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Old November 2 2009, 11:57 PM   #21
Starkers
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Re: "Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
Stalkers wrote: View Post
Maybe it's being British, but I never could grasp this notion that somehow possesion of a gun makes you safe?
Not one thing in the entire world "makes" you safe. Not the police, not the fire department, not your home security system, not your locked door, and not your fire extinguisher in your kitchen, and not at all your privately owned firearm. What these things do is help enhance your level of safety, each in their own way. Some passive, some active, and some with user input.

So you have a Beretta 9mm in your bedside draw, in all seriousness how much use is that going to be when 20 armed soldiers with M-16s turn up at your door?
At that point having a Beretta 9mm and not having a Beretta 9mm are both going to wind up meaning about the same thing. 20 armed soldiers showing up at your door isn't likely to end well for you whether or not you're armed. Now, two-baseball bat wielding rapists/thieves on the other hand, that's a different story.

The guns make everyone equal argument is a huge falacy, because they don't. Someone will always have a bigger gun, more guns, be a better shot etc.
And some fires are too hot for my fire extinguisher and some car accidents are too brutal for my seat belt, but each one has situations in which they CAN help, even save my life.

For the most part the government troops will always be better armed, better trained, better organised. And not to mention your neighbour might have a bigger gun and decide to protect his kid at the expense of yours.

In the context of Torchwood Children of Earth, in the end Gwen had a gun, but one or two pistols against a dozen men armed with SA-80s? Maybe in NRA fantasy land that's be a fair fight but in reality her best option was still to just hide, then run.
Ideally it wouldn't have just been Gwen, though, right? It would have been Gwen, and her neighbor, and that guy's neighbor, and the bloke across the street, and so forth.
There’s a statistic the police trot out here in the UK as part of the anti knife campaigns that says you’re more likely to be stabbed with the knife you’re carrying than stab someone with it. It’s been a while since I checked but what are the comparative statistics of Americans killed or wounded with their own weapons? There’s also the incidence of children killed messing about with their parents’ weapons…which is one way to stop the 456 getting your kids I suppose…

I understand the cultural aspects of gun ownership in the US, but things change. A few hundred years ago we burned witches at the stake but we don’t now. It does interest me, and I really must point out I’m trying not to generalise here, but for citizens of the most powerful nation on the planet, an awful lot of Americans seem awful scared. Scared of terrorists, or home invaders, heck judging by recent events even scared of universal health care. Sometimes I even think some of you are scared us Redcoats are coming back one day

As Sci points out, gun ownership doesn’t necessarily equate to a violent society (although interestingly the murder rate in Finland—the most armed European country I believe—is also the highest in Europe, though Switzerland where many citizens keep an assault rifle at home as part of National service, is equally high).

There’s the notion that an armed society is a polite society…I’d point to Africa as disproving this. Every other guy has an AK but it’s ain’t a polite place. People also say that if only the kids at Columbine had had guns too, well that’s true, but one could also argue that if the loony kids hadn’t had access to guns that would have sorted things too.

Given the 456 scenario, or the notion of a government turning against its own people, I’d argue that even then gun ownership isn’t going to be much help. You can fight off the first group of soldiers they send—maybe—but not the second or the third. Most dictatorial governments are brought down, not by armed civilians, but either by foreign invasion, or else by their own armed forces turning against them. Even the American revolution was less about the American citizenry than it was about our ineptitude, the fact we weren’t that bothered, and the fact that the French sided with you!

To bring this back to CoE, if possible, I think what was so fantastic about it was that it generates debates like this, more so than an awful lot of television these days, and that, really, it was the ultimate Kobyashi Maru scenario (until the end which had to have us survive). In most respects the governments’ ability to resist the 456 was about as much use as the citizenry’s ability to resist the government. Little more than pissing in the wind.
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