back to article American Stereotype™ walks Google's mean Street View

We're fully aware that some of our UK readers have pretty well decided that the average American wears a baseball cap, Harley-Davidson sweatshirt, jeans and cowboy boots and walks the mean streets of the Land of the Free with a hunting rifle while swigging from a bottle of hard liquor. Nothing, of course, could be further from …

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@Andy Bright

Just so you know, an assault rifle is a machine gun, not that you care since I'm sure any rifle is scary and more so when it looks like the ones used in an Ah-nold Govinator movie. Machine guns which can fire fully automatically are defined by the Gun Control Act of 1968 as Title 2 firearms and the scary ones that can't fire full auto are Title 1 firearms. Yes there are some that look nearly the same but just because a Title 1 AR-15 is just as scary looking as the Title 2 M-16, it doesn't make it a machine gun even if some politicians can't tell the difference or get paid by lobbyists to ignore the difference.

If you saw one in any Wal-Mart, not just Alaska, you probably didn't notice the muzzle was painted orange and you can get it online here: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10248639

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Thumb Up

Being Canadian...

I know America and Americans and I can categorically say that all Americans are NOT like that. Only about one in four.

But you can guess who's going to be ready when the revolution comes. That's right "the trailer park boys". The rest of us will just have to hope for mercy or that they pass out after the fight, so that we can then tie them up. That only seem implausible if you don't know them.

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Stop

Paintballer

Sorry to disappoint you lot, but that is a paintball gun, and the "liquor bottle" is the air canister.

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The *real* stereotype

Wow, you British totally have the wrong impression of we'uns here in the U S of A.

The *real* stereotype is more like everyone stoned on pot *or* crazy-high on crack or crazy on meth (take your pick, one of 'em usually fits a significant portion of the population at any given time).

Guns: replaces the quaint oldstyle rocks, spears, bows-and-arrows, knives, swords, clubs, fists, etc... nothing new about any of those. Sensible modern U.S. citizens need at least one of the aforementioned to defend against home-invasion robberies by hopped-up crack-heads etc (or, in some areas, from being attacked by grizzly bears etc - in either case, don't expect the cops to arrive until *afterwards* if at all, and then the cops probably still won't be able to do anything about it), while drug dealers need weapons to defend against having their stash/cash stolen.

Liquor? Meh. That's kid stuff nowadays :(

But, as others have said, a Reg Playmobile scene would be fun :)

"John J" said:

"But you can guess who's going to be ready when the revolution comes. That's right "the trailer park boys". The rest of us will just have to hope for mercy or that they pass out after the fight, so that we can then tie them up. That only seem implausible if you don't know them."

Probably true enough.

"theotherone" said:

"how in God's name did these people get independence from, and then overtake you?"

Er, I think the guns mighta had somethin' to do with it... and fighting "dirty". We were taught in U.S. public schools that in the American Revolution, the Americans would fight any way they could, using "guerilla warfare", while the British were just standing there in nice neat little formations/ranks/whatever like sitting ducks, so it was easy to defeat the British. Whether or not that's true, I don't know, as I wasn't personally there (duh) - have to go by what's been written in history books - and as everyone knows, "history books are written by the winners".

Then again, I've read that the British don't consider the U.S. portion of North America to be much of a loss - a mere minor footnote in hundreds of years of British history/rule of the world.

"Stuart Butterworth" said:

"That may well be true for Londoners, but up here in the North of England, we are a different breed from those southern pansies. Londoners are a bunch of soft nancy-boys, while we are real, red-blooded, hairy-chested MEN!!"

Oooh... now you're getting me all excited :) So if I ever get around to taking a trip to England, now I know which part to visit ;)

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Ah South Dakaota

A state were the nearest living person can be 50 miles from you . Speed limits ?? WTF unless you're a major city (defined as having 15k or more people) your luck to see a cop on the freeway.

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FREEMEN

I think you Englishmen should learn to respect your betters. Just because you'all have pissed away your freedom doesn't mean we yanks need to or will.

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@John J

Until they run out of ammo, at which point they'll be completely unable to deal with what's left of the revolution.

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Coat

@chris

ok, we may have traded in the right to own guns for the right to not be shot, but if you look at the murder stats for the US versus the UK, it seems to have been a good plan.

<maths>

murders in the UK in 2007 :: 784

murders in the USA in 2007 :: 16,929

</maths>

mines the one with the calculator and the pocket protector.

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Alert

Poor crime ridden Brits

Just a couple facts to ruin your day.

South Dakota violent crime rate: 172/100,000

The UK violent crime rate: 2300/100,000 (that's the low number and lets not forget the UK.gov has been cooking the books by only counting violent crimes that result in a conviction. We count all crimes regardless of how sneaky the perp was.)

Enjoy your gun free paradise, serfs.

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Happy

A view from another American

Hey hey now. I am an American. I don't have a harley davidson sweater, I have a Cardinals Football jersey. I don't have any of that swill in the picture. I only drink the good stuff like crown and coke. I also don't have a hunting rifle. I have an assault rifle, 3 shotguns, and 5 pistols.

Not all Americans fit the stereotype shown in the picture.

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Joke

Weight and @sigh

Regarding weight... as an American I can tell you the hunters are in much better shape than average. They go out in the fields or woods for hours, stand or squat still in odd positions waiting for deer etc. to wander into view. This does burn much more calories than the lying in bed sleeping they'd probably be doing otherwise (most hunters like to go out at like 5AM to start hunting.) They tend to actually eat some of the venison etc. they shoot too, which certainly is more healthy than fries and hamburger.

@sigh, "I can make stereotypes too, ready? All Londoners are pasty, tea drinking ninnys. See it's easy."

Come on prove it! I'd LOVE to see a Google street view with some pasty ninny drinking tea 8-)

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Land of the free, baby

A friend of mine from northern Michigan once quipped that they had a very low crime rate where he was from because everyone was armed to the teeth and everyone else knew it. You find the vast majority of violent crime committed in cities where guns are illegal, and mostly among gang bangers.

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Flame

Meh.

Just a note, that canister bears striking resemblance to the ones used to hold reloading propellant.

I suppose as a much maligned Yank (from one of the original 13 no less) I should address the gun debate. Don't think I can't see the humor in this though, that is a very undignified pose to be caught in while handling a firearm, and most people experienced with firearms would be quick to inform him that he was being a hazard to those around him.

However on a more abstract plane, as I see it, many Americans are just more keenly aware that there have been, and will be, times when the collective bargain just doesn't pay off. Sure, things like government and society are nice as far as they go, and in many cases are well worth paying into, but their ability to give the individual a meaningful return on investment is limited, and not always reliable.

To keep this lighthearted, let's say the zombies come, in lieu of some other unforeseen catastrophe. The bodies of the dead rise and walk the earth seeking human flesh to devour, their victims joining the hard as they fall. Governments crumble and the world is thrown into chaos. In this scenario, it doesn't matter that you voted, obeyed the law, payed all your taxes, and were otherwise a good and loyal citizen; It doesn't matter that you were supposed to receive the support of police forces, armies, a medical infrastructure, and the best research apparatus money could buy; It doesn't matter that you trained for years, at great personal expense, to become a specialist and fill one of society's greatest roles. In this end you are left with nothing but what you can do by yourself and provide for yourself. There is no one else left to intervene on your behalf and ensure that your rights are respected.

That is why I believe people need guns, and why many Americans, as citizens of a younger nation born out of conflict, desire to keep and be practiced with firearms. They aren't to shoot neighbors who wrong us or to stage an overthrow of the government or even to play sports with, they are just tools that help make us a little stronger and a little more independent, in order to help preserve the balance between the collective and the individual, so either way we don't slip through the cracks.

I know that all makes me sound like a survivalist nutcake, but I'm really not. I just don't have the arrogance to believe that my country is so perfect as to be rendered eternal and invulnerable (stereotypical US Right), or that it may be made so by more completely devoting myself to its service (stereotypical US Left).

Flames, since fire is a tool as well.

(I think I just used up my entire run-on sentence quota there :-) )

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Flame

Meh.

(oops the IW spell check changed "horde" to "hard")

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@ Christopher P. Martin

That is street slang for 'you are going to get shot'.

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Pirate

@ Pete "oranges" B

What's more likely, "Resident Evil" or someone using easily available firearms to threaten an old granny or dispose of a girlfriend's new lover?

Seeing yourself as "stronger, more independent" implies you aren't taken by surprise, you've got the best gun, the best training and you aren't facing two people who might, seeing your M15, lob a grenade into your log cabin to kill the occupants but leave the canned food in the cupboard relatively untouched?

@Chris - "God--given right[s]" to bear arms? You're not talking about the Christian God I assume. Shiva perhaps, or those who live by "survival of the fittest", but not the "turn the other cheek", "thou shalt not kill" one.

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if

if he was about 60 pounds heavier yes he would be Mr stereotype as it is he is just a Dude who has bought a hunting rifle

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They used to let kids bring their rilfes to school ..

In many states where hunting is popular they used to let high school kids bring rifles to school for a hunting safety class.

That would have made a much better picture.

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eli

They still take guns to school

One of my buddies went to a high school where many of the kids brought there guns to school. It was cool as long as they left their guns in the gunracks in their trucks.

On the other hand, you could probably not do that in a place like LA or Compton.

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Happy

But it's all alright 'cos

Well, at least he's not "carrying concealed"!

Unless, of course, he has some more guns on him too.

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Re Photoshopping:

Re the idea that the gun has been photo-shopped on, see:

http://xkcd.com/331/

"My Hobby: insisting that real-life objects are photoshopped."

"When I look into your eyes, I see JPEG artifacts"

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Pirate

@Lee

You are looking at my example in a way that is much too specific. The entire point of using an entirely improbable scenario, rather than one which might seem plausible such as a flood or invasion, was to prevent a scenario/counter-scenario argument as to when a particular set of tools would or would not be useful or beneficial, since that's really not the issue.

The point I was making was that guns merely exist in a broad spectrum of individual tools that form part of the human experience, and that such objects cannot be fully replaced by collective tools like governments. A society needs a healthy mix of both collective and individual tools to function well. Too much reliance on collective tools fractures a society into many specialized fragments which are helpless on their own, while over reliance on individual tools inhibits a society's ability to tackle challenges that can only be met collectively.

Now, whether any given individual or collective tool is appropriate for any given society is really a matter that only that society can address. Questions as to whether guns, wrenches, chainsaws, senators, members of parliament, presidents etc. are appropriate and if so the exact forms they should take is a matter a best left to the people directly affected by the relative presence or absence of such tools (no pun intended as far a politicians are concerned).

The only thing I object to is when members a society, having determined what is best for their unique case (in any area, not just weapons), come to believe that their ability to make that decision is the result of some universal wisdom or insight and go about making themselves out to be superior to all societies not conforming to their decisions (May I be the first to say that many of my countrymen are guilty of this in spades, however). Yes, it may be all in good fun, but it does represent a serious set of underlying issues in regard to how people all over the world view the right of self determination.

Is it not amazing how, not just now but through out history, it is not our differences that divide us most but rather our similarities? They are the basis for the constant temptation to look at ourselves and in our pride try to mold others to our image.

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El
Joke

No surprise

Here in America, we believe the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be in charge of planning parties, and not a law enforcement agency!

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They really are stupid

Guns make the place safer because there's no crime in SD. There is no money in SD that's why there's no crime, nothing but worthless guns to rob. The worst part is they actually think all that NRA bullshit is true. I guess that's what an uneducated populace will do.

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Stop

If it comes down to it

The only time that firearms would be useful in Britain would be if the Rule of Law finally broke down. And if that happened, it wouldn't matter too much that they were illegal. My first stop, therefore, is to be my old comprehensive school; where there are still well-equipped chemistry and metalwork labs. I know the correct proportion in which to mix sulphur, charcoal and saltpetre, and I know how to run a lathe.

Until it comes to such a time as a rather crude home-made gun will be much better than nothing, I am quite content with nobody else having guns.

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Happy

the stereotype

Ah, man, I don't wear Harley-Davidson t-shirts.

--Glenn

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Joke

Zombies are easy to deal with without guns

Grab a bat, jump in the car make sure the family is ok, batter a couple of zombies, pick up the girlfriend, batter a few more zombies, get back in the car, hole up in the local boozer, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of it to blow over.

How's that for a slice of fried gold!

Thanks to Shaun of the Dead for teaching us that zombies are infact slow moving monsters and shooting them just ain't sporting.... get in there crack a few heads and sit back for a pint, thats the best way :)

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Pirate

Grossly Offended - Again

I am considerably offended by being referred to as 'yellow' . To equate my jaundice to mental incompetence is grossly offensive and an attack on my human rights. I demand this person be fired immediately.

Peace, out.

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@dan fri jan 30

Optional accessories for this picture

By Dan Posted Friday 30th January 2009 14:09 GMT

Confederate Flag

Can of Budweiser in right hand

>>> Silly pom... Now you are being JUST as ignorant as our American cousins... North Dakota fought on the yankee side in the Civil war... The were the opponents of the Confederacy...

ps: there was widespread slavery in the North too...

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@chris

"welcome to America where we haven't traded in our god given rights"

You have none.

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Deliberate Misrepresentation

Zoom in on that photo and you can see that's not a bottle of booze. Instead, it looks like a 1lb jug of smokeless propellant for reloading cartridges. There's a gun shop/sporting goods store in the background. Obviously, the guy has just purchased a rifle (bolt action with scope if you zoom in) and some reloading supplies and is now crossing the street to his car.

I live several states east and south of this Rapid City bloke but can assure you that he'd get as little attention were he doing the same in my own town. My town, approx. 10,000 in population, has eight gun shops with at least three of them selling handloading/reloading supplies like the powder he's carrying. When I first began teaching 4-H shooting sports nearly a decade ago, every one of the kids signing up, including the three eight-year old girls, already had their own rifles. Our local newspaper regularly publishes photos of young people with the deer and turkey that they've harvested along with the rifles or shotguns they used.

It's really hard to comprehend the tofu-eating please-keep-us-helpless mentality of you Brits.

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Boffin

Deliberate Misrepresentation.

The guy is crossing the street in front of a sporting goods store. It looks like he's purchased a rifle and a 1lb. jug of smokeless propellant. Now he's crossing the street to his parked car. That's nothing to be excited about. In fact, in Britain before the poor sods there gave up their God-given freedoms to socialists oligarchs, that would have been in unremarkable sight once as well.

One can only wonder and shake one's head in pity at a mentality that goes hysterical over a man exercising his freedom in a safe manner.

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@A J Stiles

"Until it comes to such a time as a rather crude home-made gun will be much better than nothing, I am quite content with nobody else having guns."

But AJ (may I call you that?), it would seem that other people in your country DO have guns. They are called "criminals", and by definition they don't give a rat's ass about "laws". Still feel safe & content?

On top of that, if you're not already familiar with guns, you are asking for trouble. You see, there is a word for people who attempt to manufacture and then deploy crude home-made guns and explosives based on some foggy remembrance of highschool chemistry and "metal shop" classes. Here in this country, we call them "corpses".

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Anonymous Coward

In the good ol' USA

they even allow dogs to hold guns.

I'm sure the is a Darwin Award story somewhere of a hunter who wanted to take a photo of his dog with a gun and ended up shooting and killing himself cos he forgot the safety catch and the paw was placed inside the trigger guard.

You can allow all your entire nation to carry guns, but you cannot account for stupidity.

Someone else said people carry guns here and they are called criminals, exactly, you know who is and who isn't a gun-carryiong maniac, and for that reason alone I am glad we have gun laws in the UK.

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Pirate

dear mr usa

i would like to point out that knives are less dangerous than guns because you must have it in your hand or throw it, both giving the victim avoiding injury. also a knife will slice into you but a built will blow straight through or get stuck somewhere inside again causing more damage than a knife. in the usa you are likely to see a gun with violent crime where as in the uk you are a lot less likely to.

i want guns in the uk like i want a hole in the head (which i will probs get if they do)

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