry permits to law abiding citizen who request them. The bad guys know that too. Not surprisingly, these states have much lower crime rates. Would the bad guys at the store have drawn guns if they thought a legally armed citizen might be right next to them?

    The UK is a great example of this. The population is disarmed and crime is rampant. Guns are banned. Certain knives are banned. Coming in 2010, rolled up newspapers will be deemed hazardous and banned as well. I guess that is the problem with being a subject rather than a citizen.

    As for Obama.... At the recent local gun show, a number of us agreed that he is responsible for selling more guns than anyone else in history. Clinton learned his lesson the hard way about banning guns - it cost him the majority in congress. I hope Obama, Reed, and la-la Pelosi remember this.

    And as for me... I bought my first gun the Saturday after September 11th. I carry it daily for personal protection. I hope I never have to use it to save my life or the life of someone else. If possible, I will always first seek to extract myself from a dangerous situation - regardless of the personal inconvenience. However, if given no other options, I am prepared to take responsibility for my own safety.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Once upon a time...

    ... a little island nation ruled over a big colony across the Atlantic. All was well for many years, and both parties profited nicely. But the little island began to experience tough economic times (one war too many?) and increased the revenue demands from the big colony. When the big colony wanted a say in these demands (no taxation without representation?), the little island sent troops...lots of the big colony to ‘protect its interests’. The little island troops arrived in the big colony with no provisions, no shelter--but lots of guns and ammunition. Naturally, the troops couldn’t live in (or on) their guns and ammunition, so the leaders of the troops in the town of Boston ordered the resident colonists to shelter and feed the troops in their homes--at the colonists expense--and confiscated any arms the colonists possessed. After much ado, the colonists shed the ‘yoke of tyranny’ and formed their own government. To prevent recurrence of similar events, this new government, “extending the ground of public confidence in the Government” granted its citizens some specific INDIVIDUAL rights. Two of the top three were:

    “II. 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.” (NOTE: the intent of this right is not to provide FOR a militia, but to provide self-defense FROM a Militia)

    “III. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

    From that time on, the citizens of the (former) big colony hate taxes and love guns.

    ...rightly so!

  46. Mike Weisman

    A new gun-salesman-of-the-year award

    I owe my own activism to Bill Clinton, now comes Obama to spur gun sales beyond all previous levels. My organization is well acquainted with Obama's brand of ban-em, but give the nation a chance to feel the wrath.

    The Obama presidency will give rise to the next generation of 2nd Amendment advocates.

    Mike Weisman,

    1st Vice President,

    Illinois State Rifle Association

  47. Michael Miller

    it's all very simple......

    Guns = freedom.

    Look at history. Every dictator/despot/what ever you want to call them took steps to disarm the populace.

  48. J


    @Mike Moyle

    "you folks on that side of the pond are blessedly beyond racial prejudice"

    I deeply doubt that.

    Now, as Mark_T wrote above, it's hard to understand, this cowardice/utter panic and death fixation... I myself enjoy target shooting since I was 10 or so, but if that possibility went away tomorrow that would not be any problem, life would go on as normal. I have no reason to be obsessed about guns; I'm mentally healthy. It's quite sick and should be treated, really. Maybe it's some type of homoerotic thing, I don't know... Some way to express what this "puritanically minded" society works so hard to repress in other areas? Who knows... As long as I (or mine) don't get shot, y'all can send each other to hell really -- the problem is that there are commonly "collaterals".

    And also, to believe that a bunch of overweight couch potatoes from the populace with gunpowder weapons (assault or not) can scare your government structure into submission is a very delusional thing -- tell us one instance of that ever having happened, please, since I'm not very conversant in American history. But I'm sure "they" want you to keep believing it, keeps you quiet.

  49. Anonymous Coward


    Wow - you have to "ask permission" - just like children, huh?

    Second - a firearm *is* a weapon, and I make zero apologies for that. The fact that I can also (and, in fact, mainly) use it for sporting purposes is a bonus; that fact that I can use it for defense allows me *not* to be scared - a subtle distinction which I'm sure you wouldn't be able to grasp anyway, your own freedoms having been ripped from you over there with nary a whimper. I honestly can't remember the last time I was scared for my safety - can you say the same?

    Let's see.... guns gone - check. Knives just about gone - check. Naughty pics almost gone - check. Surveillance cameras everywhere - check. No wonder you people go insane over the results a football match, killing, stoning and burning everything in sight.

    Third - we measure our freedom in many ways - just one of which is our ability to be able to defend ourselves should the need arise - not sitting scared and trembling like rabbits while waiting for the police who, may I remind you, are *not* obliged to respond to any particular citizen's request for help.

  50. Chris iverson

    I love you guys

    Thank you everyone who has posted. You have brightened my dull Thursday. Anyway as a resident of the states and one who has had training on how to properly shoot a rifle and handgun, I can see what the draw is to them. I do not own one nor do I plan to but I do enjoy going to the range and renting one and squeezing out a few clips. It can be a little therapeutic. That being said living in a city known for its violence and apparently living in one of the worse parts I still see no reason why an individual would need a gun outside of hunting which obviously cant be done within the limits of the city. But since it is in our Bill of Rights allowing for gun ownership I choose not to step on anyone's right to that. Tho it may very well come back to burn me in the future

    Anyway time to go

    Mines the one with the squirt guns in the pocket

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Charles Manning

    Lawless, hmmm - we have over 10,000 firearms laws here already - problem is, the criminals just aren't obeying them, gosh-darnit. We'd better make some more - they'll surely obey those, then, right?

    Suitable training - yup, I'll take all the training I can get if it's good. Texas and indeed many states have mandatory courses for would-be concealed handgun license-holders - and personally, being a gun-instructor myself and a very keen proponent of firearms-safety, I'd actually like to see a higher standard at those courses. Problem is - who's going to judge my competence - you?

    Licensing - no way in hell. No government dweeb is going to know what I own and then order me to turn it in; we learned our lessons only too well from the UK and Australian gun-confiscation programs.

  52. James Woods

    the toystore gun fight

    From what I heard from the real news sources the gun fight that occured in the toy store parking lot was unrelated to Black Friday and it was a dispute that two people had with absolutely no relation to the holiday shopping season.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    GUNS! GUNS!! GUNS!!!

    We like guns. Guns are horny tech. Guns don't kill people, cast iron stoves do. And dogs. And drunken moose. And the guns themselves, but I'm contradicting myself...

    Ahem. While some folks might choose to re-live WWII, I don't think this is helpful. Everyone knows that is was the Soviets that defeated the Nazis. The Western front was merely a reaction to the fear of a communist dominated Europe. meh.

    A constitutional right to bear arms? OK, but with such a right comes a heavy moral responsibility. What scares me is the almost casual attitude to guns that some people seem to display. I do respite care for learning disabled children. I have to lock down access to dangerous stuff such as potential poisons, sharp implements and my more dangerous power tools. I've also spent time in european countries which have high rates of gun ownership but no real gun crime issues - less than the UK - and the coppers have guns, even sub-machine guns.

    No private individual needs automatic weapons. Or semi-automatic weapons for that matter. OK, you could squeak an argument for auto-shotguns and professional hunters but even that is moot. One shot, and the game will panic and flee. A blunderbuss or a punt gun is a better choice,

    I have been taught to shoot with rifles and I am a decent shot. But I don't own a gun and will never own a gun. OK, if I go on a hunting trip I'll use a gun but that's part of a very managed reigeme. The missus doesn't like the idea of me hunting, but a big heap of game in the chest freezer from managed stocks is OK in my view. I could use a crossbow if I had to.

    But I was taught respect for the weapon, especially how dangerous they are. Boys growing up on farms had an incredibly casual attitude towards shotguns. It was sport blowing rats off the shit heap with a .410. It was sport doing the same with one of those over-powered air rifles marketed as vermin exterminators. Guns in locked cabinets? No.

    Killin People is easy. It helps that they've got such a poor sense of smell that they can't scent you. No concerns about being down wind. You can approach from upwind.

    Handguns are bad. To paraphrase a Sergio Leone film, we have a saying. When a man with a pistol meets a man with a rifle, the man with the rifle walks away. Hand guns are inaccurate and pose a considerable danger to bystanders. True, with an enormous amount of training and a decent pistol, accuracy is possible but it is harder than with a rifle.

  54. william henderson

    @ac re second amendement

    "The UK is a great example of this. The population is disarmed and crime is rampant. Guns are banned. Certain knives are banned. Coming in 2010, rolled up newspapers will be deemed hazardous and banned as well. I guess that is the problem with being a subject rather than a citizen."

    how is it then, that the two most heavily armed civilian populations, Switzerland and the USA also have amongst the highest gun murder rates in the world?

    we have around 60 gun murders per year, in America, around 3000 children are shot dead each year.

    oh, just a little heads-up; guns aren't banned, only a few certain types are especially difficult to legally obtain, just as in the USA..

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: @Mark_T by AC

    "that fact that I can use it for defense allows me *not* to be scared"

    Indeed it does. However we don't need a gun so as "*not* to be scared." Thanks for proving my point so well.

    I don't feel scared in public or at home and feel no safer with a gun. You see all that mentality does is encourage EVERYONE to get a gun. That's why our police aren't routinely armed with guns.

    When I use a firearm it is NEVER a weapon whatever its design because I have no intent. I just don't need one.

    As for permission, well I'm very happy for the police to filter out psyco's and crims. They are legally unable to deny permission to law-abiding people to have one for sport.

    You think you understand our relationship with our government. First learn about the "Poll Tax" to find what we do when they overstep the line. We don't start shooting, we just ignore them.

    Like I said, you can't see your chains. I don't envy your "freedom" I pity you for your utter dependence on a killing machine.

  56. Rick Brasche

    funny. brits b*tch about their government running them over

    they complain about surveillance cameras everywhere, and government databases following them and their children. They complain of government refusing to allow immigration and wonder what happened to their rights as citizens.

    Then, here and now, they defend that government to decide when or if they're allowed to have a gun. The same government that they cannot trust for anything else, cannot trust it to listen to their grievances, cannot trust it to defend it's people, or to respect it's own citizens-is now good enough to protect them from the evils in the world...even though they complain that it fails to do so at every attempt.

    Let me clue you into something that California has taught me-the freedom of speech-to assemble, to protest..doesn't mean *SQUAT* if your government chooses to ignore you. You can protest for decades (people have) get worldwide attention (people do) and STILL your tree gets cut down, your neighborhood overrun by crack dealing gangsters, you can't marry who you want...the only chance you have left is finding some rich, connected philanthropist to buy you influence and bribe officials.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why philosophers and scholars of leadership-many of them European who'd witnessed how England, France, etc. had been crushed by uncontrolled rulers who could choose to ignore their magna cartas -inspired and helped develop a series of rights designed to make sure the peoples' wishes could not be ignored. Where the wishes of normal, common people were worth just as much as the Lords and Ladies, the grocery bagger as much as the Actress.

    And as the 2nd Amendment has been eroded, so has government gotten more out of control. No one pays attention to San Francisco, because it is a virtual Police State-only the police (who are accountable only to their political leaders) so they protest and no harm done to those in Sacramento or Washington, DC. "Let them eat cake", was once said an out of control government official. "Let them protest and vent their spleens", says American government now.

    So next time you want to rip into Blair and Brown, remember that it is *you* who enable and keep them there. You who are content to spread the illusion that "guns are for crazy folk" and that "only idiots got guns". Every surveillance camera, every ID card, every socialist program-all created by a government that not only ignores it's people, but is unafraid of them as well- gets it's power strengthened by *your* attitude.

    But most anti-gun folks can't accept responsibility for their situation. This is why they fear guns the most-because every aspect of it's use, whether legal or illegal, for good or ill, safely or dangerously, is 100% the responsibility of the holder of the weapon. The holder cannot shift blame away from how it's used or what happens-and many people cannot accept that responsibility. They want to blame someone else for their problems, for their consequences. And they project that onto anyone willing to take responsibility for firearm ownership. You'll notice, among those who think "society owes them something", who love the idea of government taking care of their needs without personal effort, are invariably among those who demand "gun control". Hate personal responsibility? I bet you're a big anti-gun supporter too.

  57. Charles Manning
    Paris Hilton

    Here's why guns are needed!

    Finally we can add a PH angle!

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor fearful frightened yanks....

    "No government dweeb is going to know what I own and then order me to turn it in; we learned our lessons only too well from the UK and Australian gun-confiscation programs."

    What lesson was that then - the armageddon didn't come ?

    Poor fearful frightened yanks....just as long as they stay at home, it's better than a soap opera.


  59. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Oh yeah. Gun talk...

    ...well, who cares. Good old rotten USA will be transforming itself into a christian fascist hulk faster than you can imagine. Maybe we should tell Pakistan to invade, to get ahold of their nukes and stuff before someone gets hurt. Wake me up when the situation has stabilized (somewhere after the US equivalent of the Empire's Last Spasm, the Great Leap Forward or a split of the Union, whatever comes first).

    Mine's the one with "I don't dial 911, I just dial 357" on the back.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Domestic Terrorists?

    To all those bleating about how owning guns means that they can overthrow their own government if they really need/want to - wouldn't that make you a 'domestic terrorist' as well as a traitor?

    Of course if you are of the opinion that Timothy McVeigh was a patriot I retract the question.

    It all comes down to our inalienable human rights: my right to freedom of speech and your right to own the means to kill things from a distance in an instant

    Anonymised 'cause it's probably not a good idea to annoy gun-toting sociopaths

  61. Johny Cumlately

    Give me Liberty...

    Gun crime is physical coercion with a specific tool: a gun. It matters not if it's John Smith down the street or Johny Blackboots in some Gov. sanctioned organization. It's plunder by a person or group against another person or group or their property.

    A gun is a tool. It cannot do anything by itself. It takes human will to make it effective at doing anything. I could rob, kill, physically harm someone with a hammer as well. Yet the hammer will do nothing by itself. The efficiency and safety of using a gun is it's appeal. It can stop with one shot and can do it from a safe distance.

    The enemy is not the device. The enemy is collectivism. The will behind the gun. The gun can be used by the aggressor or the defender. Yet the gun by itself will do nothing. It's the person or group sticking it in your chest. Liberty, is the only thing that will save people. When there is equal risk to both sides of an aggressive situation, whether it be a mugger on the street or the state thugs called in to collect taxes by force, only then will physical coercion be rejected for dialog or arbitrage. Balance of power means balance of risk. Most people and groups base their actions on reward versus risk. When one group has most of the power, it means they also have less risk to their actions. It doesn't matter how many bullets at a time a gun can fire. The decision to take action because of less risk, and the reward of plunder, are the deciding factors for aggressors. By the defender being equally armed, or at least effectively armed against the aggressor, it evens the risks to aggression.

    Facts: Both Democrats and Republicans want to control the people and restrict arms. Both are members of the "War Party". Both plunder their constituents through taxation, currency debasement and physical force.

    Fact: In Chicago, not only do you need a Federal permit to own a handgun, you also need a City permit to "legally" own a handgun. They haven't given out a permit since 1987. They also don't recognize permits from other states. Yet, Chicago has a very high gun crime and homicide rate (go to

    Government is not concerned with protecting their citizens. They are concerned with protecting their power structure. That is why they want to take away your guns.

    Liberty |ˈlibərtē|

    noun ( pl. -ties)

    1 ) the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views

    Libertarian: A believer in no physical coercion of person or property by one group against another.

    "...I would rather have a gun and not need it, than need a gun and not have it."

    - Clarence Wurley : TRUE ROMANCE

    " No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms" - Thomas Jefferson

  62. Phil
    Gates Horns

    @william henderson

    Geography, sir -- geography! Only the part of Russia that lies to the West of the Urals is situated on the continent of Europe. About 77% of Russia lies in the continent of ASIA. That being said, Russia is generally not considered to be European; it's mostly thought of as Slavic, isn't it? But I guess that wouldn't serve your "rah rah jolly old england" purpose, would it?

    But let's not split hairs. Whether or not Russia was handing Hitler his ass on the Eastern Front has NOTHING to do with whether Western Europe had already thrown in the towel (they had) or whether England was about to get its ass handed to it on a big, steel tray (it was).

    I would also like to mention that EVEN IF Russia was able to defeat Germany (which they would NOT have been if the allies hadn't tied up German forces on the Western Front) if Russia had managed to take Europe, they'd have taken England next. Communist doctrine was about expansion, not playing nice with the neighbors. If it weren't for our help, you might just be eating borscht instead of shepherd's pie, and waiting in hundred yard long lines for toilet paper.

    I can't believe I even have to tell you this stuff. What is it with you guys? Do you not feel manly unless you're bitching about the U.S? Do you feel GUILTY about needing our help? Does it make you feel weak and girly?

    After all, we saved your butt in TWO wars in a row, against the SAME adversaries! I guess maybe it's an ego blow or something, for a former colonial power that has lost almost ALL of its possessions, including losing the ENTIRE CONTINENT OF INDIA to a man wearing a little diaper thing and advising people to be completely nonviolent.

    Remind me: how do you lose a colony when you have a vast army and zillions of guns when the opposition is a little old man who is simultaneously a pacifist?

    You guys need more practice at this whole "tough guy" thing. Seriously.

  63. jake Silver badge

    Guns are just tools.

    Guns are just tools. Dangerous tools, but tools nonetheless. When you understand a tool, what that tool is for, and how and when to deploy it, chances are pretty good that said tool will be at hand when you need it. "It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools ..."

    When used (in)correctly, an ax, a claw-hammer, or a largish screwdriver can be lethal at distances in excess of 30 feet (horizontal), which is much further than most (civilian) gun deaths. (I throw an ax at logging competitions, and can easily hit a human-sized target at 75 feet; I watched a guy get killed by a claw hammer thrown from 35 feet up in Humboldt County (was an accident, don't ask); and a friend once won a bar bet by sticking 7 of 10 Craftsman brand #41588 screwdrivers into a straw archery butt at 15 yards in under 15 seconds ... with pretty good grouping (#41588s are about two feet long, and nearly a pound in weight)). Shall we ban axes, hammers, and screwdrivers?

    IMNECTHO, the world-wide "gun problem" is a social problem, not a tool problem. That problem being idiots in charge of firearms. This includes the IdiotInChief[tm] at 1600 Pennsylvania ... That being said, I don't profess to have an answer to the problem. All I know is that a ban on guns isn't the answer because criminals, by definition, don't obey the law.


    I grew up shooting. I've had guns around me & mine all my life. At our last extended family reunion, we had over 400 people in attendance. Nearly all shoot regularly, and I believe all own guns. We have not had a single incident of gun violence perpetrated towards us, or by us, since before the turn of the 20th century. No accidents, either.


    43 years ago, I earned 5 cents a head taking out gophers in the family veggie patch. I am only 47. I still have that .22 Savage, given to me on my 4th birthday. It was purchased new by my grandfather, just before the Great Depression. It helped feed the family during the Depression. It looks like it might have to help feed the family again ...

  64. Phil
    IT Angle

    Bottom line: why Americans like their guns. (seriously)

    I'd like to point out to our British conversational partners that the reason almost everyone in America owns a gun can be broken down this way:

    1: Most suburban and rural areas border large forests full of wild animals, which sometimes go nuts and try to eat things they shouldn't (like children, because they're smaller and less intimidating, apparently). In New Jersey, black bears have been a problem lately, and there have been a few fatalities. When raccoons go rabid here in New York, they usually have to be killed because they'll chase and attack people, giving them rabies. Then there are wild dogs, coyotes (which have been known to attack children, dogs, cats), etc. My sister has had a large bear approach her kitchen door several times this year. SO FAR, it's left her alone; her neighbor has kindly offered to turn it into a rug if it gets too bold. He can do that because he's a gun owner.

    I know you brits don't have bears and rabid raccoons wandering around outside, so I'll cut you some slack here. I know the concept of "big furry thing that might try to bite giant chunks out of me" is kind of alien to you. Most of you live in urban areas, right? Or, at most, suburban. And the biggest animal you're likely to see is a neighbor's cat...

    A couple of years ago, out in California, a Japanese man was barbecuing in his back yard with his dog, a Shitzu. A large mountain lion leapt over his six foot garden wall, broke the dog's neck, picked it up by the neck, and dragged it back over the wall, all in the space of 10 seconds. The man was astonished. Apparently, in Japan, there are no large, furry things that can eat you. Just like you British guys... It's out of your experience.

    We Americans that live close enough to capital-N "Nature" tend to be very protective over our right to own big guns. We have good reason to be.

    2: Even if you don't live close enough to the woods to have a bear shuffling around your back yard, you still have to worry about OTHER PEOPLE. People get pissed off at each other all the time. Maybe you're dating someone with an ex that just can't let go. Maybe you have a dispute with someone. Maybe a criminal just decides to rob your house. Whatever.

    We Americans find it very comforting that if someone were to try to break into our house and attack or harm us, we could respond by blowing the crap out of that person. We don't have to wait for the cops to show up, IF they show up... Blowing giant holes in an intruder often makes him decide to stop intruding. You'd be surprised what a motivator it is.

    And you know, it's not that we're AFRAID of anything... Honestly, it's pretty funny that you british guys, who have the biggest nanny-state in the WORLD, think that way. We're not afraid of anything at all. If something threatens us, we kill it, plain and simple.

    Fear is for the unarmed.

  65. Stuart Van Onselen

    My own fault, really...

    ...I should have known better than to open a thread related to gun-control in the US. I'll need to spend the rest of the day cleaning the flecks of spittle off the inside of my monitor. Ah well, it beats working.

    In the original draft of this post I insulted the US several times. Then I remembered that you do still have your guns, and that the posts here were proof enough that a lot of you are fear-filled psychopaths with no compunction about using then.

    So I deleted the insults.

    See? "Freedom from being insulted by foreign devils". Just one of the many overlooked benefits of gun ownership!

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Run for the hills, too.

    "People are buying guns because they have seen too many constitutionally guaranteed rights taken away, as with wiretapping phones under the premise of searching for terrorists"

    So... why buy now? Why not buy when Bush Jr. was in the office and implemented all these changes?

  67. Tom Austin
    Thumb Down

    @ phil

    There's always one, isn't there?

    And today's inevitable blow-hard -- employing CAPITALS to point out yet again that we should always be grateful for all eternity for something that, um, didn't actually quite happen that way -- happens to be you. Congrats.

    Sigh. I'd suggest read your WW2 history books. Or maybe read them again -- properly, this time. Assuming you do have books. Books about WW2 in particular. That you can read. But I doubt that would be useful. Hell, I doubt you'll even read the responses to your "cordial" bollix. I certainly doubt you'll read this far.

    So perhaps I'm just venting. Oh well: ah, that feels better. On with my day.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Judge Jury and Executioner

    You wouldn't give the right to your government or the police, but, defend your drunken next door neighbours right to exorcise it on your kids! Hats of to you that's extreme philosophy.

  69. Anonymous Coward

    Oh silly me !

    Now I understand, we old-worlders being slow and all that.

    Americans are afraid of NOTHING. However if you have a gun you can kill ANYTHING that might be a threat so that you don't have to not-be-afraid of it in the first place. Simple huh ?

    I'm obliged to all those Americans here who know our culture, politics, history and legal system better than we do and offer instruction on it. Of course Americans are well known for their interest and insight into global issues.

    Yes we hunted all our large animals to extinction. This was in the middle ages and was accomplished without firearms ;o))

    I am saddened that any talk of examining the public ownership of firearms is met with an incoherent tirade from those who "are not afraid of anything."

    Me, I'd rather have nothing to fear and no need to own a weapon than feel obliged to have one to kill anything/one that might come and get me, not that I'd be afraid of it, of course.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Why 1% of US' spoil it for the other 99%

    "including losing the ENTIRE CONTINENT OF INDIA to a man wearing a little diaper thing and advising people to be completely nonviolent."

    As if the foaming, rabid trollism and historical lunacy wasn't enough, this comment nicely sum's up just how much of a fucktard you are - go back to your cave and disconnect the interweb, it will only disappoint you being full of all sorts of things you won't approve of - probably black people to start with...

    Paris - because this flame war sucks even harder than her

  71. Allan Dyer

    Uncivilised America

    I have to conclude that America is uncivilised. Civilised = behaviour suitable for a city. If you live miles from anywhere, you depend on your own resources. If you live in a city, you specialise and let other specialists take care of the rest. You don't dig your own latrines, you don't grow or hunt your own food, why does it make any sense to carry lethal weaponry for protection from your neighbours, who should also be civilised? Outsource it to the trained specialists - the Police. Carrying a gun is like carrying a plough - wrong tool for a city.

    I can't figure out a gun for home defence, either. It needs to be kept locked, so children don't have accidents, so an intruder is likely to find the half-asleep homeowner desperately struggling to open the safe. If the intent is burglary, my life is worth more than my property - keep quiet and call the police later. If the intent is assault, murder or rape the attacker will choose to attack when I'm at the maximum disadvantage.

    As for the Constitution... if the purpose was to enable the populace to overthrow an unjust government, technology eroded that ability a long time ago. The American Revolutionaries could defeat a major world power in pitched battle, can you imagine a bunch of civilians with hunting rifles defeating an army with tanks, aircraft, cluster-bombs, etc...?

    @Phil another thing about D-Day, it was the British, Commonwealth and other troops that were able to get off their beaches and move inland. The Americans were stuck because they didn't have the right equipment - look up Hobart's Funnies. American soldiers died because of a "not invented here" attitude. Anyway, don't make it sound like you graciously saved the Europeans... you only joined in because the Japanese attacked.

    @AC "Second Amendment" "Would the bad guys at the store have drawn guns if they thought a legally armed citizen might be right next to them?" They were prepared to draw knowing that the guy they were arguing with was armed, so the presence of a few other guns, probably held by people more concerned about the possibility of hitting an innocent bystander and therefore more hesitant about shooting, would seem to be a minor consideration.

    @AC "The UK is a great example of this. The population is disarmed and crime is rampant." Others have mentioned the much higher gun crime in the US than the UK. Here in Hong Kong, a city of 7 million, the population is disarmed and it is one of the safest cities in the world. I can walk home drunk<<<<<, I mean tired, in the middle of the night completely safe.

    @AC "use it for sporting purposes" it is only sport if the rats, squirrels, deer etc. are also carrying and using guns. Hunt for food, if you like, I'm not vegetarian, but don't pretend it is sport. Target shooting may be a sport, fine, but you only need an airgun to make holes in paper.

  72. Simon Neill

    Guns are not the issue...

    I would just like to point out that some countries INSIST that every citizen own a gun and ammo. I can't remember which it was, I want to say sweden, every male is in the army for a year and they keep their rifle and ammo. I have no objection to people owning guns.

    What I object to is when it is easier to own a gun (an item designed 100% to kill things) than drive a car (an item designed to get from a to b which can only kill when used badly). What I'm saying here is own all the guns you want, just make damn sure you know how to use them. Darwin awards is stuffed full of "I thought it wasn't loaded" stories. THAT bothers me.

    Also the issue is storage. Sure, the bad guy has to think about that potentially armed citizen next to him. On the other hand its a lot harder to get a gun when they aren't in every house and available for easy sale.

    Your right to own guns is fine, so long as it doesn't interfere with my right to not get shot.

  73. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    A word about guns in the U.S.

    The sudden rush of gun sales in the U.S. is in response to the American media and the Republican party promoting propaganda. If we do not exercise our rights the country would become as horrible as Australia is right now. Unfortunately, much of unfavorable news coverage is of isolated and uneducated farmers in the central states.

  74. Allan Dyer

    @Phil - Pacifism

    "Remind me: how do you lose a colony when you have a vast army and zillions of guns when the opposition is a little old man who is simultaneously a pacifist?"

    I applaud your ingenuity: Attempting to use Ghandi as an argument in favour of gun ownership. He won, he didn't need a gun to win. Why do you?

  75. Anonymous Coward


    I guess it's hard to explain that which free people enjoy compared to those poor subjects who are not "permitted" access to those same things - kinda like a fat woman on a diet who resents those who can freely eat pizza without permission :)

  76. chris

    So the wild west ain't dead yet then?

    It'll all end in tears, blood sweat and some good 'ol boys'll get shot for sure.

    Nothing new for America then?

  77. neil
    Thumb Down


    Guns? Only a tool!

    Ban guns, only a tool for 'the state'...Think about it.

  78. Phil

    Take it easy boys, I'm just messing with you.

    The Ghandi comment should have tipped you off. Slow day yesterday, and I wanted to poke what's-his-face in the eye for dissing our WWII contributions. Looks like I riled you guys up a bit. Fun times.

    The wilderness-related comments were straight-faced though. The bear that "visits" my sister is around 400 pounds. And I live WAY out in the sticks, so yeah, you can have my long guns when you pry 'em from my cold dead fingers.

    So, look. I think the flame war is kind of getting old, so how about a new one: American food vs. British food. Chili beats shepherd's pie, and a cold Boston lager's better than that black mud you guys drink.

    Have at you!

  79. Anonymous Coward


    Sorry, bro - Shepherd's Pie kicks chili's ass any day of the week. As for beer, make mine one of Texas' best - Shiner Bock :)

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Phil et al

    It is unlikely that Germany could have invaded England in the 40s due mainly to the RAF and Royal Navy. It is valid however that most of the RAF fighter pilots learned to fly in the safety of the California skies, in planes made in the US.

    However it is also fairly common knowledge that Germany was not far off developing an atomic bomb and planes capable of flying to the US and back. It is no great leap of logic to surmise that without the resistance, bombing and general warringness of the UK the first the US would have realised that Hitler had real designs on owning the world would have been when atomic bombs started falling on New York.

    So on behalf of my Grandparents who saved your Grandparents from dying in a horrible radioactive fireball of death, I say "you are very welcome"

    American beer tastes like the worst form of piss. Like gnats piss that has then been drunk by another gnat and pissed out again.

  81. Mike

    Americans are stupid lame cowards

    The american "war of independence" was fought by people who constantly changed sides to gain promotions and depending who was winning at the time, the winners were in fact the biggest cowards.

    In WW2 the americans did nothing until they were under threat, british technology availble to the germans would have been a serious threat (not just nuclear), the only reason that the war was won was british inteligence (and yes american resources, as by then the germans were overstretched).

    The american resources did not come free, and only in the last few years has the financial debt been paid, this has cost the UK billions, america did not 'help out' the UK, the UK paid for a service and as employees of the UK the americans were paid well.

    Notwithstanding, there are quid-pro-quo arrangements with are mutually benificial like the vulcan refuling by the US during the falkland island conflict and the SAS giving training to raider battalions.

    americans really shouldn't open up the debate to include conflicts;

    Who "won" in vietnam?(clue...not america)

    Who trained and outfitted afgan terrorists?

    Where did most of the foreign money come from funding the irish "troubles" (terrorists)

    Iraq (what can I say?)

    It's a hall of shame, and turning up late to a war as a hired gun 60 years ago is nothing to be proud about either.

    About 15,000 amercans are shot to death every year, statistically most likely by a gun they, or their partner bought, canada does not have the same problem despite having very similar laws and about the same number of guns per capita.

    americans; don't believe your own hype, a bear will run off with a loud noise, a wounded bear will kill you (I know this first hand, I have a sister in canada who gets bears in her garden and I've been there), the crap about a mountain lion that jumped over the fence and tood a dog away in 10 seconds.... does this mean you'd have to carry a gun 24x7 and be "quick on the draw" to "handle these varmints"? fools

    If you plan for the worst case scenario then you'll see the worse case wherever you look, this is american culture and what's wrong with it.

  82. jake Silver badge

    Yes, guns are only tools.

    Guns are only tools. Hopefully the users of said tools aren't tools themselves.

    As for food & beer, horses for courses. I'd rather have a big plate of Shepherd's Pie after a ramble in the Dales on a typical damp, dreary fall day ... and give me a couple pints of Bitter to wash it down. If I'm down in the dessert, a big bowl of chili, some corn bread, and a bottle or two of Lagunitas Maximus to wash it down. Here in the North Bay, at this time of year, tonight's chow is going to be home-made turkey soup and home-made bread, with Gravenstein apple pie garnished with a largish chunk of Wensleydale cheese for afters (my sister's father-in-law ships me proper cheese on a regular basis) ... Probably Guinness with the soup, and Red Seal Ale with the pie.

  83. AWeirdoNamedPhil

    Sticking to food for now...

    I'll take a Sam Adams and a bowl of chili or lentil soup over the shepherd's pie and "bitters" (god that stuff's nasty, like drinking old engine oil). Nice stuff. The guys steamed up about "American Beer" are probably thinking of budweiser or pabst blue ribbon. Heh heh heh...

    I'm surprised to see that my earlier troll is still wandering around, causing trouble. They don't die easy, do they? At least it's getting some -- apparently it's run into a female British troll and they're procreating. I wonder what their kids will look like?

    Ha ha... I wonder if I should say something inflammatory and wind up Mike some more? Looks like his spring is about ready to pop out of the gear case and hit someone in the eye.

    Oh, I can't resist. (ahem)

    @Mike: During WWII, we ALLOWED Japan to attack us so we would be provided with an excuse to enter the European theater and save your bland-food-eating, tea-swilling, ugly cardigan-wearing butts. If it weren't for us, you wouldn't be wearing an anorak when you go trainspotting, you'd be wearing a schwere Mantel. Now, run along and have some bratwurst... OH! I meant Shepherd's Pie!

  84. jake Silver badge


    Not "bitters", "bitter" ... Two completely different things. And I'm not talking about the swill that they put in bottles and ship to the States, either. Completely different stuff.

    As for Sam Adams, I think you'll find that it's a BMC[1] brew ... A good proportion is mass produced at SABMiller's facility. Poke around your area, find a real micro brewer. Or try Sierra Nevada, probably the only brew available nation-wide that's worth drinking ...

    [1]BMC is short for BudMillerCoors

  85. Rick Brasche

    damned if we do, damned if we don't.

    if we go to war to help someone, we're "fascists" and "invaders". If we mind our own business we're "cowards". Why did America sit out the war for so long? because we were sticking our heads in the sand, just like you and Europe wanted us to then, and want us to do now.

    Every time we did the European thing of "let the conflict burn" it built into a conflagration that consumed us all. We got proactive in Korea, Vietnam and with the Cold War. Did many people die? Yes. As many as a global nuclear exchange or all-out "hot" war with the Soviets over Western Europe and Africa and South America? Not even close.

    Europeans should blame the American fascination for automatic weapons on themselves. Why did Hiram Maxim invent the machine gun instead of a better mousetrap to become rich? Because he was told at the Paris Exhibition in 1881: "If you wanted to make a lot of money, invent something that will enable these Europeans to cut each other's throats with greater facility."

    I think the *real* reason that Europeans are pissed off at Americans is that we don't let them slaughter each other over their little kingdoms anymore. With countries barely the size of an American state, that's a lot of border conflicts, with a lot of depot kings instead only a few socialist dictators.

    Or it could be, since the Soviets weren't impressed by British land armor (tho there's that Leopard-inspired Challenger nowadays) that it took the American threat of firepower to maintain West Germany long enough until the Soviets "decided" to let East Germany go. Since Europe didn't have to spend much at all to protect itself, it invested it in multigenerational dole programs that have created a nice chav subculture that's overwhelming your cities, and those suspiciously swarthy "youths" burning up the French countryside.

    But sure, it's only the Americans who have misplaced national pride issues...uh huh.

    The price of freedom, is to allow people you don't agree with to speak. This includes the stupid, or those we believe are stupid. Because once you start like the anti-gun name callers, calling them psychopaths or telling them to shut up and get off the net., soon you find yourself the one being shouted down or oppressed.

    But it's real hard to oppress an armed population. Easy to suppress an unarmed, misinformed one.

  86. Allan Dyer

    @Phil - Food and Beer

    Yep, you got me with the Ghandi comment. Thing is, intelligent pacifists win. What does that say about the guys with guns?

    Right - food and beer...

    I know why you drink your beer freezing - you can't taste something that cold. Good beer should taste nice.

    Chilli... chilli what? It's just one ingredient. Try some Sichuan noodles, or some Thai soup, or the many regional dishes from Ghandi's country. Like a lot of things, there is more to cuisine than picking one dish you like and sticking to it. Don't be over-simplistic, diversity and change are to be enjoyed. I like fish and chips, but I also like a bowl of tom yum. I might also like your chilli... stuff, whatever it is.

    Flames, for the cooking...

  87. AWeirdoNamedPhil

    @Rick... bravo. Very well said.

    That was possibly one of the best posts in this whole forum.

  88. Armus Squelprom

    Nothing To See Here....

    This debate is over, nobody's made a new point for years.

    US citizens generally feel that easy access to guns is worth the social risks & costs which come with that. European citizens generally don't feel that easy access to guns is worth the social risks & costs which come with that. Vive la difference, end of story.

  89. Andus McCoatover

    Er, wasn't this the reason for the US's Second Amendment?

    District of Columbia, et al., Petitioners v. Dick Anthony Heller. 554 U.S. ____ (2008), page 25. "The debate with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, as with other guarantees in the Bill of Rights, was not over whether it was desirable (all agreed that it was) but over whether it needed to be codified in the Constitution. During the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia was pervasive in Antifederalist rhetoric."

    i.e., if the Federal Government turns out to be a Feral Government and goes Postal, the citizens of the US can and will "subdue" them. They - the citizens- are the civilian malitia.

    Don't agree with it though, but I'm not a US citizen. What do I care??

  90. Jeff

    another reason\

    Ohio authorities stormed a farm house in LaGange Monday, December 1, to execute a search warrant, holding the Jacqueline and John Stowers and their son and young grandchildren at gunpoint for nine hours.

    this is the type of thing that you see and why Americans dont want to give up guns.

  91. Naiirita

    if your chilli

    only has one ingredient, your not doing it right.

  92. Mike

    @Rick Brasche

    American only goes to war when it suits it's purpose, every single conflict could potentially benifit america either directly or indirectly, this includes the conflicts that the american govenment funded or provided other resources such as training, so yes the american policy is either to be a coward or an invader, not that I disagree with this policy, it's understandable, why would you send your men to die unless it's for the good of your country? (or countries in the case of the UN), get over yourselves, there's nothing proud or noble about this.

    >The price of freedom, is to allow people you don't agree with to speak.

    American laws protecting "freedom of speech" means that you have people inciting racial hatred (such as your modern Nazis), but it's a sham and a charrade, Nazi scum are protected "under the law", yet it's still illegal to maliciously criticise the government (federal sedition act), then the Sedition Act of 1918 meant that 2000 americans were prosecuted for publically arguing against the war (including a minister that got 15 years for saying the war was "unchristian"), look what happened to the japanese americans in ww2, where was their voice? and to bring it bang up to date, the patriot act (a modern sedation act).

    >But it's real hard to oppress an armed population. Easy to suppress an unarmed, misinformed one.

    Yea, just like France.

    The american people are more misinformed than any country in the world and it will stay that way because if you question it the charrade will end and you'll have to accept how suppressed you are, so it's a self perpetuating myth, you don't want the delusion to end because it's comforting. puppet.

  93. william henderson

    @phil Friday 5th December 2008 04:41 GMT

    sure and you were late both times...................................

    but never mind, best not to jump in on the side of the looser, eh?

    as Germany was your sure fire rival for economic clout, i can see why you (GRUDGINGLY) chose to help us.

    if your so free. how come you have so many gun laws and live in fear?

    'cause all your loonies have guns too.

    bully for you.

    as for the percentage of Russia deemed to be Asian, that stopped them dead in their tracks, right?

    if new york is the backwoods, that would explain the shootings, right again?

    says something about your social values.

  94. Tawakalna


    "Try and remember that until WE entered the war and landed on the beach at Normandy, you Brits were LOSING."

    erm, what about El Alamein and Stalingrad? we hadn't even had a sniff of a Merkin soldier by then, and at the time you lot were busy running away from the Japanese (while we were fighting them to a standstill in N Burma)

    Merkins conveniently forget that Hitler lost his war in Russia, long before they bothered to get involved (and if Hitler hadn't declared war on the US, they prob still wouldn't have got stuck in until it was nearly all over again)

    As for losing, there was that little thing called the Battle of Britain that stopped the Hun. And the Royal Navy who beat the Jerries in the Batlle of the Atlantic and forced them to go over to the Merkin side of the water to sink their ships.

    Merkins. I ask you (tsk tsk tsk)

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Nuff said...

    Scared of knives and forks, Britain?

  96. william henderson

    @Rick Brasche

    "But it's real hard to oppress an armed population. Easy to suppress an unarmed, misinformed one."

    tell that to the Iraqi's, almost every house has an ak47 yet they were still lead by a tyrant.

  97. Martin


    Britons telling Americans how little they need guns...

    As I (natural-born US Citizen) recall, the United States Constitution was written in order to correct and prevent the abuses prevalent on this continent under the former (British Empire) government. The Second Amendment, while it does protect the right of citizens to hunt and to defend themselves against petty criminals, exists predominantly to provide the citizens with the ability to shoot back at the government. The men who wrote it had just fought a long war, against the world's only superpower; one which they could not have won without the fact that the common people had the right to, and did, keep top-grade, state-of-the-art infantry small arms at home and practice with them regularly.

    By this standard, the current interpretation - that a citizen has the right to handguns and semi-automatic long guns is ridiculous.

    What's next? Perhaps Germany will be reminding the Poles or the French how little they need a standing army to defend their borders.

  98. Eduard Coli
    Thumb Down

    Yeah so.

    Nice to see that yellow journalism is alive and well.

    The author fails to mention if the handguns carries by the two young men were legal...

    Odd are they were not and there you go, enforce the laws you've got and we'll all be okay.

    Then the author tried to tie this to legal gun ownership.

    Coming from blighty-land the ignorance is understandable.

    The MPs that created the polite police state that is GB like this kind of stuff.

    When Bubba got into office and passed his infamous "Assault Weapons Ban" it saved no one and it stopped no crime but it did drive the value of "pre-ban" firearms up ten fold.

  99. Chewy


    I think Waco proved that it doesn't matter if the average citizen has assault rifles when the government has tanks and flame-throwers..

  100. Mark

    re: Ironic...

    However, your government won't let you have the weapons they allow themselves to have, unlike when the 2nd was written.

    Or have you tried to purchase armour piercing ammo, fully automatics, tanks and APC (and the ammo for the MBT), large calibre anti-tank, SAMs, AAA, and so on?

    They don't like it when you ask for the weapons a millitia will need.

  101. Martin

    To: Mark

    You seem to have missed the main thrust of my post, which is that if the British Empire had not abused its North American colonies, the Revolutionary War would not have occurred and therefore the Second Amendment would likely not exist. Thus Britons belittling Americans for their ownership of firearms is a textbook example of irony.

    That said, I agree with you entirely. Modern US gun laws do gut the spirit, and in most places the letter, of the Second Amendment. I happen to think that Vermont and Alaska are the only two states with Constitutional laws with respect to handguns and nobody has them with respect to the heavier arms of which you speak - let alone military (other than observation, transport, and artillery spotting) aircraft and the armament for same.

  102. Anonymous Coward


    An article deliberately slanted to foment discord and trans-atlantic insults. So of course you all fell for it and have accomplished nothing more than mutual alienation. You should be ashamed of yourselves to be trading such remarks with one another at this time of year.

  103. Matt Bradley

    Armed Miltias

    I do awfully like the rather quaint idea of an armed militia of American citizens rising up to remove the government.

    What surprises me is that the people who use this as a justification for US gun ownership don't seem to realise that this precisely the kind of thing that happens in states like erm.. Afganistan and Iraq.

    If you guys want to live like that, be my guest. Merry Christmas.

  104. william henderson

    @Disgraceful By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 15th December 2008 21:42 GMT

    why should the time of year be important?

    it's only a celebration based on the v unlikely events concerning the supposed son of a garden fairy.

    a celebration hijacking a pagan ceremonial date.

    sod all to do with logic and reason.

  105. CTG

    History lesson

    Wars of conquest started by the Americans:

    War of 1812: failed attempt to steal Canada from the Brits

    Mexican-American War: successful attempt to steal Texas, California etc from the Mexicans

    War of Northern Aggression: successful attempt to conquer the Confederate States of America

    Spanish-American War: successful attempt to steal Cuba, the Phillipines etc from Spain

    Second Gulf War: successful attempt to steal Iraq from, er, the Iraqis

    Not to mention all the little "interventions" like Grenada, various bits of Central America, SE Asia etc.

    Do we see a pattern here?

  106. Pierre

    Firearms protection, constitution rights and WWII in Europe

    Overweight /Pater Familiae/ trying to defend their family from the occasional burglar? Best way to get yourself shot with your own gun. Try with a bat instead.

    Defend your constitution rights? Who are you kidding, you would have arisen already if that was true.

    Finally, unny how some people appear to genuinely think the US did much in Europe during WWII (appart from killing an awful lot of French and German civilians in high-altitude bombings). The German army was on the other side of the continent, fighting the ruskis. Now in the Pacific it's different.

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    RE: Firearms protection, constitution rights and WWII in Europe

    One: -your own gun turned against you-

    According to >actual< crime-statistics (as stringently-maintained by the FBI within the United States) when a "burglar" (I.E. any criminal/thief/rapist/robber/drugged-out-junkie/murderer/etc. that breaks into a domicile) confronts an armed home-owner, in better than 95-percent of the actual cases, the home-owner IS able to defend themselves... with their "gun". In short, they (the armed citizens) are far better-off having a gun, than being, yet another, helpless-victim. That is simply a, well-documented, fact. And, frankly, only those that are extremely-ignorant, rather dimwittedly parroting-back rabidly anti-gun-ownership propaganda, or are just plain intentionally-lying... claim otherwise.

    Furthermore, unless the "Overweight /Pater Familiae/" is a highly-trained martial-artist, a "bat" most certainly WILL get him seriously injured (if not killed), in virtually any confrontation with any, physically-superior, opponent(s). However... even petite, elderly, women HAVE successfully defended themselves, with firearms, against clearly-overwhelming attackers.

    So... the first assertion is patently asinine.

    Two: -defending your rights-

    A very effective argument can be made that simply -exercising- your rights, IS an act of >defending< them. Additionally, the assumption that because the American people have not, as yet, risen-up against the current illegal, unconstitutional, and wildly-unpopular, actions of the Government... in no way undermines the credibility of that, potential-eventuality... which is probably why those in government are clearly so terrified of the legal-right, of the citizens, to "Keep and Bear" firearms.

    Additionally, any understanding/knowledge of actual history, demonstrates just how long it can take for people to finally be driven to forcibly opposing a tyrannical-government (that will not back-down).

    And, such an ignorance of history, leads us to the previous posters last set of inane-assertions...

    Three: -the U.S. role in WWII-

    Id say that, "Pierre" REALLY needs to learn some REAL history, regarding WWII. But, then... based upon his post... Id also have to say that FACTS are the last thing on this posters mind.

  108. Matt


    did someone sneeze when they were naming the town?

  109. Bill

    Ahh, you Brits just love to poke fun at the Americans...

    And, it's not like the Americans even care about what you think of them.

    You seem the forget that several centuries ago your nation was one of the most aggressive on the planet: First you sent your missionaries, with their nonsense religion, to subdue the populations, And, if that didn't work, you then sent trade commissioners, with one-sided deals in hand, to "negotiate". And, when the monarchy got greedier, as it always did, then you sent the agent provocateurs and, inevitably, the warships, canons, guns and soldiers.

    It's the American's turn now. So, let them have their fun. And, if they kill each other off in the process, so be it. ;)

  110. Martin

    re: History Lesson

    > Wars of conquest started by the Americans:

    > War of 1812: failed attempt to steal Canada from the Brits

    Was a legitimate part of the war, started by the U.K.'s actions, including but not limited to the seizure of US vessels while conducting their lawful traffic on the high seas and the impression of their crews into Royal Naval service. At the time, of course, Canada was a part of the British Empire.

    > Mexican-American War: successful attempt to steal Texas, California etc from the Mexicans

    Following decades of border skirmishes. And Texas revolted from Mexico independently. It was (one of only 3 states to be) its own republic prior to entry into the United States. (Vermont and California are the other two, btw, and Hawaii was, of course, a Kingdom)

    > War of Northern Aggression: successful attempt to conquer the Confederate States of America

    There was no such thing as the Confederate States of America, at least not as a separate nation to be conquered. The CSA was a group of breakaway provinces, whose status is actually rather similar to what the entire US's would have been had the Continental Army failed in 1776-1789

    > Spanish-American War: successful attempt to steal Cuba, the Phillipines etc from Spain

    War declared by the Spaniards. Neither territory was taken as colonial province, but were transitioned rather rapidly to independence. What, precisely, is the record of the British Empire on this point?

    > Second Gulf War: successful attempt to steal Iraq from, er, the Iraqis

    Second phase of U.N.-authorized use of force following Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and repeated violations of cease-fire. Should have started ten years earlier.

    > Not to mention all the little "interventions" like Grenada, various bits of Central America, SE Asia etc.

    Again, ironic in the extreme to hear Brits condemning the US for that. Think we learned too well from you? Is there any continent besides Antarctica in which the British Empire did not maintain colonial presence well into the 20th century? Of course, the US has always attempted to maintain, or rapidly restore, local control and governance.

    > Do we see a pattern here?

    I do. Revisionist history to make a charge which is without significant basis in fact and can be made, typically with more justification, against any large power in world history.

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