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Posts posted by loveliberate

  1. offense,


    I think that you overstate the issue of cultural differences and I strongly suspect that you are allowing your personal experience to overly shape your opinion. While we are all heavily shaped by our environments, the reality is that people around the world believe in using guns for personal defense. Actually almost everyone believes in this, some folks just believe that having the police / military be armed is good enough or the only option. Additionally, there are legal, social & practical safety reasons why gun-owners often choose to be highly discrete about the fact that they own guns & their reasons for doing so. This is true here in the US and there are even stronger reasons for discretion in most other countries.


    People in the US is not so different than people anywhere. Here in the US, most people never or very rarely carry guns for personal defense - even most gun owners. Many people here share the opinion you spoke of as being present in Sweden. Most countries in Europe currently have or have had in recent history, provisions for people to legally own &/or carry guns for defensive purposes & there have been strong pushes to extend these laws.


    Speaking of Sweden specifically, I have to wonder if you realize that your country has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world Offense? As do most of your neighboring countries - Finland apparently has more gun-owners than any other "western" country besides the US! I'd greatly appreciate it if you could help me find more detailed information in english on your gun laws & legal gun use. Perhaps you would be willing to find a gun club there to discuss these issues with?


    Honestly, everything I've seen indicates to me that if the laws in other countries were not as highly restrictive as they are, gun ownership rates would rapidly rise to levels close to or comparable with the US. And the reverse is also true, in parts of the US with more restrictive gun laws - legal gun ownership levels diminish. Many people simply are not willing to deal with the financial costs, paperwork & increased levels of police scrutiny that go hand in hand with legally owning guns in most countries.





    You wrote: "I understand people want to protect themselves, but surely in this day and age there has to be a better solution than shooting a gun at a person."

    That really depends on the situation. In most defensive situations, one will most likely not need and would be legally/ethically unjustified in using any form of lethal force, firearms or otherwise. Guns are useful defensive tools in situations that have escalated to the point where one is faced with death or serious permanent injury. They are not the only tool but they are often the best in that situation. If better tools were available, I'm certain that most people would choose to use them.



    I'm Your Man,


    Many US states have laws that allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry pistols on school campuses. Laws & policies banning guns were certainly not making anyone safer - responsible people with the ability to respond to armed attackers certainly can!


    Civilian gun ownership for defensive ownership for defensive purposes is an essential part of personal freedom - it is certainly not the only part & most informed folks in the US fully realize that we face serious & unacceptable limitations on our personal freedom. As you partly note, this is true in all countries. Perhaps you should take a closer look at the country you live in too - the laws in Canada are very similar to those in the US in most regards & you certainly have to be wary of murderous attacks on students or travelers there as well!


    Montreal in particular seems to face a high level of school shootings - the attacks at Dawson College & École Polytechnique spring instantly to mind...

  2. Nice to hear from both of yinz!


    Victoria is definitely shaping up as the more likely contender, particularly since there are so many nice places to visit on the way and nearby. I'd love to make it into the mountains further up the island and/or hang out across the strait in the Olympics...


    Pittsburgh would be great & I'd love to finally meet you & your family Michael! I dont even want to think about the gathering right now...

  3. Ok... so you tell me how the food is! Better yet, let's meet there for lunch sometime.


    Here's the info:

    El Nutri Taco, 8438 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97266 - Open Daily @ 10am, 503-788-3492. As far as I know, El Nutri is not related to the Los Gorditos folks: their new stand will be somewhere in inner SE.

  4. I would have joined this discussion earlier but I haven't been on the forum much lately and only recently noticed this topic. I'll try to reply to most of the main points folks have raised as I feel strongly about the issues involved and have put a considerable amount of time into researching, discussing & contemplating these subjects. That said, it's late and I should probably be sleeping so I'll likely miss some things I wanted to address...


    I firmly and completely support our human right to armed self defense. Not only do I own guns for that reason, I also do firearms training and advocacy work / educational outreach in support of that right. Simply put, I do not want to be in the situation where only the police and other criminal thugs are armed! You may find it interesting to know that I grew up with a generally neutral to negative opinion of guns and have only changed my opinion as a result of personal experience and educating myself on the issues involved.


    I've also studied the gun / self-defense laws, realities & cultures of various countries around the world. I feel educated enough to discuss these issues (at least in a general way) for the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, England, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria & Italy. I am far from an expert but I'm confident that I've looked into this more than the vast majority of people on any side of these debates!


    By the way, while legal ownership of guns is highly restricted in the UK - guns are certainly NOT banned there. Legal gun ownership there is amazingly common when you consider all of the legal & related hurdles UK gun-owners have to put up with! Sadly, it is essentially illegal to own or carry ANY item at all in the UK for the purpose of active self-defense... It is well worth noting that Britain & Scotland, both with some of the most intensely restrictive firearms & self-defense laws on the planet, were rated as being the most violent developed countries by the United Nations. Both are also facing increasingly higher levels of violence and crime - including gun-related violence!


    Most other countries have both far higher levels of gun-ownership AND far lower levels of violence than does the UK. Gun-ownership is actually quite common in virtually all of the worlds most prosperous and peaceful countries: Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland & Costa Rica are all great examples of this.


    There are millions of people around the world who legally own guns for purposes such as self-defense, collecting or sport-shooting. The overwhelming majority of these people and their guns have not ever and will not ever harm anyone. The number of malicious or negligent misuse of firearms shrink still further and become virtually non-existent when we look at folks who own their guns for defensive purposes and who have received even fairly basic training in their use.


    The simple fact is that guns are not the cause of violence and restricting or prohibiting your average person from being able to own or use guns for defensive purposes will not make anyone safer. What it will definitely do is make us all far less free and it also makes it far easier for both violent thugs and oppressive governments to commit their brutal atrocities.


    Owning a gun is a serious responsibility and is certainly not for everyone - but everyone must have be able to act upon their right to decide the issue for themselves! As always, education & choice are essential.


    Ps. I also want to respond to some people specifically:


    * VeganMama: I'm a parent too and am happy to discuss how to respond to your children possibly (probably!) encountering guns in their friends homes and elsewhere.


    * Dontxhide: So... what gun/s did you get? More importantly, what are your plans for getting professional defensive firearms training? By the way, I also lost whatever respect I had for Mike Moore over his attacks on gun-owners and Mumia Abu-Jamal.


    * Offense: The NRA does not shape public opinion on guns so much as it represents the beliefs of gun-owners. Actually the NRA frequently fails to represent gun-owners interests until forced to do so by grassroots activists who demand and defend our right to armed self-defense!

  5. Aaron,

    Last I checked (a few days ago) that place still wasnt open for business yet. That area is really building up some great vegan dining options! I just discovered a Mexican food cart on (about) SE 86th & Foster that has a little vegan section on their menu - complete with vegan cheese & soyrizo.


    Remind me & i'll let ya'll know how the food is after I've tried it.

  6. It looks like I'm going to hit the road at the end of this month for about a week!!! WooHoo! Now I need to figure out where to go, what to do and all that - any suggestions? Want to join me or visit with me along the way?


    As usual, my cash supply is almost non-existent so I'll most likely stay somewhere no further than I can hitchhike to in a long days trip. Since they are planning to start requiring passports for all international travel next summer, I'm mostly leaning towards heading up north to Canada. Nelson, BC is currently on the top of my list but I'm a tad nervous about trying to hitchhike across the border, post 9/11 - have any of ya'll done this recently? Victoria seems like it might be easier as lots of folks just take the ferry across to there... I'm very open to other ideas too!

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