Self Defence

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Self defence is a basic human right.

I strongly agree.
26
93%
I somewhat agree.
2
7%
I disagree.
0
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Total votes: 28

Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:03 pm

"My point about the hypothetical statement is more that, if you got rid of guns, the ability of one human to kill another human would be drastically decreased." - Ryan A

Have you ever heard the expression "God created men. .... Sam Colt made them equal." The point is that firearms are a great equalizer. They allow the weak to stand up to the strong and the few to stand up to the many in ways that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

In a world without guns it might be a little more difficult for a lone nut to go on a killing spree, but it would also be much easier for criminals to prey on those weaker than them.

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Post by Ryan A » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:21 pm

I have never heard that expression.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, there are more lone nuts than criminals preying on the weak, so really, I am of the exact opposite opinion from the same example.

Firearms are a great equalizer in that they let anyone kill anyone else. The weak could just as easily stand up to the strong if they hit the gym and took some self defense classes.

I guess my outlook is fundamentally different. In my view, we should spend less time trying to deal with the f'd up conditions we have now, and more time changing those conditions to the way they should be.

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Post by Matt Z » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:37 pm

"Unfortunately, in my opinion, there are more lone nuts than criminals preying on the weak, so really, I am of the exact opposite opinion from the same example." - Ryan A

Actual crime statistics would suggest otherwise.

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Post by Matt Z » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:45 pm

"The weak could just as easily stand up to the strong if they hit the gym and took some self defense classes." - Ryan A

I don't think you're being realistic. Some people will always be at a disadvantage in a fist fight. Think of the handicapped, the elderly, the small of stature, etc.

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Post by Ryan A » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:19 pm

I would think that crime would go way down if people didn't use guns to do the crimes.

No kidding, obviously a small person would not get in a fist fight, they would run away. Also, not like a handicap person could ever use a gun.

You gun enthusiasts should look at this:

http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/files/sa ... wsweek.pdf

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Post by wilburburns » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:49 pm

Ryan A wrote:I would think that crime would go way down if people didn't use guns to do the crimes.
Why, MANY Crimes are committed without Guns. Robbery, Arson, Theft, Breaking and Entering, are all crimes which are typically committed without a Gun or any other weapon. I'll even list a couple more crimes which don't require the use of a Gun. Murder, Armed Robbery, Assault...

In the case of Murder, the Victim is just as Dead as if they were SHOT with a Gun. Dead is still Dead..
No kidding, obviously a small person would not get in a fist fight, they would run away.
Surely, you are not saying that I should run away, just because I'm small. At 5'9" 180# many are bigger than me, But, if my life or family's life depended on me Standing my ground, you had better believe that I do not care how Big my attacker is, I will stand and Fight.

There will always Be someone bigger.
Also, not like a handicap person could ever use a gun.
Don't tell my father this. He's Legally handicapped and taught me how to shoot, respect weapons, and to fight for our 2nd amendment rights. There are many types of handicaps, Most do not affect the ability to own or use Guns.



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Post by Ryan A » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:17 am

Why, MANY Crimes are committed without Guns. Robbery, Arson, Theft, Breaking and Entering, are all crimes which are typically committed without a Gun or any other weapon. I'll even list a couple more crimes which don't require the use of a Gun. Murder, Armed Robbery, Assault...

In the case of Murder, the Victim is just as Dead as if they were SHOT with a Gun. Dead is still Dead..



Most crimes that threaten someone's life involve guns. I am talking about those crimes. If someone steals my bicycle when I am not around with a hacksaw, obviously I don't think getting rid of guns will stop that, but it will stop me from getting shot if someone walks up to me on the street and tries to take my car at gun point, because they would not have a gun.

The crimes you listed as typically committed without a gun are all scenarios where the risk of injury is very small.

Yes, dead is still dead, and it is much harder to kill someone without a gun, thus less dead.


Surely, you are not saying that I should run away, just because I'm small. At 5'9" 180# many are bigger than me, But, if my life or family's life depended on me Standing my ground, you had better believe that I do not care how Big my attacker is, I will stand and Fight.

There will always Be someone bigger.


I am saying you should run away if you value your life. No possession is worth dying over. As I said, if you remove guns from the picture the number of situations you are likely to encounter where "your family's life depends on you standing your ground" are going to rapidly approach zero.



Don't tell my father this. He's Legally handicapped and taught me how to shoot, respect weapons, and to fight for our 2nd amendment rights. There are many types of handicaps, Most do not affect the ability to own or use Guns.



I was responding to Matt'z comment about handicapped people being disadvantaged in a fist fight. I have a great respect for weapons but I also think the 2nd amendment is vastly misconstrued and wish the drafters of the constitution could have been more clear with their English.

Did you even bother to look at my link? Whatever the reason, gun related deaths in the US are much higher than other industrialized countries. Maybe it has nothing to do with how easy it is to get guns and only has to do with a culture that likes to shoot things but I would bet that the ease of access has something to do with it.

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Post by Ironman » Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:22 am

Matt Z wrote:I don't believe that medicine and psychology will ever create a utopian society free of violence. As long as people are free to make choices, some will choose to be violent, just as some choose to steal.
But isn't that a mental illness of sorts? Choosing something counter-productive like that doesn't make sense. We have an inborn morality, so if someone does that, they have some kind of a problem.

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Post by Ironman » Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:27 am

Ryan A wrote:@ Jebus first response

My point about the hypothetical statement is more that, if you got rid of guns, the ability of one human to kill another human would be drastically decreased.

Although I am not hoping for utopia around the corner, or even that "utopia" will ever exist, violence and war are easily solvable problems.

It is basic human nature to survive, not kill each other. Animals don't just go around killing each other for no reason; their reasons are very specific: food and mating, or the access via territory for the former.

Humans are obviously more intelligent than all other species on the planet because they are the only ones even capable of pondering the idea.

I don't know about you, but given the choice between dying and living forever, I would choose living forever, assuming any sensible quality of life (and I am pretty wide open there).

I would also rather have freedom over safety but if I am not safe enough to practice my freedom, than that is not freedom.

@Ironman's 1st response
I think most people who act violently do so because they have poor information. If you could increase their access to information they would very likely make different choices. In a group situation, violence is rarely advantageous to the overall welfare of the group. People do not live isolated enough lives for the math to work out on the side of total selfishness.

I would put more trust in a citizen organized computer virus threat than an army with rifles against tanks. But I agree there is some merit to this manner of thinking but given the current apathy of the average person, I think an insurgency would be unlikely, more like a plea for bigger HDTV's and then we would just roll over.

Well at least we can agree on everyone being an atheist. I am pretty sure that is the number one source of war scale violence and if not it is very close and/or a co-factor.

I also agree about making people smarter and that is going to be hard because people hate to be smart.
I agree with your points, but you misunderstood one of mine. I am coming from a pragmatic point of view on this. I am with you on reasons for violence. I am just saying that we will have to be able to fix that in people who are not rational. They will need psychiatric help in advance of what we currently can do. So it won't work until we get to that point.

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Post by Ironman » Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:40 am

Ryan A wrote:I would think that crime would go way down if people didn't use guns to do the crimes.

No kidding, obviously a small person would not get in a fist fight, they would run away. Also, not like a handicap person could ever use a gun.

You gun enthusiasts should look at this:

http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/files/sa ... wsweek.pdf
The problem with that is the guns are just the tool, it doesn't take into account the motivation. There are many factors that can cause more murders. You also can't expect criminals to obey gun laws when they are willing to kill. You also can't deny what black markets do. We have a nasty one here that funds all that crime. The spike in the murder rate when the drug war started, is a much better indicator of the problem in my opinion.

I also dislike the fact that both sides of the gun issue tend to rely on slippery slope arguments. I kind of like the moderate regulated position. The deregulation and banning both seem very flawed. Besides the whole thing is just a symptom of the underlying issue that really needs fixing.

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Post by KPj » Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:00 am

Guns aren't common at all over here (Scotland) but, we have a huge knife problem. You can't ban knives.... (how would you cook?)

It would be interesting comparing the murder rates in Glasgow to another city that allows guns.... I remember reading that the murder rate per head of population was higher than Belfast and London.

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Post by stuward » Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:01 am

That chart that Ryan posted is interesting although confusing and possibly misleading. The data is not consistantly reported for all countries and some countries are excluded from some charts. Most important is Russia. It has a higher death rate but guns are banned. This would be an interesting comparison if it was done right. It's appears that the chart is trying to link gun sales and gun violence but interesting that the chart "a country under fire" does not support that. There doesn't look to be much of a correlation between guns in the home and death rate. Of course.

I'm a Data Analyst by training and I find this type of data presentation to be insulting and misleading. You can make this data show anything you want.

PS. The countries with the highest death rates from firearms have the most suicides by shooting. Perhaps they also have poor mental health services. We don't know since that information is not presented.

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Post by Ryan A » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:21 am

About the chart, I agree about the suicides. The data suggests that that many of the deaths come from suicides, so if you take those out, you don't get quite the same numbers but the ratios don't change too much. I am personally equally alarmed by the large number of suicides in the US, regardless of the number of guns involved.

Pretty depressing that so many people find death their only way out.

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Post by frigginwizard » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:58 am

Ryan A wrote: Pretty depressing that so many people find death their only way out.
Its not something you can expect to understand unless you've been there.

But I digress, our rights to own guns have more to do with our history than with self defense. To argue gun rights on an individual self defense level alone is to put it in a pretty small box.
The reality is that our country was founded because enough people had guns to rise up against an oppressive government, and although that isn't currently a concern, to take away our guns is to acknowledge that we no longer have the option to do so in the future.

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Post by Ryan A » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:51 am

I think I understand suicidal thoughts just fine. I haven't been there but it is pretty easy to imagine how it comes about. It is just sad that it does come about.

It is true that our country was founded because we had guns. Then again, everyone had guns so it is not like we were something special. If nobody had guns back then, we still could have had an uprising and fought with bows and arrows and rocks. I think to focus on the gun aspect of the american revolution is to ignore the more important characteristics like courage, determination, and strength. Guns seem pretty peripheral to the whole situation. I have heard the same argument with tobacco; "our country as founded on tobacco, you can't take that right away". Well that is all fine, but times change. Our country was "founded on slavery" to some people but I don't see slaves still chained up.

The use of something in the past does not justify it in the present.

A similar situation today would have very little to do with guns. Bombs, planes, computer viruses, biological weapons, nuclear weapons; those are the things that would go with a modern day revolution in an industrialized country.

For example, in North Korea, if the people wanted to rise up and fight their government, guns would be of little help. Communities are too close together and technology is too good. Infantry would get wiped out by a government so quickly, the guns would be meaningless. Now I am digressing into the plight that is modern society.

To perhaps make some final comments about the original post.
I think self defense is absolutely a right. To me, for it to be defense, it means all other options (including running away) are exhausted. If that is the case, you can do anything you want. I don't know that I would personally want to do more than was necessary to stay alive but I understand that some people would feel the need to kill their attacker and I do not really feel the need to judge someone's decision in a situation like that. As far as this goes, to me, if you impinge upon another's right to freedom and safety, you yourself have no standing to those rights and so what happens is to be blamed only on the violator of basic human rights.

To me, self defense and the right to bare arms have nothing to do with each other. Both are important but I think they can be answered completely separately without notice of the position on the other.

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