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D_W

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That is whataboutery though.

Guns
Alcohol

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That's correct, but ultmately when people get fascinated with something (we've parsed the underlying real rates that don't involve suicide or homicide by males 17-26 (half of the non-suicide homicides - as in, gang violence - without even sorting out other avoidable homicides - that leaves you with what you can't control - it's a tiny fraction, but *all* of those make the news. They are perhaps a tenth to a 20th of alcohol related deaths).

If deaths are the issue, then why is it that only scary deaths that don't have fun attached in some other way counted?

Gun homicide rates (per 100k) are about half the rate that they were here, maybe slightly higher, but *way* down in the 1970s-1990s, but you'd never know it, because we get to hear about each scariest one 400 times.

Fortunately, drunk driving deaths are down a similar amount, but "permissible" use (of alcohol) deaths and suicides are up. Somehow, we're focused on what's going down and not what's going up.

Why does it matter? Presumably, parents are afraid of kids getting hurt when the school shooting topic comes up.

Ever ask parents if they're worried about their kids being an overdose victim? Pediatric overdoses (from accidental or intentional ingestion of opioids, etc, 20 times more likely over the last 20 years). 20 times. I think it's an important question - are you scared of the result or are you scared of the method. If you're scared of the method more than the result, is that really rational? I don't think it is.

I think none of the reasons are OK. Brushing one under the rug as OK because it's not scary because "it won't happen to you" is just as not OK.
 
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planesleuth

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Guns are not like alcohol, tobacco, obesity etc. Other than suicide and the occassional accident, guns mainly kill other other people.

The other causes of death are largely self inflicted - a matter of personal choice and/or a lack of will power.

As a taser weighs much the same as a banana, and a 9mm gun is closer in weight to a brick the argument that the police officer was confused is fatuous - unless they are truly incompetent or stupid.

The only argument for a police officer to draw a gun is to either use it immediately, or because they believe they may need to react quickly to a threat. As guns are so widespread, any threat may involve firearms.

Why they bother to issue tasers is therefore incomprehensible to me - unless working on the basis that more weaponry must be better than less.
Guns=tool. Chisel= tool.....Don't be silly, guns don't kill people. People kill people.
 

D_W

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Guns are not like alcohol, tobacco, obesity etc. Other than suicide and the occassional accident, guns mainly kill other other people.

Why they bother to issue tasers is therefore incomprehensible to me - unless working on the basis that more weaponry must be better than less.
You can tase someone running away from you. You can generally not shoot someone running away from you if they aren't a deadly threat. I'd imagine that the presence of tasers probably reduces deaths and injuries by a very large amount.

As far as alcohol being incomparable to guns because it affects the user and not others, I'd make the following two points:
* guns are probably used for hunting in the US about 100 million times a year (handgun hunting is legal in some places, including my state) and is practiced, as is archery. Why bother? If you use other means, sometimes you get extended or other seasons
* 200 kids under 14 per year are killed by drunk drivers. That's fewer than I expected. Far more than school shootings. Both are bad - beyond bad.

I'd guess the reason for the alcohol traffic death statistics being truncated at 14 is that somewhere around there, the child and the drunk driver start to become the same person (legal driving age here is 16, i don't know that it's less than that anywhere else, but whereas it used to be 16 period, it's now restricted for a couple of years. It was when I was a kid, too - you could be 16 and drive, but not after 11pm unless there was an adult in the car).

While I've never worried about being shot, drunk driving used to be far more prevalent and in rural areas, we were often told not to go on the road for no reason on friday and saturday nights. I was about to say I don't know of anyone killed by a drunk driver, but just recalled that a relative's best friend was erased from history at age 16 by a drunk driver - she wasn't drinking, nor was anyone in her car.

I know of plenty of people (not hundreds, but more than I can count on one hand) who committed suicide - including a relative who was a heavy alcoholic and had to quit because he got to the point that even if he hadn't drank since the prior evening, he still smelled of alcohol mid day the next day. His workplace more or less said "quit entirely or you're fired". It's not possible to know which caused which (mental issues causing alcoholism or alcoholism causing mental issues). He learned to drink heavily in the navy, but that was probably the majority of folks when he was in in the 1960s.

For some reason (maybe no good one), I feel safer driving friday or saturday night in the suburbs. I have no basis for that.
 

Cheshirechappie

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I blame the Chinese. If they hadn't invented gunpowder, none of this would have happened.

Mind you, the handcrossbow and the machine longbow might have, instead.
 

D_W

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I hope my comments above aren't seen as any justification of anything - I don't like the shooting deaths, I don't like the suicides and I don't like the kids killed by drunk drivers.

You have to consider when you're talking to someone in the US, though, that things are resident here that you're viewing as how they'd be a shock if they suddenly appeared. There's a cognitive gap. Guns have been here as long as I can remember. As a kid, I lived on a 5 acre patch with 20 acres of hill behind me. If you wanted to shoot a gun, you'd walk out the back door and just make sure that whatever you're shooting, it's into the hill (this isn't a small hill i'm talking about, rather 200 feet of elevation - an ideal backstop).

Because guns were around, we were taught general safety things and certainly not allowed to use them without supervision or sign off (for example, somewhere around age 15, I was allowed to take the .22 back to the hill and shoot cans. Never anything else. Before that, I had a pellet gun - again, cans).

When I was target shooting, I grew to have extreme discomfort around people who were going to a range for the first time as they're excited and they just don't have good sense of rule 1 - gun is treated as though it's always loaded, which means that it's pointed downrange and no matter what, rule 1 isn't broken. I'm not afraid of someone breaking into my house or shooting anything, whatever, but because I've actually seen that in person - people turning to talk about their bullseye and turning the gun halfway around with them and then getting offended when you overreact. The culture is changing here and the number of households with firearms is down to somewhere around 1/3rd, vs. over 1/2 in the 80s or 90s.

It's here - it's not a news story to me, but rather my actual experience, so it doesn't have the same feeling it will to you of "what if it just showed up here" - whether you think you're looking at it that way or not, you are.

I went to look up the total crime rate in london vs. my county. Interestingly, the total crime rate is identical. Obviously, the murder rate is higher here, because....well, it's the united states. The london data speaks heavily about "sharp object" crimes. These are low, i'd imagine, compared to our gang/youth related homicide rates, but even thinking about that is odd to me - because it's either not common here or doesn't have much press.

(strangely enough, a crazy guy stabbed a woman he didn't know at a bus stop here last year, but nobody paid much mind to it after being initially horrified, because people here haven't been afraid of knives since the whole 1970s and 1980s vigilante movie thing stopped - e.g., butterfly knives, switchblades).
 

Sideways

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A Frenchman in Paris explained the difference between "agent" and "gendarme" to me as :
The former can only shoot you in the front in self defence.
The latter can also shoot you in the back while running away if you don't stop when he tells you to.
 

Stan

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Why they bother to issue tasers is therefore incomprehensible to me - unless working on the basis that more weaponry must be better than less.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem gets treated as if it is a nail.

Officers in a confrontational situation can be presented with anything on a continuum that ranges from harsh language at one extreme, to lethal force at the other. Officers in the UK are required to react proportionately to the perceived threat.

A gun is designed solely to kill or injure. Which of these results is achieved is often beyond the control of the shooter. Anyone with firearms training will know that just shooting somebody in a limb, causing a repairable injury but stopping them from committing their impending violence, is just Hollywood fantasy. There are many factors which can/will affect the result no matter what the intention was.

The purpose of taser is to provide a ( normally ) non-lethal ranged option for the officer, so they can choose the level of force to match a situation. Pepper/CS spray is very short range, where the person posing a threat can be well inside your reactionary gap.

So for example, if an officer equipped with only a gun and baton is faced with a knifeman their only practical option is to open fire. If that knifeman is a 14-yr old, they can kill you just as dead as a 24 year old, so again the officer may well have to fire. But some people won't understand or accept why the officer shot and killed "just a kid". Taser provides an option much less likely to kill.

Sadly, the days of Dixon of Dock Green, where all the officer needed was a smart tunic with shiny buttons and an imposing presence, are no longer with us ( if they ever were ). The silly wooden truncheon only ever did one of two things:

1. it slipped down the truncheon pocket locking the knee joint, making it easier for matey boy to get away,
or
2. it occupied one hand in a struggle which would have been more usefully employed doing something else, making it easier for matey boy to give the officer a kicking.

And as for that stupid truncheon thing they issued to female officers, all that did was provoke laughter and ribald suggestions.
 

Spectric

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I don't think we are in a position to judge on the use of guns used by American police or anyone else out there because we do not live in that type of society and it is really different to ours and very hard to comprehend. It gave me a strange feeling when I was out there, guns and more guns but no one bats an eye lid as it is just daily life for them. We may collect stamps but they actually collect weapons and with ease, you go into a shop and it is like a sweet counter for adults and people are handling guns just like we would try on a pair of trousers, can be very unerving and it puts people on guard.

but there is an obvious tendency for the police to shoot people just because they are trying to get away.
With so many carrying guns no one is taking a chance, I got pulled for speeding out there and the policeman had his hand on his gun as he approached and wanted my hands in view! so if some one runs what is to stop them turning round for a shot? so if in doubt shoot first but not sure why not just a leg shot.
 

skeetstar

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There is a UK police force fully armed 24/7. Not hard to guess where.....
Even when constable Joe or Jane come to your house talking about neighbourhood watch etc. Wish they weren't armed but.....
The RUC, sorry, PSNI?
There is also the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.. the police force based at nuclear generation sites. Fully tooled up with automatic weapons.
 

ovenpaa

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Hmm... I have guns, lots of them in fact and I live in the UK. I own some personally and I usually have several dozen customer rifles and shotguns in for work as that is what I do for a living, I mend modify and make guns. I am also very lucky in that I live and work in a sleepy Lincolnshire Wolds village in an area where firearms are a way of life for game and pest control as well as for target shooting.

For the record, there are many types of handgun/pistol that can be lawfully owned here in England, the laws are slightly different for Northern Ireland. Self loading centre hand guns can be held on a Section 5 Certificate or a Section 7-3. Rimfire long barrelled pistols including self loading can be held on a normal firearms certificate and centrefire long barrelled revolvers are in the same class as well, as are muzzle loading pistols which can also be held on the Section1 certificate. Ah, then there are the 2 shot handguns which are usually held on S5 but can be held on S1 under an S4 exemption for the use of humane despatch.

Gun crime in mine and other areas is incredibly low and the crimes that do take place are invariably with unlawfully held firearms which would not be legal in this country anyway. Would banning guns in the UK reduce gun crime/murder whatever? I doubt it very much.

Finally, also for the record, I am not a huge fan of handguns.
 

TRITON

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I don't think we are in a position to judge on the use of guns used by American police or anyone else out there because we do not live in that type of society and it is really different to ours and very hard to comprehend. It gave me a strange feeling when I was out there, guns and more guns but no one bats an eye lid as it is just daily life for them. We may collect stamps but they actually collect weapons and with ease, you go into a shop and it is like a sweet counter for adults and people are handling guns just like we would try on a pair of trousers, can be very unerving and it puts people on guard.



With so many carrying guns no one is taking a chance, I got pulled for speeding out there and the policeman had his hand on his gun as he approached and wanted my hands in view! so if some one runs what is to stop them turning round for a shot? so if in doubt shoot first but not sure why not just a leg shot.
Unfortunately that is my entire point, the fear they're going to get shot, completely understandable. And the cop stopped you might have been in or witnessed such events for him not to be ready, no matter what it says in the training manual,which is also understandable.
But it is only because there are some many guns in circulation that an individual might well possess one, legal , illegal or perhaps even for the same reasons that cop had when he put his hand on his gun.
We can't say that any individual in that situation, who may even have a gun, is going to use it immediately in the attempt to resist being taken into custody, which also means placed in handcuffs even if only briefly at that local, but the tendency is thats the plan of action, which is to shoot first and ask questions second.
The only way to get out of this vicious circle is to break one of the points, If they remove guns from the population, and are stringent about it, then theres a good change everything should improve for everyone and we're not going down the road of a dystopian fascist system of government.
 

D_W

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in this case, the woman says "taser, taser, taser", shoots the guy with a pistol instead and then immediately reacts "oh my god, i shot him".

I haven't seen the video, just read something like that. I'm guessing that most police in the world now have a sidearm and a taser. When you pick the wrong one, it's not because you're afraid of lots of guns - that causes you to pull the gun on purpose and then claim you were going to shoot the taser.

But it's certainly true that some cops here are afraid of guns, and many are not and some who aren't have been shot because they walked up to a window of a fleeing felon with the "happy go lucky officer here, just want to have a talk about your driving".

The one thing that stands out to me living here is that often, the officers who ultimately do something really bad have a history or regard from others as being a little off on the wrong side of things. I don't have a great answer. My advice to everyone is don't talk to police if you don't need to. Most will be great - all of my interactions save one have been great. But they're doing a job, you don't know what their day, week or year has been like - just stay away.

I can tell you when they encounter drunk folks at the bus route ends downtown, and those folks are passed out, the police and the medics move them around like you would a heavy log (rough). But I'm also not about to walk up to them and say "you shouldn't do that. it's not kind". I'm guessing they already know the people they're throwing around.
 

John Brown

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I hope my comments above aren't seen as any justification of anything - I don't like the shooting deaths, I don't like the suicides and I don't like the kids killed by drunk drivers.

You have to consider when you're talking to someone in the US, though, that things are resident here that you're viewing as how they'd be a shock if they suddenly appeared. There's a cognitive gap. Guns have been here as long as I can remember. As a kid, I lived on a 5 acre patch with 20 acres of hill behind me. If you wanted to shoot a gun, you'd walk out the back door and just make sure that whatever you're shooting, it's into the hill (this isn't a small hill i'm talking about, rather 200 feet of elevation - an ideal backstop).

Because guns were around, we were taught general safety things and certainly not allowed to use them without supervision or sign off (for example, somewhere around age 15, I was allowed to take the .22 back to the hill and shoot cans. Never anything else. Before that, I had a pellet gun - again, cans).

When I was target shooting, I grew to have extreme discomfort around people who were going to a range for the first time as they're excited and they just don't have good sense of rule 1 - gun is treated as though it's always loaded, which means that it's pointed downrange and no matter what, rule 1 isn't broken. I'm not afraid of someone breaking into my house or shooting anything, whatever, but because I've actually seen that in person - people turning to talk about their bullseye and turning the gun halfway around with them and then getting offended when you overreact. The culture is changing here and the number of households with firearms is down to somewhere around 1/3rd, vs. over 1/2 in the 80s or 90s.

It's here - it's not a news story to me, but rather my actual experience, so it doesn't have the same feeling it will to you of "what if it just showed up here" - whether you think you're looking at it that way or not, you are.

I went to look up the total crime rate in london vs. my county. Interestingly, the total crime rate is identical. Obviously, the murder rate is higher here, because....well, it's the united states. The london data speaks heavily about "sharp object" crimes. These are low, i'd imagine, compared to our gang/youth related homicide rates, but even thinking about that is odd to me - because it's either not common here or doesn't have much press.

(strangely enough, a crazy guy stabbed a woman he didn't know at a bus stop here last year, but nobody paid much mind to it after being initially horrified, because people here haven't been afraid of knives since the whole 1970s and 1980s vigilante movie thing stopped - e.g., butterfly knives, switchblades).
Where is your county? I think you're in WA, but that's not a county. London probably has one of the highest crime rates in the UK, so I doubt that any county in WA, which is a fairly liberal and blue state, is a fair comparison to London. Although, to be honest, I really only know Seattle and Spokane.
 

Spectric

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The only way to get out of this vicious circle is to break one of the points, If they remove guns from the population, and are stringent about it, then theres a good change everything should improve for everyone and we're not going down the road of a dystopian fascist system of government.
They will never take an Americans right to posses firearms away because the national rifle association is probably more influencial than the whitehouse and it would need a big change to ammendment 2. I think America was created by the gun and now they have to live with it, just an awful lot of them.

It gets stranger when you look at the details or need, you can buy a Tac 50 riffle in the states, this 50 cal weapon in the right hands can kill at over two miles, and holds the record for the longest military sniper kill at 3,800 yards so who in the public domain really needs this firepower or is long range hunting now a sport!

If you have never visited the states then do so, it is an eye opener and they love the british even though they think we all live in London and they will proudly show you there arsenal. No one would ever invade America because the people alone have sufficient firepower without the military but they have to live with that culture and unfortunately the person who takes no chances and shoots first will survive.
 

TRITON

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I've thought about a replacement. Jim Jefferies gave a good suggestion that they could be replaced by muskets. (Near end of part 2)

Pt2
 

D_W

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Where is your county? I think you're in WA, but that's not a county. London probably has one of the highest crime rates in the UK, so I doubt that any county in WA, which is a fairly liberal and blue state, is a fair comparison to London. Although, to be honest, I really only know Seattle and Spokane.
Pittsburgh, USA. I'd make a joke about it being a sister city to sheffield, but I think it may actually be that officially.
 

D_W

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Pittsburgh is a moderate crime city, so for the county itself to be even with london, that's what I was guessing, that london was quite high crime. BUT, what I saw of violent crimes (not knowing much about England), the north east of England has a higher violent crime rate than london.

reading of the acid attacks just shows how different styles happen in different places - you don't hear of something like that here (but at the same time, it is absolutely fair to say that criminals who want to act with a heavy hand only need to find a cheap pistol).
 

Freddyjersey2016

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Worth noting another difference between the US & UK - UK has 48 Police forces; and the US has about 18,000 - the officer in the latest shooting was a member of a force with only 37 officers. Universities, Airports have their own forces - there appears to be no national training standards , so it is not surprising that mistakes like this happen
 

John Brown

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Pittsburgh, USA. I'd make a joke about it being a sister city to sheffield, but I think it may actually be that officially.
Well a quick Google gives a murder rate of 18 per 100,000 for Pittsburgh, compared with 1.2 for London.
As I say, a quick Google. I could be wildly out.
 
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