I am not meaning to be insensitive, and my heart goes out to those involved, but this is so much not the place to be making this discussion.
MastrGT, you know better than anyone here that politically charged topics like this that have no connection to Gran Turismo have absolutely NO PLACE in this Forum. I am shocked that this has been allowed to go on, and am quite surprised at the folks that know better and yet still are active particiapants.
There is a time and place for everything. This may be the time, but in no way is the appropriate place for this discussion.
Once again I find that Dan has covered my opinions quite eloquently, it is a complicated issue that cannot be resolved in such a way to make everyone happy. I was taught not only respect for guns but a love for all people, if we as a society treated each other with unconditional kindness it would go a long way in detecting a confused and disturbed individual. Talk to everyone you meet, hug everyone you know, and truly listen to what someone is saying.
As much as I believe that everyone is inherently good, I am also a proponent for an eye for an eye, if you cross the line you should expect to be made an example of. PUBLICLY so that the next person has that image burned in their mind not the glorification and notoriety these people get now.
I believe that the glorification of guns by the media and in video games is the problem. Most of the general public was not educated to respect guns or any form of weaponry and when they feel the only way to get their needs met is to use a weapon.
At some point the sides of the gun control arguement need to come together and agree that the owning of automatic military grade guns is not in the best interests of the general public. No one needs a fully automatic assault rifle to protect themselves or to go hunting.....
I believe that when the framers of the Constitution wrote what they did, it did not mean what it has become. As we have "evolved",we tend to twist and turn things to mean what they need to mean at the current time.
I also don't think that we should be able to buy ammo online.....
While I would agree that media and games perpetuate guns and violence to an extreme, the blame cannot be laid squarely on that. I believe that ultimate responsibility lies with the people who choose to own guns. Common sense and knowing whats right and wrong is what seperates a lawful gun owner between that **** that killed those people at the theater.
No one other than soldiers needs a fully auto weapon. I have shot them before and yeah it's a hoot but I don't want or need to own a weapon like that.
There are two people I know that I absolutely refuse to hunt or shoot with because they do not excercise proper common sense while handling guns. I have tried to get them to change their ways but I cannot.
I personally don't have anything against Automatic Weapons, though Semi Auto is all you can get in these parts. You have to modify the Weapon to make it a fully Automatic. As you say, it's fun, but not for you. That's a realization that can only be made you.
It's only when the people who have alternate agendas for such weapons are dealt with that we no longer need fear them.
As long as behaviors are glorified or made to be popular or can be used to further the cause of hatred for whatever "just" reason are tolerated, the "need" for bigger, better, faster, more will be an issue. As long as we allow people to act like terrorists with no real consequences, we will have incidents like these. The guns aren't the issue, it's the world we live in and what we allow to take place within it that dictate what's acceptable or not acceptable. Suicide Bombers do not use guns, they use explosives that are supposedly unattainable at all without specific purpose and permit. Yet, whether they steal it, black market acquire it or make their own they still find it. Every measure is taken to keep it out of circulation, but we still have issues with these things.
To be honest, I don't care if you want to own a Tank...
That last line up there in yellow, that's what I care about.
I don't care WHAT you own or use, BUT:
-You better know what it is...
-You better know what to use it for...
-You better not point it at me...
-You better be **bleep** careful with it...
That line is the single most intelligent thing I've read in this discussion.
It's exactly why I don't own a gun.
As Dirty Harry says... (...the movie character, not the racer here......)
"A Man's Got to Know His Limitations..."
I'm not equipped for that kind of responsibility, nor do I want that kind of life ending power near me. It's a personal choice I make. I don't want even the slightest chance to have a gun in my hand when struck by a vertigo attack. When the world goes sideways on you, you have no control over what happens in trying to maintain balance. Even sitting down in a chair on a target range, I could not be 100% sure I wouldn't accidentally discharge a weapon during an attack, or even if I could let it go it instead of trying to hold on to it for balance. Without that knowledge, I chose to leave that all behind as it was the only way to be sure falling out of a chair didn't hurt someone or worse.
WAGGs, I for one congratulate you for being one of a handful of people I know that not only has some actual common sense, but actually knows how and when to use it. But I would ask that you continue to mention it to them every chance you get in some way. It may save someone's life if you keep trying. You're smart enough to see a problem, be smart about solving it, or at least attempting to. Just don't go hunting with them... A casual reminder to be safe, keeping that in the front of their minds, reporting to an agency if possible, letting others know if you see them out. What ever you CAN do, do.
That line is also part of the answer to this dilemma, and part of the solution to the real problem.
When the Vice President can "accidentally" shoot someone thinking he's a bird, you know there's an education issue that has not been addressed. Though it seems obvious to most of us, apparently there are some of us that don't get it... I would think you should have to know what a bird is before being allowed to be Vice President, let alone own a gun. It's clear that hunting safety was not practiced by either man, or the VP just really hated that guy. Either way it was an avoidable incident that never should of happened.
It's the same for kitchen safety when cutting up veggies. You don't practice knife throwing while dicing a tomato, especially when someone else is moving around in the kitchen with you... It's not rocket science, it's (un)common sense.
Also thank you jaejsteele...
As always your understated remarks, understanding beyond the obvious and ability to get to the heart of a matter continues to astound. Like you, I was brought up around grandparents and family that owned guns. My Uncle had one that was nearly a cannon, the muzzle flash a foot to two foot long and it was so loud it would echo in the woods for hours it seemed.(...you had to plug your ears within any proximity to it...)
Even as a heavy drinker, he was always aware of who what when and where when it came to guns. He would show you anything, even allow you to shoot... But ONLY after he had gone through everything possible to teach you to use and respect what you were messing with. He took absolutely NO chances, always made sure where he was shooting, at what and who was around. He made sure we all knew what to expect, and showed us what could happen if he, we or anyone else messed up. The rest of my family that are gun owners are the same way, using proper locked cabinets and safes, proper transport and teaching proper handling and respect for anything gun related. It's part of taking responsibility for what you are and what you have, not using it to get what you want or look "cool" in a video.
I've met people like WAGGs speaks of, and like him I do exactly the same thing. I try and let them know, but if they don't want to care, I stay as far away as I can. I ask anytime I see them if things have changed, I remind them casually any chance I get about being safe. But I can't make them be anything. In this case, there should be a way to report and or take action about this. I don't know of one short of calling law enforcement, but without a "crime" to look at, there's no avenue to take to address this. There should be... Being irresponsible with a weapon of any kind be it a gun, a knife, a bow and arrow, even a vehicle or some martial art technique is on the person who possesses it, they should be held accountable for not being responsible with whatever they possess or for using it improperly.
All of that helps those who want it, but until the society as a whole steps up and deals with problems instead of creating excuses for them and allowing behavior to continue it will not change.
Allowing a fool to remain a fool and do foolish things is something we all have a part in stopping, along with not creating excuses to allow them continue to be fools.