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Old 01-22-2011, 06:41 AM   #21
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Same for me. I have never owned a gun and never will.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:28 AM   #22
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I carry two cans of Mace and a cell phone when I'm hiking out of range of 911 help. One can is formulated for dogs and the other is formulated for people. Fortunately, so far, I've only had to use the dog pepper spray, though I have been threatened by the irate dog owner. My worst fear is meeting up with some nut with a gun.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:43 AM   #23
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In addition to the inconveniences mentioned by Samclem, I wonder if being armed would make me more likely to take imprudent risks that I would not normally take.
This is the question that worries me. I remember some incidents in high school that support that fear, although HS kids are quite a different crew than ER adults. On the other side of this question, Dex's statistics were surprising to me both in the number of self defense occurrences and the effectiveness.

I have good situational awareness which, I think, has helped insure that over many decades walking around lots of sections of supposedly dangerous cities I have never been robbed or assaulted (excluding those HS incidents ). But I wonder whether I will become more of a target when I get into my mid to late 70s. Of course, by that time fumbling for a weapon might prove ineffectual
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:09 AM   #24
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I suspect if everyone attending political rallies were armed then the discourse would be much more civil.
Robert Heinlein's line always made sense to me:
"An armed society is a polite society."

I think it's an excellent thing that the bad guys never know who might be packing.

I have a concealed carry license and I am often armed. Where I live and normally travel is considered a very safe area, but so are the majority of places where people get shot unexpectedly. You simply never know.

If you are sincerely interested in carrying a gun outside your home, you need plenty of specific training, and you need to keep it fresh with practice. The NRA has plenty of links for obtaining training.

If you're unsure about the laws relating to carrying, the best place to start checking them is www.handgunlaw.us.

In my case, I was first required to carry a concealed gun for self-protection some decades ago when I was on active duty, but I can't really discuss that. When my state adopted the option for civilians, I immediately took advantage of it, because I had first hand experience of the associated value.

Whatever you do, be sure to do it thoroughly. That means get lots of specific training for it, plenty of practice on the range, good equipment (well-maintained gun, good quality holster and belt), complete knowledge of all the applicable laws, and the proper mindset (situational awareness, planned courses of action, etc.).
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:27 AM   #25
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I suspect that 95% of the world would find this discussion absurd. The US really is an outlier on this topic.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:38 AM   #26
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I suspect that 95% of the world would find this discussion absurd. The US really is an outlier on this topic.
Noted. Thank you.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:46 AM   #27
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Robert Heinlein's line always made sense to me:
"An armed society is a polite society."
I think it is far more accurate to say an unarmed society is a polite society, at least for developed countries. Look at the rate of violence in developed countries with fewer guns compared to the rate of violence in the US. Compare Japan's gun violence to the United States. Look at Australia, which substantially reduced guns. Violence dropped, it didn't increase. Gun Control in Australia | FactCheck.org

Heinlein also said:
"What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!"


But as I have said before, we have more than 200 million guns in the US, unless we can get those numbers down we will have gun violence. Not an easy thing to change gun culture. Attitudes will have to change. I am interested in seeing how people in their 20s view guns. My own attitudes have to change. We have rifles, a shotgun and a couple of pistols. All part of that 200 million guns.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:59 AM   #28
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I'm afraid if I carried a gun, I would be somewhat like this guy.

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Old 01-22-2011, 10:01 AM   #29
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I have the permit but don't carry.

Most important aspect of safety is situational awareness. Simple things like don't letting your gas tank go to less than 1/4 tank so you can choose where you fill up. Moving your head around and looking aware of your surroundings.
I have a Glock 26 that is a great gun but is a commitment to carry. Take a look at the Ruger LCP if you want to carry.
Dex- Even if I never chose to carry would it be worth the time and money ($125) to attend one of these all day training classes?
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:02 AM   #30
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The US really is an outlier on this topic.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:05 AM   #31
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But I don't want to be like him.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:11 AM   #32
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But I don't want to be like him.
More like this guy (thanks to REWahoo):

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Old 01-22-2011, 10:12 AM   #33
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I have nationwide authority to carry. The only time I do is when I go to three cities. One is a large one nearby that has the tourist area a couple blocks from the hood. One I arrested a lot of people in and I don't really want to run into some schmuck with a grudge, and the third is a hospital the DW goes to that isn't in the nicest area. Other than those times I leave my firearm at home. To properly carry it concealed means it will take longer to produce than I will most likely have. When in those situations where I do carry, I am on full alert the whole time. When not carrying I am very vigilant to what is going on and avoid situations that could end badly. As Mr. Miyagi said, "The best defense is, no be there."

If you do decide to carry, be very familiar with your firearm. Be able to draw and employ it quickly. Spend a lot of time at the range practicing ALL aspects of usage. When working on drawing, I take the barrel out so it can't fire (I carry automatics). If you decide to practice drawing and can not remove important parts have your spouse check to ensure your firearm is unloaded and keep your ammo in a separate room. It takes a lot of practice to get good in all aspects of usage.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:20 AM   #34
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If I leave it in the car, I probably run a greater risk of it being stolen (my car has been broke into twice this past year while being downtown)than I do of needing it.
Car broken into twice? Years ago, I had a job that required me to go into some very high crime rate areas and park on the street. I intentionally drove a very unappealing car - manual transmission, dented fender. Never had a problem. My collegues who drove nice cars frequently did experience break ins.

Other than the LBYM factor, old junkers do have their advantages.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:24 AM   #35
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The recent shooting in Tucson is a good example. Lots of scuttlebutt about "if the people were armed, someone could have stopped the shooter". Possibly. Or, someone could have returned fire and killed another innocent bystander, or could have become the shooter's next target themselves, or could have been shot by a LEO...
I heard an interview of a man who was there and had a gun. He decided not to pull it out. Fear of killing someone innocent and of being considered an accomplice.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:28 AM   #36
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On a lighter note reading these posts reminded me of something I forgot about. Back in the mid 1990's when I was new to teaching PE in a rural southwest mo school, I was approached at school by state wildlife conservation officers who said in the past they had taught gun safety classes there and wanted to know if I wanted them to come. They taught gun safety for a week, then for a week the students and I shot up boxes and boxes of clay pigeons all on school property with the conservation departments shotguns (under the conservation officers supervision of course with parent permission slips). Back then I really didn't think anything of it, and the kids were really interested in learning and shooting. But today, I imagine most people think it would be insane having 12-14 year olds knocking off rounds on school property!
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:36 AM   #37
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On a lighter note reading these posts reminded me of something I forgot about. Back in the mid 1990's when I was new to teaching PE in a rural southwest mo school, I was approached at school by state wildlife conservation officers who said in the past they had taught gun safety classes there and wanted to know if I wanted them to come. They taught gun safety for a week, then for a week the students and I shot up boxes and boxes of clay pigeons all on school property with the conservation departments shotguns (under the conservation officers supervision of course with parent permission slips). Back then I really didn't think anything of it, and the kids were really interested in learning and shooting. But today, I imagine most people think it would be insane having 12-14 year olds knocking off rounds on school property!
Changes! During hunting season we all took our guns to school and put them in the janitor's closet, after going early morning squirel hunting. When I was in college I routinely carried my shotgun in its softcase onto and off of commercial airplanes. Attendents just put it in with the coats. At school, I had to keep it at the campus police, but I could check it out any time.

Ha
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:38 AM   #38
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I think it is far more accurate to say an unarmed society is a polite society, at least for developed countries. Look at the rate of violence ...
Uh, Heinlein's character wasn't saying that an armed society was non-violent --- just polite. After all, Heinlein was depicting a future society in which dueling was approved and fairly common. I suppose you could say that shooting someone is rather rude, but it's an odd way of speaking.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:51 AM   #39
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I'm not here to start a gun argument, but I do always find this argument interesting. If somebody is intent on doing you harm, chances are pretty good that calling 911 isn't going to help you. As my sister the cop tells me "if somebody wants to kill you, chances are we will get there in time to draw the chalk lines"

As far as the shoot in Tucson, most people that I know who carry don't do it to protect the general public. They don't carry to replace the police, or carry out vigilante justice, just to protect themselves and their family. For them the gun is a last resort when the first choice is getting the hell away.
You are correct, if someone wants to shoot you then you won't have the time to pull your gun. As I said, nothing good will happen when there is a gun involved.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:07 AM   #40
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As I said, nothing good will happen when there is a gun involved.
Then by all means, don't carry one. But don't try to impose your views on responsible, law-abiding citizens who feel differently.
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