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#92039 - 04/23/07 12:31 AM Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself [Re: ]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Um, I think there's a few generations of Irishmen who would contend that the police are well armed and quite willing to use lethal force on a regular basis.

I would say that in the more rural areas the trend to more traditional values serves to diminish the propensity for members of that community to assail one another. Your citations seem to fit this model well, as do many places in rural America still. Likewise, these communities tend to watch out for the welfare of their members more diligently, so the chance that one will fall prey to the outside terrors is also greatly diminished.

There is still a great deal of gun crime in Great Britain, and it has diminished from what it was, and where the crime is most concentrated you will find the police armed more frequently and heavily than elsewhere. That does not change the issue, which is that when the law abiding citizen is confronted by an armed maniac, they can choose pre-emptively to either break the law or become a victim. I know which way I will choose every time.

As for students having the will to carry, let alone use a firearm in school, I know at least two girls who would have no issue with either case. Whether to pack a gun or not out of convenience is really not a significant issue, regardless of the time of day or the environment. Once you make accomodation for it, you find that it is a non-sequitor decision after that. Put another way, if you are going to hod around 30 lbs of notebooks and such, then the extra weight and bulk of a firearm is not much of a factor. To my mind it is cheap insurance, especially if no one ever checks your bags or person. The much tougher decision is whether or not you have the will or desire to defend yourself when no one else can or will. Once you get past that hurdle, then the convenience issue is really kinda moot.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#92042 - 04/23/07 12:50 AM Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself [Re: NightHiker]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Um, I thought knives were already outlawed in Great Britain, or was that only in England and Australia?
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#92061 - 04/23/07 03:38 AM Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself [Re: benjammin]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Knifes are not banned in the UK. How would we be able to peel the potatoes. What is banned is brandishing a knife in a public space, which would lead to a public order offense. Also carrying a lockable knife with a blade greater than 3 inches in a public space is also considered an offense. I say 'considered' because this must be within a certain context. Carrying a large concealed survival knife without good reason in the middle of the city centre would get you into some trouble with the Police as it may be regarded as an offensive weapon. The same principle can be applied to a golf club or cricket bat. Carrying the same knife in the wilderness, you would have a good enough reason to say you needed the knife for the job it was intended to do, as a survival tool.
The same can be said of if your carrying a crowbar and torch at 3 am in a back alley especially if you are known to be a convicted burglar by the police. It is all about common sense really and he context any offensive weapon can be used in.

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#92065 - 04/23/07 04:08 AM Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself [Re: ]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a locking pocket knife, despite being much safer, an illegal item to carry? As is any length of fixed blade when in an urban area? Isn't it true that knives with points of any blade length have been banned, or their banning discussed, in that various Parliaments of the United Kingdom?

Is not the determination of "good reason" left at the hands not a jury, judge, or prosecutor, nor defined by law, but an individual police officer? And that can be applied to any object in a person's possession? By your own admission, that can be applied to most any item, even a flashlight.

Oh my- what if a police officer decides you don't need a camera or cell phone on your person while walking past a jewelry store or bank? Or that your umbrella could make too effective a weapon in the wrong hands?
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-IronRaven

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#92066 - 04/23/07 04:56 AM Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself [Re: ironraven]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a locking pocket knife, despite being much safer, an illegal item to carry? As is any length of fixed blade when in an urban area? Isn't it true that knives with points of any blade length have been banned, or their banning discussed, in that various Parliaments of the United Kingdom?


You may be correct. The Criminal Justice Act (1988) says that you may carry a knife with a blade length of 3.0" or less so long as it is capable of folding. That means no fixed blade knives. A knife has no place at a football match, in a pub, nightclub or school and becomes an offensive weapon in these circumstances in just the same way as a screwdriver, or any other inanimate tool.

if you wish to carry a larger knife then you must have 'reasonable cause'. That means that you must be able to prove that you had a genuine reason for carrying the knife.

You may carry a larger cutting tool if it is associated with your work (for instance a chef may carry a 9.0" butchers knife roll to and from work), or if it is associated with your sport, (for instance a fisherman may carry a 6.0" fillet knife, or a hunter may carry a 4.0" fixed blade hunting knife).

The following items are banned from sale within the UK (although if you already own one you may keep it, but not use it outside of your own property) ... Switchblades, automatics or 'flick-knives', gravity knives, balisongs or 'butterfly knives', push daggers, belt buckle knives, sword canes, or knuckle-duster knives.

Late on in 2004, an amendment to the law was introduced which restricts the sale of any knife which is not readily detectable by the normal methods of detection, ie: either x-ray or metal detection, unless it can be proven that the knife's sole purpose is for the preparation of food. So for instance, the Cold Steel CAT Tanto or Lansky Knife are now prohibited within the UK.

You may not buy any knife designed to look like something else, for instance a knife which appears to be a pen, (and it doesn't matter whether the pen works or not, it's still a concealed weapon).

Quote:
Is not the determination of "good reason" left at the hands not a jury, judge, or prosecutor, nor defined by law, but an individual police officer? And that can be applied to any object in a person's possession? By your own admission, that can be applied to most any item, even a flashlight.


Again you are correct, if a policeman suspects that with 'good reason' you are involved in or preparing a criminal act, the policeman can stop and search you for incriminating evidence and can then arrest you if he feels this is the case. The decision whether the case is brought to trail is not the police officers. This is how a very famous English serial murderer called the Yorkshire Ripper was caught. A local police officer on the beat became suspicious and when questioned about his actions was arrested and then taken to the local police station. The hammer which the murderer had been using to dispatch his victims was latter discovered in a back alley where he was first arrested some hours latter.

Quote:
Oh my- what if a police officer decides you don't need a camera or cell phone on your person while walking past a jewelry store or bank? Or that your umbrella could make too effective a weapon in the wrong hands?


Again you are correct. This could in theory happen if the police officer suspects that a criminal offense in either in progress or is being prepared.

I should also qualify everything above with the fact that in the UK the police force are generally seen as public servants. They are almost always approachable and helpful and there for the public good.

When it comes to self defense there the laws regarding reasonable force. I think we need an example to explain the differences. About 10-12 years ago there was a Scotsman who had traveled to Texas. He had been out drinking at a bar and had got to know some of the locals. He had accepted a lift back from the bar but was dropped off in the wrong neighborhood. The neighborhood was an upper middle class area. Being from Scotland as he would back home in Scotland he decided to knock on someones door and ask if he could use their telephone to get a taxi home. It was now late in the evening. In Scotland most people would open the door and call a taxi for the fellow to see him on his way. He forgot he was in Texas. He was shot through the door and was killed. In the US the property owner faced no charges because it was deemed self defense. In Scotland the same property owner would be charged with murder.



Edited by bentirran (04/23/07 05:20 AM)

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#92074 - 04/23/07 05:34 AM Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself [Re: NightHiker]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I guess in general to answer the proposition;

Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself?

the answer would have to be;

No I am not equipped to defend myself because there is not really anyone to defend myself against, living where I live. I suppose you could say I just live elsewhere on the imaginary freedom versus fear curve.

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#92083 - 04/23/07 06:07 AM Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself [Re: ]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"No I am not equipped to defend myself because there is not really anyone to defend myself against, living where I live."

Hmmm.... I went over to that site, International Murder Per Capita Rates, that was posted by HightHiker. It just said murders, not specifying gun murders, so I guess we can include all forms of fatal mayhem.

Murder rate in the U.S.: 0.042802 per 1,000 of population (which is ~300,000,000)= 12,774.

Murder rate in GB: 0.0140633 per 1,000 of population (which is ~60,610,000) = 852.

The U.S. has a population very close to 5 times that of GB. So if we reduced our population by 80%, we could also reduce our murders by 80%, which would bring it down to 4,260. And if we could trim certain cities (like Miami, D.C., Chicago, & L.A.) off the map, we could do far better, I'm sure.

But, Bentirran, I'm glad you live in such a safe place, or we might end up with fewer people with whom to argue, and life here at ETS would be dull and boring.

Sue

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#92086 - 04/23/07 06:15 AM Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself [Re: BachFan]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 999
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
A lot of the deciding factor is the age of the student. The people I can see carrying would be professors or non-traditional students. Either returning for an additional degree or starting later (i.e. ex military) or working on a degree in night classes after work. The parking areas can seem mighty dark when there's only a couple cars left in the lot. Given the required investment in money and/or time to get the permit I would expect that several who already had a permit would. As far as weight goes, it's like Benjammin said in another post. Once you've made it part of your routine EDC you won't notice it added to the 25-30 lbs of books. It would take a large automatic and a couple of magazines before I'd notice the added weight if it was carried with the books in a pack.

Quote:
in favor of regulating firearms possession and use at least as stringently as we regulate the right to drive legally


I don't know about other states but Tennessee requires passing a hunter's safety course with both written & range components before you can get your license. Same thing for the CCW license. IIRC the hunter safety course is 3-4 evenings of lecture plus demonstrate safe handling while shooting clay pigeons on the range. The CCW license is an evening presentation on the legalities plus exam and accuracy with safe handling on the range. They also require a background check with the sheriff's office for the purchase of handguns. I don't know if the background check requirement includes long arms.

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#92089 - 04/23/07 06:56 AM Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself [Re: NightHiker]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
So I am wondering now, who is there in your community to stop someone from committing gross acts of violence against your population?

If you've not the ability to defend yourselves, and the police aren't right there when you need them, and wouldn't be sufficiently armed if they were there anyways, then I'd say it is only a matter of time before the world you know comes crashing down.

Then again, I might be wrong.

Perhaps the question is what would the motivation be for an act of violence to be perpetrated in your area?

I would assume that some in your community have or possess items of significant value, which would be easily transportable, maybe even on their person on a daily basis, maybe even money.

Yes, there are places in the USA in which it is still reasonable to expect to leave your front door unlocked whilst you head into town to do a bit of shopping or off to the pub for a dram or two. These places still allow us some modicum whereby we can tally and doff vagrants, brigands, and the occasional highwayman or so.

I liken your situation to the process of osmosis. Given that your violent crime rate is low such that you are no longer really too concerned (so it seems) with the notion of defending one's self and property, relative to the reality of other places in the realm, I would expect that such criminal pressures will eventually equalize and you will some day regrettably find that your community will be subject to the same attrition others have faced/are facing. It would be preferable if this were not the case, but the world is getting smaller all the time, and the have nots do still outnumber the haves, and nature always seems to work to an equilibrium, sooner or later.

I hope you won't mind terribly if we direct some of our fellows to your area enlightened with this new information. It may help to alleviate some of the predatory pressure we have here for a time. Hopefully you will find a less violent means of dealing with them than we have. If so, please enlighten us as to how this is accomplished, for as we have found, the only effective way of deterring predatory manner is the use of firm and direct force.

I would always consider defending myself as a genuine reason for carrying any weapon. Perhaps the most genuine reason I can think of. I also believe a knife, like any other tool, becomes an offensive weapon only when it is deliberately used as such. It is not any more inherently offensive than a brick or a shard of glass or a pair of scissors or a scarf. Unless I am using it in an offensive manner, which does not include just holding it in my hand (which is not the definition of brandishing as some would lead us to believe), then the police ought not be allowed to declare it as such just because they think I might do something offensive with it. You may not be prosecuted for it, but you will not ever see it again once it is confiscated by the police as well. If you use it at home to defend yourself, you will likely be before the magistrate after being hauled into the hoosgow for illegally defending yourself in your own home (seems to me I recall hearing about just such a thing not too long ago).

Funny how the british have one policy for their homeland subjects, and quite a different one for other areas they operate and manage. Seems an awful lot like US policy we've cited here too.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#92096 - 04/23/07 11:42 AM Re: Are you equipped to defend yourself [Re: ]
handyman Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Massachusetts
bentirran

So , the UK is Utopia ?
I don't know all the crime stats. But , one thing I do know is that guns do not CAUSE crime and banning them does not eliminate crime .
Violent crime has been around for thousands of years , long before guns were invented . You have banned guns and , from what I've heard , pocket knives . What's next , banning pointy sticks and rocks ?
It's very sad that you have become a nation of brainwashed sheep .
WHY are you on the ETS forums ? What could possibly happen to you when you live in utopia ?

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