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Old 06-18-2007, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Canada
17 posts, read 41,329 times
Reputation: 14

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As a Canadian I have two questions. Sorry if they seem naive but I have to ask.


1. Do you worry about guns or people having guns so freely?


The reason I ask is as a Canadian I have never seen or fired a handgun, as they are restricted weapons (Not that gun-crimes or crime does not happen here). It just seems to me that if everyone had a gun more people would be shooting at each other whether its accidental or not. I mean do you have to watch your mouth at a bar or in the streets just in case you get a crazy with a gun and you set them off.

2. Are you really that serious about drugs?

Not to be the typical Canadian but if i got caught with some pot here I would get a ticket if that, and if I had a lot maybe arrested but no jail time. I see people on TV getting arrested all the time for pot in the US, maybe its just the media but it seems to me they make it out to be as bad as Meth or Coke.


I have other questions but they can wait, but I will gladly answer any questions about Canada
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:15 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 14,411,354 times
Reputation: 1869
Two answers from an American :

1. Yes, I worry about the availability of guns in the U.S. I personally am not fond of America's gun culture and wish we had far stricter gun control laws. As far as being afraid that any confrontation could lead to gunshots, it's not a HUGE concern. It's always a possibility, but generally, most people who own guns keep them in their homes, and it is illegal in many places to carry a concealed weapon on your person so the likelihood of getting into a barfight and someone pulling out a gun is rare, although it does happen. I just think as a whole, regardless of the legal status of guns, it's not wise to get into those sorts of conflicts (i.e. road rage, bar brawls, etc.). There HAVE been way too many instances in this country of people settling petty arguments with guns, killing over the most minor of things, but as a whole, most gun owners have their guns for their own safety and keep them in the privacy of their own homes where of course, they may still be a risk in domestic squabbles or of accidentally being set off or found by minors, but as a whole, the majority of gun owners try to be responsible with them. Believe it or not, I have never seen a gun in public with the exception of law enforcement and the military in this country. That's not to say that it would be uncommon to do so in certain parts of the country (especially the rural West) or that someone didn't have one hidden on them, but just to squash the impression that most Americans carry a pistol in their waistband that they'll draw at first chance.

2. This varies by jurisdiction. In some places, you will be treated with a slap on the wrist such as a fine, similar to a parking ticket, or given a citation or just a warning from a police officer. Nationwide, marijuana is not regarded as a "hard" drug so therefore the punishments faced for possession are less than they would be for meth or cocaine. It is generally treated as a misdemeanor offenses, theoretically punishable by a short jail terms, but the overwhelming majority of the time, especially if it's your first offense, you will not serve any jail time. Jails are severely overcrowded so they generally won't stick first time low-level offenders in jail. Growing and/or selling marijuana carries a harsher punishment than possession. So punishment as a whole depends on the quantity, the intent (to use or to sell) and whether or not it is your first offense. In many parts of the U.S. particularly in the West, the laws are similar to what they are in Canada, whereas the more conservative the area, the more strict the laws.

Here's a link detailing the state-by-state laws:

State By State Laws - NORML
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:03 PM
 
31 posts, read 130,842 times
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1. No. Most gun owners tend to be pretty responsible. Yes, a number of criminals have them. But, generally, most of the violence in the US tends to be concentrated geographically, so that you can go years without hearing a gunshot of any kind.

2. Yes, check the jurisdiction. But in general, US authorities tend to enforce local, state and federal drug laws heavily comapred to Canada
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:48 PM
 
4,657 posts, read 8,728,095 times
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I've never shot a gun in my life however I've been around them a few times. No biggie. I think for you guys the media loves to play up peoples fears, i.e fear of the unknown. You can have all the gun laws in the world but keep in mind criminals are criminals for a reason, they don't obey the law.

As for drugs, a temporary pacifier for a permanent problem. Why the need to intoxicate yourself? People are always looking for something to fill a void; sex, drugs, intellectualism, money, religion. I know, I tried most of them and still felt empty. Only when I gave my life to Jesus did I find real peace. To me, my christianity is a HUGE oxymoron: I never had true freedom until I totally surrendered my life.

P.S. I LOVE Canada, I had an apartment for a brief time in Guelph, Ont. You're good people.
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:37 PM
 
95 posts, read 1,295,448 times
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Yes, the availability of guns is disturbing. However, if guns were banned, then only the criminals would have guns through illegal means of obtaining them, and the innocent, upright, law abiding citizens would have no way to protect themselves. We keep a gun in our house and in our car. Believe me, if someone breaks in my house or tries to harm me, I will fire the weapon and fire all rounds to be sure the person is dead. If not, he/she could take the gun away from me and harm me. I have been to shooting ranges and taken personal protection classes... my husband and I both.

As far as pot, understand one thing, Americans are mostly freedom abusers. You can't say to an American that some drugs are okay to possess and others are not. They would immediately go for the drug that they are not to posssess because they think it's cool. You have to blanket everything... no drugs, period.

I am an American and proud to be one. However the most puzzling thing about us Americans is how many billions we spend on diet programs, exercise equipment, diet food, etc., yet we are the fattest group of people on the planet. Go figure.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:43 PM
 
177 posts, read 614,933 times
Reputation: 127
I think these guys covered it. I've seen guns out...have known people that have been shot and killed. But these guys were doing illegal stuff. It boils down to no matter where you are a criminal is a criminal (like a previous poster mentioned). It's the mentality moreso than the weapon. People kill with their bare hands. You know which places to avoid and learn how to handle conflicts and confrontations in such a manner as not to provoke that type of violence. As crazy as this may sound, I've found that a lot of peolple (not all), but a lot of people who've been shot or killed were a lot of times in places or doing things where they have no business being. For certain places and types of peolple, gunplay is par for the course. So those who frequent those places or hang out with those people are more likely to end up victims of gun violence. But I personally love the fact that it's our Constitutional Right to bear arms...even though I don't own a gun and frankly, am kinda afraid of them after seeing what a mess a .357 and .45 can do to a man/woman.

Drugs are just part of it. I think people are serious about them, but in a free society it's hard to control. Think about it. There are 50 states, say each averages two cities with populations of 200,000 or more (I'm sure some are more some are less), that alone is 100 cities and 20,000,000 people. How do you control that? Seriously. People are going to do what they want to do. No matter how many laws you pass (look at Prohibition). Again, it's not the drugs, it's the mindset of the person. America is rooted in dreams, fantasy. "The American dream." Everyone is reaching for it, but only a very few have obtained it. Many people are depressed, some are just caught up in the illusions this Country is so good at projecting, etc. SO it's really the mindset of the people. You can't stop it. With the strict laws we have, people are still willing to break them in order to obtain them.

Last edited by hew2a; 06-21-2007 at 12:46 PM.. Reason: mispelling
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Canada
17 posts, read 41,329 times
Reputation: 14
Default I see

Well thanks for answering the questions. I figured as much I just had to ask, and just encase my response sound snarky I don't mean it to be.

I suppose its a mindset thing, for example handguns are very rare and if you get shot with one it means police investigations so most people won't shoot you unless your involved with something you shouldn't be. If you look at stats there are a lot of stabbings here, but I still feel that with less guns out there, less people get shot.

So now you say "if they have a gun I want one as well to protect myself". The thing is they most likely don't have a gun, so 99% of Canadians don't need them. There are lots of rifles and shotguns here but not many handguns, so I suspose if I really wanted to find a gun so I could commit a crime, I could but it would be difficult. Plus if you got caught by the police they take that very serious and I would probably go to jail.

I guess its just attitude differences, most Canadians are very liberal or soft (for you Republicans out there). As a example we allow gay marriage, abortions and we aren't in Iraq. It just surprises me the big cultural differences considering how close we are. I could go into details why that is but thats for another time.
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
54,500 posts, read 33,918,233 times
Reputation: 91679
The majority of American gun owners (myself included) are very responsible and they use their guns only for recreational purposes, and we do practice very safe gun handling. We also clearly outnumber the few bad guys, that seem to ruin it for the rest of us.

I'm not sure how to answer number 2 because like someone else here said, laws do vary from one jurisdiction to another.
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:30 PM
 
177 posts, read 614,933 times
Reputation: 127
Yeah, we're very different! My friend from Toronto said (not sure if she was exaggerating) that if the cops there find you have a sharp pair of scissors in your pocket, you'll probably be questioned. That's nuts to me. But she was amazed driving down the streets here and seeing stores that said "GUNS". So yeah...it's an American thing. Two different coutries, lifestyles, cultures, etc. Entirely different worlds. And it's crazy that just within the US there's vast differences. Attitudes in New England are probably polar opposites to those in Southern California.

It's probably hard to comprehend some things because you're not here. But it's for real not some Wild West movie. Magnum Mike is dead on (no pun intended) when he said the few bad guys ruin it for the responsible ones.

And no this Conservative is not offended...
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:27 PM
 
Location: In an illegal immigrant free part of the country.
2,096 posts, read 1,474,695 times
Reputation: 382
If you want to kill someone you don't need a gun and that is the same in Canada.
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