YouTube, Once Again, Pressured To Remove Terrorist Videos; Feel Any Safer?

from the mildly-inconvenienced dept

A couple years ago, Senator Joe Lieberman spent some time grandstanding over the fact that some terrorist groups had posted videos to YouTube. He complained about YouTube/Google allowing this, and it didn't take long for YouTube to capitulate and ban such videos. Now, YouTube/Google is free to do what it wants in terms of banning content, but the whole thing was pretty silly. It's not as if some random person surfing YouTube is going to find an Al Qaeda video and suddenly want to join up. But, more to the point, it's not as if they can't just post videos elsewhere. On top of that, by "banning" the videos, it gives off the impression that there's something really important in those videos that you shouldn't see, rather than recognizing that they're silly boasting that can be responded to.

However, it seems like grandstanding on such things is just too easy to do. The latest now involves UK diplomats who have pressured YouTube to remove a bunch of videos of an extremist cleric. Wired gets the title exactly right in its article on the subject: "YouTube Yanks Jihadi Videos; Terror Wannabes Mildly Inconvenienced." The article goes on to point out that these videos are widely available elsewhere, and removing them from YouTube doesn't make them any more difficult to find (though, does alert people that there's something "bad" about these videos).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Jaws4theRevenge (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 1:58am

    You would think that the British government would learn its lessons. See: Video Nasties and the Video Recordings Act 1984

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    drewmerc (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 2:25am

    1984 a beginners guide to government

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Griff (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 2:33am

    Put this in context...

    In the UK we have just had in the news the case of a young muslim woman who visited her Member of Parliament in what is referred to as his "surgery" (weekly or monthly meeting when a constituent gets to meet their elected representative face to face and discuss anything on their mind) and stabbed him several times.
    The stabbing was in protest at the way he voted in Parliament back in 2002/2003 regarding the Iraq war.

    What has surprised many people is that this young woman was smart, educated and yet had (apparently) become radicalised in a few short months entirely by exposure to videos on websites.

    Her radicalisation was not attributed to attendance of a radical mosque or attendance of a trainign camp, JUST the videos.

    So it is understandable that the authorities want to try and minimise chances of this recurring.

    Google (who purportedly don't want to be evil) can be politely asked to help by removing videos from YouTube. If they were also asked to not link in searches to such content on other websites I would imagine this would make quite a dent in the amount of stuff easily accessible to people.
    Not so easy to ask the Jihadists to remove such content from their sites, obviously.

    Though I have absolutely no grounds for saying this I'd wager than a huge proportion of internet users are fairly lazy. If they don't find it in YouTube or via a google search they might stop looking.

    And remember, the worry is not about whether committed Jihadists can find these videos - they are already radicalised. It is normal people stumbling into them and becoming radicalised that the authorities fear.

    To see an example of the effect they fear, look for any YouTube video concerning the events of 9/11 and the follow the trail of associated videos and pretty soon you'll be watching some fairly virulent (and inflammatory) conspiracy theory stuff.

    I'm sure this is what they fear, an innocent(ish) video concerning some social issue relevant to muslims, that links progressively and subtley into stuff that makes you absolutely hate key western governments, and which motivates you to take some action.

    You're right that this won't get rid of the stuff, but it will make the average person a bit less likely to be dragged into it.


    Here's an other example. Guns in the UK. A criminal can no doubt find one fairly easily, as he/she might know someone with connections. But as there are no gun shops and no normal route for going out and buying a weapon, your average law abiding citizen would not know where to even start looking for one. Which makes it just that little bit harder for a normal citizen to become a crazed shooter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    lfroen (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 2:50am

    It's not about safety

    It is about propaganda. Why do you think those videos were put on YouTube on a first place? Because propaganda works.
    And any sane person don't want enemy propaganda to spread. That's why Soviet Union jammed "Voice of America" broadcasts in that days. And for very same reason UK government don't want Islamic propaganda to spread unhindered.
    Freedom of speech doesn't mean "say what you want" without consequences.
    Start put "Join Jihad" videos and expect to be put under surveillance. Recruit some guys under such banner - and you may go to jail. Instruct one of your guys to explode and expect to be shot in a head on some nice day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 2:58am

    Re: Put this in context...

    Put this in context? Yes, please.

    In this case, there are plenty of 'gun shops' and plenty of 'normal routes', so what's the next? In addition, one crazy unproven story isn't a good enough reason to ban all video of this nature from one video service.

    I understand that you think this will happen repeatedly, but everyone else says that you're wrong. (Honestly, I doubt that it ever happened the way that you lay it out.)

    According to the National Counter Terrorism Center, many terrorists come from middle-class backgrounds and have university-level educations. In other words, educated radicals are perfectly normal, not surprising.

    In addition, the NCTC also states that there are no visible outward signs of radicalization so how would anyone know how long it took?

    An MI5 report, Understanding Radicalisation and Violent Extremism in the UK, publicized by The Guardian, emphasized that there are many diverse possible routes that can lead to an individual being radicalized, so yanking a few videos isn't going to address the issue.

    As for your assertion that people are in danger from watching videos, the British MI5, in a report about radicalism in the UK, said that people 'do not become radicalised simply through passive browsing of extremist websites'.

    They also noted that while it's 'popular to assume that -people who become terrorists are passively 'brainwashed' into extremism, individuals in fact make active choices to become and remain in extremist activity'.

    In other words, you're wrong. Have a nice day, though. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 2:59am

    Re: It's not about safety

    So we should allow them to publicly upload those videos so we can track them, not tell them to take them down so we can't track them.

    In addition, have you turned on a television set lately? It's all propaganda. Tea Party or terrorism, it's all junk, and you can't get rid of some without getting rid of all.

    In other words, speech you don't like is still free speech.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:01am

    Sometimes I wonder about .....

    I've noticed how americans and especially american politicians like to shout about how great their country is and how the constitution and bill of rights are such an example to the world. Maybe so... It was a damn fine idea at the time but so often it seems that america's people and laws go out of their way to disprove their own ideals and obfustate or ignore the values held up by those documents.

    When I see things like:
    A couple years ago, Senator Joe Lieberman spent some time grandstanding over the fact that some terrorist groups had posted videos to YouTube. He complained about YouTube/Google allowing this, and it didn't take long for YouTube to capitulate and ban such videos

    It immediately makes me think of the "President"'s speech from the Rob Reiner film "The American President"
    America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free".


    That seems to me to be the example you guys should be going for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:05am

    Re: Put this in context...

    Lol, I found the story. It seems that she was influenced by the writings of Anwar al-Awlaki, and had nothing to do with three months of videos.

    Ironically enough, right below it was a story about a different person who also stabbed an MP, also in his surgery. Seems he blamed the MP for his unemployed state. Should we ban the news as well as the terror videos, since the news led him to believe that it was his MP's fault?

    Oh, wait. Maybe we should ban the news and the books, since the books were the source of her radicalization?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:08am

    Re: Sometimes I wonder about .....

    Yes, that is what we should be going for. Instead, the country is engaged in the sport of Red vs. Blue.

    /sadface

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    lfroen (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:10am

    Re: Re: It's not about safety

    >> In other words, speech you don't like is still free speech.
    Uhh - no. Not only I "don't like" those people's speech, I would like to wage war with them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    DMNTD, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:17am

    Re: Put this in context...

    I took nothing from your post, it read like a politician. You even take the obvious reason laws to stop citizens from defending themselves and make it sound like its a good result?!?!(politician)

    SO, a criminal being able to get a hold of a gun etc is perfectly fine. A citizen being able to be on the same footing makes them a crazed shooter...WTF is wrong with you. In everything we do there will always be borders and removing good tools from strong citizens is the story of a dictator and if your fine with that than we are disagreeing on a high level with no end in sight.

    As for the videos many others have said it better. If at any point a society shows weakness to a thought or teaching and tries to hide it etc then freedom has not been truly utilized.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    darryl, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:31am

    How low can you go !!!..

    IS there no line you will not cross mike ??

    I cannot believe you are complaining about having those kinds of videos removed.

    That is beyond belief !!.

    What do you want, a thrill of watching some poor person be decapited, as if its your god given right to see it..

    That is REALLY SICK Mike..

    And what "importantant information" is it that you think you would be missing out on Mike ? I would be interested to know ???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:33am

    Re: Re: Re: It's not about safety

    Yes, because you live in the UK, which has limited speech.

    In other words, limited speech that you don't like is limited.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:38am

    Re: How low can you go !!!..

    Actually, there are plenty of death and injury videos on YouTube. Many of them are news clips. They all have high views, so it seems that many people do, in fact, derive some value from this type of video.

    Of course, in America, and in many other parts of the world, it is our God-given, or human, right to express our views, and to hear others expressing theirs.

    It's that whole crazy Constitution thing, plus, you know, that Universal Declaration thing, whatever. It's not important, anyway, I guess.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Griff (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:51am

    Re: Re: Put this in context...

    I seem to be misunderstood

    -- SO, a criminal being able to get a hold of a gun etc is perfectly fine --

    Not at all. My point was that you go for low hanging fruit first. If there are no gun shops people have to work that little bit harder to get a gun, but noone pretends that this means there are no guns.

    As in the USA and many countries, heroin is not available in the supermarket (though people can find it somewhere if they try hard enough) because the perception is that if it was EASY to get then a lot more people would get it.
    It may be wrong (many argue the approach is futile) but it's how many currenmt laws are made.

    Hence the mindset of the authorities (which I attempted to explain, but not defend, though Rose Welch seems to think it is my point of view) that says take the easy stuff out first (hate inciting videos on youtube) and hope that this will at least reduce the problem.

    And regarding the news story about the woman stabbing the MP. I am sure Rose is right and she was not radicalised by 3 months of videos, but THAT IS WHAT THE UK TABLOIDS ARE IMPLYING. Hence that is what public opinion thinks. Hence that is what politicians are pandering to.

    As I said, I'm trying to shed light on the politicians behaviour, not defend or agree with it.
    There's a difference.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 4:14am

    Re: How low can you go !!!..

    And what "importantant information" is it that you think you would be missing out on Mike ? I would be interested to know ???
    The importance isn't in the information it's in the idea what people can say whatever they like. You know? free speech? Without it there would be very little reason not to censor your own rants that twist tiny portions of an article or comment to fit your own odd world view for the sole purpose of putting down other people's opinions in an unintelligent and abusive way. Your right to behave in such an antosocial way is upheld by the very thng ou seem to rail against so much.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 4:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    If you're talking about grandstanding, then what was the point? That's what the article was about.

    As for the rest of your explanation, it kinda sucks, too.

    Heroin is not available in the supermarket because it is illegal.

    Guns are available at the supermarket, even to many criminals, or people who will become criminals.

    In America, terrorist videos are not illegal.

    They might be in the UK. It depends on who you ask. It seems like their limits on speech are in violation of the Human Right Declaration that they signed, but I don't have all of the details there.

    Alot of your assumptions are pretty... incorrect.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 4:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Where do you draw the line?

    So it is perfectly legal and fine for MAFIAA and co to demand that music vids and movie clips are taken down from youtube and video sharing sites? Sure there we may not like it, and there have been cases that it it actually INCREASES their sales.

    But it isn't OK to take down these videos which incite such hatred and violence towards peoples of nations which are such ordinary citizens just trying to get on with our everyday lives. Not everyone shares the views of the politicians but there is no distinction made between that, everyone of that nation is "evil". Bear in mind that a lot of people from these hate inspiring nations emigrate to these "evil" nations to find better lives for themselves and their families.

    If we should allow these videos on youtube and use it to track people, again where do you draw the line. You could say in that case we should allow everything on there. Maybe they should allow child pornography so that we can catch all the paedophiles? What is the difference in moral objections here...?

    I have to say I agree with Griff. You have to start somewhere, and simply not doing anything about it sends out the wrong message IMO, like not cracking down on drug smuggling.

    "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." - Mahatma Gandhi

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Griff (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 4:32am

    Re: Re: Put this in context...

    -- SO, a criminal being able to get a hold of a gun etc is perfectly fine. A citizen being able to be on the same footing makes them a crazed shooter...WTF is wrong with you. In everything we do there will always be borders and removing good tools from strong citizens is the story of a dictator --

    Sorry I didn't read this closely enough first time round.

    We clearly disagree because you maybe think everyone having a gun would make the place safer (citizens defending themselves etc) whereas I tend to believe the fewer guns the better, even if only the very bad guys and the few armed police had them.

    If a mugger with a gun meets an unarmed person in an alley, chances are someone will lose their wallet.
    But if both are armed, someone will probably get shot and it won't always be the one you might hope.

    We had a guy go on the rampage recently in the north of England. Shot > 20 people. The authorities say that nothing in his history and his gun ownership applications would have given any clues that he was not safe.

    However, there are many people (myself included) who would say that the very fact that a taxi driver wants to own multiple guns is itself a sign of mental imbalance in itself.


    Often I hear people say after a Columbine style event that if more citizens had guns it would have saved lives but I also note that for long periods (maybe hours) these situations are shrouded in utter confusion with noone (including the police) knowing quite where or who the shooters are.
    I would contend that it is an equally valid point of view that if lots of people had guns in these situations there would be potentially worse chaos with scared people shooting wildly at each other.

    So I favour a world where there are no legal guns and heavy penalties for people caught with illegal ones.
    Kids would not get accidentally shot with the gun they found under dad's bed. Disgruntled high school kids would simply not have easy access to a family weapon.
    The few people with guns (the very bad guys) would indeed have an advantage but we do have armed police when required.

    In the British model, armed police are a handpicked subset who are thought to be mentally capable of handling the responsibility. Most police are unarmed. They chase bad guys down on foot rather than shooting them in the back between donut breaks in the cruiser. And we in the UK like it that way.

    But it's just my point of view and I'd defend to the death your right to completely disagree with me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 4:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    I know! Here's the line:

    Let's block things that are illegal and keep things that are legal. Terror videos are legal in the US and (maybe) in the UK.

    Since we won't be wasting time and effort on videos, then we can implement the UK's own outline on ways to keep people from becoming radicalized.

    Outcome? We don't do dumb things, and actually address the problem. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    I favor a world that makes sense, which is a world in which we monitor felons to make sure that they aren't violating the law and owning firearms, and gun owners are required to take a short safety test.

    You see, most gun violence is committed by felons and people awaiting trial for felony charges. (Unless something has changed since my extensive research for a school report.) In addition, areas that have banned firearms have seen huge increases in bludgeoning deaths. So... yeah. Still plenty of deaths and injuries.

    Really, my ideal world is one in which the majority of people openly carry weapons. Children grow up with weapon safety, and everyone's really, really polite. :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Griff (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    -- In America, terrorist videos are not illegal.
    They might be in the UK. --

    We do have laws against inciting racial or religious hatred.

    What is far more worthy of discussion is where you draw the line. Pointing out the civilian death toll in Iraq might make people hate the coalition countries but it's a matter of fact and presumably shouldn't be censored.

    Telling people to go out and stab their MP (and I'm not suggesting that this has ever happened) would definitely take you over the line in the UK.

    But when you explore the space in between, it's going to be pretty hard to find a clear line in the sand that everyone can agree on.


    My point about heroin and guns was that many people in governments believe that they can reduce the amount of something that will be found in society by making it harder to get at (cf "the war on drugs").

    This belief is held whether the thing is legal or illegal.

    In the UK there is an ongoing discussion about increasing the price of alcohol to reduce "binge drinking". And removing coke machines from schools to stop kids getting fat. These are both legal but in both cases the suggestion is that if it's harder to get there'll be less of it.

    The same rationale applies to the very high UK tax on cigarettes. If it was JUST to raise money then economists would no doubt suggest lowering the rate would increase the overall take.


    Many people of course do NOT agree with this. Going after the drug supply raises the price and potentially makes drug related crime more profitable. And it is also argued by some that the war on drugs has simply not worked. Without a change in demand, it is futile.
    But politicians play to the gallery and always seem to have to look tough.

    So coming back to my original point, Mike seemed to express surprise that anyone would believe a youtube ban on terrorist vids would address the problem.

    And my post was simply saying this
    - there are plenty of people currently in the UK who think vids alone can radicalise someone (probably due as Rose correctly says to poor reporting of a recent event)
    - there are people in all countries who believe you can reduce consumption of undesireable things by going after the supply (rather than the demand)
    - stopping youtube is a not insignificant step in that direction
    - So why is Mike surprised ? There's actually a fairly clear rationale behind such actions (whether or not you agree with it).


    I should also say that I believe there's a big difference between a subtle, almost documentary style video aimed at building hatred of a government and one showing a beheading (which I would contend would never be used to "win supporters", but to simply excite the converts).

    You might consider banning both of these, but probably for different reasons.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Griff (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    -- my ideal world is one in which the majority of people openly carry weapons. Children grow up with weapon safety, and everyone's really, really polite --

    Sounds like a world where noone trusts anyone.

    What about an ideal world where there are no guns and everyone is really polite ?
    Really, if you're going to start from scratch and build an ideal world, your vision of ideal is pretty grim.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Really, my ideal world is one in which the majority of people openly carry weapons. Children grow up with weapon safety, and everyone's really, really polite.
    So you're a "You'll get further with a kind word and a gun than just with a kind word" guy huh? :-)

    I'm sort of with you, especially that knowledge and familiarity with something dangerous engenders more respect and care for that thing. The problem that the stupidity of people tends towards a maximum and the more guns you have around the more are in the hands of people are way more than 2SD away from the "median" level of common sense (which isn't necessarily great to start with) and probably shouldn't be trusted with shoelaces never mind firearms. Unlike many of the other things people talk about limiting, a firearm's sole purpose in life is to shoot things - that's dangerous and probably ought to be limited in some way.

    However I've NO idea how to strike the balance. On the one hand the UK laws are hopelessly draconian, largely based on political perception and knee-jerk reaction to tragedies and at least in part pointless and removing of freedom. On the other hand the US gun laws are hoplessly liberal, also often polically motivated rather than common sense based, dangerous and way too emotive a subject for a large chunk of the population.

    rant
    It annoys the hell out of me when both sides come out with trite soundbite arguments "Guns don't kill people, people do". What Boll*cks! Then there's the "constitutional agument" "Americans have the right to bear arms"... well actually it only says that if you leave a few words out as far as I'm aware. And on the other side "Ah but really it's talking about the national guard or something". For f*cks sake accept the framers had a sucky english moment and you're never going to know what they meant because they are all dead and were talking about a society that's rather changed over the last couple of hundred years anyway and base the laws on common sense.
    /rant

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    DH's Love Child (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    What about an ideal world where there are no guns and everyone is really polite ?
    Really, if you're going to start from scratch and build an ideal world, your vision of ideal is pretty grim.


    um, and in your little Utopia, would people also not have: knives, baseball bats, axes, saws, ice picks, screwdrivers, cars, etc... In other words, we only have soft fluffy things that can't possibly be used as weapons? I prefer Rose's where you actually do trust everyone or you wouldn't allow them to have a gun.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    DH's Love Child (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Rose, will you marry me?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:29am

    Re: How low can you go !!!..

    I do not like what you said, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Griff (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    - On the one hand the UK laws are hopelessly draconian, largely based on political perception and knee-jerk reaction to tragedies and at least in part pointless and removing of freedom. --

    Removing of freedom ?

    I agree that
    - too many laws are made based on response to rare and unrepresentative events
    - they may be less effective than many imagine them to be.

    But I think you'd struggle to find a majority in the UK who feel "unfree" because guns are not freely legal and available.
    I have no desire to carry a gun, and don't feel any need. It's enough of a pain carrying a wallet, keys and phone.

    Apart from the armed police at an airport, I could go through my whole life without seeing a gun in the flesh.
    So what on earth would I want to carry a gun for ? Based on actual risk I should perhaps carry a meteorite warning device too.

    Carrying a gun because one day I might meet someone with a gun is no better than making laws based on really rare events.



    And if my next door neighbour told me that he DID want to carry a gun, he'd probably be on my list of people who shouldn't be allowed to. I mean, what does he want to do, shoot someone ? Jeez, the guy must be a looney.

    So someone from the USA might look at the UK and think we are being denied a key freedom, but we might conversely look at the level of guncrime in the USA and be glad the way we are. And we might both be right or both wrong.

    Perhaps in the USA things have already gone so far that you WOULD be safer all carrying guns. But that's (IMHO) not the case in the UK.



    Disclosure
    I lived in the USA for 4 years, starting just before 9/11.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    But I think you'd struggle to find a majority in the UK who feel "unfree" because guns are not freely legal and available.
    Didn't say a majority, but it removes my freedom to do something that does not hurt anyone else that I want to do. I didn't say it was a big freedom that was removed, but even the little ones are important because the removal tends to creep. Laws should cover no more than is absolutely neccessary.
    I have no desire to carry a gun, and don't feel any need. It's enough of a pain carrying a wallet, keys and phone.
    Me either actually but that's rather different from owning a firearm. If I want to go to a range, perhaps even a combat-style range and "play" with an automatic pistol am I harming anyone? Am I a danger to anyone who has not conciously chosen to put themselves in that environment No? Then why should me freedom to do so be restricted? Guns are fun when it comes down to it. Why should I be restricted from "playing" with a handgun because of some politician's knee-jerk reaction to a shooting that involved a handgun? Why should I be restricted to a double-barrelled shotgun ratehr than a pump-action one because of knee-jerk politics and against common sense nad facts? I don't necessarily have a problem with restrictions, just arbitary and badly thought out ones.
    Personally I think everyone should be required to learn how to handle a weapon safely and how to shoot because unlike the standard english cry of "but then everyone will go around shooting things", I believe knowledge engenders respect and control and reduces the fear, knee-jerkness and "cool factor" problems with firearms. But thats just me. Like I say I don't know how to balance things and where to draw the line I just know the UK sucks at it (and so does the US). Maybe France has the answer? (g*d forbid!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    "If a mugger with a gun meets an unarmed person in an alley, chances are someone will lose their wallet.
    But if both are armed, someone will probably get shot and it won't always be the one you might hope."

    This psychology may be fine for the UK but in other parts of the world any encounter with a mugger is going to result in someone dying. The only question is who is going to die, the mugger or the victim?

    What you have here is a complete failure to understand that the world does not play by so call UK rules of civility but is a very dangerous place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Michael, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:30am

    Re:

    "government would learn"

    What in the history of mankind makes you think this would happen?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    I would like to remind you that in the US not only are we allowed to carry a gun, but encouraged to by the US Bill of Rights. There are three general reasons for this, the main one is being able to form a militia if necessary, the second is security in your home, the third is to have a rebellion if necessary. The third reason is the main reason the amendment is there, but the first is what is stated.

    You make it sound like anyone who would want to carry a gun is looking to kill someone. I think you need to rethink your outlook on life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Keybored, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:50am

    Re: Put this in context...

    Very well said. Thank you. Everything and anything we, yes we as a society, can do to minimize this influence is good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Griff (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    -- um, and in your little Utopia, would people also not have: knives, baseball bats, axes, saws, ice picks, screwdrivers, cars, etc... In other words, we only have soft fluffy things that can't possibly be used as weapons? --

    I think we all know that a gun is not like other weapons. With a gun a small cowardly person can kill a person from tens of yards away, in a manner they never would if they had to do it with (say) a baseball bat.
    I've been on a range and seen how people can change when they are able to annihilate a target with a handgin from 40 yeards. It's projected power and they feel bigger.

    Those other items you list have uses beyond killing people.

    Maybe it's about context. If I see a guy in the park with a baseball bat, he's maybe playing baseball. If he walks into a bank with it (or with a large axe, say) I might expect the security guard to want to keep an eye on him.
    If he tries to get on a plane with a screwdriver, they'll stop him.

    But what is the "normal" context for someone walking along openly carrying a gun ?
    On a plane ? Hopefully not. In an employment tribunal ? In a mall ? Outside a school when picking up the kids ? In a local government building ?
    At a political rally ?




    Me learning "safe gun handling" would be like me learning to land an airliner. Probably NEVER going to be relevant in my entire life in the UK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    lfroen (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: How low can you go !!!..

    >> Of course, in America, and in many other parts of the world, it is our God-given, or human, right to express our views
    No, it is not. Where the did you've got such silly idea? In _some_ parts of the world (and not, I don't live in UK) it's perfectly reasonable to shoot authors of such videos. How about that as "God given right"?
    And no, not all speech is equal. Not in all countries and not to all people. When someone put "Death to XYZ" video he should expect that XYZ will take a gun as a result.
    Now, does fascist propaganda legal in US? What about KKK? Where's your "freedom of speech" now?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Re: How low can you go !!!..

    Yes, those does be legal. What is youse point?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    In other words, we only have soft fluffy things that can't possibly be used as weapons?
    Oh I don't know... I did a fair amount of damage to my brother with a cuddly panda when I was young. :-) Anything can be used as a weapon if you're determined - it's just some work better than others havign been designed for the function.
    Me learning "safe gun handling" would be like me learning to land an airliner. Probably NEVER going to be relevant in my entire life in the UK.
    No such thing as useless knowledge. If you learn to handle a weapon, even if you never pick one up in your life again, you learn it's limitations, you learn potentially to appreciate in some way the skill and judgement that might be involved in having to use one in a life or death situation. It might take away the mystique of "coolness" that seems to surround the idea of carrying a gun for the young.... and so on

    Samurai were expected to learn flower arranging and poetry in order to be more rounded. The philosophy of that culture suggested that if you only learn a single facet you are limited in what you do.

    Passing up knowledge just because one can't see the immediate use of it narrows the mind. There's nothing so dangerous as being limited by "things you know".

    Besides, humans are about discovery - it's supposed to be fun!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:11am

    Re: Put this in context...

    By your logic the drug war will work as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    taoareyou, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    YouTube's Choice

    YouTube pulled the vids because they violate their hate speech rules, among others. I find it ironic that people are complaining about the removal of videos calling for violence against innocent people while at the same time screaming for the removal of "bully" vids where they target a single individual and emotionally harass them.

    So in summary, calling for the murder of many innocents should be protected, but calling a kid fat needs to be removed.

    Conclusion: The public will think what they are told to think.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Sometimes I wonder about .....

    Hey, Red vs. Blue is a damn fine web series. Burnie Burns might be an ironic copyright maximalist, but it's hardly fair to blame him for...

    Oh, wait. Nevermind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Put this in context...

    no no no...
    you would have to ban any news regarding unemployment rates and/or any violence unlawfulness or otherwise unsavory behavor done by anyone that is not gainfully employed.

    just think of it, that way the government could just "fix" unemployment by just denying it exists!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    i think you are trying to make the false assumption that guns are different.

    implements of any sort do not kill people. people kill people. guns are only a tool just like knives, axes, baseball bats and arsnic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:08am

    Re: YouTube's Choice

    " I find it ironic that people are complaining about the removal of videos calling for violence against innocent people while at the same time screaming for the removal of "bully" vids where they target a single individual and emotionally harass them."

    You'll find they're rarely the same people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    They are.... All the other things you mentioned have a different primary purpose.
    Knives cut things, there are many things you can usefully cut other than people or living things - wood, already dead food, moddling clay, etc, etc OK there's K-Bars for example, but as a class knives have other uses
    Axes are primarily used for cutting down trees and similar uses - there's battle axes but they are tricky weapons to use and I'd imagine most people who might buy one get it for decorative purposes
    Baseball bats are designed for, well, baseball. Hitting people with them is an incidental use.
    Arsenic has a number of medical uses and until recently was also used in agriculture.

    Guns... well the primary purpose of a gun is to kill things. Target shooting is an incidental use. I'm not saying there aren't legitimate uses of guns - Hunting is legitimate for example (even for "sport" though I may disagree there), as is target shooting. All I'm saying is that guns are inherently designed from the ground up for the purpose of killing things and thus are indeed somewhat different and deserve different consideration from other "tools".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Kelly, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Really, my ideal world is one in which the majority of people openly carry weapons. Children grow up with weapon safety, and everyone's really, really polite. :P
    That would be really nice, but in the reality we live in, the number of burglars shot by homeowners defending their home is less than the number of family members accidentally shot because they were mistaken for a burglar.

    To give a more direct comparison, I did a few minutes of internet searching. FBI crime statistics for the year 2006 popped up. Nationally, the US had a murder rate of 7 murders for every 100,000 population. In Detroit, the murder rate was 47.3/100K. Right across the Detroit River is the city of Windsor Ontario. According to Statistics Canada, the murder rate for Windsor in 2006 was 1.5/100K, and the overall average for Canada that year was 1.9/100K. while there are differences between the laws in Canada and the USA, they are pretty similar, especially in the areas of violent crime and the causes of the violent crime. the only major difference is in the controls on firearms. The USA has free access to firearms. Canada has very tight controls, and a murder rate a fraction of the murder rate in the USA. These statistics aren't proof that the gun controls reduce the number of murders, but they certainly suggest that there's a strong correlation there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Oh boy must stop rambling.
    What I was trying to say is yes, I think anything that is designed to primarily be a weapon should be thought of differently from a tool that has a secondary or tertiary weapon use.
    Not banned, or even controlled necessarily but considered differently.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    I think in his little Utopia, people would use knives in the kitchen (and for camping and so on, and not to hurt other people), baseball bats for baseball, axes for chopping trees, saws for cutting things, ice picks for breaking up chunks of ice, screwdrivers for driving screws (and opening paint cans of course), cars for driving, etc.

    The point is in an IDEAL world, people don't want to hurt one another. Wouldn't that be better than Rose's, where people don't hurt each other only because they're afraid of each other's guns?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    I like Rose's world. You need to carry a gun in case you get attacked by a mountain lion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...


    Really, my ideal world is one in which the majority of people openly carry weapons. Children grow up with weapon safety, and everyone's really, really polite. :P


    I don't have a strong position either way on gun rights, but I have to say, this sounds horrible. The way you phrased it, it seems like you're talking about a place where people are only polite because they're afraid of getting shot, and where people will shoot anyone who isn't really polite.

    So, basically everyone is really on edge all the time, and there's no practical freedom of speech, because anything one says that may offend someone else could get one shot. And the chances of that are a lot higher since everyone has a gun.

    I think, in a practical sense, this kind of mindset is similar to Gatling's idea that the Gatling gun would end war by making it too unthinkable. Obviously, there is not much that is unthinkable for *someone*. If the idea is that with the knowledge that everyone is armed, that no one would be stupid enough to start a fight, I think you seriously overestimate humanity. There is always someone stupid enough.

    Uh... yeah, think I'll pass on this "utopia".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: How low can you go !!!..

    It's not my God-given, or human right, to express our views?

    How to you explain the Constitution of the United Stated or the Human Rights Declaration signed by many other countries?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    On the other hand in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley we also have had the experience of gang wars fought by people who have acquired hand guns on the black market.

    A market that also exists, like it or not, in Windsor.

    Canada has moderately tight controls over the acquisition of hand guns (globally speaking) and light controls, even now, on long gun ownership. (Though we still have that incredible boondoggle known as the long gun registry which doesn't and never will stop a nut case from getting one and blasting away in a school.)

    As far as the difference in the number of killings/murders by hand guns in the United States vis the UK or vis Canada I'd suggest that it's meaningless.

    The vast majority of murders take place where the killer knows the victim. If a firearm is handy it's likely to be used but a butcher knife is just as lethal when used to kill someone as a firearm is. A nail gun (perfectly legal) is as effective as a firearm at close range too.

    Where stranger killings are concerned I doubt there's all that much in the way of difference between the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada in the choice of weaponry. Further I'd take a (not so wild) guess that they are using handguns and medium to high powered long guns regardless of the location.

    I'd suggest that things like murder rates are more cultural than they are linked to the availability of firearms.

    I'd suggest that in the case of Detroit vs south western Ontario there are other differences in place that make the murder rate in Detroit an order of magnitude higher than the are on the Canadian side of the border.

    As murder rates are. in general, on on the decline in all three countries I'd also suggest there is something else going on that the ease or difficulty of acquiring firearms in each.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Put this in context...

    As this seems to have drifted into the inevitable firearms debate further down let's try coming back to the story itself.

    What I don't see is just what the causal link is between immersing oneself in badly produced YouTube videos by a group of extremists other than the mistaken one that you, and English authorities, draw.

    My first response to this is that there was something else that caused this woman to do what she did than simply the videos or some latent grievance over the British entry into the Iraq war than just the videos.

    What the demand to remove the videos does it allow the authorities to point to it all and say "look at this! we did something!" when, in point of fact, the accomplish nothing except some PR.

    Does it make me feel safer? Not one iota.

    Wired has it right is saying it causes them some mild inconvenience but not much more. It's far more likely to get them sympathy from those viewing them favourably not that that should surprise anyone.

    Other than that it accomplishes nothing other than a few more search engine queries about that group from the curious, the angry at them and the already sympathetic which will reveal more videos and other statements.

    It's called the Striesand Effect around here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Except that it isn't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    "And if my next door neighbour told me that he DID want to carry a gun, he'd probably be on my list of people who shouldn't be allowed to. I mean, what does he want to do, shoot someone ? Jeez, the guy must be a looney. "

    I guess if you live in London that might be the case. Or even in parts of rural England. Though a case can be made for one in rural areas such as the one I live in that are perfectly reasonable and rational.

    Such as if my work, or anything else, requires that I go into the backwoods around here I'd want a rifle with me. It's perfectly reasonable when you realize that the woods hereabouts harbour potentially dangerous critters like cougars, two species of bear and wolves. Not that I have anything against any of them as long as we leave each other alone but should something happen that causes, for example, me to unwittingly get between momma bear or cougar or wolf and cub. Momma is going to, quite rightly by her view, attack me first and ask questions about my potential danger later. In those sorts of cases, rare as they are, I'd prefer to be as dangerous as she thinks I am, thank you very much.

    Above you mentioned the cab driver who went off the edge in northern England and drove around shooting at people. The news reports I've read indicate that he got his firearms legally which kind of suggests that you're wrong in stating that there are no gun shops in the UK.

    And the last few times I've been there visiting relatives I have seen and been in gun shops in the UK. Admittedly the less civilized parts like the Yorkshire dales and the highlands of Scotland but they do exist.

    Your remark is typical of urbanites who never need to leave the alleged comforts of the big city where life is a tad different than it is in rural areas and the needs are different.

    What makes no sense to you, the urban person, makes perfect sense to me, the rural one. Or even semi rural. In my case I'm not arming myself against another human being but a creature of the forests who comes fully equipped out of the womb with far better weapons that I have at birth so I'd just like to even the odds a bit should the worst happen. (Almost always my fault, I should add.)

    In the end it nothing changes in that the bad guys will get the firearms they need and want whether it's the Provos, an extremist group within a religion or ethnic group, a bunch of anarchists or whatever.

    The gun argument, in this case is a red herring, nothing more or less.

    It has little to do with the futility and pointlessness of British authorities arm twisting YouTube to take down a couple of nutbar videos.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: How low can you go !!!..

    Let me toss this back at you, as you raised the question of "fascist propaganda" and the KKK and others of that ilk.

    I suppose you're just as outraged at the French government and media going at the Roma people (gypsies) and trotting them off to what is, in reality, a series of internment camps until they find someone else to take them as you are at the content of these videos?

    You see, speech is either free or it isn't and that fascist propaganda isn't limited to private groups but governments can do it just as well or far better.

    Western countries did sign on to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights you know, which, as it happens, guarantees freedom of speech.

    As to a bunch of proto-radicals putting up a YouTube video screaming "Death to XYZ" I'd be more likely shake my head wondering which screws in their heads are loose than take out my rifle and get ready to use it. That sort of thing is done by hangers on and pretenders rather than the real thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    darryl, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:17pm

    Freedom on speech and Guns now..

    Americans, when in doubt, hide behind the constitution !!. Seems to be the common cry here.

    If you read these comments, one, the consitiution was a "God Given" right.
    No, its not..

    two, the constitution allows you to do and say whatever you like, 'freedom of speech' means you can say ANYTHING, ANYWHERE is complete immunity..

    NO, it does not..

    With guns, sure issue every American on birth a gun no make it 4 guns, loaded and the safety off.

    That would go a long way to fixing your healthcare problems, you're massive unemployment, and certinly reduct population growth.

    And yes, a Gun is a 'tool' for ONE PURPOSE, its kills whatever you point it at, when you pull the trigger.

    A knife, or a stick, or a car is not primarily a weapon, as has been said, (if you can understand) they have other usefull purposes.

    Here in Australia we dont allow people to carry guns, or knives or weapons. And our murder rate is VERY VERY low compared to the US.

    Its clear with the amount of crime in the US that guns do not act as a deterrent to the committing of a crime.

    So the only reason the you would want to carry a gun is so you can contribute to the terrible statistics that are caused by your hiding behind the consitution as a sheild to allow you to do what you like.

    Freedom of speech does NOT allow you to say what you like when you like, and the constitution does not allow you to 'carry' guns in the US.

    So the next time someone decides to fly a jet liner into a building in the US you will be all ok, because you will pull out your smith and western, and blow the bastards away..

    How did that work for you the last time.

    Ever wondered why the middle east hates the US so much ??

    Ever wondered why most of the world looks at the US with an attitude that 'the US hopefully will grow up one day, and consider that the US is not the center of the universe'.

    The US is becoming more and more of an international embarrasment and a joke. You cant seem to manage your own finances, or healthcare, but you can find $10 billion a month to fight a war in the middle east, but its citizens cannot affort to buy or keep their houses.

    Katrina, what a joke, we were watching 100,000 people stranded at the sport stadium LIVE in Australia, and at the same time watching Bush and his mate saying there was not a problem there.

    As if they cannot even see a TV, im the other side of the world and I could see what was going on better than your president !!!!.

    So much for your high tech spy satellites, where are they, why could not not be tasked to check levy breaks ?

    IF they claim they can read number plates from outer space but can see what is happening in New Orleans.

    What do you think that shows the world about the 'great' US ?

    There is no 'gun argument' all you have to do is find out what is happening in your world, and in THE world.

    If you think owning guns makes you safer that is great, prove it, there is more than enough statistics to clearly show that guns are not safer than not having guns, BY A LONG WAY..

    As someone allready made the comparison between the US and Canada. Its a no brainer..

    IF it is a no brainer, what does that say about Americans ?

    As for the video's its not free speech, its not freedom of religion, its terrorism, its scaring people. And having access to a person being decapitated IS NOT YOUR FREAKING RIGHT.. Even if for some reason you would even want too.

    As someone said, child porn is banned too, why not fight that with your free speech rubbish ??

    Why differentiate ??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Freedom on speech and Guns now..

    Americans, when in doubt, hide behind the constitution !!. Seems to be the common cry here.

    Actually, the Human Rights Declaration is more encompassing that our Constitution, so it looks as though it's not limited to Americans. In addition, the Constitution isn't very large, and would be hard to hide behind. It’s something like 24” x 30”.

    If you read these comments, one, the consitiution was a "God Given" right.
    No, its not..


    Yes, yes, is does. A God-given right is the same as a natural right, or a right that is self-evident and/or inalienable. Natural rights, also called inalienable rights, are considered to be self-evident and universal. And you might want to consider reading our Constitution, in it's entirety, including the Bill of Rights and Amendments, before arguing with me about this.

    two, the constitution allows you to do and say whatever you like, 'freedom of speech' means you can say ANYTHING, ANYWHERE is complete immunity..

    No, it doesn't. Freedom of speech is a term used to describe our freedom to express ourselves without censorship by the government. 'Freedom of speech' doesn't mean that I can stand on my neighbor's lawn and yell about religion. It does mean that I can stand on the courthouse lawn and yell about religion.

    NO, it does not..

    Yes, it does.

    With guns, sure issue every American on birth a gun no make it 4 guns, loaded and the safety off.

    That would go a long way to fixing your healthcare problems, you're massive unemployment, and certinly reduct population growth.


    What's your problem with that scenario?

    And yes, a Gun is a 'tool' for ONE PURPOSE, its kills whatever you point it at, when you pull the trigger. A knife, or a stick, or a car is not primarily a weapon, as has been said, (if you can understand) they have other usefull purposes.

    That's incorrect. Guns can be used to take command, and to wound or maim, and frequently are. Despite what you may have seen on TV, it's hard to kill someone with a gun.

    Regardless, even when used as a tool of death, it is still a useful tool. Personally, I'm looking forward to the deer that my husband is hoping to drop this month, and I liked eating the squirrel that my 9-year-old shot last month. (I don't recommend squirrel and dumplings, by the way. Try 'em in chili, instead.)

    Yum, meat.

    Here in Australia we dont allow people to carry guns, or knives or weapons.

    Really? That's funny, because one-third of your murders are committed with firearms. Can Australians shoot bullets with their minds now? (I’ll bet David Thorne can.)
    And since you claim that no one has knifes or other weapons, I have to ask: Are the rest of your murders poisonings or do Australians just make a habit of beating each other to death with their bare hands?

    And our murder rate is VERY VERY low compared to the US.

    Really? 0.042802 per 1,000 people vs. 0.0150324 murders for every 1,000 people is very, very large difference? No, not really. (And remember, one-third of those murders is committed with a firearm.)

    Its clear with the amount of crime in the US that guns do not act as a deterrent to the committing of a crime.

    The Constitution doesn't allow gun ownership for the purpose of deterring crime. It allows gun ownership for the purpose of deterring tyranny, like what you Aussies have over there.

    So the only reason the you would want to carry a gun is so you can contribute to the terrible statistics that are caused by your hiding behind the consitution as a sheild to allow you to do what you like.

    I'm confused. Are these 'horrible statistics' caused by guns or by a piece of paper? Are they not caused by people? And your statistics aren't very different. What are yours caused by?

    Freedom of speech does NOT allow you to say what you like when you like, and the constitution does not allow you to 'carry' guns in the US.

    Really? DC vs. Heller and a plethora of other cases disagree with you.

    So the next time someone decides to fly a jet liner into a building in the US you will be all ok, because you will pull out your smith and western, and blow the bastards away..

    No, that would take an anti-aircraft weapon, not a Smith & Wesson. Anyway, you’re missing the point. With guns, the next time that a tyrant (or a tyrannous people) steps up to a position of leadership and says, 'Give me your children.’, we'll be able to say, 'No.' and mean it, unlike what happened in Australia.

    How did that work for you the last time.

    How did not having firearms work for you last time? Oh, yeah. Badly. Very, very badly.

    Ever wondered why the middle east hates the US so much ??

    No, not really. Not any more than I wonder why so many Americans hate the Middle East.

    Ever wondered why most of the world looks at the US with an attitude that 'the US hopefully will grow up one day, and consider that the US is not the center of the universe'.

    I'm pretty sure that we have no idea where the center of the universe is, and that most super-powers don't go around arbitrarily wishing that other super-powers weren't super-powers. Also, that your funny statement has no bearing on the rest of your funny rant.

    The US is becoming more and more of an international embarrasment and a joke. You cant seem to manage your own finances, or healthcare, but you can find $10 billion a month to fight a war in the middle east, but its citizens cannot affort to buy or keep their houses.

    Katrina, what a joke, we were watching 100,000 people stranded at the sport stadium LIVE in Australia, and at the same time watching Bush and his mate saying there was not a problem there.

    As if they cannot even see a TV, im the other side of the world and I could see what was going on better than your president !!!!.

    So much for your high tech spy satellites, where are they, why could not not be tasked to check levy breaks ?

    IF they claim they can read number plates from outer space but can see what is happening in New Orleans.


    Wow, that was wildly incoherent. You went from 'The Constitution sucks.' to 'Guns suck.' to 'America sucks.' to ‘Science sucks.’. Are you compensating for something? Maybe you should go play some Alien or watch some porn with hot B-cup chicks.

    Oh, wait. Right. Sorry, mate.

    What do you think that shows the world about the 'great' US ?

    It says that I can play Aliens and watch porn with hot B-cup chicks. :) Yay, freedom!

    Also, it doesn't say anything at all about our Constitution or firearms.

    There is no 'gun argument' all you have to do is find out what is happening in your world, and in THE world.

    Apparently, there is.

    If you think owning guns makes you safer that is great, prove it, there is more than enough statistics to clearly show that guns are not safer than not having guns, BY A LONG WAY..

    Well, owning guns would have made a big difference to the tyrants that stole aboriginal children. If the aborigines had guns (Well, a few did, but no ammo, so…), then the Stolen Generations might never have been stolen, and then beaten, raped, and sold.

    As someone allready made the comparison between the US and Canada. Its a no brainer..

    IF it is a no brainer, what does that say about Americans ?


    That we’re smarter than one particular Australian?

    As for the video's its not free speech, its not freedom of religion, its terrorism, its scaring people. And having access to a person being decapitated IS NOT YOUR FREAKING RIGHT.. Even if for some reason you would even want too.

    Well, that depends on a lot of factors.

    First, is it newsworthy? If it is – and decapitation probably would be – then it would be protected speech, although in horrible taste. Of course, the United States isn’t alone in its horrible taste. Europe, South America, and the Middle East have all had centuries to refine their taste for gore and violence. We’re really just babies at it.

    Next, who shot the video? If the person taking the video has a release from the person in the video, and they sell me a copy, then yes, I would have the right to watch it. We televise some of our executions, as well, you know. (And, again, remember that Australia has killed [publicly] many more people that we have, and for lesser offenses such as burglary and ‘being illegally at large’. What the hell was up with that, by the way?)

    Last, death news clips and videos are popular all over the world. Is this disgusting? Yes. It is common? Yes. Personally, I have never seen the death of another human being. I didn’t watch the video of the Middle Eastern woman being shot. I didn’t watch the shark maul the swimmer. I don’t watch news clips of death.

    Regardless, I understand that these things are an important part of our cultural history and shouldn’t be eliminated because some ignorant fool is offended by their existence.

    As someone said, child porn is banned too, why not fight that with your free speech rubbish ??

    Why differentiate ??


    Ahh, child pornography. Well, child pornography, Australia-style, is not illegal in America. If Olivia Wilde wants to pose nude or topless (and she has), that’s just fine with us. But if Olivia Wilde’s ten-year-old sister were to pose nude or topless, that’s not generally okay. Note the word ‘generally’.

    You see, rights aren’t perfect and separate from one another. They collide frequently, such as one person’s right to copy protection interfering with my right to a free press, and one person’s right to expression interfering with a child’s right to physical protection, etc. For the most part, physical protection of a minor almost always trumps expression, except when it doesn’t. (We’re looking at you, Brooke Shields.)

    The beauty of America is that we have many learned judges to weigh the rights of all parties in each case, instead of one sad, old man telling adults that they can’t look at Olivia Wilde’s wonderful chest.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:15pm

    Re: YouTube's Choice

    This post isn't about YouTube's removal of the videos. It's about pointless political grandstanding.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Where did Mike say that he was surprised? He was simply pointing out that it's political grandstanding, as opposed to an actual 'good thing'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Are we getting rid of bows, atlatls, shurikens, slings, throwing axes, knives, and spears, darts, trebuchets, ballistas, and woomeras as well?

    Oh, wait. Guns are like other weapons.

    Also, the appropriate place for a gun is not in a bar.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    I'm already very happily married, but we're polyamorous, so why not? I'd love to have Dark Helmet for an in-law.

    Thanksgiving is going to rock this year.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    There are more variables there than you've considered.

    Remember that Canadians are just much politer than American's are, and shooing someone is rude, eh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Okay, people, as hilarious as this thread is, it's not realistic.

    First, at no point did I outline my ideal or Utopian world. Griff said that he favored a world with no guns. I stated the opposite. In other words, assuming that people are the assholes that we all know they are (including myself), letting everyone have a gun is the way to go.

    Next, I don't believe that people would be silent or feel threatened because of the presence of guns. You know why? Because they have guns as well. In the real world, when I don't carry an exposed weapon, my almost-five-foot-tall self is an obvious target to anyone who dislikes my speech, or even just my looks, and happens to be bigger than me. That's everyone over the age of 12. (Short people have plenty of reasons to live, by the way. :P)

    In addition, I'm from Texas and live in Oklahoma, and have seen weapon saturation first-hand. Based on my experience, that's my opinion. I'm sticking with it until I see otherwise.

    Last, in a practical sense, this is nothing like Gatlin's premise. Much more like Beyond This Horizon. (So I ♥ Heinlein. Shoot me.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 2:09am

    Re: Re: Freedom on speech and Guns now..

    The beauty of America is that we have many learned judges to weigh the rights of all parties in each case, instead of one sad, old man telling adults that they can’t look at Olivia Wilde’s wonderful chest.
    You almost had me there, right up to that last part :-)

    If you'd said something "a couple of learned judges and a bunch who are largely dumb as sticks but have a not entirely unreasonable piece of paper on which to base their decisions so some of the more extreme c*ck-ups get mitigated on appeal... as long as there isn't too much money involved or it's firmly in the public eye." I might have been more convinced. Other than that, well reasoned. :-) Not that I agree on all points though.
    From observation, the US seems to often rely ultimately on absolute semantic interpretation of the constitution - a document it seems to me that is (I'm guessing deliberately) vague on many points. I realise it's the basis of US law, but it seems to not be meant to be literal in many places but rather an ideal. It also leaves a lot out, allowing some really wierd semantic interpretations sometimes that can be in contradiction to each other... especially on emotive issues like free speech and firearms.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Griff (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    -- you're wrong in stating that there are no gun shops in the UK.
    --

    True, a farmer with a legitimate reason and the approval of the local chief constable can obtain a shotgun. And target shooting sportsmen can (or could, maybe not since Dunblane) obtain sport shooting items that are supposed to be kept at the gun club. Perhaps hunters in Scotland can go into an outdoor pursuits shop and buy a single shot rifle.

    But by "gun shop" I guess I meant a high street outlet where you can go and browse handguns, semi automatic weapons etc.
    And I'm pretty sure you could not come and find me one of those in the UK.
    When I lived in a non rural part of the USA, by contrast, I could easily tell you where my nearest place was.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Not entirely accurate. For anyone intersted, this seems a reasonable summary of UK gun law.

    Air weapons (of less than 12foot pounds) are legal without certificate. Shotguns (but not automatic, semi-automatic or pump action) and some small-bore rifles including semi-automtaic are obtainable with a firearms certifite and background check as I understand it. Full bore rifles require a more strenuous check and certificate.
    Handguns other than antiques and air weapons are banned.
    You can keep a weapon at home but there are strenuous storage requirements - steel bolted down securely locked cabinet with weapon locked in place inside, amunition kept seperately or something similar I think - which is audited before the certificate is granted, and there are rules governing the transport of weapons too.

    Actually there are "gun shops" in the UK, and not just in the wilds of scotland. Gunsmiths exist in major cities and especially in the home counties - clay pigeon and (real) pheasant shooting being a popular pass-time for some. In rural areas a shotgun is considered a standard tool for farmers to control vermin. "Gun shops" are usually "gentlemans" outdoors or fishing tackle shops as well, though airguns (including C02 sem-automatic ones) are often sold in "army surplus" type shops.

    I don't have a major problem with UK gun law - I think the storage and transport regulations are probably not a bad idea and I don't think clearly militarily-aimed weapons should be available to the public anyway. The only problem is that it's a political football and the arbitary nature irks. (After all I'm just as dead if you shoot me with a double barrel shotgun as I am a pump action and with a bit of practice you can load just as fast if not faster)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Guns literally do not kill people unless you bludgeon them to death with the thing. It's the asshole pulling the trigger, which trips the hammer, which ignites the primer, which burns the powder, which expands the gas, which pushes the SLUG through the barrel and into the target that kills people. It all starts with the person. If they didn't have a gun, do you honestly think they wouldn't find something else?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Guns literally do not kill people
    Maybe not but they help don't you think? The number of other ways of killing someone at a distance are somewhat limited - poison perhaps? A bow and arrow (a bit more skill involved there)? A well-aimed rock? Dropping a piano off a tall building (for toon afficianados)? You don't get too far pointing and shouting "BANG!" or using harsh language. And getting close enough to kill someone in a more personal way by blugeoning, stabbing or cutting is a whole other level of risk and skill, not to mention the psychological closeness it involves versus the relative "anonymity" of the victim at longer range psychologically speaking.

    I'm not against guns, nor do I think they should be banned, but I've always thought that particular argument to be one of the most dis-ingenious bordering on downright moronic arguments in favour of them. Factually accurate perhaps but so far from the point it couldn't find it with a telescope on a nice clear night.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Freedom on speech and Guns now..

    Yeah, it's definitely an imperfect document, and many of our judges are idiots. However, I stand by my reply to Darryl's insanity, if only because it's funny.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Freedom on speech and Guns now..

    if only because it's funny
    I agree, but I'm on dangling modifier patrol... did you mean you're reply was funny or darryl's insanity was funny? I'll leave you to make up your own mind which I agree with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    DH's Love Child (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    Nice! I'm very open minded about these things!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    OT, it pastime, not pass-time. Though your version does make more sense; it's a way to pass time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    And I can tell you where to find them in both rural and urban locations in Canada.

    Fewer than in the USA because they don't sell all that well here but they do exist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Put this in context...

    It's also messy and there's the cleanup to consider even if it's not our own house the gun still has be be cleaned and oiled after use so that it's usable the next time it's needed.

    Add to that if one is within a mile of an ice rink, and most locations in Canada are even in the far backwoods, we get act like hockey goons and don't have to go up to the target and ask "may I shoot your damned head off, please" before committing the act. We can just pretend to have to stop that break away!! ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Freedom on speech and Guns now..

    ^^ That was funny. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Freedom on speech and Guns now..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This