Apr 23

George Bush in Blacksburg Virginia figuring out what to say nextToday something off subject. Saw that CNN Special about the wake for the victims of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg during the weekend and it’s somehow still in my head.

Truly disturbing!

George Bush held a speech about that shocking tragedy, offering condolences and I wonder how can anyone still believe anything this crazy man says. He seems like a defunct drone, a zombie stomping through life without responsibilities for his own actions.

Just watch his eyes: They tell you the whole story right. You can actually *see* his mechanic, two-cell ‘brain’ ‘work’ and can *see* that there’s a disconnect between mouth and ‘brain’.

Much like a puppet on a string you can hear plenty of meaningless words coming out of his mouth, while his arms cramping into anything he can hold on to, his eyes flickering around trying to get a grip and get away from this uncomfortable situation.

Reminds me of this scene in the kindergarten in the long first minutes of the hour right after 9/11.

What a disgrace to the 32 victims to have him saying words of sadness, comfort, grief and good bye, while thinking of the Bloody Texan Steak he would eat later or what else he could do to support his crony Paul Wolfowitz to keep his job at World Bank. Thank god they didn’t allow Dick Cheney to shoot his gun – this time!

Yes, all awhile his eyes telling you his thoughts and what little else of him is present there.

People Dead in IraqWhile at the same time in Iraq multiples of the Number 32 die every day through guns and bombs in a war started by his Cronies for the Oil Lobby and the Resupply of the US Army, Navy and Air Force WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Caches. Their shelf lifes are getting shorter and shorter.

Bush and his buddies can’t even catch the one and only dangerous terrorist who started it all. It’s been more than 6 years and pain and mayhem was brought over this planet and millions of people affected, with legions of foreign civilians killed, more than 3000 American soldiers dead in Iraq alone and billions of dollars wasted.

Will somebody – anybody – do something about it?

Scene from Music Video of U2 & Green Day - The Saints Are ComingAh yes, maybe I’m wrong and there aren’t enough weapons in this world yet? Do you really need one as well?

I heard as well the words of that Gun Lobbyist ringing in my ears in disbelief; he said the disaster in Blacksburg only happened, because universities are usually zones without weapons. Teachers and students should use their constitutional right to carry guns for self defense, then there wouldn’t be massacres like that.

I ask you – how cynic can you get?

You can say a lot of things about Michael Moore, but in two things he was right: That the Gun and Weapon lobby will laugh these kind of small incidents like Blacksburg, Littleton, Afghanistan or Iraq off (yesterday’s body count here and here).

They will continue to thirst for more spilling of blood and that George Bush and his gang are a bunch of willing, manipulated idiots; now and still manipulating the brave and honest American People and the rest of this world.

Somehow we knew it all those years but didn’t see it coming, right? History will hopefully tell one day. Remains the question who will shoot ‘Bowling for Blacksburg?’

Yeah man.

From our cold, dead hands! :-/

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written by Chris

10 Responses to “Guns don’t kill people. Bush, the Weapon Lobby and Uncle Sam do”

  1. RheaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    What is this need for guns that so many Americans apparently possess? If someone really wants to shoot something let them get a bow and arrow and set up a target in their backyard.

  2. JohnNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Unfortunately, what many people inside and outside the US do not understand is that the ability to own guns is an essential freedom. It’s not all cowboys and Indians, shoot-em-up, like you see on television. If you believe what the media, both US and foreign, say, especially regarding the US and US government, you aren’t getting the whole picture. As far as guns are concerned, the right to own guns is a constitutional right to allow Americans the ability to protect themselves against a possibly tyrannical or oppressive government. With enough armed citizens, that is possible. The second reason is for personal protection. How long does it take for the police to respond to your emergency? Long enough for you to be robbed or killed? Yes, that’s right. But with the ability to defend ourselves, we don’t have to rely on someone else, namely the government, thus giving them even more power, to protect our lives. Aside from the fact that police cannot be everywhere at once, read the book “1984” by George Orwell. So for guns there are two needs. 1. Protection of our freedoms and rights and 2. Protection of ourselves, families and real properties.

    This is a difficult right to understand for many. It is also hard to understand the gun lobby when information about it and what it truly stands for are misrepresented and complex. Further, it is hard to understand Bush when so much of the media either creates lies or misrepresents the truth about him. Bush may not be the greatest leader there is, and the war has been run poorly, yes, but he’s better than the alternatives.

    The gun lobby will not and does not laugh these things off. That is an uneducated and ignorant accusation, as are many of the accusations you threw at Bush. Granting it is a great right to be able to say what you said, and granting this is your place to do so.

    If you want to protect and maintain such rights, don’t fight the gun lobby. They are defenders of constitutional rights just as are those who fight for freedom of speech, voting, etcetera.

    Had someone on that campus been armed, the guy who shot those people could have been shot or stopped before 32 were killed. Had someone on any of the 9/11 flights been armed, the terrorists could have been stopped and lives could have been saved. Think about it.

    Further, what would you advocate instead? Where do you live and how much are you willing to pay for gas? If you live in the US or other countries without large oil holdings, you can thank Bush and the US for policing the oil-rich dictators, and keeping the prices down. That’s the US’s role in the world. Not many like us for it. But without it, who would be there to ensure gas prices remained somewhat low, comparatively speaking.

    And Rhea: how amazingly, flippingly ignorant.
    Someone could use a bow and arrow or a knife to commit a robbery as well. So why don’t we ban guns, bows, arrows, knives… and clubs, bats, cars, alcohol, drugs, large knitting needles, swimming pools, electricity, natural hazards…? It’s not the weapon that kills, its the person who picks it up and uses it.

  3. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    There we obviously have completely different opinions: saying that people need guns to protect themselves tells me, that you think most people are criminals and aggressive. I believe in the opposite – most people want to live in peace and just go their own (normal) ways.

    So why give everybody guns? Just don’t allow anyone a gun, but the government, the army, the police. Okay, you don’t trust the government and want to have your guns to overthrow the government, if they don’t play your way. Great! Have you heard of democracy?

    As an East German I can tell you, there are other ways to overthrow your government, you don’t need a single gun for it. Other Eastern European Countries showed the same history. And why do you want to overthrow a government with weapons anyway, if you live in a Democracy? Elect a new one! If there isn’t any out there who represents your views, form your own party, gain supporters and run for government. No need to shoot every one of the old one. George Orwell 1984 only comes true with the Department of Homeland Security, Guantanamo and CIA, who assume everyone is a terrorist and violate basic human rights by putting innocent people in concentration camps and behind bars until proven otherwise. That much they should have learned from the Germans of the Hitler area, that they won’t create any symphathies by doing so.

    Go to foreign countries and overthrow their governments because they own gas and you don’t? That’s even better! You create more terror with your terror. What happened to pioneer spirit, inventors and engineers? The cornerstones of America? There are so many alternatives to oil and gas, just ask Californian ‘Governator’, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even he got the message.

    And why did 9/11 happen in the first place? Because America ruined their name and reputation in the world by ignoring human rights and other peoples ways of lives all around the globe. This truly imperialistic attitude which puts profits and colonial interests over other countries people, that created the terror, didn’t it?

  4. JohnNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I think it behooves the intelligent debater to understand what is being said and not insert his own biases into the other’s debate. Americans don’t believe in the right to carry guns because they believe everyone else is a criminal. Nor do the good, honest, law-abiding majority of Americans believe in the ownership of guns because they like to bring harm to others. They believe in the right to carry or own guns because it is established in the American constitution as a right, a right for Americans to defend themselves and not to rely on the government to do so. The whole idea of the founding fathers of the United States was to step away from what was the normal government at the time in Britain and other places, oppressive of freedoms… tyrannical, even. The formation of the American government had built into it the protection of the people’s freedoms, in this case the freedom from an oppressive government. This was accomplished by protecting the rights of freedom of speech and protest, and self-defense of the people, both from domestic harm and government control, both by law and, if it ever came to it, by reluctant use of weapons.

    These rights are currently being degraded by people who misunderstand them. Nonetheless they are rights and they have reason behind them. In America’s democratic society, they believe in freedom, and said freedom would not be freedom in full if they did not have the right to self-defense and therefore the right to own guns or other weapons. People in America are not given guns by anyone. They elect to own them and not all people do.

    Here again, it seems you are telling me what I think, or assuming my beliefs are a certain way, without knowing a thing about me. That isn’t right to do.

    I have no such belief whatsoever that all people are bad or even that most people are bad. What I have is an understanding of a much-misunderstood reality, that there are (a few) bad people out there who are willing to do bad things to good people. If you cannot accept that reality, then yours is an unrealistic fantasy world, I’m sorry to say. If only the government, police and military had guns, if there were no guns in the hands of the American public, that would not take away crime, murder, etcetera. In fact there are two realities that would occur.

    One is that there would only be guns in the hands of the criminals who would still obtain them illegally, aside from the police, military and government. Criminals often have guns. Criminals have less of a problem using them on other people than do the good people.

    If there were only guns in the hands of criminals, how would the law-abiding majority defend itself? The police? No, sorry. It takes very, very little time for an assailant to cover a short distance and deliver deadly force with a knife, even less time with a gun. Do you want to wait 10 minutes before the police even arrive to clean you up off the ground? They won’t save your life, unless the wound isn’t fatal to begin with. If you don’t mind waiting, be my guest. But the first time you are attacked by someone who wants to kill you, if you can’t talk or fight your way out of it, (good luck against a 6’4” 300 pound man on PCP) you might be praying for a gun. It’s your life, but know that not a single shot needs to be fired to save a person’s life. That is often the unspoken case in situations where an armed, law-abiding citizen has used a legal gun to deter a criminal. They don’t talk about that in the news, do they? No, because it doesn’t make the news. There’s no blood, so no story. (Sad statement on the media, too.)

    So with police 10 minutes away, do you bow down to the crack head aiming his illegal .45 at you? Just get shot because you think guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens is bad? Enjoy. Do you condemn the man who is carrying a gun legally and who saves your life? Those who carry and own guns in America own them for two reasons, sport and defense. For defense, they hope against hope against hope to never, ever have to use them.

    Americans prefer to defend their own lives instead of hoping someone else will, and again, not all Americans believe or understand this. Had someone on the VA Tech campus been armed, 32 people could be alive today. Americans don’t assume guilt before innocence. That’s not American. But where were your police to save their lives? Where were your police on 9/11? Where were your police in the school shootings in Littleton and Paducah? Yeah, they showed up to clean up the mess, but they didn’t save one life. In VA Tech, if the killer didn’t have a gun, he could have used a knife, a sword… you name it. Maybe only 15 would have been killed, but it would not have been the police who stopped him anyway. It would have been a law-abiding citizen, possibly armed with a knife, possibly just stronger. The police had no idea until later.

    Rely on the police if you want. It’s your life. Am I saying the police are bad? No. Incompetent? No. They simply cannot be everywhere at once. Nor, unless they assume guilt before proof of innocence, can they track everyone in America, which, as you point out, isn’t right and you don’t want them to do to people outside America. Give the government too much power and you don’t get what you want. Germany learned that the hard way.

    Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens serve to deter crime, because a criminal is more afraid of an armed populace than an unarmed, easy-target populace, because with an armed populace there is a risk of getting hurt or killed themselves. Since they don’t know who is legally armed, crime goes down. Check the statistics for when concealed carry is introduced into an area.

    The second problem is the reality that, given a scarcity of guns, crimes can and will be committed with other weapons. As I said in the first post, knives, bats, clubs… bows and arrows… all can be used as weapons, and indeed are. So ban them? Also consider how many people are killed on the roads by cars, in pools and so on (more than by guns?). Should they ban cars? Bikes? Pools?

    It is common, around the world, for governments to like the idea of an unprotected populace. Such an idea makes the government all the more needed by the people and gives the government even more power. If you notice, Hitler, before his takeover of Germany, kindly took the guns from the people because they didn’t need them. Guns were bad. This is not an uncommon practice. It is much easier to control a population that depends on government, military and police. It also creates quite a police state and therefore limits the rights and freedoms of people. It also, therefore, limits democracy, which is the freedom of choice of the people, by the people and for the people, not of the government, by the government and for the government.

    If you understood democracy, you would understand that that is the key: freedom of choice. It’s not just about electing a new government. It’s not about having guns to overthrow a government Americans just happen to not like. The whole purpose of allowing, constitutionally, a populace to own weapons is to prevent the government from tyrannical rule. If such is ever the tragic case, there is no voting out the bad and voting in the new. America won’t come to that any time soon, but the power and control of our government has drastically increased since its inception and increases still this day when people bow down to giving up “the essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety.” (Ben Franklin) So owning guns for defense against the government isn’t so Americans can take over Washington if the president raises taxes on housing. It is to defend our essential, democratic freedoms should they ever be challenged, just like they are challenged all over the world.

    I never said anything about wanting to take over the government. I simply explained why the Second Amendment is in the constitution. Further, if you want to talk about defenders of rights, America defends in its philosophy and its practice, the civil and human rights of people everywhere. If you are a terrorist, it’s a different story and I’ll get to that later. But no one has done for rights in the world what America has done, bar none.

    Of course there are other ways to take over a government. Political pressures from the outside helped much in East Berlin before the wall came down, and the greatest boost of the support came from people within, peacefully. And yes, America helped play a role in that freedom, indirectly. Does that mean freedom is always peaceful? Not at all. Look at America’s freedom, taken by force by an armed populace. Or take a look around the world to see that. Take a look and you’ll see that the majority of people fighting for peace, prosperity and freedom are not those who are a well-armed populace with freedom and democracy. They are not those to whom the freedom and right to own weapons is extended. Again, I never said anything about shooting people from any other parties because of idealistic disagreements. Don’t put words in my mouth or make such baseless assumptions. I know you want to think a certain way about the way I or Americans think, but it isn’t necessarily right.

    Understand that I don’t agree with or like everything the government in America does. (That doesn’t mean I want to take it over.) I can’t say that the Patriot Act does much to help with the protection of rights and freedoms of the American people… it purchases a little temporary safety. However, the DHS and CIA do not believe everyone is a terrorist. That bespeaks of dangerously paranoid thought. Nor does the US have concentration camps. America has prisons, and they treat their prisoners far better than our people would be treated in the prisons in the countries from which the prisoners came, where they have no representation by the Geneva Convention. Leave it to the media and “experts” to comment on that and leave false realities in people’s minds, especially outside the US where editorializing is acceptable. Now, if the US government is found guilty, they need to be reprimanded, punished and the truth needs out. But that truth at this point is just speculation in the minds of people who don’t like America, and who want to get back at Bush, etcetera.

    The reason behind the rights is sound. The increasing power of the American government, not abroad, but at home, is a danger to the rights of Americans. Take away Amendment 2, Amendment 1 is soon to follow. The rest are not far behind. History shows us this, both in this form and with other variations.

    The reason America is so hated in the world is manifold. Much of it is based on simple jealousy. Americans have, others do not. Americans have freedoms, relative wealth, and plentiful food. But all of that is due to the way Americans work hard in a free-market world of individual profit and gain, a gain that benefits other people, businesses big and small, and the economy in general, as well as other countries near and far. It is due to a government who doesn’t take all the money from its people to build massive palaces. It is due to a government who allows its people to be prosperous and free with their money. Bill Gates is much wealthier than Bush. And good for him- his business idea has created thousands to millions of jobs and billions of dollars both in the US and overseas.

    So before speaking of America as imperialist, consider the jobs it has created for the world. Consider the wars it has helped win, consider how, for example, it helped rebuild Germany after both world wars, consider how it could help rebuild Iraq if the insurgents would let go of their hate. Consider the billions of dollars in aid, food, manpower, medical, relief, support, and so on America has given to the world. You will find that this number is much, much more than any European, Asian, African, South American country has ever given. Why? Because they can and because Americans really do care, a lot, about the well being of people (and human and civil rights) around the world. Are Americans thanked for it? Not a chance. America is hated for it.

    If 9/11 happened because of the reasons you laid out, why does terrorism happen much more often in other places around the globe than in the US? And let’s not forget history. Britain, Germany, France and Italy have much longer and bloodier a history in imperialism than the US could ever even begin to achieve. American influence is primarily revealed through the media, as they spread the more unfortunate aspects of American culture- Britney Spears, for example- around the world, while Europe’s influence has largely been spread by sword and gun, and the aftereffects are still easily evident in the poverty seen around the world, after they pulled out.

    If you don’t like American culture, don’t watch American TV. Don’t wear American clothes. Don’t listen to American music. If you like all of those things, don’t complain about American culture, or do, but understand the fallacy of the argument. I don’t want American culture to be spread around the world. I don’t travel the world to see American culture in every place I go. I don’t want that at all. It’s a disgusting thought for me. But it is through the burgeoning freedoms of information that people are able to see the outside world, namely, America, and, sadly, through the false culture propagated by the media, but nonetheless, they can and do see it. It is up to them to discard it and live within their culture. Unless people want their governments to limit their freedom of information for them.

    But America is judged by what people see on TV. Foreigners often think money grows on trees, that everyone acts like people in movies, that gunfights with automatic weapons are a daily occurrence, that Americans are all wealthy and drive nice cars, wear nice clothes, have high-powered and highly-paid jobs. The reality is that most people aren’t wealthy. Most people drive mediocre cars. Most people don’t like their jobs, but are happy to have a job. Many people think Britney Spears is trashy.

    Once again, I never suggested America should go to foreign countries and take them over because they own gas. If you read what I said, you should understand that the way things are, if a dictator decides to shut off oil supplies from his country, well, what do you suppose that does? That increases the price of oil because it decreases the supply. That decrease in supply does not just affect the US. It’s not all about the US, as everyone seems to like to think. That supply affects all countries that buy and use oil. It shortens supply, which in countries that don’t have much already, creates problems for the people there, who are often poor and can’t afford the expensive gas, but have to put more of the little money they make into gas. It affects big countries too, who don’t have massive oil reserves, in just the same way. It hurts the world, and especially the poor. So someone has to be the watchdog. Someone has to take the position of policeman for the sake of the world. That duty has been assigned to the US, and in many ways has been readily accepted, for better or worse. No one thanks the US. No one sees that side of it. The US doesn’t control the price of oil, they don’t control the oil-producing countries. They don’t take over any country they want with oil. They maintain an influence in areas that produce oil to try to help keep the supply flowing and the prices reasonable. And they are again, hated for it, by the people in those countries, and by the people in countries like yours who stand to benefit.

    But if the US pulled out of the Middle East, which would be nice to see, there could very well be big problems for the rest of the world. And maybe that’s what the rest of the world -who hates America for being what it is- deserves. Maybe the US should become more isolationist and let the world deal with its own problems. No more war in Iraq! Let the dictator kill his own people who just want to have the freedom to vote him out and someone better in. Let the dictator, without reason, kidnap someone in the middle of the night and kill him, or make an example of a man for speaking against the government; rape his women and oppress his people… or do they not talk about that (what Saddam’s regime did) on socialized television? Let the rest of the world deal with Iran’s and North Koreas’ nuclear plans. Let the rest of the world fight the battles for the powerless in Darfur. America doesn’t have time to right now, but you notice how no one else is stepping in? Kind of odd, huh? Where are the good Socialist countries of Europe who believe in caring for the underrepresented, the poor, and the downtrodden? Let the rest of the world supply their troops, aid, food and civilian support for disaster relief, impoverished nations. Where was the foreign aid in the wake of hurricane Katrina? Mexico sent some troops. That was about it. Did America need the help? Not really, but symbolically… No, America would be hated for that too. They’d be hated for doing nothing to help people in the world. They’re hated for helping. What to do?

    (On the other hand, the hatred of America is a popular to talk about, but it’s not fully true, though it’s what a lot of people like to think- hating America seems to be in fashion. Regardless, America’s assistance to the world is not appreciated and there are many who hate America for being what it is.)

    American ingenuity is apparent every day. You seem to dislike the idea of American influence in the world? (I may be wrong.) But does the world want American technology and advancements? Of course. Americans work everyday to develop new energy sources and supplies. American scientists are working with nanotechnology to create more efficient solar panels, for example. But no one is there yet. Those technologies are not widely viable. Sure, the US has its own oil supplies, yet they are as yet difficult to obtain. On the one hand, you have environmentalists telling the government they can’t search for oil in oil-rich regions like Alaska. On the other, you have a type of oil in Colorado that is highly inefficient to obtain. Solar energy is not viable yet; wind power isn’t that great either. And is each American supposed to get rid of the car he or she has and buy a new hybrid or alternate energy car? Not every American has the money for that. Eco fuel is not efficiently obtained either. America is working toward different fuels. The rest of the world isn’t, save for a few countries. But for now, oil drives Americans’ cars and yours as well, and no one likes the price of gas. “Getting the message” as you say Arnold did, is simply understanding an ideal, not necessarily attaining a viable reality.

    Jealousy, in part, created the terror. And again, as I said above, why has America seen only one of these successful foreign attacks, and why has the rest of the world seen so many? Why did Madrid see the bombings? Why did the rest of the world see countless attacks before 9/11 was even a thought in a terrorist’s mind? Because it’s not about the US. It’s not about everyone hating the US. The US was just a target in a long string of targets.

    It always amazes me how much people can hate the US without knowing much of anything about it. As a traveler, I embrace all cultures, and wait to make judgment calls until I have more intimate knowledge of said culture. Even then, I don’t make blanket statements about a culture. That would be like assuming all Germans loved Hitler and believed his every word. It isn’t true, and believing that would be outrageous.

    I’d like to know if you have any experience with guns, or does your perspective come from the unfamiliarity that has a tendency to breed such fear and hostility? This is an argument that I frequently hear people make, that we shouldn’t fear that which we do not understand, yet it is a frequent reality that they do the same, of ideas, of people and of guns. I hear that we shouldn’t stereotype or hold prejudices by the same people who hold stereotypes and prejudices, just of a different sort. That aside, I’d like to get an understanding of why you believe what you believe, and how familiar you are with America. This is an interesting discussion. Thank you.

  5. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Wow John, I really appreciate your post and the effort you put into it. Although it’s getting more and more difficult to sort out the points, where we disagree and respond to it in a structured manner.

    Let me start with where we agree: I’m a friend of America and the US and believe as well that American Culture is a good thing, from which other countries can learn and benefit globally. I consume American movies, food and buy American products due to their competitive prices and quality. I traveled the US more than a dozen times on business and leisure, been in SF, LA, LV, San Diego, Boston, Miami and other (smaller) cities and seen quite some of the real life. I meet Americans every day wherever I go and usually get along nicely with them. I even applied for a Green Card in my teenager times. I worked in the IT industry, so companies like IBM, HP, Dell, Oracle, Microsoft were my daily bread and butter business. I can frankly say that I’m a friend of America and know it quite well, as you might have questioned earlier.

    Being a friend of America shouldn’t mean though, to shut me up when pointing out things that obviously don’t work as they should or simply could damage America’s reputation and name in the world. Even though that those are pretty subjective opinions. It must be allowed to point out areas of improvement and obvious damage to America.

    So there we probably agree that it would be better to avoid that destruction of reputation, even though it can’t possibly avoided all the time.

    Now, the points where we obviously disagree, I will try to work them one by one:

    About general possession of Firearms:
    I see where you coming from regarding the rights to possess firearms, based on history and all, but still I don’t think it should be necessary in a modern democracy to own firearms. It maybe was necessary when exploring new frontiers and moving west, but in a modern society, the authorities should be enough to maintain a certain level of security and prevent (violent) crime from happening. Other countries/regions show the way how this could work (Old Europe being one of them). Somehow violent crime is always higher in countries where easy possession of firearms is possible. I understand your point of view, but still can’t agree on it, as the numbers speak for themselves and history has shown that more guns ans weapons mean more violence. Have you seen the movie ‘Lord of War’ with Nicolas Cage? It shows it in a nice and digestible way and I’m sure that most people who have seen that movie would agree that it would make more sense to ban weapons altogether in a joint, world-wide effort to reduce wars and (domestic) violence. Unfortunately this is Utopia and will be prevented by the Gun Lobby (they create jobs as well, right?), Politicians and other world-wide Profiteers in Weapons.

    Criminals and their Use of Guns
    Criminals own guns because there are limited resources on checking up on them. Most state and governmental resources are bound in bureaucracy, paperwork and x-raying innocent citizens (aka 1984) via DHS, CIA and other institutions. Where the real crime happen, these departments are notoriously underfunded, corruption-ridden and well below the standard they should be to fulfil their tasks properly. Besides that the impression that we live in a un-secure world surely helps lobbyists and other Profiteers of measures/solutions against it.

    The Virgina Shooting:
    The Shooting in Virgina didn’t happen because there wasn’t anyone else around you could have shot the Guy; but because he had easy and legal (!) access to firearms in the first place, even with a mental disorder history! How crazy is that?

    Violent Crimes with Guns or other Weapons
    Of course crimes could and would probably be happen with other weapons, but overall the statistics of violent and deadly crimes would definitely go down, as it’s the case in let’s say Canada and most European or Asian Countries. Funnily only countries with similar Firearm Laws as the US, like Brazil, Mexico or the Philippines have similar high numbers in fatalities caused by violent crimes. Where there are working authorities with the right resources and priorities, things look different and the statistics are obviously better. Why is that so?

    About Concentration Camps,
    in my view and many others as well, Guantanamo is a Concentration Camp, as people are locked up there for many years without a cause, court date or defender. Torture occurs, either mentally or physically. This goes definitely against any human rights charta and saying that other countries do the same or worse, doesn’t make it a right thing to do.

    Why is America hated in the world?
    Jealousy of poorer countries is surely one point; but Americas arrogance and the lack of acceptance of other views and opinions is truly another. There isn’t only black and white, the good guys and the bad guys, or be our friend or die! The world is colourful and this isn’t often accepted by the US. In neglecting and dishonoring other ways, people, cultures, societies, concepts, America puts itself on the line of hate by stepping on other peoples values and lifes.

    Bloodier History of Britain, Germany, France, Italy
    Obviously, the mentioned countries and others have a longer and bloodier history, simply because they are around much longer than the US as a State. These countries too had more time to let go on their imperial values and colonial habits regarding other cultures and countries; maybe just some more time is what America needs as well.

    The right to go to other countries to regulate the price of Oil:
    What I meant is to stop relying on Oil altogether. It’s a common fact that bio fuels could be more efficient and even cheaper than fossil fuels, if just more countries would do the switch. The environmental benefits not even mentioned. So why this obsession with oil and gas? And why the roles as the World Police to regulate that resource? The Cold War is over! Why not simply go back to Americas origin and doubtless best features, as an investing, inventing, progressive, modern and effective country? Go ahead and show the world the way on how to survive without Oil and Oil Wars, which leave Millions of people dead on the ground every year.

    Americas AID to the World
    More Money and more Help don’t help poorer countries. I’m happy that you mentioned Bill Gates, he supports self-sustainable help efforts, just look at Africa where cheap or free-of-charge help killed the local industries making countries like Darfur or Zimbabwe even poorer and more dependant on the western economies.
    And of course, the US helped Germany and Europe after 2 World Wars to rebuild, but there was a strong own interest in it as well, to eliminate economic competitors, establishing new markets for own products and bringing over own values and concepts of society and economy.

    My experience with Guns
    I don’t have *any* experience with Guns, except maybe an Air Rifle, if that counts. I played ‘Cowboys/Indians’ as a child though, watch violent movies and still play violent Computer Games/FPS, although I can differentiate between entertainment and reality. Being a Pacifist at heart I truly dislike violence in every form. Why fight with guns and spill blood, if you can argue or better eat and drink and beer with each other? There are 5 billion people on this planet and 5 billion opinions. Why we have to kill each other because of that, is beyond me.

    Anyway, am happy that we both agree that this is an interesting discussion. I’m just asking myself, how we could bend this into something useful for both of us and maybe other readers of this blog. So far we made our points clear, the question remains, what do we learn from each other?

    What do you think? ;-)

  6. JohnNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Good morning, day, or night!

    I think the aspect of a democracy we need to clarify is that it is frighteningly easy for a democracy to become a dictatorship if rights (all rights as dictated by the country’s democratic constitution) are not heeded and allowed. When guns in the US are banned, that is one of America’s essential freedoms gone. That destroys one of the things that makes America the free land that it is. (And guns will exist, but at that point only in the hands of criminals.)

    Of course criticism of America or any place is just fine, however, it must be criticism from an intimate perspective. It’s much easier to be critical of another country, especially when there are things about it one doesn’t understand fully. Unfortunately, the destruction of reputation isn’t always through the actions of the country or individual, but often by the perspective of those who make themselves judges, for better or worse. A visitor isn’t necessarily intimate enough to make fully informed criticisms. I’ve been to some countries as many times or more than you’ve visited the US. It’s not right for me to make judgments on those countries, unless I understand that the judgments are highly biased and based on my own country, my own culture and my own world view, which, I also must understand, doesn’t necessarily correlate with the reality of the country in question. In short, sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.

    About General Use

    Lord of War is a movie with intent behind it. It’s easy in fiction to create and make people believe a certain way. Look at Michael Moore’s movies. Look at the DaVinci Code. Both fictional movies made to appear real. Appearance doesn’t make it real. It doesn’t make it right. Removing all the guns in the world would just leave the guns in the hands of the criminals. That doesn’t do much for the law-abiding, peaceful people who just want to get through each day.

    The police should be enough- in a utopian society, there would be no need for police, because that would make them more equal than the other equals. In a utopian society, everyone would be equal, which would mean no one has power over others, as the police and government do. It would also mean that there would be no need to defend one’s self because there would be no crime. The reality is unfortunate, but it is, nonetheless, that there is crime.

    America isn’t perfect: there is crime, and the police are not enough to handle crime on their own. That is the case anywhere in the world. Adding more police won’t solve the problem. It just gives more power to the police and damages further the concept of democracy, which is, in many ways, freedom from a police state, or, said another way, democracy isn’t just about the freedom to choose who governs, it’s also about the mindset of free people. It is not a democracy when the government, police and military have all the power. A democracy is about power of the people. When government has all the power, and there is no balance of power, there is no democracy. If Americans didn’t have guns, or didn’t have simply the right to own them, democracy itself in America would not exist fully any more, and it is being degraded daily.

    The US government was set up based on balance of power, which is why there are three divisions to the federal government, all with different roles that provide checks and balances to the powers of the other branches. That is why states have power as well as the federal government, and that is why, most importantly, the people have freedom of speech, the right to keep and bear arms, and so on… checks and balances.
    At least in America people have the right and ability to defend themselves, still today, even though we’re no longer pioneering across the plains.

    If you look at Switzerland, every citizen of a certain age is armed and there is low crime. But America is vast, comprising people from every land and culture. That is America’s nature, for good or bad. But tell me that violent crime doesn’t happen elsewhere in the world? One statistic I heard recently said that Scotland was the most violent country in the developed world, followed by England and Wales. Scottish are three times more likely to be assaulted than Americans. And that’s just one number, but what you hear about crime in the US isn’t necessarily accurate. America isn’t just filled with crime, people toting guns and shooting each other up all the time. I’ve also heard that guns are used to deter about 2.3 million crimes per year. That’s a lot of lives saved. But you don’t hear about those statistics on TV. They aren’t in line with the media’s bias. Also, they simply aren’t published because they aren’t reported.

    America’s crime rate is decreasing, partly due to the natural waves, and partly due to the simple economic concept of opportunity cost. It is much riskier to attack a possibly armed victim than one who is prohibited from being armed. The opportunity cost is too high. Question, why should people give the upper hand to someone who wants to rob or kill them? Taking away guns won’t make crime go away. That’s a cold, hard fact. Crime exists here; crime exists elsewhere in the world, even in places where guns aren’t as common.

    Now consider that America is #24, in a fairly recent survey, in highest murder rates. But also consider that many of those are from illegals and illegal drug gangs in places like Los Angeles and Miami. A varied population can do things like that. Let’s not forget the many unreported people killed in places like India, the infant females killed in China when the parents wanted a boy… it happens all the time. Consider also that, were it not for guns, America’s crime numbers could be higher, and other countries’ numbers could be lower. Why? Because there would be no guns to save lives in the US, and with guns in other countries, crime rates would go down. (It also must be considered that each country is different, and what may be good for one country doesn’t work as well for another…)

    Criminals and Their Use of Guns

    Criminals possess guns not because of a deficiency elsewhere in the system. They possess guns to commit crimes and to protect themselves in their dangerous world. In the world of the drug trade, for example, a dealer will have a gun, most likely purchased illegally, to defend his cash and goods, which, of course, are also illegal. It is also used to make sure people pay up. A user might buy a gun for money to buy more drugs. Illegally, as well, this gun is often used in a crime. It has nothing to do with government resources. It has nothing to do with funding bureaucracy, red tape, fine lines, corruption or anything else. That is the difference between America and other countries. Our criminals are not in cahoots with the police. Sure, there are cases where that’s true, but in general it isn’t. The problem is that the police can’t be everywhere at once, not because they’re stuck dealing with official bureaucratic issues, eating doughnuts or engaged in some corrupt or illegal activity themselves, but because there simply aren’t enough of them.

    The idea of American democracy is that we shouldn’t need to depend on police to provide safety for us. The idea of American democracy is to prevent the people from relying too much on the government, or the government taking too much power from the people. This happens when people rely only on the police for safety, for example, and when people say, “My safety and security are not my responsibility. I will rely on someone else, someone I don’t know and for all I know will not make it to the crime scene in time to save my life.” That is a horribly ignorant way to live. People’s safety and security is their own responsibility. That idea of personal responsibility and personal accountability is what America was founded on.

    VA Tech
    The shooting happened because of the shooter, because he decided to use a gun in a bad way. Had someone, any legal, law-abiding citizen been there, carrying a gun and in the shooter’s vicinity, that guy could have been stopped and 32 or even 33 people would be alive today and a tragedy averted.

    That is a simple, incontrovertible fact.

    There is no argument there. If one of the students or faculty in the areas in which he opened fire had been armed, legally, lives could have and would have been saved.

    People who decide to carry a gun accept a large responsibility. It’s not like the old west towns, where everyone strolls around shootin’ up saloons. It’s a quiet and serious responsibility. And it can and does save lives, often without a single shot fired.

    Violent Crimes with Guns or Other Weapons

    Canada has higher rape rates than the US, for example. Other countries have crime too, of course, not too far from that of the US, who is high in homicide. Many countries don’t just have to fear their fellow countrymen, but their government as well.

    And these other countries that are so high in crime, don’t allow the law-abiding citizens to have guns… what does that tell you? It tells me that guns do not a criminal act make. The person and the person’s intent and actions make the criminal act. Be it a knife, bomb, whatever. Sure, the crime rate is lower in many countries outside the US, (where only the police, government and military are allowed to have guns) but not by much, and that’s without the people owning guns. That’s a telling statement. So it’s not all about guns, though they are the standard scapegoat.

    In China, if you are found with drugs, you’re likely to be killed on the spot or jailed in a dark hole and left to die. I saw a death penalty for drug possession sign while I was there. Similar if you commit a crime. It works, but it’s harsh and gives the government a lot of power over its people.

    Consider also that the US has a legal population of over 300 million people, not counting the over 10 million estimated illegals. That’s a lot more than Mexico, Brazil or the Philippines. That’s more than England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, more than Russia, Japan, Iraq, Iran… those numbers need not be discarded when considering the facts. America has a lot of people from all over…

    What countries, in your mind, have these working authorities with the right resources and priorities? Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines do not have similar gun laws to the US. In Brazil, the government has a record of all the guns people own, and there are very strict laws about owning, using, transporting, the size and power… that is not freedom. That is not American. If the government knows about all the guns one has, the government can take away all the guns one has. Yes, even of law-abiding citizens, saying it’s for the sake of the safety of the women and the children. When the democracy is about to fall, the roundup of guns begins. America has protections against this. Germany did not, and saw the guns disappear before the Nazis took over.

    What has Brazil’s strict gun laws done? It created a huge black market for guns. There are lots of gangs that bring in illegal weapons, much more powerful than the citizens can legally own, leaving the citizens without much protection. And so the people should rely on the police? The police can’t even do their job there. It may be that if you defend your property in Brazil, you go to jail if you are caught using a gun to do so. How is that freedom? How is that security?

    Do you note how Fidel Castro keeps a very strict eye on gun control in his country? Wonder why? Not to prevent crime. He doesn’t care about his people. It’s to prevent an uprising against him, an uprising that is many years in the making, but which can’t happen easily because the laws of a dictatorship say only the dictatorship has the right to be armed. Kind of odd, huh?

    Mexico has a higher murder rate than the US. The people there are only allowed to have .22 caliber guns, which are registered. Russia has a much higher murder rate, yet guns are outlawed.

    The Philippines is nothing like the US. There is little rule of law there anyway. Corruption isn’t surprising there. And their gun laws are different as well.

    So much for guns being the problem.

    So why take away from the good, honest people the ability to protect themselves legally?

    About Concentration Camps
    In your view. Yes, America has prisons for people who commit crimes against them or who are part of terrorist groups. Yes, it is very popular for the media to talk about torture. But what the world doesn’t understand is that it is just talk. The media is known for making a lot of claims. Often they can’t back them up. Take Dan Rather, I believe, (I could be wrong, but it was one of the big-name news anchors) who proclaimed something about Bush and some issue with the National Guard. 60 Minutes was involved as well, I believe… Well, whatever the case, the damage could have already been done once the story was told, even though it wasn’t true. But what was important to the media was that it followed what the media wanted. They didn’t wait to find the truth. Apply this concept to Guantanamo. Speculation, assumptions? If so, someone (people who accuse America of torture) has some serious explaining to do, and apologizing. If not, it’s a different story. But we need proof.

    Let’s look at it this way. Torture is horrible and wrong, we agree. Does that mean Iraq’s prisons would avoid it? No. Does that mean the insurgent’s prisons would avoid it? Not at all. But that is what the prisoners understand: that is how they would treat prisoners if roles were reversed. Sad fact. But let’s also consider the vast number of lives that could be saved if prisoners would give up names or tactical information, even if it had to be through torture. What is a government to do? Either protect the majority of people in their country and around the world, or protect one person who has already a crime on his shoulders, and who comes from a country without the decency to partake in the Geneva Convention?

    Is torture right? It depends on how you place value on human life. If one must suffer pain or indignity, (one, who, by the way, either was involved directly with a plot to kill other innocent people who just want to live in peace, or who, by not doing anything to stop the attack was involved indirectly) so that many innocent people may live, is that so wrong as the torture they set upon POWs. Is that as bad as the videotaped killing of people that they broadcast to the world? Where is the humanity in their actions? Guantanamo is no concentration camp. It is a prison.

    Again, paranoia born from speculation and… if the US is found to be torturing people, you have to return to the above-asked question, about its value compared to many more innocent people dead. Maybe the US should be punished, but right now speculation is not enough, and claiming said speculation as fact is making the US guilty before being proven innocent, which, as I believe you said, is not right. It’s not democratic.

    Why is America Hated In the World

    If you believe America is truly so arrogant and unable to accept other views and opinions, I don’t think you really learned much about America in your visits. Look at America, a country with 300+ million people from all walks of life, from all over the world, with every country and language represented, and proud of that history, it strikes me as intentionally incognizant for someone to say the US is closed minded, narrow minded, or inflexible when it comes to other cultures. It also insults me, personally, as a person who, to my very soul, appreciates the amazing uniqueness and array of people and cultures in the world, and all the people here like me. Ironically, those who tend to be the most narrow minded are those who call America narrow minded, because they refuse to allow that America could be right about something, America could be good, America could be better, in some small way.

    Do I believe America is better? Of course, in the exact same way you probably believe with every good reason that your homeland is better, and in the same way every person believes his homeland is the best. For the same reason we all love our homelands. There is nothing wrong with that. Would I want to live elsewhere in the world? Of course. I’ve lived out of country once so far, I travel all the time and I’m moving back out of country again in the fall. Why? Because I also believe that every country is as good as mine in its own way. Some things in mine are better; some things in the other are better.

    There is no refusal by the vast majority of Americans to accept other beliefs. Many Muslim leaders in Islamic countries hate the US because of its liberal acceptance of everyone and everything. And again, that is a blanket statement and overgeneralization about Americans that is baseless and which would not be well received if an American said the same about your country.

    The US works with countries, friend and foe, to try to establish relations, peace and prosperity. Over 12 years of diplomacy with Iraq and Saddam failed, not because of the US, but because of Saddam’s refusal to stop killing his own people, among other reasons. The hard-earned tax dollars of every American goes to the aid of other countries, American farmers work tirelessly and much of that food goes to the hungry in other countries. America sees the world in full and vibrant color. The world sees America in black and white. That is sad, but it is the fact of the matter. For proof, just look at this section of the conversation.

    To say that America steps on others’ values and lives is preposterous. But if you believe so, just how does America do that? (If you answer with Iraq, consider that many of the Iraqi people know the people who are the insurgents, or know who they are. They don’t turn the insurgents in to help end this thing. Yes, it has been a poorly run war, yes, civilians died. But the real fact of the matter is that it’s not through the actions of American soldiers that most of the civilians died. The IEDs set by Iraqis killed their own people. The bus bombs were and are set by Iraqis, killing their own people, the car bombs blowing up near mosques, are set by them, not by the US “infidels”. There is an enormous distinction there, but it seems the world likes to bypass facts and go with bashing the US. Look at the numbers. Most of the civilians were killed by car bombs, executed, blown up, tortured by fellow Iraqis. The insurgents, not Americans. It’s tragic to see the lists, but the facts remain. Where is the UN to pressure the terrorist groups? Where is the rest of the world to help stop the war?

    Bloodier History…
    The main difference between America and Europe is that America has no sovereign control over other countries. It has one temporarily occupied country and influence all over the world. How much of the world was under the direct colonial and imperialist control of Britain, Germany, Italy and France at their heights? Much, much more.

    The right to go to other countries to regulate the price of oil…
    It would be great to stop relying on oil. The US cannot, and neither can the rest of the world. To obtain Bio fuels requires about as much energy to make as is put out. That is the fact. They are not efficient. Countries also can’t simply make that switch. There are many realities that are not so simple, for example there needs to be a vast industry of production and refining and total restructuring of the substructure of product delivery. Bio fuels can’t magically appear everywhere. That money comes from somewhere, and soon enough, the world will be in crisis with bio fuels in the same way they are with fossil fuels… someone has to produce the fuels, someone has to refine it, someone has to ship it, someone has to make the money and be hated by everyone else… it’s not as simple as telling everyone to switch. It’s a very difficult and long project. It’s expensive. Bio fuels also pollute. You’re still burning fuel. You still have to make the fuel, be that from growing it or producing it synthetically. There is a lot of energy that must go into this. It’s not a perfect solution like many like to think. It’s just not that simple.

    What many people don’t understand is the way dictators can work. If they decide that they want to stop oil production, or raise prices, they can. It’s their right to do so (not that their people see any of the profits). But that, as I said before, that affects everyone in the world. It’s unrealistic for people to think that oil just works on it’s own and that the dictators are benevolent and not money-hungry. That’s why we have OPEC, in many ways, but it’s not enough, so the US heads the influence.

    America’s origin is great, and it still very much exists, but it’s not the whole picture. It’s not where the world is today. It’s easy to say what you say about America, but your problems with America seem to stem from what you want from America, if that makes sense… you seem to want America to be progressive, modern, to invent and invest, and that is just the thing that America does, and that is, in part why people don’t like America. America is successful.

    If you want America to become isolated from the world, say so. If so, good luck. No one appreciates what America does for the world. It’s not always good, of course, but no one appreciates the good. And yet, why should America put its collective time and money into invention and research for the rest of the world? Would that not put America into yet another enviable position? Would that not make the rest of the world more dependent on the US for its newest technology?

    People in poor countries don’t care about the artificial heart or Willie Nelson’s bio-fuel tour bus. They care about the day-to-day, making enough to get by, and so on. They need their gas, but they don’t necessarily care where it comes from or what’s going to happen to the supply of oil in a thousand years, or the process by which oil is painstakingly extracted from difficult strata. How can a subsistence farmer afford to buy a hybrid car, when he can barely afford the old, beat up truck he bought to haul food to the market? (Socialism doesn’t work, because the hybrid isn’t his, he won’t care for it. It’s just the way things work.)

    In many ways, I’d like the US to step back from the oil issues, just so the world can appreciate what it does. When the prices go up, the supply goes down, good socialist governments will ration gas, inflation speeds up… it’s all a pattern that repeats. I guess it’s just difficult to see the pattern sometimes.

    America’s AID to the World

    So are you saying is that Europe’s lesser assistance to the world is the same as the US’s? That Europe is doing just as much? I hope not. Money and aid helps the world. And if you think it doesn’t, then maybe the US should stop giving aid, sending troops, donating food. Maybe the starving in Ethiopia can make rain out of sand and feed themselves. Those UN trucks carry American donations.

    I don’t condone what President Clinton did when he tried to buy peace in the Middle East. It obviously failed, because he missed the root of the issue. By the same token, the world misses the realities facing many poor countries, and those are simple. Those countries tend to be ruled by a dictatorship, a Communist leader, or some equal who is more equal than the other equals. Those leaders tend to horde the money. Those equals tend to horde the food. They keep the money, the people remain poor but controlled because they have neither the rights nor the means to attain anything different. These so-called leaders are the ones keeping their people poor, but the donations from America and from the rest of the world help. My point was to illustrate the vast amount of assistance the US gives to the world, in comparison to the much smaller amounts of assistance by other countries, showing that America does care about the world. If the world doesn’t want it, then lower the taxes relative to that expense!

    The other option is for America to enter these countries and take over the dictator for the poor people who cannot defend themselves, and insert a leader who will care, or is controlled enough by the US so as to not be that bad. It is not at all surprising to me to see why these people can’t defend themselves. The government, the military and the police of their countries… that’s right, they have all the power, all the guns, all the money. The countries could be free, could be democracies, but they aren’t because the people have no choice.

    It is true that the US will work to its benefit in the world, but the world is so ready to make the US the bad guy that it won’t allow the belief that the US would do anything out of kindness. That is pretty unenlightened as well, and once again, shows the narrow minded view many in the world take on the US. America didn’t have to help isolationist Japan. They did. They attacked America unprovoked. America didn’t have to help rebuild Germany, they did, and it cannot be denied that it helped Germany. In part, there was the American’s understanding that not all Germans followed Hitler or were Nazis. In part there were some things that probably benefited the US. But it was American money, food and troops that helped rebuild Europe… and they didn’t have to, especially at that time when intercontinental trade wasn’t as big a thing as it is today. This globalization thing is fairly new.

    America, by rebuilding Germany and Europe in general, created economic competitors, they didn’t destroy them. By helping Europe rebuild quickly, instead of letting Europe wallow in the aftermath of war, America created not only allies and friends, but helped to boost the economies of each country, allowing each country to move forward economically, moving forward with industry, invention and so on. Same with Japan. The US didn’t eliminate economic competitors at all. Look at the world today for proof. America took back from the World Wars ideas from Europe as well. It was a two way street and still is. The governments and cultures there didn’t change drastically as a result of the wars, aside from the Germans’ and Italians’ governments. But the cultures, no. And if the idea of free market economies instead of Communist isolationism is bad, then America should apologize, but it seems to be working just fine in Europe today.

    My Experience With Guns

    There are actually 6.7+ billion people… pretty amazing number.
    I don’t like violent movies because there is too much real violence and pain in the world.
    I avoid watching violent movies because of that belief and I don’t play many video games because they tend to waste time better spent elsewhere. That is logical to me.

    Differentiating between real and fantasy is one thing, and Pacifism is another. It is a great ideal to be Pacifist, but it doesn’t always work in this world. Again, when you are staring down the barrel of some crack head’s .45, maybe you’ll be fine with taking a bullet for your beliefs. An honorable choice. But many people don’t like that idea. Many people aren’t willing to give up everything they’ve worked their whole lives for for one drug-addicted man and his problems, or one guy who doesn’t want to work 8 hours a day for an honest wage. Many people don’t want to die for the thirty-four dollars and twenty-three cents in their wallet. For those people, the right to own a gun is invaluable.

    I would much rather sit and debate over gourmet food and drink. We can definitely agree there. But that, sadly, is not the reality in the world. At some point you have to step out of that restaurant, and when you do, you face the grim reality, that, once again, there are bad people in the world willing to do bad things to good people. And since that is the case, thanks to the hard-won freedoms and rights Americans have and don’t even fully appreciate, people in democratic America have the right to defend their own lives. That is no small responsibility. It is no flippant task.

    Owning guns in America isn’t about promoting, liking, condoning or idolizing violence. That is a huge point here. A lot of people watch movies and they get a horribly wrong impression of guns and America’s use of them. Sure, Rambo can kill off hundreds of people with his massive guns, and that is the image that people take away from America and about guns. That isn’t the reality. That is the fiction. But people make that fiction a reality. Have you seen Galaxy Quest? Of course it’s fiction, but look at how the Thermians believe in the “Historical Documents” (I think that’s what they are called). It’s tragically naïve, but it is much the same when we look at how people view and believe what they see in movies. They begin to forget that Rambo is fake, that real Americans aren’t like him. And they don’t care to.

    I can take from you various perspectives from the world stage, and a deeper understanding of how others in the world think.

    What I hope to give is a deeper understanding to people in and outside America of what America is, what it’s about and to hopefully dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings that are so common.

    (Ideal democracy for many in America is that of the political party of the Libertarians, where the government’s role very limited, namely to protecting the people from outside invasion, fraud and that’s about it. Local and state governments take care of roads and public works. Police exist but have less power. People take responsibility for their own safety and well being in the world, etcetera. That gives the people the most amount of power, and is the closest, in many ways, to complete democracy. Giving the government, military and police the power is totalitarianism waiting to happen. Communism, for example, doesn’t work. It doesn’t help anyone, it doesn’t grow, and history has shown us that.)

    I’m also hoping to clarify America’s ownership of guns, the right to own them, reasons why, and so on. It basically boils down to the right to protect one’s self and property. And really, why should we rely on another person to protect us? This is also badly misunderstood by people outside the US and even by many people here. You know, there are a lot of Americans who oppose guns as well, many who oppose the war, but it seems the impression of Americans is that they are all wacko gun-slingin’ warmongers, (not by you) which is a tragically unfair assessment.

    There is a difference in legal gun ownership and violence in this country. That too, seems to be misunderstood, but it is the case. People who own guns legally are rarely violent people. It’s the criminals who bring the dark cloud over gun ownership for everyone.

    Again, glad to be having this discussion, thank you.

  7. Bobby Who can't believe what he is readingNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    I am going desperately hard to be polite but the arguements you bandy around in your article / posting defy belief. I also detect an undercurrent of racism there so I hope i am very wrong.
    Let’s start with your first arguement – that the right to bear arms is enshrined in your constitution and is designed to protect the American people from oppression / tyranical governments.
    Possibly good point by the Founding fathers back in the 1770’s but is this point still relevant today ? it says very little about the development of democracy in the US over the last 250 years that you still “need” the safety blanket provided by this “right”. The koran says we ought to stone adulterers / kill all infidels – relevant in the dark ages, relevant today ??? How many people have died as the result of “idiotic beliefs / rights” enshrined in the various religious books around us, from the Inquisition to the Crusades, Jihads to fatwas – do I still believe that I must literally follow every word that is contained in those book, otherwise my “rights / beliefs” are impigned in any way ?? To argue that gun ownership (legal or otherwise) sustains (or provides) one of the cornerstones of democracy is fatuous in the extreme – how does the rest of Continental Europe do it ? You mention Switzerland – where else ?

    The rest of your posting (I wish length was tantamount to rational arguements) is so full of generalisations and personal opinions with no basis in fact / scientific evidence that i will refrain from addressing every single point as i still have a ton of work to get done – unfortunately i have yet to ditch the suit and engage in drifting around asia, like our chum Chris here… lol

    Suffice to say that legal / illegal ways of obtaining access to guns only contribute to one thing – killing, usually of innocents. The Columbine, Virginia Tech, Nasa killings were all done with legally purchased guns – 3 examples but i am sure i can find more if i try hard enough. Your arguement that if someone had a gun on campus / the 9/11 flights / etc would have resulted in less deaths is bordering on lunacy and is typical of the NRA rhetoric that is spewed by Heston and his ilk. I have little time for Moore and his friends either but at least I won’t delude myself that arming myself with an AK will make me feel infinitely safer in Compton or that I am contributing to a healthier, more democratic US of A.
    Maybe the causes of what push people to commit these crimes in the first place is where you should be devoting your energies – where am i going to get my next bag of crack / my next set of sneakers / the constant images of lives being lived to excess in the American media which push the have nots into believing they are missing out / an obssession with vacuous, empty celebrities behaving badly and being held up as “role models”… look inwards.

  8. paulNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    :-/ what the hell. for the first guy up top. all you do is talk. actually do some research and then talk about bush you brain wahed idiot. you say hes like a drone. but what can you say to back these things up. nothing. only more insults. you know nothing. and how does it remind you of a scene. what does that matter to us. their not facts just stupid feelings. i bet you think hes for the rich right??? so why has he done tax cuts. and you liberals and democrats dont want that. open your eyes. dont let yourself get pulled in by the lies of the media. jugde by facts not what every one else thinks. you just dont have enough brains to make jugdment for yourself. you have to follow all these other idiots here.

    why does the world need so many guns???? :(( ohhh!!! they should shoot bow and arrows…..

    to defend themselves . duhhhhhhhh… if a robber goes into your home and atacks you your supposed to hook up your bow and arrow and shoot… well i would but itll be faster with a gun…..

    quit bing a little :(( cry baby. man kind has found ways to protect them selves from other threats since the begining of time. you think that you are going to stop that. that your just going to let some one hurt you in your own home. hell no i wouldnt . you think that shooting a couple bows and arrows are going to stop that. i have shot lots and ill still defendmyself.

    oh and FYI dont think that im a rich white boy. i’m actually a ghetto latino…
    i just havnt let my mind get brain washed like you guys.

  9. JohnNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Thank God for you. You are defending American’s rights to bear arms AND the freedom of speech. Chris, I may not agree with you, but you conduct yourself very well in a debate and are civilized. I believe that as long as the Constitution of The United States of America tells me I can have weapons, I am going to have weapons. I love my country, but the day I am told I can’t hae weapons anymore, I know there are terrible times ahead. Anyone who believes in what the Bible says can see this. With the coming of the Anti-Christ, we will be asked to relinquish our weapons in order to pave the way for his rise. The thought of this sickens me. I, for one, will fight to the death for my right to posess firearms and every other right that I have. You may not agree with me, and you may not like me bringing religion into this already complex debate, but this is what I believe 100%. Thank you for your time and I am sorry I am not as informed or intellectually adept as either of you Chris and John.

  10. Debo HoboNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Holly crap! I just wanted to say umm…Bush is off his rocker :))

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