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Old 10th November 2017, 08:50 AM   #241
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
We try to minimise it, but that some people might be unwilling to go beyond a certain point in terms of measures doesn't mean they are in favour of having these accidents of deaths happen.

Not in favour of it, no. But certainly more comfortable with that happening than with the prospect of having their right to pack heat impaired in any way, even if only theoretically.
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Old 10th November 2017, 09:21 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Not in favour of it, no. But certainly more comfortable with that happening than with the prospect of having their right to pack heat impaired in any way, even if only theoretically.
Perhaps, but then we each have different levels of comfort with these things, and different ones for different issues. For instance, in the various driverless cars threads I consistently argued for the ability to drive manual cars, despite knowing the risks involved to myself and others.
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Old 10th November 2017, 09:36 AM   #243
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
In my country we had 16 children gunned down in a school. In 1996. We enacted legislation that seriously curtailed the use of guns, and we have had no more children gunned down.
How many had been gunned down in schools prior to that incident? If the answer is close to zero, then can you actually say that curtailing the use of guns reduced anything? Sounds to me like school shootings were not a problem in Scotland or even the UK before 1996. The one incident you had was a freak occurrence which shocked the populace into accepting -dare I say, demanding?- further restrictions on their freedom. America is simply different in that regard in that our reaction to shocking events is NOT to say, "Government! Please save us! Take away our rights so we don't hurt ourselves!" We're just different.

Now we are getting into the sociocultural/demographic aspects of the problem. Scotland and the UK are very different countries from the US in almost every aspect. Different does not mean better or worse, just that there are few common variables which enables us to make an apples to apples comparison. Had you been born in the US, you would love the US, faults and all. Now, I'm sure you would admit that Scotland and the UK has it's share of problems. The difference is that you don't find too many Americans bringing it up at every opportunity. We are content to let you do you; we'd just like it if we could live our lives and work on our problems without being told, "You Americans are so uncivilized; you should be more like us Europeans!"

And it's not as if kids are getting gunned down in school left and right in the US. That's just a bit of media-sensationalism-generated bias. Yes, it happens way too often. But almost no one, outside of a few paranoids, is genuinely scared of sending their kids to school everyday.

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I can't recall hearing of any child drowning in a swimming pool in Scotland. There may be a reason for that I can't quite put my finger on, but if it was something that was happening perhaps we would enact legislation about that too.
Well, I reckon there ain't too many pools there! But there are plenty of other issues that Scotland must surely have to deal with. I see that your government reports that there were almost 5000 incidents of racism in Scotland, 58,000 incidents of domestic violence, 64 homicides . . . Isn't Scotland known as the assault capital of the world? Gee I don't think I want to go to Scotland! So many social problems for such a small country! <That was sarcasm.>

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We have enacted legislation that compels parents to use approved car seats for their children, and all sorts of other things relating to air bags and crumple zones and so on. We redesign roads to eliminate dangerous features. The rate of road deaths has come down so much that doctors are concerned about the lack of organs for transplant. (Every rose has a thorn.) And still we continue to enact legislation to bring the rate down further. Maybe it will be driverless cars soon, who knows. We don't just sit back and say, well we can't stop driving cars so too bad kids get killed live with it.
The situation is no different in the US. We just have a whole lot more roads and highways here.

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You guys aren't even trying to enact laws that might seriously reduce the level of carnage that's occurring with these mass shooting incidents. Oh noes my freedoms might be curtailed, don't do anything!
That's simply not true. For starters, the "level of carnage" isn't significantly different from any other period of time; in fact, historically it's lower. So it isn't proper to say that we haven't tried to do anything. There's still more to do.

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The rest of it is just irrational reverence for something someone wrote a few hundred years ago. It's like a religion with you guys. You know, it's fine to respect an iconic text that's central to your country's history. I respect the Declaration of Arbroath. But that doesn't mean I think monarchy is a sane way to govern anything in the 21st century. Put your holy book where it belongs, in history.
That attitude is simply a problem with your perspective. I mean I could certainly go off about the UKs love of their royals. The seat of power in the UK is still ultimately The Crown. Your PM still meets weekly with the Queen. She still has the Royal Prerogative. You still have a House of Lords, fer Christ's sake, made up of "Lords Spiritual," and "Lords Temporal," who either inherit their position by dint of nobility or are appointed by the queen. Now, you can argue that my perspective is wrong, that the UK is a full-fledged democracy and that's all theatrics, but if you want to talk about getting rid of old customs that we hold on to out of "irrational reverence," it's rather funny to hear that from someone in the UK. You guys are used to having "your betters," tell you what to do; we aren't.
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Old 10th November 2017, 10:17 AM   #244
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Well, since your country historically guns down school children on a regular basis and it seems that mine kind of hasn't apart from one incident, that's OK then.

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
That attitude is simply a problem with your perspective. I mean I could certainly go off about the UKs love of their royals. The seat of power in the UK is still ultimately The Crown. Your PM still meets weekly with the Queen. She still has the Royal Prerogative. You still have a House of Lords, fer Christ's sake, made up of "Lords Spiritual," and "Lords Temporal," who either inherit their position by dint of nobility or are appointed by the queen. Now, you can argue that my perspective is wrong, that the UK is a full-fledged democracy and that's all theatrics, but if you want to talk about getting rid of old customs that we hold on to out of "irrational reverence," it's rather funny to hear that from someone in the UK. You guys are used to having "your betters," tell you what to do; we aren't.

The sooner I'm no longer part of "the UK" the happier I will be. That will also, thankfully, involve severing all ties with the preposterous anachronism that is the House of Lords. The sooner we are a republic the happier I will be. In my view we lost our monarch in 1603 and why the hell would we want another one now?

What does any of that have to do with the subject on the card?
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Old 10th November 2017, 10:31 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Not in favour of it, no. But certainly more comfortable with that happening than with the prospect of having their right to pack heat impaired in any way, even if only theoretically.
This is the wrong way to even think about this.

I don't need to be taken to task about my ongoing support for the first amendment, second amendment, right of people to go wing-suiting or skydiving or cave diving or drinking to excess or working as crocodile handlers or racing cars for a living or whatever...

Free speech can lead to all sorts of horrors. A lot of you would view my worldview gaining ground as an example of that. Freedom to drive cars can and does lead to all sorts of horrors. Cigarettes and alcohol do too. So many ways personal freedom can have horrible impacts upon those who exercise said freedom, and many times on those around them.

If we banned privately owned small aircraft, and the right of people to learn to fly and get a pilot's licence... we'd maybe eliminate or drastically reduce the chance that someone who isn't quite there yet screws up while still learning and plows their little Cessna into a house where a family reunion is happening, killing all 50 people!

But some of us simply believe in freedom in more cases than we don't.
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Old 10th November 2017, 10:39 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, since your country historically guns down school children on a regular basis and it seems that mine kind of hasn't apart from one incident, that's OK then.
Ok.

Quote:
The sooner I'm no longer part of "the UK" the happier I will be. That will also, thankfully, involve severing all ties with the preposterous anachronism that is the House of Lords. The sooner we are a republic the happier I will be. In my view we lost our monarch in 1603 and why the hell would we want another one now?

What does any of that have to do with the subject on the card?
The subject, as you framed it, is that we Americans are irrationally reverent to our Constitution. It just sounded very rich coming from a resident of the UK. Maybe you don't want the Crown and the House of Lords; however, you seem to be very happy having grown up in such a preposterous anachronism.

In any case, my overarching point is that Scotland and the US are completely different countries with completely different sets forms of government and sets of problems. No American is OK with kids being killed; that argument is completely predicated on the ridiculous assertion that we love our Constitution more than our kids. We simply want to find solutions to the problem that do not involve significantly curtailing our freedoms. We've managed to become the most powerful country in the world despite our flaws -largely because we completely broke away from the preposterously anachronistic form of government the UK still clings to. We will make things better on our terms and within the framework of the document that made us what we are today. I'm sorry if our European allies don't like that, consider us barbaric and refuse to visit our horribly dangerous country. We'll still be there for you when the **** hits the fan.
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Old 10th November 2017, 10:40 AM   #247
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Might be a bit of a difference between an accident and a flipping mass shooting.
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Old 10th November 2017, 11:00 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
The subject, as you framed it, is that we Americans are irrationally reverent to our Constitution. It just sounded very rich coming from a resident of the UK. Maybe you don't want the Crown and the House of Lords; however, you seem to be very happy having grown up in such a preposterous anachronism.

What on earth gave you that idea? There are features of life here that are pretty good. Not having neighbours who are in a position to shoot if you stray on to their lawn is one. Being able to go to the doctor without worrying about the cost is another. Being stuck with a monarchy is not. I really don't see the relevance of this however.

Anyway, my point that the apparent reverence for the constitution is merely an excuse for why nobody should be prevented from arming themselves to the level of a small country going to war seems to have been missed.

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
In any case, my overarching point is that Scotland and the US are completely different countries with completely different sets forms of government and sets of problems. No American is OK with kids being killed; that argument is completely predicated on the ridiculous assertion that we love our Constitution more than our kids. We simply want to find solutions to the problem that do not involve significantly curtailing our freedoms. We've managed to become the most powerful country in the world despite our flaws -largely because we completely broke away from the preposterously anachronistic form of government the UK still clings to. We will make things better on our terms and within the framework of the document that made us what we are today. I'm sorry if our European allies don't like that, consider us barbaric and refuse to visit our horribly dangerous country. We'll still be there for you when the **** hits the fan.

That sounds so delusional I don't know where to start.
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Old 10th November 2017, 11:16 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
.......... For starters, the "level of carnage" isn't significantly different from any other period of time; in fact, historically it's lower. So it isn't proper to say that we haven't tried to do anything. There's still more to do.........
I don't mean to sound unpleasant, but do you know how ridiculous this sounds? Ridiculous and complacent. You're having 300+ mass shootings a year. About one a day, and you sound as though you're OK with that. You put speech marks around "level of carnage" as though you don't think that's carnage. You say things have always been at this level (I don't even want to know if this is true) as though that means it's OK. "There's still more to do" is a sick joke, when the level is so high.

Quote:
That attitude is simply a problem with your perspective. I mean I could certainly go off about the UKs love of their royals. The seat of power in the UK is still ultimately The Crown. Your PM still meets weekly with the Queen. She still has the Royal Prerogative. You still have a House of Lords, fer Christ's sake, made up of "Lords Spiritual," and "Lords Temporal," who either inherit their position by dint of nobility or are appointed by the queen. Now, you can argue that my perspective is wrong, that the UK is a full-fledged democracy and that's all theatrics, but if you want to talk about getting rid of old customs that we hold on to out of "irrational reverence," it's rather funny to hear that from someone in the UK. You guys are used to having "your betters," tell you what to do; we aren't.
Showing you have absolutely no understanding whatever of how things work here. If the Queen exercised royal perogative to countermand or block anything the government did, there'd be no Royal family in no time flat. The fact is we have this ridiculous and powerless system solely to avoid having a politician as head of state. You guys may think it's OK to have Trump, but we would much rather have someone whose primary function is to open bridges, launch ships, and hold dinners for visiting dignitaries but unable to use any power at all. "Issuing an executive order" isn't something we have to ever put up with.
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Old 10th November 2017, 12:04 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I don't mean to sound unpleasant, but do you know how ridiculous this sounds? Ridiculous and complacent. You're having 300+ mass shootings a year. About one a day, and you sound as though you're OK with that. You put speech marks around "level of carnage" as though you don't think that's carnage. You say things have always been at this level (I don't even want to know if this is true) as though that means it's OK. "There's still more to do" is a sick joke, when the level is so high.
I'll try and translate it into British English:

"Acceptable Level of Violence" - Reginald Maudling, 1971 (Home Secretary)

living with terror attacks is "part and parcel of living in a big city" - Sadiq Khan, 2016 (Mayor of London)


Ridiculous and complacent?
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Old 10th November 2017, 12:54 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
I'll try and translate it into British English:

"Acceptable Level of Violence" - Reginald Maudling, 1971 (Home Secretary)

living with terror attacks is "part and parcel of living in a big city" - Sadiq Khan, 2016 (Mayor of London)


Ridiculous and complacent?

He actual said that the threat of terror attacks was "part and parcel of living in a big city" and that therefore people should be vigilant and the police and security services should be prepared and actively working to prevent them. There's a big difference between that and accepting or living with them.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7322846.html
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:08 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
He actual said that the threat of terror attacks was "part and parcel of living in a big city" and that therefore people should be vigilant and the police and security services should be prepared and actively working to prevent them. There's a big difference between that and accepting or living with them.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7322846.html
Pointless attempt at nit-picking. You think people aren't vigilant and police don't try and prevent mass shootings?

Keep calm and carry on.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:13 PM   #253
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Scotland has one instance of a mass shooting and takes action to make such an instance almost impossible to happen again. There has been no more mass shootings.

The USA has numerous instances of mass shootings and does little to prevent further mass shootings. The mass shootings continue.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:16 PM   #254
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
I'll try and translate it into British English:

"Acceptable Level of Violence" - Reginald Maudling, 1971 (Home Secretary)

living with terror attacks is "part and parcel of living in a big city" - Sadiq Khan, 2016 (Mayor of London)


Ridiculous and complacent?
Can't you do better? It's piss poor debating to take stuff out of context. Both of these quotes mean quite different things when put in their full context. Besides, I have no idea why you would think that a 46 year old comment by a British minister had any bearing whatever on the fact that there is basically a gun-massacre-a-day in the USA, and some posters here from the USA don't seem to see that as a problem.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:18 PM   #255
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Both of these quotes mean quite different things when put in their full context.
Nope, not materially they don't.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:22 PM   #256
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Yep, materially they do.

Now, just have a glance at the top of the page where is gives the thread title. Ask yourself if your obsession with attacking your former country of residence is on topic, or if it as attempt to divert or derail the thread. Because at the moment you're coming across as bitter and defensive, and doing whatever you can to divert the conversation away from the USA's obsession with guns.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:32 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
I'll try and translate it into British English:

"Acceptable Level of Violence" - Reginald Maudling, 1971 (Home Secretary)

living with terror attacks is "part and parcel of living in a big city" - Sadiq Khan, 2016 (Mayor of London)


Ridiculous and complacent?
But is it fair to say that the UK does everything reasonable to stop terror attacks, even though you have to accept they will happen?
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:35 PM   #258
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Yep, materially they do.

Now, just have a glance at the top of the page where is gives the thread title. Ask yourself if your obsession with attacking your former country of residence is on topic, or if it as attempt to divert or derail the thread. Because at the moment you're coming across as bitter and defensive, and doing whatever you can to divert the conversation with the USA's obsession with guns.
Hardly. Im just a little saddened at how pompously parochial a lot of my erstwhile countrymen are.

You realize Im trying to help you think outside of your blinkered bubble?
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:39 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
........We'll still be there for you when the **** hits the fan.
What, you mean you'll turn up 3 years late again?
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:47 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Pointless attempt at nit-picking. You think people aren't vigilant and police don't try and prevent mass shootings?

Keep calm and carry on.
No the difference is between whether he said that the living with terrorist attacks is part and parcel of city life, or living with the threat of terrorist attacks is part and parcel of city life.

I've lived for several years with the threat of a heart attack, I take tablets, I try and watch my weight and get more exercise. That is different from living with a heart attack which is an immediate threat to life requiring medical intervention. Drawing a distinction between the two is not nitpicking.

And whether or not I think "people aren't vigilant and police don't try and prevent mass shootings" has no bearing on whether or not Sadiq Kahn said people should be vigilant and the police and security services should be prepared and actively working to prevent terrorist attacks, so I really don't see the point of that anyway.
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:02 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
What on earth gave you that idea? There are features of life here that are pretty good. Not having neighbours who are in a position to shoot if you stray on to their lawn is one. Being able to go to the doctor without worrying about the cost is another. Being stuck with a monarchy is not.
Well, earlier you spoke about how much you loved your country. No racism, no shooting, great healthcare, etc. Those things you love are things created and granted to you by The Crown and it's various Lords and Ministers. You may not like the Westminster system but there's no doubt that it's gotten you where you are today. Who knows what a completely sovereign Sottish government will be like? You may not like that very much.
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I really don't see the relevance of this however.
When you make a comparison between Scotland and the USA, I think it's relevant to point out the similarities and differences between the history/politics/society/culture of the two nations. Your argument is predicated on portraying Scotland as a land where you don't seem to have any problems . . . no racism, no mass shootings, no swimming pool drownings and gosh-darn-it, you do something about the preventible deaths that occur. And then you contrast that with the US, whose citizens -in your view- refuse to do anything about preventible child deaths (TOTC!) all because they love their moldy old Constitution.

So apart from being kinda funny that a UKian (and it's not just you) would denigrate us for loving our Constitution, it's also a very biased, blind and fantasy-based analysis; Scotland does indeed have racism problems, problems with other forms of violent crime that don't involve firearms and a host of other problems -just like any other place. So to point your finger at us and talk about how bad we are compared to you is, again, a little rich.
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Anyway, my point that the apparent reverence for the constitution is merely an excuse for why nobody should be prevented from arming themselves to the level of a small country going to war seems to have been missed.
Our desire to retain a right to own gun is not a mere excuse; it's part and parcel of our desire for The People -where the ultimate seat of authority lies in the US- to retain rights in general.
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That sounds so delusional I don't know where to start.
I'll admit that the last two sentences were a bit of hyperbole, but what's delusional about everything else? Are the US and Scotland basically the same? Do you genuinely think that Americans are OK with preventible deaths? Do you genuinely think that the Revolution and the concept of government elucidated in the Constitution isn't a big reason why America became the most powerful nation?

No. What's delusional is the caricature of America and they way Americans think you evidently have in your head
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:06 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
But is it fair to say that the UK does everything reasonable to stop terror attacks, even though you have to accept they will happen?
It depends, if you mean do people think "It's inevitable that a terrorist attack will happen so we may as well sit back and let it happen" the, no, definately not.

If you're asking if we expect the government, security services, police, emergency services and public to take steps to prevent and counter these events while accepting that it is impossible to guarantee that no plan will ever succeed, then yes I think that's fair.
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:15 PM   #263
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Well, earlier you spoke about how much you loved your country. No racism, no shooting, great healthcare, etc. Those things you love are things created and granted to you by The Crown and it's various Lords and Ministers. You may not like the Westminster system but there's no doubt that it's gotten you where you are today. Who knows what a completely sovereign Sottish government will be like? You may not like that very much. When you make a comparison between Scotland and the USA, I think it's relevant to point out the similarities and differences between the history/politics/society/culture of the two nations. Your argument is predicated on portraying Scotland as a land where you don't seem to have any problems . . . no racism, no mass shootings, no swimming pool drownings and gosh-darn-it, you do something about the preventible deaths that occur. And then you contrast that with the US, whose citizens -in your view- refuse to do anything about preventible child deaths (TOTC!) all because they love their moldy old Constitution.

So apart from being kinda funny that a UKian (and it's not just you) would denigrate us for loving our Constitution, it's also a very biased, blind and fantasy-based analysis; Scotland does indeed have racism problems, problems with other forms of violent crime that don't involve firearms and a host of other problems -just like any other place. So to point your finger at us and talk about how bad we are compared to you is, again, a little rich.
Our desire to retain a right to own gun is not a mere excuse; it's part and parcel of our desire for The People -where the ultimate seat of authority lies in the US- to retain rights in general.
I'll admit that the last two sentences were a bit of hyperbole, but what's delusional about everything else? Are the US and Scotland basically the same? Do you genuinely think that Americans are OK with preventible deaths? Do you genuinely think that the Revolution and the concept of government elucidated in the Constitution isn't a big reason why America became the most powerful nation?

No. What's delusional is the caricature of America and they way Americans think you evidently have in your head

However not-OK you think you are with firearms deaths, you are more OK with these than with any moves to try to reduce these by limiting the availability of firearms. That's self-evident from every word you type.

Either you're so reverential of your blessed constitution that you wouldn't countenance changing or reinterpreting it even to save lives, or you're conveniently hiding behind the constitution as an excuse for not trying to limit firearms availability because you simply don't want to. Either way, saving lives loses out.

Now, I didn't intend to turn this into a pissing match between America and Scotland or Britain. However, I was accused of being jealous of Americans and secretly wanting to be American, by people who simply can't comprehend that not everyone wishes they were American and so think that sour grapes is the only explanation for criticism. I don't wish I had been born in America, I don't want to move to America and I don't want to become American, and that isn't going to change just because you point out the obvious fact that where I live now ain't perfect. I'm critical because your attitude to mass shootings, in particular mass shootings of children, horrifies me.

I don't know whether it's worse that you think America is "the most powerful nation" or that you think that's a good thing.
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:19 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
.....And then you contrast that with the US, whose citizens -in your view- refuse to do anything about preventible child deaths (TOTC!) all because they love their moldy old Constitution.

....
I want to make it clear I do not think the USA is refusing to do anything, I am arguing it cannot do anything.

If the UK has a piecemeal system of gun laws that were not properly enforced, 88.8 guns per 100 people, numerous guns in the hands of unsuitable people and a culture that held the gun with a high status that is specifically protected by one of our oldest, nation defining and most important laws, we would not be able to do anything about high rates of death and massacres. No country could.
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:46 PM   #265
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Yep, materially they do.

Now, just have a glance at the top of the page where is gives the thread title. Ask yourself if your obsession with attacking your former country of residence is on topic, or if it as attempt to divert or derail the thread. Because at the moment you're coming across as bitter and defensive, and doing whatever you can to divert the conversation away from the USA's obsession with guns.
I think you are confused. We value the freedom to have guns, just as we value the freedom to have and use other dangerous items. We value this differently than other places. To call it an "obsession" is simply your bias showing through.

We aren't stupid barbarians. We realize that we have a problem; no one here is ignoring anything unless they are just crazy. Many of us are indeed contemplating what we can do to solve the problem, you just won't see it happening or reported in the papers. We will come up with a solution that fits us and our particular style and then get the people who represent us to enact that solution. You may not like it or agree with it but you'll just have to get over that and enjoy living in your Utopia.
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:50 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
...... We will come up with a solution that fits us and our particular style and then get the people who represent us to enact that solution.....
You can't solve the problem. No country could solve a problem as big as US guns. It is like suggesting you will solve the drug problem and hardly any Americans will take drugs or die from them. It just is NOT going to happen.
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:51 PM   #267
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I think Nessie's original point was that it's actually impossible, even if there is some degree of will to do it.

ETA: Cross-posting!
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:53 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
It is like suggesting you will solve the drug problem and hardly any Americans will take drugs or die from them. It just is NOT going to happen.

The drug problem is largely soluble, it's just that no government will do what's necessary. OK, that sounds like the same thing, but I'm not sure that it is.

On the other hand, since part of the solution to the drug problem is to make everyone's lives and environment much much more congenial than they are at present, maybe it's not so different.

A problem for another thread, perhaps.
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:57 PM   #269
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Rolfe is correct and the most stark proof of that is even the massacres of children has not produced any significant change. That is not because of the ridiculous notion some want to claim, that Americans are not bothered by those deaths. It is because America CANNOT do anything, the problem is just too big.

That is not even meant as a criticism since I do not think there is any evidence any country with a similar problem could solve it either.
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Old 10th November 2017, 03:05 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
We value the freedom to have guns, just as we value the freedom to have and use other dangerous items.

Like Kinder Eggs? Or Haggis? Or Ackee Fruit?
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Old 10th November 2017, 03:07 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
However not-OK you think you are with firearms deaths, you are more OK with these than with any moves to try to reduce these by limiting the availability of firearms. That's self-evident from every word you type.
What specifically have I said that makes you think that I want no changes in gun laws? I do want changes in gun laws. I just don't want to react out of shock, emotion or outside pressure.

Quote:
Either you're so reverential of your blessed constitution that you wouldn't countenance changing or reinterpreting it even to save lives, or you're conveniently hiding behind the constitution as an excuse for not trying to limit firearms availability because you simply don't want to. Either way, saving lives loses out.
Or, I revere the Constitution but still want to find a way to change the law. Or, I realize that interpretation and/or reverence of parts of the Constitution slowly but inevitably change as the zeitgeist does. Our history is ample evidence of that. You are creating a false dichotomy that does not reflect the reality in American political will.

Quote:
Now, I didn't intend to turn this into a pissing match between America and Scotland or Britain. However, I was accused of being jealous of Americans and secretly wanting to be American, by people who simply can't comprehend that not everyone wishes they were American and so think that sour grapes is the only explanation for criticism. I don't wish I had been born in America, I don't want to move to America and I don't want to become American, and that isn't going to change just because you point out the obvious fact that where I live now ain't perfect. I'm critical because your attitude to mass shootings, in particular mass shootings of children, horrifies me.
You are horrified by something you made up in your head.

Quote:
I don't know whether it's worse that you think America is "the most powerful nation" or that you think that's a good thing.
Well, as I'm sure the monarchs of your country would say, "It's good to be King." More seriously, America IS the most powerful nation -by way of its military might, wealth and influence on the world stage- and I think that power has it's pros and cons.

If America is not the most powerful nation, then which country is?
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Old 10th November 2017, 03:27 PM   #272
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I'm not persuaded that "the world's most powerful country" is a meaningful concept. I am quite certain that to be such a country is to be a monster, and that to want to be such a country is abominable.
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Old 10th November 2017, 03:34 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm not persuaded that "the world's most powerful country" is a meaningful concept. I am quite certain that to be such a country is to be a monster, and that to want to be such a country is abominable.
Compare the USA with a very small western European country like Iceland. You'd be insane to want to live in America rather than Iceland.
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Old 10th November 2017, 03:43 PM   #274
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You picked that on purpose, didn't you? (I think I confessed to my urge to decamp to Iceland in an earlier post in this thread.)

I'm not going to, for all sorts of practical reasons, but if I was ever going to leave Scotland, then yes, there.
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Old 10th November 2017, 03:46 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
You can't solve the problem. No country could solve a problem as big as US guns. It is like suggesting you will solve the drug problem and hardly any Americans will take drugs or die from them. It just is NOT going to happen.
Right. We are not going to completely "solve" the gun problem. We all know this and I completely agree with this aspect of your post. My point is that Americans think of guns in the same way we think of cars and other dangerous things. For some reason, our friends across the pond have a stigma/phobia attached to guns that they do not attach to other dangerous items. As if people dying by gunfire is somehow a worse death than drowning at the beach, getting smashed up in a drunk-driving accident or getting run over by a terrorist by a lorry (another UK word I love) on a bridge.

The previously mentioned school shooting in Scotland is a perfect example of this stigma/phobia. There was no problem with school shootings in Scotland before this incident. There have been no problems since. The laws passed in reaction to this tragedy have had no measurable effect except to restrict the rights of otherwise harmless and blameless people. The laws certainly didn't stop the Cumbria shootings. Just the presence of a firearm is going to carry a risk of firearm death - a level of risk that citizens of the UK seem to be OK with if we are to go by the form of argument used in this thread given that there has been no further gun control after that massacre. And as long as we are making ridiculous arguments, the UK seems to be OK with homicides by vehicles, knives and bombs if the 37 deaths just this year in 3 incidents are anything to go by. I guess you love cars, knives and bombs more than life itself, huh?

Americans, by and large, do not have this particular stigma/phobia associated with guns. All accidental death/intentional homicide is equally tragic. A gun is just another useful tool that can be very dangerous and carries some risk in allowing ownership/usage. We should do something to mitigate the problem but it can never be eliminated.
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Old 10th November 2017, 03:59 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I am quite certain that to be such a country is to be a monster
Why? It would seem to be a morally neutral term. (Power itself is neither good nor bad, it is how we use it) (Or is this just another "small countries [like Scotland] are more beautiful" emotionalism?).
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Old 10th November 2017, 04:29 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You picked that on purpose, didn't you? (I think I confessed to my urge to decamp to Iceland in an earlier post in this thread.)

I'm not going to, for all sorts of practical reasons, but if I was ever going to leave Scotland, then yes, there.
The missus and I are seriously considering upping sticks and moving to Scotland, if independence happens then we're starting to think we'd be better that side of the border, if it doesn't then we're starting to think we'd be happier that side of the border... But if we wanted to go further afield the NZ or Oz would have been been my choices. I really like the US, I worked out there briefly on secondment, but a few years ago an opportunity arose to potentially move out there long term and while I won't pretend the idea didn't appeal quite strongly I eventually decided not to pursue it. I don't think our values quite align well enough to be a good fit.
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Old 10th November 2017, 05:02 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
The missus and I are seriously considering upping sticks and moving to Scotland, if independence happens then we're starting to think we'd be better that side of the border, if it doesn't then we're starting to think we'd be happier that side of the border... But if we wanted to go further afield the NZ or Oz would have been been my choices. I really like the US, I worked out there briefly on secondment, but a few years ago an opportunity arose to potentially move out there long term and while I won't pretend the idea didn't appeal quite strongly I eventually decided not to pursue it. I don't think our values quite align well enough to be a good fit.

You'd be most welcome.

It is better here by a number of metrics, especially the non-privatised NHS. Distances are smaller, cities are a great deal less sprawling and pandemonium-like, and people are generally friendly. There seems to be considerably less racism and in particular anti-EU citizenism than there is south of the border.

It rains more, but it's less oppressively hot in summer. Artistic and cultural life is there to be found and access to the countryside is easy. By law you have the right to go where you like so long as you stay out of people's gardens and don't damage anything.

I'm just scared to death that we'll lose a lot if we don't achieve independence, because Westminster will want to squash us good and proper. It won't be violence and jailings like Catalonia, it will be repatriation of powers to Westminster so that the NHS can be privatised and anglicised standards imposed across the board.

But whatever happens I don't think you'd lose anything by coming north.

I've always been attracted to Iceland, but career-wise and family-wise it was a pipe-dream I didn't pursue in my youth. There would have been a big obstacle anyway - I had a horse I was very much attached to and you can't import horses into Iceland.

I went there for the first time only this year, on holiday, expecting it to be just another great foreign holiday, and it was. But the place has its hooks in my heart in a way I never thought anywhere but Scotland could. It's practically on a par with Legolas looking at the bloody sea. I'll go back for another holiday in a couple of years though.
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Old 10th November 2017, 05:03 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
No, I stand by this. Words on a bit of paper is all that they are. Words written a couple of hundred years ago. That doesn't make them right, or a reasonable basis for running a country in a world that has changed out of all recognition compared to how it was when they were written. It's pure magical thinking to invest these words or the people who wrote them with a special mystical significance.

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Just for a word neutrality, a word which in war-time had so often been disregarded just for a scrap of paper, Great Britain was going to make war on a kindred nation who desired nothing better than to be friends with her.
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Old 10th November 2017, 05:04 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Why? It would seem to be a morally neutral term. (Power itself is neither good nor bad, it is how we use it) (Or is this just another "small countries [like Scotland] are more beautiful" emotionalism?).

Given the sheer scale of America it would be very difficult for it not to have parts that are exceedingly beautiful, and I believe that is indeed the case.

For any country to seek to have power over others, and to boast about it, is frankly evil.
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