Be sure to vote, I am curious where most atheists stand on this issue.

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neither. i was sarcastically referring to the 20 years of training military and police in firearms. as well as pointing out sophie's last comment about what police officers in the U.S. are obligated to do, to "protect and serve" is not one of them. thats a post riot marketing slogan.

The poor marksmanship of many people who are required to be professionally armed goes to poor motivation, I think, but I get what you're saying.

As I asked Sophie, though - if the police do not have an obligation to protect the citizenry, what ARE they obligated to do?

in short? arrest people for crimes, or detain them if they have reasonable proof they committed one. this should not be confused with protecting you. in all the tv and movies this country has exported have you ever heard the phrase "anything you say can be used AGAINST you in the court of law". it is a literal explanation that nothing you say will be used FOR YOU in a court of law. hence arresting criminals or detaining suspected criminals DOES NOT translate to protecting the individual, any individual... if you decide to do any research, you should conclude that police for the most part here

a) not here to protect any individual citizen (warren v d.c.), and

b)  speaking to the police is of absolute no benefit without retained counsel.

sad as it may sound. sophie is right, you are on your own. if you ever have to defend yourself....in the u.s.....remember this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

I have always found that video to be very informative.

There is one occasion when you should consider talking to the police...when you have a need to protect evidence and identify witnesses, to prove your innocence. 

I've seen this video. I'm even planning to use it in court :)

Am I correct in assuming that you wish to have these handguns for self-defence in your home?

If so, while I respect your right to feel safe - especially in one's own home - you'd probably be poorly served by a gun in most home invasion scenarios. One of your kitchen knives would, in all likelihood, be a better choice.

Point: How does one tell the difference - at the gun shop - between a law-abiding citizen and a criminal?

Point: What obligations do the police have, if not to protect the citizenry?

That is kind of the point I am making.

Matt, this is all I can really say in response:

I have a friend (an actor) who worked with him recently (Cowboys & Aliens). Does that count? :p

Because a market place on a movie set is EXACTLY the same as your kitchen. :P

Yes, I get it - and I also think many guns are a fantastic melding of both form and function. Don't get me wrong - I like guns. They're sexy, loud and are a blast to shoot (no pun intended). I'm also in favour of responsible gun ownership.

However - when you are in a violent confrontation with someone within the confines of a house, blood pounding in your ears, adrenaline making your hands shake, plus the quite real possibility that it will be at night and thus poorly lit, a "fuck-off-big shiny" knife is a better force multiplier than a handgun. Years of training and practice can offset these factors, though, if you were willing to put in the time.

Matt, does "blood pounding in your ears, adrenaline making your hands shake" describe you?

"you'd probably be poorly served by a gun in most home invasion scenarios. One of your kitchen knives would, in all likelihood, be a better choice."


I am not a fan of bringing a knife to a gun fight. Or even suggesting a female should engage a male intruder in hand to hand combat. A firearm allows you to maintain your "comfort zone."

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