Firearms for self defence

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zenten
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Firearms for self defence

Postby zenten » Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:10 pm UTC

Ok, there are a number of factors to look at when discussing gun control. I'm wanting to take a look at one that I don't see discussed very much. Namely, how effective are guns for self defense?

I have never been in a situation where having a gun handy would have been really useful. Most people I know don't seem to have been either (they might all be hiding those times they had their house broken into while they were home, but I doubt it). Most of those that do found it useful while they were fighting overseas in the military. So, how useful are they for your average person?

Obviously there is some situation at some point where someone either protected themselves effectively with a gun where a cell phone dialing 911 wouldn't do, or they really would have done better had they had one, but I'm thinking it's rare, and I'm looking for evidence otherwise.

Also, when saying "most people", I'm talking about people in first world countries who live in cities, suburbs or towns. I'm not talking about the usefulness in fighting off bears or an invading army.

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Postby Sevic » Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:11 pm UTC

I'm not sure usefulness is the right term you are looking for. There are situations where clearly a firearm is useful, and clearly where they are not. Its a matter of determining which situations they are useful in.

For example, when defending your house against an intruder, a gun can be a fairly strong deterrent. Ditto goes if you yourself are getting mugged or you see someone getting mugged. A firearm would not be useful for situations like a bar where someone wants to pick a fight with you, or during road rage, as the introduction of a gun into these situations will only escalate the level of violence.

This is of course talking about self defense. Overall gun control is a different issue.
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Postby zenten » Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:21 pm UTC

Sevic wrote:I'm not sure usefulness is the right term you are looking for. There are situations where clearly a firearm is useful, and clearly where they are not. Its a matter of determining which situations they are useful in.

For example, when defending your house against an intruder, a gun can be a fairly strong deterrent. Ditto goes if you yourself are getting mugged or you see someone getting mugged. A firearm would not be useful for situations like a bar where someone wants to pick a fight with you, or during road rage, as the introduction of a gun into these situations will only escalate the level of violence.

This is of course talking about self defense. Overall gun control is a different issue.


Actually, that is what I'm talking about. How often will these situations where it is useful come up, on average?

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Re: Firearms for self defence

Postby Phenriz » Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:30 pm UTC

zenten wrote:Also, when saying "most people", I'm talking about people in first world countries who live in cities, suburbs or towns. I'm not talking about the usefulness in fighting off bears or an invading army.


See, and these can run the gamut of ranges. From a posh environment with little violent crime, to a place brimming with all sorts of violent and non-violent crime.

Myself? I don't plan on owning a gun anytime soon. (and i live in texas? omgwtf?) I don't live in the best of neighborhoods. (read: car broken into for a pack of smokes, all types of drug addictions going on inside my apartment complex, not a week goes by where i'm not asked to buy drugs, i'm not talking pot here, or if i'm selling any, not sure how typical this is in other areas) I don't have the justification for owning one. I don't shoot for sport, i don't hunt, and as far as self defense goes, well i just don't think i'd be carrying a gun around everywhere i go.

My buddy lives in a barrio, i wouldn't be able at his place without some sort of firearm. He has a sharpened machete he keeps near his bed, since he doesn't have the money for a gun. I wouldn't be comfortable in an environment where a majority of the neighbors have 8-9 foot bar fences/gates up around their houses, and bars on the windows.

It all depends on the environment. However i believe overall that thinking everyone probably has a handgun at any given moment, if you're someone who's going to commit a crime you'd better have a better gun (automatic, and usually a bigger one), if you're hoping to come away from the situation unscathed.

and the obligatory Morton Grove, Il link.

Now if we want to get into hypotheticals, wherein you present a situation, and what you would do if you had a gun, i'd be down for discussing more.

but as others have said, clearly some situations warrant self defense with a gun, whereas others do not.


Zenten wrote:Actually, that is what I'm talking about. How often will these situations where it is useful come up, on average?


it all depends on your location and demographics of the area i'd assume. You really can't make a generalization like that and remain remotely accurate, because some areas are so much different than others.
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Re: Firearms for self defence

Postby zenten » Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:34 pm UTC

Phenriz wrote:
zenten wrote:Also, when saying "most people", I'm talking about people in first world countries who live in cities, suburbs or towns. I'm not talking about the usefulness in fighting off bears or an invading army.


See, and these can run the gamut of ranges. From a posh environment with little violent crime, to a place brimming with all sorts of violent and non-violent crime.

Myself? I don't plan on owning a gun anytime soon. (and i live in texas? omgwtf?) I don't live in the best of neighborhoods. (read: car broken into for a pack of smokes, all types of drug addictions going on inside my apartment complex, not a week goes by where i'm not asked to buy drugs, i'm not talking pot here, or if i'm selling any, not sure how typical this is in other areas) I don't have the justification for owning one. I don't shoot for sport, i don't hunt, and as far as self defense goes, well i just don't think i'd be carrying a gun around everywhere i go.

My buddy lives in a barrio, i wouldn't be able at his place without some sort of firearm. He has a sharpened machete he keeps near his bed, since he doesn't have the money for a gun. I wouldn't be comfortable in an environment where a majority of the neighbors have 8-9 foot bar fences/gates up around their houses, and bars on the windows.

It all depends on the environment. However i believe overall that thinking everyone probably has a handgun at any given moment, if you're someone who's going to commit a crime you'd better have a better gun (automatic, and usually a bigger one), if you're hoping to come away from the situation unscathed.

and the obligatory Morton Grove, Il link.

Now if we want to get into hypotheticals, wherein you present a situation, and what you would do if you had a gun, i'd be down for discussing more.

but as others have said, clearly some situations warrant self defense with a gun, whereas others do not.


Zenten wrote:Actually, that is what I'm talking about. How often will these situations where it is useful come up, on average?


it all depends on your location and demographics of the area i'd assume.


Your situation is actually more extreme then I expected. Honestly, I'm surprised that someone of an economic class that necessitates living in such a horrible neighbourhood has a stable internet connection. Yet you still don't need a gun.

What a barrio?

Ok, and break down the averages by country then. I'm most interested in Canada obviously, but I also know most posters here are American.

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Postby Phenriz » Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:37 pm UTC

See you made this thread under the assumption that a majority of people here live in a rather comfortable middle class environment? (that may be true as it seems as though most people here are new-english, i love that term even if it isn't correct)

Barrio: essentially a hispanic/latin ghetto.

My environment isn't so bad *to me*, a co worker asked if i knew of any apartments nearby that i could recommend, when i told her "not really" she was suprised when i didn't recommend my own, i explained to her, that as a male, it's not a big deal, although i wouldn't want to be a woman in my area, living alone. I'm confident in my abilities, and don't screw with other people so i'm hoping karma is on my side. Rent is super cheap ($500 a month), so it allows me to live on my own, without roommates.

My situation, i'm not lamenting my situation please don't take this as an "oh woe is me" post, isn't as bad as my buddies, i live very close to the city, and cable internet isn't as hard to come by here as it is in his area.

i give my neighborhood about 10-15 years before it's as bad as my buddies, and i'll be long gone by then.
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Postby 22/7 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:56 pm UTC

I think the point zenten was making earlier is quite valid and would like to voice my support for such an exercise. I, too, would like to know if anyone has any statistics, or even guesses really, as to the regularity (or chance, or whatever) that someone encounters these situations.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Postby ZeroSum » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:00 pm UTC

If it were a simple matter to obtain a concealed carry permit in my state I would. I would also train diligently to become an expert shooter and strictly adhere to all safety standards associated with gun ownership.

I don't intend to get into a shootout. I don't want to get into a shootout. I doubt I would enjoy being in a shootout. I would love to live every day of my life and never need or want a gun at my side. I'd rather always carry one with me and never need it than never carry one and find I do need it. Same reason I always wear my helmet when on two wheels.

Also, before anyone goes for reductio ad absurdum here: I can afford a gun. I can't afford a tank. I can comfortably carry a gun. I can't comfortably wear a bullet proof vest. I would rather enjoy my life by walking outside than live in fear in my basement behind a vault door.

More or less relevant links - Note that at least the second one may be authored by some extremist nut. I merely skimmed them for topic rather than inspect them for logic:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2656875.stm
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/798708/posts
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... ai_6432390
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Postby Phenriz » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:01 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:I think the point zenten was making earlier is quite valid and would like to voice my support for such an exercise. I, too, would like to know if anyone has any statistics, or even guesses really, as to the regularity (or chance, or whatever) that someone encounters these situations.


Namely, how effective are guns for self defense?


Was his original point, to which i responded based on my own experience and observations. Which while the entirety of my response may not have been directed at that problem in particular, it did address my opinion on the matter in an appropriate fashion.


Now for statistics:
Gun Ownership

the following is from the Self Protection portion just below the above.

Wiki wrote:The findings of the McDowall study contrast with the findings of a 1993 study by Gary Kleck, who finds that as many as 2.45 million crimes are thwarted each year in the United States, and in most cases, the potential victim never fires a shot in these cases where firearms are used constructively for self protection.
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Postby Durinthal » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:09 pm UTC

I like Switzerland's policy. I'd imagine knowing that there's a person with an assault rifle waiting inside the house that you want to rob is a strong deterrent.

Not that I think this would be all that great of an idea in the United States, due to lack of mandatory military service that provides the discipline and training to properly use such a weapon.

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Postby 22/7 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:11 pm UTC

Phenriz wrote:
Namely, how effective are guns for self defense?


Was his original point, to which i responded based on my own experience and observations. Which while the entirety of my response may not have been directed at that problem in particular, it did address my opinion on the matter in an appropriate fashion.


Didn't say you didn't, but you were the only one, and I was curious if anyone knew of any sites that would be particularly useful (such as the ones that have been provided). I thought we were starting to head off topic and wanted to see what people thought before we went too far off.
Gracias for the leg-work, though.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Postby Phenriz » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:13 pm UTC

ahh, ok, i wasn't sure if your post was in a pompous tone or not my apologies if i came off as a dick.
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Postby 22/7 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:20 pm UTC

No problem. Not really your fault, I didn't tell you. Next time I'll put something on the end of it like "Phenriz, don't be a dick" . . . maybe I'll have shirts made. . .
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Postby ZeroSum » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:33 pm UTC

Durinthal wrote:I like Switzerland's policy. I'd imagine knowing that there's a person with an assault rifle waiting inside the house that you want to rob is a strong deterrent.

Not that I think this would be all that great of an idea in the United States, due to lack of mandatory military service that provides the discipline and training to properly use such a weapon.

I would love to live in a place where everyone wanted to serve their country. I would hate to live in a place where everyone had to serve their country.

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Postby Phenriz » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:34 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:No problem. Not really your fault, I didn't tell you. Next time I'll put something on the end of it like "Phenriz, don't be a dick" . . . maybe I'll have shirts made. . .


u make a shirt and i'll buy it. ;) (seriously i'm done derailing)


Although ZeroSum i think it'd server most countries well if everyone had to at least serve in the military for 2 years or so. It'd give the entire country a unifying experience to look back on. At the same time it would do much to help the overall health of the individuals (something the States could definitely use)
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Postby 22/7 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:59 pm UTC

Phenriz wrote:Although 22/7 i think it'd server most countries well if everyone had to at least serve in the military for 2 years or so. It'd give the entire country a unifying experience to look back on. At the same time it would do much to help the overall health of the individuals (something the States could definitely use)


I didn't say that, but I do agree. I also think it would cause people to be more cautious about starting/supporting wars.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Postby Phenriz » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:02 pm UTC

rofl, you're right, my bad and fix'd
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Postby sebbeklang » Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:37 pm UTC

I think gun control is less of a factor than most people think, regardless of which side they are supporting. A crime-heavy area will be crime-heavy either way.

I imagine it wouldn't be too effective to have a gun, in the case of someone entering you'd be pretty surprised and probably not have the time or opportunity to get the gun. You'd have to decide whether to have easy access to the gun or to have it hidden from your children, for example.

Either way, I'd rather live in a community where a burglar wasn't expecting me to have a gun, it would probably make him less likely to shoot at first sight, or even at all.

As for carried concealed guns, if you were to be robbed and had the time to get your gun up, you would also have time to run away.

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Postby Thematic-Device » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:07 pm UTC

zenten wrote:Ok, and break down the averages by country then. I'm most interested in Canada obviously, but I also know most posters here are American.


There is a legitimate argument for guns in response to bear defense if you're prone to go hiking in deep backwoods territory.

sebbeklang wrote:I imagine it wouldn't be too effective to have a gun, in the case of someone entering you'd be pretty surprised and probably not have the time or opportunity to get the gun. You'd have to decide whether to have easy access to the gun or to have it hidden from your children, for example.


Guns provide one advantage in such a situation, physical fitness provides no advantage. It doesn't matter if the other person is bigger/stronger/more intimidating, guns level that. This can be seen in statistics, murder rate in the US is a bit less then 2x Canada's, but the rape rate in Canada is 2x that of the US.

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Postby ZeroSum » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:26 pm UTC

sebbeklang wrote:As for carried concealed guns, if you were to be robbed and had the time to get your gun up, you would also have time to run away.

Not if your back is to the wall or you're otherwise surrounded.

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Re: Firearms for self defence

Postby Jauss » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:40 pm UTC

Phenriz wrote: I wouldn't be comfortable in an environment where a majority of the neighbors have 8-9 foot bar fences/gates up around their houses, and bars on the windows.


Ahh, that sounds like my childhood, except our fences were only a measly 6 or 7 feet and made of wood. Some nearby people had the bar gates/fences though. We did have a bar door in front of the wood front door and a metal gate in the outside hallway to our house. Mmm, bars on windows that rust and fuse from never opening them so in the case of a fire you can't get out. Awesome.

It's funny though because it wasn't like I was so very scared of my neighborhood. It certainly wasn't the best around, but it definitely wasn't the worst either. There were some gangs around (Latin Kings and some others I can't recall) and there were a few houses in my "village" where some of them lived, but they mostly kept the mischief amongst themselves as far as I could tell.

My parents didn't like me walking around after dark, but that was more paranoia from watching the news all the time than something backed up by actual horrible things happening there frequently. A good friend's older brother was killed (shot four times), but we're pretty sure the killer(s) were people he knew and not some incident of random violence/crime. *Sigh* 97' was the dying year...

And yes, zenten, we totally had internet. :) I remember by dad setting it up (we were like "computers and internets OMG11one!1!", except not because we didn't know that shit yet) in the latter mid 90's or so. A lot of regular folks live in neighborhoods like my old one. They have cable and internet (even DSL and stuff) and other things like that, they just can't afford a really expensive house/neighborhood.

As for guns and self-defense/deterrence, I don't know much. I sometimes think about the whole weapon carrying thing in general because while Portland is pretty safe as larger cities go, I like walking most between the hours of 11:00pm and 4:00am (and regularly do because after 12:30 or so the buses and stuff stop running anyway and always paying for cabs is ridiculous) and sometimes I carry my feather knife (in the picture thread) and wonder if that would help or hurt me more if something went down.
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Postby sebbeklang » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:45 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:
sebbeklang wrote:As for carried concealed guns, if you were to be robbed and had the time to get your gun up, you would also have time to run away.

Not if your back is to the wall or you're otherwise surrounded.

either way, the best plan in most of these situation would be not to use the gun.

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Postby Aluminum Falcom » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:52 pm UTC

I have a concealed firearm permit and carry a gun whenever I feel like it. I also keep one in a quick-release safe by my nightstand.

I dislike entering into these discussions about guns, because in America, depending on your state, you can own a gun and conceal a gun if you have the right permits. So hypothetical questions are irrelevant: I have the option to own and carry concealed firearms, and I choose to do so, regardless of the chance I'll be in a situation that requires the use of a firearm.

Disclaimer aside though, yeah, most people won't ever need to fire a gun in anger.

Zenten, you say
How often will these situations where it is useful come up, on average?


I don't know. For most folks, rarley if ever. I do know that my firearm instructor, an active duty cop, says that there are 700,000 cases a year in the USA of a defensive handgun PREVENTING or STOPPING a crime in progress. That's enough of a incentive for me. He also recalls an incident where an intruder was entering a womans house. She called 911, and as she is talking to the operator, the intruder takes her phone and hangs it up. The police arrive 21 minutes later to find her raped and dead.

I have no idea how often a situation will come up that I'll need a defensive handgun. Hopefully none. It's a very small chance, most people don't ever need to defend themselves with severe or deadly force.

BUT, violent crime DOES and CAN happen to us all. So a better question might be:

If you are confronted with a situation where the threat immediate and imminent bodily harm or death might befall you or those around you, how useful is a defensive handgun?

My opinion is: very useful.

Guns are only useful if you are facing that threat of immediate and imminent hard/death. How many rape victims or people who were assaulted and severly injured would have said "nah, let them crush my skull with a lead pipe, take my wallet, and cut me with a broken bottle. I'd rather of had a cellphone than a gun."
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Re: Firearms for self defence

Postby Phenriz » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:53 pm UTC

Jauss wrote:Ahh, that sounds like my childhood, except our fences were only a measly 6 or 7 feet and made of wood. Some nearby people had the bar gates/fences though. We did have a bar door in front of the wood front door and a metal gate in the outside hallway to our house. Mmm, bars on windows that rust and fuse from never opening them so in the case of a fire you can't get out. Awesome.


Yeah these are some heavy duty metal fences, inch thick square posts, with bronze metal tops. Every other house has a setup like that. The people in his neighborhood that i've met are generally very nice. But his house doesn't have a fence, and has been broken into twice.

as for the part in bold, i never got why they'd put up a fence like that for just that reason, also if someone really wants to get into your place, all they have to do is tie a chain from the chain to a truck, and drive.

bye bye fence.
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Postby Aluminum Falcom » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:58 pm UTC

sebbeklang wrote:
ZeroSum wrote:
sebbeklang wrote:As for carried concealed guns, if you were to be robbed and had the time to get your gun up, you would also have time to run away.

Not if your back is to the wall or you're otherwise surrounded.

either way, the best plan in most of these situation would be not to use the gun.



I'm sorry sebbeklang, but have you ever had ANY handgun training or self defense training? What are you are saying directly counters what most military, law enforcement, and "general" self defense instructors will tell you.

I have trained both firearm and hand to hand defense with cops, military, and also trained brazillian jiu jitsu. In fact, the jiu jitsu instructor was also military and a proficient weapons expert.

Any real self defense/offense expert will tell you that "just run away" or "do what the badguy asks and he won't hurt you" is dead wrong.
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Postby sebbeklang » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:29 pm UTC

My reasoning is that if I were to rob someone, and there was a slight risk that he was carrying a gun, I'd make sure he couldn't use it against me. Either by just shooting/hitting him first, having my gun pointed at him or having him outnumbered.

The way I see it:
You have a gun and they have several guns, you end up dead.
You have a gun and they shoot you before you see them, you end up dead.
You have a gun and you are beaten with a baseball bat from behind, you end up dead.
You have a gun and five guys try to beat you, you end up dead.
You give them your money and they run away with it, they might not kill you.
Feel free to add more hypothetical situations, I've probably missed a few.

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Postby Phenriz » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:37 pm UTC

sebbeklang wrote:My reasoning is that if I were to rob someone, and there was a slight risk that he was carrying a gun, I'd make sure he couldn't use it against me. Either by just shooting/hitting him first, having my gun pointed at him or having him outnumbered.

The way I see it:
You have a gun and they have several guns, you end up dead.
You have a gun and they shoot you before you see them, you end up dead.
You have a gun and you are beaten with a baseball bat from behind, you end up dead.
You have a gun and five guys try to beat you, you end up dead.
You give them your money and they run away with it, they might not kill you.
Feel free to add more hypothetical situations, I've probably missed a few.


real life > hypotheticals

Hypothetically i could walk around in a bullet proof suit, with no money, and no one could harm me nor take my money. Wouldn't that be optimal, given your reasoning?

Not all violent crimes have theft of property as their intent.

Rape, Murder, and Assault for instance. Throwing your money at someone looking to commit such a crime towards you isn't going to do much good.

By your line of reasoning.....Are you saying potential rape victims should just roll over and "let it happen"?
I was brought up to respect myself, and protect my well-being. As were many other people.

Also not all crimes are as well "thought out" as you're leading us to believe.
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Postby Aluminum Falcom » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:38 pm UTC

sebbeklang wrote:My reasoning is that if I were to rob someone, and there was a slight risk that he was carrying a gun, I'd make sure he couldn't use it against me. Either by just shooting/hitting him first, having my gun pointed at him or having him outnumbered.

The way I see it:
You have a gun and they have several guns, you end up dead.
You have a gun and they shoot you before you see them, you end up dead.
You have a gun and you are beaten with a baseball bat from behind, you end up dead.
You have a gun and five guys try to beat you, you end up dead.
You give them your money and they run away with it, they might not kill you.
Feel free to add more hypothetical situations, I've probably missed a few.


I've been on this merry-go-round enough on Firearm forums, not sure I need to do it again here. I have no idea the level of moderation on these forums, but your post would be borderline trolling in my book.

According to the cops I have worked with:
- if a criminal suspects a gun is present, they will most likely NOT pursue that avenue. They don't "plan a way to circumvent your gun!" they find an easy target.
- the instant a gun appears on the side of the victim, "99.9%" (cops words) of criminals do a 180 and run away so fast you hardly know they were there.

So please, before you troll further, can you address the cops statement of 700,000 crimes being stopped/cut short by defensive handguns? Or are those just the 700,000 criminals who didn't "kill them first" or "already have their gun drawn."

Or, at least explain why criminals have SUCH an easy time robbing/killing/manipulating us with guns, and yet you see NO benefit for a citizen to have a defensive handgun? If the criminals are taking advantage of all us poor dumb sheep, maybe we should take a look at why?

Or are you just going to comply, give them your money, and basically gamble that they'll be "pretty nice" to you if you do what they want.

I'm done feeding the trolls.
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Re: Firearms for self defence

Postby Jauss » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:16 am UTC

Phenriz wrote:
Jauss wrote:Ahh, that sounds like my childhood, except our fences were only a measly 6 or 7 feet and made of wood. Some nearby people had the bar gates/fences though. We did have a bar door in front of the wood front door and a metal gate in the outside hallway to our house. Mmm, bars on windows that rust and fuse from never opening them so in the case of a fire you can't get out. Awesome.


Yeah these are some heavy duty metal fences, inch thick square posts, with bronze metal tops. Every other house has a setup like that. The people in his neighborhood that i've met are generally very nice. But his house doesn't have a fence, and has been broken into twice.

as for the part in bold, i never got why they'd put up a fence like that for just that reason, also if someone really wants to get into your place, all they have to do is tie a chain from the chain to a truck, and drive.

bye bye fence.


I guess because the random thief will go somewhere else. Obviously, if they really want in your particular house, they'll probably find a way. Perimeter fences aren't as unsafe when it comes to fire, (they usually are ugly as sin though :)) but the window bars really are. Every so often a family dies because of that. They're supposed to be able to open with a key, but even if you can find said key if you don't open it often (which most people don't think/are scared to do) there's a good chance it won't open.

At least in Florida they're good for one thing though, and that's keeping large objects from breaking windows when the hurricanes come. We'd also wedge plywood between them and the house to keep the smaller debris out too.
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Postby sebbeklang » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:27 am UTC

Phenriz wrote:real life > hypotheticals

Hypothetically i could walk around in a bullet proof suit, with no money, and no one could harm me nor take my money. Wouldn't that be optimal, given your reasoning?

Not all violent crimes have theft of property as their intent.

Rape, Murder, and Assault for instance. Throwing your money at someone looking to commit such a crime towards you isn't going to do much good.

By your line of reasoning.....Are you saying potential rape victims should just roll over and "let it happen"?
I was brought up to respect myself, and protect my well-being. As were many other people.

Also not all crimes are as well "thought out" as you're leading us to believe.

I'm not saying anyone should "let it happen" in the case of rape or such, I'm just saying that I believe that violence leads to more violence, and that I believe that carrying a gun is likely to make a situation worse.

Aluminum Falcom wrote:I've been on this merry-go-round enough on Firearm forums, not sure I need to do it again here. I have no idea the level of moderation on these forums, but your post would be borderline trolling in my book.

According to the cops I have worked with:
- if a criminal suspects a gun is present, they will most likely NOT pursue that avenue. They don't "plan a way to circumvent your gun!" they find an easy target.
- the instant a gun appears on the side of the victim, "99.9%" (cops words) of criminals do a 180 and run away so fast you hardly know they were there.

So please, before you troll further, can you address the cops statement of 700,000 crimes being stopped/cut short by defensive handguns? Or are those just the 700,000 criminals who didn't "kill them first" or "already have their gun drawn."

Or, at least explain why criminals have SUCH an easy time robbing/killing/manipulating us with guns, and yet you see NO benefit for a citizen to have a defensive handgun? If the criminals are taking advantage of all us poor dumb sheep, maybe we should take a look at why?

Or are you just going to comply, give them your money, and basically gamble that they'll be "pretty nice" to you if you do what they want.

I'm done feeding the trolls.

I didn't mean to "troll", I'm just speculating. I'll admit that I don't know how a criminal thinks, and it might be true that he runs away if I have a gun. I doubt that he does it 999 times out of a thousand though, but whatever.

I believe that criminals have an easy time robbing/killing/manipulating ordinary people with guns because they start it, and probably will finish it.

I would definitely comply, give them my money and gamble that they would be "pretty nice", rather than try to overpower them and gamble that I'll survive.

I guess I'm pretty naive, having grown up without experiencing a lot of crime.

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Postby Aluminum Falcom » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:55 am UTC

sebbeklang wrote:I would definitely comply, give them my money and gamble that they would be "pretty nice", rather than try to overpower them and gamble that I'll survive.

I guess I'm pretty naive, having grown up without experiencing a lot of crime.


If that's your mindset, fine. We are all free to react however we want.

An attitude of compliance though... well I'd hate to see what would happen to you if after you are so compliant, they then say "GET IN THE CAR".

If I were in a bank or store and someone robbed it at gunpoint, I'd never react other than to stay down and wait til its over. But there are lots of cases where it someone doesn't do SOMETHING, people will die, or be seriously hurt.

I guess we're imagining different crimials. I imagine the doped up guy on Meth or PCP, trying to get some money for his next fix, and he really doesn't care if he has to hurt me or those with me. Or the people who have THE INTENT to hurt you. are we to just comply with that demand as well?

"Hey I'm a meth addict piece of trash, and I am going to rob you, but also slash your face with this box cutter for no reason, even if you comply"

"hey okay, I don't want to escaclate the situation, do what you will!"

Guns are NOT the key to every criminal encounter. But crap, go down to your local emergency room or police station and start asking about how many moderatly to severly injured people were taken advantage of by some non-thinking junkie.

Whatever though. I just pray you never meet some punk kid who wants your money, but also has something to prove. GIVEN THE CHOICE, I personally would rather die on my feet in a gunfight, than die on my knees at gunpoint.

But, I doubt anyone here has or ever will be in a situation that requires a gun, so it's all just a bunch of specuclation.
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Postby Vaniver » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:23 pm UTC

As for carried concealed guns, if you were to be robbed and had the time to get your gun up, you would also have time to run away.
I'm sorry, but I could have a gun out of my holster and ready to fire within a second. Could you run a city block to get around a corner within a second?
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Postby zenten » Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:12 am UTC

Ok, obviously people here have different views. However, I am going to try to come up with a statement that most people here should hopefully agree with.

If you always (or close to it) have a gun within reach, that's loaded, and you are in an area where having someone attack you where you would have a few seconds to see it coming is a reasonable concern to have, then having a gun is an effective means of self defence. Otherwise, probably not.

Oh, and about all these statistics, remember most rapes, murders and assaults are committed by someone the victim knows personally. So you can't just use a straight reading of the statistics of those crimes.

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Postby Gunfingers » Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:47 am UTC

As for carried concealed guns, if you were to be robbed and had the time to get your gun up, you would also have time to run away.


I'm gonna stray just a smidge off topic, but since we're talking about running/not running, who's familiar with Stand Your Ground Laws? To summarize, in most of the US before you can respond to a threat of force with force you must exhaust every other means of defense. It's known as a "duty to retreat." With the exception of a few states, you have to run.

I don't know about the rest of you, but i have a huge problem with that. I am of the opinion that i have the right to defend myself with severe prejudice if necessary.

There's another forum i frequent where we had this same argument not too long ago. A lot of good points were brought up by both sides. You should totally check it out.

I think i have enough posts to link offsite, anyway.

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Postby Aluminum Falcom » Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:34 am UTC

zenten wrote:If you always (or close to it) have a gun within reach, that's loaded, and you are in an area where having someone attack you where you would have a few seconds to see it coming is a reasonable concern to have, then having a gun is an effective means of self defence. Otherwise, probably not.



I don't agree. In fact, your statement is SO narrow and misguided, I'm not sure how to approach a reply. According to police reports, most handguns stop a crime without ever firing a shot! And that is just reported incidents. Overwhelmingly, when a citizen has a handgun, the criminal runs away without anyone needed to fire. That's the truth that police officers will tell you. And when a gun does need to be fired, most of the time it is within 3 feet, with less than 3 rounds fired, and over in less than 3 seconds.

A few points I'd like to make in no particular order:

- You sound like someone who is not familiar with the handling of a weapon, and who also does not carry/own any handguns. I'm not belittling you, but it seems like your on the outside of a situation, looking in, and drawing conclusions the best you can without firsthand knowledge.

- An attack or crime against a person isn't just something that happens and you're caught off guard. Do some reading by firearm experts like Jeff Cooper or Massad Ayoob. Most criminals who are going to "try something" have what we call the "interview phase". Depending on your level of alertness, this can tip you off that the shady looking guy who comes up to do you "bum a smoke" might in fact be prepping you for a mugging. Not to mention the countless times that you can see someone approaching you in your car or as you walk across a parking lot at night.

- I wouldn't say a gun is ever an "ineffective means of self defense". Seriously, if you think that just because a criminal surprises you or is able to control you before you could reach said gun, I am scared to see you get into a violent situation. People can struggle, fight, and overcome attackers, and do.





I am reminded of a recent article about a man who was tied up and put in his bathroom while his home was being robbed by two armed attackers. He was able to get loose of his bindings and retrieve his handgun, with which he shot both attackers, killing one and wounding the other.

Or another article about a man in a Porsche, who was mistook for another porsche driver to had cut off an angry man in traffic. The angry man, approaching the wrong Porsche, began punching the driver through the window in a out of control rage. The driver, not knowing what was happening, began to lose consciousness and feared this attacker would kill him. He was able to retrieve his gun from his waistband and shoot the man in the chest before losing consciousness from the blows. the attacker died on the scene.


The instances go on and on. It seems like most of the people in this thread are posing the idea of "guns as self defense tools", and then slowly counting off the reasons as to why they aren't very effective, or only effective in super-strict, controlled environments.


Zenten, what is your specific experience with firearms, violent crime, and citizens using guns for self defense? I'm asking for real, I am concerned that this is becoming a debate between gun owners who are extremely well informed on the proper use, responsibility, and ramifications of firearms, and those who are not informed on the subject and have little experience with the matter. I have personally spoken to many law enforcement officials on this matter, training with them and also gathering information and statistics from them on defensive handgun usage. And your statement would not ring true, to them (and me).


I guess my main point is: According to
police firearm instructors and self defense experts, any time a person is in need of serious self defense, they are in agreement that having a handgun, and being well versed in it's PROPER use almost ALWAYS helps the victim increase their chances of survival.


I fear this thread is just becoming a pissing match between gun owners who thinks guns can help more than they harm, and non-gun owners thinking guns harm more than they help.[/b]
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Postby zenten » Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:03 pm UTC


Zenten, what is your specific experience with firearms, violent crime, and citizens using guns for self defense? I'm asking for real, I am concerned that this is becoming a debate between gun owners who are extremely well informed on the proper use, responsibility, and ramifications of firearms, and those who are not informed on the subject and have little experience with the matter. I have personally spoken to many law enforcement officials on this matter, training with them and also gathering information and statistics from them on defensive handgun usage. And your statement would not ring true, to them (and me).


I've fired rifles a few times. That's it for my experience. As to violent crime, pretty much none outside of the schoolyard as a kid. As to citizens needing guns for self defense, of the people I know personally there was one example, where he cocked a shotgun and the guy ran off, but based on his story yelling "Hey, what are you doing here?" probably would have had the same effect. I know a number of people who are gun enthusiasts, and do think that everyone should be trained in firearms and be able to legally own them, but they don't have much in the way of justification from what I can see, and when I ask for some they tend to give the "You don't understand because you aren't experienced line", which from what I can tell in generally just means that they don't have proper justification for their views.

As to the police, the police in my province consistanty ask for tighter gun control laws, and support ones that I personally think are dumb.

So yeah, there's my experience.

- An attack or crime against a person isn't just something that happens and you're caught off guard. Do some reading by firearm experts like Jeff Cooper or Massad Ayoob. Most criminals who are going to "try something" have what we call the "interview phase". Depending on your level of alertness, this can tip you off that the shady looking guy who comes up to do you "bum a smoke" might in fact be prepping you for a mugging. Not to mention the countless times that you can see someone approaching you in your car or as you walk across a parking lot at night.


If we're talking about hypothetical and isolated incidents, I could walk away, or take other non-violent actions (if someone is asking me for a cigarette when there are few people around I always try to keep my distance, and make sure I look alert). Since few criminals where I live have guns, they have to get up close to do anything to me.

- I wouldn't say a gun is ever an "ineffective means of self defense". Seriously, if you think that just because a criminal surprises you or is able to control you before you could reach said gun, I am scared to see you get into a violent situation. People can struggle, fight, and overcome attackers, and do.


Well, they could always take my gun and use it on me. That would be rather ineffective on my part. I also do believe that I would have a high chance of getting away from most people trying to get me into some sort of hold, but if I had to focus on pulling out a weapon instead of running away that might be harder for me, but that could just be from lack of training in such a thing.

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Postby skeptical scientist » Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:28 pm UTC

zenten wrote:I've fired rifles a few times. That's it for my experience. As to violent crime, pretty much none outside of the schoolyard as a kid. As to citizens needing guns for self defense, of the people I know personally there was one example, where he cocked a shotgun and the guy ran off, but based on his story yelling "Hey, what are you doing here?" probably would have had the same effect. I know a number of people who are gun enthusiasts, and do think that everyone should be trained in firearms and be able to legally own them, but they don't have much in the way of justification from what I can see, and when I ask for some they tend to give the "You don't understand because you aren't experienced line", which from what I can tell in generally just means that they don't have proper justification for their views.

Just because the people you know who support guns do so for bad reasons and don't have good arguments backing them up, doesn't mean that good reasons don't exist. For some better arguments, see Penn and Teller's Bullshit episode on gun control, or else my post in the Gun Control thread. This is coming from someone who doesn't own a gun, is not trained in their use, and who has fired a weapon fewer times than you have. That doesn't mean that I'm unable to understand the arguments in favor of their use. Of course, I'm not saying that firearms should be completely unrestricted; the average citizen does not need an assault weapon or bullet-proof vest piercing ammunition in order to protect themselves. But I do think that rifles and handguns should be available to any adult who's not a felon or mental patient, and concealed handgun permits should be issued to anyone who asks.

As to the police, the police in my province consistanty ask for tighter gun control laws, and support ones that I personally think are dumb.

They're probably not basing this on what's best for society, but rather what's best for them. They will have guns anyways, so what do they care if other citizens have access to them for self-defense?

If we're talking about hypothetical and isolated incidents, I could walk away, or take other non-violent actions (if someone is asking me for a cigarette when there are few people around I always try to keep my distance, and make sure I look alert). Since few criminals where I live have guns, they have to get up close to do anything to me.

I wonder if your perspective would be different if you were a woman. Self-defense without a firearm is very difficult or impossible for a woman against a man, and running away may also be impossible since men tend to have longer legs, especially if you're wearing heels. And cooperating and hoping they leave you alone is not an option if they are interested in rape instead of the contents of your wallet. On the other hand, carrying a concealed handgun could be very effective, often without even needing to be fired - what do you think it would do to rates of violent sexual assault in this country if all women were issued handguns and concealed weapons permits?
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Postby Aluminum Falcom » Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:45 pm UTC

Well, they could always take my gun and use it on me. That would be rather ineffective on my part. I also do believe that I would have a high chance of getting away from most people trying to get me into some sort of hold, but if I had to focus on pulling out a weapon instead of running away that might be harder for me, but that could just be from lack of training in such a thing.




Well, given that, I'd have to agree that you're not the type of person that would find a gun to be an effective means of self defense. With your preconceived notions about what can or would happen, a gun would be a bad idea.

I still don't think you can generalize out your thoughts to everyone else.

About a criminal "just taking your gun away from you"... that really isn't something that happens all that often. Why couldn't anyone take away the gun from the Trolley Square shooter, or the Virgina Tech shooter? Taking away a gun from ANYONE who has it in their hand is pretty difficult, on the account that they can shoot you.

As for a "proper justification of views" for having a firearms, what justification does a person need? They are legal to own, legal to buy, legal to carry (with a permit). I realize you are from Canada and it's a totally different system of laws and such, but what justification do I need? A gun isn't something you can have only if you're in a warzone or a gang-infested high crime area. I felt that having the option to carry a handgun is a good idea, so I got a permit and a gun. I also have pepper spray and a tazer, and the police on speedial on my cellphone. I don't carry a gun every day, in fact most days I don't. But if I feel I am going to an area, or time of day, that might increase the chances of something bad happening, I grab it. It's small, light, and unobtrusive.

As far as I am concerned, if you legally possess a weapon, you do so for all legal purposes. Police here are very supportive of the concealed firearm permits, and usually have an added level of respect for those who choose to obtain a permit. As they put it "usually, we arrive after the crime has been committed. Citizens are responsible for DEFENDING THEMSELVES."

Having firearms isn't something that requires justification. It's an option available to me, and I chose to use it. My wife has a permit to carry a concealed handgun also. I believe she has ample justification. She takes it when jogging, or when she is alone with our 2 year old sun out doing things where she could easily be taken advantage of. It's a very "have and not want/need, or want/need and not have" type of thing.

I don't know how things are in Ottawa, but it sounds like we're in 2 different places with 2 totally different paradigms. Obviously, neither viewpoint is a "one size fits all", so I won't say you are wrong. Obviously, you're comfortable with your views. But, I won't concede that any of my views or thoughts on crime, guns, and the option to carry a handgun are misguided either.

If you are requesting justification, I'd be happy to sit down and analyze my situation (and also those of my friends and family who carry) and present our case. Then, you could decide if we have proper justification. But, I fear that any justification I present will just be met with "don't go to that place, call the police, or run away"

So, I'll say it right now, in all seriousness: no one NEEDS a gun.
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Postby ZeroSum » Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:31 am UTC

Gunfingers wrote:I'm gonna stray just a smidge off topic, but since we're talking about running/not running, who's familiar with Stand Your Ground Laws?
I was looking it up today. I couldn't find anything relevant for my state. In fact, I couldn't find anything relevant for my state for anything to do with self defense in general except that it's assumed that the suspect's injury or death resulting from a break-in was in self defense, though that can be challenged.

So I couldn't find a clause that states what reasonable force I can respond with in a harmful situation, which means if I even get into a harmful situation I may have to take a less safe option that prevents me from getting charged with felony battery just to make sure I don't get in trouble for defending myself.

Is it just me, or does that sound like a bad idea?

Awesome article that should be required reading for the course.

I especially love the following quote:
For example, when aggressors have guns, they are (1) less likely to physically attack their victims[b], (2) [b]less likely to injure the victim given an attack, but (3) more likely to kill the victim, given an injury. Further, when victims have guns, it is less likely aggressors will attack or injure them and less likely they will lose property in a robbery.

I know the more likely to kill part looks harsh, but the fact that even when the aggressor has the gun the outcome is less likely to cause injury is quite amazing. I guess that blows a hole in the theory that an aggressor would just shoot you at the outset, before anything happened, if you both had guns.

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Postby Rust » Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:56 am UTC

I love you guys. This is like my second post ever and I love you guys. I have never seen a more civil, well-reasoned, properly-cited debate on gun control anywhere on the internet. Not once has someone mentioned Hitler; no-one has called anyone else names or other ad hominem attack; misspellings have been kept to a minimum. I am an avid sport shooter and I frequent several firearms forums. There are firearms in my home for self-defense. I spend a lot of time arguing with people over why I keep weapons near me. This is the first time I have ever seen such an amiable debate. You have restored my faith in humanity and reduced me to tears.

I love you guys.


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