GUN America's gun culture - fading slowly?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by TL1000RSquid, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    http://www.reuters.com/article/reut...9120080109?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Is America, land of shooting massacres in schools and public places, slowly falling out of love with guns?

    The answer is yes, and it runs counter to popular perceptions of the United States as a country where most citizens are armed to the teeth and believe it is every American's inalienable right to buy an AK 47-style assault rifle with the minimum of bureaucratic paperwork.

    But in fact, gun ownership in the United States has been declining steadily over more than three decades, relegating gun owners to minority status.

    At the same time, support for stricter gun controls has been growing steadily and those in favor make up a majority.

    This is a little-reported phenomenon but the trend is shown clearly by statistics compiled by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center (NORC), which has been tracking gun ownership and attitudes on firearms since 1972, the longest-running survey on the subject in the United States.

    The number of households with guns dropped from a high of 54 percent in 1977 to 34.5 percent in 2006, according to NORC, and the percentage of Americans who reported personally owning a gun has shrunk to just under 22 percent.

    So, by the rules of democratic play, one might assume that the majority would have major influence on legislation. But that's not how it works, thanks to the enormous influence of the gun lobby.

    The long-term decline monitored by the Chicago survey has buoyed proponents of tighter gun controls. "America's gun culture is fading," says Josh Sugarmann, who heads the Washington-based Violence Policy Center.

    According to Sugarmann, those keeping the culture alive and those most vocal in resisting tighter regulations are white, middle-aged men whose enthusiasm for firearms, hunting and shooting is not shared by younger Americans.

    Yet, at the moment it's difficult to imagine the U.S. without its gun culture.

    But then, who could have imagined France with a ban on smoking in public places, Germany with speed limits on almost half its autobahns, or a black man as a serious contender in this year's presidential elections in the United States?

    To what extent gun ownership will continue to shrink depends, at least in part, on a decision by the U.S. Supreme court expected this summer. The court will rule on one of the most acrimonious disputes in the United States: do Americans have the constitutional right to own and bear arms?

    GUN RAMPAGES PART OF LIFE

    At the heart of the long-running debate, argued with more passion than almost any other, is the meaning of the U.S. constitution's second amendment.

    Written 219 years ago, it says: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    A string of lower court rulings over several decades held that the amendment meant to guarantee the collective right of state militias, not individual citizens. Such rulings have had limited impact: gun regulations vary from state to state and in most, weapons are easy to buy and legal to keep.

    There are a few exceptions: handguns are illegal in Chicago and in Washington, where a court ruled in December that its total ban violated the constitution. That is the case the Supreme Court will take up this year.

    No matter how it rules, the court's decision is unlikely to make much immediate difference to the mass shootings by unhinged citizens that have become part of American life.

    Gun rampages happen with such numbing regularity -- on average one every three weeks in 2007 -- that they barely make news unless the death toll climbs into double digits, as happened at the Virginia Tech university. There, a student with mental problems killed 32 of his peers and himself.

    President George W. Bush this week signed into law a bill meant to prevent people with a record of mental disease from buying weapons.

    Virginia Tech was the worst school shooting in U.S. history and rekindled the debate over the easy availability of guns in America. There are more private firearms in the United States than anywhere else in the world -- at least 200 million.

    While that arsenal has been growing every year, the proportion of U.S. households where guns are held has been shrinking. In other words: Fewer people have more guns.

    One estimate, by the National Police Foundation, says that 10 percent of the country's adults own roughly three quarters of all firearms.

    PREVENTION, NOT CURE

    That is the hard core, which counts on the gun lobby, chief of all the National Rifle Association (NRA), to throttle attempts to impose restrictions on the sale of firearms.

    The NRA, a group that claims some 3 million members, calls itself "America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights" and backs candidates for political office on their stand on one issue -- gun ownership -- regardless of party affiliation.

    Politicians tend to pander to the NRA, some more shamelessly than others. One of the Republican candidates for the 2008 presidential race, Mitt Romney, went so far as to falsely claim that he was a lifelong hunter and had received an official NRA endorsement in 2002.

    Small wonder, then, that the debates following every shooting massacre tend to focus not on the easy availability of guns but on preventive security measures.

    Metal detectors at the entrances of shopping malls, for example. Or bullet-proof backpacks. They were developed in the wake of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, where two teenagers killed 12 students and teachers and then themselves.

    The Columbine-inspired backpacks went on sale in August and have sold briskly. "Sales picked up considerably in the Christmas period," said Mike Pelonzi, one of the two men -- both fathers -- who designed and market them. "Our market is expanding."

    (You can contact the author at [email protected] com) (Editing by Sean Maguire)
     
  2. johnson

    johnson New Member

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    Why dont you ever have a comment for the articles you post?
     
  3. GTP

    GTP New Member

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    Hopefully I'll be gone before our society goes further to shit.
     
  4. CString

    CString New Member

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    there are malls w/metal detectors? since when can you not carry inside a mall?
     
  5. johnson

    johnson New Member

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    When they post a sign that says concealed weapons are prohibited. :o
     
  6. PanzerAce

    PanzerAce Active Member

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    I like the 200 million guns statistic. The best I have seen says it is closer to 290 million. ie: more guns than cars in the US.
     
  7. PanzerAce

    PanzerAce Active Member

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    concealed = concealed. I would carry anyway, and if there were metal detectors, just pull out my massive ass key chain and say that is what set off the detector.
     
  8. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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    Well he sure is giddy at the prospect of all those EVIL GUNS being taken away from us blood-thirsty gun-owners. :greddy:

    I won't be here the day they come for my guns. I'll be long gone to a country that isn't choking my civil liberties and taking my right to self defense "for my own good" or "for the children."
     
  9. johnson

    johnson New Member

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    Usually they tell you to walk through again...
     
  10. CString

    CString New Member

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    oh. never seen one at a mall. actually i've never seen a sign like that anywhere in Indiana. (except at my local gun dealer that says no loaded weapons inside :o)
     
  11. johnson

    johnson New Member

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    I read on another forum that the Omaha mall had signs that said no concealed weapons on the premises but then took them down after the shooting.
     
  12. PanzerAce

    PanzerAce Active Member

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    at a mall? the closest security dude is sitting at a desk like 70 feet from the entrance. I'm sure if you just held out a massive key ring and had them wand you you could pass it off as the keys. hell, I know a guy that got his CCW into Disney Land just by being careful as to how he held his body and key chain when they wanded him. :dunno:
     
  13. Cannondale

    Cannondale OT Supporter

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    Except the Supreme Court is not ruling on if firearm ownership is constitutional or not, they already turned that down a while back. AFAIK, the only thing they are ruling on is the DC gun ban specifically at this point.

    These retard journalists should go spend a few weeks in a war-torn country. They would either appreciate personal protection more, or appreciate the LACK of gun violence in this country comparatively.
     
  14. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    Oh hi, I hate the 2nd amendment but love the first.

    Fucking morons.
     
  15. Wave

    Wave Carlos Spicy Weiner

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    from: http://forums.offtopic.com/showthread.php?t=3560604

    which was taken from ar15.com:

    The bolded part shows the expansion of the appeal past the initial case
     
  16. Cannondale

    Cannondale OT Supporter

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    I read not but two weeks ago in the American Rifleman that they threw that part out. Stating that it was an individual right, and they were not touching it.
     
  17. Werm

    Werm Guest

    I know the MoA for one isn't allowed such enforcement. many of the entrances still display the signs, but they hold no weight. Because you can't ban renters or guests of the renters from carrying here, it was fought in court and won that carrying, legally, in the MoA can't be stopped. I belong to a MN forum where several people have open carried in the MoA to make a point.

    I don't see how malls can restrict you... but the MoA is the only one I've heard of that's been to court over the issue.
     
  18. Wave

    Wave Carlos Spicy Weiner

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    :dunno: could be more up to date than my info
     
  19. Lightsped

    Lightsped Glockaholic

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    The ratio of people who own guns in my neck of the woods is still quite strong compared to those who don't own guns. Seems like most everyone I work with has at least one or two guns at home. Same story for my home back in Texas. Everyone there owns a few guns.

    I feel sorry for the people who live in the liberal areas of the country filled with yuppies and those types of folks...
     
  20. Cannondale

    Cannondale OT Supporter

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    I'm hoping that it is. I think the Supreme Court would rule in favor of the individuals (obviously if the Rifleman is correct, they would). It seems like there were a few things tacked on at the last minute that The Court declined.
     
  21. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    This guys is why you must take everyone you know shooting at least once.

    I have gotten my g/f and her sister into shooting, before they were pretty much against it. The g/f is even going to get her CCW after she gets some training ( she is horrible at shot placement :o )
     
  22. Wave

    Wave Carlos Spicy Weiner

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    The more they rule on now, the less chance there is that someone like Hilary will be able to pull our rights later. With any luck, the courts desicion will go beyond just the ban and protect us or maybe even expand our rights.
     
  23. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    We better pray the SCOTUS rules heavily in our favor.

    Because when Hillary appoints her fucking lunatic judges to the court, it is all over for gun rights.
     
  24. Dumbstixlars

    Dumbstixlars Ron Paul/AR-15/Glock/old car/Scooby/R/C croo OT Supporter

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    We can only hope. :hs:
     
  25. Tdizzle

    Tdizzle New Member

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    Did they just compare the possibility of having a Black president with a gun free america? :ugh:
     

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