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Old 2009-11-01, 04:59 AM   #16
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glad you got out of what sounds like a really nasty situation.

Personally i'm really happy i live in a society that limits handguns to police, security staff and licensed sports shooters. Producing a deadly weapon in self defense raises the stakes to a life death situation for everyone involved (especially if the person you are defending against is also armed).

I don't think i could live with myself if i fatally shot someone even if it was in self defense. They could take all my money, possessions and even beat the hell out me before i would willingly take that choice. For example, if i was disturbed in the night by an intruder and i had the choice between a tennis racket and a pistol to confront them with i would take the tennis racket. I believe the likelihood of someone being killed in that scenario is smaller than if you were to turn up wielding a deadly weapon.

Gun control also has lots of other upsides too!- no more school, workplace random mass shootings, firearms accidents involving children or members of your own family.

I think the argument is pretty stupid in the US context though. No government is going to be able to change the power of the gun lobby or the national obsession of gun ownership. Its just sad that so many people have, and will continue to die because of gun related crime and accidents.

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Old 2009-11-01, 05:27 AM   #17
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As long as there is a way to track who has guns and who doesn't I think it's cool. I just don't want people to anonymously be able to own guns. It's scary stuff.
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Old 2009-11-01, 05:31 AM   #18
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Theres an uncountable amount of guns in the U.S.
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Old 2009-11-01, 05:50 AM   #19
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Theres an uncountable amount of guns in the U.S.
But the problem is not the uncluntable-ness, it's the fact that even if a bunch of legislation were passed for gun control, a large percentage of those uncounted guns would be unaffected. Law-abiding citizens would be compelled to obey the rules, but lawless people would still have easy access to illegal guns.
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Old 2009-11-01, 05:52 AM   #20
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The usual viewpoint from someone who has never fired a weapon is that gun control is good. However, I find that the exact opposite is true because gun control only keeps guns out of the hands of licensed gun owners. Criminals still have guns regardless of the law.
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Old 2009-11-01, 07:23 AM   #21
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As for the race issue, I'm definately not racist and I'm white,
Saying you're not racist doesn't make it true. The fact that you felt it was necessary to mention that the group was black, and that you repeatedly said them, and those people certainly have some racist subtext.

Here are some examples:

"I see over 20 black kids (most likely a small gang)"
They are black kids therefore they are a gang?

"In these big groups, they aren't afraid to attack people, because the chances of getting caught are less, and it's hard to recognize them. I honestly couldn't pick out any one of them, If I ever saw them again."

These groups? They all look the same to you?

Even if you don't consider yourself racist you sure express yourself with racist undertones.
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Old 2009-11-01, 07:44 AM   #22
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Great, give all the idiots guns. That will take the heat out of the situation. And so much more constructive than bringing up a generation of kids who don't behave like that in the first place.
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Old 2009-11-01, 08:30 AM   #23
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Saying you're not racist doesn't make it true. The fact that you felt it was necessary to mention that the group was black, and that you repeatedly said them, and those people certainly have some racist subtext.

Here are some examples:

"I see over 20 black kids (most likely a small gang)"
They are black kids therefore they are a gang?

"In these big groups, they aren't afraid to attack people, because the chances of getting caught are less, and it's hard to recognize them. I honestly couldn't pick out any one of them, If I ever saw them again."

These groups? They all look the same to you?

Even if you don't consider yourself racist you sure express yourself with racist undertones.


I could probably say the same thing about white, hispanic, asian, etc. So I imagine that being somewhat specific or factual about who is involved would be considered racist no matter what.

"Most likely a small gang" Obviously an assumption. Any group of whoever, acting as described, I would assume are a small gang in said neighborhood. He didn't say they are 100% a small gang. But seeing as how they "ganged" up on that one guy and they were cohesive in their actions, it's a safe bet to assume so. If it makes you feel better, I'll assume they were just an angry mob.

You can interpret anything anything to suit your arguments. He didn't say "these groups". He said, "In these big groups...". If you're going to call someone out on something they said, please make sure it's something they said, not something edited by you.

At the distance I would put myself between them and I, I would also say that I couldn't recognize anyone, or that from the distance I was at, they all looked the same to me. To be close enough to distinguish detail between each individual is to close for comfort in a situation like that. Also, even if I were to be up close and personal, I would probably only be able to remember two - five faces. Maybe. If you have ever been in a position like that, you have other things on your mind then remembering faces.

Back on topic, I think gun control has it's pro's and con's. It's con's more often then not having a negative impact on law abiding citizens. And that's where things in my opinion turn wrong. If anti gun advocates had their way, the only people with firearms, besides law enforcement and military, would be criminals. That's bad news for the good guys. Let's face it. There are more bad guys then there are cops. Sometimes I think that the fear of loosing your freedom aka going to jail/prison, is the greatest motivation bad guys have for not using firearms at will. This is not to say that all bad guys have guns. I think everyone has the right to defend themselves. I'm not saying let's make this the wild west, but if I ever had someone or a group of people threatening my family, friends, or loved ones at my residence, I would like utilize my right to use my legally obtained firearm if the situation calls for it.

Glad you made it out ok. I suggest that you find somewhere else to ride if being in a certain area might cause you harm. Swinging your uni can only do so much when it's 1 vs 20.
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Old 2009-11-01, 06:02 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by p1choco View Post
I could probably say the same thing about white, hispanic, asian, etc. So I imagine that being somewhat specific or factual about who is involved would be considered racist no matter what.

"Most likely a small gang" Obviously an assumption. Any group of whoever, acting as described, I would assume are a small gang in said neighborhood. He didn't say they are 100% a small gang. But seeing as how they "ganged" up on that one guy and they were cohesive in their actions, it's a safe bet to assume so. If it makes you feel better, I'll assume they were just an angry mob.

You can interpret anything anything to suit your arguments. He didn't say "these groups". He said, "In these big groups...". If you're going to call someone out on something they said, please make sure it's something they said, not something edited by you.
Isn't it nice that as white males we have the option of saying "I'm not racist". That's part of white privilege. We certainly like to think of ourselves as not racist.

It doesn't matter that I changed the wording because the subtext is still there.

Had it been a group of white kids he would not have pointed out that it was bunch of white kids. He would have just said a bunch of kids. Clearly he thought the fact that they were black was relevant to the story. It's not just mentioning their race that makes it racist.

If 20 white kids were walking around, he probably wouldn't have assumed that they were a gang.

Fine he said "In these big groups THEY aren't afraid to attack people" again preconceptions about THEM. I'd be willing to bet if it were a group of white kids his words would have been quite different.

He also talked about this being near the "ghetto". Ghetto is a racially charged term. You don't often hear the places that poor white people live called the ghetto.

Had the group not been black the story would have been told quite differently.

His words are filled with subtle ingrained racism. This isn't his fault. It's assumptions and fears that are built into society. But it is racism.

And the important thing we can do to change is to recognize it.
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Old 2009-11-01, 06:18 PM   #25
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Sounds like another example of how things are supposed to work.

I feel much safer living in a house with two ex-marines, four firearms, and a doberman - even though I only live a block off campus.

I feel it is the right of each individual to have the tools available to him to protect himself. Furthermore, I feel fortunate to live in a nation (and state) where that ability to protect myself is recognized and protected by law.

Eliminating private ownership of firearms is effectively concentrating power into the hands of fewer individuals - the state and its agents, as well as criminals. IMO, power is like butter - it's only good when it's spread.

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?" -Patrick Henry

"Never Forget, even for an instant, that the one and only reason anybody has for taking your gun away is to make you weaker than he is, so he can do something to you that you wouldn't allow him to do if you were equipped to prevent it. This goes for burglars, muggers, and rapists, and even more so for policemen, bureaucrats, and politicians. -Alexander Hope, from the novel "Hope" by L. Neil Smith and Aaron Zelman
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Old 2009-11-01, 06:36 PM   #26
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It is racist to make assumptions or judgements about individuals, or act differently towards them, because of their colour without first observing how they behave.

But is is simply true that certain behaviours and attitudes are more or less associated with different cultures.

If you see a group of people behaving in a way that appears consistent with what you would expect from the culture to which they appear to belong, then it is not unreasonable to make a preliminary assessment of how they are likely to behave. That is not racism - until you start to make judgements that go beyond the evidence you have seen, or, worse, you ignore evidence because it doesn't fit your preconceptions.

When describing an event to someone else later, it is sometimes reasonable to include racial or cultural descriptions in the story to explain how and why you felt and reacted as you did.

For example, in the UK, statistically, a burglar is likely to be a young white male; a street robbery is more likely to be committed by a young black male; and certain types of "white collar crime" are disproportionately represented in the Asian community. These are observable and measurable facts.

You should not assume that all young white males are burglars; that all young black males are robbers; or that all Asians are fraudsters. However, you may well factor those statistical realities into your assessment of a situation when you meet a group of young black men coming towards you down the street, behaving as if they are in a street gang.

I see ten black young black men in "streetwear" and matching bandanas on one side of the road, and ten young black men in smart suits on the other side of the road, I know which side of the road I'll choose.

On the other hand, a few years ago, if I had seen ten white lads in scruffy jeans, and ten white lads in suits, I would have avoided the suits, for the same reasons.

It's just as dangerous to call something racist when it isn't, as it is to pretend it isn't when it is.

Also, it is part of the problem with western society that we consider "black" to cover everything from West Indian to central African; and white to include everything from English to German to Welsh.

It is no more correct to lump Bantus and Hutus together (or Pakistanis and Indians) than it is to expect a Canadian to be pleased to be mistaken for an American, or a Belgian for a German.
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Old 2009-11-01, 06:47 PM   #27
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It doesn't matter that I changed the wording because the subtext is still there.
Actually, it does. It means that you're trying really hard to find fault with his comments, to find racism. Trying so hard, in fact, that you're willing to change what he said to suit what you're looking for.

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Fine he said "In these big groups THEY aren't afraid to attack people" again preconceptions about THEM. I'd be willing to bet if it were a group of white kids his words would have been quite different.
So every time I use the word "they" or "them," is it racially charged since I, too, and white? Sorry but these terms just occur very often in the English language, especially when talking about groups of people. Sure, it's possible that his usage was racially charged, but assuming so based on a few lines of text just makes you look like an overzealous ideologue who sees the world through racist-colored glasses. Again, you're superimposing what you're looking for onto what was said.

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He also talked about this being near the "ghetto". Ghetto is a racially charged term. You don't often hear the places that poor white people live called the ghetto.
In fact, the term "ghetto" STARTED OUT as a term referring to where poor, white people lived. In my own life, "ghetto" has been used to refer to poor neighborhoods of any racial heritage. It's true that "ghetto" does have some racial charge, but I feel that coming from those older than me - those younger than me simply use it to refer to any poor neighborhood. The evolution of language, I suppose.

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His words are filled with subtle ingrained racism. This isn't his fault. It's assumptions and fears that are built into society. But it is racism.
I'm tired of people telling me how racist I am, or prejudiced against the disabled, or whatever...but oh, I can't help it. It's society's fault. I better just submit to their politics, laws, and social programs in the hope of redeeming myself. I'm just so lost in my own racism I don't even see it. Please, please save me from myself, government!
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Old 2009-11-01, 07:18 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SqueakyOnion View Post
So every time I use the word "they" or "them," is it racially charged since I, too, and white? Sorry but these terms just occur very often in the English language, especially when talking about groups of people. Sure, it's possible that his usage was racially charged, but assuming so based on a few lines of text just makes you look like an overzealous ideologue who sees the world through racist-colored glasses. Again, you're superimposing what you're looking for onto what was said.
Not every time you say They, but when you're already referring to black people and you say THEY do such and such. You are being racist because you're making racial assumptions.

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In fact, the term "ghetto" STARTED OUT as a term referring to where poor, white people lived. In my own life, "ghetto" has been used to refer to poor neighborhoods of any racial heritage. It's true that "ghetto" does have some racial charge, but I feel that coming from those older than me - those younger than me simply use it to refer to any poor neighborhood. The evolution of language, I suppose.
Actually it started out as term for the poor Jewish neighborhoods where Jews were forced to live by law. Where the governments kept them second class citizens.

Ghetto is very racially charged word and in this context he was clearly using the term to refer to poor black neighborhoods.

The fact that these kids were black has a lot to do with the way he emotionally reacted and the way that he told the story.

The fact of the situation is huge racial assumptions were made. If this were a large group of white kids prowling around on Halloween and were up to no good, throwing eggs at people and displaying aggressive behavior. They would not be assumed to be a gang and the use of gun to try to scare them off might have been considered inappropriate.

Perhaps if society didn't assume so much that groups of young black men were criminals out to hurt people the situation wouldn't exist in the first place.

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Old 2009-11-01, 07:36 PM   #29
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Too late for an edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SqueakyOnion View Post
I'm tired of people telling me how racist I am, or prejudiced against the disabled, or whatever...but oh, I can't help it. It's society's fault. I better just submit to their politics, laws, and social programs in the hope of redeeming myself. I'm just so lost in my own racism I don't even see it. Please, please save me from myself, government!
Racism is ingrained in our society. The first thing we can do to change it is to be more aware of it.

Most racist behavior isn't seen by the individual as being racist or they would try to change their attitudes and behavior.

As a white person who is not at the negative end of racist thought and behavior it's easy to just ignore racism or try to deny that it exists.
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Old 2009-11-01, 09:17 PM   #30
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As a white person who is not at the negative end of racist thought
Really? You think all those non-whites don't sometimes have thoughts about you that might sometimes be racist?

In western countries with a European cultural heritage, white people are fortunate to retain (on average) socio-economic advantage over people from other races.

That doesn't mean there aren't whole neighbourhoods and, indeed,countries, where large numbers of people would make adverse judgements about you because you're white. The very idea that you are "not on the negative end of racist thought" implies that you think racism is a one way street - and that is a form of racism.
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