Tighter gun control?

Tracey - posted on 01/10/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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For the ladies who have commented in previous posts that they would like tighter gun controls - what would you those to be?

In UK you have to apply to the police for a licence,
they will visit you at home to check the safety of your cabinet which must have a certain type of lock,
they will take references from a number of people who know you & your doctor,
you must show a genuine need for the gun,
belong to a gun club which you must attend on a regular basis,
the licence is renewed after every 3 - 5 years.

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Becky - posted on 01/11/2012

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My big issue with the gun laws in the US - as I understand them, and I'll admit that I may misunderstand them - is that you do not have to store your guns safely. You can keep your handgun loaded in your bedside table, where anyone can grab it, and you can carry a concealed weapon on your person. To me, that is just asking for trouble. In particular, it is asking for children to get shot, whether accidentally or on purpose. When your curious child can open up your bedside table and grab your loaded gun, or your disillusioned teenager can go into your closet, find the gun in the shoebox on the shelf and hide it under his coat to go to school, there is a problem.
We have guns in our house - a shotgun and a .22 caliber rifle. They are locked in a gun safe, unloaded, with the ammunition stored in a separate location. Even if our children could access and load them, their chances of sneaking them into school unseen are pretty slim. You can't just stick a shotgun in your pocket or waistband! And maybe that is why, while there is still gun violence in Canada, it is far, far more rare to hear of school shootings and accidental shootings than it is in the US. Because it is a lot more difficult for our children to access our guns. I can only think of 2 incidents of school shootings that I have heard of here. (although I'm sure there are more) - Taber, Alberta, and the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.
Criminals may get their guns off the street and through illegal means, and gun control may not stop all criminals from having and using guns. But children, by and large, get their guns from their parents. Better gun control, I believe, would significantly reduce the amount of gun violence and accidents among kids.

Tam - posted on 01/11/2012

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I agree with you about the gun safety control. The main reason I don't keep guns in the house aside from myself being the only qualified user, is because I will not have it unsecured, especially with children in my house, and in the even that there is an intruder, it would take far more time to go and open a gun cabinet and load the magazines than it would be to get my hands on an asp or a baseball bat. However, I've also been trained in hand-to-hand combats as well as using an asp (which is what police use nowadays instead of night-sticks, kinda like collapsible batons.)

It is true that most people, including police, will be injured by their own guns more often than not unless they are constantly training for situations. The hard fact is, most people don't dedicate that amount of time to firearm training. If you don't know your weapon and your typical reaction, the weapon can become more of a liability than a help.

By the way, what most people don't know is that if someone is threatening you with a gun, they are actually operating off of a script in their head - they threaten, you capitulate. They get what they want because they have the gun and gun=control of the situation. But when you break their script, for instance, grabbing the bolt action of a longarm or putting your hand on the slide in the event of a handgun, it totally sets the intruder off their game and confuses/scares the hell out of them. Most people committing crimes aren't hardened gunmen, and they aren't that confident when their perception of power is unbalanced.

Just an interesting trivia fact I think is fascinating.

Lady Heather - posted on 01/10/2012

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Like Krista, I like all of that except the demonstrated need. I wish our long gun registry included that stuff. As it is right now, it is totally useless. Nobody even checks to see if the guns you say you have are actually what you say. My husband just called them in. And as an adult living with him I had to sign that he was sane. Big whoop. Certainly no checks to make sure the guns are stored properly, doctor references and such.

The need thing though - technically we don't *need* our guns. My husband wants to hunt with one of them but the others are just family heirlooms.

I can see the gun club thing working decently in the UK because when you are in the middle of nowhere there you aren't really that far from shit (by Canadian distance standards). Here the people who need guns the most are the ones who would have an impossible time accessing a gun club.

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Tracey - posted on 01/11/2012

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A "need" for a gun could be that you are a vet who needs it to euthanise large animals, or it could be that you are a sportsman who needs it for shooting. Home defence is not a legal reason for having a gun, if we injure an intruder over here we are likely to get charged with assault while the bad guy gets off without charge (unless he is holding your valuables) and can sue us for compensation for any injuries we inflict on him - yes really!!!!

If you want to keep Grandad's guns as a sentimental reminder that is OK over here as long as you have a licence and the gun is safe to use, or if you don't have a licence / the gun is unsafe it must be deactivated.

The reason for attending a gun club is in theory so they can keep an eye on you and if they are concerned about your mental wellbeing they will contact the police or suggest someone else looks after your guns.

We don't have any training or waiting periods (although it can take a while for the police to process your licence application) if you have space on the licence for the gun you can go out and buy it, and you can only use the gun at a gun club or organised shooting event.

Lady Heather - posted on 01/10/2012

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Not just farmers. A lot of people here work out in the middle of the bush surrounded by grizzly. I'd definitely feel the need for a gun if I was around those buggers all the time. I risk it camping a couple times a year, but wouldn't on a daily basis.

Some people do view hunting as a need though. Some people want to be able to procure all their own food rather than relying on the grocery store for what is almost always expensive and lesser quality meat. That was the whole point of our one useful gun. It's not for fun. It's for food. Now I say technically we don't need it because technically we could just buy meat or not eat meat. But to not eat meat we'd have to replace with another source of protein and local non-meat protein sources are next to non-existent and we'd like to keep our diets as fresh and local as possible. So technically not a need, but definitely a legit want and some people might view it as a need.

Kellie - posted on 01/10/2012

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Heather- "The need thing though - technically we don't *need* our guns."

I'm going to take this a general statement for a minute and use it across the board, not just in reference for you and your husband.

No one NEEDS a gun, well not the general population anyway, Farmers are probably the only people in the general public I would see as needing a gun. Why does anybody NEED a gun? They don't. They might want a gun for reasons such as hunting but we don't actually need guns.

I'm in Australia and I'm not sure of our gun laws but they're most likely similar to the UK's. I have no problem with any of those 'rules', guns shouldn't be easily accessible to just any Tom, Dick or Harry.

I'm think the reason for the UK's strict gun laws is even their Police generally don't carry guns. yeah yeah guns don't kill, people kill, but they do misuse weapons everyday everywhere..

Tam - posted on 01/10/2012

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For the record, I am in America, in the military, and fully qualified on several firearms.

However, I don't actually own a gun. I am personally not comfortable with having it in my house when I am the only qualified person in the home, and I work full time. I'd likely install a bolted-in gun locker in my room somewhere if I owned a firearm, but since I don't feel the need for one, I haven't investigated it in depth.

That being said, I think that in some ways our gun laws here in the US can be made better - perhaps not more strict, but better in the sense that background checks can be more thorough. People with felonies are not able to procure firearms, as far as I know, but I also know how ridiculously easy it is to get ones hands on one on the streets. I am of the same mind as the people who agree that people who regularly use firearms for nefarious purposes don't tend to abide by the laws in the first place. Taking weapons from people who are responsible, trained, certified, and licensed pretty much just restricts their ability to defend themselves should the need arise.

I think weapon handling classes should be mandatory. I think firearm qualification should be mandatory - for example, I didn't receive my license until I was able to hit the target reliably at a certain consistency. I think that there should be mandatory yearly or bi-yearly requalifications, depending on the gun type, for people with active licenses.

Most times you hear about violence with weapons, at least here in the US, it has to do with illegally obtained weapons, or someone using a weapon stolen or borrowed from someone they know, or a person playing with the weapon when they find it unsecured. Moreso than making gun laws harder to navigate, perhaps the focus should be on making gun safety more of a priority.

It's easy to point at an incident when gun ownership goes wrong and say that it is because of the right to own a weapon. And it usually goes tragically wrong when it happens. However, for every tragedy, there are hundreds of people who own guns without incident. I look at it in the same way I look at automobiles - whenever a devastating accident happens, you never hear a public outcry to ban vehicle ownership, and I'm pretty sure that accounts for more deaths per capita than legal gun ownership does.

Krista - posted on 01/10/2012

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I like all of those options, except for the "genuine need" and the "gun club" bit. Some people around here just want to keep their grandfather's old guns as mementos, or they want to keep them just in case they have a problem with wildlife. I don't really like the idea of people deciding whether or not my need is valid. If I want a gun, and I am an adult who is sound of mind and have no criminal record or history of violence, then I should have the right to buy a gun.

I do also approve of mandatory waiting periods.

In Canada, we have a very controversial long-gun registry. Many people around here are opposed to it, saying that all it does is take money from law-abiding rifle owners, and that it's not as though criminals are going to register their guns anyway (not to mention the fact that in most cases of gun violence, it's handguns that are involved).

And the "gun club" thing just sounds like a pain in the ass, especially for people who live in rural areas, and may not always have the time or opportunity to get to wherever the gun club is.

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