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Old 12-16-2012, 04:46 PM
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Default Gun control and the second amendment

In lieu of the horrendous shooting that took place two days ago I feel it is time to bring up the ongoing debate over gun control. My viewpoint is that I feel gun laws are way too lenient in America. Why are we allowing families to be torn apart and children's lives to be lost all so that you or I can have the right to own such a lethal weapon?

I have some training on guns from family and friends when I was younger, and know a lot of people that own them for varied reasons. This debate comes up often, and I will never understand why those that provide arguments for their "right to bear arms" are okay with the fact that the average massacre like this one is normally done at the hands of someone who has access to legally purchased guns. Assault rifles, handguns, rifles, shotguns, they're all used and all need to be considered as part of the debate.

The general defense of those in support of guns is that the second amendment gives them the right. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." That's it. That is the wording from hundreds of years ago, in a time of a new country that didn't have a strong military but was going through a revolution and escape from kings and dictatorships in their previous homes.

How does that compare to today? How does someone feel that they are justified to arm themselves to the hilt with massive handguns, semi-automatic weapons, and loads of ammunition based off of something as simple as that wording from ages ago, before any of the current level of weaponry was available? Is it purely the macho, ultimate power feeling that firing a gun provides that fuels your argument? Is it the destruction that you crave after a stressful day at work? Is it the hope that if you were ever to be at home during a break in that you may have a better chance of defending yourself or your family? What about the easy access you have provided to those around you to these lethal weapons? What about the theif that steals your guns when you're not at home and now has a small arsenal to commit more heinous crimes?

Have you ever known anyone to experience the pain and suffering of losing a loved one to a gun? Have you tried to defend your arguments to someone that has lived through a tragedy like this? Do you think you could truly defend your need to posess firearms in a discussion with a parent that just lost a child in this massacre?

My two sisters and myself may have never made it to this earth if it weren't for fate keeping a bullet from killing my mother before she had kids. All it took was one gun shot into the air at the beach on New Year's Eve that could've kept the three of us from ever being born, from living the lives we've lived and from adding to the lives of those around us. One bullet, shot in the air by an unsuspecting gun owner could've killed my mom, and would've kept me and my sisters from being born. She took a bullet to the head that came within millimeters of her spinal cord, which would've either paralyzed her or killed her. She lived in a coma and suffered through a recovery that took years, and to this day she suffers from seizures and is on disability thanks to one person that wasn't careful with his gun on a night of celebration.

How many bad gun owners do you think there are for each of you that will try to defend your right to own guns? How many people have turned from good, safe people into killers due to a mental breakdown? How many innocent lives have been lost or changed forever due to misuse of legally owned firearms? Is it not easier to end the lives of multiple people when you have access to guns? No, the gun itself has never killed a single person. The trained, untrained, scared, angry, distraught, immature, drunk, high, disgraced, depressed hands of humans holding that lethal weapon have killed thousands, though.

With all other politics aside, how can you defend the need for such a large number of our population to have access to guns? Please, try to explain to me your justification.
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Last edited by Drew; 12-16-2012 at 04:52 PM..
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:12 PM
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I'll bite on this. I've actually been having this conversation with a number of people recently, and it has only been escalated by the recent events in the past week. Here's my reasoning on why I support the idea of having a conceal carry permit, and some things I'd change as well.

I'll start with the change first. I do understand that there are a large number of gun enthusiasts in this country who are into collecting guns, shooting guns, etc. I can respect that as a hobby for sure, just like the car hobby that we all share. I will side with gun control being increased in the area of semi-auto weapons, especially rifles. Its a double-edged sword here, because saying they should not be permitted to be sold or purchased will mean you're stripping a large number of collectors of their right to continue their hobby. At the same time, I do agree that they have no need to be purchased by the average individual. Maybe there is a resolution that would allow certain individuals, i.e. collectors or professional shooters or something of that nature, to purchase them after a number of clearings and other testing strategies. I really do not have an answer for a resolution there.

All that being said, I stand behind my right to legally own a gun, under certain circumstances. This may end up being all over the place, as one point I make may lead me to another...

To sum it up quickly, if any idiot can get a gun and do what they want with it, I want to have the opportunity to also purchase a gun in order to protect myself. To me, guns are like drugs. They are too widespread to get rid of them completely. And even if you did, people would still find ways to buy and sell them, and honestly at that point they may be even more desirable because they are illegal. So, if some idiot wants to get a gun to shoot up a local mall, its going to happen whether the process for obtaining a gun legally is the same, stronger, or illegal all together. So, if that's going to happen, I want to be able to own a gun and have it in the event that I am in the mall that the shooter walks into. I live 15 minutes from the KOP Mall, one of the largest in the country. It is consistently packed in the months before and after Christmas with shoppers, making it an easy target for anyone trying to make a widespread statement in a crowded place. When I go there next week to do my shopping, I want to know that I have the ability to protect myself and the people around me in the event that some idiot flies off the handle again.

I am also a big advocate of understanding guns, their power, the ability they have to take a life, etc. Knowing how to operate the weapon safely and correctly, clean it correctly, etc is very important. Such a large portion of the population today is not familiar with guns at all, which to me causes the issue to be even worse. I'd be all for looking into a program that would allow schools to institute gun safety courses into the Phys Ed department around the same time that Health classes become part of the student's curriculum. That way, everyone would at the very least grow up with an understanding that this piece of equipment has the ability to cause harm and do irreversible damage if not handled properly. The mystery would be taken out of guns, and the proper understanding of how to use them would be put in its place. I do know that the minute some kids freaks out, this program would be attacked to no end and probably removed, but that's a different issue entirely.

Call me cocky if you want, but if I was in a mall and a guy walked into the area I was in with a gun, you would not see the number of deaths that we see from these mass shootings. I'm paranoid as it is, and consistently on the watch when I see something suspicious happening. That does not mean I'm going to be some trigger-happy jackass throwing a pistol around every time someone walks by me with a hood on. Majority of the issue with gun ownership is responsibility, and that needs to be increased. I could get behind increasing the laws of gun ownership and the difficulty in obtaining a weapon because it would not effect me.

So, to conclude, if some idiot can obtain a gun and go running around with it, you better believe I want to have the option to protect myself legally and under the correct circumstances. I will be heading to the local courthouse tomorrow morning to apply for my conceal carry permit after what I have seen happen in just this past week. Two mall shootings and a school shooting is enough for me to know that I need to be able to protect myself and the people around me. I will be ensuring that I educate myself on proper cleaning and storage of whatever weapon I buy, as well as spending time at the range to familiarize myself with the weapon so I know I am confident in my ability to use it. I will also make it a point to say that I sincerely hope that I never have to use the weapon for anything more than shooting at the range. But if the time ever comes when some idiot runs in front of me, I'll be damn happy to know I took the steps to protect myself, and I'm sure those around me will be as well.

**Edit** -- I would also like to make a point based on what you bring up about your mother. First off, that is a terrible tragedy and I really do apologize for anything and everything that your family has gone through because of it. I could not imagine having that happen in my own life or to someone that I love and care for. So I understand completely that this is a touchy subject. But someone celebrating with a weapon on them is exactly why I emphasize responsibility so much. To me, all we can do is know that, if we as individuals are going to purchase a weapon, we are going to be as responsible as we possibly can with that weapon. Do I need a gun on my hip watching fireworks? Not at all. Would the weapon stay in the car just in case? For sure. There are situations that call for protection and situations that don't. And I know I should like a paranoid lunatic that thinks consistent harm is going to come to everything and everyone in the world, but that's not the case at all. All I know is that I want to be sure that I have the ability to protect myself when it does come. There is nothing more important in gun ownership than education and responsibility. But, if someone wants a gun, they will get a gun. So whether someone's weapon that discharged is legal or illegal, its all the same to me. If that guy wanted a weapon, he would have gotten one either way. He's a jackass for being irresponsible with his weapon, that's for damn sure.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:59 PM
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I don't like arguing gun control as it never goes anywhere. I will say this though, for anyone who thinks you can defend yourself with a pistol or deer hunting rifle against someone with a illegally owned assault rifle( which will still be all over the place regardless of a ban) then I highly recommend going to a rifle or 3 gun match so you can see how much of a disadvantage it is. Protecting yourself isn't a compromise you should take as you will die... It's that simple. There is definately a need for these weapons for the sake of protection against the same weapons gained illegally. I would advise looking at the violence in this country by looking at websites like boarderlandbeat.

That said I do think gun shows need revising as I think they make it too easy for people who ordinarily couldn't get a gun get them. Also face to face sales should need to go through a ffl like other legal firearms sales. And I think Americans should not be so naive to guns or these debates wouldn't be happening at all. We should implement a liscense like the ccw liscense so people have an understanding of the weapons before they buy them. Along with a better background check. We already do this for things like hunting and it would be easy to implement.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:03 PM
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Also that kid stole those guns from his mom, he was not allowed to purchase any of those weapons. Yet he still managed to get them...also to add to your debate. I do have personal experience with this.
My mom was shot when she was 10 by drug traffickers. She is extremely scared of being shot and killed, she also understands that you can't rid people of guns and thus she conceal carries everyday to protect herself. Our friend Armando who worked for my grandpa was hog tied and shot in his bed at the ranch when I was little. They had ak47 from Mexico. So it's hard for me personally to NOT see the utility in arming myself. The argument of guns becoming better than back then is of the same nature. They armed themselves with the most recent tools of the times that their adversaries had. Lets also look into protection from dangerous animals, how many people have saved themselves from bear attacks exc

IMHO banning cars is more important as if its an issue of casualties causes by people who misuse the tool, use it drunk or with a mental illness the vehicle is the most dangerous. While I have more experience with gun related violence than prolly most people on this board.. It's still a small amount compared to vehicle related deaths of family and friends that I knew, and I'm sure everyone here can relate too. So I think we should extend this debate towards discussing and getting rid of all dangerous machines

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Old 12-16-2012, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Also that kid stole those guns from his mom, he was not allowed to purchase any of those weapons. Yet he still managed to get them...
That, to me, is again an issue of being irresponsible with a weapon. They should be locked in a safe with a combination or key lock that others do not have access to. It is not hard to keep a combination from someone or to hide a key. But again, I also don't believe there is a need to keep a semi-automatic rifle in your home.

As for your point above about being at a disadvantage, I agree with you. And it would be silly to think otherwise. But if I am sitting in a food court and a guy walks in wearing camo and a mark and reaches into his large jacket, you better believe I'm watching. And if that reach results in him pulling out a weapon, you better believe mine is coming out and firing at him before he is able to do damage. I have the right to protect myself in the event that I feel my life is in danger, and I will by all means do that. This does not mean that I hear of a guy on the other side of the mall with a rifle and go running his way with a pistol in an attempt to play superman. Thinking one could do so is crazy. What I do know is that, if his first shot is not at me, the second shot will be mine at him. Plain and simple.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:32 PM
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Being attacked in a big public place puts any ccw person at a disadvantage. For instance if you draw down on him wearing a vest exc at 80+ yards where you spotted him. You will probably lose that fight to someone with a rifle. This is why these monsters attack in places there's no opposition. It's safer for them. I will never advocate open carry or open carry of assault rifles, to me that isn't civilized and is inconsiderate. I'm talking about defending yourself in other places like your home exc. we will never stop the killing of people In public places as its easy with multiple tools not just guns. Bombs, fire, knives exc exc. crazy people and illegally armed evil will always exist.

I know when I have kids I hope by the time they are in school that the schools will provide much greater security for them than what we have now. It's not like it would be hard to hire an armed security firm in today's age. And they are worth it.

Also I agree that it was the mothers fault he got the weapons, and unfortunately she was murdered. But had she not been I'm certain she would be in major trouble. To that note its irresponsible for people to allow their weapons to be stolen as well.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:35 PM
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I've recently been trying to break down the logic behind these discussions following the recent occurences. I think both sides have valid arguments, so I've always had a hard time approaching this discussion armed with anything other than my own personal response/opinion.

The way I see it, Gun Control still won't give us the results we desire. It's already illegal to kill somebody and these people have decided to ignore that law. If we make it illegal for them to own a gun, it seems plausible to assume that they will still own the gun. To be truly effective, we need to address the problem earlier in the cycle.

It seems like in shootings like these, there's a cycle that occurs to lead up to the shooting.

This is a gross over-simplification, but bear with me.

1. A rough childhood, job loss, life stresses, etc exacerbate pre-existing mental illnesses in Person A.

2. Person A begins to suffer from signs of anxiety, paranoia, depression, or agression.

3. Person A's problems begin to get worse as is natural from such mental strife/illness. Things begin spiraling out of control.

4. Person A begins contemplating suicide and or violence

5. At some point Person A decides they will go through with their plan to kill themselves and/or others

6. Person A finds some way to get weapons (whether it be stealing, purchasing legally, or purchasing illegally)

7. Person A goes through with their plan and kills themself and/or others.

Step 7 is already illegal and it hasn't stopped anyone. If we make Step 6 illegal, it's hardly going to help. No one is going to get to step 5 and just give up because it's hard to purchase a gun.

It seems ridiculous to address this problem by addressing some of the last steps in the cycle when the momentum is already out of control and the person has already decided to ignore laws and regulations. You're trying to stop a train wreck after letting it get up to maximum speed...that's hopeless. You're better off cutting off the problem before it's able to grow.

If you ask me, these situations should start raising much much deeper discussions about the human condition, mental illness, and societal issues.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:45 PM
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agreed
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:56 PM
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This kid was already had issues as stated by his mom. She did not repport him but she attempted to handle it herself. I know how tough it is to turn someone in that you think is headed the way of wrong-doing but sometimes it has to be done to prevent these types of tragedies. I have had to report people that I knew and loved and cared for because they were losing it and either going to hurt themselves, others or both.
I have been shot. I have family and friends that have been shot, injured and killed so I know what that is like. It hurts still to this day!! It never goes away!
Responsible gun owners are not the ones to be chasing. The laws coud be tightened but as Rally stated the criminial will get the gun somehow, someway.
You rarely hear of the responsible gun owners that saved their lives or lives of others cause that is not what the media wants to present. It happens and more often than most people want to believe. The media over hypes a lot of news and focuses on the people who did the harm. How about focusing on the victims, their families and what it takes to learn to live with it. YOu will never get over it.
It is sad and my heart aches for those families of any of the shootings that have taken place.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:05 PM
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The general defense of those in support of guns is that the second amendment gives them the right. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." That's it. That is the wording from hundreds of years ago, in a time of a new country that didn't have a strong military but was going through a revolution and escape from kings and dictatorships in their previous homes.
I only want to address this argument as it is the most dangerous in its ability to fool rational thinking people into believing the second amendment is not critical to the survival of a free society. This country was founded by people who were citizens of a country with a song military. A country where depending on the whim of the current ruler you could be deemed a criminal because you believed say in the Catholic faith rather than the Anglican, or even more damning thought religion was for fools.

The strong military argument, the national guard argument are both EXACTLY why a well armed responsible citizenry is necessary. Every day our government acts outside the restrictions we the people have placed on it. Every time it gets away with it it tries for more, how far can it go?

How many examples do you need of an elected government taking power in tough economic times, stripping the legally armed citizen of their guns and then committing atrocious acts in the name of some majority against a minority using the power of the government and a strong military.

As horrible as gun crimes like this that are either committed by people using stolen guns or legally purchased guns individuals who have decided to kill will kill. Machetes are twenty bucks, anyone can buy a car. In the words of Archie Bunker in response to his daughter citing the number of gun deaths: "Well little girl, would you rather they were pushed out windows?"
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:36 PM
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The strong military argument, the national guard argument are both EXACTLY why a well armed responsible citizenry is necessary. Every day our government acts outside the restrictions we the people have placed on it.

I will never understand this counter-argument. It made a whole lot more sense when the country's army was armed with similar muskets and a few cannons and a local militia stood a chance against a government that they didn't believe in.

What good does it do letting "the people" have guns when our government's army is armed with tanks, airplanes, helicopters, insane armor, boats, droids, etc. Look at any country in the middle of an uprise. The government uses their extreme strength and massacres the rebels that are armed with regular weapons.

I'm sorry, but a little gun collection isn't going to help you if the government decides to do something you don't agree with. People are living in a nostalgic fantasy world if they think they have the ability to overpower the government like they did back when we were living in log cabins and being ruled by a few old guys in wigs.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:52 PM
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asks the people in this incidentif they were happy to have an armed citizen in their prescence before it got worse!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=6dsV6TCwd0o
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:52 PM
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Very true, Rally.

I disagree with the ease of getting guns in a world where guns are much more strictly restricted. Honestly, I wold have no idea where to turn to find an assault rifle if you took them out of the homes of people I know. If there were strict laws against guns, and monitoring of some of the known paths people take to get them, I'd be in jail before I ever actually got my hands on one.

That also is mostly meant as a support argument to the idea that it would be much less likely to have access if there were just less guns out there. The idea of "others have them, so I need one to protect myself" is exactly why they are so accessible right now. The more people that think they need one, the more that are out there, and the more options someone has to getting one. Add to that the number of people that aren't well educated about them, the ones that don't educate their kids on it, the ones that don't secure them well, and you see my perspective on this.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:06 PM
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asks the people in this incidentif they were happy to have an armed citizen in their prescence before it got worse!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=6dsV6TCwd0o
Thankfully he also had the foresight not to start firing due to others that could've been injured or killed. I'm sure there have been times that someone being armed could've helped, but again, I can't see the benefit of living in a country that allows so many people to wander around armed with deadly weapons.

It is so different to have access to guns than knives, swords, cars, "pushing people from windows," as there is nothing that is more simple, portable, and powerful to kill multiple people. Bombings would be the closest comparison I could see, but there is a very different level of planning, skill, and purchasing that makes it less likely.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:21 PM
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Very true, Rally.

I disagree with the ease of getting guns in a world where guns are much more strictly restricted. Honestly, I wold have no idea where to turn to find an assault rifle if you took them out of the homes of people I know. If there were strict laws against guns, and monitoring of some of the known paths people take to get them, I'd be in jail before I ever actually got my hands on one.

That also is mostly meant as a support argument to the idea that it would be much less likely to have access if there were just less guns out there. The idea of "others have them, so I need one to protect myself" is exactly why they are so accessible right now. The more people that think they need one, the more that are out there, and the more options someone has to getting one. Add to that the number of people that aren't well educated about them, the ones that don't educate their kids on it, the ones that don't secure them well, and you see my perspective on this.
What would you do though? Order all guns to be brought to DC to be thrown into a fire and melted? How would you ever go about getting all of the weapons that are already out there off the streets and off the market?

If you wanted to go buy weed, would you know who to ask? If not, I'm sure you have a friend that knows who to ask. Guns would be the same case. People will sell them because they can make money off them and because they know they are in demand. You'll never control guns, its just not possible. Unless I'm really missing something here.

And as for the guy in the Oregon mall shooting, that is exactly the type of responsible gun owner that I am speaking of. Not taking that shot is potentially the best decision he has ever made. But having the weapon there and posing the threat to the gunman allowed that massacre to stop short of what could have been much worse. Owning a weapon is all about responsibility, and responsibility comes from teaching, instruction, familiarization, and an understanding of the weapon. Its just like a car. You take a driver's ed course, you drive with a parent or driving instructor, then pass a test before you get to do it on your own. This is all meant to help young drivers understanding why they are driving, the dangers of driving, the proper way to operate a vehicle, and the irreversible damage that can be caused if it is not handled properly. The same needs to be done with weapons.
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