US gun views

January 30th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

And in my final look at a Gallup poll, it is the issue of guns. They tested the nine proposals put forward by Obama and found each one had majority support – in some cases overwhelming. In order they are:

  1. Require criminal background checks for all gun sales 91%
  2. More spending on youth mental health 82%
  3. Increase training for Police etc on responding to armed attacks 79%
  4. Increase penalties for buying a gun for someone not authorised to own one 75%
  5. $4 billion on 15,000 more police officers 70%
  6. $30 million to help schools develop response plans 69%
  7. Ban armour-piercing bullets except for military and police 67%
  8. Reinstate and strengthen assault weapon ban 60%
  9. Limit sale of ammo mags to 10 rounds or less 54%

Only the first one and the last three are really about gun controls or restrictions. The background checks has huge support. The last three majority support but some significant opposition – 30% or more.

So does this indicate Obama will get it through Congress? Not a lot. Why? Because they do not ask how strongly people feel on an issue. Let’s say 60% are in favour and 30% against. But what will impact politicians is will those 60% in favour change their vote based on how they vote on this issue and will the 30% against change their vote?

And the reality is that those pro gun control feel pretty strongly on it, but are unlikely to vote for a Representative or Senator just because they voted for gun control. However those anti gun control regard it as a deeply personal issue where it is their rights being taken away. They will never vote for you if you vote against them on it.

The same logic applied in NZ on nuclear ships visit. It was possible to get a 50/50 split on the desirability of allowing nuclear powered (not not armed) US ships to visit. However repealing the ban would not gain you a single extra vote while for 5% to 7% of the population (mainly women) it would shift their vote. So a passionate minority can trump a majority.

Also of interest is the partisan split, on the nine issues. The per cent agreement from Democrats and Republicans on each is:

  1. Require criminal background checks for all gun sales 97% and 92%
  2. More spending on youth mental health 93% and 67%
  3. Increase training for Police etc on responding to armed attacks 87% and 71%
  4. Increase penalties for buying a gun for someone not authorised to own one 81% and 75%
  5. $4 billion on 15,000 more police officers 81% and 63%
  6. $30 million to help schools develop response plans 81% and 61%
  7. Ban armour-piercing bullets except for military and police 80% and 49%
  8. Reinstate and strengthen assault weapon ban 80% and 56%
  9. Limit sale of ammo mags to 10 rounds or less 74% and 39%

So of the nine issues, Republicans only really oppose the last one around size of mags.

Also of interest is given a choice of priorities, 65% of Americans said the focus should be on school security and mental health system and 30% on gun laws. So they support the measures but don’t think gun law reform is the priority.

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81 Responses to “US gun views”

  1. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    “Ban armour-piercing bullets except for military and police 80% and 49%”

    I don’t get this? What animal in the states requires AP rounds to bring it down?

    At least they are looking at this seriously but the national mood is anger and not just with mass shootings and gun violence. I don’t think Nz is ready for nuclear powered ships to start visiting again. Regardless of what people think the old euro-country dominated west empires of the 20th have been eclipsed.

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  2. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    This is the sort of crap one gets into when you have a written constitution. It might be all very well when written, but 100 or 200 or 500 years later – doesnt make sense.

    UNLESS its only fixed for 50 or so years and then has to be re-written,.

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  3. Chuck Bird (4,883 comments) says:

    I would be pretty sure that is the logic Key used when he did the flip-flop on the anti-smacking legislation. Although the vast majority were opposed to undermining parental authority with legislation that would do nothing to reduce child abuse not many of them would change their vote on the issue and if they would many would vote ACT.

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  4. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    I don’t get this? What animal in the states requires AP rounds to bring it down?

    How else do you kill an Armadillo?

    More seriously, you’re assuming that the 2nd Amendment (as interpreted and applied) is about hunting and permitting the tools needed to accomplish this. It isn’t. And when the jackbooted thugs of the UN-backed New World Order come kicking your door down, you can bet they’ll be wearing body armour.

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  5. James Stephenson (2,177 comments) says:

    This is the sort of crap one gets into when you have a written constitution. It might be all very well when written, but 100 or 200 or 500 years later – doesnt make sense.

    “This sort of crap” being the fact that it’s very difficult for the government to impose new restrictions on its citizens? It’s a feature, not a bug. You do also realise that the gun thing is an amendment to the constitution? Understand what that word beginning with ‘a’ means?

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  6. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    AG (1,487) Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Interesting, So AP round ownership is about killing your law enforcement officers that they pay to police themselves? Facetious? That’s ok I get the joke if not then there’s a distortion of where one lives on the planet and whose laws one lives under. Not our constitution there fore don’t have a vested interest and am not emotionally involved. We’re not American.

    Does the 2nd Amendment say that the ordinary citizen has the right to carry and own military ordinance?

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  7. James Stephenson (2,177 comments) says:

    We’re not American.

    Exactly, so I don’t think any of us really understands the extent to which this stuff is baked into the country’s DNA. The origin of the US was an armed insurrection by the citizens against an illegitimate government and the 2nd amendment is designed to guarantee that it will always be possible for that to happen again if needed.

    Does the 2nd Amendment say that the ordinary citizen has the right to carry and own military ordinance?

    Well if you’re going to resist that hypothetical illegitimate government, you’re not going to want to be taking a knife to a gun fight, are you?

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  8. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    James Stephenson (1,256) Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Yes this is true.

    Is AP rounds civilian or military or were they developed for military use against citizens or for military combat?

    None of these recommendations state the State is disarming the populace but as far as i know AP is military ordinance not civilian.

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  9. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    James Stephenson (1,256) Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Well if you’re going to resist that hypothetical illegitimate government, you’re not going to want to be taking a knife to a gun fight, are you?

    Somehow I imagine even AP rounds and fully automatic weapons would be rather useless against drones, laser guided missiles and nuclear weapons. And now actual laser turrets on fighter jets http://gizmodo.com/5978740/us-military-to-install-laser-turrets-in-combat-airplanes

    And coming soon invisible robot armies…. :)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2223582/Meet-humanoid-US-military-robot-run-climb-jump-be-deployed-disaster-zone-dangerous-humans.html

    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/is-this-a-real-life-invisibility-cloak/7784

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  10. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Glad people are pointing out that the US second amendment clearly protects the civil right of gun ownership – one theoretically enshrined in our own Bill of Rights 1688, actually – for the express purpose arming citizens to allow them to engage in paramilitary activities so that they can oppose usurpatious government.

    There was a time when I thought this provision had been completely superseded even in theory. After all, what good where guns – even ‘military style’ guns against B-2 bombers and tanks? But then Iraq happened.

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  11. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    Does the 2nd Amendment say that the ordinary citizen has the right to carry and own military ordinance?

    Yeah is does. In 1791 the flintlock smoothbore farmers gun was military ordinance.

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  12. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Relevant cartoon on this. http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/piers-ing-the-us-gun-law-debate/

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  13. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    So, In this modern day where a country that goes to war, finishes it, brings home it’s soldiers disarms them by storing them in there locations for safekeeping should instead allow their soldiers to keep their weapons?

    A country’s military and civilian lives is usually separate, is this not the usual system?

    You know they call this escalation?

    It looks fearist from whatever side you look at it.

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  14. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    It is obvious that getting rid of the 2nd amendment will not get rid of the problem. The guns are there now, and the people have the mindset that conflict is solved by using them and safety is only achieved by possessing one. Disarm the residents and you’ll have a nation full of insecure people, seeking large numbers of illegal weapons, that have no supervision or restrictions.

    The only way to change the current situation is to change the mindset of American Society – a society with a history dominated by violent conflict. Even the deaths of innocent children does not seem to have achieved any alteration of that mindset, at least not in sufficient numbers for any restrictive measures to work.

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  15. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    Colville (516) Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Yes, when one puts it like that.

    So what happened here when a person had military grade weapons and lost the plot? this isn’t 1791 where everyone had to be armed as there hostiles that were all around the settlers outside of their recognized system.

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  16. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Azeraph – Israel does. So does Switzerland. Both countries also have home firearm ownership rates as high or higher than the United States. And yet both countries have low homicide rates.

    Perhaps it is time for liberals to abandon ‘journalist logic’ and start to look at things less superstitiously. Maybe, just maybe, a gun doesn’t ‘turn’ someone into a killer any more than a hammer does.

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  17. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    Ownership isnt the problem its the attitude of the people.
    The belief that a handgun is the way to solve an argument for instance.

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  18. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Cato (198) Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 8:41 am

    After all, what good where guns – even ‘military style’ guns against B-2 bombers and tanks? But then Iraq happened.

    Yeah… where is Saddam Hussein again?

    You forget that Iraq is a ridiculous example of US military strength. It is an example of the military attempting to avoid civilian deaths and institute “democracy”. The US military has more than enough strength to squash any insurrection it’s just a question of how many people need to die to make it happen. One would presume that a “usurpatious government” wouldn’t have much concern with killing innocents.

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  19. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    We need more guns to defend ourselves!

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/warrant-23-year-old-man-fatally-shot-while-driving/nT8rm/

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  20. JC (956 comments) says:

    Judith,

    The reason so many Americans get pissed off with gun control measures are the facts:

    1. You have more chance of being struck by lightning than be involved in a mass shooting.
    2. Gun deaths have reduced by 50% in the last 20 years.
    3. The vast majority of the gun deaths occur in the big cities.
    4. The vast majority of the killers are Black and Hispanic.
    5. As much as 70% of the gun death victims have criminal convictions
    6. Most gun deaths occur in areas with the tightest gun control laws
    7. In the last several decades all but one of the mass shootings have occurred in gun free areas.
    8. Depending on whether its Gallup or Pew surveys something like 65-75% of Americans disagree there should be a ban on hand guns.

    Because you are dealing with 50 states and many thousands of local authorities you can find plenty of exceptions to the above but generally the rural areas have the most (legal) guns and the fewest shootings whilst the big Democrat controlled cities have the fewest legal guns and the most shootings.

    Its this appalling hypocrisy that grates with many gun owners who see clearly that the recent hooha is simply the Democrats rallying their base with divisive tactics. Its all politics.. all the time.

    JC

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  21. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Weihana –

    Agreed that the US invasion is underrated in terms of the regime change operations. Indeed, I would agree that the US did win the war in that it achieved its primary objective quite stunningly.

    But it is undeniable that, beginning around 2006, the Iraqi insurgency – a low-level and decentralised war of attrition – wore down the resolve of the United States military and hastened its eventual exit. Now, bear in mind, this was an example of the forces of one government occupying another set of (basically unarmed) peoples.

    A theoretically tyrannical US government, on the other hand, would be oppressing its own people – and it is safe to assume its tolerance for armed resistance would be lessened accordingly.

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  22. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    @JC – ‘Gun free areas’ does not mean everyone is unarmed. Virgina tech had armed guards on campus.

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  23. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    Cato (198) Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I’m not against guns but we both know why Israel has their gun laws and why Switzerland has theirs as well and it has nothing to do with self regulation, In Switzerland it’s a holdover from the old days.

    Cato, when you go to pakn’save do you feel naked because you don’t have your gun on you? or do you feel “not safe” and undermined by external humans that don’t fit in your worldview? We’re Kiwi’s that seem to be subverted to external worldview fearism. Where on our borders are we surrounded by hostiles?

    I’m not attacking you personally and if we decide to take on Switzerland’s system then fine but do we need it? everyone here keeps forgetting that the American 2nd amendment doesn’t cover us as we are our own sovereign nation answerable to ourselves and when we want to the old girl. Look at the posts and see who takes ownership of the American system as if it’s there own?

    Call me Liberal fine but even the most die hard conservative responds to the fair not fair system.

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  24. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    Without a gun you could be killed in Pak ‘n’ Save AT ANY TIME

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  25. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    Here a serious problem with the USa and it’s guns. The 2nd says the people can legally be armed. OK, fine – lets take that as read.

    But Person A might get freaked out about living in a potentially dangerous area and buy a handgun. They have a background check and a waiting period and in a week receive their handgun.

    Person A here’s a noise one night, freaks out, grabs the gun and shakily stalks the house and fires a round at the first thing that moves. Which happens to be daughter sneaking in late a night.

    What’s missing here?

    Training.

    It isn’t good enough to just ‘get a gun’ without having relevant training on how to use it. Sure there are training programs but are they enforced? it makes sense that for anyone to purchase a gun should have taken a relevant course on gun safety, identifying your target, how to store weapons safety, etc etc etc

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  26. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I’m not saying the American system is necessarily right either. It is what it is – a trade-off.

    However, you should remember that the right to bear arms is enshrined in our constitution too. That is to say the Bill of Rights 1688 – one of our fundamental constitutional documents (which was directly applied by the courts in this country as recently as the 1970s.

    Now, under our Westminster system, the Arms Act takes precedence over earlier enacted legislation – even constitutional legislation – but what you have to see is that there is nothing fundamentally alien about the American system. The difference is that they take checks and balances more seriously than we do – and the Second Amendment has to be seen as being a part of that system. Indeed, you could say it is the final check.

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  27. kiwi in america (2,449 comments) says:

    JC
    Spot on. There are other reasons why mainstream Americans resist gun control:
    1 – They know that the liberal elites that control the media and the commentariat are overwhelmingly against the 2nd Amendment and portray them as hicks and red necks for supporting it.
    2 – They also know that there are a range of reforms that really would make a difference and that liberals oppose every one of them. One is not releasing the mentally ill so early from mental institutions – liberal lawyers have fought for the rights of the mentally ill for decades and have won and the price we now pay is some dangerous people are out and able to kill. Many experts in mass killings have told the media that the notoriety granted them by obessive wall to wall media coverage is part of the etiology of their journey to mass murder and that ceasing such coverage, not publishing pictures and limiting coverage to local newspapers and TV would starve these nutters of the publicity oxygen they crave.
    3 – They know that all the gun control measures proposed don’t work (the ‘assault’ weapons ban was in force for 10 years from 1994 – 2004 and made no difference to the numbers of public ‘mass’ shootings).
    4 – They know that many states and cities already have pretty strict bans but those bans have led to increased crime as citizens can no longer protect themselves whereas criminals will ignore any ban.

    Azeraph
    Each constitutional amendment must pass an exhaustive process to become part of the Constitution. Prohibition was the 21st Amendment and it was automatically repealed when the provision for its renewal itself was not ratified by the same process so Americans are perfecty capable of amending their Constitution (26 times) and repealing Amendments deemed to be past their used by date. Has it ever occured to you why the 2nd Amendment has never been repealed and any attempt to repeal it hardly even gets to 1st base (namely passing both Houses of Congress)?

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  28. kiwi in america (2,449 comments) says:

    Azeraph
    Switzerland’s gun laws and mass ownership is not some bizzaire cultural throw back. It’s usefulness was seen in WW2 when we now know that Hitler shelved plans to invade Switzerland because of the mass arming of its populace. The Swiss cherish that deterence. Plus Switzerland is the world’s most representative democracy – it as easy thing to get the issue of gun control onto a ballot there. Either it has never happened or if it has Swiss citizens have voted to retain their gun laws.

    No one is suggesting NZ adopt US style gun laws or at least I’m not. But likewise us kiwis need to stop lecturing Americans about their gun laws.

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  29. freemark (580 comments) says:

    Not to minimize the tragedies or make political capital, but I picked up this comment on a blog somewhere…
    “Why is it that none of the disturbed and evil men, who steal guns, then go and kill movie-goers and children in school, has ever been identified as a conservative NRA member?
    Ft. Hood~~~ Registered Democrat ~ Muslim.
    Columbine ~~~ Too young to vote; both families were registered Democrats and progressive liberals.
    Virginia Tech ~~~ Wrote hate mail to President Bush and to his staff ~ Registered Democrat.
    Colorado Theater ~~~ Registered Democrat; staff worker on the Obama campaign; Occupy Wall Street participant; progressive liberal.
    Connecticut School Shooter- ~~~ Registered Democrat; hated Christians.
    Common thread – all of these shooters were progressive liberal Democrats.”
    INTERESTING?

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  30. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    However, you should remember that the right to bear arms is enshrined in our constitution too. That is to say the Bill of Rights 1688 – one of our fundamental constitutional documents (which was directly applied by the courts in this country as recently as the 1970s.

    Oh, really? Let’s have a little look at what the Bill of Rights, 1688 has to say on the matter:

    Subjects’ arms—That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.

    Note the qualifications to this “right to bear arms”:

    (1) It only applies to Protestants – so all you Catholic/Mormon/atheists out there are out of luck. That’s because the right was asserted in a particular contextual environment – the fear that James 2nd was planning to reintroduce Catholicism as the state religion of the UK, and that the Protestant majority was illegally being disarmed to allow this to happen. In a modern liberal-democracy in which the government is based upon the mandate given by the people at regular elections, such a right is about as relevant as this other VERY IMPORTANT one:

    Ecclesiastical Courts illegal—That the commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiasticall Causes and all other commissions and courts of like nature are illegall and pernicious.

    (2) The right only applies “as allowed by law”. So the Arms Act doesn’t “take precedence” because it is later in time legislation … it sets the limits of the right to possess arms JUST AS THE BILL OF RIGHTS ITSELF ENVISIONED. So there is no conflict between the Bill of Rights 1688 and the Arms Act saying “you can only have certain weapons for certain purposes”, because the Bill of Rights 1688 says that the right only extends as far as the law allows. Thus, the Bill of Rights 1688 really was saying to the Crown, “you can’t take our guns off us when the law says we can possess them … but if the law is changed (by Parliament) to say we can’t possess them, then you can.”

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  31. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    @freemark

    Source?

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  32. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    I don’t get this? What animal in the states requires AP rounds to bring it down?

    I think the NRA’s answer would be that a few perps have taken to wearing body armour, so conventional bullets wouldn’t take them out.

    – To which I would suggest they ban civilian use of body armour. Alas, this suggestion would probably prove to be constitutionally unviable.

    The problem with attempting to control guns in the States is an anachronistic constitution, and that ain’t gonna change in the near future.

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  33. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Cato,

    A theoretically tyrannical US government, on the other hand, would be oppressing its own people – and it is safe to assume its tolerance for armed resistance would be lessened accordingly.

    A “tyrannical” government that has no stomach for armed resistance despite its clear advantage. I’m having a hard time reconciling that concept.

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  34. nasska (11,503 comments) says:

    The lesson to be learned here is that a people blessed with a REAL constitution and/or a REAL bill of rights have some protection against a duplicitous government that cannot be trusted with its citizens’ liberty.

    Should we be so lucky.

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  35. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Azeraph – Israel does. So does Switzerland. Both countries also have home firearm ownership rates as high or higher than the United States

    Arse.

    Abstract

    The 2011 attempted assassination of a US representative renewed the national gun control debate. Gun advocates claim mass-casualty events are mitigated and deterred with three policies: (a) permissive gun laws, (b) widespread gun ownership, (c) and encouragement of armed civilians who can intercept shooters. They cite Switzerland and Israel as exemplars. We evaluate these claims with analysis of International Crime Victimization Survey (ICVS) data and translation of laws and original source material. Swiss and Israeli laws limit firearm ownership and require permit renewal one to four times annually. ICVS analysis finds the United States has more firearms per capita and per household than either country. Switzerland and Israel curtail off-duty soldiers’ firearm access to prevent firearm deaths. Suicide among soldiers decreased by 40 per cent after the Israeli army’s 2006 reforms. Compared with the United States, Switzerland and Israel have lower gun ownership and stricter gun laws, and their policies discourage personal gun ownership.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22089893

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  36. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    nasska,

    And yet our government does not summarily execute its own citizens who happen to be overseas. Limited government eh?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/18/us-citizens-drone-strike-deaths
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/10/how-team-obama-justifies-the-killing-of-a-16-year-old-american/264028/

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  37. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    KIA,

    4 – They know that many states and cities already have pretty strict bans but those bans have led to increased crime as citizens can no longer protect themselves whereas criminals will ignore any ban.

    While I don’t really think people need guns to protect themselves in general, I do agree there is a point to be made about criminals ignoring gun laws. But little consideration is given to WHY they ignore them and the reason is obvious: it is the only viable tool available to the drug trade to solve disputes and provide protection. This is what happens when you take a multi-billion dollar market and put it outside the law.

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  38. nasska (11,503 comments) says:

    Weihana

    Your instance is valid….so is the question that if skulduggery like this is carried out by a nation constrained by its constitution then what unrestrained genocide could we expect from a government such as ours, should it turn feral.

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  39. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Cha @ 10.31 – please reread in context. Response was to assertion by Azeraph that it perverse for a modern day country to “allow their soldiers to keep their weapons” when not in combat. Both Switzerland and Israel – civilised, modern countries both – require this legally. Accordingly, firearm possession (if not ownership exactly) at similar levels to the United States. Both have lower murde rates.

    AG @ 10.09 – please consider your own comments in light of reasoning and logic. I said BORA 1688 enshrines right to bear arms as default position subject to law – but that the Arms Act radically regulates that. That is entirely consistent with your objection = complete failure to disagree. Note that the law did not disarm Catholics – it only reaffirmed the (then questioned) right of Protestant’s to bear arms. Again, the point is that the document recongises the default as a right for citizens to be armed.

    Larger point is that there is nothing alien or inherently uncivilised about the right to bear arms.

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  40. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Scott Chris (4,750) Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 10:16 am

    The problem with attempting to control guns in the States is an anachronistic constitution, and that ain’t gonna change in the near future.

    Although I agree the 2nd amendment is anachronistic, it is not the constitution which prevents existing laws from being enforced. Moreover, it is not the constitution which underpins the current war on drugs and the arming of black market gangs that necessarily accompanies it.

    The problem is idiots on Fox News creating a false debate about the next Hitler coming to get your guns rather than seriously considering very modest proposals all consistent with the 2nd amendment.

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  41. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Both Switzerland and Israel – civilised, modern countries both – require this legally.

    Switzerland and Israel curtail off-duty soldiers’ firearm access to prevent firearm deaths.

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  42. nasska (11,503 comments) says:

    Weihana

    …”The problem is idiots on Fox News creating a false debate about the next Hitler coming to get your guns rather than seriously considering very modest proposals all consistent with the 2nd amendment.”…..

    AKA the thin end of the wedge.

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  43. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    Swiss have tighter gun laws than the US (despite the right to private gun ownership guaranteed by law – like the US). Many of these laws the Swiss enforce have either been defeated in the US or have meet with howls of protest by the NRA. Yet – despite it’s higher rate of ownership, the Swiss have much lower rates of gun crime.

    – civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms, some automatic firearms converted into semi-automatic firearms, incendiary or armour-piercing ammunition, and ‘expansive projectiles for handguns

    – private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited

    – Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Switzerland are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting, self-defence, and collection

    – An applicant for a firearm licence in Switzerland must pass background checks which consider mental, criminal and domestic violence

    – Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Switzerland stipulates that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

    – In Switzerland gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every 5 years

    – In Switzerland, authorities maintains a record of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

    – In Switzerland, licensed firearm dealers are required to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

    – In Switzerland, state authorities carry out recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

    – n Switzerland, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed only with proof of genuine need and tangible danger, following mental health, criminal record and good character background checks, and after passing a police examination in firearm law and handgun safety

    -

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  44. kiwi in america (2,449 comments) says:

    Weihana
    What you are referring to is minority on minority violent crime which is indeed dominated by the drug trade but only in a number of key cities. Drug use is pretty consistent across the US so it is by no means the sole determiner of violent crime because of the vast differential in homocides and violent crime rates between different states and cities. It is significant that homocides and violent crime are the highest in cities like Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington DC jursitictions that feature NZ style hand gun bans.

    The modest proposals you refer to have all been tried and found wanting. Not one of them would have prevented the recent horrors – the Aurora and Virginia Tech shooters all passed background checks and CT already had an assault weapons ban in force.

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  45. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    Moreover, it is not the constitution which underpins the current war on drugs and the arming of black market gangs that necessarily accompanies it.

    Oh yeah, I totally agree with that aspect of the argument – mind you, most Americans couldn’t give a toss about a few ghetto bros taking eachother out.

    But some whacko spraying kids with bullets – now that’s something that seems to matter, even if mass shootings make up a tiny proportion of acual gun crime.

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  46. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    even if mass shootings make up a tiny proportion of acual gun crime.

    According to Slates Gun Death Tally of the 1400 people who have been shot dead since the Newtown killings 23 were children.

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  47. freemark (580 comments) says:

    @TheContrarian
    I’m a bit embarrassed by my source, but enjoy the post anyway.. it’s in the comments below this..
    http://www.funnieststuff.net/viewmovie.php?id=2998

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  48. Scott Chris (6,137 comments) says:

    An interesting stat:

    In 2010 in the US there were 358 murders involving rifles. Murders involving the use of pistols that same year totaled 6,009, with another 1,939 murders with the firearm type unreported.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls

    Which may imply that ownership of handguns should be focused on in any proposed law changes. (aside from ending the futile war on drugs that is) Wonder how many handguns the Swiss own per capita..

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  49. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    @Cato:

    please consider your own comments in light of reasoning and logic.

    You do realise where this discussion is taking place, right? If we were to apply those rules, 99.35% of comments here would be out of order!

    I said BORA 1688 enshrines right to bear arms as default position subject to law – but that the Arms Act radically regulates that. That is entirely consistent with your objection = complete failure to disagree.

    No, you didn’t. You said that the BOR 1688 (not BORA, btw – that’s a completely different statute) enshrined the right to bear arms period, but that “the Arms Act takes precedence over earlier enacted legislation – even constitutional legislation”. The reasoned and logical interpretation of “takes precedence” is that it overrides a previously-enacted-but-inconsistent legislative provision (which is an example of the doctrine of “implied repeal”). If you meant something other than the reasoned and logical interpretation of your words, then you should have chosen different ones.

    But, seeing as you now agree with what I said, note that it renders claims that there is some general “right to bear arms” in our constitutional history irrelevant. We have a right to own and use guns, insofar as the law says we may own and use guns. Which is like saying we have a right to drive our cars at a given speed, insofar as the law says we may drive our cars at a given speed. Or that we have a right to catch fish, insofar as the law says we may catch fish.

    In other words, it isn’t a “right” at all, but a privilege.

    Note that the law did not disarm Catholics – it only reaffirmed the (then questioned) right of Protestant’s to bear arms.

    Because, as you well know, Catholics were ALREADY specifically prohibited from owning firearms under the Penal Laws in place at the time. Oh, wait … you didn’t know that?

    Again, the point is that the document recongises the default as a right for citizens to be armed.

    The default was that certain people could keep their guns from the Crown, “suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.” Saying that the Crown could not seize weapons that an individual was lawfully permitted to own is NOTHING like saying the BOR 1688 “recongises the default as a right for citizens to be armed.”

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  50. kiwi in america (2,449 comments) says:

    Chris Scott
    The problem is that the mass shootings attract a disproportionate amount of media coverage partly for sensational ratings purposes but also because media elites crave stricter gun control and use agenda journalism to drive that narrative. Its an unholy alliance and part of the reason why one of the key things that could be done to cut down on these high profile shootings, to stop making them high profile, will never happen.

    The ultimate liberal hypocricy on gun control was caught by the Project Veritas team from Brietbart. They formed a ficticious group called Citizens Against Senseless Violence a group supposedly seeking grass roots support for more gun control. They knocked on doors in Rockland County NY (the county that liberal newspaper Journal News is based and recently published the location of all registered gun owners in the county) seeking support for their cause by merely putting a pro-gun control sign on their lawn. The litinay of excuses from ‘do as I say and not as I do’ liberals is hilarious. One person approached is actually a columnist with the paper who had written in favour of gun control and he even admits to his inconsistency – another was prominent liberal MSNBC presenter Toure. Another home features a senior editor of the JN whose house was being guarded by armed security because ….of threats she’d received because of her own paper’s decision to publicise gun owners houses and the fact that some people reacted negatively to such a privacy breach. The schadenfraude in all this is positively delicious!
    https://www.theprojectveritas.com/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=141&custom_10=vforganic

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  51. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    @freemark

    Sorry Freemark – Your source cannot be considered seriously or valid because it provides no supporting information and is merely an assertion. It fails intellectual rigor.

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  52. Kea (12,839 comments) says:

    There is not a major problem with armed aggression by civilians. There is a major problem with armed aggression by US government forces around the world.

    If people trully cared about the welfare of others, they would address that issue first. A few random nutters are not a major problem, no matter how the media, and people with other agendas, may try and make it appear so.

    Far more US citizens are killed serving Obama in poorly considered conflicts around the world, than in random shootings.

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  53. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “Far more US citizens are killed serving Obama in poorly considered conflicts around the world, than in random shootings.”

    If you are talking about the military – they knew the risks when going into a battlefield unlike someone gunned down in a shopping mall.

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  54. Kea (12,839 comments) says:

    TheContrarian, Are you suggesting mass shootings would be less tragic if they “knew” it was a risk, or are you simply minimising the deaths of US service people ?

    Your also overlooking the thousands of innocent civilians killed by the US government.

    I do not understand the focus on a few random nutters, against all else that is going on. It is a beat-up.

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  55. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Limit sale of ammo mags to 10 rounds or less 54%

    Whilst on the surface this seems a reasonable suggestion, it actually means nothing.

    I have firearms – one of which is a smallbore fitted out for shooting bunnies / possums / goats etc. When I purchased it, I also got a 25 shot magazine – simply because it meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about changing magazines and / or replenishing a 10 shot magazine with ammunition from a box carried in my pocket at night. The possibility of dropping a live round onto the ground was just not there when using a 25 shot magazine.

    But when I renewed my Firearms Licence many years back (and the Police came to do the interviews / inspect the gun cabinets etc), they saw the 25 shot magazine and told me I needed to surrender it because it had since been deemed illegal. So surrender it I did – and I recall watching it being munched up by the local Arms Officer.

    So to eliminate the risk of dropping live ammunition on the ground at night , I simply purchased some 10 shot magazines. The irony being that users of firearms can change a magazine in a matter of a few seconds anyway.

    Getting rid of magazines holding more than 10 shots will do SFA. Indeed, IMO the focus in the USA should be on working out what has happened to the thousands and thousands of military style firearms sold via ‘shows’ where background checks WERE NOT DONE!

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  56. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Chris Rock has a solution.

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  57. freemark (580 comments) says:

    @TheContrarian

    “@freemark

    Sorry Freemark – Your source cannot be considered seriously or valid because it provides no supporting information and is merely an assertion. It fails intellectual rigor.”

    I never promised it was, you asked for the link despite that.. and when the fuck did those criteria become mandatory for a comment here anyway..

    FFS

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  58. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “TheContrarian, Are you suggesting mass shootings would be less tragic if they “knew” it was a risk, or are you simply minimising the deaths of US service people?”

    No, I saying that going on a tour of duty is knowingly putting yourself in a situation where you could get killed by choice.
    Not so when you just want to pick up some last minute Christmas shopping.

    Are you seriously suggesting that entering a military environment and being killed is comparable to being shot in the school yard?

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  59. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    @Freemark

    You posted the link as if it were meaningful in someway – but it is unsubstantiated gibberish.

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  60. Kea (12,839 comments) says:

    TheContrarian, how about all the thousands of civilians killed by the US government in various conflicts ? Any comment about them?

    The point I am making is that the “authorities” are the ones who should be giving up their guns, based on their current behaviour and history. It is a challenging idea, but is consistent with the facts. The “authorities” are the ones the anti gun lobby want the citizens to surrender their guns to. But those same authorities have shown themselves to be a serious risk to others and very aggressive. The left wing media do not make a fuss about that (anymore), because of the presidents skin colour. Rather the msm obsess about random events. Obama is not anti gun, he is only anti others having them.

    And please don’t portray my position as one in which I think the citizens need guns just in case they run into conflict with the government, because that is not what I think. The people will beat the government without guns, when push comes to shove.

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  61. freemark (580 comments) says:

    @TheContrarian

    “@Freemark

    You posted the link as if it were meaningful in someway – but it is unsubstantiated gibberish”

    I must be turning into a Lefty then I guess, if I start displaying any more symptoms will someone please shoot me before I infect anyone else…

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  62. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Heckling a grieving parent through to al Qaeda is better than the Government, barking.

    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Newtown-dad-to-lawmakers-Change-gun-laws-4228992.php

    http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/2013/01/29/bauerle_alqaeda_besties/

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  63. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “TheContrarian, how about all the thousands of civilians killed by the US government in various conflicts ? Any comment about them?”

    Of course, civilian deaths are serious indeed. But this has nothing to do with authorities giving up their guns, national defence is important. Your point should be about not getting into pointless wars

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  64. Kea (12,839 comments) says:

    Then the focus should be on the loss of life from the governments pointless wars, not random acts of violence by private individuals. The worst gun violence is from the authorities, not citizens.

    You are happy for the government to have guns for “defence”. Do you oppose individuals having guns for defence ?

    If so why?

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  65. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    I don’t oppose individuals having guns and never have opposed it

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  66. Kea (12,839 comments) says:

    Good. But are you ok with them carrying guns for “defense” ?

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  67. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “But are you ok with them carrying guns for “defense”?”

    Whomever it was would need to be well trained and well vetted but no I do not like the idea. For example – the recent Houston school shooting was because a kid was carrying a gun for “defense”. He got into an argument and pulled his gun and shot someone.

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  68. Kea (12,839 comments) says:

    I see your point and sort of agree with it.

    But at least he did not go to another country and kill thousands and destroy the infrastructure, in “defence” of god knows what.

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  69. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    ‘People’ are panicky and act irrationally in stressful situations. Think about a situation like the Aurora movie theater shooting…a darkened theater filled with 100 people.
    Someone comes in and rolls two smoke grenades up the aisles (which the shooter did) and starts popping off shots.

    If everyone, or if half the people were armed, without the required training they’d be shooting in a panicked fashion at everything that moved. Not good…

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  70. Kea (12,839 comments) says:

    There are counties in the states that allow open carry. Some others have a law compelling people to own a guns, to “assist law enforcement”. As I understand it, passing this law resulted in a reduction in assaults, murders and burgalries.

    (I have not looked this up in recent times, so maybe they have repealed those laws.)

    What your saying appeals to common sense, but may not be born out in reality. Gun debates are fueled more by emotion than reason.

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  71. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Defence. Yeah, sure, until you run into a man with a plan.

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  72. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    If you are going to have open carry laws that person needs to be well trained, calm and rational.
    We don’t give the military or police guns and just heave them out into battle – why would you give a member of the public a gun to carry around without training?

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  73. Kea (12,839 comments) says:

    The problem in the States is people going crazy. Training does not stop crazy.

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  74. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “The problem in the States is people going crazy. Training does not stop crazy.”

    Which is why you universal background checks and better reporting of gun-sales can help limit the flow of guns to, well, stupid crazy people.

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  75. Kea (12,839 comments) says:

    Maybe. But as per my 3:26 post, it may not be such a simple link.

    I have not looked it up recently, but allowing people to carry (& compelling them to own) guns, seems to result in less problems.

    I first heard about this after seeing it on Holmes. I did not believe it, but looked it up and found more than one example. I have not looked recently, as I seldom bother debating anti gun people now days.

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  76. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    Universal background checks and gun training programs for all gun owners is a sensible measure to take.

    The Swiss are compelled to own guns but their gun laws are striter than the US. You can have both – it isn’t all or nothing which both the anti-gun and pro-gun crazies would suggest.

    There are reasonable measures to ensure safety that still allow civilian gun ownership. I remember several recent cases where young children have shot another child over a playstation game or some other trival matter. That wouldn’t happen if gun safety were trained into people. Like, simple things, keep your gun AWAY from where children might get hold of it. Keep you gun unloaded etc

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  77. Kea (12,839 comments) says:

    TheContrarian, its hard to legistlate for common sense, or sanity. I am sure we agree on that much.

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  78. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    “its hard to legistlate for common sense, or sanity. I am sure we agree on that much.”

    Well, the Swiss seem to manage so maybe if the yanks can’t control themselves they should have their toys taken away from them until they learn to control themselves.

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  79. Griff (7,700 comments) says:

    The NRA is always saying its not responsible gun owners its the scum
    Where do you think all the guns the gangstas and drug runners use comes from?
    America needs to follow the life history of its weapons and/ or its gun owners if it hopes to address the loop holes that allow such prolific gun crime.
    Most criminal guns have been purchased on the secondary market or gun fairs in states that have lax gun regulation measures. Then gun suppliers run them to high crime ares to supply a lucrative black market .
    Not only are the states with lax gun control export death to other states they also export it internationally. The gun laws of the USA as well as its drug war are the reason for the death toll in Mexico.

    A little bit of background checking and registration is a good thing We demand in New Zealand two references, A short course, background check, basic test This is not a onerous requirement to my mind. along with security of the weapon and the graduated license with more capable weapons having more training, proof of purpose and security. I think that our gun laws are doing the job they were designed for.

    The Present talk in the usa around shooting sprees and military style weapons is a misdirection we have them here with sporting guns. The real issue is the uncontrolled hand guns They may have been a good idea in the wild west but really is crime that high you need to carry a gun just in case at all times Not according to the NRA crime is low Why carry a gun? How many cases are there where a armed citizen has successfully stop a criminal with a gun compared to how many gun crimes and murders there are.

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  80. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    Cato (202) Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I’m back from work so, excellent posts.

    My position was that of the perspective of a kiwi here in Nz viewing America from a physical distance rather than taking the position of an actual citizen of that country, Kiwi in America and Monique and maybe a few others who are actually there can give an actual account of what they see within their localized area and the general mood of their local community at this present time.

    I’m still not convinced that AP rounds should be allowed outside of military control as it was developed for military purposes, There is no way a countries citizens will allow a three man operated hand held rocket launcher to be sold legally to the public?. A countries military fights for and defends their people and when the conflict is resolved the troops are brought home and demobilized and the ordinance is put into safe storage.

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  81. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    kiwi in america (1,837) Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    No one is suggesting NZ adopt US style gun laws or at least I’m not. But likewise us kiwis need to stop lecturing Americans about their gun laws.

    Yes this is true. This gun control debate seems to have us quite interested, without realizing it people can take on a false set of compelling belief that they are in a sense actually affected by it’s outcome yet not actually physically belonging to this group.

    Yeah mate I’ve been in debates with US citizens and had to reign myself in, It’s their country not mine, I realized this when i watched open minded Americans who took the time out to debate with foreigners on the subject become defensive. That’s why I’m here on a kiwiblog arguing with kiwi’s and surprisingly kiwi’s here are pretty knowledgeable, I suppose we can afford to since it doesn’t affect us in anyway except those who think it does. You’re there so it definitely affects you.

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