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Roleplayers Seek Removal of Nerf Gun Ban 547

An anonymous reader writes "LARP fans at Bowling Green State University may have to contend with a crippled game of Humans vs. Zombies after the University banned Nerf guns on campus. In the live-action game, players are either humans or zombies. The goal of the game is to change all the humans into zombies, or for the humans to evade capture by zombies for a certain amount of time. To defend themselves against zombies, humans may use Nerf guns. Players (most likely the human ones) are petitioning the University to lift the ban. The game had troubles back in 2006, when participating students were arrested. That issue has since been cleared up."
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Roleplayers Seek Removal of Nerf Gun Ban

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  • Stupid ban (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ameyer17 ( 935373 ) <> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:38AM (#22878330) Homepage
    So they're using nerf guns. What's the big deal. Even if an innocent bystander gets caught in the crossfire, no big deal. Shouldn't they have better things to do?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:41AM (#22878354)
    I mean seriously, those are toys, they are specifically designed in a way that tries to eliminate every possibility of injury.
  • by NewbieProgrammerMan ( 558327 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:41AM (#22878366)
    ...when they're afraid of people getting hurt with a FREAKING *NERF* GUN!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:51AM (#22878430)
    Have you BEEN to a college lately? I work in one. Take the fact that you can get all the way to college on junior high level knowledge and social skills, add the hormones of large groups of 18+ year olds who just moved out of home, then introduce alcohol and drugs to the equation.
    I'd personally say middle school was MORE mature.
  • by Beer_Smurf ( 700116 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:54AM (#22878456) Homepage
    If you look at the pics from the original articles, they are brightly colored, oddly shaped and very obviously toys.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:56AM (#22878460)
    The same thing that motivates gun control in general: totemism.
  • by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:07AM (#22878524) Journal
    all of this trouble because:

    The students were issued citations for disorderly conduct, according to Chief Jim Wiegand of the University police. Weigand said the students created a panic situation by carrying what appeared to be firearms on campus. "We do not allow weapons or facsimiles of weapons on campus," he said.
    then I suppose they don't allow pencils or pens on campus because they resemble dangerous things like ice picks and no silverware of any kind because they resemble pitchforks and gutting knives. there's trying to prevent confusion of whether something is a deadly weapon or not and then there's bureaucratic stupidity. guess which this one is.
  • WTF? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RoboRay ( 735839 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:11AM (#22878542)
    Someone call the NRA.
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:13AM (#22878548)
    pretty sure that nerf guns don't kill people. And you can argue all you want about people being the ones who kill people.. a person without a weapon is far less likely to splatter brains everywhere within seconds of deciding to hurt someone.
  • by Skeetskeetskeet ( 906997 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:19AM (#22878590)
    Hanging up neon cartoon characters flipping people the bird in Boston????
  • by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:32AM (#22878638)
    I'd have sued the crazy ass cop just for saying that. He could have drawn his weapon if they gun replicas and not obvious... But 2seconds from shooting you BEFORE even confronting you on it thats messed up. Endangerment to the people, have his gun revoked. (I say this being close to a number of cops who average drawing their weapons once per 25~30years ... but i'm in Canada so)
  • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:45AM (#22878724) Homepage
    Only in America do you infringe upon the rights of silly string owners, not the gun owners.

    I mean seriously .. that is a textbook example of why constitutionally granting the right for people to own firearms is a retarded idea. Responsible gun owners have every right to be pissed when somebody abuses the right to own a gun, but it bothers me how they compare it to other rights idiots might have that don't result in insta-kills.

    People ask why america is being pussified - its simple. The right for any emotionally unstable dude to own guns is so sacrosanct that if its an institution that can't be attacked, the only politically viable action is to ban the silly string or the nerf gun. Ban the gun or the knife or the sword .. omgwtfbbq ensues.
  • by Original Replica ( 908688 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:46AM (#22878728) Journal
    when a cop pulled up, lights flashing, and informed my friend he was about two second away from being shot before the cop realized it was a water gun.

    That's just a sign that cops are trigger happy. He should have been about two seconds away from a cop yelling "This is the Police! Drop Your Weapon!". Seriously, when the biggest danger of using a toy isn't the toy itself but the possibility of being shot by the cops, is it the toy that is a danger or the cops?
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:52AM (#22878758)
    ...a person without a weapon is far less likely to splatter brains everywhere within seconds of deciding to hurt someone.

    What's a weapon? You can splatter someone's brains everywhere in seconds with almost anything.
  • by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:00AM (#22878798)
    Playing with nerf guns seems like a pretty awesome alternative to the rather boring "get as many neurons as possible to fire in my pleasure center over the course of 4 years".
  • by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:08AM (#22878834)
    Didn't you hear? Adulthood has been moved up to 41.
  • by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:08AM (#22879032)

    I mean seriously .. that is a textbook example of why constitutionally granting the right for people to own firearms is a retarded idea.
    No. This is a textbook example of the fact that people are retards. The constitutional right to own a gun is rooted in the idea that it's harder for the government to oppress an armed populace than an unarmed one. The fact that some people abuse that right doesn't make it bad.

    Responsible gun owners have every right to be pissed when somebody abuses the right to own a gun, but it bothers me how they compare it to other rights idiots might have that don't result in insta-kills.
    Again, rights don't stop being rights just because they can be misused. I can use my right to free speech to ruin another person's career, but that doesn't mean free speech is bad. Similarly, I can use my right to drive on the highway (conferred upon me by my driver's license) to run down a pedestrian, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't give a driver's license to anyone.
  • Help me out here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Techman83 ( 949264 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:34AM (#22879128)

    While in the meeting, the group was told the game was in danger of being canceled due to the number of calls the University received last semester from concerned parents.
    Can I pose a question, now in Australia University mean mostly people who have finished Secondary School and are generally 18 and over. Why the hell are parents calling and complaining, aren't we supposed to be merging into an adult and independent life at this point in time???

    So is my thinking wrong?? Either way it sounds like a damn fun game and I sometimes feel cheated by not going to Uni (Traineeship, experience and courses make up my resume, uni would have been a waste as far as employability goes, but it sounds like a shit load of fun!)
  • by Werthless5 ( 1116649 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:50AM (#22879190)

    You can't possibly mistake a nerf gun for a real gun. Real guns don't have giant nerf darts sticking out of them! Nerf guns look RIDICULOUS, they're brightly colored and shoot big pieces of foam! You'd have to be an idiot to not see the difference! LOOK OUT, THAT PIECE OF FOAM MIGHT HIT YOU IN THE EYE IF THE WIND IS JUST RIGHT AND IF YOU STAND REALLY STILL!

    I could see an especially lame campus banning water pistols or toy pistols (on the assumption that they look too real perhaps). Yes, it is pretty crazy, but I could see a bunch of soccer moms getting together and complaining about it. Sure, keep the water pistols out of the elementary schools, whatever. But there can't possibly be ANY justification for banning nerf guns. NONE

    I recall a student at the U of Arizona was expelled for sharpening some chop sticks and sticking them to his wall in the honors dorm. THEY'RE CHOP STICKS, and he got EXPELLED. Who the hell arbitrated that case?! "Well you're an honors student spending your first year of college in the dorm. You sharpened some chop sticks and used fun tak to stick them to the wall. Seems like a pretty open and shut case to me, EXPLUSION!" Later that night, that administrator went home and told his wife about it, and that's when she realized that she's married to a completely moron and got a divorce. Okay, so I made that last part up, but it's still stupid.

    The people who need or enforce a nerf gun ban are insane. What they need is a mental institution. You bring that case before any shrink and they'll recommend a long stay at a mental health clinic. Even a 10 year-old could correctly diagnosis these people as NUTS.
  • Re:Stupid ban (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:03AM (#22879240)
    Nerf guns don't kill people... except in rare and EXTREME bludgeoning cases.
  • Oh come on.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by raehl ( 609729 ) <raehl311&yahoo,com> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:33AM (#22879336) Homepage
    hey, they're up and running around. they're doing their part to fight the looming obesity crisis, in addition to training to combat the looming undead crisis.

    They're running from ZOMBIES! The slowest of the undead by far. And they're even downing the zombies with guns! If this was REALLY fitness-oriented, they'd instead be taking on something a little faster, like vampires. Or they at least could be felling the zombies with traditional anti-zombie weapons like chain saws instead of projectile weapons.

    This is clearly set up to minimize physical effort, not promote it.
  • by uvajed_ekil ( 914487 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:45AM (#22879386)
    I'm pretty sure that at some recent point in American history, being hit with fists has also led to getting shot. So to be consistent, we need to ban fists, too. Confiscate all hands, I say. Screw confiscating the arms that enable these crimes.
  • by ElBeano ( 570883 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @05:48AM (#22879638)

    "If you're designing a government with the fundamental idea that all governments are corrupt, then you've failed before you've even begun."

    Ok.... now give me an example of any government in the history of the world that wasn't corrupt.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jtev ( 133871 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @07:49AM (#22880100) Journal
    Consider that most universities consider themselves to be the social, as well as educational center of their students lives. Consider that many universities have roleplaying groups. Consider that many students are captive in the university, due to freshman housing requirements or visa requirements. Consider that this is a state school, paid for by public moneys. All of a sudden this gets to be a little less cut and dried. We're talking about groups of consenting adults having a little bit of fun and blowing off some steam, and even if it is a little odd, it's the sort of thing university students do, and given earlier posts in this article, it's probably one of the safer activities one can do on campus.
  • by ajcham ( 1179959 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @07:53AM (#22880106)

    If you're designing a government with the fundamental idea that all governments are corrupt, then you've failed before you've even begun.

    I'll admit my knowledge of US history is sparse, but I suspect the idea wasn't that all government's are corrupt, rather all governments are corruptible.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alexgieg ( 948359 ) <> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @08:06AM (#22880164) Homepage

    Even with your angry 6 year old who somehow managed to unlock his dad's (otherwise perfectly safe) gun cabinet and stick a clip into a pistol.
    Children play with whatever is new and strange. The safest thing a gun-carrying father of a 6 year old can do is thus to make it absolutely sure said gun isn't something new and strange. From the very moment his child is able to not go around swallowing small objects, he should sit down with him and start presenting him the gun. Unmount it, clean it, teach the child to do both things, teach him to shot cans, show him what happens to a chicken when it's shot (a good opportunity to teach the children what is that "death" thing she had heard about, plus why she shouldn't play with her food), and so on and so forth. This way, even if it happens that the child comes into contact with a weapon unsupervised, she will know how to behave and, most important, to never, ever, point it to another person or animal, no matter what.

    Preventing a child from doing harm by blocking his access to something dangerous surely works. But it's just addressing the symptoms, not the actual problem. What is it? Simply put, the lack of "responsibility development" in the child. Some 150 years ago a 13 years old managed to be more mature than the typical 20 years old of today. The reason for that is that modern day parents have the strongly misplaced desire of shielding their children from maturity, i.e., of shielding them from the "nasty things" in the world, rather than allowing and providing for their growth at their actual potential.

    Stop holding them back, start pushing them towards what they can achieve, and these accidents simply won't happen. Or, rather, if they do, they'll be actual accidents, and not the necessary outcome of keeping children clueless just for the sake of it.
  • by cvd6262 ( 180823 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @08:25AM (#22880314)
    As a professor, I can tell you that USian parents hover over their kids long after high school. It may stem from an unhealthy overprotectiveness, or it might be that they are simply protecting their investment: Most college students receive thousands of dollars from their parents each year. Also, if the kids drop out, the parents will feel obligated to house and feed them until they get back on their feet.

    So, yes, as screwed up as it is, parents call teachers and administrators (even deans) to voice their concerns. And it's not just for safety issues. My department chair routinely gets calls from parents whose children did poorly in a class, or were not accepted into their major of choice, etc.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oyenstikker ( 536040 ) <<gro.enrybs> <ta> <todhsals>> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @08:50AM (#22880480) Homepage Journal
    Parent teaches 6 year old child about guns and gun safety. 6 year old shoots somebody. Parent is charged.

    Parent hides gun in the house and tells 6 year old child nothing about it. 6 year old shoots somebody. Parent is not charged.

    There is something very wrong here. Maybe we shouldn't teach our children anything, just put them in a padded room for 18 years. Then nothing can be blamed on us.
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aunticrist ( 952359 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @09:03AM (#22880592)
    Please. I was shown how to clean, take apart, reassemble, load and fire rifles and other firearms when I was seven. My family never owned a gun locker and I knew where both the firearms and the ammo were growing up. I was also taught gun safety and basic common sense. All of this, and somehow i managed not to go out and shoot someone at a young age. Imagine that.
  • what a charming, naive notion that a bunch of whack jobs with pop-guns would be able to stand up against the might of the best funded military in the world :)
    It's worked for the Iraqis.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Torvaun ( 1040898 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @09:22AM (#22880756)
    I'm not that good at bow hunting. Or would you have me get rid of the sticks with razor sharp broadheads on the end too?

    How about people with swords? This is a geek site, there's probably a bunch of us. Those are dangerous weapons too. Luckily, your kid is probably only going to kill himself mishandling those.

    A gun does not have to be a danger to people around it, it just needs to be respected as much as we teach kids to respect cars by looking both ways. If you have guns, teach your kids about them, show them how to use them safely, and store them securely (trigger locks, gun safes, ammo and gun kept in separate locations). Just remember that education is an important part of that, because it's entirely possible for the kid to run into guns somewhere else, and you don't want that to be the first time.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bcattwoo ( 737354 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @09:26AM (#22880800)
    In a "perfect world" where everybody hit their intended target on the first shot every time, your statement would be true. However, you are aware that people miss on occasion, right? And that those bullets can travel a LONG ways? I can't recall ever hearing about someone being killed be a "stray knife".

    Note: I am not advocating for gun control. But trying to say that knives or bats can cause the same level of mayhem is silly.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RonTheHurler ( 933160 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @09:29AM (#22880836)
    Hear hear!

    I remember vividly when I was 5 years old and my parents took me out and taught me to shoot a pistol. It scared the crap out of me! But, I learned to do it and for my whole life (and of my siblings) there have been loaded guns in nightstand drawers and other places. We all knew where they were. We also knew WHAT they were.

    Ok, so what. Well, when I was about 8 years old, playing (unsupervised) at a friend's house, he snuck into his parent's room and brought out a handgun for us to play with. I could tell he didn't even know how to hold it. I forget the exact details of what happened next, but I convinced him to put it away and we left the house until a grown-up came home. I'm pretty sure I averted a probable catastrophe that day - all because my parents had taught me how to shoot.

    Put away your gut reactions and look at the statistics. Boats are more likely to kill your kids than handguns are. Swimming pools are MUCH more likely to kill a neighborhood kid than a loaded, unlocked handgun in the same house. You wouldn't have a pool in the backyard and not teach your kids how to swim, would you?

    I forget the quote- something about freedom and limiting the freedoms of all of us based on the failings of the least of us. It's a good quote if someone can find it.

    And, just in case you're wondering, I do not own any handguns or other guns. My kids DO play with toy guns (as do I, with the kids).
    Why don't I own a (real) gun? Because I don't like cleaning them mostly. I'd have one if I had a friend who enjoyed target shooting, but I don't (at least not in this state).

    But I do LIKE it that some of my neighbors have handguns in their houses, for the same reason that lo-jack works to reduce all the car thefts in a city. If thieves don't know which house has it, they have to assume there's a risk that any house could have it, and that's a significant deterrent. Again with the statistics, look at the violent crime rates in states with tight gun controls, vs. those with liberal gun ownership. No significant difference.

    Buy a toy gun for your kids at []
    Or get a catapult at []
    And teach them the science of ballistic motion while you're at it.
    We need more people with an understanding of basic physics.

  • by Phisbut ( 761268 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @09:39AM (#22880960)

    My little cousin got a nerf bow at a birthday, first thing his big brother did when he got his hands on it was to stick a pointy toothpick in the foam arrow and to shoot at balloons next to the parents chatting in a corner.

    If a ban of NERF guns can be rationalized by rationalized by some kid putting toothpicks in foam arrows, then a ban on real guns can be rationalized by criminals using them to kill people.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bkr1_2k ( 237627 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @10:00AM (#22881218)
    Now? We've been that way for the last generation at least. It started with not letting children "fail" and given trophies to all teams/participants because we didn't want to ruin anyone's self esteem. We've just slowly graduated to the extreme of not letting adults play with children's toys because it might frighten others.

    There will always be stupid people. We need to put a stop to letting them run everything.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lostokie ( 1229804 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @10:13AM (#22881374)
    Gun control only keeps guns out of the "right hands". "Wrong hands" will find access to guns, regardless of the law.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zehaeva ( 1136559 ) <zehaeva+slashdot&gmail,com> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @10:16AM (#22881416)
    AFAIK Texas has gun carry laws, and have a lower incidence of gun related crime compared to other states with far stricter gun control laws. you are less likely to pull a gun on someone to mug them when theres a good chance the person your point the gun at has a gun him/herself.

    imagine how far that kid at Virgina Tech would have gone if they had the same portion of the population carrying a gun as Texas.
  • by gabrielex ( 664157 ) <> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @10:26AM (#22881544) Homepage Journal
    This is so retarded!!!
    Why in USA so many people own guns?
    They're not toys and they're totally UNNEEDED!!!
    And even worse, parents letting their kids play with guns,
    surveilled or not, there's no safe gun, beside MAYBE toy ones.
    A gun should be considered always as loaded even when it's not.
    Have you ever thought about the reason why USA is the country with
    more killings compared to ALL the other countries in the world?
    Easy answer...guns are so common and so easy to retrieve!
    Guns should be owned only by police and military forces and
    in very special cases by people who really need em, that have
    a very well certified ability to use em, with certified mental stability tests
    and that are risking their life everyday (to justify the owning of a gun).

    In all the other cases (90% IMHO) guns and any other kind of firearm should
    not be owned by the common people: MORE GUNS = MORE DEATHS, it's a matter of a fact.

    Now just think of it.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @10:29AM (#22881574) Homepage Journal
    "The safest thing a gun-carrying father of a 6 year old can do is thus to make it absolutely sure said gun isn't something new and strange."
    No the safest thing is to not carry a gun. Gun owners are far more likely to die from a gun shot than none gun owners. That is a statistical fact. Of course that may or may not apply to the individual.
    If you must own a gun then yes I think teaching your child gun safety is a positive thing. But even if you do teach your child gun safety locking the guns in a gun safe is STILL a very very very good idea. Even if your child is the most responsible person in the world that doesn't mean his friends will be.
    As for shielding your children? I am actually all for it. I think too many parents spend to much time pushing children into the adult world and or not enough time protecting their childhood. I think it would be great if every child thought that they lived in a safe comfortable world where they would be protected and nurtured.
    Now when we are talking about adolecnets and teens... Yea all too often they are being given all the "rights" of adults with out the responsibilities.
  • "If you're designing a government with the fundamental idea that all governments are corrupt, then you've failed before you've even begun."

    Patently false. All humans are corruptible, if you don't believe that then you are a naive fool. All governments are run by humans. If you don't design your government around the fundamental idea that governments are corrupt then it will become corrupt and you'll have nothing you can do about it. Want some non-US examples? Just look at any modern European government (or at least most of them). Why do you think Monarchy no longer rules? (I know it still exists, but there's always a parliament with more power, at least to the best of my knowledge). The Magna Carta was designed as an answer to the corruption of a government which had been created with the idea that a non-corrupt government could work. The world is very lucky that it worked, because there was no built in recourse that could be used.

    Power corrupts. If you don't believe that then you haven't experienced it. Any group with power needs to have built in checks on that power to prevent corruption from having an impact. This isn't a US only thing, most modern governments are designed in such a way. In fact the US took part of it from Britain's government and another part from a statement by a British historian. There are many reasons why the US is strange, holding that government may become corrupt and that checks on its power are needed is not one of them.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DisKurzion ( 662299 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @10:49AM (#22881818)
    Gonna give up some karma for this one...

    Ever wondered why educated people are far less likely to have a gun in the house?
    Because you're a bunch of cowards who watch the news and hear the continual propaganda that "OMG GUNS KILL MILLIONS WEEKLY!!111."

    Truly educated people would realize that the problem isn't guns, it is crime. The two are not co-related, as the UK is learning the hard way.

    UK bans guns, crime goes up.
    The problem in the US is gang violence. Eliminate that (ending drug prohibition would help), and you'll see a drastic drop in crime, not just "gun violence." []
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JCSoRocks ( 1142053 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @10:49AM (#22881824)
    Seriously. If I were in Texas and I saw some jackass walking through a courtyard shooting people and I was in a classroom with an open window... it'd be all of a few seconds before he was lying on the cement regretting his decision to be such a tool.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @10:53AM (#22881866) Homepage
    The difference is that a 13 year old, 150 years ago, was prepared to be a parent. Why couldn't they be now? I'm not advocating that it's a good idea, but at least by that age, they should know how to cook, and keep up a house, as well as look after kids. When I went to university, there was a lot of people there who had never done laundry, never cooked, never washed dishes, and didn't know how to look after themselves. Cars are dangerous also, we shouldn't put our six year olds behind the wheel of a full size car, but I see no problem in letting them drive something they can more safely control, like go karts, and those little electric vehicles. The worst drivers are the 16 year olds who never drove any kind of vehicle before they got their learner's permit.
  • by sherriw ( 794536 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @11:15AM (#22882112)
    Someone show me a real world weapon that looks like those nerf guns? How in the hell are they considered a facsimile?
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tikal2k ( 1233052 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @11:47AM (#22882522)
    The ban isn't because the Nerf guns look like fluorescent SuperSoakers, it's because some of them are fairly accurate replicas of actual guns.

    Think of the following conditions:
    1. You're in a university classroom
    2. Somebody walks in brandishing what looks like a small firearm
    3. You have milliseconds to react
    4. ???

    For people not directly involved in the game, this scenario will, at best, be an unpleasant distraction from academics.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by e4g4 ( 533831 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:43PM (#22883178)

    The problem in the US is gang violence. Eliminate that (ending drug prohibition would help), and you'll see a drastic drop in crime, not just "gun violence."
    Very true - what so many people fail to realize is that gangs are economic entities more than anything else. Take away their primary source of income (drugs, sold for a tremendous profit due to the artificially inflated price) and the gangs will crumble, because they will no longer be able to support their members.
  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:29PM (#22883708) Homepage Journal
    Sorry to say but banning guns in a country like Brazil (or Mexico) is futile since many levels of the government and the police are infiltrated with criminals of one kind or another.

    The ban is a good thing, the ban is not creating a violent situation, the general state of Latinamerican societies makes impossible to enforce anything effectively.

    In places like the UK (or Australia) where the rule of law applies, the ban is effective and the places are immensely safer than either the US, Brazil or parts of Mexico.
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:08PM (#22884242)
    It's worked for the Iraqis.

    It works only when Gandhian non-violence works - which is to say it works only when your opponent gives a damn about the body count.

    There are "Killing Fields" throughout history.

    When the Romans decided they wanted to be done with Carthage they made quite a through job of it.

  • Re:Not really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:11PM (#22885778) Homepage Journal
    Here is what most people don't grok about the 2nd Amendment:

    It is NOT intended so that We the People can defend ourselves against an invader (tho that could be a useful side consequence).

    It is intended so that if necessary, we can defend ourselves against OUR OWN GOVERNMENT, if necessary by staging an armed revolt.

    Remember that these people had just come out of a war for independence from an abusive gov't, and the whole concept was still fresh in their minds.

    Apparently Americans today have entirely forgotten it... yet look at all the whining about gov't abuses (which objectively, are at presently rather worse than the British Crown's abuses on the Colonies).

  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @06:13PM (#22887202) Homepage
    "Why people in the USA own guns, and why they're needed!"

    - We believe in Equality. A gun gives a 4'5" petite woman an even chance against a 6'4" 285lb male armed with a knife.

    - Because calling 911 often does not receive a timely enough response to keep you safe.

    - Because America was born out of revolution. Without our guns we'd have continued being oppressed by the British, as would much of the world.


    "A gun should be considered always as loaded even when it's not."

    Yes it should...


    "Have you ever thought about the reason why USA is the country with
    more killings compared to ALL the other countries in the world?"

    Yes, I have...and it has nothing to do with guns. In fact, the states in the USA with the most stringent gun laws have the highest murder rates. Those with the most relaxed gun laws have the lowest.

    The reason is culture and a lack of responsibility. As well as oppression in some cases.


    "Guns should be owned only by police and military forces"

    So Americans can be victimized by their government as happens in China, Sudan, Soviet Union, Tibet and numerous other countries where police and military are the only ones armed.


    "In all the other cases (90% IMHO) guns and any other kind of firearm should
    not be owned by the common people: "

    You can try to take my gun'll end up wishing you had one if you try. Oh, and look at Australia and Great Britain. Two nations with stringent gun laws and confiscation. G.B. has major increase in stabbing deaths. Australia has increased crime in the rural areas.


    "MORE GUNS = MORE DEATHS, it's a matter of a fact."

    Actually, it's not. In fact, you can compare two Virginia college shootings. One ended with dozens dead the other did not. Why? Because two students had weapons and subdued the perpetrators.


    "All countries with strict gun controls are safer than the US (at least when it comes to diying of a gun related injury)."

    Really, Mexico = strict gun laws. Also equals far more violence with or without guns than the U.S.


    "In the US the gun lobby has managed to convince a majority that having a gun is a right."

    Any right is a duty. Sadly, we've grown into a society that wants "priveledges" without the prerequisite responsibility. And that is where the true problem lies - and not in a handgun.

    However, the U.S. is founded upon a document that expresses certain rights. Not as granted by the document, but merely recognized as inherent.

    Why "duties" are not expressed in said document? Because government is quite adept at passing laws and declaring the duties and limitations of it's citizens.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aunticrist ( 952359 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @08:16PM (#22888506)
    Right. Just like all of those kids out there that are shooting up their neighborhoods because they are in the home with a gun owner. Its a veritable war zone out there. Quick. Hide.
  • Re:Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @11:45PM (#22889944)
    I replied to this further down as response but I just spent two hours researching this and sifting through source data so i'm going to post this higher.

    I really hate the intellectual dishonesty on both sides of this issue.

    Here in Australia guns were effectivly banned a decade ago...we have the harshest gun laws in the western world.

    Homicide rates are declining at exactly the same rate as they were before laws were enacted... [] [],0.jpg [] []

    Pro and anti gun groups estimated between 2-7 million guns in the country before the ban.

    ~700,000 guns were handed in.

    If you dont respect the law, why would you follow that particular one?

    The vast vast majority of guncrime here is, and always was, suicide.

    Last year alone...

    # Accident 40
    # Suicide 193
    # Homicide 54
    # Legal etc. 3

    The Australian Bureau of statistics says that suicide by firearm has halved! Rejoice!

    Oops suicide by hanging has now doubled...!OpenElement&FieldElemFormat=gif [] []

    Oh Well, No matter! As long as a gun wasn't involved then that's not our problem.

    On the other hand mass shootings have become non-existant.

    One side says gun deaths have gone down, yay! Except those people are still dying...they're just hanging themselves or being bludgeoned or stabbed to death.

    The other side says that it makes no difference, that gun crime will continue as criminals keep their guns. Yes, this is true. On the other hand your average mass shooter doesn't have a criminal mindset or connections, and wouldn't know where to get a gun if they wanted one.

    So from our real world data...gun bans reduce mass shootings, no doubt. They have no effect on *general* homicide or suicide rates.

    Then again in this country guns have never been anywhere near the top of the list of ways to kill someone. Knives and hands and feet hold that priviledge. 33% for knives, 18% for hands and 14% for guns (down a whopping 1% since the new gun laws a decade ago).

    You've got more chance of being stabbed or bashed to death outside the bar than being shot, it's always been this way. [] []

    Half a billion dollars to reduce the homicide by firearm rate by 1%
    No mass shootings for a decade.
    Private citizens are now left merciless.
    There is still probably over a million guns in the country.

    Don't be either side.
  • by Mr2001 ( 90979 ) on Friday March 28, 2008 @12:29AM (#22890196) Homepage Journal

    Sure. So criminals bring guns in from elsewhere, but the LAW-ABIDING citizens of Wash.D.C. are defenseless, thus easy targets.
    Right, but that's not really an argument against gun control in general. It just means you can't expect to have a gun-free zone right next door to a gun shop.

    Dallas has as much density and poverty, yet a lower gun crimes rate. Dallas allows concealed carry. Hmm....
    The UK also has a lower gun crimes rate, and guns are banned there. Hmm indeed!

    My gun is why I am here typing this today, and not pushing up daisies.
    I'm sure that'll come as a great comfort to the families of all the people who are pushing up daisies because of guns.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_