Why do LEO carry guns at BM?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Law Enforcement Officers have guns and badges for...

shooting, intimidating and/or arresting people.
15
71%
integrating better into our community.
6
29%
 
Total votes : 21

Postby swampdog » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:16 pm

Sorry for letting my end of the conversation down, I was away for the weekend. My general point is, as long as you think there's a point where the government should prevent a class of arms falling into civilian hands, then claiming that your any restriction on another class of arms violates the sacrosanct 2d amendment is not logically supportable.

Ygmir, as Fishy says, I don't mean the list to be exclusive. I suppose it's revealing of my personal fears which groups I included in my short list. I do think that we are currently at more risk from right wing religious groups than from other groups, and I included the biker group as a generic bad guy. I think that anyone involved in the organized distribution of illegal drugs is probably the more likely illegal group to have the resources and connections to get illegal weapons regardless of whether they're bikers.

I think the violent left wing is pretty toothless these days (probably literally as well as figuratively). Islamic fundamentalist groups are so closely watched I really don't think there's much real risk there.
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Postby CapSmashy » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:08 am

swampdog wrote:You do, probably. The second amendment refers not to guns but to arms. That's a much bigger category and can be include basically any weapon. RPG anyone? How about a Stinger surface to air missile? Nuclear warhead? What do you think they talk about at arms limitation talks, .22 cal pistols? Do you REALLY think access to arms should be unlimited?


That's an extremely disingenuous position to take and I know you are intelligent enough to realize this.

So SOMEBODY needs to draw some lines. If you say, "well the second amendment only refers to rifles, shotguns, and pistols" what is your basis for that? And, who decides if there should be limits to caliber, rate of fire, concealability? Are things assumed legal until declared otherwise? Do armor piercing bullets and non-metallic guns need to be explicitly judged in or out?

It's a done deal, people. Arms are restricted by local, state, and federal governments. We're just haggling over the price*.

In 1934, the federal government made a law in response to the level of weaponry available to gangsters. Automatic weapons, sawed off shotguns, etc, were outlawed. That (federal) law seems to outline what people think of today as good weapons that should be unlimited vs. weapons we accept as 'naturally' limited. But it's just a federal law, one that restricts the right to keep and bear arms.


I have no issue at all with reasonable restrictions being placed on the types of arms readily available to the general public. Reasonable being the key word and the one most difficult to define for many.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 was more of the typical knee jerk reaction of blanket legislation by the government. Now, are there some good things about the NFA, sure, but there are more provisions that are arguably quite obsolete in this day and age concerning how the original NFA laws have been augmented through other knee jerk reactionary legislation in subsequent years.

I believe I'd be less safe with a gun in the house than without - the chances of needing it and being able to use it effectively in an in-house attack seems small. And as long as a gun is around, in my view, it's an accident waiting to happen.


A few firearm training courses usually tend to eliminate such feelings. A firearm is simply a tool and like any tool, not learning how to properly use that tool in its intended use tends to have bad results.

But I respect that there are people who hunt, shoot at targets, and think guns make them safer.


And I am glad to see this. The prevalent opinion in the anti-gun crowd tends to be one of "Well I don't need a gun, neither do you, so there." This tends to really irritate me when you hear this line of reasoning from celebrities that have armed body guard details, send their kids to private schools with armed security on the premises and live in fortified neighborhoods with private, armed patrols at their beck and call.

So we need to compromise. That compromise is an ongoing discussion. It never seems to get too far one way or the other. It can never go to wholly restrictive - too many guns already out there - nor can it go wholly permissive - see above re: .50 cal machine guns.


I can accept the premise of what you are saying, but have a few issues with how you have presented it here.

You are really hung up on the notion of personal ownership of 50 cal machine guns. Even without the restrictions imposed on personal ownership of a Ma Deuce from the NFA of 1934 and the FOPA of 1986, such a weapon is not a realistic target of focus.
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Postby CapSmashy » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:23 am

ygmir wrote:why do you exclude left wing radicals?
other religious radicals?
I can't imagine, that, you don't think they exist..................


Can you give some examples of left wing radical groups that are heavily armed and preaching armed rebellion?

or, do you submit that only "right wing" radicals are dangerous?
Or, just "moreso"?

I don't get it.


The radical groups on the right side of the political spectrum and the more fundamental centric religious groups that have chosen to add guns in conjunction with their holy books, in my opinion, do represent a much greater threat to general public safety when contrasted with radical left, politically oriented groups and religious organizations.

Why? Well, the most obvious reason being that most (not all) of your hard leaning left organizations are going to be staunchly anti-2nd Amendment. Groups like ELF or ALF could be much more effective if they incorporated firearms into their line up of intimidation tools.
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Postby CapSmashy » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:30 am

swampdog wrote:Sorry to obsess on .50 cal machine guns, but it represents a dividing line for me. I think they should definitely not be made readily available. Should citizens be able to openly buy a .50 cal WITHOUT engaging a black market/hard core criminals? If yes, is there a place where you draw the line on what a citizen should be able to freely purchase? If you eliminate the black market, then I assume the prices would drop radically.


Considering the upfront costs and paperwork hurdles that an individual has to go through to legally possess any select fire weapon, fully automatic weapon, short barreled rifle or shotgun, silencer, destructive device, etc, no, I do not really have a set line to draw on what's okay and what's not.

The black market has nothing to do with the prices on these weapons. It is actually much cheaper to illegally obtain a fully automatic weapon than it is to go through the legal process of ownership.
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Postby swampdog » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:39 am

CapSmashy - I think a few reasonable people like us ought to be able to work out a compromise that everyone could live with.

.50 cal machine gun is just my (admittedly possibly ignorant) line in the sand. I can see (barely) a perceived need to hold a so called "assault rifle" for personal protection in the home. I can't see a .50 cal needed defensively for anything less than a gang attack. Or a zombie invasion. Whereas I can see it used offensively in a very negative way.

I won't argue if it's a good line in the sand or not, it's meant for illustrative purposes.
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Postby ygmir » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:04 am

CapSmashy wrote:
ygmir wrote:why do you exclude left wing radicals?
other religious radicals?
I can't imagine, that, you don't think they exist..................


Can you give some examples of left wing radical groups that are heavily armed and preaching armed rebellion?

HHmm.......I'm not so politically read or astute, but, to me (IMHO):
Most of the urban gangs are left wing.
Also:
La Raza, La Familia, Black Panthers, ALF and ELF (in that, they use incendiaries and other injurious mechanisms), different Muslim radical groups, Nation of Islam, JDL, I'm sure I missed a ton.
How heavily armed and dangerous, are the drug dealers/cartels/distributors.
Many of the "farmers" here in my area, are very left wing, and, very heavily armed, and, very anti "da man".

Some, I admit, I don't know their "politics", but, am pretty sure they're not on the same page as the "far right" or "religious right" groups.
I also understand, of the above groups, only segments are the "radicals".......but, that is true of the "far right" as well.

You may be accurate, in the "far right" being a larger threat, in that, they are probably more organized and better trained.

My point, really, was that there are "radicals" of all stripes.... and, to point out one segment, seems prejudicial. And, when "acts of violence" are actually carried out, it ends up being the random person or small group, not the larger population.



or, do you submit that only "right wing" radicals are dangerous?
Or, just "moreso"?

I don't get it.


The radical groups on the right side of the political spectrum and the more fundamental centric religious groups that have chosen to add guns in conjunction with their holy books, in my opinion, do represent a much greater threat to general public safety when contrasted with radical left, politically oriented groups and religious organizations.

Why? Well, the most obvious reason being that most (not all) of your hard leaning left organizations are going to be staunchly anti-2nd Amendment. Groups like ELF or ALF could be much more effective if they incorporated firearms into their line up of intimidation tools.


do you think, the logger who loses his arm from a spiked tree or boobytrap, cares if it's shot off, or, blown/burned off?



I do not condone the violent actions of any of the groups.......my point was only that if being accusational, we use a broad enough brush to cover all that apply, so as not to foster resentment towards a particular group, not necessarily related to the points of the accuser.
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Postby CapSmashy » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:31 am

ygmir wrote:Most of the urban gangs are left wing.
Also:
La Raza, La Familia, Black Panthers, ALF and ELF (in that, they use incendiaries and other injurious mechanisms), different Muslim radical groups, Nation of Islam, JDL, I'm sure I missed a ton.
How heavily armed and dangerous, are the drug dealers/cartels/distributors.
Many of the "farmers" here in my area, are very left wing, and, very heavily armed, and, very anti "da man".

Some, I admit, I don't know their "politics", but, am pretty sure they're not on the same page as the "far right" or "religious right" groups.
I also understand, of the above groups, only segments are the "radicals".......but, that is true of the "far right" as well.

You may be accurate, in the "far right" being a larger threat, in that, they are probably more organized and better trained.

My point, really, was that there are "radicals" of all stripes.... and, to point out one segment, seems prejudicial. And, when "acts of violence" are actually carried out, it ends up being the random person or small group, not the larger population.
[/color]


do you think, the logger who loses his arm from a spiked tree or boobytrap, cares if it's shot off, or, blown/burned off?



I do not condone the violent actions of any of the groups.......my point was only that if being accusational, we use a broad enough brush to cover all that apply, so as not to foster resentment towards a particular group, not necessarily related to the points of the accuser.


I was not seeking to imply that there were not heavily armed radical left groups out there, just that you never really hear too much about such a group being associated with a powerful anti-government message or espousing such views after a major incident.

Obviously, I do not support the use of senseless violence perpetrated by these groups regardless of the means used to carry out said violence.
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Postby gyre » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:44 am

What point of view in urban gangs do you see as left wing?
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:26 pm

1durphul wrote:
gyre wrote:San Francisco = irrelevant

42, if correct, how is that a change?
What about the huge surge in use of knives by criminals?

There is call for a ban on knives and clubs now.


I was just using San Francisco as a placeholder for all cities with aprox 1 million people.

To be honest, I'd rather be stabbed than shot. Given the choice between a criminal who wants my wallet who has a knife, or one with a gun, I'll take the one with the knife and hope he doesn't slash anything I need.


1durphul

Your posts, while nice and chock full of the "unfairness" that the event isn't how you'd like it, it also chock full o' opinions that have nothing to do with reality.

If yer gonna comment on gun stats, you need to do more research. See earlier posts on continuum of force and go from there into stats. You'll understand better why police are equipped the way they are, and are there in such numbers, and why they patrol instead of "wait to be called" like in some Keystone Kops movie of old. You'll also begin to understand that the firearm is the ultimate leveler of force; it is the piece of equipment that ensures that you, as the enforcer, has the ultimate power, should things escalate.

Police are not "afraid...so they have guns and vests..." Police (and many of the rest of us) simply consider them as tools, much like a construction worker would. We understand they need to be exercised with care and in specific situations.

It has nothing to do with whether your populace is armed, etc. It has to do with likely challenges faced while policing that population. And if you think there isn't any violence in BRC, then you REALLY need to do more research.

Let's think of this from the other point of view, shall we?

So, let's just say you are Mr. Small-Time criminal. You know, your average petty crap...burglary, theft, some assault...maybe a little mischief. Then you read this nifty newpaper article about this nifty event. It's filled with rich Bay area folks....and all their nifty toys. They're a really trusting bunch, and have lots of drugs, alcohol, electronics and heck, some fine wimmens to boot.

Well , hell...the cops don't even patrol the thing! They're offsite in some compound! Man, it'll tke them 20 minutes to even get there when I do somethin' !

How about you Billy Bob...you in to this here Burning Mans?

How do you like THAT picture?

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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:08 pm

unjonharley wrote:

Friend of mine (older lady) was home alone, deadbolt locked.. The narrow window next to that door was smash and a hand and arm was reaching for the deadbolt. She got her son pistol and yelled: I have a gun and will shoot you. That did not stop the robber.. He did not know she was trying to pull the triger.. She moved into his line of sight.. He left.. Lucky bastard. It was a doubble action and she didn't know it had to be cocked first.


Ya meant, single-action, right?
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:16 pm

swampdog wrote:Sorry to obsess on .50 cal machine guns, but it represents a dividing line for me. I think they should definitely not be made readily available. Should citizens be able to openly buy a .50 cal WITHOUT engaging a black market/hard core criminals? If yes, is there a place where you draw the line on what a citizen should be able to freely purchase? If you eliminate the black market, then I assume the prices would drop radically.

re: home violence, I have plenty of confidence of people in my home, but not necessarily the home down the street.

re: national defense, your example doesn't wash - Mexico's iron man fascist would still need to either have control of or be able to defeat the US military.

I am clearly a suburban guy who has never lived in a dangerous neighborhood. I have never seen a gun drawn with intent to use (or threaten). This no doubt colors my beliefs.


Swampdog

Not going to weigh in on the .50 cal argument either...

But, wanted to comment on the rest above. One thing you aren't taking into account is how little it takes for human nature to change.

I live in So. Cal....and lemme tell you, when the riots happened in Los Angeles post Rodney King, it took out entire swaths of the industrial sections...the working people of the city took it in the shorts. About 3 weeks after that I was in a minor car accident and had my car towed to an auto shop that did the insurance work nearby.

Lots of shops were burned and broken across teh street, next door, etc. I asked the guy writing me up (also the owner) what happened. He told me that the riots came down the street. I asked him why his shop got skipped. He said:

"This is not just my shop. Those are my brothers working there. We are from Lebanon and have worked hard to build our lives here. This shop supports 4 families...wives, children. So we moved here for two weeks, sleeping on sleeping bags there in the bay. We worked rotating shifts where two of us were up on those ladders (the entire thing was surrounded by about 10' cinder block wall) with guns."

"Guns?"

"Yes, noisy old AK's we've had for years. No one wanted near our shop then and just kept moving."

And it did. This didn't last very long. And it didn't affect many of the people of LA directly. But to this family, it would have meant disaster to lose the business.

Human nature can/will change very quickly, especially when creature comforts we take for granted are taken away. Those that can apply force to gain what they want, often will. At times like those, a nice deterrent can mean all the difference.

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Postby ygmir » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:45 pm

" and, with one mighty swing, Mr. LOR hits Mr. Nail, right on the head"
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