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Targets, Beware

I visited the Delray Shooting Center today to look at handguns. I had a price range in mind: $400-$700, and I knew what I liked: a grip-heavy black or silver non-composite name brand 9mm. I ended up going with the CZ 75 B. The shop owner kept calling it a Beretta, though I'm not certain of the particulars of branding here.

beretta.jpg

The CZ 75 B is used by many European and Russian military forces, while our own country prefers the CZ 75 BD model.

  • Large capacity double-column magazine
  • Comfortable grip in either hand
  • All steel
  • Dual action mode of operation
  • Highly accurate
  • Long service life
  • Highly reliable. Combat tested in inclement weather
  • The slide stays open after the last cartridge has been fired
  • Three-dot sight system for better aiming in poor visibility
  • Suitable for combat shooting

The gun will be used for target shooting at the same shooting center where it was purchased. I may carry it with me when I travel at 4am to go fishing, though that's highly unlikely.

I did learn that Florida has some rather interesting carry laws for handguns. I'm currently serving my five-day waiting period (not a big deal, and I'm in favor of this for first-time gun purchasers and sometimes wish it were ten days - you can still be rather pissed at someone pissed after a week). For example: you are allowed to carry a loaded, ready-to-fire weapon in any proximity to more ammunition so long as it's "stored." Rather oddly, though, the following methods are valid means of transporting such a loaded weapon:

  1. In a locked safe in your trunk.
  2. In a glove compartment.
  3. In a center console.
  4. In a shoe box (with the lid on)
  5. In a plastic baggie (so long as it's sealed shut).

PA law, if I remember correctly, requires that all handguns be transported in a locked compartment and that the ammunition be separated in some fashion. Unless, of course, you have a carry permit or a concealed weapons permit. I could be wrong, but I'll look into it if I move back to PA next June.

A few things concern me about the current state of gun ownership in this country. Of the first six people (not including my mother) who I informed of my purchase, five used the word "kill" within two minutes. Sorry folks: targets ain't alive, and guns aren't a joking matter. Nobody was being serious, but the word "kill" is pretty serious to me, regardless of the joking nature in which it was used.

One guy in the shop said the phrase "I don't need something big enough to kill anybody." Smart move dude. Sure as hell made me a little less comfortable. 😛 The gun shop owner later showed me three bullet holes in the shop: one in the floor, one on a low shelf, and one in the front desk. In each case some moron owner accidentally fired a weapon while removing their "unloaded" gun from a holster or case. "My biggest fear is being shot by an unloaded gun" he remarked.

Though I must wait five business days, I can go to the shooting range to shoot the gun there at any time, and I may do so tomorrow. I'm going to pick out some targets tonight.

A few more links: one, two, three, etc.

cz75_cutaway.jpg

39 Responses to "Targets, Beware"

  1. I just don't understand the American need to own handguns… If it's only for target practice - why not keep it at the range? Why would you carry it fishing?

  2. I often wonder what people get out of target shooting. I mean, I played Duck Hunt, but doing it for real? I just don't get it. 1) It seems really damn hard (but for some people, apparently, that doesn't matter *grin*). 2) It seems pretty damn expensive. That much for a handgun? How much does a rifle cost? And ammo? I mean, damn *grin* 3) It doesn't seem especially rewarding. You get to take home a piece of paper riddled with holes that says you're a good shot… what does that actually mean to anyone? Especially in a society were, like you said, gun==kill. You're a good shot, so does that mean you can kill someone easier? I dunno. I suppose this all sounds somewhat abrasive, and forgive me but thats not what I mean. Just, what's the whole attraction to target shooting?

  3. I used to live in the US and loved it - I read this blog because it came preinstalled. Now it reminded me of one of the few things I really despise about the US. Enough reason to quit my subscription. What the heck do you need a gun for??? darn

  4. Diggory: it's not a "need" anymore than someone else needs to own a set of golf clubs. I'll come back to the golf parallel in a second… I can't keep it at the range because they don't keep people's guns at the range. They don't offer a safe for customer use, etc.

    Alex: I'm sorry that you feel so badly that you want to unsubscribe. It's your right. I like to hear from people with whom I disagree, and to keep an open mind, but you're free to do as you see fit. What is it about the US that you despise, exactly?

    Charles: why do people like to do anything? I golf. I'm fairly good at it, and shooting targets is very similar to hitting a golf ball: it requires a quiet mind, quiet, controlled muscles, and a lot of skill. At the end of a round of golf, you take home a piece of paper with numbers scribbled on it. Shooting a gun requires a skill, and it's a relaxing (yes), challenging endeavor. As I've previously said on this blog, shooting a rifle is part of Olympic sports.

    Why not a rifle? Because they're costlier to maintain. Ammunition costs more. They require more space (not only for storage, but for shooting). They require cooling periods when shooting, which means that it takes longer. They're also easier to shoot, in my opinion. Handguns are more challenging.

    Owning a gun does not make me a bad person. I appreciate and understand that some people may never own a gun, but what have I done wrong, exactly? Can anyone actually answer that or are you simply shocked because you came to my site and saw a firearm on the home page?

    I don't need a gun, but I wanted one and so I bought one. I probably won't ever use it outside of an approved firing range with the proper safety equipment. What's your beef with this post, honestly?

    P.S. I'm curious to see how many people actually think I did buy a gun and how many think I might just be trying to provoke them a little bit.

  5. Actually, I've pondered the idea of buying a gun for exactly that same purpose. Target practice. There are a couple private ranges around here where you can store your gun, but it requires a costly membership. I think I'm more of the mind that I might keep the gun (if I purchase it) in my apartment, while not having any ammunition in the apartment. I would buy the ammunition on my way to or at the shooting range.

    Why would I want a gun? Well, I think it's a decent skill to have (I am fan of having a lot of skills even if they are unused), and it's a great way to release stress. Of course, I've done stupid stuff like get drunk and run around woods hacking at things with one of my swords (this was with friends mind you), and my swords aren't sharp enough to serious damage. But I do know how to use a sword. But owning a gun would be something I would use to relieve stress at a range.

    On the other hand to all of you who think Americans need to own guns... if I felt that I needed to own a gun, I would have bought one long ago. Now, I'm simply waiting until I find one that I like, think is worth buying, and feel that I have the time and energy to go down to a firing range. If I had the income, I would join a club where I could store my gun. But then, some of you might jump on me for belonging to a "gun club"!

  6. Stupid Americans, guns are for criminals.

  7. If guns are for criminals, so are knives and an assortment of other things.

    Many criminals use guns, this does not make guns "bad."

  8. If you're just using it for target shooting, why not a target-shooting air pistol?

    Something like this. Or, here's a more-expensive model which is a 5-shot repeater.

    Advantages being: designed for accuracy, cheaper ammo (500 pellets for less than $15), quieter, safer (to a point: pellets probably won't go through walls, but you still don't want to shoot someone) so you could practice at home, and they look cool. Not tough, maybe, but cool. Especially the better ones that cost over a $1k.

    And, if someone manages to steal it, it probably won't end up being used to kill someone.

    But you still get to make sheets of paper with holes in. You don't really need a lot of large-caliber stopping power to take down some cellulose. (Note I'm not talking about the dorky Airsoft guns that look like cartoony AK-47s.)

  9. Airguns are easier to shoot - that's the main reason. It's like only choosing to play executive par-3 courses (to continue my golf parallel). And, also, accuracy on airguns leaves a lot to be desired, regardless of what you may have read at a site selling airguns. 🙂

  10. "And, also, accuracy on airguns leaves a lot to be desired, regardless of what you may have read at a site selling airguns."

    I suppose, since the pellet is slower, and probably lighter, than a bullet, air resistance takes more of a toll during the longer flight time.

    I suppose you could think of that as making an airgun harder, rather than easier, to shoot, than a firearm. Accuracy is probably better with a handgun than with a recurve target bow, too, but the handgun is definitely easier to shoot than a bow.

    Target air pistols appear to have a lot of adjustments to improve accuracy. At least, when you get to higher-priced guns. I'd think your ability to improve your accuracy would be larger with a target airgun, because you have more tweaking you can do.

  11. I've never touched a real gun and have no urge to. My feeling on guns is that they make it that much easier to kill someone.

    If I went golfing I would have to use effort to make my sports equipment into a weapon. I would have to conciously decide to attack and kill someone, put work into it.

    If I went to a shooting range my sports equipment can kill someone. I don't have children but the idea of keeping a gun around children makes me physically ill. Guns are scary weapons.

    Yes Erik won't kill someone or use his gun unsafely but a gun was designed as a method of simplifying murder, and therefore it does increase the chances of accidental murder or defensive murder.

    I just feel that guns should be left to police and criminals, they scare me. For a tricky target game how about archery? It's harder to accidently shoot a bow and arrow at someone. You don't just pull a trigger.

  12. There's a really important fact that all you guys that are suggesting air guns and have never shot a gun are missing, guns are FUN to shoot. There's something about it that is very stress relieving and therapeutic. Air guns and bows don't give the same feeling. Give it a try some time.

    As for golf being safer, it doesn't take all that much effort to use a golf club as a weapon. Pull out an iron and whack away. The end results will be the same. Only the golf incident will be a lot more gruesome and painful for the victim.

  13. The difference between a golf club and a gun? I haven't heared about so many people were killed by a golf ball accidently flying around! The point about Americans and guns is, that too many "stupid" people are allowed to use it. It's the exception that you are not allowed to own a gun, a deadly weapon. But it should be the other way around.

    There many alternatives to using a "real" gun for sports. Some were mentioned already in the comments. I simply can't understand you!!

  14. The thing is this: in my hands, a golf club is as safe as a gun. In fact, one time I hit my friend in the shin with a golf club, making golf clubs more dangerous in my hands.

    Shooting a gun and playing golf are both fun, demanding challenges. Why shoot a gun? Why not. None of you have given any actual reasons why I should not have a gun. Why not?

    You've been given a real opportunity to make a case against guns, and nobody's even come close to doing so. You've told me that I suck, or that I should be happy with a fake gun (airgun), etc. but you've not told me why owning a real gun is soooooo terrible.

  15. I'll give you full props for going all-metal, but a 9mm? Anyway, you should think about USPSA if you're looking for a challenge. You'll be at a disadvantage with the 9mm, but trading up to something a bit heftier shouldn't be too big of a deal.

    As for the whole why question. I think it's a personal decision that's at least partially molded by your environment. There's a satisfaction at, if not mastering, then at least being proficient in something. My wife has been deathly afraid of guns her whole life, they simply weren't a part of her life and she's intimidated because she doesn't know anything about them. I grew up in a hunting family and safe firearm handling was something my father taught me at an early age. Guns were part of our culture, I would be around them so he taught me how to use and respect them. Does that make him a bad person? My father's day was spent on the firing range, and I don't think my Dad could have wished for a better gift.

    All that said, Erik you might look into re-loading too. Off-the shelf ammo is ridiculously expensive, and there's something about loading your own rounds, chronographing them, deciding what you like to shoot that brings a bit more to the experience.

  16. Gary, point well made. One of the things I did when I visited my parents recently was to go a shooting range.

    I'd look into reloading if I had more space, but I'm not even sure how I fit what I have now into my living space as it is! My dad reloads a lot, and I'm aware of the cost savings.

  17. Well, yeah it does take a goodly bit of space and it probably less of a factor with that dinky round. If you're shooting an indoor range it's way expensive too. They usually want you the shoot FMJ with smokeless powder. Really makes a difference though when you're shooting USPSA and you can crank down the power factor so that you just make major.

  18. People have a variety of reasons for being squirrely about guns. I hate the fricking things -- twice in my life, I've had them pointed in my face, which is just as unpleasant an experience as you would think. Of course, the people who pointed them at me were criminals, and you aren't.

    It's your time, and your leisure money, and as long as you're responsible (keep the damn thing locked up, etc.), have a (heh) blast.

    Me, I wouldn't mind if all the damn things vanished in a puff of smoke tomorrow.

  19. This is just stupid.

    I've had enough of this American nonsense. Bye.

  20. A quick note first off: I've been reading the site for a while, but this is my first comment here.

    Speaking as a Florida gun owner who also uses his gun for (primarily) target shooting, congratulations on your purchase. CZ makes a good gun, though, as you pointed out, it is *not* a Beretta. All-metal is always nice (the added weight helps with retargeting the gun for subsequent shots), and 9mm is a good choice for target shooting - the ammo is inexpensive and the lower recoil makes the gun easier to shoot for long periods of time at the range. I know a guy who just bought a S&W Model 500 (that's a .50 caliber revolver), and can't shoot more then 10 or 12 shots before he has to rest his hand. 😉

    As for the anti-gun stuff: well, I'm pretty sure we've all heard both sides of the argument before, but here's my two cents: the arguments by folks opposed to guns are typically lacking in basic common sense. Sure, guns make it easier to kill people, but so do cars. Automobiles account for many, many more innocent deaths in the United States then do firearms.

    While there are a few (more than a few in some places, unfortunately) stupid, irresponsible gun owners out there, it's generally been my feeling that the vast majority of people who own firearms are very proficient and, most of all, very safe with their guns. I, too, grew up in a gun-owning family. I passed my first gun safety course when I was 9 years old. I've fired a gun many, many times, both in ranges and out in the "wild," hunting, and I've never shot anything or anyone that I didn't intend to hit.

    About the airguns: I've had those, too, and Brad's right, it just isn't the same.

    About reloading: go for it if you have the space! It's initially pretty expensive, but you make up the cost before you know it. If you get good, you can get into modifying brass to fit guns for which ammunition is no longer made (if you have any) - a couple of my uncles have rifles from the early years of the last century, and the only way they can fire those old guns is to literally fabricate their own ammo!

  21. In the long history of guns, it can be stated with the most assurance that a gun has never taken a life, whether it be human or animal, strictly of its own volition. Most of the people commenting have transferred the responsibility of human interaction with an inanimate object to that very object. Why then do you not blame automobiles for 45,000 highway deaths a year? No, you will most assuredly blame the driver for negligence, being irresponsible, careless, and so on but when it comes to guns, the format of blame takes on a new coat of paint.

    If you are so ignorant to believe that a law enforcement officer will be present at your first or next mugging or robbery, good luck to you all. Me? I won't apologize or be embarrassed to state that I am ultimately responsible for my own safety and well being and that of my family and will not just stand there and plead with another person to not hurt me or anyone else. You purposely bring harm to me, you shall receive the same in kind.

  22. Erik, congrats on your purchase. I hope you take care of it and have fun while doing so. I will always believe that guns are not dangerous, only the people who use them. If the person who uses a gun takes responsibility, then they have no problems with me. I own 4 myself, and they are all under lock and key, unloaded.

    BTW it really disheartens me to see all this "stupid americans" stuff posted here. If your only argument against guns is to belittle the country that supports legal ownership, then perhaps you should dig a little deeper and actually find an argument instead of slander. There is nothing more dangerous than an ignorant person with incorrect information.

  23. Rich, in the two incidents I mentioned earlier, all that having a gun with me at the time I was robbed would have accomplished would have been my being killed or having the gun stolen and in the hands of a criminal. in both cases, the "bad guy" had the drop on me, and had a gun in my faced before I realized what was happening. (Remember, the mugger usually has the advantage of knowing that the confrontation is about to happen, and already has his weapon ready/immediately accessible).

    As I mentioned upthread, I am not an anti-gun crusader, but I find the arguments for concealed carrying, frankly, almost comically stupid, and I speak from experience.

  24. I'd like to give a ++ to what Eric B said about the "OMG AMERICAN GUNS BYE" comments. Why is it that you even feel the need to say "I'm unsubscribing?" Like you're taking your ball and going home - being an attention grabbing wanker.

    Great purchase Erik - I'm thinking about picking up one myself when I can afford it. I'm looking at the Springfield XD .40 - nice litte compact handgun I've heard great things about...

  25. Boy, do you get a lot of comments all of a sudden.....

    I agree: Don't be such a dumb ass american who thinks he needs a gun. Nobody needs a gun!

  26. You agree with what? The people who have yet to state in any sort of factual manner why I shouldn't be allowed to obtain, own, and shoot a gun in accordance with the law?

    I'm not dumb, I can sometimes be an ass, and I am an American (then again, so are people in Peru if you think about it). I'm mature, responsible, and intelligent. Or is the only argument you can come up with not to own a gun that I'm a "dumb ass american?"

    Furthermore, I don't think I need a gun any more than I think I need a kayak or my golf clubs. I like to kayak, I like to golf, and I like to shoot targets. It's not a need by a long shot, no pun intended.

  27. Erik told me he got this gun the other day and invited me to shoot it with him. I've never shot a gun. I've never considered shooting a gun. I don't think I'd ever own a gun myself etc. Despite all of this I'm still going to take him up on the offer. It's something I've never tried and will surely produce a unique sensation. It'll be at a range, with safety precautions, where people shoot at stuff all day in a controlled environment. There's no link to violence or death here. It's an activity.

    It seems like there's a lot of feathers ruffled because there is a direct threat by the very concept of the gun's existence. I'd bet that these belligerent comments from the foreign readers here stem from the way they've been brought up. "Guns = Violence = Crime = Murder = Death… Your Death." Propaganda plain and simple. The reality is likely, no one will die as a result of Erik shooting his gun at a range. If you start arguing minute possibilities then the argument goes back to statistics. If you're arguing statistics, you've stopped arguing about the gun and what it represents, because you could substitute pretty much any other inanimate object and have similar results.

    I think it might help for those opposed to think of guns, in this context, like a bow and arrow. Most people are not threatened by bows and arrows, because it's obvious that the users of these things are not out to kill anyone. They're just enjoying a hobby. The same goes for Erik.

    Oh, one last thing. Just for character reference, Erik is one of the most level-headed people I know. He's always calm and collected and thinks things through. I feel no less safe and fear no one else's safety knowing that he owns a gun.

    The end

  28. Congratulations on your purchase. I'm a new gun owner myself (Sig 9mm), after many years of wondering what the fuss was all about. I went to ranges with gun-owning friends and never really had the inclination or desire to own a handgun.

    This year, I decided to learn shooting skills. And over the course of a few months, I did come to appreciate the art of shooting. After all, shooting is a military skill, an Olympic sport, and there are countries like Switzerland where gun knowlege is required from all male citizens.

    The only thing I'll have to warn Erik about is that once you get a gun and like it, it's only a matter of time before you buy another gun, and then another. I'm looking at 22LR pistol and maybe a revolver down the line.

    There are two guns per capita in the US, but most of us don't have guns -- those that do tend to have more than one.

  29. Well, I've improved since the first time I went shooting. José and I went to the Palm Beach Shooting Center (don't go there unless you wish to see a really bad site). We took two to three hours and each...

  30. "Stupid Americans, guns are for criminals."

    So, if criminals have guns, why shouldn't I have one?

    and:

    "Nobody needs a gun!"

    ...unless you're attacked by someone who DOES have a gun -- such as a robber or a member of the KGB or Gestapo. Remember, the Nazis loved disarmed Jews -- it made the extermination process so much tidier, than when they came across armed Jews in Warsaw (1944).

    I know, I know: morally it's so much better to be a sniveling victim than a "macho gun owner".

    ----

    Erik,

    If that gun store guy kept calling the CZ a "Beretta", you need to consider going to another store: the guy's a moron. The CZ is based on the Browning High Power design, anyway.

    I'm not a big fan of the 9mm, but it's a nice "starter" caliber -- gentle recoil (especially in the CZ) and accurate. My own first handgun (purchased as an adult) was a 9mm semi-automatic.

    If you want lots of shooting goodness, wait until the stupid Assault Weapons Ban dies in a couple of weeks, and get yourself a few 15-round high-capacity mags.

    As for the "killing" thing: statistically, you're twenty-five times more likely to be killed in a car accident than by gunshot, and you're a thousand times less likely to be in a position where you have to shoot AT someone.

    The only problem with guns is that you hardly ever need one (unless you're a drug dealer) -- but when you DO need one, you'll need it really badly.

  31. Oh, and one last thing.

    Remember that yesterday, 80 million gun owners in the United States didn't commit a crime.

    But last year, over a million people managed to avoid becoming a crime victim, simply by having a gun.

    We Americans aren't so stupid.

    No concentration camps, killing fields or Auschwitzes here, thank you.

  32. I've never before visited kimdutoit.com but today while investigating Florida's concealed weapons permit requirements, I stumbled onto it. The site is one of those that make some squeal with joy that someone has the balls to be such a blatant...

  33. Kim, thanks for commenting. I avoid that particular gun range for several reasons, including the fact that they pointed a gun directly at someone. My gun.

  34. Kim DuToit: "...unless you're attacked by someone who DOES have a gun -- such as a robber or a member of the KGB or Gestapo. Remember, the Nazis loved disarmed Jews -- it made the extermination process so much tidier, than when they came across armed Jews in Warsaw (1944)."

    Yet there were plenty of guns in Iraq, but that didn't stop the mass graves and rape rooms.

  35. There is many reasons I do not like guns. Most of them, on their own, do not mean much. However one does, guns are made for killing people (primarily). Golf clubs and cars are not. But that's just one of my reasons.

    Drazen

  36. Guns are not made primarily for killing people, and anyone who says that has their head up their ass.

  37. Guns are primarily made for shooting pieces of lead at shockingly high speeds. It just so happens the the best uses for those pellets of leads is to destroy things - whether that be a target or a heart.

    The automobile comparisons are utterly, utterly spurious because automobiles have a purpose beyond the destruction of things: they transport people around. Yes, they're dangerous but they're useful so we put up with them.

    What uses are there for guns, exactly? To give pleasure from sports? Sorry, the drawbacks of a gun-owning culture (ie, people getting shot) entirely outweigh the benefits to people who like shooting targets.

    And if you want to defend yourself, get a bow and arrow and get yourself trained up. It's an equally good killer but much harder for casual slaying. How many gun owners have actually used their guns to defend themselves? Not nearly as many as talk about it, I'd wager. But their whining is supporting an industry that lets instruments of destruction exist

    I feel much safer living where the cops don't carry guns, thanks all the same

  38. "Guns are not made primarily for killing people, and anyone who says that has their head up their ass."

    Yes, I'm sure most firearms development has been driven by the need to satisfy hunters and target shooters.

    And battleships are primarily intended as cargo vessels. And tanks are primarily designed for their role as mail-delivery vehicles and school buses. Tanks may have originated as modifications of farm tractors, but their evolution diverged at that point.

    Erik, on this, you've really got your head up *your* ass.

    Hunting rifles are designed for hunting. Target guns are designed for target shooting. Most everything else is designed for combat, and the motivator for improvements in firearms technology has mostly been combat. The requirements for hunting and target shooting really haven't changed much in the last 300 years.

  39. Bonaldi, Jon, let's have a look at what you've said.

    First off, I disagree that the best use of a gun is for destruction, and I disagree with the use of the word "destroy." My gun is best used for enjoyment, self betterment, and various other things I would not classify as "destruction" in any capacity. Bullets can put a hole in someone just as knives can. A knife can be used to whittle a statue or prepare food, it can be used to behead someone. Yep.

    The thing is this: the person using the gun determines the "best use" of that gun. Destruction? That's not in me, nor nearly any of the 80,000,000 other gun owners in the US. Heck, when used as a hunting device, the opposite is true: not hunting leads to massive destruction of herds of deer (starvation), food crops (cows stepping in groundhog holes and breaking their legs), etc.

    Secondly, I grant that automobiles are more "useful" than guns in day to day life for the average person, excluding of course police officers, our soldiers in Iraq, competitive marksmen, and various other groups. So what? As I've repeatedly said, golf clubs are more useless than a gun, yet very few people freak out if you buy a new set of Taylor Mades.

    Sorry, the drawbacks of a gun-owning culture (ie, people getting shot) entirely outweigh the benefits to people who like shooting targets.

    That statement is so egregiously wrong that I know you haven't looked into any statistics in order to support it. The fact is that the exact opposite is true - crime rates are lower in well-armed areas. Look it up.

    And if you want to defend yourself, get a bow and arrow and get yourself trained up.

    A bow and arrow? That's laughable. Perhaps you don't realize how ridiculous you sound, but hey, go ahead and keep a bow and arrow bedside. Let someone break in with a gun, and see who makes it out of that encounter. Laughable.

    How many gun owners have actually used their guns to defend themselves? Not nearly as many as talk about it, I'd wager.

    Not many have used their guns to protect themselves or their family. Sammy "The Bull" Gravano once said "Gun control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. … We'll see who wins."

    If you live in the US, do you believe that you have the right to protect yourself and your property as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights? Of course gun owners can talk about the right - the duty and responsibility - to protect their family without having actually had to do it.

    Would you step in front of a bus to save your child? How many times have you actually had to do it?

    …their whining is supporting an industry that lets instruments of destruction exist.

    Actually, the governments of the world are pretty much responsible for every "instrument of destruction" outside of those used for hunting or target practice (and they're responsible for most of those, too). I've got a semiautomatic pistol used by the Russian police, Czech police, and others.

    Your tax dollars - regardless of where you live (except perhaps Switzerland, eh?) - are supporting the industry.

    Yes, I'm sure most firearms development has been driven by the need to satisfy hunters and target shooters.

    Nope - most firearms development has been driven by the need to better protect you liberties. Go read up on the histories of personal firearms. See what developments they've undergone. You're coming at this without a single notecard - just a bunch of wild-assed guesses and hunches and your own opinions. Go read some studies on gun control. Go read up. I have. You've done nothing but dent your own credibility by tossing out unsubstantiated claims.

    Erik, on this, you've really got your head up *your* ass.

    You're basing this opinion on what fact, what knowledge, what right granted to you by the Bill of Rights, what study, and what on earth?

    Nothing.

    It's very simple, guys. Criminals kill people, not guns. Outlaw guns and only the criminals will have them. I'm an upstanding, intelligent member of society who enjoys shooting a gun. Criminals should be punished. Law-abiding citizens should not. It's very easy, isn't it?

    I'll leave you with a few more quotes. Pay particular attention to those by Gandhi and the Dalai Lama.

    "No man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."-- Thomas Jefferson

    "Arms in the hands of the citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private self-defense."-- John Adams

    "How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual… as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of."-- Rep. Suzanna Gratia Hupp

    "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." (in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from Jefferson, On Democracy p. 20, S. Padover ed., 1939)-- Thomas jefferson

    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."-- Alexander Hamilton

    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."-- Thomas Jefferson

    "Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."-- Tench Coxe

    "He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security"-- Benjamin Franklin

    "The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."-- Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (D-MN)

    "That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."-- George Orwell

    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."-- Mahatma Gandhi (Autobiography, by M.K. Gandhi, p.446)

    "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun."-- The Dalai Lama (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times), speaking at the "Educating Heart Summit" in Portland, Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate

    "A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie."-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty."-- Adolf Hitler (H.R. Trevor-Roper, Hitler's Table Talks 1941-1944)

    Comments are now closed. Those who oppose guns and respond here persist in placing the blame on the instrument rather than the wielder. That's simply not a point I wish to continually refute.


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