Saturday, November 10, 2007

Guns UPDATED

I found myself getting all worked up over the issue of ownership* the other day but for the life of me I can't remember what
-and she avoids the obvious pun and says instead

- naah...triggered it off.
Sorry; it's a sickness.
I just remembered what is was anyway. The stereotype that nice women do not like and are not interested in firearms; that they think they are scary and loud and shooty. Most of all, unnecessary.

While I can by no means be described as a nice woman I am a relatively average one. Like everyone I know, I grew up around guns. They're a part of my culture. Although I think it's creepy now, I had toy guns when I was a kid. (Remember, though; that was back in 1964-65. Kids could buy candy cigarettes and bubblegum cigars and ride around in the family car standing up on the front seat dancing like a go-go girl to 'She Loves Me had Yeah Yeah Yeah'. At least I did.)

I live in an average neighborhood in the Northwest and it's fairly common knowledge that we own guns. Everydamnone owns guns. It's no big fucking deal. Everyone owned guns when I was a kid, too. Again; no big deal. The ownership of guns does not automatically cause one to wake up one morning and walk down the street picking off schoolchildren. What it meant back then (and does now, in the Northwest at least) was that you could go out and shoot your own meat if you got laid off work or went on strike. A lot of people did. A a lot of people had to. That kept our shit going one winter in the early 70's.

It also meant, as it does now, that if some shitheel kicked in your door and you're at home you had a chance of defending your family and your property.

That aspect of gun ownership brings the anti- gun fice trotting out of their porti-sans. "Oh, but what if they take it away from you and use it on you?" To which I say "I've never, never once heard of that happening to someone I've known, lived near or done business with. What I have heard of is, someone ends up with a dead shitheel in the middle of their front room and has to replace the carpet."
And that is a fact. Over the course of my life I've known, and known of, a lot of average people who fired a gun in order to protect themselves on their own property. And it worked.

If it isn't on anyones' horizon of reality, the reason is that the police don't want to encourage that kind of thing. They're here to keep the peace, remember; not create vigilante heroes that would attract 'gunslingers'. They make no bones about it. Another reason is that an average, socially-adjusted sane person isn't going to go around bragging about how they killed someone; taking a life is horrifying and sickening, even if it is a 'them or me and mine' situation.

Another comment that arises is "Oh, like you'd really be able to kill someone if it came down to it. You'd choke and then you'd really be in trouble."

I'm a wife and a mother. Try and come at my family. Try and fuck with what my husband's worked for.
It's like that.

This is an issue that I've had to deal with in real life. One thing I KNOW about myself is that I not only could, I would. And that I would freak out and end up with bad PTSD. I mean, everyone started out as a little kid. It's fucked up world.

Back when it was just me and my baby daughter I had to look that issue in the face. The facts were these: I was a single woman with a baby, I was poor and I had no backup. None. Don't even say 'the police'. Just DON'T. That's another post.

I was not living in the land of the Care Bears. I lived in the middle of Seattle. People used to sell drugs out of the windows of my building. Whores tricked in the stairwells. Guys used to screw in the alley under my kitchen window. Here's how I lived then (and this is po' folks all the way, too.) I had a baseball bat next to the door and a hunting knife jammed into the frame up above the chain latch. Someone knocked. You picked up the baseball bat. Keeping your head away from the edge of the door, you stood sideways, opened the door with your hip braced against it and the side of your foot used as a stop. If they gave it a kick you could stop it with your weight and the help of the chain. If they made a grab, you slammed the door on their arm, broke it with the bat and then 'pinned' them there until the police came. The knife part was my idea. If someone fucked with me they were going to know they messed with a bitch.

As soon as I had the money I purchased a 45. Then I went to the sheriffs office, registered my weapon and got a carry permit. I qualified for concealed carry (which is good) and I took that right quick. I was packed 24/7. Every single time I left the house for three solid years, too.

I underwent a full background check which I consented to gladly. The outcome of that check, my fingerprints and my photograph are now on file at the FBI. And goddammit, I AM PROUD of this. It is verifiable proof that I own and intend to use IN A SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE MANNER. I have nothing to hide. (Interestingly enough it makes you just that much more employable, too. )

The world is full of people who don't play nice...predators, the criminally insane, the sociopathic, the dangerously schizophrenic. Whether or not people want to believe it or know it, these folks live all around us, they're related to us, we work with them...it's a simple fact of life. Just because you think ahead to rational outcomes doesn't mean anyone around you does the same.

The fact that you have a vagina does not change this. Neither does it serve as a magical 'danger and not-niceness-averting' talisman of some sort.
Quite the opposite.
Still, if you're single and have no dependents, go ahead and be a pacifist.
But if you have children, shame on you. Fucking shame on you.

_________________________________
* I put this out with the phrase 'gun control' here and that's a completely different kettle of fish. Whoops. I mean private ownership of guns, 'K?

47 comments:

  1. I don't do guns...mainly because I might get trigger happy.

    Okay, not really...but I did see this purty pink and silver one that would make me think I was Foxy Brown.

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  2. Oh ho. FN is in feisty mood this evening.
    Being English what do I know about guns or gun ownership
    Bugger all thats what, but I agree with the sentiment , if anyone tried to mess with me or mine I would beat the living crqap out of them with whatever came to hand.

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  3. You're not allowed a gun over here unless you're a criminal or a member of an adolescent gang.

    I have an air rifle with which I shoot vermin; socialists usually.

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  4. As the great social conscience and modern prophet Eddie Izzard once said: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people, and so do monkeys (if they've got a gun)."

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  5. Shooty? Hmm, went target shooting with the old man and beat him. For some odd reason have not gone back, but that is how its played out here. I beat him at cribbage way back in the day, I miss playing cards.
    I would like to get a gun that fits my little ol' female hand. But I get a kick out of the idea that I out shot him at his own game, again.

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  6. Kristy2:24 PM

    I have children, so I don't have guns. With the history of depression around here, my greatest fear would be to come home and find one of them dead by their own hand by a gun that I owned and kept in the house. I don't think I could ever get over that.

    One of my best friends (and the biggest gun proponent I ever personally knew) ended up dead in his bathtub with a self-inflicted bullet in his heart. Five years gone now and I still struggle with it every day.

    No. No guns for us.

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  7. awaiting: at one point I had a chrome SNS with a pearl handle. the ammo wouldn't even go through the targets, but it sure looked cute!

    beast: thats how it works, too. whatever comes to hand. i thought y'all could own sporting pieces, though.

    garfy: the worst thing i've used mine on was a rampaging can of budweiser beer. there is nothing quite like the feeling of victory that comes after vanquishing the dreaded Budweiser.

    'shot: and clowns. and those kids who always want your used christmas tree. yeah, right. suuuuuure you do.

    gale: funny how that works, huh? thats why we don't go fishing any more! we go the range about twice a year, and up into the hills another couple of times to hunt the elusive beer can. good job annie oakley!

    kristy: good for you. there was a couple of years we kept ours locked in a safe in the garage for the same reason. guns arent for everyone.

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  8. Norwexile4:18 PM

    Hmm. I've always considered myself a pacifist - but I'm against the government starting unnecessary wars, not individuals owning guns.

    I had *that* lesson impressed on me at a young age when my uncle shot at some scumbags with a trailer trying to steal cattle off our farm (not far from you, Ferndale). When he realised how scared I was he showed me how to clean and take care of them - and I learned how to use them safely.

    What scares me are the people who *don't* know how to be safe with guns. I'd much rather they didn't have them ...

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  9. totally with you on this one, sugar...we could trade hood stories! but i digress, yeah, every season, the MITM meets his sons out in idaho and they go bird hunting...no more deer for those lazy coots. BUT, my daughter & i also took the gun safety classes and can shoot straight and true. you're right, handling a gun is not gender specific. it's a skill some people earn and others don't.

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  10. This should be a safety course offered in high school, like driver's ed was. Especially out in the sticks, esp along the 49th parallel where I grew up. All of us out there knew how to shoot, rodeo queens, preppies, jocks, goths, EVERY kid just about. That's what we get for having lots of pioneers' kids out here, though.
    That being said, re: guns killing people....yeah, I could jam my knitting needle through someone's I if I was so inclined. Anything can be lethal (drowning by pudding! Suffocation by cotton balls! rabid kitten mauling!), so...what the fuck ever. Hand me my flame thrower, eh?

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  11. Oh, and Brits, I am sorry your government is that scared of you all and they felt like they needed to castrate you. Remember - drowning by pudding! You guys have lots of pudding, yeah? I should so start a home-defense for UK people company.

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  12. Hello from Canada!

    *waves meekly*

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  13. i grew up around guns...shoot, in the south, if you're a guy, then the chances that you hunt whatever is in season is around 90%.

    i don't shoot guns b/c i don't have good hand-eye coordination.

    also, since i'm so short, it's very hard for me to handle a rifle well. same thing with a pool stick.

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  14. OK I'm a Brit and I fucking hate guns. Your culture is swamped in them and there is fuck all you could do about it anyway, even if you wanted to!
    In UK, if I was in charge, which I obviously should be, I would make it a big offence to carry or own a gun. No messin. Society does not need those things - full stop.
    How do you feel about us all owning tazers, or tear gas, or hand grenades, whatever eh, it's not the weapon, it's the person that is the problem. And while I'm on the subject let's give everyone atomic weapons too - I mean they have the right yeah, and it's not the weapons that do the damage - tell that to the Japanese!

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  15. Hello I'm a concerned Brit and I fucking love guns, what I do hate is some cunt using a .22 to shoot up work or a school with, a 22 is for killing rodents for fucks sake, if you must kill someone use a powerful caliber and get it over fast instead of pumping 10 rounds that really hurt before you die an hour later.

    The police are shite arm yerself with something, the tough laws in the UK still doesn't stop people from getting shot.

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  16. I wan't a gun, now that society is starting to unravel over here I feel I should be able to protect myself.

    But how do you overcome the irresistable urge to shoot the neighbours?

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  17. norwexile: we still get rustlers around here too. you nailed it... learn to handle it safely. smart guy your uncle.

    savannah: i've never gone hunting and i'd love to. take me! i am hell on beer cans, though.

    SSA: mayhem and deadly force is not limited to guns. having been raised by danger muk, you know this already, though. be nice to my brits, though. glass houses. big white ones. fulla chimps.

    mj: aw, hands across the borders! if you ever want something shot just let me know.

    pink: do you let them hunt through on your property? my grandad used to charge the guys a bottle of liquor to pass. he'd tie a red bandana to the gate and they'd leave a bottle next to the fence post.do they still do that?

    tom: have you taken a look at our government lately? I'm keeping my guns. and if i could own a taser i would. like i said, guns are not for everyone and they're not appropriate for every situation, either. like you said, it's the people that are the problem.
    when you were here didn't anyone take you packhorsing up in the hills to go hunting? even if you chose not to shoot you would have had a great time.(I'm loving backreading you!)

    knudie: that's right. for hindleg pig you want something large calibre. i can sit here at night and hear the drugdealers up across the border in abbotsford firing their ak's in the quarry pit. you outlaw guns, then who has them? the officials use them on the outlaws and the citizenry...the outlaws use them on the officials and the citizenry...and the citizens? hello? anyone? anyone?

    frobi: gun safety education. when you fire a gun, and feel and see what exactly it's capable of, the deadliness of what you're handling really hits home. a lot of people never pick up another gun again. its pretty visceral. for me guns went from being cool loud fun to being really, really serious in one split second as soon as i fired one. it becomes a different thing entirely.

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  18. I believe that the focus on guns is more political than factually sound. Before there were guns, there were other weapons used to enforce laws, kill, and defend an initiative, whether right or wrong. My thing is this. Gun Control, although contributive to the notion of a safer society may be positive thinking, but it's foolish to think that if there are no guns, that people will not commence harm on others via alternate means. I agree with the claim that people kill people, and it's the train of thought executed by those who make these decisions who are more dangerous than the guns, knifes, and weapons themselves.

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  19. well put, felton.
    NOW TAKE THE LINK DOWN.

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  20. Some very well argued points there, and it completely makes sense in the context in which you make them. It wouldn't work at all in this part of the world, though, and I'm quite glad of that.

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  21. qenny: and that was beautifully put too, my darling! :) I wonder why it's different over there? people seem to agree on the issue, too.
    truthfully? over here i think we all harbor the secret fear that our government is going to turn on us.

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  22. .22, .45, 30/30, 12 GAUGE HOME DEFENDER, A slew of air rifles, (to show the kddies how to shoot and some gun respect) and a bad ass paint ball gun for taking out some aggression on friends and neighbors dogs. one pitbull and a bad attitude... c'mon and break into my house fucko....
    great post and yer commenters have it down as well. we live out in the boondocks, my neighbor shoots his guns every sunday in his shooting range. just down the hill from us. they are not for everyone and most people are scared to even see one, more or less shoot one. again, great post!!!

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  23. It's different over here because we don't have a widespread gun culture. Sad things happen when those with mental or personality problems let rip. If it's with a knife there is less chance of widespread carnage. George Harrison survived his nut job attack, John Lennon didn't.
    What if a child gets possession? It's a known phenomena that in America, you are more likely to be killed or injured with a gun if you own one, than if you don't.

    Having said that, If I lived in America, I'm pretty sure I'd own and carry a gun and learn how to use it.

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  24. voices: rock the fuck on. i think paintball is a little creepy, tell the truth-on the other hand, i held the stock while my husband sawed off our over and under and theres only one reason you saw off a shotgun. good for you for teaching your kids, dude. we bought the SSA her 22 when was 13. her dad took her up in the hills to slay the elusive beer can and the wily paper target. people simply have to take responsibility and teach their kids in person that a gun is not a goddamn toy and it's not cool or fun. guns kill shit.

    tick: heres how informed i am: I had no idea harrison ever suffered an assault. and thats a good point, too. the kids and guns thing is a fact...own a gun, raise the chance. of course, own a chainsaw, you're going to raise the chance that you have a chainsaw accident (like i have because i am graceful like that.) you lower the chance when you teach your kids safety and respect. the miracle is that, given human nature,m there arent more kip kinkels running around this country. i think that's thanks to a 'gun culture'. you teach your children safety and respect and practice safety and respect in turn.

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  25. EVERYONE:
    do you see how wonderful you all are? this is a tough fucking subject here. yet nobody's gotten out of line, everyones expressing a diverse point of view without getting shrill, and so far politics haven't been dragged into the mix. i'm impressed as hell, folks. rock on witchoo bad selves!

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  26. Guns don't kill people. World Champ Stephen Neal kills Chick Norris.

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  27. I don't see anything in your post to disagree with at all, at all. Still, a kid in England just shot his sister. Total accident, he was just messing around and blam. I love my boys, but I also know them, and they are pretty good candidates for that kind of stupid.

    We're lucky we get to live in a place where nobody needs a gun. If we didn't, I would certainly have one, and I'd turn to you for lessons on how to handle one. You are awesome.

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  28. ooh, i gotta disagree with you on this one. i can understand why, in the living situation you described, you'd feel safer armed. but the sad fact is (and i'll see if i can find a link to a reliable website to back this up) that a gun kept in the home has a 75% chance of being used on someone IN the home, NOT an intruder. That gun is a lot more dangerous to people who own it than the creeps outside.

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  29. CB: just from a common sense standpoint, how can you even think that that statistic is anything other than pure shite?

    3 out of 4 guns in households are used on a member of that household? Really now?

    US Gun Statistics
    Various Sources

    (A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
    (B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.
    (C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.

    (Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Health Human Services)

    Guns
    (A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000.
    Yes, that is 80 million.

    (B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500.
    (C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.000188.

    Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
    Remember, "Guns don't kill people, doctors do."

    FACT: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE DOCTOR.

    Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!

    Out of concern for the public at large, I have withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention.

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  30. holy shit, people. It's called a fucking gun safe. It's not hard. Can't say any of the kids I grew up with blew their heads off on accident, or anyone else's. Or on purpose, either. They waited until they were old enough to drink to commit suicide.
    ANYHOW.
    Guns are not toys. They should NEVER, EVER be treated as such, and I think that's how those sorts of accidents happen. You don't go and own a pet wolf and act like it's a fucking pussycat, do you? (ok the people around here, none of you "civilised" folks would :P) No, you treat it like it's a wolf.
    Besides, I am much more scared of biological weapons than guns.
    For fuck's sake. You can hang out in my bunker when your freaky-Thatcher-totalitarian government uses their perpetual surveilance of you in order to attack you all.
    (Yes, I am paranoid about governments, duh)

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  31. The number one cause of 'accidental' homicide in the united states is

    1. Clowns

    yeah, one minute its all balloon animals and penny candy and the next thing you know you're hanging upside down in a deserted building watching your guts spill into a washtub.

    clowns, people.

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  32. FN: That's why I take those big shoe wearin' mutherfukkers out.

    And don't get me started on mimes...

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  33. fn - around here, you get caught hunting on someone else's land and you're more like to get shot. people around here don't cotton to stuff like that.

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  34. Best Simpson scene ever! Homer at the Gun Shop...
    CLERK
    Whoa! Careful there, Annie Oakley.
    HOMER
    I don't have to be careful, I got a gun.
    CLERK
    Well, you'll probably want the accessory kit. Holster...
    HOMER
    Oh, yeah.
    CLERK
    Bandoleer.
    HOMER
    Baby.
    CLERK
    Silencer.
    CLERK
    Silencer.
    HOMER
    Mm-hmm.
    CLERK
    Loudener.
    HOMER
    Oh...
    CLERK
    Speed-cocker.
    HOMER
    Ooh, I like the sound of that
    CLERK
    (holding up a huge weapon) And this is for shooting down police helicopters.
    HOMER
    Oh, I don't need anything like that... yet...
    Just give me my gun.
    *He tries to take the gun.
    CLERK
    I'm sorry, but the law requires a five-day waiting period. We've got to run a background check.
    HOMER
    Five days? But I'm mad now!
    I'd kill you if I had my gun.
    CLERK
    Yeah, well you don't.

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  35. rimshot: that's just accidental deaths. i don't think it's unreasonable to include deliberate deaths when discussing firearms. that's what they're for, after all. the only purpose of a gun is to kill things (unlike doctors, who do manage some good every now and again).

    In 2002, 30,242 people were killed by guns in America - 83 people a day.

    A gun kept in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in an unintentional shooting (4 times), a
    criminal assault or homicide (7 times), or an attempted or completed suicide (11 times) than to be used to
    injure or kill in self-defense.

    These statistics come from the Centers for Disease Control, a non-political body.

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  36. hendrix5:07 AM

    I've got no problem with the idea of people being able to legally own guns. Those who are going to use them to commit a violent crime will acquire the tools to do so whether it is legal to or not. And it is true that despite it being against the law, acquiring a gun is ridiculously easy in Britain (if you know the right people) there are bars in the North East of England which you just don't enter unless a. you know at least three of the regulars and have been invited and b. you're carrying a gun.

    My brother and I grew up with guns in the house and I think I was about 5 or 6 when I was first taught how to shoot. However and more importantly, we were also taught how to use guns safely and with respect.

    It was drummed into us that the purpose of a gun was to kill. As part of that training (god this sounds like we were being inducted into the mafia or something) we went hunting. If we hadn't learned the lesson by then, killing, skinning and then cooking a rabbit brought it home to us.

    That training did stand us in good stead when we lived in the country and were very poor. If my brother hadn't been such a good shot (or had a toybox the contents of which could have equipped a small guerilla unit)we wouldn't have eaten meat very often.

    In an ideal world then probably no one would carry a gun because there would be no crime. But this is not an ideal world. Fingerprint us, take our photos, license us to carry a gun, I'm fine with any and all of that because if someone tried to hurt me, or (especially) the people I love, I'd kill them with whatever means I had to hand at the time, no matter what the cost or consequence to myself. Thats just what you do when someone tries to attack your own.

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  37. We own a gun here, mostly because the boyfriend wanted one after a long string of dreams where our house was broken into and he had to kill someone bare handed. I guess the logic was, the gun would be faster, easier, and more likely to just scare someone off.

    I didn't want one, mostly for the reasons cited by Kristy. I look to other ways to deal with my depression, like weeping or throwing shit. Man, I still wish it weren't in our house, but I ignore it here and shoot it at the gun club and all is good.

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  38. I purposely left out suicides (non-accidental deaths by gun) as those deaths would most likely have still occured by other means. It's a misleading number.

    But let's use your number and round it UP to 35,000. That's 0.0004375 deaths by gun, better than a 99% saftey rating. Shall we do away with cars and those deadly, DEADLY doctors too? They are FAR more likely to cause deaths (and bathtubs too, don't forget about them!)

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  39. I don't have a gun but I do have a Moulinex Blender that'd make mincemeat of any shitheel entering without an invite. I'm also shit hot with a bow and quiver, you don't need a licence for them :-)

    If anyone hurt my girls I would kill them in a blink of an eye.

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  40. Okay, I'm way too late again for this debate, but I'll throw in my pennys worth anyways. Guns are dangerous in the hands of irresponsible fucktards. When used responsibly and with the amount of respect due...they can save someones' life...........that said, I've never wished to own a gun having never had any experience of or need for one when I was in the UK. What i would say, now that I have a son ofcourse is that if it came down to protecting him from an evil sicko and I had a gun to hand....yep, I'd want to know how to use it.
    One of those personal choices I think.
    xxx

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  41. hmm... close you eyes and try to imagine this sound...


    the loading of a cartridge into the firing chamber on a pump action shot gun.. shiick-shiick.... you know what im talking about everyone who wasted time watching t.v. has heard the sound.


    now imagine your an intruder in someones home. looking to steal, rape, pillage whatever... its dark, and you here this voice in the darkness and that particular sound. shiick-schiick...

    you never even have to fire a shot. unless you want to. they are running fast as a rabbit.
    in massachucetts, its legal to shoot an intruder as long as they arent trying to get away. (just make sure they arent laying on the ground pointed at the door is all.)

    its all about saftey, education and the ability to control what your shooting.
    great comments here.

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  42. Great post FN. I rely on you to tell it how it is. What I have to say is that we do not have guns in the house, even though my husband grew up with guns in the house and a lot of time spent on him learning how to use one safely, responsibly, effectively. My kids don't have toy guns and don't watch shows or movies with a lot of gun violence. These are choices we have made as parents and as a citizens -- but those decisions came from our own experiences that do not necessarily contradict yours.
    I do not pack heat -- and yet there is no way I am a "pacifist" when it comes to my family. There is more than one way to skin a cat...and I would not want to be a cat facing either you or me.

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  43. Blimey! Scrolling to the end of this list has worn out my little hand!
    No guns in our house. I can see all the arguments here and most of you make the point that the trigger finger is the problem.
    I really stopped by to say that 20 minutes ago I read about the high school teacher in Oregon who lost her court case against her school who said school policy did not allow staff to be armed. (It's on the Reuters web page.)

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  44. Well, I suppose we're all bound to amicably disagree on one thing or another. If anyone ever invades my home, FN, you can come defend (or avenge) us.

    BTW, I grew up with my stepfather having a gun and hunting routinely, too. He also happened to be drunk most of the time.

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  45. So how is George Harrison these days?

    Never mind guns, its those fuckers that drive cars that kill more people, I say we have some kind of car control to cut doon on traffic deaths.

    See what I did there? I made a comparison that even a moron could get, its Old Knudsen that kills people, hey inner voices yer guns didn't do you much good when you were working and I was home sniffing yer underwear, nice dog BTW.

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  46. I don't need a gun as my body is a finely trained weapon..I can kill with one flick of an eyebrow. Also it would be a silly thing to have.

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  47. sorry so late to post...but you are right about guns and i have always had them...my father raised me to respect them...to know them and to hunt with them on a regular basis...we made it through several years in the 70's hunting for our food and were very successful...i know if anyone tried to hurt anyone in "my circle" i wouldn't hesitate to use one on them...while i don't have a hand gun...i have shotguns which are quite effective...and i agree, if you know the gun they are not taking it from you...period! i am comfortable owning and being able to use it and i think it is the people who are afraid of their guns who end up doing stupid things or having stupid things happen...guns are a part of our society in the states...i live in the midwest amoung a great deal of farms and there is always some city guy from chicago coming down to fuck with the farmers...they don't go home in their original box...but a box just the same and i say good riddance to bad rubbish...sorry it is just how i feel about the whole situation...

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