Cell Phone Guns Discovered.
December 5, 2000 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Cell Phone Guns Discovered. “We find it very, very alarming,” says Wolfgang Dicke of the German Police union. “It means police will have to draw their weapons whenever a person being checked reaches for their mobile phone.”
posted by pnevares (70 comments total)
Well, there have been pens and belt-buckles that were guns for a long time now, how do the police react to those?

posted by th3ph17 at 8:55 AM on December 5, 2000

This is really bad news. I wonder how many innocent people of color will be shot for trying to make a phone call. I think it's time we disarm cops.
posted by sudama at 8:57 AM on December 5, 2000

The "Interactive Mobile Phone Gun" was rather disappointing. I was hoping for an airport-shootin'-good-time, but was instead faced with a most decidedly UNinteractive diagram...
posted by whatnotever at 9:00 AM on December 5, 2000

Police already see keys, wallets, and cell phones in the hands of Black people and think they're guns.
posted by sudama at 9:01 AM on December 5, 2000

Give it a couple of years and cell phones will be too small to be a concealed firearm - what then? Gangsters with a PDA 9mm!
posted by astro38 at 9:05 AM on December 5, 2000

I wonder how many innocent people of color will be shot for trying to make a phone call.

Well, that seems needlessly inflammatory.
posted by solistrato at 9:12 AM on December 5, 2000

It sounds like something out of a James Bond movie.
posted by ljc at 9:12 AM on December 5, 2000

Of course now the NRA will insist that cell phone guns are a Constitutional right like hollow point "cop killer" bullets, and that their members absolutely need them to fight off all those pesky deer.
posted by terrapin at 9:16 AM on December 5, 2000

It's easy - ban guns and cell phones, we'll be a lot happier then. While I'm joking, I really do not see a need for anyone to have guns at all. Even Hunters, I mean who gets off at getting joy from killing animals that did nothing to them? It really is sick. I'd suggest the us govn't ship over a copy of Quake to every licensed hunter. I have yet to see a good rational reason for guns to exist outside of police enforcement. As for cellphones? No one will get cancer, general rudeness will go down, and men will be searching for better things to keep on bar counters to impress women. Well, maybe I'll keep them for truckdrivers and such.
posted by tiaka at 9:18 AM on December 5, 2000

Yes, many police officers and departments have problems with racial profiling, shooting innocent black AND white people, and there may be a good number who are racists and bigots...

But all the *rest* of the police force risks their lives day IN and day OUT to make our society safer. There are MANY MANY more police who do good things, who've never shot *anyone*.

Let's not let several bad apples spoil the barrel.
posted by gramcracker at 9:21 AM on December 5, 2000

Tiaka, labelling hunters sick because they get their own food is pointless.

For one thing, if you eat meat then by making such a statement you're painting yourself as a terrible hypocrite. Animals that are hunted tend to live much freer lives then the tiny little boxes your McDonald's Grilled McChickenHead (TM) is coming from.

Sure, you didn't go to the slaughterhouse and bleed the bleating cow yourself, but until the vats of cloned meat (2-inch New York Steak for $.35? Awright!) become a reality, we meat eaters have to accept the fact that what goes into our gullets has far less of a life then the average fruit fly.

The rump roast I picked up on Saturday for my Sunday dinner probably didn't move farther than an inch while it was still a part of a cow, and only then because it was shaken a bit while they were carted from the farm to the processing factory.

Hunters for the most part don't just go out, pump a few rounds of their favorite automatic rifle ("I like to call her Bessie!") into the nearest squirrel and pop open a can of Schlitz to celebrate the pulpy remains. Hunters tend to use far more of the animals they take down than I personally would be willing to. (Bear neck, as an aside, is suprisingly tasty) Hunters also, I might add, rarely purchase meat from a store, since they have more than enough themselves.

Either way you look at it, we (meat eating humans) use animals to nourish us, and with the exception of sea food (though drowing in air probably isn't too pleasant) we grow our meat as much as we grow our plants.

I do agree with you about cellphones though. :-)
posted by cCranium at 9:41 AM on December 5, 2000

I have yet to see a good rational reason for guns to exist outside of police enforcement.

Did you flunk US History, Tiaka, or merely not take the class?

Love your country, but never trust its government.
posted by baylink at 9:44 AM on December 5, 2000

tiaka, I don't think you can argue against something that you don't understand. I used to hunt, I don't anymore. I did not hunt for the "joy of killing". Its not about "KILLING". I DON'T get that feeling when I play quake, do you? That is sick. Quake and hunting are different. While there are hunters who are crazed lunatics, there are others who are not.

Ever gone fishing and eat the fish that you catch? Ever go to McDonalds and eat a burger that was killed by someone else? Same, at least it was for me. (ok, you might be a vegitarian, then my 'beef' with you is mute).

...back to the topic, remember, this story is out of London, not the US. As for the NRA, even where guns are illegal, you can now find them in cell phones.
posted by jamescblack at 9:50 AM on December 5, 2000

Cluck cluck, the sky is falling!

Tiny derringers and trick guns have been around about as long as, well, guns. A 4-shot 22.LR revolver can be concealed in a cigarette pack or the lining of a hat. They sell tons of 'em. They're popular deep-concealment last-ditch weapons for undercover work. Have you ever heard of a crime being comitted with one?

Airport security in the US routinely asks that cell phones, computers and PDA's be activated - since they could be packed with enough C4 to down an airliner and kill hundreds.

By the way,
re. "I really do not see a need... blah blah blah": we have a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs. Whether you see a need or not is irrelevant. (I don't see the need for you to lock your doors, you don't have anything *I* want...)

re. Wallets mistaken as guns: Police are edgy in confrontations to begin with, and suspicious of any motion that resembles drawing a weapon. When they say "don't move," don't freakin' move! Your life may depend on it. This applies regardless of color and regardless of the situation.

And tiaka, (who I assume to be vegetarian since you can't seem to imagine the heritage of hunting) - how sick is it to sit inside and while away your life in front of a CRT playing relentlessly violent videogames? Many hunters come back empty-handed and happy, having just spent time in the outdoors & fresh air with friends and relatives - quiet hours listening to the wind, the creaking of trees, the crunching of leaves - and partying and telling stories all night.

If they're lucky, patient and skillful maybe they bag some game - perhaps a deer which may have otherwise starved slowly to death due to overpopulation and deforestation. The resulting venison can feed the family during the winter, meaning less burgers bought and less cows raised for solely for slaughter on clearcut rainforest land.

Two sides to the story - try opening your mind a crack.
posted by Tubes at 9:53 AM on December 5, 2000

banning guns in america probably wouldn't go too far. its an unrealistic solution to a problem that lies too close to too many american's gun safes.
posted by Hackworth at 9:59 AM on December 5, 2000

My father hunted deer and elk when I was growing up (he can't any more due to two trick knees). There was a compelling reason for this: we were dirt poor. No deer = a pretty damn lean winter. And cC has it right . . . pretty much every bit of that animal was used ("Son, go take this heart and put it into a tub of water and rinse it 'til it runs clear." "Um . . . erk . . . okay").

And one last note about hunters: it's way too easy to classify them as all a pack of beer-feuled rednecks out to pop Bambis willy-nilly (I grew up in Idaho, so I'm familiar with beer-feuled rednecks--I remember one who went out into the woods to shoot squirrels, and when he squatted to relieve himself, he shot himself in the ass because he forgot to unholster his pistol). Hunters, as a rule, hate non-law-abiders (i.e. poachers) like freaking poison. People who trophy-hunt and waste the animal or shoot out of season are regarded as treacherous fools who are dangerous and stupid.

. . . sorry . . . I can almost see the original topic from here . . .
posted by Skot at 10:03 AM on December 5, 2000

Tiaka wrote:

Even Hunters, I mean who gets off at getting joy from killing animals that did nothing to them? It really is sick.

I hate to tell you this, but Nature set up the rules: life lives by killing and eating. It's one of those Fundamental Inescapable Truths of existence.

Read Joseph Campbell's the Power of Myth for more on this topic. Vegetarians don't get out of it by just eating plants, either - plants are life too (and they don't even have a chance to run away!).

Accepting this terrible price paid for living is one of the fundamental difficulties we face as human beings, and coping with this exchange of life for life is one of the main purposes of myths.

The best one can do, imho, is to do it with compassion and a respect for what one is killing and not to waste anything. Hunters at least go after animals that haven't spent their entire lives in a feedlot, pumped up with antibiotics and fed bits of their pureed brethren.

Personally, I lean towards getting free-range meat (& eggs) whenever I can, so that I know that the animal had something resembling a decent life before it got to me. I also avoid eating baby animals as much as possible, since that whole idea just kinda creeps me out (if the animal has to die, might as well let it live a full life and reach full size before killing it, so as not to waste).

posted by beth at 10:08 AM on December 5, 2000

I don't see how this item changes anything. The assumption seems to be that before this came along cops wouldn't mind if you reached into your clothes and pulled out a cell phone.

I've been told "keep you hands where I can see them" by a cop with his hand on his gun. Anyone who reaches for a cell phone in this situation deserves a Darwin award.

We have a gun culture in the US that has made cops afraid of citizens and citizens afraid of cops. If we ban hand guns this problem goes away. Not right away, but we have to do it at some point.

Disarming cops sounds like a good idea, but only if we disarm everyone else at the same time. Nobody has guns. Nobody gets shot. It only sounds ridiculous to Americans because we've let things get out of control in this country. It's time to do the right thing and move towards banning hand guns.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:22 AM on December 5, 2000

Banning all guns is stupid. I've had enough of my rights taken away as it is. In my opinion, everybody should own a gun. But, to quote Nader, '...you look at a weapon the way you look at a car. You've got to know how to handle it. You should be licensed.'

I could get behind that.
posted by snakey at 10:44 AM on December 5, 2000

At this point, a lot of eastern states are suffering from an overpopulation of deer, to the point where it's becoming ecologically important -- because it's ecologically damaging. The reason is simple: all the mountain lions and wolves are gone; there's nothing to keep the deer numbers in check.

...nothing, that is, except human hunters. Which is why those states are seriously considering increasing the number of deer which hunters will be permitted to kill each year, to try to get the numbers down.

A gut reaction against hunting is all well and good, but if something doesn't kill the deer, pretty soon that's all we'll have in the woods when all the other animals starve.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:51 AM on December 5, 2000

perhaps a deer which may have otherwise starved slowly to death due to overpopulation and deforestation

This one always cracks me up. We need to kill the deer because we have already overdeveloped the land they live on.

What I'd like to see is hunters lobbying for less development in order to preserve and save the animals and outdoors they love so much.
posted by terrapin at 11:13 AM on December 5, 2000

Vegetarians don't get out of it by just eating plants, either - plants are life too (and they don't even have a chance to run away!).
Well, there's a specious argument. Mammals can feel pain, Beth. Can a potato?
Disarming cops sounds like a good idea, but only if we disarm everyone else at the same time.
And that's not ever going to happen in this country. I wish that laws were more stringent regarding handgun licensing -- and the NRA zealots demanding teflon-coated bullets to go with their M1s scare me as much as the next guy -- but the real problem isn't so much the mere existance of guns in the country as the fact that there's no real way to prevent people with criminal intent from getting their hands on some weaponry. There are already too many guns floating around to allow any sort of practical, Constitutional solution.

Terrapin, ignoring the Fair Use loonies out west, there's begun to be a movement by some hunters towards wilderness preservation. I'll try to dig up some links.
posted by snarkout at 11:17 AM on December 5, 2000

D'oh. That's Wise Use. Mea culpa.
posted by snarkout at 11:18 AM on December 5, 2000

"In my opinion, everybody should own a gun. "

I'm confused. How does more guns = less people shot? Or do you just not give a rats ass about other people getting shot?

How does having more guns decrease the tension between cops and citizens? Or are you fine with that also?

And what the hell does licensing have to do with it? If guns are licensed fewer people will get shot?

Maybe I'm just an idiot. Please explain to me why having more guns is a good idea.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:20 AM on December 5, 2000

Hunters at least go after animals that haven't spent their entire lives in a feedlot, pumped up with antibiotics and fed bits of their pureed brethren.

"Mmmmmm.......Pureed brethren"
posted by Optamystic at 11:21 AM on December 5, 2000

What I'd like to see is hunters lobbying for less development in order to preserve and save the animals and outdoors they love so much.

Terrapin, ever hear of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service? Take a look at the refuges, etc.
posted by jamescblack at 11:56 AM on December 5, 2000

Can't we just talk about the cool phone gun? Huh?
posted by solistrato at 12:02 PM on December 5, 2000

The "phone" looks mighty fake to me... although I suppose it could be argued that it almost resembles those kiddie cell phones (which are really walkie talkies or candy dispensers), so there you go.

The article failed to mention the radiation that this phone/gun puts out.
posted by hijinx at 12:30 PM on December 5, 2000

How does more guns = less people shot?

The canonical wisdom is that if a violent criminal knows there's a good chance his target (and other people in the vicinity) may be armed, he will be less likely to commit the crime because of the risk to himself. The "use" of guns in this scenario is as a deterrent. It's my understanding that this is a pretty common use of guns. A friend of mine relates from personal experience that most intruders take off pretty quickly when they hear a shotgun being pumped... no need to actually fire.
posted by kindall at 12:36 PM on December 5, 2000

And what the hell does licensing have to do with it? If guns are licensed fewer people will get shot?

Yes, most handgun deaths are accidents.

posted by Mick at 12:38 PM on December 5, 2000

Kindall's comment is interesting. Kinda like the "One Free Kill Theory". That's the idea that if everyone in the world was allowed one free kill, without punishment or repercusions, everyone would be more polite. You wouldn't cut that guy off in traffic for fear he still has his free kill and might use it on you. Weird, huh?
posted by ljc at 12:45 PM on December 5, 2000

I'm confused. How does more guns = less people shot?

Kindall posted half the answer.

I'll post the other half.

I've linked it before... I'll link it again.

And if you need any background on that... try this
posted by baylink at 1:08 PM on December 5, 2000

It's an interesting concept, if only for it's effect on social behavious.

But what I'm more interested in is who would people kill? Alright, alright, I'm a petty, sick little (err... big, I guess) bastard, but there's a whole lot of consideration that would have to go into such a thing.

I mean, you wouldn't want to just take out the guy who cut you off, what a waste of a free kill. Killing anybody on the planet without fear of retribution means that being a famous person would really, really suck, because if I took out, say Bono (not that I could get close to him, but still), not only would I be known as the guy who killed Bono, I'd still be walking the streets.

Fearing for my life, sure, but that's nothing a little nip 'n tuck at the ol' Plastic Surgeon's couldn't fix.

(Hey, I've got money to hunt down and kill Bono. I think I could handle a little facial restructuring)
posted by cCranium at 1:11 PM on December 5, 2000

Wow. A world in which everyone lives in fear of their life that they'll offend anybody. That world will produce a lot of interesting art and literature.
posted by harmful at 1:15 PM on December 5, 2000

Terrapin - What I'd like to see is hunters lobbying for less development in order to preserve and save the animals and outdoors they love so much.

You obviously don't know much about hunting or hunters in general. Many do lobby for less development and for the preservation of essential lands necessary for the contiuation of the wildlife within the United States. Here are some of the main groups:

Ducks Unlimited is an organization which seeks to preserve wetlands, and has for about 20 years or more.

Pheasants Forever is also a conservation organization aimed at preserving land habitats for pheasants. They have been around since 1982.

There also is:

Quail Unlimited


Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance - The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance is a conservation association of fish, wildlife and habitat
stakeholders who will motivate hunters and anglers to positively influence the future of our 192 million-acre National Forest system.

I belong to Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, and Quail Unlimited. I belong because I am a hunter, and I want my children to be able to enjoy the opportunity to hunt or not to hunt, whichever they choose.

Do you belong to any of these conservation groups? Do you donate any money to them? Somehow, I doubt it.
posted by da5id at 1:44 PM on December 5, 2000

Hmm.. Didn't mean to start this. It is my opinion, and though I made it jokingly, probably not clearly. I just don't see why anyone has to kill for pleasure. I think, if you want to go outside and be in the air, try photography or hiking, combine the two. I do it all the time. There are other things to do in the wild other than hunt. Yes it is the natural world we live in, hunting is that part. I'm not so much against meat and raising for food, it's the whole argument for the NRA, that somehow hunters need ultra-small guns or huge machine guns and such. I do believe that gun control will help cut down on crime. The Quake remark was really a joke, I don't see how anyone would take it seriously, but what about LaserQuest? hehe. Just because we had something written doesn't mean it's right, I would use the 'we had slaves' example, but it's old and it's been used by michael moore (eeew). A car is not like a gun, it is not designed to kill. What else can a gun do? Just kill.

Yes there are groups, but they aren't as influential as the NRA, or the others who put out infomercial ads on tv all time time. If Those people committed to land preservation groups, then there'd be a lot more progress.
posted by tiaka at 2:30 PM on December 5, 2000

Baylink - I read the two links. Thanks, I hadn't seen those before.

So...... we need to have more guns so that anarchist wackos will be able to protect our freedom? Thanks, but no thanks.

"the dignity of a free man is what makes one ethically competent to bear arms, and the act of bearing arms promotes the inner qualities that compose the dignity of a free man."

So clearly having a gun = being a free man. HAHAHA!! Dress it up all you want but this seems like a fairly pointless and simple minded reasoning.

I prefer to think that I can enjoy my freedom in a relaxed manner instead of in a hyped up, gun-clutching, paranoia. And no, our freedom won't be stolen from us if we let our guard down and or if we don't own a bunch of guns. Yes, I read the "Why I Am An Anarchist" article. That guy's a fruitcake.

Maybe having a gun is a good thing for you in your castle, but you live in a society that is being slapped in the face by your precious gun rights.

"It is time for each of us to rediscover the dignity of free men (and women) in the only way possible; by proving it in the crucible of daily decision, even on ultimate matters of life and death. It is time for us to embrace bearing arms again -- not merely as a deterrent against criminals and tyrants, but as a gift and sacrament and affirmation to ourselves."

Okay, nut jobs like this should definitely not have a gun! Geez. That is just full-on looney.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:33 PM on December 5, 2000

If you've never shot a gun, go do it. You can probably find a range that will give lessons and possibly rent you one for use at the range afterwards. You should know what you're dealing with. I've always shot and enjoyed guns (just for target practice, I don't hunt) and I think that doing so has given me a healthy repect for firearms and what they can do. No amount of reading or talking about guns can shape your opinons about them like handling them youself and learning excatly why you should be as careful as possible with one.

and y6y6y6, I think you may suffer from a stereotyped view of gun owners. If you ask around, you may find a lot of people you know probably own guns and are normal people, too.

posted by Hackworth at 2:49 PM on December 5, 2000

I guess having an hour of fun once or twice a month at a target range is worth having people killed, because you need a gun to respect it and learn to be careful with it, if you didn't have a gun, you'd be very un-careful with the imaginary gun you've got in the closet. Right? I guess also that fun of trying to accurately shoot a paper board across a long distance can't be as exciting with a bbgun or an arch, and it just makes all the difference, and the worthwhile, so what if people die, Right?
posted by tiaka at 3:11 PM on December 5, 2000

The "one free kill" theory is an interesting parallel to the deterrent effect of widespread handgun ownership... I personally think of it as more like nuclear deterrence. Or, really, the other way around, but the philosophy course I had in college was Nuclear Ethics, not Handgun Ethics.

Nobody wants to live in a cold war against criminals, but I think most people would find it preferable to a hot war against criminals.
posted by kindall at 4:06 PM on December 5, 2000

Hackworth - No. I've fired lots guns. Handguns, high powered rifles, shotguns, whatever. I've hunted and I've been to the shooting range. In that context I've met lots of wackos and lots of great people. But......

I still don't think we need guns to be "free men", I still think we'd be better off without guns, and I still think my stereotype of right-wing nut jobs is dead on.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:24 PM on December 5, 2000

See, this wouldn't happen if everyone owned a sword. Yeah, you'd have those cases where people keep a knife in their sleeves, but nothing else major.
posted by Cavatica at 4:45 PM on December 5, 2000

Other peoples freedom always has been, and always will be a bitch.
posted by thirteen at 5:15 PM on December 5, 2000

The fact is that guns aren't going to go away, no matter what. No law is going to make them go away at this point and knowing more about firearms is better than not knowing anything about them.

It is nice to think about a world without guns and we probably would be better off without them, but lets be realistic about the situation. Nothing short of magic will make guns go away.
posted by Hackworth at 5:29 PM on December 5, 2000

I just see this as a wacky convergence of the First and Second Amendments.
posted by dhartung at 5:29 PM on December 5, 2000

You people AMAZE ME!

The REAL issue is whether or not my unused bullets 'roll over' to the next month.
posted by chiXy at 5:45 PM on December 5, 2000

I am not even going to attempt to jump in onto your ongoing gun discussion... But rather would like to mention that I am puzzled that the reputable ABC picked up a story featured in the German yellow press about a week ago. That's just journalism at its best... While I am at it, I'd like to mention that I discovered bubble gum that looks like a cigar!
posted by noom at 5:45 PM on December 5, 2000

Cell guns are bad enough.....but just wait til those guitar machine guns and rocket launchers from Desperato hit the streets!
posted by grank at 6:01 PM on December 5, 2000

If guns are illegal, no one will be allowed to own one. Immediate confiscation of any and fines followed anyone having one. Only way to bring guns in - illegally from the outside, revert people working on domestic gun control to importing/exporting parts, you'll have better control, to where guns will be way to expensive to be just bought. There's nothing magical about it.
posted by tiaka at 6:31 PM on December 5, 2000

Looks like you've been out numbered there, tiaka. I suggest circling the wagons.

All that lead out there in the environment must be really causing a whole lot of brain damage. Every time a gun story appears on Mefi it quickly degenerates into this kind of nonsense. The US is screwed because it allowed gun ownership to escalate out of control and into a full scale arms race. It's simple game theory at work, "I need a gun because he's got a gun".

It's quintessentially American and totally paranoid to the point of unhinged. This "cold war" mentality (mentioned earlier) makes impossible even imagining a place that doesn't have everyone armed to the teeth. (i.e. the norm everywhere else).

posted by lagado at 7:51 PM on December 5, 2000

Plants do feel pain.

Always time to become a fruititarian.

posted by norm at 10:10 PM on December 5, 2000

If guns are illegal, no one will be allowed to own one. Immediate confiscation of any and fines followed anyone having one. Only way to bring guns in - illegally from the outside, revert people working on domestic gun control to importing/exporting parts, you'll have better control, to where guns will be way to expensive to be just bought. There's nothing magical about it.
He is right, that's how we won the war on drugs. After guns, lets get rid of hard encryption, abortion, and free speech.
When I was growing up I knew a kid who made zip guns. Now, I can probably make a fairly high quality gun in my shop in about a week. If people want them, they will have them. They can't even stop people from trading MP3's, how are they going to make this work.
Cell gun's are a European thing BTW.
posted by thirteen at 11:24 PM on December 5, 2000

Drugs are not very detectable, to track them down you need to often be in many places in different times such as in people's homes, cars and such. That's where the drugs are often taken. Guns can be detected with a metal detector. Home guns won't be as efficient/accurate/dangerous as those made in a multi-billion dollar plant, plus more expensive, and are easier to track down and detect.
Another thing, where will gun powder come from to make bullets? Let alone the cost-effective way of making them in large quantity.
There are more guns than drug users, there's not a good/efficient way to distribute guns in a quantity that would be very concerning. MP3's and Guns are completely different, it's like saying we'll we can't cure aids, why do we need to have hospitals? Make sense? I didn't think so.

A lot of the gun technology that was invented in Europe, though taking years, have migrated over to the US, most commonly, smaller, more concealing guns.
posted by tiaka at 12:45 AM on December 6, 2000

After guns, lets get rid of hard encryption, abortion, and free speech.

Free speech, Encryption = children being killed by machine guns? Uhm, Ok, I guess I can see where so many innocent people are killed daily by those free speech idiots, and talk about encryption, how many millions have to die before someone gets the issue under control. How horrible!

posted by tiaka at 12:48 AM on December 6, 2000

It takes a lot of persuasion for me not to think that the "gun ownership == free man" argument is offered by people with an inferiority complex over the size of their penis. Then again, I think the same applies to mobile phone ownership, so anyone carrying a mobile-cum-gun must really be hung up over his packet.
posted by holgate at 3:43 AM on December 6, 2000

Guns can be detected with a metal detector.

Tiaka, when arguing to a bunch of people who are defending their right to own a gun and comparing it to privacy and being a "free man", suggesting that we put metal detectors everywhere to find out if people are breaking the law probably isn't a good idea. :-)
posted by cCranium at 5:00 AM on December 6, 2000

I said that a gun can be found with a metal detector, no matter what. Drugs can't be. I didn't say we should place them everywhere.
posted by tiaka at 5:26 AM on December 6, 2000


scary thought indeed ;-j
posted by lagado at 5:30 AM on December 6, 2000

But you were pointing out that enforcing a ban on guns would be easier than drugs, because they're more easily detected, no?

To detect guns via metal detectors to enforce said ban you would require metal detectors in a number of public places. In fact, to fully enforce it, you would have to prevent people from leaving their houses if they set off a metal detector. Even then, you could just store your gun in your mailbox (where you'd have to hide your car keys anyway).

I don't personally feel that a gun is a terribly useful tool for me, or for most people. But to suggest an outright ban on firearms is the wrong solution for numerous reasons. The primary one being just plain ol' infeasibility, as the ridiculous example I made above points out.

Outright bans on pretty much anything people find offensive, be it guns drugs pornography or countless other contentious entities (including thoughts and digital property) are just plain ol' impossible.

Though some kind of solution that would eliminate crime is extremly desirable, it's just not possible without giving up much more of our privacy than most people, including law-abiding "nothing to hide" people, are willing to give up.

We have our freedom because we accept the fact that a few people are going to abuse that freedom. We have a police force to try and minimize that abuse, and enforce the societal rules within which we work. They aren't all perfect, and as technology evolves we encounter new situations that the old rules and regulations just can't cope with, but overall it's a pretty darn good system.

posted by cCranium at 5:38 AM on December 6, 2000

I did say they'd be easier to detect, but placing them all around wouldn't be necessary. There isn't a way to just get every gun from everyplace on the first day that such a law would be passed. Same with almost everything else. It's not going to be flawless, but, it's a timed plan, you need time to do its work. So that maybe 5-7 years down the road, gun use would be down to a very, very small percentile.
posted by tiaka at 6:12 AM on December 6, 2000

I've never owned a gun or a cell phone, so you can imagine how popular I have been with the ladies. With that, I don't think an interest in maintaining personal freedom equates with sexual inadequacy.
I was not saying that murdering children is on par with encryption, I was saying that even if I agreed with you (which I don't), good luck trying to stop people from doing what they want. To effectively carry out tiaka's plan, the government would have to become so draconian, that the cure would be worse than the disease. If you wanted to propose a law that made misusing a gun punishable by horrible slow death, I would not have a problem. I have a problem with people telling other people how to live their lives. If I was going to start pushing people around, there are lots of other things I would take first ie:SUV's, cell phones, top loading washing machines etc.
posted by thirteen at 9:22 AM on December 6, 2000

I know a guy who has a really BIG penis, and he also has some really BIG guns. It seems people misuse "inferiority complex" about penis size, a lot. Cell phones on the bar are the same as big shiney watches, not guns. The point of a watch, gold chain, or, now, cell phone is for the image of prosperity, not penis size (sure, in some cases it is). Ever see male birds with really fancy feathers? - almost all male birds boast plumules much larger and different than the females.

What cell phone?
posted by jamescblack at 10:29 AM on December 6, 2000

There's a really, really good way of getting people to do exactly what you don't want them to. Tell them they can't do something.

Hell, I'm living proof. I feel there's no reason your average citizen should need or want a gun. Unless they're hunting or protecting their livelyhood from natural predators (prarie dogs in Saskatchewan, for instance), they're a completely impractical tool, yet here I am arguing for them.

I also don't feel there's any reason your average citizen should need or want an IBM NetFinity server, it's pointless for household or workstation usage. Guns and servers are tools, and you should have the right tool for the job.

In the future people may require a reasonably high-powered web server, just as in the past most people required a reasonable way of protecting themselves, something guns afforded them.

Thirteen said it best. I've been trying and I can't put it any better. It's simply not possible to enforce an outright ban on anything, let alone guns.
posted by cCranium at 11:12 AM on December 6, 2000

Ohh, come on, your case is weak, every other post you come back to I want to be free and I need a gun because I want to protect myself from prairie dogs. And if you're going to take away my gun, you're going to deny the right for a NetFinity server/free speech/encryption/pillow/table/glass/button. There thing are not at all related to guns in any way.

The I need guns to feel free is bad argument. In the past we could hang witches, you know, the evil ones, I want to protect myself, and be free, which is why I'm setting Misis So-and-So on fire. There is no way you regulate me! There!

Guns aren't in anyway related to washing machines, no one is going to ban your SUV. These are paper-thin arguments that go nowhere with no real base.

You can't go into a school with a gun? Why not? It's banning, my freedom is violated, what am I going to do? Next you know they'll ban all 'hello kitty' wear and number 3 pencils and we musn't forget backpacks. We shouldn't tell people what and what not to do. Airports - What no guns on airplanes? Are they idiots? I mean, it feels like 1984. JEEEZUZ! What now I need to pay my taxes? Who are these people that tell me to do things? They're crazy, my freedom is taken away. Now I have to have a driver's license to drive!!!??? It will never work, you can't ban anything! It will simply not work!

There is a way to regulate guns, as I've said it will not be possible to get every gun from everywhere in one single day, it will take time, but cutting down gun circulation to 1-2% of what it is now in the first year will be a big success. I would also like to ask you exactly how do you think gun bans will fail? If they fail, why don't we allow guns in schools, airports, libraries, office buildings, and such? I mean, they're taking away our freedom!
posted by tiaka at 11:47 AM on December 6, 2000

How exactly are you going to get people who own guns to give them up without violence? I mean, these people are armed, that's the entire problem! You think if you just make owning a gun illegal that the people who have committed violent crimes with guns will give them up if you just ask nicely? These people are the crux of the gun violence problem, and by definition they do not respect the law. People like my friend who owns three guns and shoots them on the range regularly, yet hopes to God he never has to use one in self-defense, are not the problem because they are not the ones committing violent crimes with firearms. (He does report, however, from personal experience, that the mere sound of pumping a shotgun appears to be effective at motivating intruders to leave your property with a certain alacrity.)
posted by kindall at 12:43 PM on December 6, 2000

"He does report, however, from personal experience, that the mere sound of pumping a shotgun ....."

I can report from personal experience that criminals typically won't rob you if there's a chance you might be present, with or without a shotgun.

Our right to own guns does not have a deterrent effect on either violence or robbery. I would argue it has the opposite effect.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:23 PM on December 6, 2000

Ohh, come on, your case is weak, every other post you come back to I want to be free and I need a gun because I want to protect myself from prairie dogs.

I could easily argue that "give it time" is just as circular as "I want to be free," and I'm going to point out that I've never actually said that _I_ want a gun, or that _I_ want to protect myself (and I didn't even say myself, I said a person's property). I've clearly stated numerous times that I don't feel that guns are important.

If you wish to provide counterpoint to something I have said, please use my words. By changing them into things I have neither said nor implied you only hurt your argument.

And every time we try to make an analogy to make ourselves clearer, you shoot it down with "it's not the same thing."

But you know what? It _IS_ the same thing. Every time one of your rights is taken away, that's another thing that leaves you powerless when someone wants to take the next one away.

The war on drugs takes away my right to fuck with my body in any way I choose. Battling encryption takes away my right to keep what I say private, between me and the intended recepient, through public media. Getting rid of guns removes my right to hunt for my own food, and use an effective tool to protect my crop, or my livestock.

As has been pointed out, many times, above, hunting is still a necessity for some people. It puts food on the plate in many places in America, Canada and abroad.

which is why I'm setting Misis So-and-So on fire

I have never once in this thread justified using guns to attack people, or even as a form of defense against other people. I have expressed, several times, that they are a tool, and like any other tool (Encryption, servers) they have appropriate and inappropriate uses.

but cutting down gun circulation to 1-2% of what it is now in the first year will be a big success

That is, quite simply, not possible in America. (more below)

I would also like to ask you exactly how do you think gun bans will fail?

In the exact same way a ban on drugs has failed. How easily can you score a gram of weed? I could have one in less than an hour, and it would probably have come from America.

But then, that's awfully close to an analogy, and you don't like analogies, so I'll attempt to make myself clearer.

America's likely President, and some 50% of your political leaders are Republican, a political group that has quite clearily expressed they've no intention of banning guns.

America has the most powerful Armed Forces on the planet. They get their weaponry from somewhere, and they spend a lot on said weaponry. The corporations that provide the weaponry have very, very close ties to many government officials. By dropping the number of guns available to the general to 2% of it's current rate, those corporations stand to lose a lot of money.

Manufacturing costs of the Army's weapons would increase, because it's more expensive to make less of a factory product than it is to make more.

The NRA is a powerful lobby group, they would (and do) fight tooth and nail against any kind of gun restriction, let alone a ban. They have a lot of publicity, and a lot of members. Congress members would hear from more NRA members fighting any bills then they would people supporting.

Guns are, whether you like it or not, part of your national identity. The right to bear arms, no matter how many people may suggest it is old and archaic, or doesn't apply, or whatever, is one of the most displayed attributes of America. Much of the general populace, even those who aren't gun owners, would disagree with the change.

Kindall touched on it, but how do you get rid of the current weaponry? The Oklahoma City bombing was the result of internal terrorists. Aberrant militia groups who are already pissed off at the government. Take guns away and watch the mass destruction.

There are many, many other countries in the world who manufacture weaponry. Guns already exist on the black market, and it's already possible to purchase illegal weaponry. The market for illegal weaponry will skyrocket.

Let me know if you want more.
posted by cCranium at 2:13 PM on December 6, 2000

It's a circular argument on both sides.

Firstly, just for the record, it is possible to live very well in society where gun ownership is regulated. By reducing the possibility that the other guy has a gun your level of paranoia is lower. No vicious cycle, no demand for guns.

Too bad it's too late for you guys because there are just too many guns out there now. For a government to get those guns back they would have to engage in a massive buy-back / confiscation operation which would be massively unpopular and impractical.

It may be possible to reduce the flow of new weapons being added to the market through regulation, but the demand for guns will continue to be high thus stimulating a black market in illegal fire arms.

I'm sorry, like I said, it's too late to fix it.

posted by lagado at 3:47 PM on December 6, 2000

Ohh, come on, your case is weak, every other post you come back to I want to be free and I need a gun because I want to protect myself from prairie dogs.

Ok, you think we're lacking in balls?

I'll come right out and say it: I'm not at all happy with the path the US government has been taking lately, and at some point within my natural lifespan, I don't think it's at all impossible that we might see a Second American Revolution.

Do I want the government to kill me in that fighting?


Am I a paranoid raver now, Tiaka?

C'mon, go look. Tell me what you think.
posted by baylink at 8:50 PM on December 6, 2000

I agree completely, lagado. It's too late. We might blame our country's founders for making the choices they did, except I think they can be forgiven for that, having just finished a revolution in which citizen militias played a large part.
posted by kindall at 9:35 PM on December 6, 2000

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