Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting

narf

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As with every rights issue you need to balance things. For example, I have the right to free speech while my neighbour has the right to not be insulted. Somewhere those two rights contradict each other, so somewhere you need to draw lines. In reality my free speech wins for mild insults, and my free speech loses for serious public insults.
The same thing applies here. Someone living in your house lives in your house, while someone occasionally visiting doesn't. As a result, the risk of someone living in your house taking your weapons is higher. Somewhere in there is a line to draw, a balance between the privilege of gun ownership and the right of everyone else to not be shot. Where that line should be is hard to tell.


As for gun ownership being a privilege, we'll check what privilege means: A special right granted to one group of people.
As far as I can tell, that special right is only granted to one group of people - US citizens that don't fall into categories such as children, felons, and so on. In my book that fits the definition of privilege. Others may disagree, but I may not care :dunno:
 

LeVeL

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Found this on another forum I'm on:



You?re sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door.

Half-awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers.

At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way.

With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your shotgun.


You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door and open it.


In the darkness, you make out two shadows.


One holds something that looks like a crowbar.


When the intruder brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire.


The blast knocks both thugs to the floor.


One writhes and screams while the second man crawls to the front door and lurches outside.


As you pick up the telephone to call police, you know you're in trouble.


In your country, most guns were outlawed years before, and the few that are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them useless..


Yours was never registered.


Police arrive and inform you that the second burglar has died.


They arrest you for First Degree Murder and Illegal Possession of a Firearm.


When you talk to your attorney, he tells you not to worry: authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter.


"What kind of sentence will I get?" you ask.


"Only ten-to-twelve years," he replies, as if that's nothing.


"Behave yourself, and you'll be out in seven."


The next day, the shooting is the lead story in the local newspaper.


Somehow, you're portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men you shot are represented as choirboys.


Their friends and relatives can't find an unkind word to say about them..


Buried deep down in the article, authorities acknowledge that both "victims" have been arrested numerous times.


But the next day's headline says it all: "Lovable Rogue Son Didn't Deserve to Die."


The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into Robin Hood-type pranksters..


As the days wear on, the story takes wings.


The national media picks it up, then the international media.


The surviving burglar has become a folk hero.


Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he'll probably win.


The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized several times in the past and that you've been critical of local police for their lack of effort in apprehending the suspects.


After the last break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time.


The District Attorney uses this to allege that you were lying in wait for the burglars.


A few months later, you go to trial.


The charges haven't been reduced, as your lawyer had so confidently predicted.


When you take the stand, your anger at the injustice of it all works against you..


Prosecutors paint a picture of you as a mean, vengeful man.


It doesn't take long for the jury to convict you of all charges.


The judge sentences you to life in prison.


This case really happened.


On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk , England , killed one burglar and wounded a second.


In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term..


How did it become a crime to defend one's own life in the once great British Empire ?


It started with the Pistols Act of 1903.


This seemingly reasonable law forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and established that handgun sales were to be made only to those who had a license. The Firearms Act of 1920 expanded licensing to include not only handguns but all firearms except shotguns..


Later laws passed in 1953 and 1967 outlawed the carrying of any weapon by private citizens and mandated the registration of all shotguns.



Momentum for total handgun confiscation began in earnest after the Hungerford mass shooting in 1987.Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed man with a Kalashnikov rifle, walked down the streets shooting everyone he saw.

When the smoke cleared, 17 people were dead.

The British public, already de-sensitized by eighty years of "gun control", demanded even tougher restrictions.
(The seizure of all privately owned handguns was the objective even though Ryan used a rifle.)

Nine years later, at Dunblane , Scotland , Thomas Hamilton used a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public school.

For many years, the media had portrayed all gun owners as mentally unstable, or worse, criminals. Now the press had a real kook with which to beat up law-abiding gun owners. Day after day, week after week, the media gave up all pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on all handguns. The Dunblane Inquiry, a few months later, sealed the fate of the
few sidearms still owned by private citizens.

During the years in which the British government incrementally took away most gun rights, the notion that a citizen had the right to armed self-defense came to be seen as vigilantism. Authorities refused to grant gun licenses to people who were threatened, claiming that self-defense was no longer considered a reason to own a gun.
Citizens who shot burglars or robbers or rapists were charged while the real criminals were released.


Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted as saying, "We cannot have people take the law into their own hands."

All of Martin's neighbors had been robbed numerous times, and several elderly people were severely injured in beatings by young thugs who had no fear of the consequences. Martin himself, a collector of antiques, had seen most of his collection trashed or stolen by burglars.

When the Dunblane Inquiry ended, citizens who owned handguns were given three months to turn them over to local authorities.

Being good British subjects, most people obeyed the law. The few who didn't were visited by police and threatened with ten-year prison sentences if they didn't comply.

Police later bragged that they'd taken nearly 200,000 handguns from private citizens.

How did the authorities know who had handguns? The guns had been registered and licensed. Kind of like cars. Sound familiar?


WAKE UP AMERICA ; THIS IS WHY OUR FOUNDING FATHERS PUT THE SECOND AMENDMENT IN OUR CONSTITUTION.

"...It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."
--Samuel Adams
 

MadCat360

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On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk , England , killed one burglar and wounded a second.


In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term..
Incorrect, it was reduced to manslaughter after appeal and he served 3 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Martin_(farmer)

The piece presents a lot of wrong information and makes it look like the entire world was against him. It wasn't.
 
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narf

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Shooting someone three times, two of those in the back while they're fleeing, is not self-defence. Once they're fleeing your life is not in immediate danger any more.
 

_HighVoltage_

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LeVeL, that story relies on nothing short of a slippery slope. No one has said that handguns will be banned completely (just that they need to be registered), or that you will lose your right to self-defense in your own home. Yes, there is a possibility that in the future there will be people lobbying for those things, but we can't let ourselves be taken by paranoia of what might or might not happen sometime in the indeterminate future.
 

That American Girl

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And here's the 10/22 in "OMGWTFBBQSUPERMURDERDEATHKILLEVIL" guise. Yup, same rifle mechanically. Still only fires one round per trigger pull.


All of the above 10/22s fire the same bullets at the same speed in the same manner. There are no functional mechanical differences between any of them. Yet literally because of cosmetics, some are considered 'evil' and 'high power assault weapons.'
I wonder if the looks of this and weapon like it are what gives some people that feeling of superiority?

Walking into a movie theater with a powerful weapon that looks 'normal' while wearing your jeans and a care bear t-shirt, just doesn't offer the same impact and "Holy shit we're all gonna die horribly!! Run you sons of bitches!! RUUUUNNN!" reaction as a person with whats pictured while dressed all in back with a face mask like in a movie does.

And I think that's a lot of the problem. It's the sad state of mental health here in the US...and the easy availability of guns like this...added to the image and shock value that these people are going for.

As much as I hate the idea of guns for everyone here...I do understand that with our gun happy society, getting rid of guns wont work.

But we just HAVE to do something about how easy it is for the average person to get their hands on any type of gun. Not just the ones in question.

And we need to get up off our asses and do better for the people who need better access to mental health people. Until we do this...shit like this is going to keep happening.
 

Spectre

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Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting

I wonder if the looks of this and weapon like it are what gives some people that feeling of superiority?

Walking into a movie theater with a powerful weapon that looks 'normal' while wearing your jeans and a care bear t-shirt, just doesn't offer the same impact and "Holy shit we're all gonna die horribly!! Run you sons of bitches!! RUUUUNNN!" reaction as a person with whats pictured while dressed all in back with a face mask like in a movie does.

And I think that's a lot of the problem. It's the sad state of mental health here in the US...and the easy availability of guns like this...added to the image and shock value that these people are going for.

As much as I hate the idea of guns for everyone here...I do understand that with our gun happy society, getting rid of guns wont work.

But we just HAVE to do something about how easy it is for the average person to get their hands on any type of gun. Not just the ones in question.

And we need to get up off our asses and do better for the people who need better access to mental health people. Until we do this...shit like this is going to keep happening.
You may have missed it, but none of the last few shooters obtained their weapons legally. CT has European style gun control already and that didn't stop Lanza from illegally obtaining firearms. CA has similar gun control, and the shooter there obtained his shotgun illegally. Cho of Virginia Tech infamy obtained his weapons illegally despite background checks (that didn't work). All more firearms restrictions will do is prevent the law abiding from getting arms as the vast supermajority of the nutjob shooters over the past three decades obtained their weapons illegally. How would making arms 'more illegal-er' prevent that, hm?

I would also suggest that you look at how many firearms laws are not enforced to begin with. Case in point: David Gregory, broadcasting from DC, waved a 30 round magazine around in the studio a couple weeks ago. It is illegal to even possess one of those in DC. That is, merely holding one without law enforcement permission is a crime. Many people in DC have been prosecuted for mere possession of one. Gregory did not get special permission from DCPD or any other law enforcement body. He was in fact told by the DCPD NOT to do it. This is a FELONY in DC.

The DC district attorney has declined to prosecute this televised and admitted felony. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/01/11/169188028/nbcs-david-gregory-wont-be-charged-for-showing-ammo-magazine

How about we actually enforce the laws we already have, which would help these situations considerably, before we start considering new ones?

It should also be pointed out that contrary to your proposed concept of 'the evil looking weapon makes them do it' most of these shootings were performed with something other than 'an evil looking assault murder death kill machine rifle.' In fact, most of the involved weapons are pistols and not any kind of long rifle or shotgun at all because they are easier to conceal. In cases where a long arm is used, it is more commonly something like a pump shotgun or other hunting arm. Those 'evil looking rifles' are anything but cheap - the cheapest AR is about $800 retail where a Mossberg pump shotgun is $200.

Also, FYI, the Aurora shooter caused most of his casualties not with the 'assault rifle' he brought (because it jammed early, as they are wont to do, and was therefore useless) - but with a simple Remington 870 pump shotgun, commonly used for duck hunting.
 
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argatoga

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EDIT: Fixed link.
 
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_HighVoltage_

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There is a general problem of ignorance on both sides.

There are anti-gun people are ignorant about the different types of weapons and how they work.
There are also pro-gun people who want to stick to their guns whatever the cost.

Someone I know posted on Facebook the story of Wyoming's bill to nullify all current and future gun control laws (which also proposes that federal agents attempting to confiscate a person's gun be imprisoned). A friend of his commented, saying that if a gun control law passes on a federal level, he will definitely be moving to Wyoming. Other people critiqued the article for being too..."native"...it almost sounds like Wyoming wants to secede from the union. That same person then said: "hey im all for declaring martial law. it makes no difference if they ban guns criminals will get them if they want them. id rather have my guns and be left to my own devices."

Following were comments from people talking about the prospect of other mentally ill people going on rampages and killing others, at which point the same person added: "at that point forget the courts. put the person down."

Wow! So screw the Fifth, screw the Fourteenth, none of that due process bullshit anymore. We just stick to the second amendment, the rest be damned.

People like this scare me - whether they have semi-auto weapons or not is irrelevant. This kind of person, with any kind of weapon, scares the hell out of me.
 

prizrak

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There is a general problem of ignorance on both sides.

There are anti-gun people are ignorant about the different types of weapons and how they work.
There are also pro-gun people who want to stick to their guns whatever the cost.
There is a hell of a lot more of the former it seems...

People like this scare me - whether they have semi-auto weapons or not is irrelevant. This kind of person, with any kind of weapon, scares the hell out of me.
Better take away their 3000-4000lbs guided missiles then...
 

That American Girl

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You may have missed it, but none of the last few shooters obtained their weapons legally. CT has European style gun control already and that didn't stop Lanza from illegally obtaining firearms. CA has similar gun control, and the shooter there obtained his shotgun illegally. Cho of Virginia Tech infamy obtained his weapons illegally despite background checks (that didn't work). All more firearms restrictions will do is prevent the law abiding from getting arms as the vast supermajority of the nutjob shooters over the past three decades obtained their weapons illegally. How would making arms 'more illegal-er' prevent that, hm?
My understanding is that the guns Lanza used were bought and stored legally. That still didn't stop this kid from getting them. And if we can't prevent criminals from getting guns, how would that mean that 'nice' people wouldn't be able to get them? That makes no sense. I can go down the street right now on a Sunday afternoon and get my hands on a handgun if I wanted to. I'm not a criminal.

How about we actually enforce the laws we already have, which would help these situations considerably, before we start considering new ones?
This I agree with. Filling out a piece of paper and handing it to someone who, lets be honest...is wanting a sale is just going through the motions. Nothing more. It wont stop someone who hasn't committed a murder yet.

It should also be pointed out that contrary to your proposed concept of 'the evil looking weapon makes them do it' most of these shootings were performed with something other than 'an evil looking assault murder death kill machine rifle.'
I am in no way saying the looks of the guns made them do it. I AM saying that it's the perception of it being 'as badass looking/scary/evil looking' that attracts some of these nutjobs to them.

And while I'm asking...if changing the appearance of the gun does nothing to the function, then why do people make them look like that in the first place?



Again, I'm past suggesting that we get rid of the excess guns in America because the politicians would never have the balls to ever suggest that. So, it's just not going to happen, ever. I get that.

I am wondering why it's not mandated that all guns use either a biometric gun safe, and/or put a biometric trigger lock on all guns? I haven't really spent a lot of time researching them, but from what I understand...if someone breaks into my house and steals my gun, it's useless to them. Nor could it be used to kill me. (I hope)

Or, if while I'm away, one of my kids get his hands on one, he wouldn't be able to accidentally kill one of his friends Or if one of my teen-aged boys has a tiff with his girlfriend, he can't come home and while in a hormone induced pity party, take his own life.

While not perfect, wouldn't this greatly decrease these tragedies?
 

LeVeL

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You need to fix the link and yes it was a great episode I seen it before.
Holy hell that Nicole Lapin woman is an epic moron. We should ban all semi-automatic guns because you can easily turn them into machine guns? What the fuck???


If that's the case then you should let democracy run its course.
Ah, but see, the United States is not a democracy. It's a constitutional republic, which means that the constitution comes first and foremost. If tomorrow 100% of the population votes to abolish the second amendment, that will mean absolutely nothing. The constitution is above all else.


My understanding is that the guns Lanza used were bought and stored legally. That still didn't stop this kid from getting them.
He stole the guns from his mother. He was, as far as I know, unlicensed and therefore not allowed to legally buy, own, or possess any guns.
 

SpitfireMK461

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Ah, but see, the United States is not a democracy. It's a constitutional republic, which means that the constitution comes first and foremost. If tomorrow 100% of the population votes to abolish the second amendment, that will mean absolutely nothing. The constitution is above all else.
If 100% of the population voted to repeal the 2nd amendment, that would imply 100% of Congress and State legislatures did the same, and the 2nd amendment would be repealed, as per the Constitution.

The Constitution is not above all else. The People are.
 

That American Girl

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He stole the guns from his mother. He was, as far as I know, unlicensed and therefore not allowed to legally buy, own, or possess any guns.
Yes, he stole them from his mother, but until you're convicted of that or any other crime, it's not illegal to have them.

In CT, you only need a licence to buy a handgun, but not one to own a handgun or own or buy a rifle or 'long gun'.

So, up until he killed his mother and those people, he was legally allowed to have them in his hands. This is what I mean by saying the current laws really mean diddly squat in the real world. And why we need better ways to keep them out of the hands of those who have no business with a gun.


I don't have the magic answer, but *shrugs*, not sure what else to say.
 
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prizrak

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If that's the case then you should let democracy run its course.
Elaborate?

- - - Updated - - -

Yes, he stole them from his mother, but until you're convicted of that or any other crime, it's not illegal to have them.

In CT, you only need a licence to buy a handgun, but not one to own a handgun or own or buy a rifle or 'long gun'.

So, up until he killed his mother and those people, he was legally allowed to have them in his hands. This is what I mean by saying the current laws really mean diddly squat in the real world. And why we need better ways to keep them out of the hands of those who have no business with a gun.


I don't have the magic answer, but *shrugs*, not sure what else to say.
He was from NJ not CT and AFAIK you need a license for any type of gun in NJ.

Murder is also illegal but didn't stop him (or any other murderers)

Let me put it this way, my wife is very anti gun ownership and the only way she would let me have one is if I store it offsite somewhere yet when she heard all of the gun control BS around Sandy Hook her response was "this is fucking retarded, guns had nothing to do with it it was the crazy motherfucker who should have been institutionalized". To make it more fun she is a medical professional (PA) so she knows how bad the mental health system really is.
 
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Spectre

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My understanding is that the guns Lanza used were bought and stored legally. That still didn't stop this kid from getting them. And if we can't prevent criminals from getting guns, how would that mean that 'nice' people wouldn't be able to get them? That makes no sense. I can go down the street right now on a Sunday afternoon and get my hands on a handgun if I wanted to. I'm not a criminal.
Simply this: Passing more laws to make it harder for people to get guns would only make it harder for those who are law abiding to get them. It would not make it harder for criminals or the mentally disturbed to get them.

Also, Lanza killed his mother then (somehow, we don't know how just yet) stole her firearms. If she was in compliance with CT laws, she should have had those things locked up in a safe. Whether she did or did not, we don't know yet. One thing is certain - he did not buy any of the weapons he used, and he was rejected when he tried to buy one from a dealer.

This I agree with. Filling out a piece of paper and handing it to someone who, lets be honest...is wanting a sale is just going through the motions. Nothing more. It wont stop someone who hasn't committed a murder yet.
This statement alone indicates how woefully uninformed you are about the actual process. Here is the process for purchasing a firearm over the counter (Federal laws only).

1. You fill out the Form 4473 and present valid photo identification to the dealer.
2. The dealer calls the Federal government National Instant Background Check call center and reads all of the information on the 4473 to the operator over the phone.
3. The operator tells the dealer go or no go and gives them an approval number to place on the 4473.
4. If there is a problem where the government needs more time to check or there is a system problem, the dealer is NOT allowed to just give you the firearm. The government will get back with the dealer within three days and tell them go or no go.

Whether the dealer wants to make the sale is completely irrelevant with regards to whether the person gets the weapon. Legal approval is NOT up to him. It is up to the Federal government. In states where applicable, it's also up to the state police. He also cannot 'slip it to you under the table' because dealers are audited regularly and the Feds have no sense of humor about any paperwork irregularities. People get sent to pound-me-in-the-ass Federal prison for decades because someone forgot to check a box on the 4473 and the dealer accidentally overlooked it. (Even though the person was cleared by the Feds and was actually fully legal to purchase it.)

Buy from a dealer at a gun show? Still have to present ID and fill out the 4473. Still have to undergo the background check. Still don't get to take the weapon home if they say 'no' or 'delayed' or 'it's not working'.

I am in no way saying the looks of the guns made them do it. I AM saying that it's the perception of it being 'as badass looking/scary/evil looking' that attracts some of these nutjobs to them.
Did you even read what I typed? Most of these nutcases aren't using the badass/scary/evil looking rifles.

These were the two weapons Cho used at Virginia Tech, a 9mm Glock 19 pistol and a .22 caliber Walther P22 target/training pistol. He did not use a rifle at all.


The same type of Glock pistol was used by Loughner in the Tuscon shooting involving Rep. Giffords.

"But, but, Columbine's killers used assault rifles, right?" Nope. Per Wikipedia:
Using instructions acquired upon the Internet, Harris and Klebold constructed a total of 99 improvised explosive devices of various designs and sizes. They sawed the barrels and butts off their shotguns to make them easier to conceal. They committed numerous felony violations of state and federal law, including the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act of 1968, before they began the massacre.

On April 20, Harris was equipped with a 12-gauge Savage-Springfield 67H pump-action shotgun, (which he discharged a total of 25 times) and a Hi-Point 995 Carbine 9 mm carbine with thirteen 10-round magazines, which he fired a total of 96 times.

Klebold was equipped with a 9 mm Intratec TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun with one 52-, one 32-, and one 28-round magazine and a 12-gauge Stevens 311D double-barreled sawed-off shotgun. Klebold primarily fired the TEC-9 handgun, for a total of 55 times.
These are the actual weapons recovered from the bodies of the Columbine killers (courtesy of acolumbinesite.com):

Hi-Point model 995 carbine - not an 'assault rifle'.


Sawed-off pump-action Savage-Springfield 67H shotgun - not an 'assault rifle'.


TEC-DC9 9-mm semi-automatic handgun - not an 'assault rifle'.


Double-barrel Savage 311-D sawed-off shotgun - still not an 'assault rifle'.

And, of course, a shitload of bombs including a car bomb that Dylan set the timer on incorrectly and a fuel-air bomb in the cafeteria. The list:
48 -- Carbon Dioxide bombs
27 -- Pipe bombs
11 -- 1.5 gallon propane bombs
7 -- gas or napalm bombs
2 -- 20 pound propane bombs

Not a single scary-looking assault rifle in the bunch. The carbine was essentially a pistol with a 16" barrel and a shoulder stock attached.

One L. Goh shot up Oikos University in April 2012
. His weapon was a .45 caliber handgun (type unspecified by police, and as he has yet to come to trial, we don't know what it was.) No 'assault rifle'.

The Chardon High School shooter used a Ruger MkIII .22 caliber target handgun. No assault rifle.


The Millard South High School shooter used an unspecified Glock .40 caliber handgun (which would be similar in appearance to the Glock 19 pictured above). No assault rifle.

The 2010 University of Alabama at Huntsville shooter used an unspecified 9mm handgun. No assault rifle.

And these are the weapons of the 2008 NIU/Illinois shooter:

(not actual weapons in pictures)
12 gauge Remington Sportsman 48 shotgun


9 mm Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol (pictures above)

9mm Kurz Sig Sauer P232 semiautomatic pistol


.380 Hi-Point CF380 semiautomatic pistol



The nut cases don't use 'assault rifles' or 'assault weapons' in almost every case. Ones where they do are exceedingly rare exceptions. They usually use hunting weapons (the shotguns) or target weapons, or personal defense handguns due to price and complexity.

And while I'm asking...if changing the appearance of the gun does nothing to the function, then why do people make them look like that in the first place?
Changing the cosmetics like that does nothing to affect the mechanical function of the weapon - one round per trigger pull. It may make the weapon look more attractive to the owner, may suit it for a particular role (such as three-gun matches or marksmanship contests) better, or may make it easier to clean and maintain. For example, wood is a high maintenance material, composites aren't and composite stocks are more accurate as they are more dimensionally stable in different temperatures. Composite stocks can also be lighter and if you drop your hunting rifle in the river with composite stocks instead of wood, if you can't fish it out in the first 10 minutes it's not ruined. It may also allow the owner to have the weapon fit him better - I fit 'collapsible stocks' to my long guns because nobody makes an 'off the shelf' stock that will correctly fit me and I can adjust the 'collapsible stock' to fit properly.

As for why - why do people put body kits on cars? Why do they repaint their cars a different color? Why do they fit wings and ground effects? Why do people change out the seats in their cars for different ones? Why do people tint their windows or fit a stereo system? For that matter, why did you repaint your fender? It's because they need to or even simply because they just want to.

Again, I'm past suggesting that we get rid of the excess guns in America because the politicians would never have the balls to ever suggest that. So, it's just not going to happen, ever. I get that.
Um, again, I don't think you're paying attention. Senator Diane Feinstein, among others, is on record as telling us gun owners that we need to surrender ALL of our weapons.

I am wondering why it's not mandated that all guns use either a biometric gun safe, and/or put a biometric trigger lock on all guns? I haven't really spent a lot of time researching them, but from what I understand...if someone breaks into my house and steals my gun, it's useless to them. Nor could it be used to kill me. (I hope)

Or, if while I'm away, one of my kids get his hands on one, he wouldn't be able to accidentally kill one of his friends Or if one of my teen-aged boys has a tiff with his girlfriend, he can't come home and while in a hormone induced pity party, take his own life.

While not perfect, wouldn't this greatly decrease these tragedies?
One minor problem, and entirely aside from the question of "what if someone else needs to legitimately use your weapon": They don't work. The battering that occurs when a firearm cycles kills many electronics, like most fingerprint readers, in short order. Electronics that are hardened enough to deal with it are expensive - and even then, they still don't work as advertised. Some fail and render the weapon unusable, which would be undesirable in a defense situation. Some fail and render the weapon usable by anyone who happens along, also not a good idea if you are trusting that for security.

What you are thinking of is basically the Smart Gun projects. And nobody has gotten any of the projects to the point where it's reliable enough for police to accept them. There are millions of dollars that have been thrown at this project, with the promise of millions more in contracts (because a biometric-locked weapon would be a boon to police so they don't get shot with their own weapons in a struggle) - but none are reliable enough for the police to use. The closest thing was the Mag-Na-Trigger, and that can be defeated by a refrigerator magnet. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Gun

Like most gadgets you see in James Bond movies, it sounds really cool until you find out it doesn't actually work in the real world.
 
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