Weapons

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by yerik, Jan 24, 2004.

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  1. RipNTear

    RipNTear

    86
    Jan 5, 2004
    To interject yet again, I have been to the UK (mostly London, but a few other places) perhaps a dozen times in the last 7-8 years. Never have I had this discussion with an Englishman where position was any different than that of StmmZaum. [Which is not a slam at all--just an observation].

    Munk's view is not atypical of somone from most rural, Western, non-coastal areas of the US such as Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Idaho, Montana, etc.

    There's a point to this. This is an argument of culture. Cultures that don't have access to firearms readily are generally against them; most(again, a generalization) are afraid of them. The converse is also true.

    Now the way I see it, there are two premises that a person can base their freedoms on. The first is that government (or society) gives rights and freedoms to an individual. This is the typical world view--rights are an act of the government. Certain things are or are not allowed.

    The second way to look at rights is to believe that there are certain "natural" rights and freedoms that mankind has. These are NOT declared by a government (or society), but instead are obtained by natural right {endowed by God, Allah, Nature, Cthulu, insert you chosent diety here).

    The former is typical of 95% of the world, but is not typical of the US--at least not yet. It is founded on the principles of the latter. One can argue to he's blue in the face, no one is going to change their cultural upbringing.

    I guarantee you that, if you come "blitzkreig-style" house to house in my neighborhood and you're not afraid to come in my house--you won't be around long enough to be afraid. I don't care if its a band of criminals, a thief, the British military, the American military, whomever...

    Now I know this is not a popular global sentiment--I don't expect it to be. However, I believe that a person has to take care of himself and his family, and cannot rely on outside interference to do something.

    --Rip
     
  2. DannyinJapan

    DannyinJapan

    Oct 9, 2003
    Now hold on, you better be armed and you better fight back, cause there is at least one bear out there armed with a katana and a gelbu special.
    And yes, he knows there are UFOs visiting Earth.

    This is an interesting conversation, but I think it is important that we all remain circumspect about it. I mentioned to my japanese students that I own six guns.

    They all said "oh, you are a criminal"

    I said, "What !? Its not illegal or immoral to own guns in my country. You better be careful, you just offended me greatly. I like guns and there is nothing wrong with that. I have never been arested or broken the law or hurt anybody or driven under the influence..."

    Then I said "Do any of you own a gun?"

    They said " Oh, we dont need them, we dont have any crime like America."

    I said " I own guns because I like them, I dont care about crime. Also, Japan has a crime rate that is just as bad as America's. So yes, you do have crime. Be careful, you have offended me greatly."


    So, in the space of about a minute, my japanese students expressed two horribly offensive and inaccurate assumptions about America and Japan.
    They all know about the japanese teenager who was shot in america a few years ago.
    Very few of them knew about the American who was shot in japan by a japanese man who had a pistol in his car last month.
    Or the American girl who was gang raped and murdered in yokohama last year.
    The list goes on and on.

    Over here, the criminals have guns. The citizens have propoganda.
    That TV keeps blaring out the B.S.:
    "Japan has no crime. America has crime. Japan is safe and clean. America is dirty and dangerous."

    The only truly effective weapon for self defense is awareness.
    Learn to detect danger before it gets close.
    IF you have friends who do stupid dangerous things, find different friends.
    If you believe your government is truly evil, leave and move somewhere else.
    Don't wait until the bad guys are at the door.
    Even if you were a soldier in a war you wouldn't do that.
    You must detect and engage the enemy from a place of natural concealment and at the maximum possible distance.








    :p ;) ;)
     
  3. 45-70

    45-70

    Jul 10, 2003
    Danny,

    I assume we've all heard the stories, but I've often hoped to find out from someone in Japan. Is it true that the govt there suppresses WWII history?

    Jim B
     
  4. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    You are missing the point. Yes, the home guard would have never held off a panzer division, or any other organized force. But, it had structure, some means, and the type of civil integration that would have produced all of the elements for a tremendous irregular force. That panzer division would have needed the protection of several light divisions to keep it from being harrassed into oblivion. The home guard were a significant part of the calculous that made a German invasion futile during WWII.

    n2s
     
  5. munk

    munk

    Mar 22, 2002
    RipNTear: you are absolutely correct when you state there is an obligation to defend oneself. It is a moral obligation and one of the cornerstones of any society.

    btw; my views may be typical of the rural West, but I learned them from watching the deterioration of the City where I was raised and lived.

    There is a crop of libertarian young people emerging from our failed social experiments. This is good news, because the burdon does not fall solely upon the underpopulated West, outvoted by both coasts, to remind the Nation what is important.

    N2sharp, I think the people of Great Britain would have put up a hell of a fight. Well beyond that of the French with their divided loyalties. It may have been as staggering a task for the Germans to invade Britain as for the US to invade Japan.



    munk
     
  6. Dadao

    Dadao

    32
    Aug 2, 2003
    Actually, our revolutionary war was won with citizen soldiers (the Continental Army), as WWII was. Despite the myth of the Minuteman, the militia was mostly useless in battle against British regulars. American generals, including Washington, were driven to distraction by the militias' tendency to break and run, and Washington knew that the much-maligned Continental Army was in fact the backbone of the Revolution. Many of the armed civilians, instead of helping the war effort, took the opportunity to commit atrocities against other civilians who held an opposing view of the cause.

    This brings me to the larger issue of how well civilians with firearms would fare against trained soldiers. Perhaps the skills of SF and Munk would be the equivalent of any troops they would have to fend off (though their weapons and equipment certainly would not be). However, I think there is a sort of individualistic, romantic ideal that an armed citizenry is best able to defend its rights, like the Minutemen, that really doesn't bear up to close scrutiny. Simply put, the great mass of the citizenry, even given their numbers, could not withstand the depradations of a disciplined, technically advanced, and ruthless army of the state. Sure, every once in a while they might score a tactical victory, but once the diehards were eliminated, the rest of the populace would be subdued or annihilated. Stalingrad? That was trained Soviet soldiers, not civilians, fighting against trained German soldiers. The French Resistance? Most historians now agree that it was never more than an irritant to the occupying Germans, and that its role was played up after the war to spare French pride. Besides which, the Germans responded to Resistance actions by wiping out whole villages. The current situation in Iraq? It's only because the Coalition forces show such admirable restraint in trying to avoid alienating the populace that the insurgents are able to get away with what they do. One can easily surmise they would find it far more difficult if the occupying force was the Nazi German Army.

    Gun ownership for self-denfense against an assailant or intruder? Fine. But for fighting off an occupying army? Good luck, friend. I don't think your fellow citizens, armed though they may be, are up to the task.

    On the other hand, I could also tell about good and brave men in Southeast Asia who surrendered without a fight when the Communists care for them, despite being armed, in order to save their families, but they don't need my arguments to honor their memory and sacrifice.

    Sorry, Rusty. Khuks rock! :)
     
  7. munk

    munk

    Mar 22, 2002
    Despite the myth of the Minuteman, the militia was mostly useless in battle against British regulars. American generals, including Washington, were driven to distraction by the militias' tendency to break and run, and Washington knew that the much-maligned Continental Army was in fact the backbone of the Revolution. Many of the armed civilians, instead of helping the war effort, took the opportunity to commit atrocities against other civilians who held an opposing view of the cause.>>> Dadoa

    There is only some truth in this. "Mostly" is the operative word. By this account, we would have lost the war. But we 'mostly' won the war. This smacks of revisionism. Note the exagerated emphasis on atrocities. Yes, they occured. But to exagerate them fits in with the running away, the incompetance, etc. You wouldn't know we'd celebrated over 200 years of Independence from this swank version.


    <<<This brings me to the larger issue of how well civilians with firearms would fare against trained soldiers. Perhaps the skills of SF and Munk would be the equivalent of any troops they would have to fend off (though their weapons and equipment certainly would not be). However, I think there is a sort of individualistic, romantic ideal that an armed citizenry is best able to defend its rights, like the Minutemen, that really doesn't bear up to close scrutiny. Simply put, the great mass of the citizenry, even given their numbers, could not withstand the depradations of a disciplined, technically advanced, and ruthless army of the state.>> Dadoa

    You answer what you percieve to be a myth- that of the romantized citizen-stateman-soldier, with yet another myth- this one of your own making, that any citizen group today would have no chance against a modern army.

    1. I have no interest in how munk or Semper would do against an army. Though it was polite for you to mention any skill we might have, it is unneccesary.
    2. Modern armies have fought and lost to citizen/militia groups.
    Russia was forced to leave Afganistan. There are other examples, history is full of them. Whenever this idea is submitted it is usually the same- that such things happened in the past, but could not today. Nonsense. Every generation lots of people believe that and are complacent. Using French resistance as an example of the non-effectiveness of a guerrila campaign is disingenious in that France had divided loyalties.

    So far, based upon surveys of military personnel in the US, the vast majority would not participate in disarming the civilian population.

    munk
     
  8. DannyinJapan

    DannyinJapan

    Oct 9, 2003
    45-70,

    yes its true.
    They lie about history here ad nauseum.
    I had one guy, a high school physics teacher, tell me that pearl harbor was "bad japanese".
    He was trying to say that it wasnt the "real" japanese, just some crazy freaks or something, so regular japanese bear no responsiblity for it.
     
  9. StmmZaum

    StmmZaum

    293
    Dec 12, 2003
    Rusty is right, this has gone on too long. I have to say though R&T hit a big nail on the head here. I do not speak for anyone born anywhere other than Britain when I say this but you must understand that on a very basic level out concept of rights is different from yours, I am a subject of HM Queen, ergo my rights are given by her and her government. That is the simple destinction.
     
  10. DannyinJapan

    DannyinJapan

    Oct 9, 2003
    Shes a man, man!
     
  11. Semper Fi

    Semper Fi

    Feb 23, 2002
    I hope I never said or implied I could hold off an entire Army! What I did post was that some of those soldiers would not go home to their families. I would do my best not to make it an even exchange, me for just one of them. It will be me for as many of them as I can hit.

    In the grand scheme of things, would it make any difference to the outcome of the conflict? Probably not. It would only make a difference to me.
     
  12. DannyinJapan

    DannyinJapan

    Oct 9, 2003
    Anyone who underestimates the average American citizen as a potential soldier does so at his own foolish peril.
    There wasnt a suicide bomber in all of the world who didnt stand back in awe of what Timothy McVeigh did.
    Army rifles are usually less accurate and far less powerfulthan civilian hunting rifles.
    (Also, high-powered hunting rifles will zip right though body armor)

    Add all that to the fact that many many many civilians are ex-miltary, and I think you begin to see that the US army is not capable of suppressing the US population.
    that may not be how it is in other countries, however.
     
  13. StmmZaum

    StmmZaum

    293
    Dec 12, 2003
    Oh, one other thing about fear of weapons (what RNT posted specifically), it is a very good point that for the most part the British population are afraid of weapons. As a Living Historian I get opportunities to allow members of the public to handle and look over deavtivated weapons and for the most part they are VERY tantative, unsure about how to hold them and often even scared of handling them. I am not sure if it is true to say this of the whole world but at least over here those who are unfamilliar with weapons of all kinds fear them.
     
  14. RipNTear

    RipNTear

    86
    Jan 5, 2004
    Regarding civilians standing up to the military forces, it's certainly true that the civilian populace is far "out weaponed" (not use that's a phrase, but oh well--you get the point).

    However, an armed populace will typically BOTH introduce at least an element of fear into a military force and would most certainly outnumber them. 280 million Americans. I'm not sure what the military vs. civilian breakdown is, but I'm quite sure that the vast majority of the population is civilian. There is at least one firearm per person (average), I believe (I'm sure someone here will know the exact number). Not great odds for an invading force, even one that is internal.

    Of course this is way over simplified, but I think the odds are much better for an armed populace than for a non-armed populace that needs to defend itself. Better than it looks at surface level.

    StmmZaum, thanks for not being offended by my remarks. I wasn't attempting to, but it's easy to take things wrong when it's written communication vs. oral communication. You're a standup guy. Next time I'm across the pond, I'll buy you a pint :)

    --Rip
     
  15. munk

    munk

    Mar 22, 2002
    I must agree with Rip, StmmZuam, you are a stand up guy. We don't agree, but you and I ultimately did OK while discussing a personal and deep issue. (with me, anyway)




    munk
     
  16. Semper Fi

    Semper Fi

    Feb 23, 2002
    Ditto what munk said. Hope there's no hard feelings with anyone. This subject is like abortion and religion. Very emotional.
     
  17. Pan Tau

    Pan Tau

    750
    Sep 3, 2002
    good thougts and and finally an end.

    thank you - and now lets return to the khuk-topics (Oh, I forgot - everything has to do with khukuris ;) )

    Andreas
     
  18. Dadao

    Dadao

    32
    Aug 2, 2003
    There is only some truth in this. "Mostly" is the operative word. By this account, we would have lost the war. But we 'mostly' won the war. This smacks of revisionism. Note the exagerated emphasis on atrocities. Yes, they occured. But to exagerate them fits in with the running away, the incompetance, etc. You wouldn't know we'd celebrated over 200 years of Independence from this swank version.
    -munk

    Actually munk, I think you have misunderstood what I wrote, which wasn't swank revisionism at all: the Continental Army under General Washington, with some much-needed help from the French, won the American Revolution, with only peripheral help from the militia. You will not find a serious scholar of the Revolutionary War, revisionist or otherwise, who will disagree with that. And note that I did not exaggerate the atrocities committed by armed civilians, I only mentioned the truth of the fact, which you did not deny. Not to have mentioned it would have unfairly de-emphasized the fact that it did occur, especially since the dangers of irresponsible armed civilians was discussed earlier in the thread.

    Russia was forced to leave Afganistan. -munk

    It's interesting that you mention this. I know a former Russian commando, now living in Toronto, who fought in Afghanistan. In his view, the Russian effort was doomed by poor training, poor equipment, poor support, poor morale, and a poor cause. The Mujahedin were also supplied with weapons by the US, including Stinger missiles (particularly hated by the Russians, as they depended so heavily on helicopter operations). Note the contrast with how easily the Coalition blew through Afghanistan to oust the Taliban, though the situations are not quite equivalent.

    Whenever this idea is submitted it is usually the same- that such things happened in the past, but could not today. Nonsense. -munk

    I never said or implied this. History does repeat itself.

    So far, based upon surveys of military personnel in the US, the vast majority would not participate in disarming the civilian population. -munk

    Then what are you worried about? :D

    There wasnt a suicide bomber in all of the world who didnt stand back in awe of what Timothy McVeigh did. -DannyinJapan

    Whoa. McVeigh was a terrorist, a mass murderer of innocent civilians. Please don't compare him to a soldier.

    Add all that to the fact that many many many civilians are ex-miltary, and I think you begin to see that the US army is not capable of suppressing the US population. -DannyinJapan

    Why are we so paranoid about the US Army in this thread? I was thinking more along the lines of a foreign army... though the possibilities of either the US or a foreign army trying to suppress the US population is pretty remote.

    No hard feelings towards anyone. Open and polite debate is the foundation of a free society.
     
  19. Don Nelson

    Don Nelson

    302
    Aug 4, 2003
    I almost dread entering the discussion of US civilians fighting against the US miltary. The notion is so disturbing to me for so many reasons that I rarely entertain it. So I really won't entertain it much here either. But I will say this, in as much as possible, a non-confrontational, non-chest beating, non-argumentative manner. I am saying it quietly and with the respect the phrase deserves.

    "A man with a gun is a citizen. A man without a gun is a subject." (Col. Jeff Cooper).

    And finally, one more quote, and I know I am savaging it badly, but I will do my best to capture the essence of it: "Any government that fears its citizens, perhaps has a need to." Either Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin, and for those who missed the subtlety of the quote, the meaning is, only a government that is oppressive need fear its citizens being armed.

    I don't have any illusions about rugged, individualistic, stout hearted and lantern-jawed Americans fighting off the US 5th Mechanized Division. Nor do I have any illusions about the same citizens defending against an invasion from Canada or Mexico or even an amphibious assault from England, France or Cuba.

    But I do genuinely have concerns when the government of a country feels it has to disarm the honest, law abiding population because they are unable, incapable, or unwilling to apprehend, prosecute, and jail or execute those who violate the law.

    I look at Switzerland where you find that basically every family has a fully-automatic assault rifle in their homes. Yet Switzerland is not afflicted with an epidemic of mass shootings, nor are their streets awash in blood. Could it be that perhaps, the INDIVIDUAL person has something to do with that? Here in America, it is modern pop psychobabble that we are more concerned about people's feelings and their self-esteem than we are about solving problems. You see, in America, rather than call bad people who use guns in crimes, bad people, and then punishing them, they'd rather instead wage war on the guns themselves, because you see, it is the guns that are evil, and not the people who are using them unlawfully - they are the true victims. Why, if they didn't have the gun available, then they would become honest people making a living selling shoes instead.

    It is only because the gun is available that they pursue a life of crime -- according to them.

    How odd. I bet I personally know several hundred people who own firearms, including myself, and not one of us ever used them in a crime, or for that matter committed any crime beyond speeding on a freeway perhaps. Again, I don't see Switzerland as the center of the universe for convenience store robberies or nursery school shootings.

    So why is it we have this here in America? Could it be, perhaps, that just maybe America has cultivated an entire sub-population of people who think they are entitled to taking your money, your sexuality, or your life, and that they would do so regardless whether they have weapons or not? And that we continue to see them acquiring weapons illegally despite ever tightening gun laws that have been demonstrated to affect only the lawful.

    When we were in school, we didn't like having the entire class punished because of the one or two ne'er do wells. When we were in the military in basic training we hated the fact that a person could make an honest mistake that yielded the punishment of the entire platoon. The unfairness of this methodology should be apparent, and offensive to any true freedom-loving person.

    All I ask is that I and my family not be deprived of the means of self-defense at the time of assault, by a government that cannot guarantee they will be there to provide that defense. In other words, if you cannot defend my family at the time of assault, then do not disarm me so that I am incapable of defending myself or my loved ones.

    For those who do not want to use firearms for your own defense, I have no qualms with you. If you wish to deprive yourself of another tool or option, so be it. Your choices, your consequences.

    All I ask is that you not force your desire to be unarmed, on me and mine - I'm one of the good guys. I will never harm you, and if, God forbid we happen to be in the same place and at the same time, and you are under assault, if no other means is available to me to keep you or one of your loved ones from getting seriously hurt or killed, I will intervene on your, and their behalf and I will stop the assault, using deadly force, if no other option is available.

    I can cite so many, so many cases of where honest, legally armed citizens came to the aid of others. Two examples that received very little press attention was during two school shootings a few years ago in America (when that seemed to be almost a new pass-time), was when in both cases, the shooting rampage was cut short by legally armed citizens. In both cases the gunman was covered, disarmed, held for authorities and arrested. Yet this little detail got very little press, in most news releases the gunman was described simply as being "disarmed" by teachers or bystanders - leaving out how that disarming was affected.

    Indeed, people fear what they do not understand. Perhaps it is time we began some enlightenment, whether the weapon be a gun, a Khukuri, or sword.

    My latest passion is swords, particularly European Medieval, 18th-19th Century European Sabers, and Japanese Katana. I've discovered something interesting. I can demonstrate to an interested non-weapony person that a gun is unloaded and perfectly safe. Yet they will tentatively touch it as if it will suddenly bite them or somehow magically load themselves, chamber a round, and then shoot the person - all by itself.

    Yet when I hand someone a sharp, well-made, double-edged replica of a 15th Century hand-and-a-half sword, they immediately start waving the danged thing all over the place without the slightest appreciation of the fact that a sword "is always loaded", and even less appreciative of the fact that a sword does not just make superficial cuts or deep stab wounds, but that they can very easily remove entire muscle groups or sever limbs.

    I was so stunned by this that I was momentarily taken aback.

    I now find that my pre-handling Safety Briefing for swords is more direct, more intense, and more focused than it is for firearms that I show to people. When I ensure that no loaded magazines or cylinders are extant and that no round lies in the chamber, the only way those people are going to hurt anyone else is if they drop it on their foot.

    But with swords, I am very, very, very attentive and directive with newbies to the world of swords.

    Clearly this dichotomy of appreciation of the two weapons types can be traced to our post-sword life-styles and to movies and TV as well. Everyone knows that guns kill people (seeming to ignore the fact that it takes a person to operate the gun, to make it kill someone), but deaths and injuries by swords have always been very sanitized by the entertainment media, and since we have not recently, most of us anyway, witnessed the aftermath of a sword battle, we have little else to base our notions on.

    From my study of firearms, some 41 years now, and my serious study of swords, about three years now, I can tell you straight up I'd rather risk getting shot than getting cleaved - though neither is anything I'd go out of my way to experience.

    My apologies for the long post, but this is a topic that I find difficult to "sound-bite".

    Don
     
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