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April 16, 2009 - 7:53am

Today's Poll: What do you think is driving increases in gun permits and sales?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
C. M. Barons
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The root value of handgun ownership is empowerment. When Americans feel insecure, the popular pill is a weapon. The complexity lies in the motivation behind the prescription. Romantics presume an historical basis; our wild west is alleged to have been tamed by individuals with Colt .45s. Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton settled their infamous score with dueling pistols. .38 Supers ruled old Chicago. Our heroes all seem inextricably connected to their weapons- sometimes to the extent, the weapon trumps justice. ...As is the case with anti-heroes: Clyde Barrow, John Dillinger, Jessie James, et al. Ringing counter-intuitive, the modern day conservative touts Christian redemption with one breath and bemoans gun regulation with the next. Americans have never shied from inconsistency doused in hyperbole. Carrie Nation wielded axe, not handgun, still her WCTU message was delivered. We have a fascination with polarizing differing camps with labels derived from fire and brimstone. There are no gray areas in America; we compare good and evil, right and wrong. 'Shoot first and ask questions later' probably came from fiction. Ronald Reagan often construed fiction and non-fiction; facts are unimportant when one is myth-building. We are a pathological culture. We douse our food with poison to ward off insects and fungus. Then we eat it. We are fascinated with crime. Our news media and entertainment media churn out crime- both fictional and factual. We appear insatiable. Soon we're convinced that criminals lurk in every shadow. Soon we don befitting roles. Bottom line: someone sold us on the role of guns in our lives. Someone sold us on the role of Nike in our lives. In 1994, Bowerbank, Maine passed a law requiring all heads of households to own a gun. Admittedly it was a symbolic act. In 2008 the Supreme Court effectively rescinded Washington, DC's handgun ban. Gun-related deaths per 100,000 people in the world's 36 richest countries in 1994: United States 14.24; Brazil 12.95; Mexico 12.69; Estonia 12.26; Argentina 8.93; Northern Ireland 6.63; Finland 6.46; Switzerland 5.31; France 5.15; Canada 4.31; Norway 3.82; Austria 3.70; Portugal 3.20; Israel 2.91; Belgium 2.90; Australia 2.65; Slovenia 2.60; Italy 2.44; New Zealand 2.38; Denmark 2.09; Sweden 1.92; Kuwait 1.84; Greece 1.29; Germany 1.24; Hungary 1.11; Republic of Ireland 0.97; Spain 0.78; Netherlands 0.70; Scotland 0.54; England and Wales 0.41; Taiwan 0.37; Singapore 0.21; Mauritius 0.19; Hong Kong 0.14; South Korea 0.12; Japan 0.05. 55% of U. S. gun deaths are suicides. The $64,000 Question: why do we feel insecure?
Richard Gahagan
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I feel insecure because of people like you. What part of, "Shall not be infringed" don't you understand. Those words were chosen for a reason. Arguably, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should have been made first in the Bill of Rights because without the right to keep and bear arms, such rights as freedom of speech and freedom of the press would be treated as nothing more than meaningless “privileges” bestowed and taken away by government officials at will. The Second Amendment is the American people’s ultimate insurance policy against tyranny because government officials know that guns in the hands of the people provide the only practical means by which to resist tyranny. The founding fathers knew that a disarmed society almost always becomes an obedient society in the face of omnipotent, tyrannical government.
Dave Meyer
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Howard, you need to add another choice. Hysteria Because that's what's driving most of this behavior. For some reason, they're convinced that Barack Obama is going to take away their guns. I do not happen to subscribe to that theory, but then again, I'm not a right wing wacko either.
Gabor Deutsch
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I agree with both of you guys but trying to find the middle. I chose not to own a gun but feel comfortable i have the right to if i do it legally. There are important reasons why its the second ammendment in the peoples constitution. There are plenty of negatives to gun ownership but the majority of violent crimes seem to be leaning on illegal ownership or use. ( I am not an NRA member either) .
tom hunt
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"A well armed society is a polite society"
Richard Gahagan
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Somthin about having a waco left wing lib socialists/marxist government taking over banks, printing money we'll be taxed to death to repay0, spreading the wealth, and firing CEOs from major private corporations - just might have something to do with people who may not ordinarily want to own a gun deciding to buy one.
Gabor Deutsch
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I think that waco is a bad example of gun ownership but since ur a true Texan I wont argue.....
John Roach
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Earlier in his career, Obama did favor gun control. But since he first started his run for the Oval Office, he stated we would not push it. I take him at his word. He does get the blame for other Liberals in the Congress and in State offices, and he should speak up about it. We all know there are people who want to limit or end the right to bear arms. But Obama, at this time, is not one of them. As for the "right wing wacko" comment, it's the looney left buring down new houses and car lots. Which is more dangerous, or are they both the same?
Karen Miconi
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Before you know it the only ones with firearms will be the Gangs, Criminals, Drug Dealers,and Terrorists. Is that gonna make everyone feel safe?
C. M. Barons
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Am I the "you" that Richard Gahagan refers to? I never stated my personal take on handgun ownership, so it's odd to be accused of panning the second amendment. I was addressing the issue of American insecurity. Karen Marconi's exxagerated description of gun owners is precisely why Americans feel insecure. Thank you Dick Cheney for cranking up the paranoia. When I feel so intimidated that owning a handgun is the only solution, I shall move somewhere else. That does not translate- I advocate taking away my neighbor's security blanket. I do favor licensing guns.
Karen Miconi
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Got New For You C.M, Its MUCH worse everywhere else. Its not exagerated, people are afraid of a REVOLUTION. We need to protect ourselves and our familys. It is our Constitutional Right! Are you going to just stand and watch as someone Rapes and Pilages your family? Im Not They are going to be One Sorry Piece of **** Anne Oakly PS. Loosen Up Mr. Bardon this is just my own opinion One Of Thousands, Millions
Gabor Deutsch
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It's gonna be a new saying : "if ya cant beat em, shoot em".
C. M. Barons
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http://www2.norc.org/online/gunrpt.pdf The link directs to the definitive NORC report on gun ownership and opinions on gun regulation in the United States.

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