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Old December 28th, 2011, 01:54 PM
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Default New Years in NC

So did you see the story about the good folks of Durham and Winston-Salem in the great state of North Carolina? Seems that in those places there's a standing tradition that the thing to do at midnight on New Years is to take your trusty six-shooter and fire in the air like crazy to celebrate.

What a fine idea.

According to one story, New Years Day at the cop shops down there is just one "my house has been shot" and "my car has been shot" call after another. Last year, apparently a little boy was hit, prompting some school kids to design a billboard urging people not to fire their bloody guns in the air. TV and newspaper reports have emphasized (apparently to all the science deniers) that what goes up does indeed come down, and that gravity really, really works and isn't junk science.

Now I know that many of you are gun people who wouldn't be caught dead without them, so to speak. Even so, I doubt that there's one of you who thinks this form of "celebration" is appropriate.

So the question is, what penalty should be visited upon anyone caught engaging in this moronic behavior? Me, I think that whatever else is done, they should be prohibited for life from owning or carrying any form of firearm. By their actions they prove that they don't "get it," and it's not the kind of thing where second chances should be in order.

Yeah, yeah, I know. . .the bad guys will get guns anyway. But that doesn't mean that we should condone it among those who've proven they're a little light in the chromosome department.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 08:18 PM
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If you're worried about shooting in the air on New Year's Eve, you best stay out of a whole lot of cities and towns including Detroit, Chicago, New York (with the strongest gun control law in the country)...the list is endless. As a matter of fact I think it was last year, a woman in Queens New York was shot in the eye.

Actually, such behavior got it's start during Revolutionary times, it's no more a Southern tradition, than an Eastern, Northern or especially Western tradition. On one New Year's Eve I was in Poughkeepsie, New York in the early seventies, you'd have thought it was a city in a Middle Eastern country celebrating with Kalashnikovs.

The only reason Durham and Winston Salem got the attention was because of the billboards that 5th grade students designed as a safety message. It's no worse there than it is in many cities of all sizes all around the country.

It's a stupid, reprehensible practice that is not only illegal but should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I strongly agree with you AR that anyone who indulges in such behavior is lacking something in the gene pool, be they from the North, South, East or West.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 11:41 PM
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Todd--

I'll take your word for it that it's a commonplace, but I've got to tell you. . .

I don't think I've led a particularly sheltered life; I try to keep up with the news and I've travelled to all but four states in this country, lived in a few of them. . .and I've never in my life heard of this nonsense before. Never.

Never seen it, never heard it, never heard of it, never seen a story about it. But like I said, I'll take your word for it.

On the merits of prosecuting these idiots, my concern is that "the fullest extent of the law" might not be full enough. I have a gnawing feeling that any arrests made would be for "disturbing the peace" or some other such "traffic ticket" beef. They'd be free to have at it again next year (or whenever else the spirit moves them).
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Old December 29th, 2011, 12:47 AM
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It's funny, and timely, that just tonight on the news in Pheonix, they had the police warning that it was unwise, and illegal for celebratory random gunfire.

Here if you're going to fire a gun you'd best be aiming at someone, I guess
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Old December 29th, 2011, 06:45 AM
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Minneapolis has a gunshot detection system that is linked to surveillance cameras. The system will detect the unique sound of a gunshot, triangulate, and turn the camera towards the sound.

I don't know if celebratory gunplay is a regioinal thing, but it certainly isn't common here. It sure sounds like a "southern" thing.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 07:00 AM
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Exclamation It's Not Necessarily a Southern Thing

It happens here in Ohio also. Fortunately, we live in the country, so there's not a lot of gunfire from people celebrating.

A similar problem we have in our area......on Christmas Eve, there were several people arrested for OVI (used to be called DUI). There were two guys who between them had 18 OVI arrests. So, these upstanding citizens go to court, the judge fines them, suspends their driving priveleges for some period of time. Then the next week/month, they're arrested again.

Take away their driver's license? No problem. Doesn't prevent them from drinking and driving again. How about some stiffer penalties for these repeat offenders?
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Old December 29th, 2011, 07:02 AM
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For those who think it's merely a "southern thing" I suggest a little research. You might start with Detroit.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 07:24 AM
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Pootersdad,

That's a real problem here as well (here it's known as DUI (Driving while under the influence)). This despite an automatic 48 hours in jail first offense and an automatic 45 days or something such as that for the second offense. Yet the same people keep on driving even without licenses until they're again caught.

One of the better laws I've seen covering intoxicated driving is New York's. Just two convictions within a ten year period can be considered a felony and you can be sentenced to state prison for 1 1/2 to four years. It's not done in most cases but it's there and is always a possibility and everyone knows it.
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Old December 30th, 2011, 01:00 AM
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AR - this happens in Wisconsin too. Scares me as I work PM shift and I do work NY Eve and am supposed to get off at 11:00 pm, but if I am held over and am out on the street around midnight, I will be super vigilant and scared. And 4th of July is just as bad, if not worse.

Todd - Wisconsin has the most lenient drunk driving laws in the 50 states that I know of. Legal level here is 0.08, but even if you blow 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 times that if it is your first offense, IT IS A MISDEMEANOR!!!!!!!! That is an outrage!!!!
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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Lisa,

I so agree with you! I find it disturbing the law is so lax.
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Old December 31st, 2011, 09:13 AM
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For celebrations they should fire blanks.

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Old December 31st, 2011, 10:05 AM
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For celebrations they should fire blanks.

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Even better, they could take a few quiet moments to reflect on a difficult year just past, anticipate better times, and put their arms around someone (or several someones) they care about and who care about them. It's cheaper, it's legal, and it's much more productive.

That's my plan anyway. Guns will be the last thing on my mind.

Happy new year.
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Old December 31st, 2011, 02:52 PM
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Even better, they could take a few quiet moments to reflect on a difficult year just past, anticipate better times, and put their arms around someone (or several someones) they care about and who care about them. It's cheaper, it's legal, and it's much more productive.

That's my plan anyway. Guns will be the last thing on my mind.

Happy new year.
AR, why don't you just spend the night out on the streets in Anacostia.

Manuel, great suggestion. I wouldn't be surprised that most folks that do fire weapons on New Year's eve already do fire blanks.
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Old December 31st, 2011, 03:50 PM
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AR, why don't you just spend the night out on the streets in Anacostia.
Classy comeback, Mark. Happy new year to you too.
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Old December 31st, 2011, 04:41 PM
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Classy comeback, Mark. Happy new year to you too.
A little thin skinned are you? You don't mind criticizing others (especially white southerners) but can't accept a criticism.

Get a life...
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Old January 1st, 2012, 06:21 PM
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A little thin skinned are you? You don't mind criticizing others (especially white southerners) but can't accept a criticism.

Get a life...
By what standard does "why don't you spend the night out on the streets in Anacostia" qualify as "criticism?" Looks more like pure bile to me, a very different thing.

For the record, I'm against firing guns in the air by members of any race. I believe you are the first--and hopefully the last--to play the race card here. I have no idea why you do so, since I'm not aware that there's been any racial angle attributed to this activity. Geography? I assure you I would have reacted the same way to the story I cited no matter where it happened. From the posts of others, I understand that it happens all over the place. My dim view of it all doesn't change a bit.

And even though you "wouldn't be surprised" if most of these revelers do fire blanks, the evidence shows that enough of them fire live rounds to cause significant destruction of property with the attendant danger to life and limb. I'm not a firearms expert, but I believe blanks do not put holes in homes and cars and people. Bottom line: even if your random conjecture is correct, "most" isn't good enough.

Finally, thanks for the suggestion but I already have a life.
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Last edited by AR; January 1st, 2012 at 06:33 PM.
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Old January 1st, 2012, 10:14 PM
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Interestingly (and sadly) saw a report of a 12 yr old killed in Florida, while out watching fireworks, from a bullet police suspect was fired miles away.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 12:09 AM
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This confuses me.....
I have a licence for my dawg. I need a permit for my pool. I need to have a fence around my pool by law, and someone checks on it. I need to have a drivers license. Even bicicles need licences in some areas here.

But my neighbor won't get a licence for his gun?????????? It robs him of his FREEDOM??????? The authoritays have yet to confiscate my dawg, or my car. Explain to me how having to get a firearms licence (or just a registration) somehow robs you of the right to have a gun.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 02:31 AM
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AR: I have to agree with Marc....I consider what you said to be just as offensive. Also racist, not against a color of people but a region of people. Not everyone in the south is a gun totin', slack-jawed, high-browed, ridge runner.

ship2shore: pools, autos, dogs, etc. were not guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution by our forefathers. Big difference.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 07:24 AM
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Snoozeman,

And what, pray tell is wrong with a, "gun-totin, slack jawed, high browed, ridge runner?"
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
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Snoozeman,

And what, pray tell is wrong with a, "gun-totin, slack jawed, high browed, ridge runner?"
Not a thing...many of neighbors are exactly that.

BTW--I actually stole part of that from Molly Ivins. She was a very liberal NYT newspaper columnist, but she really lit into other liberals who were too quick to stereotype Southernerns and especially Texans. I could have added "nuckle draggin'"
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 12:37 PM
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Snoozeman,

You'uns got that right, Dude; difference is, it was never my knuckles what were draggin'.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 01:15 PM
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Snoozeman,

And what, pray tell is wrong with a, "gun-totin, slack jawed, high browed, ridge runner?"
In my opinion, not a single 'gosh-darn" thing!
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 01:46 PM
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In my opinion, not a single 'gosh-darn" thing!
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 02:05 PM
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This confuses me.....
I have a licence for my dawg. I need a permit for my pool. I need to have a fence around my pool by law, and someone checks on it. I need to have a drivers license. Even bicicles need licences in some areas here.

But my neighbor won't get a licence for his gun?????????? It robs him of his FREEDOM??????? The authoritays have yet to confiscate my dawg, or my car. Explain to me how having to get a firearms licence (or just a registration) somehow robs you of the right to have a gun.
Because having dogs and pools are not rights guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution. The right to keep and bear arms is a protected Individual right, 2 recent US Supreme Court decisions (DC v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago) confirmed that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right to keep a firearm and that we all have the natural right to self-defense. The US Court of Appeals held in Ezell v. Chicago that the 2nd Amendment is to afforded the same scrutiny and protections we afford the 1st Amendment rights of speech and religion.

We don't have to register any of our other rights with the government, nor are any of our other Constitutional rights subject to approval and license by the government. We acknowledge that certain safeguards, like background checks, should be implemented to keep guns from criminals and the mentally ill, but we should never allow the government to keep databases or registration lists of law-abiding citizens just because they exercise a basic Constitutional right.

When we turn over to the government the ability to license or register our rights, we give the government the ability to determine our rights and whether we can exercise them or not, which is exactly the definition of losing our freedom. In 2005, the NOPD at the direction of Ray Nagin illegally confiscated the firearms of many law-abiding New Orleans citizens using the Katrina disaster as an excuse to disarm the populace. It has happened!
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:20 PM
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Leave the constitution out of it. It does not apply here. In fact here, a firearms licence is exactly like a dog licence... the right to own "dangerous" property, and to be registered as owning such.
I was making more of a logical arguement than a legal one, in any case.

I also fail to see how having a list makes confiscation legal. You said Nagin acted "illegally". Jail him.

"When we turn over to the government the ability to license or register our rights, we give the government the ability to determine our rights and whether we can exercise them or not, which is exactly the definition of losing our freedom."

Aren't you kinda defining "laws"? Don't we want the goverment to enforce our laws? And if they abuse that right, we can vote them out, or impeach them, right? And if they break those laws, they should be jailed, right?

I dont accept the arguement that "registration" = police state. Thats a wee bit of a stretch.

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Old January 3rd, 2012, 04:23 PM
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Leave the constitution out of it. It does not apply here.
No, this is the United States, we don't leave the Constitution out of it. Until the 2nd Amendment has been repealed or the Constitution has been rendered null and void (neither of which is going to happen), it applies here!


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Aren't you kinda defining "laws"? Don't we want the goverment to enforce our laws? And if they abuse that right, we can vote them out, or impeach them, right? And if they break those laws, they should be jailed, right?
No, I'm defining a Constitutional Right. As much as we would like to think our elected officials will respect our rights and only pass laws that are Constitutional, we know from over 200 years of our Nation's history that elected officials don't always do that. That is why we have an independant Judiciary that keeps them in check, which is exactly what the Courts told Ray Nagin. None of our rights are up for a vote by the citizens or the politicians!

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I dont accept the arguement that "registration" = police state. Thats a wee bit of a stretch.
Is it really? Consider this:
  • In 1929, the Soviet Union established a private gun registration and confiscation program. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • In 1911, Turkey established a private gun registration and confiscation program. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • Germany established gun registration program for Jews in 1937, and confiscated all private guns in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated
  • Total Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: around 56 million.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 07:26 PM
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Many countries in the world manage to register firearms without becoming totalitarian regimes. Your arguement doesnt fly. I'm glad you think the USA's gun laws are the only thing keeping it from collapsing into a police state....
And aren't we talking about a constitutional AMENDMENT? Can you really CHANGE the constitution to make it better or reflect changing times? Imagine that.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 09:16 PM
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ship2shore

You are entirely correct. The US Constitution is of course amendable. One example is the Eighteenth Amendment. Now that really solved the problem, didn't it?

Maybe firearms will be removed by Amendment. But as my buddy the late Justin Wilson from Baton Rouge LA used to say, "I gaurrontee" it won't be during the lifetime of anyone over the age of say six and that's a bet I still wouldn't even consider.

Great Britain now outlaws firearms. But they've been anti-firearms for decades. When Hitler was threatening to invade Britain, they didn't have enough firearms for national defense. Freighter loads of firearms (long guns and handguns) were donated by ordinary Americans to help insure they'd have a means to defend themselves if necessary.

In essence, whether you're pro gun or anti-gun really doesn't make a lot of difference because it's gonna' be an awfully cold day in you-know-where before Americans will ever give up their guns.

Everyone wants to make new laws, etc. If you ever think we need still another law to prevent or control something then know this. Probably every time a new law is made, if you dig deep enough, you'll usually find it's redundant. Not only that, a new law or rule many times violates an old law or even worse, often it even goes far enough to violate the Constitution. An example: Many (probably most) condominiums have rules that state you cannot advertise your unit for sale by posting a sign in a window, etc. Yet very very few know that rule is blatantly unconstitutional. They can regulate the size of the sign, etc. (but it has to be reasonable) but they can't forbid it. Yet virtually everyone complies simply because they are ignorant of the law...and this includes a WHOLE LOT of Attorneys.

I once pulled an Assistant District Attorney in New York State aside at a use of deadly physical force class and quietly informed her that she was blatantly wrong on something of utmost importance. Of course she rejoined with, "I am an attorney!" To which I replied, "Then it would be a good idea if you knew the law." To prove my point I had highlighted the applicable portion of the Penal Law (Article 35) of the State of New York in her own lawbooks while she was out to lunch...actually three law books. What she had told a bunch of cops could have got someone needlessly killed.

When you are an instructor, you don't upstage an instructor in public. Yet she refused to correct herself. After she left I told the officers ... the rest of the story! I then contacted her DA (who was a very well known District Attorney in the Southern Tier of New York) and told him who I was and that somebody had best wake this young girl up. He was mortified to say the least. Did it bother me? Of course it did, especially since on a scale of one to ten she was at least a twelve.

BTW I was considered by law to be an "Expert Witness."
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 09:27 PM
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Am I to understand that the constitution give me the right to buy a machine gun and fire as many rounds in the air as feel like?

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