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Basementdweller

Who carries a firearm on Scout Outings???

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A few random thoughts

 

I guess in some ways we are vey lucky in the UK.

 

A stat for you, I live in the city of Cambridge which is part of the county of Cambridgeshire (Cambs). Our police forces are broadly organised on county lines.

 

Some stats, Cambs is 620 sq miles with a population of around 807000. Two major centres of population in the form of Cambridge and Peterborough, with most of it being small towns and rural villages. With the possible exceptions of certain bits of Peterborough it is a pretty safe place even by British standards. There is not a single street in Cambridge that I would be concerned about walking down on my own at night. There's one or two where I would keep my wits about me I'll grant you, but nowhere that I would go out of my way to avoid.

 

However even I was surprised to learn that during an incident last year the an officer from Cambs police fired a gun for the first ever time. In its entire history no member of the police in Cambs had fired a weapon in anger until 2015. It wouldn't surprise me if there are many other counties with similar stats.

 

We have our more dangerous places. There are bits of Manchester and Nottingham that I would steer well clear of.

 

As Ian says though, we live in a very different world here. We don't have any proper wild life. Badgers are as scary as it gets! With the exception of the Scottish Highlands nowhere is very far from anywhere else although I think even that has a higher population density than Wyoming or Alaska! Maybe it's just some underlying culture.

 

A book worth reading - Risk - the science and politics of fear. I forget the author. A truly excellent read. Some staggering statistics are in there. I think in the UK we are something like 300 time more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than by a terrorist. Yet people are more scared on terrorists. A child is more likely (I forget by how much) to be killed by lightening than be murdered by an adult they don't know. Yet people are more scared of "stranger danger". It wouldn't surprise me if the stats were pretty similar for USA as well. There was interesting number crunch demonstrating the safety of flying. Following 9/11 a lot of people in America stopped flying and drove long distance. Deaths from RTA's spiked. You can flex the stats many ways but there is hard evidence that more people were killed by switching from flying to driving in the 12 months that followed than were killed on that dreadful day itself.

 

We live in a weird world.

Edited by Cambridgeskip

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@@Krampus  Promise me you'll never take a job with the UN or US Ambassador Corps.

 

I'd rock at the UN. ;)

 

But apart from all that...what did the British ever do for us?

 

Ah, well, I do try and use a pint measurement on a regular basis.

 

....and from our father's father's father's father.

 

I'll give you the pint. The Imperial pint has not shrunk in 1000 years, whereas American beer bottles have gone from 12 ozs to 11.2 ozs. Who would have thought beer could shrink?

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I don't think the Brits are any different than us Yanks.  Most people are naturally drawn to the extremes, be it curiosity or ignorance.  Like the old staying goes, "Don't confuse me with facts."

 

I would think that the majority of people never bother to check out the reality of the situation and in order to sell their product the media never tells the whole story if even what they do tell is incorrect.  In no instance where I was part of an incident did the media ever get the story correct.  We Yanks are heavy into a presidential election cycle.  This means there are a number of candidates that all go out and solicit millions of dollars in exchange for political favors promised to be fulfilled should they be elected so that they have an opportunity to tell lies about the other person and get elected by the majority of the gullible voters.  And who gets elected, the one with the best lies and empty promises.  Go figure.

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Which doesn't need to be broken down by year.

 

Here's the list for the USA...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_police_officers_killed_in_the_line_of_duty

 

It's all unanswerables and imponderables though, the what ifs. I mean, I could say...how many of those would still be alive if hardly anyone had a gun? But that might start an argument, so I won't. I do worry, and I do think it's changing a bit in the UK, or maybe it's the media coverage, that things are slowly escalating, that as more crims have guns, more police are armed, so more crims get guns, so more police are armed.

And that's the arms race, isn't it, until everyone realizes that the problem can't be solved by adding more and more arms.

 

"...if hardly anyone had a gun?"

Around these parts there are daily shootings, not all fatal, in which mostly relatives shoot each other for different reasons. The obvious answer is to have fewer relatives, right? Most of these involve alcohol (potential solution there), illegal drugs (and here I confess that if they'd just all kill each other I might not shed a tear). But remove illegal drugs, alcohol abuse, and a tendency to escalate emotional interactions and things would be better. But does adding firearms to that mix help anything?

 

Yes, a knife could be used instead and that does happen frequently. Mostly non-fatal though. The thing about a gun is that once the firing pin hits the primer there's no calling back the result. And with the ability to reach out from some distance (300 yards as JoeBob suggested) the kill becomes very impersonal.

Not so much with a knife. You have no option but to be close enough to see the person's eyes, hear his breathing and other sounds, probably feel some part of his body as the blade slices into the flesh. You can call back that cut at any time or you can decide to repeat it as many times as necessary...but there is something very personal about the warmth of human blood being spilled over the hand holding the knife, its slick, sticky warmth, and the knowledge that life itself will surely follow if this is allowed to continue.

Not so with a gun. The bullet has its own trajectory and it will dissipate its energy in whatever manner that aim and chance see fit. It will dispense entropy to the recipient until there is no more energy to spend and there is no 'feeling' to the act, nor any way to change the outcome once the round is fired. It is impersonal. You are free to view the target as any level of object you wish. There is scant chance that 'empathy' will be part of the interaction.

There is a big difference and to respond to Ian's question, if society was NOT awash in firearms, it is implausible to predict that risks from firearms would be just as great.

 

So what are we left with? We have the right and ability to arm ourselves to the teeth. The more of us who do so tend to make the rest of us all the more nervous. So more of us 'join the club'. One of my neighbors had a small arsenal (which I define as more than 20 weapons) for precisely these reasons and after he had all of it robbed while he was working one day, he continues to worry that some of his 'toys' might someday be responsible for someone's death(s).

I asked him if he's going to re-arm? No way....he's done with it.

As for me, I have a few toys. I recognize them as such. They're fun for target practice. I have no illusions about possibly being some kind of 'hero' and I have no illusions about how I'd respond if threatened. I still value the lives of others enough not to want to even entertain the possiblity of taking one of them, not matter what. (and those 'what if' situations are to me just part of the illusions as well).

 

I live in a great community of people who all know each other and care about each other and while most of us own a firearm of some sort, we nearly all of us understand that these things are little more than adult toys and rather than arm ourselves against unlikely external forces coming into the community, we rally around each other for those things that most surely will happen: loss of power, a tree falling on someone's home, lost dogs, making sure the children can play safely, that the elderly can take quiet evening walks safely, everyone knows to check on so-and-so to make sure they are doing ok after their surgery, etc, etc.

And when I drag one of my guns out of the safe today, I do so with the hope that in all this bad weather, I'll have the edge on one off those big hogs....and there will be a community barbecue in the near future.

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No one is allowed to carry where I work except law enforcement. Didn't like that one bit when we had an active shooter next door a few months back, right before my accident. I remember  our hospital police manning entrances and patrolling the area. We have a lot of vets in our organization who are not hospital police and could handle the situation if it arose and were armed.

 

What I didn't realize was that the hospital had M-4s in the campus armory.

 

Thankfully they caught the gunman, about 16 hours later in another state,passed out on the beach.

 

 

 

 

Agree 100% except I had to call the wife and tell her what's up and I'm OK. Scary thing is this: she used to work less than 50 feet from where the gunman killed his victim. Victim's office was through the library she worked at. The community college is another gun free zone. Again a lot of vets and active duty military on campus who could have handled the situation.

 

Forgot to add, when 9-11 occurred, cell phones  in the area surrounding the WTC were down and we could not get in touch with my sister. Scary feeling not knowing if a family member is OK or not. I admit I was stunned when it happened and at work. But when I found out my sister was in NYC and my mom couldn't get a hold of her, I as like a zombie until I got word she was OK. 

A sign or law doesn't make a "gun-free zone". Logan Airport probably has a couple hundred local, state, TSA police while our local multi-town, multi-school district cannot afford ONE cop ("resource officer").  So IMO, to establish a "gun free zone", the government assumes  responsibility to add fences, screening devices, and police just like the airport and if that can't be done then do not prohibit conceal carry by law-abiding citizens.

 

My $0.02

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And that's the arms race, isn't it, until everyone realizes that the problem can't be solved by adding more and more arms.

 

"...if hardly anyone had a gun?"

Around these parts there are daily shootings, not all fatal, in which mostly relatives shoot each other for different reasons. The obvious answer is to have fewer relatives, right? Most of these involve alcohol (potential solution there), illegal drugs (and here I confess that if they'd just all kill each other I might not shed a tear). But remove illegal drugs, alcohol abuse, and a tendency to escalate emotional interactions and things would be better. But does adding firearms to that mix help anything?

The behavior and/or fears of others do not create a claim to restrict my freedom.  That's true whether we're talking guns or gay marriage or religious freedom or pot or the right to association.  As long as my behavior doesn't prevent somebody else from exercising their freedoms, it's all good.

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Boy, get busy for a few days and threads Explode!  Took me two sessions of reading over a couple days to get caught up on this thread.

I have a few random comments

I don't..............BUT...........if I did.  it would be more for bear/wolf defense than a crazed boy scout hating crazy person.

 

Very true, and probably a common thought....  statistically probably very unlikely for some sort of attack on scouts....

but who would have thought the odds were high going to school, or going to a movie?

So the whole thing about the dangers of gun free zones come to mind.... & I would prefer to have many trained and responsible people equipped at the places my family goes -  always.

From across the pond, I've read this thread with bemusement and incredulity*, and you're all making the USA sound very dangerous!  I'm not judging, if you consider carrying a gun necessary, you're the best judge of that not me.

 

* But that's only because I'm looking at it from this end, in a country where handguns are illegal, the police don't routinely carry, and the only bears are in zoos. Definitely not trying to start an argument!

 

Ian

I had an interesting conversation a few months back with an austrian friend of mine currently living in Germany.  He was contemplating moving back to the US because the opportunities there aren't great (think he has dual citizenship)

But he is seriously nervous about how many people here have guns & how dangerous it is here

I pointed out that I guess the stats are skewed here, because you have such big centers of population with huge zones that are unsafe to the average person... and many of those are more or less gun free zones (baltimore, detroit, chicago, etc...)

but the vast majority of places here aren't that way at all.

 

My gut tells me that a lot of this issue is human nature, and humans, even the crazy ones, live everywhere.  They always have.  Everytime someone says something about how dangerous it is now, I tell them pretty much what Stosh said here (below)... adding that the bad people existed when we were kids too, we just didn't know about some of it and thought about it differently.

 

I don't know if the world is more dangerous.  Much of the statistics show it's safer now, homicide rates are dropping, etc. more people are trained and armed, etc.  There "appears" to be a greater threat, but I'm thinking a lot of that hype is due to the sensationalism of the media more than anything else.  If one wants to know if the world is more dangerous, all they need do is recollect back to the 1950's where all the little children knew what "Duck and Cover" was all about.  At least today, there might be a little something we can actually do about it.

 

How many people remember Cambodia? Rwanda? Ever wonder why America has a large Hmong population?  Those issues weren't addressed by the media as well as today's media covers ever little minutia of details on the Internet.

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1- Only the law abiding will follow gun laws.  Old law or new law, it still has no deterrent effect on bad guys.

 

2- 'Gun Free Zones' are about the stupidest thing humans have ever conceived. If I'm a bad person looking for a place to kill a bunch of folks, I am going to go to a 'Gun Free Zone'!!!  Nobody will be shooting back until the police arrive.

 

3- Limiting access to guns will not stop mass killings.  San Bernadino had pipe bombs, Columbine had propane tanks, 911 had airliners, army vets have been decapitated on British streets, OKC used fertilizer and diesel fuel.  A weak argument can be made that giving perps access to guns, and civilians access to concealed carry might actually reduce the number of fatalities.

 

4- As argued in posts above, the odds of a trained legally carrying individual being on hand to stop a mass shooting are very small.  But if that individual is at the scene of a mass shooting, without his weapon, and lives are lost because he succumbed to political correctness; the odds of that individual being haunted by his failure are 100%.  

 

Be prepared, men.  Be prepared.

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Plan the scout outings appropriate to today's world where situational awareness is important.  Avoid high crime areas like schools and movie theaters and other criminal safe zones that are marked "No weapons allowed".

This might be the most cynical statement I have ever read on these forums - schools and movie theaters are high crime areas?  Because most won't allow people to bring guns in to their establishments?  What about Churches - most won't allow you to bring guns in to church either - are they high crime areas too? (no comments about the Catholic Church and Evangelical Mega-Church Money Pits).  How about the offices of the NRA, which doesn't allow the average joe member to bring in guns, concealed or otherwise - is that a high crime area too?  How about the NRA's convention, which has a rule stating that people have to leave their weapons in the car, and can't carry while in the convention (oh how ironic that is) - is that a high crime area too? 

 

Yesterday, a woman watching a movie was shot by a drunk fumbling with his gun - supposedly in a place he wasn't allowed to carry a gun - maybe that's what you mean by high crime area?

 

You know who is making me more and more wary about camping outside?  All of you folks who insist you have to carry a gun with you everywhere you go because you need it to bolster your confidence when camping.  I am far more afraid of some jamoke getting drunk in his campsite and discharging a firearm because he's fiddling around with it than I am afraid of being attacked by a bear or a smuggler.  If you're that scared of life that you feel you have to carry a gun with you every where you go, then do us all a favor and stay home - lock yourself in your house - have the local grocery store deliver your food - just hide yourself away behind your guns.

 

Anytime there is a mass shooting (by a white person - for some reason this doesn't apply to minorities) the NRA and gun owners are quick to claim we need better monitoring of mental health issues and we need to keep guns away from people with mental health issues.  Well guess what, this idea that you don't feel safe unless you can carry a gun is borderline paranoia, and that's a mental health issue which should preclude you from owning guns in the first place.

 

The question of what is the best concealed gun to bring along on Scouting trips?  The answer is simple:  The one that you keep at home.  If I found myself on a camping trip with one other leader and discovered s/he was carrying and is not a law enforcement officer, the outing would be immediately cancelled, we would be packing up and heading home early.

Edited by CalicoPenn
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1- Only the law abiding will follow gun laws.  Old law or new law, it still has no deterrent effect on bad guys.

 

2- 'Gun Free Zones' are about the stupidest thing humans have ever conceived. If I'm a bad person looking for a place to kill a bunch of folks, I am going to go to a 'Gun Free Zone'!!!  Nobody will be shooting back until the police arrive.

 

3- Limiting access to guns will not stop mass killings.  San Bernadino had pipe bombs, Columbine had propane tanks, 911 had airliners, army vets have been decapitated on British streets, OKC used fertilizer and diesel fuel.  A weak argument can be made that giving perps access to guns, and civilians access to concealed carry might actually reduce the number of fatalities.

 

4- As argued in posts above, the odds of a trained legally carrying individual being on hand to stop a mass shooting are very small.  But if that individual is at the scene of a mass shooting, without his weapon, and lives are lost because he succumbed to political correctness; the odds of that individual being haunted by his failure are 100%.  

 

Be prepared, men.  Be prepared.

 

 

Remember this in Texas? the cop knew they were wearing body armor and aimed high. Two head shots and no one else got hurt. He is a hero in Garland.

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This might be the most cynical statement I have ever read on these forums - schools and movie theaters are high crime areas?  Because most won't allow people to bring guns in to their establishments?  What about Churches - most won't allow you to bring guns in to church either - are they high crime areas too? (no comments about the Catholic Church and Evangelical Mega-Church Money Pits).  How about the offices of the NRA, which doesn't allow the average joe member to bring in guns, concealed or otherwise - is that a high crime area too?  How about the NRA's convention, which has a rule stating that people have to leave their weapons in the car, and can't carry while in the convention (oh how ironic that is) - is that a high crime area too? 

 

Yesterday, a woman watching a movie was shot by a drunk fumbling with his gun - supposedly in a place he wasn't allowed to carry a gun - maybe that's what you mean by high crime area?

 

You know who is making me more and more wary about camping outside?  All of you folks who insist you have to carry a gun with you everywhere you go because you need it to bolster your confidence when camping.  I am far more afraid of some jamoke getting drunk in his campsite and discharging a firearm because he's fiddling around with it than I am afraid of being attacked by a bear or a smuggler.  If you're that scared of life that you feel you have to carry a gun with you every where you go, then do us all a favor and stay home - lock yourself in your house - have the local grocery store deliver your food - just hide yourself away behind your guns.

 

Anytime there is a mass shooting (by a white person - for some reason this doesn't apply to minorities) the NRA and gun owners are quick to claim we need better monitoring of mental health issues and we need to keep guns away from people with mental health issues.  Well guess what, this idea that you don't feel safe unless you can carry a gun is borderline paranoia, and that's a mental health issue which should preclude you from owning guns in the first place.

 

The question of what is the best concealed gun to bring along on Scouting trips?  The answer is simple:  The one that you keep at home.  If I found myself on a camping trip with one other leader and discovered s/he was carrying and is not a law enforcement officer, the outing would be immediately cancelled, we would be packing up and heading home early.

Statistically speaking gun-free zones are more likely to be targeted than other areas.  The cynicism I was drawing out is the schools, theaters, churches and Weapon-Free Zones are the ones that make the big press coverage and these idiots want the publicity.  In actuality the most targeted location is the workplace and unfortunately the vast majority of them are Weapon-Free Zones.  That may change soon in that Tennessee introduced legislation allowing individuals and their families to sue property owners who post their property as Weapon-Free Zones and their loved one who had a gun carry permit, was injured or killed.  It's similar to the idea that if one posts a Warning: Vicious Dog sign, that owner is more liable if the dog bites someone than the owner who doesn't post and doesn't know his dog is vicious.

 

So Calico, if you ever want to be safe, you are invited to any of my scout activities in which some are routinely conducted in bear country with the occasional cougar.  But be warned, it is in a rather high crime area as well and I don't carry when I'm with scouts.  I don't, but you should feel safe.

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Schools are actually relatively safe according to statistics.  Going and coming to school is also relatively safe.  The shootings tend to start after dark.

 

 

Why is it determinative that someone carrying a firearm on a  Scouting activity is an LEO?  Because of the B.S.A. rule?  Because it would be safer?

 

If the concern is safety, LEOs are not notably accurate in an absolute sense.  The RAND study found N.Y. City LEOs hit their targets well under 50% of the time in gunfights -- 18% between 1998 and 2006. http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/public_information/RAND_FirearmEvaluation.pdf

 

Most N.Y. City LEOs never fired at anything other than targets, which is possibly why they perform as they do when on the streets.

 

N.Y. seems typical http://www.policeone.com/police-products/firearm-accessories/gun-cleaning/articles/1764925-Where-did-all-the-bullets-go/

 

What RAND did not attempt to measure is how often the display of a firearm prevented or ended violence.

 

I suspect the thought process - both ways - is based to a considerable degree on feeling rather than measurable facts.  Add to that the clear lack of mutual trust, and you get some of the posts we have here.

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.....

2- 'Gun Free Zones' are about the stupidest thing humans have ever conceived. If I'm a bad person looking for a place to kill a bunch of folks, I am going to go to a 'Gun Free Zone'!!!  Nobody will be shooting back until the police arrive......

 

I think this one point, along with getting across that the police's purpose is NOT to stop crime, is the best justification for guns.  It's completely logical, I think, to encourage good people to have guns once you think about these two points.

 

Oh, and I know it will be questioned...

cops are not there to stop crime because there is no way they can be everywhere all the time.  Their purpose is to discourage by investigating after the fact, discourage speeding by writing speeding tickets, stuff like that.

Remember, it might be a long long time between you dial 911 and the cop arriving to your door.  The closest cop might be many miles away from you when that bad guy comes in to do harm to your familiy.

 

I love the axiom, "I carry a gun, because I can't fit a cop into my pocket"

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In regards to carrying while camping, I know out west I have read reports of drug dealers growing pot and setting up labs in national park lands.

 

As for me and firearms, at the moment I am uncomfortable carrying.  I don;t have the strength at the moment to for hold anything steady. I had to use a sandbag last time I shot both a pistol and rifle. Darn shoulder surgery.

 

But I'm getting stronger everyday ;)

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In regards to carrying while camping, I know out west I have read reports of drug dealers growing pot and setting up labs in national park lands.

Used to be rumors about this in Shawnee NF in southern Illinois as well.

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