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DoomUK
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j4rio said:
But if there are non-lethal ways of defending oneself, why is the lethal one even brought up as a way of doing so?

By your own admission, a gun is the most effective way of stopping someone. Even if shooting people doesn't quite work like it does in the movies, bullets and shot have been refined over the centuries to be very effective at what they do.

There's also the intimidation factor of a gun which a taser or a can of mace might never supplant. I'm not going to guarantee the mere sight of a gun or the sound of it being cocked is going to scare away a hardened criminal or some psycho junkie who's bent on doing you harm, but you have a non-lethal "weapon" on your side just by pointing a gun at someone.

Old Post 12-13-12 09:28 #
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j4rio
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Harmata said:


Yes i can, because you are simply implying that gun = easy killing spree.



No. Easier. Not easy.


Harmata said:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Hollywood_shootout
Two bank robbers, fully automatic AKs, thousand of rounds shot, not a single victim except for the robbers themselves.


Too bad it doesn't work like that during all armed robberies.


DoomUK said:
There's also the intimidation factor of a gun which a taser or a can of mace might never supplant. I'm not going to guarantee the mere sight of a gun or the sound of it being cocked is going to scare away a hardened criminal or some psycho junkie who's bent on doing you harm, but you have a non-lethal "weapon" on your side just by pointing a gun at someone.



That's actually a good point, although when you get in danger, you are guided by your instincts, and those are mostly not very rational.

@below

Also good points.

Last edited by j4rio on 12-13-12 at 09:53

Old Post 12-13-12 09:28 #
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Maes
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DoomUK said:
There's also the intimidation factor of a gun which a taser or a can of mace might never supplant.


Not only that, but drugged or specially conditioned individuals (the "conditining" often consisting of nothing more than sheer desperation or the determination stemming from having nothing to lose/not giving a fuck) have been known to resist them.

A taser, despite what you see in Hollywood movies, is far from an instant paralyzing magic wand: it requires several seconds of unbreaked contact with an assailant's body, something which might be impossible to achieve through thick clothing and versus a physically superior assailant.

The gun-taser variant does address both points to some deegree, but the hand-held versions risk becoming nothing more than an irritant to assailants, with the outcome being that they take it from you and sodomize you with it. Sorry, but a taser doesn't bring Joe Scrawny McNerd to equal terms with Jim Bruiser McJock, if the latter decides to get physical on Scrawny's ass.

Mace...idem. Unless you have access to law-enforcement grade ones, they too can be resisted unless you manage a clear eye shot. And even then, how easy do you think that is?

C'mon, try it. How quickly can you draw a can of mace from your purse/jacket, extend your arm (leaving it open to holds and yourself to attacks), and aim precisely enough right between someone's eyes before a blade gets lodged between your ribs or a hard brass knuckle destroys your face? What if the assailant is already too close, practically with his (not-so-loving) arms already around you? Think any mugger will wait to see what you will extract before pounding you to a pulp?

No matter what your weapon of choice is (including no weapon), a basic self-defense course, some psychological conditioning in order not to lose it and shit on your pants when the shit hits the fan and a decent physical condition are always necessary. Even if you have a loaded and armed gun on you at all times, you still need some time to draw it and aim it. With the speed the typical muggings/robberies occur (within seconds, and often from an ambush), you won't have the time to use it, unless you always walk with the gun in your hands and in a defensive ready-to-shoot-ahead position. Kinda like ... uhm... Doom ;-)

Home defense is another matter, and there too you need at least some time to hear the robbers comings, grab the gun and "barricade" yourself ready for action. How easily do you think you could do that from your couch potato stance or from sleeping in your bed?

Last edited by Maes on 12-13-12 at 09:47

Old Post 12-13-12 09:41 #
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Harmata
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you won't have the time to use it, unless you always walk with the gun in your hands

You just need to be aware of your surrounding and the area you are in, that will prevent ambush at least at open space.

How quickly can you draw a can of mace from your purse/jacket, extend your arm (leaving it open to holds and yourself to attacks), and aim precisely enough right between someone's eyes before a blade gets lodged between your ribs or a hard brass knuckle destroys your face?

There's this thing called "moving away" and "dodging".

Too bad it doesn't work like that during all armed robberies.

Not an argument.

Old Post 12-13-12 10:05 #
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Maes
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Harmata said:

You just need to be aware of your surrounding and the area you are in, that will prevent ambush at least at open space.



Which, again, implies having received combat training/conditioning, or at least having acquired it through a life on the streets ("steet smarts"). Not something you'll find on the average Joe Good Citizen.


Harmata said:
There's this thing called "moving away" and "dodging".


Have you ever found yourself in an unpleasant situation of imminent physical attack out of nowhere (stuff like sparring sessions in a gym/dojo or a teens Karate championship don't count)? What happens to your body when you realize that the individuals near you are TOO close and NOT well intentioned, can be so overwhelming to handle (stiffening of arms and legs, a sinking feeling in your stomach, a general feeling of numbness, a strange feeling of surprise that, for a brief time, masks fear), that most people can barely move, let alone "move away" and "dodging". Unless you expect it all the time or are constantly trained for such events ( BTW, what is your line of work? Security? Law enforcement? Military?), most people just can't do it when the very first intimidation line is spoken, let alone when fists start to fly.

Even if you experienced it more than once and know what to expect, it is still VERY hard to get your shit together as a defender unless you were fully expecting it. The attacker has a vast psychological advantage here, as those symptoms are much more minor or easily overcomeable with drugs/alcohol/pack mentality when you're about to jump someone. Again, I wonder if you speak from personal experience. Unfortunately I had to face such situations as a defender, and luckily it had to be equally hard psychologically on the would-be attackers and resulted in them backing down, otherwise I might not be here. But the sudden feeling of tension is something I won't forget. It's almost like a "spider sense tingling", only that it kicks in when you're already in the shit, not before.

About the "karate" situation: the big difference there is that you're "warmed up" for a physical confrontation, you know full well what you expect, and finally, it's all done in a controlled environment with rules, so you're much more confident that you won't get permanently harmed. In a street fight, mugging or a robbery there are no guarantees.


Harmata said:
Not an argument.


Not a counterargument.

Old Post 12-13-12 10:24 #
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DoomUK
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Maes said:
No matter what your weapon of choice is (including no weapon), a basic self-defense course, some psychological conditioning in order not to lose it and shit on your pants when the shit hits the fan and a decent physical condition are always necessary.

There's so many variables to consider when talking about self-defense, but I think doing your best to avoid these situations in the first place is paramount to everything. Avoid those dark alleys and notorious parts of town. And, like Harmata said, if you have to venture into them, keep your eyes open, look over your shoulder and don't walk around with your iPod in your ears. Better to be paranoid than dead/maimed/raped/robbed.

Home defense is indeed another matter, and unless you turn your house into a steel fortress with turret guns mounted on the roof and turn your lawn into a minefield, there's no way of being constantly prepared for a "home invasion" if you like to relax and sleep and eat.

Old Post 12-13-12 10:25 #
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Maes said:
C'mon, try it. How quickly can you draw a can of mace from your purse/jacket, extend your arm (leaving it open to holds and yourself to attacks), and aim precisely enough right between someone's eyes before a blade gets lodged between your ribs or a hard brass knuckle destroys your face?

How is that scenario all that different from drawing a gun, removing the safety, extending your arm, and shooting? Sure, you don't need to aim as precisely; but there's nothing that makes drawing handheld weapon A magically longer than drawing handheld weapon B.

Unless the assumption is that gun owners are always carrying their guns in their hand and ready to fire. Well, it's how it works in Doom at least!


Harmata said:
Not an argument.


Neither is your anecdotal evidence. "Look, this one time, these people had guns and they didn't manage to kill anyone: this proves that guns are safe and harmless."

Old Post 12-13-12 10:30 #
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Maes
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DoomUK said:
There's so many variables to consider when talking about self-defense, but I think doing your best to avoid these situations in the first place is paramount to everything.


Fully agreeing here. The best option for anyone, even if he's fully able to take down several armed assailants with his bare hands and not suffer even a minor scratch, is to avoid such confrontations proactively. Even if you "win" and had every reason to defend yourself, the law is probably not going to side with you on this one, and ironically you might even get sued for damages (!) by the people you injured.

Of course, sometimes even the most cautious of street walkers makes mistakes and meets bad people...


Gez said:
How is that scenario all that different from drawing a gun, removing the safety, extending your arm, and shooting? Sure, you don't need to aim as precisely; but there's nothing that makes drawing handheld weapon A magically longer than drawing handheld weapon B.


Yes there is: ergonomy. A gun is about the best shape for its job, and if it's in a specially designed holster, it can be extracted fairly quickly. Of course there are all the various "gun carry mode" considerations. E.g. concealed carry, purse carry, "hot" carry with a chambered round, "safe" carry with an unchambered round, etc.

Let alone that a piece of metal piercing through vital organs, flesh and bone will always be more effective than some concentrated spice on someone's skin (assuming it hits, of course).

Even the type of gun influences ready-to-fire times: a "hot" semi-auto without safety in an open holster and a very light trigger is the fastest. A revolver with a cocked hammer comes a close second, while every layer of safety (closed holsters, electronic id systems, "safe" carry with unarmed semi-autos or an empty chamber in revolvers) all increase time to draw. Ironically, most cops are forces by regulations to adopt the slowest possible mode of carry (closed/locked holster and a lot of safety measures on top of that). A gangster has an enormous advantage here.

Now, if you really want to discuss about the ergonomy of a spray can...however there are holsters and accessories to improve it, including pistol-grip adapters. Then again, would you go around with a holstered can of spray mounted in a gun-like adapter?

Last edited by Maes on 12-13-12 at 10:41

Old Post 12-13-12 10:31 #
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Harmata said:
not a single victim

Ever hear of a thing called post-traumatic stress disorder?

Old Post 12-13-12 15:39 #
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Harmata
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Which, again, implies having received combat training/conditioning, or at least having acquired it through a life on the streets ("steet smarts").

Nooo, it implies looking around with your eyes open. It's not like soldiers or hobos (those who live on the streets) acquire some sort of thug radar.

What happens to your body when you realize that the individuals near you are TOO close and NOT well intentioned

I run in the direction away from him, or attack first, if i'm sure i'm in good position. Dudes, you don't need to be a martial arts "expert" or a soldier to understand that you must control your body, you do it everyday when you cross a road, use heavy machinery on a factory you work at or at work in general. I'm not saying that you don't need to learn how to defend yourself against various street dangers, but i know that you don't need a black belt to not shit your pants when you see a chav moving at you, you need self-control which perfectly can be acquired through erryday life.

Not a counterargument.

Well of course, how can there be a counterargument if there was no argument to counter?

Neither is your anecdotal evidence. "Look, this one time, these people had guns and they didn't manage to kill anyone: this proves that guns are safe and harmless."

No, that proves that a gun in someone's hands is not an instant genocide. Your "combat helicopter" joke was much more funnier, i'll tell ya.

Ever hear of a thing called post-traumatic stress disorder?

This is more related to battle and taking someone's life than to firearms. Also, not a casualty.

Last edited by Harmata on 12-13-12 at 20:45

Old Post 12-13-12 20:33 #
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Harmata said:
This is more related to battle and taking someone's life than to firearms. Also, not a casualty.

You have no fucking clue. Anyone present at a shooting other than the shooters and any accomplices is a victim. It doesn't matter if they get shot. Also, I don't know where you pulled the word "casualty" from.

Old Post 12-13-12 20:51 #
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Harmata
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Again, shock after some stress is not firearms specific.

PTSD can occur at any age. It can follow a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or events such as:
Assault
Domestic abuse
Prison stay
Rape
Terrorism
War

That's from your own link.

Also, I don't know where you pulled the word "casualty" from.

Oh God, really?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

Old Post 12-13-12 21:25 #
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DoomUK
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Harmata said:
Again, shock after some stress is not firearms specific.

"Events such as" could conceivably include a shooting incident in addition to what's listed, right? Let's not split hairs.

Old Post 12-13-12 21:31 #
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Maes
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Harmata said:
you need self-control which perfectly can be acquired through erryday life.


That's the point....can it? As to the "keeping your eyes open" part, if your "everyday life" requires you to be constantly on the lookout for enemies, "bad guys", "bad alleys", "bad neighborhoods" etc. then you might be living in real wretched hive....or any sufficiently large metropolis to have its own "bad" parts.

If you really "live on the edge" every moment, than maybe a sudden comfrontation with muggers or other hostiles won't surprise YOU. But for most people it would be a rare enough event, I think. No?

In Greece, this sort of "badass street life" was virtually unknown until a few years ago, at least outside of society's fringes, and it's still relatively safe in small cities. Athens however is a real shithole, I'm lucky to have visited it when things were still relatively OK (2007-early 2008), and in a protected environment (I was a reserve officer cadet at the time).

Old Post 12-13-12 21:32 #
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Harmata said:
Oh God, really?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties


What does World War II have to do with the North Hollywood shootout?

Old Post 12-13-12 22:21 #
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j4rio
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Harmata said:

No, that proves that a gun in someone's hands is not an instant genocide.



Are you seriously basing your opinions on extreme cases that were so extreme that somobody deemed it worthy of own wiki article?

Old Post 12-14-12 00:47 #
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Harmata
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Sorry for the long pause, my internet died. It's snowing.

Let's not split hairs.

Yeah, because making someone a victim because he simply was near a shooting accident because "it doesn't matter if they get shot" is totally not hair splitting. You saw a gun? You are a victim!

If you really "live on the edge" every moment, than maybe a sudden comfrontation with muggers or other hostiles won't surprise YOU. But for most people it would be a rare enough event, I think. No?

Even soldiers on a war are not constantly on the edge. They execute instructions and techniques, like looking around, covering each other, "slicing the pie" by looking at each side of the room before entering it and so on. No different than looking at each direction before crossing the road (erryday life). Also, "keeping your eyes open" part literally means "to look around with your eyes open to notice things", not "to suspect a criminal in every shadow".

Are you seriously basing your opinions on extreme cases that were so extreme that somobody deemed it worthy of own wiki article?

Shootout is not an extreme case, plenties of killings are described in Wikipedia.

What does World War II have to do with the North Hollywood shootout?

You asked about the word "casualty", i showed you where and how it is used.

Old Post 12-14-12 01:11 #
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Maes said:
The general consensus seems to be that gun control laws may prevent the occasional office drone/nerd pushed over the edge/suffering a nervour breakdown from easily killing others, but won't prevent a determined militant a-la Breivik or organized criminals from doing their thing.
This doesn't address what I said, because Breivik or criminals doing their shit is also related to other laws being inadequate as well as weapons spreading in nearby countries or pockets the law isn't getting to. None of that shows gun control isn't reducing the amount of damage that can be done even by people like Breivik. One only needs to wonder how much more weaponry or even armed buddies he could have gathered if gun laws had been more lax.


Some people here on DW even suggested that they felt safer with guns in the hands of criminals rather than in those of ordinary citizens,
Your statement is implying citizens with guns means thugs with less guns, which is nothing certain. If I'm not mistaken, what he (was it Belial?) said was that he understood it was inevitable some criminals would have guns and thought that the guns are mainly used among themselves and against each other.


printz said:
Blah, it feels like talking to tin cans.
So true, and we all know what those are good for!


Lizardcommando said:
Why does this conversation ALWAYS pop up when some stupid asshole psychopath goes on a shooting spree? Ultimately, it's the shooter's fault for doing this shit.
It really depends on the circumstances and you can't just reduce a personality to something unrelated to the social environment. Most shooters may be in debt with society, but that doesn't define how much nor if others share part of the blame. If not, you create societies that push people to shooting sprees but never resolve the causes. And there, the violence doesn't stop, it just gets progressively more insane. Fundamentally, the idea behind what you said is of denial, and it makes things worse, in increasing circles of violence, fear and incomprehension.


Harmata said:
Soviet and Nazi regimes outlawed guns, just sayin'.
Quite, but both were strife stricken and under authoritarian regimes. Regulations don't play off the same way in societies with different rules and moods, nor are those regulations applied in the same ways. Relatively strict gun laws in a more democratic environment aren't used like in Nazi Germany or Stalinist territories, where gun control was deliberately applied on political or racial types. Gun proponents always used the "people kill, not guns", and on the same grounds, inhuman policy oppresses, not gun control. It really depends on whether the restrictions are being generally beneficial to everyone, furthering equality or are being used to crush a part of society. That is, policy, like guns, is a tool, not a determinant. The determinant is in the way people relate and respect each other. General paranoia and hate leads to violence, and there both gun control and gun liberty can incite and further atrocities, just in different ways.

Old Post 12-14-12 07:16 #
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Lizardcommando
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myk said:

It really depends on the circumstances and you can't just reduce a personality to something unrelated to the social environment. Most shooters may be in debt with society, but that doesn't define how much nor if others share part of the blame. If not, you create societies that push people to shooting sprees but never resolve the causes. And there, the violence doesn't stop, it just gets progressively more insane. Fundamentally, the idea behind what you said is of denial, and it makes things worse, in increasing circles of violence, fear and incomprehension.



Well yeah, that's true. You can blame the loopholes that are in gun laws. You can blame the loopholes in the mental health system (when it comes to cases like the Virginia Tech massacre and that massacre in the movie theater in Colorado this year) but doesn't it still boil down to the perpetrators themselves? THEY bought the guns themselves, THEY planned their attack and THEY are the ones who pulled the trigger.

Old Post 12-14-12 09:28 #
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Maes
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By recursive induction, we can dismiss/delegate any of our faults back to the original wrongdoer/killer: CAIN, and going even further, to ADAM & EVE, The original sinners.

Old Post 12-14-12 10:07 #
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myk said:
If I'm not mistaken, what he (was it Belial?) said was that he understood it was inevitable some criminals would have guns and thought that the guns are mainly used among themselves and against each other.

Yeah, I've rebutted Maes' ridiculous paraphrasing of my argument enough times in that thread so I didn't feel like getting into it again.

Old Post 12-14-12 10:19 #
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myk
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Lizardcommando said:
but doesn't it still boil down to the perpetrators themselves? THEY bought the guns themselves, THEY planned their attack and THEY are the ones who pulled the trigger.
That sounds like a straw man implying that political or social modifications are negated by or negate individual judicial sentences. What I'm saying is you can put the guy in jail, when applicable, and possibly issue a bunch of laws or make other larger scale changes. It happens often when there are grave incidents or repeated atrocities. Saying these other aspects are "excuses" and that it "narrows down to the perpetrator" just eliminates the importance of those social modifications and reactions. The individual is deeply embedded in society, so any repeated of big issues tend to impact in way more than the individual level.

Old Post 12-14-12 15:48 #
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DeathevokatioN
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Csonicgo said:
Now can we talk about gun control?
Yeah lets implement laws to deprive civilians of a means to defend themselves because criminals will follow the law. You will get gun toting murderous nutjobs whether there are restrictions on gun control or not, and there will always be a means for criminals to get hold of firearms and banning them will create a niche in the black market, fact. It happened with drugs, it happened during the period that liquor was banned and both times it created destructive, murderous criminal organizations and gangs that used the funding to operate. Being able to defend yourself should be a natural right to every human being, wheras gun control is like bondage; once you get tied up your fate lies in the hands of whoever has the whip/gun. :P

What about house break ins? There is a murder epidemic here in South Africa where killers break in and torture everyone to death over a prolonged period, raping the women and girls, I dont want to wake up to hear people walking towards my room knowing that I have no means to defend myself. That is my greatest fear and I have vivid nightmares about getting tortured to death, seeing my mom getting raped and having to bear the agony of getting tortured to death myself in the name of the greater cause of some phony revolution that'll lead South Africa toward a grim future. The same fate has happened to 4 people on my street alone so far. And all the murderers will get is a limp slap on the wrist and laugh off the less than 10 year sentence they get in court, I remember stating my reasoning in a thread a few months ago about my views on death penalty being a detterant (in South Africa atleast)... I won't recite it here because it's another argument of it's own that I don't feel like debating now.

Last edited by DeathevokatioN on 12-15-12 at 15:48

Old Post 12-15-12 15:13 #
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DeathevokatioN said:
Yeah lets implement laws to deprive civilians of a means to defend themselves because criminals will follow the law. There will always be a means for criminals to get hold of firearms and banning them will create a niche in the black market, fact. It happened with drugs, it happened during the period that liquor was banned and both times it created destructive, murderous criminal organizations and gangs that used the funding to operate. Being able to defend yourself should be a natural right to every human being, wheras gun control is like bondage; once you get tied up your fate lies in the hands of whoever has the whip/gun. :P

There's Ye Olde "civilians need to be able to shoot people to defend themselves!" argument.

Even though it's been shown the average person is unlikely to get in the sort of situation where they could legally shoot someone else.

Or that them having a gun would make the situation worse.

Also, stricter gun control =/= full on banning of guns, which =/= the War on Drugs. Try harder, your NRA badge is showing.


Why does this conversation ALWAYS pop up when some stupid asshole psychopath goes on a shooting spree?

Why do you think?

Old Post 12-15-12 15:43 #
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DeathevokatioN
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Yep stricter gun laws... waiting over 6 months and that's just getting the papers to sign up for getting a gun? Atleast that's the going rate here. Those regulations alone are why criminals even now go the easy way and go black market. It pretty much is like the war on drugs in that regulation creates a niche in the black market and won't change the mind of someone who's in a gang or a maniac who wants go on a killing spree... criminals are resourceful and will always find a way to get hold of guns.

And yeah the situation where citizens are unlikely to be able to shoot their would be killer shows another ridiculous loophole in gun laws and probably should be with more critical thought... the part that says you have to wait patiently for some prick to shoot you first before being able to fire back is priceless. But hey, someone comes to you with a knife you can pull out a gun and he'll back off. What little chance it provides us to protect ourselves is much better than other alternative which is no chance. As for citizens having guns "making the situation even worse" I'm quite sure that can be made corrected by teaching people how to handle their guns responsibly, which I guess could fall under gun regulation, but gun regulation I agree with. And it is fact that guns have saved many farm families lives in light of our land grabbing our thinly veiled Communist government is using to gain total control over South Africa.



I'm not sure what NRA means but I'm assuming it's some snarky comment used to demonize anyone who wants to be able to defend himself if the time should come that they are put in a dangerous situation and put them in the category of "right wing irresponsible gun toting liberty lovin inbred honky trailer trash".

When your government tells you to hand in your guns is probably when you need them the most.

Last edited by DeathevokatioN on 12-15-12 at 17:06

Old Post 12-15-12 16:04 #
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Maes
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It never fails, it never fails:


Tranquil, law abiding citizen lucky enough to never have experienced a gun-demanding situation first hand:
Only nutjobs and horrible persons want guns



Law abiding citizen living in a place where the shit can really hit the fan, hard:
I should be allowed to defend myself.


I will however have to partially side with (empty) on that one. If local laws don't actually allow some sort of "castle defense" doctrine for house owners, then allowing gun ownership is just half the job.

Unfortunately, current laws around the world create either an equipment/legal imbalance between attackers/defender or, in the best of cases, just a legal one.

Let me explain: even in countries where gun ownership legislation is permissive enough, using one in self defense is a whole other matter, and usually the defender gets in even worse trouble (legal and otherwise) than the attacker in most cases, so what's really left is the deterrence aspect of gun ownership, and hoping that you'll never have to use one. Usually only a cop or a specially empowered/licensed agent (e.g. armored car guards) can "dispatch" of a hostile assailant of his same citizenship during peacetime, with little or no repercussions. Any other citizen is just open to a world of legal butthurt.

OTOH, if robbers arm themselves with AK-47s anyway even for robbing a 90 yo old lady (as Albanian ex-Kossovo veterans do in Greece, a country with virtually zero gun ownership, excluding hunting shotguns), then I don't see why house owners shouldn't be allowed to at least arm themselves up to par. If they prepare themselves for a 2nd Kossovo war, let'em at least do their robberies with a real fear of catching lead, as normal citizens are, and not knowing that they will always find themselves in a favorable turkey shoot position.

Last edited by Maes on 12-15-12 at 17:33

Old Post 12-15-12 17:25 #
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DeathevokatioN
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"Let me explain: even in countries where gun ownership legislation is permissive enough, using one in self defense is a whole other matter, and usually the defender gets in even worse trouble (legal and otherwise) than the attacker in most cases, so what's really left is the deterrence aspect of gun ownership, and hoping that you'll never have to use one. Usually only a cop or a specially empowered/licensed agent (e.g. armored car guards) can "dispatch" of a hostile assailant of his same citizenship during peacetime, with little or no repercussions. Any other citizen is just open to a world of legal butthurt."

I agree Maes, I remember hearing recently that a granny was charged for pointing a gun at a gang who were threatening to attack her... so fucking ridiculous.

Old Post 12-15-12 18:27 #
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Phobus
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I think it was earlier in this thread that Maes bought up the fact that your average civilian will freeze up when faced with a completely unexpected violent threat (i.e. when ambushed, or having a weapon pulled on them). I can personally vouch for this, as I was once on a train out of Central London, going to my home town and had a gun pulled on me, complete with a "Gimme your money!"

The girl I was out with at the time shrieked and jumped back, there was no other noticeable reaction on the train and I just stood there trying to process the scenario. I'd spotted the guy earlier and thought he was a bit oddly dressed (cowboy hat, was the main thing) and thought the gun wasn't real, so was fighting the instinct to attack and debating capitulating to the demand. Turns out hesitating was the right thing to do, as the guy was off to a fancy dress party (as a cowboy, but not a particularly obvious costume other than the hat), the gun was definitely fake (it had one of those orange ends on, information which was readily obvious but takes a surprising amount of time to process when you might be faced with a genuine threat) and was just joking about. Basically, he'd been standing around with this gun, wondering what would happen if he pulled it on somebody. I was walking past when curiosity won out.

I accepted that graciously (much to my own surprise) and walked off the adrenaline surge whilst the girl basically had to get her heart beating again, such was her fright and shock.


The fact is, I spent a few seconds (felt like forever at the time) staring blankly at what could have been the end of my life, simply because I had no idea what a decent reaction was and had, up until that point, not even considered that scenario, particularly in a crowded place like a train out of London in the early evening. That guy could probably have had my money if his gun had't have been quite so obviously a toy, or a fight could have broken out and anything could have happened from there. All of this and I'm a guy who reacts to threats I am used to (other people starting fights, squaring up, etc.) with instant aggression and very, very rarely shies away from violence. I can't imagine for a second that most people would have the presence of mind to defend themselves in a proper gun situation, although perhaps with guns more ingrained in American culture, the reactions come a bit more naturally.

EDIT: More on topic with what is currently being discussed, I'd point out that the key issue with gun control laws is that criminals, by definition, don't follow laws. Obviously making them much harder to get hold of stops gun-related crimes of passion over here in the UK and means the guys who suddenly snap won't have the equipment to shoot up a school or anything, so there are clearly some benefits to having guns strictly controlled... But it does put the average policeman (and citizen) at a significant disadvantage as soon as guns do come into play. Bit of a coin-toss as to what is better, I guess.

Old Post 12-16-12 13:40 #
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DoomUK
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Phobus said:
But it does put the average policeman (and citizen) at a significant disadvantage as soon as guns do come into play. Bit of a coin-toss as to what is better, I guess.

Violent criminals (often literally) laugh in the face of law-abiding citizens and the (non-armed) police in the UK. As long as we're no threat to them they have the advantage - the prospect of a prison sentence is not a deterrent to them in the way that you and I would find it. Though his own retribution was arguably disproportionate, people like Tony Martin get the rough end of the stick, as a bonus.

Personally, I'm in favour of turning the tables.

Last edited by DoomUK on 12-16-12 at 14:32

Old Post 12-16-12 14:09 #
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myk
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Maes said:
OTOH, if robbers arm themselves with AK-47s anyway even for robbing a 90 yo old lady (as Albanian ex-Kossovo veterans do in Greece, a country with virtually zero gun ownership, excluding hunting shotguns), then I don't see why house owners shouldn't be allowed to at least arm themselves up to par.
Indeed... you can then up the stakes when the Albanians come in with rocket launchers, if grannie can shoulder one. Let's hope it doesn't get to the point where they get a nuke from the Iranians!

The fact is, the vast majority of crimes aren't nearly as violent as the worst cases. Why should everyone have a gun for an occasional violent thug, why risk a life for stolen goods that may be replaceable? How about seriously looking for other solutions to crime that have nothing or little to do with guns?

Old Post 12-16-12 14:34 #
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