Friday, August 8, 2008

Re: Gun Discussion

An Australian lady writes, "This is the biggest lot of BS I have read in ages ! Apart from Spain where did the original white folk who later became Americans, hail from ????

"I think you have had too much coffee, many of your posts have been very good and interesting in the past !

"I grew up in NSW, Australia in an era that always had a gun culture, but unless someone lived on the land or had a need, it was rare to find the average citizen with one in the house especially in towns and cities. Most rural children received a Slug/BB gun usually as 12th birthday present – and were taught how to use them sensibly, our children had them too. Then after the Pt Arthur massacre some 10+ years ago, gun laws were brought in and all our guns were illegal and had to be handed in unless a license was obtained. As we were on land we did the right thing and passed the tests to keep a rifle but handguns which have never been popular with the public, became very difficult to own. To keep a license, conditions became more stringent every year, belong to a gun club, do so many hours there recorded a year, open to spot checks from police to check it is kept in proper locked cabinets etc etc. Eventually we cancelled everything and now don't have one, I feel this is a great pity as yet another right taken away, but also for the ability to end suffering when needed. Recently one of our geriatric ponies put her hind foot near a wombat tunnel which collapsed making her fall and break her hip. Normally we would have shot her as she was in agony, but we had to try and find a vet who could come and give her some Green Dream. It was weekend naturally and no vets around and those in neighbouring towns were all tied up for hours. Eventually after nearly 6 hours one came from nearly 50 miles away and did the deed, but what a lot of unnecessary suffering. I do not think our gun laws have made any difference to the number of shootings, and definitely a big increase in stabbings. Guns have just been driven underground and it really is only the criminal element that now has them, apart from a few dedicated club shooters. We live on 40 acres on top of a mountain range backing onto State Forest and quite isolated. We sometimes hear shooting at the back of us at night and are not sure if is after the deer or protecting their little "gardens" – I do not go to find out. I keep 4 RRs at present to that job for me, they have always been expected to sort friend from foe, be nice to visiting children (no matter how revolting), guard our livestock from foxes, etc, and be the loving companions they are. They have not had special training, they just do it and our dogs always have in the 40 years we have bred, shown, judged, done obedience, hunted and many other activities with them.


Lawrence responds:

You ask, "Apart from Spain where did the original white folk who later became Americans, hail from ????

I believe I covered that in the note you are responding to: “And then the new world was opened up and lots of disgruntled Europeans (mostly commoners) went off to start new lives. European aristocrats kept guns, mostly, away from the commoners - except when they were sent off to fight wars for said aristocrats, but not us, we Americans said. We have no nobles or commoners. We are all equal and one of the signs of that equality is that our right to bear arms, have our own guns, shall not be infringed."

I'll assume that the above is not what you meant by BS. But if not, then what precisely did you believe was BS? Since you are from Australia, are you taking offense at what I said about commonwealth commoners not being allowed to have guns? Is that it? Is that the BS? And yet you are not allowed to have guns; so why is it BS?

Or are you arguing that since you once had guns my argument is false? If so, I would say an alternate way of looking at your situation is that it took a while for the elitist, not trusting commoners with guns, philosophy to catch up to you in your outback. But catch up it did.

Or perhaps you are saying that since there are a few sorts of guns you are allowed to have my argument is false. Well, I knew that certain sorts were allowed. The British have laws something like that as well. You can keep a gun strictly for hunting but not for self-defense. Those arguments were used over here by the gun-control lobby. They proposed that hunting-type shotguns and hunting rifles were okay for people that were registered hunters. I knew about that and didn't count it as being allowed to "have guns," insofar as my argument was concerned. I was referring to guns for self-defense, guns that could also, hypothetically, be used to resist an oppressive government -- the sort of government our founding fathers resisted when they established our Bill of Rights.

Lawrence Helm

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