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      01-17-2013, 03:18 AM   #80
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One thing I think people are missing in the comparison between countries is culture, population and how the two clash. Other countries are fine with their restrictive gun laws because of their lower populations and less diverse cultures in their populations. Firearm ownership is a huge part of some American culture, but not all of it. America could easily become two very successful, separate, countries if people were tolerant to the idea of giving up land on one side or the other in order to live with people who share the same ideas. In many of these countries that have been referenced very few grew up with firearms the way many Americans have so it is understandable that they're opinions are going to differ. It is a useless comparison. Imagine if Germany was to do away with unrestricted speed limits on the autobahn. The German people would be outraged for understandable reasons to them, but the issue would seem stupid and pointless to the rest of the world who see speed limits as a normal every day part of life, and it keeps their kids safer.

The biggest problem I have with all these new restrictive gun laws is that it takes away from one of my favorite forms of recreation. I donít care as much about prepping, or home defense, or being able to take down a bank robber or anything like that. I enjoy the challenge of making a small object go to a designated target area, much like how someone who enjoys golf enjoys the challenge of making a golf ball go into a little hole. If we donít partake in both sports we both see each otherís hobbies as stupid, but unfortunately for the recreational shooter you donít have people going on gold clubbing sprees so it is hard to make the comparison understandable to most.
What a lot of this boils down to is that Americans love to take away happiness from others if they donít understand it. Just look at the debate over same sex marriage. Why is it anyoneís concern what a couple of gay people do? They arenít causing any physical harm to anyone by getting married, but people who canít figure out how to be less stubborn just canít let them be happy. And yes, I do see the hypocrisy about mentioning physical harm in the debate.

I fully understand the concern of those that want to ban everything in order to keep their kids safe. This is an understandable fear and to them the most logical way to protect against gun violence is to take guns out of the hands of civilians*. It does make sense at a shallow thinking level, but it is a deeper issue than that and not that simple. A large percentage of responsible civilians enjoy owning firearms for a multitude of reasons. You have people like me who enjoy recreational shooting, hunters, people who want protection from criminals in their home, people who want protection from people outside of their home, people who fear the government might get out of control, people who fear of an invading military force, and a lot of people who make a living with guns.

With a lot of these proposed gun and accessory bans there will be a lot of people who will be out of a job. Not just gun store owners, but what about the professional shooting competitors? Yes you can say they can find something else to do to make a living, but they aren't living large like other professional athletes like football players or golfers. When you step outside of your current fandom point of view of these athletes (football and golf) you should be able to realize that they make way too much money compared to those that make real contributions to society like scientists, teachers, emergency responders. And unlike many professional athletes, professional shooting competitors usually have invested a lot of their own money into their passion to get to the level they are at. For example a friend of mine and a fellow Marine is working on getting into the National 3Gun circuit and some of his guns have cost him thousands of dollars to be competitive against sponsored competitors. Yes this is his choice, he could have picked a different hobby, but as an American he chose to pursue happiness through competitive shooting.

* I want to continue from the idea of taking guns from civilians. In California the only people who can legally buy 30rd AR15 magazines are law enforcement personnel. Even as an active duty Marine I could not walk into a local gun store and buy a 30rd magazine to take with me on a deployment to Afghanistan. This makes no fucking sense at all. I was going into one of the most hostile parts of Afghanistan at the time to a legitimate actual war as part of the uniformed military of this country and I could not buy a superior magazine design that is a proven improvement over the magazines that I wasnít even issued because my unit ran out. However any police officer regardless of what they did in law enforcement could buy them. Who is more likely to use these magazines? Yet this isnít even a concern of the politicians.
The same this with the rifles, in California the only people who can buy an AR15 style rifle is someone in law enforcement. Even as an active duty Marine, I am not allowed to purchase an AR15. For those that donít know, those of us in the military cannot just go down the armory any time we like and take out our issued rifles to practice with. If there ever was an attack on US soil, thousands of people would die as those of us in the military are standing in line at the armory to draw weapons. I am trained more than most police officers on how to use these rifles, yet in the state of California, I am not allowed to legally own one myself. We are both entrusted with protecting the liberties of our country, but I am not allowed to own the same type of rifle.

Now with civilians who have never served in the military or law enforcement I get the arguments asking why does one NEED an AR15 ďmilitary style assault weaponĒ? And the answer is simple, they donít. Nobody needs to own anything, firearm, car, scuba equipment, TV or anything, but they WANT to. Thatís where the argument needs to be. The anti-gun people need to understand that it isnít something someone needs to own, itís that they want to own it. As a fundamental part of being Americans isnít that our right? To have the freedom to own what we want so long as we donít physically harm anyone? That is what is being targeted right now, our right to responsibly own what we want in the pursuit of happiness.