"Honour and pride do not exist once you're dead"
Not to you they don't, but the only way you live on beyond your death is in the memories of the people that knew you. What kind of person do you want to be remembered as? I will be remembered as the fucker who went out kicking, swinging, biting, snarling, and doing everything in my power to take something back from the person who decided to take something of mine that wasn't his - if I am to be killed by another that is. That is who I am, I understand not everyone is that way.
For real? Aside from the one special interest we share, I think this group of people is as diverse as the rest of the world . . .
Personally, I own multiple firearms: handguns, rifles, and shotguns. I also keep many other weapon systems available, and at no time carry less than a certain number of items that are weaponized (although you may not realize it) on my person at any given time. I am also an instructor of several different martial systems, and teach combatives, rifle, and pistol marksmanship among other things in the military. And with all the training and preperation I do, I still may get my come-up-its in the back of the head or get a mortar dropped on me one day, or die in an aircraft crash, or some other crazy thing. However, if I get the chance to fight back, I am fighting for my life with everything I have and I will be prepared.
I can kill you with my body, my belt, your belt, my shirt, your shirt, a knife, a stick, your glasses, a pen, my glasses, the list goes on (you can kill someone with almost anything when you are motivated and know what you are doing). Bottom line is: if I want to kill you, I'm going to. I will learn your pattern of life, collect as much information as I can, create a plan, and do the deed. It would actually be much more advantageous for me if no one were allowed to own guns: what are the odds that your combative skills, attributes and knowledge are equal to or superior to mine? Not likely for the vast majority of the population . . .
Sure, a gun makes killing easier, but yet I have never killed anyone with any of my personal weapons and don't have any plans to do so, despite my moments of indignation while carrying. I do carry a gun with me everywhere I go (EXCEPT when I go out drinking - alcohol and guns are a bad mix), and if you decide you want to have a bad day, I'll be more than happy to oblige. But after carrying for 3 years, I have never once had to draw my gun in public - but have had cause to think about it. I have never had a negligent discharge or accidental discharge with my personal weapons or work weapon systems for that matter. Don't do dumb shit with a gun . . .
I am a big fan of public gun ownership. I view the 2nd amendment "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state . . ." portion as a preamble, which was common in writing at the time. Also, when you take into account what the people who wrote that wrote in other letters to each other, there is little argument in my mind as to what their intent was. Do I think that justifies a person having a pintle-towed ZPU-4 in his backyard? Not really . . . although it would be a pretty big target for anyone to find.
I wish no one any harm who doesn't wish it to me, and am a very polite person. I carry concealed, and precious few people that meet me on a daily basis have any clue what I am carrying and what I am capable of doing to them, with or without a gun. I like it that way . . .
And on the "assault weapons" thing: that stems from the term "assault rifle" which is a military term defining the weapon system by its function (a rifle used to conduct an "assault", i.e. assaulting a building, fighting position, etc), and assault rifles are by definition selective fire (semi-auto to auto or burst) weapons. There are NO civilian assault rifles or weapons, as no civilian versions of weapon systems are selective fire.
2 cents given . . .
They can be used for hunting. I have killed boars/deer with an AR-15/M4; they put holes in animal flesh just as well as human flesh. Whether or not your state allows it is a different story. Besides, there is nothing in the Constitution about hunting or sport.
They cannot be sold fully automatic unless they are classified as a Class III destructive device. You have to get your tax stamp and go through an additional FEDERAL licensing process to get one. Once you do, you can also function as an FFL dealer and have firearms shipped to you directly. Whether or not guys mod their rifles illegally with illegal parts is something else dealing with enforcement of laws on the books. No civilian models of any military/police firearms are sold with any functionality that extends beyond 1 round fired for 1 pull of the trigger.
Be careful with your level 1 combative training. Of all combative oriented martial arts training I have received/experienced over the past decade, the military has been the worst . . . the MACP (for the most part = sport BJJ) is not what I teach to my guys.
My favorite example of gun ownership gone wrong is the hotshot fatass from the gunshow who has a tricked out semi-auto M4 with a picatinny rail system, EOTECH Holographic sight, MAGPUL stock, bipod foregrip, and a SUREFIRE tac light attachment that sits over his mantle in his den/living room. Yeah . . . don't ever fucking train with it and do some mag changes to actually utilize the weapon to its full potential - instead sit on your ass and lie to yourself that you will magically have all the correct fundamentals, your check-to-stock weld will never change, and you will actually be able to hit your target with that hunk of metal. Say nothing of whether or not you have loaded magazines ready to go, batteries for your sight and flashlight, and did you think to get back-up iron sights? Did you zero them in addition to your cool-guy EOTECH Holo sight? Oh yeah . . . I forgot how much work that is. It sure wasn't that hard in CoD MW2 . . .
Most people that I see at gun shows have no clue when it comes to being prepared for some emergency or how to deploy/manipulate/articulate their weapon systems effectively in a defensive or offensive situation. It is a collecting hobby for them, nothing more. You can give a sheep a gun, some Multicam, and a Steri-Pen, but it is still a sheep.
On MACP, I understand the limitations of my training completely, but it gives me a better understanding of fighting than it does teach me how to kick ass.
I concur to an extent: hopefully the trainee gains some sort of understanding of the physicality involved in a drawn-out pugilistic contest and how to channel aggression when desired, or at least understand that is the idea. I am still very frustrated that precious few units are training combatives in full kit with weapons. Train as you fight seems to have gone out the door on that one . . .
Knowledge of maintenance and handling of firearms and other highly lethal weapons is primordial. It is quite possible that all these "self defenders" brandishing firearms at robbers do not have 'what it takes' to really kill another human being, and their weapon weaving makes them a target INSTEAD of killer. As you say, knowledge of WHAT to do is most important, which to me makes a darn good case for stronger regulations regarding ownership, to prevent incompetents from ownership.
On the other hand, a part of me thinks the ideal system of self defence, of self and nation, is the way France used to have it, where every person did military duty, received minimal weaponry training. In a context where "every citizen should be ready to defend the country against enemies" I could see it also being recommended that every single human being have a firearm and have regular training/maintenance inspections, as we do with motor vehicles. Motor vehicles, because of their high lethality, require that all motorists must have standardised training. I could see this as a corollary of the right to bear arms...
I concur with your statement regarding having "what it takes" to kill another human being. Certain people do not have the ability. Some think they do, and they don't. Some have no idea what they are capable of until they are pressured into a situation. Perhaps if we (as a people) spent more time getting to know ourselves on a regular basis instead of worshipping the fairy in the clouds more people would know for sure which they are. There is nothing wrong with being either way, but to not know yourself in such a manner is a crime against you and everyone around you.
Completely agree. And I'll even admit I'm partially guilty, as do we ever really know for sure? I've always had the intimate knowledge that I do have "what it takes". But it's not knowledge, it's an impression. I have had a couple of opportunities for self defence in my life, and I did react with I think the proper amount of returned violence, but I have not handled a gun since age 14, that's 30 years ago! But I've walked streets of South Africa and South America alone, have usually been successful at "avoidance" without compromising my various geographic explorations, and have successfully come out alive and unraped. I did pull a knife on one person, in Canada. They were sufficiently impressed by the tone of my voice that I had "what it takes" that they immediately ceased. But do I? (human perception is so very faulty)
My government offers a free gun handling course, I think I should take it.
Indeed - it seems that the one person it is most difficult to be truly honest with is yourself.
"...yet you cannot force someone to receive education... At least not efficiently."
Tell that to your local school board :P