On firearms (edited repeat)

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The subject of firearms (and charity) have been ongoing topics on the forum. I went back and dusted off my basic position on Y2K and firearms.


It makes me nervous to read about individuals buying firearms "for Y2K." While I support our 2nd Amendment rights, if one is buying a firearm for Y2K, it may well be the person has never owned a firearm before. The purchase of a weapon "for Y2K" also suggests they see a related need for one.

For the record, I am not "anti-gun." In earlier posts, I have tried to help individuals with reasonable questions about firearms. As a life-long hunter and outdoorsman, I do have some experience. Like many country boys, my father taught me how to shoot with a little single-shot Ithaca .22. For years, I was scrounging change enough to buy small boxes of ammunition. (In the couch and behind the car seats were always good locations.)

While I support the right to keep and bear arms, I respectfully ask those considering the purchase of a firearm to consider the matter carefully. Subsistence hunting is not a great rationale. During the first six months of the Great Depression, so many deer were poached that it took decades for some populations to recover. You are far better off investing in seeds and domestic animals if food is your concern.

If you are worried about home defense, consider this. If someone wants to raid your home, they will not ring the bell like the Avon salesperson. "Hello, we are here for your rice and beans." As I pointed out in an earlier post, your home is a fixed position. It is nearly impossible to defend a fixed position against a motivated aggressor force.

When I made this point before, it generated a fair amount of chest thumping. "I will kill all who approach my bunker!" Right. Those with experience know better.

In addition, the inexperienced often handle weapons poorly in a tense situation. Even in the field, I have seen troops panic, jam a weapon, fire without looking, try to fire with the safety on, forget to reload and more violations of basic safety than you can imagine. There is also the distinct possibility of an accidental shooting. It would be tragic to have some nervous Y2K pessimist shoot an innocent person who just happened to knock on the door early in the morning of January 1st. There is also the spectre of unsecured weapons in an environment where children may be. I grew up with loaded firearms in the house. Touching the guns was an offense punishable by a serious "hide tanning." This worked well, but not perfectly... certainly not as well as a lock and key.

Unless you think Y2K will result in extreme social disruptions, the "need" to own a firearm is not much different than the "need" to own one today. If you think we face serious threats, you might be wise to consider alternatives to armed conflict.

A fair criticism of this post might be, "Decker, you already have your guns. Shut up and let us buy ours!" Yes, I do own a few rifles and shotguns. Yes, in dire straits they could be used for defense... although I own them for other reasons. Even with military training, experience and firearms, I plan to avoid conflict if at all possible.

If you do decide to enter the world of firearms, do so as an educated consumer. I suggest starting with a .22 rifle. They are inexpensive to purchase, ammunition is the least expensive of any caliber and they are comfortable to shoot. My personal favorite is a Ruger 10/22 with a target barrel and some accurizing options. Recreational target shooting (aka "plinking") can be great fun. You may decide to become one of America's many sportsmen (or sportswomen) and hunt. Firearms are a lifestyle choice. I worry less in Montana where every other pickup has a gun rack than I do in the Mid Atlantic. A regular (safe) shooter is less likely to hurt himself (or herself) or others. The person I worry about is the one who buys a firearms, loads it and then forgets it.

You see, a firearm just takes a photo ID and some cash. Owning one takes maturity, sense, and restraint.

Be safe.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), November 16, 1999


Contrary to the assumptions of your post, I am not an irresponsible half-wit who needs a paternalistic, patronizing bore to lecture me.

And the last thing I am going to do is discuss in this public place what weapons I own and how skilled I am in their use.

-- Who the HELL (is@this.guy?), November 16, 1999.

Ken, I feel so fortunate to know your thoughts. I'm just speechless.

-- Noone (Noone@none.co), November 16, 1999.

Thanks for the post Ken. I agree that proper gun ownership requires care and responsibility.

As an aside to your valid point about poaching, is a true story from the Dust Bowl era. The father of a close friend helped his family survive the Dust Bowl devastation by shooting jack rabbits. Kansas had a program to pay hunters a few cents per pair of ears. The margin between the cost of a single .22 cartridge and the state payment was small; however, he learned to make each shot count.

In other words, if you need a weapon, be sure you use it accurately.

Here in Texas, Gun Control is defined as:

"Hitting What You Aim At"



-- snooze button (alarmclock_2000@yahoo.com), November 16, 1999.

Hmm, that's a very responsible post, and it makes a lot of sense. Under normal circumstances. Here's what's wrong with it right now.

Pointing out how hard it would be to defend your home EVEN WITH A GUN is a rather lame way of defusing the fear that has/is/will/might drive Y2K gun purchases.

Without even suggesting ONE credible "alternative to armed conflict", it's pretty hard to take this "don't bother" line seriously. Sorry, but anyone who's scared enough about Y2K to get a gun SPECIFICALLY FOR THAT PURPOSE isn't going to be put off by the worry of shooting themselves in the foot.

Finally, it reads like an ego post, albeit a literate and well meaning one. "Only I am safe. You will never emulate me. Don't even try." Sorry, but it does.

-- Colin MacDonald (roborogerborg@yahoo.com), November 16, 1999.


How comforting to know that a fresh group of first time weapon owners will be waiting for the slightest noise at the front door, fueled by their newly acquired delusional paranoia. Of course, after reading a few posts on this forum they will be armed with the skills to fend off the evils lurking on the front porch. Here is my short list of high risk occupations for the coming months ahead: (1). UPS, FedEx, and Postal delivery drivers (2). Pizza people (3). Census takers (4). Girl Scout cookie salespeople (5). UN-announced friends and relatives (6). Utility meter readers. Neighborhood pets might be well advised to wear full body armor when cruising around these folks.

-- Truth (at@the.ready), November 16, 1999.



Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

`Forward, the Light Brigade!

Charge for the guns!' he said:

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.


`Forward, the Light Brigade!'

Was there a man dismay'd?

Not tho' the soldier knew

Some one had blunder'd:

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon in front of them

Volley'd and thunder'd;

Storm'd at with shot and shell,

Boldly they rode and well,

Into the jaws of Death,

Into the mouth of Hell

Rode the six hundred.


Flash'd all their sabres bare,

Flash'd as they turn'd in air

Sabring the gunners there,

Charging an army, while

All the world wonder'd:

Plunged in the battery-smoke

Right thro' the line they broke;

Cossack and Russian

Reel'd from the sabre-stroke

Shatter'd and sunder'd.

Then they rode back, but not

Not the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon behind them

Volley'd and thunder'd;

Storm'd at with shot and shell,

While horse and hero fell,

They that had fought so well

Came thro' the jaws of Death,

Back from the mouth of Hell,

All that was left of them,

Left of six hundred. VI

When can their glory fade?

O the wild charge they made!

All the world wonder'd.

Honour the charge they made!

Honour the Light Brigade,

Noble six hundred!

-- Commit random (acts@of.poetry), November 16, 1999.

When in doubt....empty the magazine!


-- Y2Kook (Y2Kook@usa.net), November 16, 1999.

Ah Colin,

It seems that you have discovered the modus operandi of Kenny, and in so short a time as well.

"Only I am safe. You will never emulate me. Don't even try."

I bet you've read some Nietzsche too, haven't you Kenny?

As Steve Martin said, "Just enough to screw you up for the rest of your life."

So easy to learn, so difficult to master.

-- nothere nothere (notherethere@hotmail.com), November 16, 1999.

Oh, dear. Ken really is losing it in his desperate transparency.

Ken: "Of course y2k will not cause food shortages."
But, just as an exercise in Christian spiritual discipline, let's discuss how we respond to hungry people at the front door.

Ken: "Of course y2k will not cause social unrest."
But, just as an exercise in home protection safety, let's discuss the ownership and deployment of firearms.

****Please don't feed the trolls******

-- (TrollPatrol@don't.com), November 16, 1999.

-- (.@...), November 16, 1999.

Another double-Decker classic: "I'm not against gun ownership, BUT DON'T DO IT FOR Y2K, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR"; "I'm not against personal preparation, BUT DON'T DO IT FOR Y2K, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR".

Otherwise known as "Trojan Horse" arguments....

-- King of Sain (madrid@aol.cum), November 16, 1999.

Cuts You Up

I find you in the morning After dreams of distant sighns You pour yourself over me Like the sun through the blinds You lift me up And get me out Keep me walking But never shout Hold the secret close I hear you say

You know the way It throws about It takes you in And spits you out When you desire To conquer it To feel you're higher To follow it You must be clean With mistakes That you do mean Move the heart Switch the pace Look for what seems out of place

Yeah on and on it goes Calling like a distant wind Through the zero hour we'll walk Cut the thick and break the thin No sound to break no moment clear When all the doubts are crystal clear Crashing hard into the secret wind

You know the way It twists and turns Changing colour Spinning yarns You know the way It leaves you dry It cuts you up It takes you high You know the way It's painted gold Is it honey Is it gold You know the way It throws about It takes you in And spits you out You know the way It throws about It takes you in And spits you out It spits you out When you desire To conquer it To feel you're higher To follow it You must be clean With mistakes That you do mean Move the heart Switch the pace Look for what Seems out of place

And now I find The special kind You yourself Like sun through blinds You lift me up Get me out Keep me walking But never shout It's o.k. It goes this way The line is thin It twists away Cuts you up It throws about Keep me walking But never shout.

-- can I (post@rock.lyrics?), November 16, 1999.

You can post your favorite song Lyrics fond or dear But everyone scrolls through them Please think your own thought here.

-- SH (squirrel@hunter.com), November 16, 1999.

Ken would be perfect, but he has one small flaw: his excessive humility.

-- Count Vronsky (vronsky@anna.lit), November 16, 1999.

can I: That was inspiring.... Please feel free to post on ANY of Ken Decker's threads.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), November 16, 1999.

"Kenneth Decker" is a made-up name used by a government disinformation agent. Now matter how hated, he will never stop coming to this forum and defecating all over it. It's what they pay him to do. Learn from his modus operandi, from his shamelessness. Your tax $$ at work.

-- ContractwithAmerica (Over@Langley.Now), November 16, 1999.

I don't have a gun, but this almost inspires me to go out and get one.

-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), November 16, 1999.

If I could stop laughing after reading the Count's response, I might offer some of my thoughts on the subject.

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), November 16, 1999.

I'll have to table any response to the criticisms for later. As for my position on Y2K, if we have an economic downturn there will be an even greater need for charity. Even with our recent economic boom, we have people living in poverty. An important facet of the Great Depression was the charitable efforts of everyday citizens. People comment on how America has changed during the past 100 years. I will say the "bunker-mentality" often evidenced on this forum was not acceptable to the people of earlier generations.

The ownership of firearms for personal protection is a matter of common discussion, Y2K or not. I do think many people develop a false sense of security by having a gun. Using a weapon in a self defense situation is not a simple matter.

As for alternatives, I think the most obvious is to simply avoid conflict. Like most reasonable folks, I avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Finally, gun ownership is a fundamental right. One of America's problems has been the emphasis on rights rather than responsibilities. The decision to own and potentially use a firearm against another human being should not be taken lightly. You can call this paternalistic. Perhaps it is. My rights, however, are endangered by thousands of irresponsible gun owners. If more people took the ownership of firearms as a grave responsibility, the 2nd Amendment would be more easily defended.

This said, if some paranoid Y2K pessimist kills a utility worker or some other innocent person... we can talk about the philosophy of the death penalty.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), November 16, 1999.


Thanks for the post, but I think you hit a fundamental flaw in the argument on you last post. The second amendment is under attack by the gun-grabbing left in DC at this very moment. I am afraid if you don't stock up on the weapons while you can, you may not be able to in the future.

Right now I wish I could afford to go make some purchases of "artillery" that I want, but I am "making other preparations" at the moment. I would love to be able to go down to (your favorite shop here) and buy what I want... but I can't... ain't in the cards.

To everyone on the board:

If you want to purchase a weapon, whether it is Y2K item, or for more "normal" activities, I would do so soon, before Herr Klinton, and Bitch Reno get their way and disarm us like the rest of the world already is....

snarlin' at C-span...

The Dog

-- Dog (Desert Dog@-sand.com), November 16, 1999.

The Y2K gun... LOL

-- Dog (Desert Dog@-sand.com), November 16, 1999.

Off through the new day's mist I run
out from the new day's mist I come
I hunt
therefore I am
harvest the land
taking of the fallen lamb

Off through the new day's mist I run
out from the new day's mist I have come
we shift
pulsing with the earth
company we keep
roaming the land while you sleep

shapeshift nose to the wind
shapeshift feeling I've been
move swift all senses clean
earth's gift back to the meaning of life

bright is the moon high in starlight
chill is the air cold as steel tonight
we shift
call of the wild
fear in your eyes
it's later than you realized

shapeshift nose to the wind
shapeshift feeling I've been
move swift all senses clean
earth's gift back to the meaning of life

I feel a change
back to a better day
shapeshift hair stands on the back of my neck
in wildness is the preservation of the world
so seek the wolf in thyself

shapeshift nose to the wind
shapeshift feeling I have been
move swift all senses clean
earth's gift back to the meaning
of wolf and man

-- metallica (wildness@is.the.preservation.of.the.world), November 16, 1999.

I was gonna rag on Decker, but don't have the energy. So in place of that, WHY THE F@#& does anyone need a bipod on an "assault" shotgun? Geez.......

-- cavscout (toomanyG@dgets.GimmeMyM1), November 16, 1999.

Ah, so you could see it in the picture???



The Dog

-- Dog (Desert Dog@-sand.com), November 17, 1999.

As to the specious argument put forth by M. Decker regarding home defence,by carefully examining facts and statistics from the Department of Justice, the F.B.I. and other law enforcement agencies, Prof. Gary Kleck from the School of Criminology, Florida State University, discovered Americans use firearms to prevent crimes approximately 1 to 1.5 million times per year. A firearm in the home makes a family safer.Regardless of y2k.

Prof. Kleck also discovered that robbery victims who defended themselves with a gun suffered lower rates of injury than did those who resisted without a gun, or even those who did not resist at all and instead complied with the violent criminal's demands. In short, Prof. Kleck concluded the private ownership of firearms deters criminal behavior. (Source: "Crime Control Through the Private Use of Armed Force" by Gary Kleck) When people talk about defending their house it is usualy assumed that most times it will be an average opportunistic petty criminal who considers home owners with guns to be the biggest factor in choosing a house to burgle. Of course no homeowner will last against a concerted military attack (Randy Weaver),history also shows that Japan can't last against an attack by Godzilla.However for deterring looters and common criminals firearms can be very effective indeed. I'm sure some selfish types are buying firearms with the rationale that should the shit really hit the fan,they'll be better equipped to prey on those who are unarmed.More the reason for all good Americans to aquire arms now while we are able. As to Mr.Deckers point about responsibility being more important than inalienable rights,I've often mused that perhaps similar logic should be applied towards parenting and reproduction.I do see what evil tyranny would ensue if we tried to mandate that kind of "responsibility".It makes me sad that someone as intelligent as mr. Decker would see such tyranny as acceptable.

-- zoobie (zoobiezoob@yahoo.com), November 18, 1999.

Dog,is that your 590?Doesn't the sling weighted down with shotshells make it unwieldy?For the gun neophyte,the impressive shotgun (mossberg590 with barrel shroud)pictured above can be purchased for around $350(sans masturbatory accessories)and is very field reliable.Less expensive versions of the same excellent shotgun can be gotten at K-mart for under $200.It would also be a very good idea to take a firearms safty course as well,it would help mr. Decker sleep easy.

-- zoobie (zoobiezoob@yahoo.com), November 18, 1999.


No it is not my gun, I found that picture on the web and thought it was entirely excessive. (right click on the picture for the website)

My shotgun is an old Winchester Model 12, built in 1923, and is in mint condition. It shoots wonderfully and the slide action is like silk. I have a sling and a carrier sleeve on the butt.

I have been shooting for over 25 years, and have taken a lot of safety courses when I was a teenager. safety is Job #1 when it comes to firearms...


The Dog

-- The Dog (DesertDog@-sand.com), November 18, 1999.

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