back to article Baptist church in assault rifle giveaway

An Oklahoma baptist church has insisted it will proceed with its controversial plan to give away an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle* during a youth conference - a move described as "a way of trying to encourage young people to attend the event", according to local Koko 5 news. Windsor Hills Baptist apparently has a history …

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  1. drunk.smile
    Joke

    Godly Rifles

    So this is how they intend to stop Gay & Women Bishops...

    Fight for the law!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Jesus Army.....

    .....have Kalashnikov's for Christ.

    I always wondered which was more dangerous, guns or religion. Putting the 2 together, Wow!

  3. Robb Dunphy

    Guns and God

    That fun mix that you find in America. They are "nice god fearing people who love everyone" but strangely enough love having their guns.

    Bit of a contradiction. Then again look at what they believe in and it all makes sense.

  4. Gordon Pryra

    Am I allowed to state my personal view?

    Which is "Fucking Morons"

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    US heading for civil war

    I'll give it 15 years before they start killing each other.

  6. Secretgeek
    Coat

    And lo...

    He transformed her into a pillar of (as)salt (rifles). Bob 3(ii)

    Mine's the one that says 'I'm going to hell' on it.

  7. Hugh_Pym
    Joke

    Please god....

    ..."injured his foot and wouldn’t be able to attend"...

    .. Tell me he shot himself in the foot.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Boondock Saints

    now makes a whole lot of sense.

    Connor, Murphy, Il Duce: And shepherds we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee. Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, that our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to Thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be.

    Il Duce: In nomine Patri.

    Connor: Et Fili.

    Murphy: Spiritus Sancti.

    [they execute Yakavetta]

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fantastic

    You couldn't make it up!! Funnies thing I've read in ages.

    On a serious note, should you really be giving away assault rifles to obviously irrational, deranged, easily led people who are clearly incapable of applying a degree of common sense to their daily lives and who can't separate reality from fantasy?

    I would suggest not.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    And now, a reading from the Book of Armaments

    ...And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy." ... etc

  11. Tim Russell
    Unhappy

    Gun not used for killing ?

    [quote]My goodness, we’re putting a weapon in the hand of somebody that doesn’t respect it who are then going to go out and kill.[/quote]

    What other F***ing use has a gun apart from killing things? Intentionally shooting to injure is against the Geneva convention as it is classed as torture, doing as a person I'm not sure, but it will certainly mean the person you shot can answer back in court. (Read http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/burglary_shooting)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    IT IS NOT AN ASSAULT RIFLE!

    I'm no gun nut but even I know this is not an assault rifle. That AR15 is not an assault rifle, which are illegal in the US. It is only capable of firing a single round at a time, not multiple rounds. The mechanism is almost completely different and would need to be replaced in order to make it an assault rifle.

    It may look remarkably like a military rifle used since the 1960's but most hunting rifles look remarkably like and in some cases are exactly the same as military rifles used in WWI and WWII. Why is it acceptable to own something that looks like an M1 Garand, but not something that looks like an M16?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I am pro-gun, anti-religion

    Not really sure who to vote for :-(

  14. Doug Glass
    Thumb Up

    Strictly Speaking

    The commercial version of the M-16 is not a genuine assault weapon since, for one thing, it doesn't have selective fire. It's classified as such only in legalistic circles. But that's splitting hairs maybe. But it disturbs the liberals and that's good enough for me.

    http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcassaul.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_rifle

    http://www.sff.net/people/sanders/ar.html

    Personally I prefer the Barrett Light Fifty sniper rifle and the mantra inspired by sniping, "You can run, but you'll only die tired".

    http://www.navysealteams.com/hathcock.htm

    http://dbestsrifles.blogspot.com/2008/01/m82a1-or-light-fifty.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHIV7RNLbTw

    Bring it on........

  15. Doug Glass
    Thumb Up

    Just a Tab of Clarification

    The AR-15 is a lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, semi-automatic, centerfire, shoulder-fired rifle. The original ArmaLite/Colt AR-15 was a selective-fire prototype submitted for consideration as a military infantry rifle, which was later adopted as the M16, and is distinguished from later civilian-model AR-15 rifles marketed by Colt Firearms. Currently, AR-15 is a generic term for a widely-owned[1] civilian semi-automatic rifle similar to the military M16/M4-type weapons.

    Therefore, Commercial M-16 = AR-15

    Need to keep my hobby arms straight.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    This article

    Has left me more than ever wanting to buy an island somewhere and get away from humanity. I hope that they give some sort of competency test before doling out the rifles. If any of these rifles are ever used in crimes, I hope they hold this organization responsible for being 'enablers'.

  17. Doug Glass
    Thumb Up

    Civil War Rev.1

    RE: US heading for civil war

    Yeah, we took lessons from Northern Ireland. And if it happens, you blokes can have the land back.

  18. Anonymous John
    Coat

    So what's new?

    "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition."

    Mine's the one with the shoulder holster.

  19. Mr Fury
    IT Angle

    Be interesting to see...

    How many of their kids turn into rabid killers vs, say, your average inner city London comprehensive...

    Anyway, it's always amusing to see pig-ignorant views on gun ownership by my fellow Brits, nothing like a bit of ex-colonial arrogance to wake me up - its that kind of thing that made Britain what it is today!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Guns, morons, religion

    um. Where's Webster? Surely this is home-town-land for him.

  21. Blacklight

    Erm...

    Didn't someone issue a commandment reading "Thou shalt not kill"?

    Ah, interpretation ftw. Or maiming, depending on actual end uses of said firearms...

  22. GottaBeKidding

    Praise the lord and pass the ammunition!

    As the widely misattributed quote goes.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I now pronounce thee

    ... man and rifle, you may now kiss the bride.

    And everyone knows the uzi 9mm is the favored weapon for the God squad drive-by/cook out events ... Sheesh!

  24. frank
    Flame

    Thou shalt not kill*

    * terms and conditions apply. The value of this statement may go down as well as up.

  25. Tam Lin
    Thumb Down

    Religious psychopaths (I know, I'm repeating myself)

    This is why the Taliban have modeled themselves so closely to Bush's Suicide Baptists.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And all in the name of God

    who, like Santa ... doesn't really exist kiddies!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @AC

    I thought this article was the funniest thing I had read in ages, until I got to this comment:

    "I hope that they give some sort of competency test before doling out the rifles."

    Which beats the article for humour hands down

  28. Dave

    @ Mr Fury

    Well, it is always amusing, in a horrific sort of way, to read the pig-ignorant views on gun ownership of Yanks who should know better - nothing like a little ex-colonial arrogance to make us all feel grateful. (Surely it is them over the pond who are ex-colonials ?)

  29. Nemo Metis
    Coat

    Onward Christian Soldiers.....

    So, not only do we have half the country worried that their next president is going to be the anti-christ (i'm still waiting on how they got to that one), but they're also letting the churches arm the kids. is it just me, or can anyone else here Janet Reno in the background shouting for tanks?

    mine's the one with highway to hell on the back....

  30. Alan Mellor
    Thumb Down

    Sorry, couldn't see the IT / Paris Hilton angle for all the religion bashing

    This might be (non-IT or Paris) news in the UK, where it is illegal to own a firearm without a licence, and where such a licence would be tricky (impossible? dunno - never tried) to get if you're a teenager. But in the US, where IIRC it is everyone's right to bear arms (is that right?) then I can't see what you've got here. In a country where owning a gun raises no more of a legal eyebrow than owning a chocolate bar, I don't see why giving one away as a prize is newsworthy. Maybe a little ill-advised in some respects, but that certainly wasn't the tone of your article.

    I note that the organisation doing the giving was religious. Your writing shows that you view these people as a group clearly different to you, that you do not appear to like nor respect them, and that you evidently feel rather superior to them.

    Maybe I am the only one here who thinks this, but I think Register articles would be improved significantly by not mixing Bytes with Bigotry.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How very Old Testament

    Can any of you religious types point me to one, just one bit in the New Testament where Jesus recants the "turning the other cheek" bit and suggests reducing your enemies to bloodied chunks of meat instead? Anybody?

  32. Mark

    Women Bishops.

    Well, will there be less bashing of Bishops when women are allowed in? That's what *I* want to know!

  33. P Saunders
    Pirate

    Guns don't kill people...

    Marilyn Manson kills people. Just ask the kids at Columbine. Firearm + American Youth = Weapon of Mass Destruction.

    Paris afetr the gun nuts get ahold o' her.

  34. Julian
    Flame

    It's a Baptism of Firepower

    Well, those US Baptists sure know how to dunk themselves in controversy.

    But it's not like that's unusual, I've known of Texan Baptist churches that have given away rifles in raffles (perhaps the pronunciation in Texan drawl makes for a natural connection ;-) ). Or maybe it's just more like they think the second amendment applies to the Bible even more than the US Constitution.

    Or to quote from a recent theological commentator "They preach the Gospel, but they depart from it."

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Some lessons there though

    If we had a heavily armed electorate as in the US does anyone think that Gordon Broon would treat us with as much contempt as he currently does?

    Mines the one with the target over the Gordon McBroon silhouette....

  36. Steve Evans

    Good greif...

    Surely it's easier to get teenagers in by just giving away free alcohol... Or am is my 30 something year old brain total lost and out of touch?

  37. Simon C
    Coat

    your all missing the point

    unless lucky child has a copy of manhunt or mario brothers for that matter at his home, this will never be seen as a wierd thing.

    Throw in a handful of general release computer game titles and we have God arming the raging psychopaths that have been indoctrinated by the playstation generation.

    As for 15 years till the US civil war....aint they started killin each other already?

    God Bless america...well lets face it, if the almighty dont, theres gonna one hell of a shitstorm there soon.

    Mines the one with Atheists Angels on the back.

  38. Stu
    Alert

    I'm waiting for the...

    ...GTA style crime and killing spree.

    You see, we're all looking for that special someone, these folks thinks its Jesus reincarnated.

    "God told me to do it, here, he even gave me the gun to do it with."

  39. Stephan Samuel
    Alert

    Let go, it's over

    232 years and the Redcoats are still complaining about how we realized that the right to own guns is granted by God and not the Magna Carta. This, my friends, is why (and how) we won that war.

    Listen to Alan and stick to IT or Paris.

  40. Dark Hippo

    hmm... a friend of mine foresaw the future...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3xtd-yKE8k

  41. Kane Silver badge
    Flame

    @ Alan Mellor

    Ok, here's the skinny...

    1) The article is filed under "Bootnotes", hence no IT/Paris angle.

    2) See 1) above.

    Personally, I like a sprinkling of bigotry with my bytes. Makes for a more interesting meal....(mmm, crunchy!!)

  42. Michael
    Dead Vulture

    at least they're not giving away knives...

    .....daily mail would have a field-day (no pun, or artillery referrences)

    Maybe this IS a good idea: *(production of a weapon is regarded as intention of use-which means you can shoot them first in "self defence" )

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    'Raise the lord

    Quote "My goodness, we’re putting a weapon in the hand of somebody that doesn’t respect it who are then going to go out and kill"

    Aha. Handing out firearms to fundamentalists as part of a recruitment programme is a perfectly good way to spread peace through the land.

    I wonder if it was an american mosque doing it, how soon everyone would be being tazered, and given a free goodwill trip to Guantanamo Bay?

    @Alan Mellor

    "Maybe I am the only one here who thinks this, but I think Register articles would be improved significantly by not mixing Bytes with Bigotry."

    Possibly you are, judging by the number and tone of responses.

  44. Stuart Barnett
    Flame

    Mis-application of sanity

    "If Congress, back when our country was fighting for its independence could give engraved muskets to the fifteen or so eleven year old boys that their teacher, Mr. Akins, led into battle against the British, then we can give away a firearm still today, especially since our Supreme Court just re-emphasized our Second Amendment rights."

    Nothing like taking 200 hundred years for taking things out of context.

    Or does the 'War on Terror' [Copyright of the Bush Administration] entitle these church -cough- men to equip their children for this new Crusade?

  45. Mr Fury

    @Dave

    Yeah, my bad, I meant to say colonial *powers*

    However, trying to see any pig-ignorant views of Yanks and sadly cannot... Plenty of British arrogance mixed in with some genuinely amusing comments though.

    Gun ownership is a complex debate, but the utterly one-dimensional view of Americans and the curious lumping them as one bloc really is quite sad. We get all snotty when some American thinks Birmingham is a suburb of London, yet when we show our ignorance of their side of the Atlantic it's somehow okay?

  46. Roger Pearse

    Before we sneer...

    ...let's remember that we in Britain are living in a society where ordinary people have few rights and those in power force us to undergo every kind of indignity. I doubt that the USA could post cameras at every street corner, if only because the free citizens would shoot them up.

  47. Isabello
    Paris Hilton

    @Steve Evans - ah but...

    ...isn't it illegal to drink in some (most) states under the age of 21?

    "AR-15 & a coke please mister"

    Paris because even she would have more sense

  48. Andy H
    Pirate

    @Alan Mellor

    Although there is no direct IT / Paris angle to the article. It's interesting none the less. The humour of the article comes the point that Christianity is meant to be a peaceful religion. Turn the other cheek, love thy neighbour etc. So for a Church to give-away gun is funny, in a very sad way.

    Plus with it being down south where there is a tendency to be extremely bigoted, just makes it funnier (or more tragic).

    To Quote, Rev Clarkson of the church of the latter day motorist, in regard to his journey down south "They've shot their own sign, what are they doing to do to us?"

  49. shay mclachlan

    @Good greif..

    Are you crazy? Possession of liquor is illegal for under 21's in many parts of America. The righteous teenage baptist yoof need the rifles to shoot the ungodly badass teenage boozers.

  50. Nick
    Coat

    What's next?

    Now all I need is for Santa to bring me a Glock and the Easter Bunny to give me a bayonet and I'll have the whole set.

    Mine's the one with the kevlar dog collar.

  51. daniel

    Assault riffle?

    I don't think a semi-automatic actually counts as an assault riffle, I thought to be an assault riffle it had to be fully automatic, and those are banned even in the USA. Though still giving any gun to kids is not a good idea. In fact giving guns to Americans is a bad idea.

  52. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    not bigotry

    I would assume that most of the digs at the church are to do with the amazing way that they preach about love and goodwill and being good christians but encourage gun ownership.

    Can't see that as bigotry - more like pointing out what a bunch of two-faced twats they are.

  53. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    @Mr Fury

    But Birmingham doesn't kill people. At least, not on purpose.

    If you don't see the potential to be genuinely aghast that lethal weaponry is given away by any organisation* as an incentive to join, then something is amiss. Amiss!

    *OK, I concede that a gun club giving away guns might be a degree less OMG-inducing. But still.

  54. Law
    Thumb Up

    RE: I am pro-gun, anti-religion

    Awesome!!! :)

  55. Reptar

    Let us spray

    "If Jesus couldn't drive the merchants out of the temple, maybe his AK-47 could. Motherf*cking-Aye." (Matthew 13:5)

    or...

    http://i16.tinypic.com/2rw2pdw.jpg

  56. Tony
    Coat

    Danger

    To quote Robert Heinlein (one of the more right wing American writers);

    "There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous people".

    A gun of any type can sit quite peacefully in a drawer and not harm a single person; then it is picked up by a 6 year boy kid who shoots his 4 year sister.

    The boy is dangerous because he has not developed the capacity to understand the consequences of his actions and therefore cannot be held responsible.

    His parents are dangerous because they believe their right to keep a weapon where a child can get at it, is more important than their moral obligation to keep the children safe.

    There are dangerous people who believe that it is more important to ensure that everyone be allowed to own a weapon, even if there is no evidence that they are mentally capable of the responsibilty.

    Quite simply, it will go one way or the other; either as a society we will solve the problem. or we will fail to, and therefore eventually kill ourselves off. (Survival of the fittest in action.)

    Mines the one with the built in kevlar plates and BFG9000 in the pocket.

  57. andy rock
    Stop

    @Sarah Bee

    "If you don't see the potential to be genuinely aghast that lethal weaponry is given away by any organisation* as an incentive to join, then something is amiss."

    * nay, even a supposedly Peace Loving organisation at that!

  58. Brandon
    Paris Hilton

    OMG GUNS... those crazy Americans!!!

    The last time I checked, no war has been won without bloodshed, and there have been a few times we've been fighting for our religious freedoms, as well as many others. Given a little historical perspective, I don't find this story at all troubling. I read it as a bunch of baptists training people in the safe and proper use of firearms, and encouraging their religious beliefs. What's wrong with that? I'm an atheist (and American) and I have no problem with these religious "nutjobs" owning guns... because I know they'd be the first to stand up and fight against tyranny.

    Paris, because I'd love to teach her to handle a weapon.

  59. Tim
    Alert

    All we need now...

    ... Is a religious first person shooter....hmmm actually I think there is one( Left Behind: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hatevgame.htm !) I wonder if anyone blames evangelical video games for anti-social behaviour in yoofs?

    I would emigrate if I could think of a country that isn't affected by this idiocy.

  60. Steve Hill
    Stop

    God, guns and guts - keep us safe from commie nuts!

    Interesting how it's usually people who have never seen a gun, let alone held one or fired one, who are the most vehemently anti guns...

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stephan Samuel

    Less the Americans beating the British and alot more about the British being tired of war (Just look at the US Canada campaign) post Napoleon (although the British were narked at the fact that the Americans had allied with the French) all in all it was something of a none event (bar an action after the treaty (communications not being quite what they are now) which the Americans won.)

    Anyway - whatever. Gun or Knife, if someone wants to kill someone they will. Maybe the winner will be less likely to kill someone becouse they start a hobby in shooting at ranges or hunting.

    It's like knives, removing all the knives in Britain may stop people knifing each other, but bored, disengaged, miserable, angry people would just kill each other with forks instead. The critical problem is not the weapons available but the lack of anything to do (a problem that will only get worse in Britain as initiatives and clubs are closed or run by nobodies becouse of fewer volunteers.)

    Also - chocolate bars? Hmm soon I can see the time in Britian where even they'll be banned, as they are bad for your health and lead to death. We will only be allowed to eat bland bread and suplement tablets.

  62. bob

    American Gun Owner

    As an american gun owner, card carrying geek, christian, hunter and southerner, its interesting to me to see how Europeans are bemused by our attitudes on gun ownership, vehicle ownership, etc. You seem to think that gun ownership leads to crime and violence. You also seem to have either a fatalistic acceptance of governmental authority, or a (naive) belief that government is looking out for your best interests. We know better.

    I think there is also an almost subconscious acceptance that some things are for government (or the "Nobility") only: hunting, gun ownership etc.

    For many shooting is a sport, a hobby, especially in the american south. Maybe a gun giveaway is news to you, but to some of us it isn't really a blip on the radar.

  63. Tom

    @Sarah Bee: Nothing amiss here, it's perfectly normal

    for any reasoning American who has studied the numbers to be completely comfortable with a church giving away a rifle (not an assault whatever it is you hoplophobes call things you don't like). The most exhaustive and thorough sociological research done on violent crime and its relationship to gun ownership show a strong correlation between, not merely gun ownership, but the prevalence of concealed carry and the reduction of crime. It seems that at least some percentage of criminals actually do a rudimentary cost/benefit analysis, and not being able to assess the likelihood that your intended victim will be armed pushes the cost part of the analysis way too high. So even if you choose not to carry a concealed weapon, the fact that one or more of your law abiding neighbors might be increases your personal security. On the other hand areas with the strictest gun confiscation laws, like DC, have the highest violent crime rates, as DC being the murder capital of the US for some number of years running attests.

    As for the posters saying Christianity is the religion of peace, not by my read. It is religion of the glory of God through his perfect gift Jesus Christ by whom all us sinners are redeemed. At times that means peace and we are admonished to do onto others as we would have them do onto us, but it is also the religion of justice and in the end times he will come leading the legions that will finally bring peace to the Middle East. But which aspect we are called upon a given time is dependent on which gives the greater glory to Him. In the meantime, it would probably be wise to keep your hypocritical bigotry to yourselves. Your statements reveal you as more filled with hatred than I would likely find at the church giving away the gun. Which makes you the larger threat to peace than they are.

  64. Tom Ross

    @ Stephan Samuel

    It wouldn't hurt you to take classes in history, civics, and comparative government.

    The "right to own guns" not one of the unalienable Rights mentioned Declaration of Independence. It was spelled out later in the Constitution, and the right was granted by "God", but by the government.

    The right is not unique to Merka, and certainly wasn't invented by Merkans. It goes back to the Assize of Arms granted by Henry II in 1181. This predates the Magna Carta by a few decades. Further, the right was included in the English Bill of Rights, which predates the US Constitution by 100 years, and would have applied to the colonists.

  65. Roger

    See both sides

    I am a democrat-voting member of a conservative baptist church in the US, who owns a Bushmaster DCM (more accurate version of the AR-15, heavier 20" barrel, two-stage match trigger). I grew up in the UK. I find the UK press reaction absurd. At high school in the UK we had a shooting range, I learnt to shoot .303 bolt action; we had a school shooting team. As a sport, shooting is very relaxing, you have to let go of all stress and control your breathing and emotions to shoot well. It teaches discipline, calmness, and accuracy. As a sport it is the antithesis of the UK press views on guns. The AR-15 while not very useful for hunting anything bigger than groundhogs is now America's gun of choice for high-power competition shooting (as used at Camp Perry etc). I see no reason for a church not to encourage this sport. It has nothing to do with bad people who misuse firearms - any object can be misused as a weapon.

  66. corestore
    Dead Vulture

    You can do better than that...

    The correct description would be an 'AR-15 semiautomatic rifle'.

    An 'assault rifle' is a military weapon, perhaps quite similar to the AR-15, but capable of fully-automatic fire.

    The term which I think you intended to use is 'assault weapon'. That's not actually a gun at all, it's newspeak - an invented label for a politically-incorrect gun. 'scary-looking semiautomatic rifle - black, not pink in colour' would be equally accurate, but too transparently absurd for gun-control advocates to use. Hence 'assault weapon'...

  67. Garth
    Thumb Up

    @Mr. Fury

    No, as an American I find the bigotry displayed by some of the Brits perfectly OK and acceptable. I certainly understand that the limeys need to vent some spleen so that they can deal with the fact that they aren't a state yet and still relegated to status as a U.S. Territory. It'll be denied of course, but that's more to keep one's ego intact.

    This article is perfect fodder to stroke the English at the U.S.'s expense. But I support those southerners having guns. Because we live in a democracy and they out breed us and I'm not in shooting distance.

    As a bumpersticker I saw while waiting for gas the other day said, "Gods don't kill people. People with Gods kill people."

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Tom

    Hahah! Wow. Cool. Its for real. All the previous posts by sane and rational americans with balanced views, had me, for a moment, thinking that maybe america wasnt such a lunacy ridden place. Thank you so much for posting!

    Oh, and just a thought about DC. Has it occurred to you that perhaps the high gun confiscation laws are a *result* of the high murder rate, and not the cause?

    Amazing post. You actually openly threaten us-- "In the meantime, it would probably be wise to keep your hypocritical bigotry to yourselves."

    Once again, thank you for posting and proving a point for lots of people here.

  69. Dive Fox
    Dead Vulture

    @Tom

    In fewer words: "An armed society is a polite society."

    Words I live by.

  70. Louis
    Stop

    @ Tom

    I'm sorry, but anyone who needs an invisible friend in the sky that they can talk to, build monuments to, wear effigies of them being crucified (for OUR sin no less), and basically devote their whole lives to, is noether intelligent enough or competent enough to own a water pistol, let alone a fucking GUN!

    Someone else more intelligent than me said "prayer is the best way to do absolutely nothing while feeling like you are making a difference" so why don't you bugger off to your armoury (yes, with a u) and pray to your god for my everlasting soul, and that he intervene when everything goes tits up and the whole populationa re eiother shooting each other or terrified of being shot, and the Good ol' US of A degenerates into a feudal system with localised warlords running everything.

    Guns are bad. We are the top of the food chain, and have no natural predators, therefore we DO NOT NEED weapons. Every gun in the world should be melted down and turned into a monument to stupidity.

  71. Alec Harkness
    Flame

    American tyranny

    I have to laugh at the people who claim that gun ownership in the US prevents tyranny. They have tyranny right now! Bush Jnr has eroded more freedoms than even Tony Blair managed, yet the gun-toting fanatics are the first to cry "treason" when anyone seeks to question the government.

    Face it, the gun-owners will only ever rise up against their government (be it tyrannical or otherwise) if it's run by a black man.

    Oh, wait...

  72. TeeCee Gold badge
    IT Angle

    Yeah, right.

    It's just so much more comforting in Blighty, where you can be sure that the gun that killed you was held illegally. I'm sure that this is of great comfort to the recently deceased and shows them that the Government Cares and is Doing The Right Thing.

    Still, makes the paperwork simpler for the Plod I suppose. It also stops the Daily Heil and the Toadygraph fulminating at length over how someone who was well known to be a card-carrying fruitcake got a firearms license. This latter, let's face it, is the problem that the current legislation was really designed to address.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Freedom of Religion = Freedom of Thought

    Freedom of Religion is the basis of modern freedom of thought and mass literacy.

    Fear of guns and gun owners is still fear. Why do you choose to live in fear?

    Guess who isn't living in fear? Baptists with guns in Oklahoma.

    Happy Bastille Day

  74. Greg Stovall
    IT Angle

    Hunting is the norm in rural areas

    I understand this is difficult for people in urban areas, who only associate firearms with murder and mayhem, but in rural areas like where I live, nearly everyone hunts, and the results of the hunt end up in the freezer and then on the dinner table. In this environment, giving away a rifle, or a musket, or a nice hunting bow, is just like giving away a television, a game console, or a computer, or some other desirable tech prize in an urban area.

    My church (yes, a Baptist church), has skeet shoots and wild game suppers a couple of times a year, and we typically give away hunting related prizes, because that is what interests people. And no, these are not fund raisers; entry is free. It is just one more way to try to reach people for Christ that would not otherwise be reached.

    BTW, I myself have never discharged a firearm. But I support those who do so responsibly.

  75. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    an armed society is a society that often needs a change of underwear

    What an absolutely terrifying thread this is.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    MORONS!!!! Guns Don't Kill People!

    Haven't any of you gun control freaks learned anything yet? Guns don't kill people!!!

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    (It's the bullets entering your body at high velocity that do the killing).

    Bill - because he's my Messiah.

  77. Omar Little
    Jobs Horns

    Ha Ha,

    You silly Brits.

    You complain that a church is giving away guns. You complain that a car dealership is giving away guns. Yet you hide in fear because your own government, the once great British Empire will arrest the tax payer for defending his own property while gangs of youths pelt the home with rocks for over two hours. You have outlawed knives, and even wooden swords in your plays. Is your crime less? How much more will you give up in hoping to live in a world where evil will not attack?

    It is a sorry state when Enland ruled the world. Now you can only rule the law abiding, because your government is afraid to arrest the trouble makers. It is easier to charge the law abiding, because they won't resist. But the law breaker, let him go because he will fight us, and we the English fight no more. We wish to be like the French.

    Maybe when you have a law that you must leave your home open for theives to enter so they don't have to work to break down your doors, you will finally take your government back, or when you are forced by your government to allow your wife, daughter, or hell even young son, be raped by the sexual deviant, because society has made him the aggressor, and you should not resist because it is unlawful. Utterly pathetic.

  78. HKUSP45

    Dear Lester...

    Stop calling it an assault rifle. If you can't switch it between semi-automatic and fully-automatic, it is just a semi-auto.

    Thank you for your time.

    HK

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Omar Little "Is your crime less?"

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

    Yes. Murder rates are a lot lower here.

    "or when you are forced by your government to allow your wife, daughter, or hell even young son"

    Correct me if Im wrong, but you appear to be saying you mind less about your daughter or wife being raped?

    A man of the church perhaps?

  80. Kwac

    @ Let go, it's over

    "the right to own guns is granted by God".

    Ok I'll play along, for the purpose of this I'll pretend there IS a god.

    Now, book, chapter, verse, where does 'god' say "thou shalt have a firearm?"

  81. Kwac

    @Omar Little

    That is one seriously frightening post.

    Please tell me you haven't got a gun/knife/piece of glass that you might harm yourself with.

  82. kain preacher Silver badge

    Title

    "Thou shalt not kill*"

    Um its though not murder. The old testimate sanctioned state killings of criminals.

  83. Marty McFly
    Thumb Up

    Rights

    The Constitution of the United States of America DOES NOT grant us any rights.

    The Constitution of the United States of America GUARANTEES our rights.

    As an individual I have the fundamental right to defend myself. This is not a right which is granted or conveyed by man. It is a God given right. The Constitution merely acknowledges that right and secures me from my government trying to take it away.

    I am a citizen of the USA, not a subject of the Crown.

  84. Lukin Brewer

    The right to bear arms

    Whenever this sort of article produces this sort of discussion, I keep waiting for a proud American to explain the real reason for the Second Amendment to us gun-shy Brits. It’s not so that you can hunt. It’s not so that you can defend your person/family/home/business against malefactors. . These are just side effects, albeit more popular and well known.

    The wording of the 2nd Amendment is ambiguous, because it was hacked about a lot during the political wrangles that accompanied its passage. Its meaning has been subject to debate ever since. However, the anti-federalists that made the original motion were concerned about one thing: that the US Army (the “militia”), which the US needed to make England and Spain keep their distance, might be used at some point to oppress the people. By allowing the people to keep and bear arms, the armed enforcers of a future tyrannical government could be opposed if necessary.

    So by all means use your gun to make wildlife into food, holes in stationary targets and criminals afraid. Just remember that the people who are really supposed to be feeling the fear are the authorities. The crims already know that people are out to get them, your job as a constitutionally-enabled gun owner is to make the boys in blue, the boys at city hall and the boys in Washington DC feel gunsights at their back whenever they abuse their powers. Sure, if you have to kill a cop to defend your liberty, they will call you a murderer and come after you. Britain called George Washington a traitor, and would have seen him executed. You can’t count on surviving the experience, but many American patriots died in the War of Independence. This is where the whole liberty/death pledge can apply to the modern age.

    Sound alright? Fair enough. You’ve got more balls than I have, at least.

    Still like your gun, but don’t think you’re up for armed insurrection? Too bad. If they do come for you, remember to unload your weapon and hand it to them butt-first.

    As for myself, I like the unarmed nature of British society. The low probability of getting shot at on London’s streets makes me feel a lot safer than the ability to shoot back would.

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Omar Little again

    "How much more will you give up in hoping to live in a world where evil will not attack?"

    It is not *evil* that does the attacking, you small minded imbecile. It is people with retarded views, such as yourself.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:Freedom of Religion = Freedom of Thought

    To quote: "Guess who isn't living in fear? Baptists with guns in Oklahoma."

    If they aren't afraid of stuff why do they need guns. Or religion? And if they aren't living in fear why are they referred to as "God fearing"?

  87. halfcut
    Joke

    How will they choose?

    Assault raffle?

  88. Glenn Amspaugh
    Flame

    Putting the 'ass' in assault

    "I don't think a semi-automatic actually counts as an assault riffle, I thought to be an assault riffle it had to be fully automatic, and those are banned even in the USA."

    In WWII, assault rifles were either bolt action or semi-auto (M1 Garand). There's even a government program set up to sell Garands, Springfields, and sometimes even Enfields (M1917 rifle) to folk here. So, yeah, in a way, I have a government issued assault rifle, with a certificate with President Clinton's sig on it it. Cool!

    As for owning full auto weapons, sure. One has to get a Class III license. This is signed off by both the FBI/BATF and your local/county law enforcement. Now, some counties' Sheriff will not sign off on Class III licenses at all. Is county policy set by county commissioners. One way around this is to form a corporation (LLC) and then have the corporation get a Class III license. I believe that corporations don't depend on local LE sign off. I know of a collector who's done this. Is not the cheapest thing to do. He's on the board of a bank and owns a construction company. Not the type to just go nuts. He's also had a bank safe built in his house (which is also alarmed like a bank) as his gun room. Says his collection is worth almost $1M, if he was to sell off.

    Also, Class III weapons are very expensive. Usually run $2000-$3000 on up. Most regular folks, who want to own such things, tend to get the semi-auto versions. You can find just about any type of military arms sold as a semi-auto version. For myself, I'd like to pick up a semi-auto M2 .50 cal.

  89. USA IT, where it all started
    Stop

    Mountains from mole hills

    Mountains from mole hills. Everyone is making this out to be Way more important than it is – debating epic philosophical questions like the nature of God, religion, freedom, and the balance of power between the government and those governed.

    What you guys are missing is this - in the US, shooting is a sport. We have a long tradition of formal and informal marksmanship competitions, and as all sports fans know, the tools make a difference. This is no different than if the Church had held a cooking competition and awarded the winner a set of Henckel knives. Yes, a loony or criminal could cause great harm with such sharp, well made knives (especially in the UK) but the winner of a cooking competition will probably use them for nothing more frightening than de-boning a chicken. Same thing here – the winner of the marksmanship challenge will get a new tool, which he will use for nothing more frightening than making well placed holes in paper.

    I understand why this seems so foreign to people in the UK – you guys can't have weapons, so shooting doesn't exist as a sport. But keep in mind, where this church is probably located, shooting is THE sport. If Basketball was the most popular sport, they would probably hold a hoops contest with the winner getting new sneakers and an NBA ball. In other words, the church is appealing to the popular sport to attract the most kids.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled rants against all things American.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Marty McFly

    "This is not a right which is granted or conveyed by man. It is a God given right."

    And Which god Would That Be Exactly?

    I'm guessing not one of the american indian ones? probably not allah either? i hazard it wouldnt be a vietnamese budhist god perhaps? no? thought not.

  91. Kane Silver badge
    Flame

    @ Omar Little

    "How much more will you give up in hoping to live in a world where evil will not attack?"

    I don't hope to live in a world where evil will not attack. By it's very nature "evil" will always attack. It's evil.

    Isn't it? Or is this thread going to descend into the old "shades of grey" argument?

    Flame on....

  92. Kane Silver badge
    Go

    @ halfcut

    ROFLMAO!!

    I just had an image in my head of a granny in combat gear hitting a bunch of unruly teenagers over the head with a book of raffle tickets. xD

    Assault Raffle. Fantastic.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    child labour rules

    "If Congress, back when our country was fighting for its independence could give engraved muskets to the fifteen or so eleven year old boys that their teacher, Mr. Akins, led into battle"

    Not to be pedantic but there were a lot of things that 11-15 year old boys were allowed to do back then. Like mine coal. Just imagine how much we could save if we could have kids mining coal instead of going to school. I am told by a teacher who works in coal country that most kids have little interest in school anyway, and are just waiting to get in the mine so they can be rich. Best of all, in the US youth can be paid about $1.50 less than adults! And we can marry off the girls at 12! Just imagine all the money we could save. Close down all the high schools for one. And if one does want a high school education, there are plenty of private high school available. Just like in the stories we hear where those religious schools are mostly a front to teach terrorism. Onward Christian Soldier...

  94. Philip Kroker
    Coat

    @Jesus Puncher

    The definition of evil according to Webster " a: morally reprehensible : sinful, wicked <an evil impulse> b: arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct <a person of evil reputation>". Ergo evil is a subjective term depending on your point of view, therefor judging by your comment everyone who doesn't see eye to eye with you, you would consider evil, as it would appear that you find them to be people of bad character or conduct.

    I find it increadibly amusing when those who preach tolerance are themselves the most intolerant people I have the misfortune of coming accross.

    *mine's the body armour with a cross on it*

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Incoherent ranting...

    So the story is that there's a shooting competition and the prize is a gun. I don't believe it. The evil bastards! Wont someone think of the children.

    Bring back hanging I say; they come over here, take our jobs... Or some other incoherent Daily Mail bullshit.

  96. Omar Little
    Jobs Horns

    Jesus Puncher

    Shows how inept you are. Exactly how do you figure I mind less about my daughter or wife being raped less than my son? Rape against a male child is on the increase. Once never heard of, it now is almost as common as rape against a woman or little girl, but I'm sure your sick fascination of such topics is why you can't differentiate that all rapes should result in the death of the offender.

    Your comparing murder rates to the US. Fine. The thing is the murder is committed by the minorities and quite frankly nobody cares. As long as the blacks keep killing blacks, and mexicans keep killing mexicans or blacks, nobody cares. Its not racial. Its because they sponge off all others. They are the "entitlement owed" society. Everyone owes us. Yes, believe it or not I'm black but realize how screwed up my people are. I want as little to do with them as possible because most won't help themself, but want society to do all the work for them. It is why public housing in the US is over running with blacks, and now Mexicans.

    Property crimes in Europe is skyrocketing. Murders are up in countries guns are almost entirely outlawed. Explain that. Guns are outlawed in Japan, yet one of the Japanese leaders (don't recall whom) was shot. Big brother is alive and well in England. To take a stand is a crime in your country. If I were in England and the KKK had torches out front, and I called the police they may come, in a couple hours. By that time I'm dead, and so is my family. Yet if in England I repel the invaders I am the criminal. For only protecting what is legally mine. What is wrong with that. Gun control laws are racist forms of control. All gun laws are geared because they don't want us negros having them. The rich and famous get to have protection from the likes of me, but I can't protect myself from hood rats of my own race in places like California.

    If your for gun control, your a racist. Plain and simple.

    Kwac, if you had have a clue to the number of arms I posses, you would wet your pants. You fear what you don't know or understand, yet you should fear the government that wants to criminalize you for being responsible. Sickening.

  97. Juillen

    A few things:

    In reply to the quote: "232 years and the Redcoats are still complaining about how we realized that the right to own guns is granted by God and not the Magna Carta. This, my friends, is why (and how) we won that war."

    First, the "how" the war was won, was by enlisting the aid of the French, who basically managed to lift the blockade of the eastern seaboard. Without that, the revolution would have collapsed (no ability to transport bulk cargo such as provisions).

    And also, by enlisting the tactics employed by the native americans, who used fast hit and retreat raids before the war of independance, and the new populace simply used that as a basis for further fights.

    The why of it was simply to stop getting taxed without being represented. Which is exactly the position that the US finds itself in today. Nothing to do with God (which in those days you were either Church of England, which was based in England anyway, or Catholic, which was based in Rome), just a rebelling against a rather tyrannical (and mad) king. Which honestly, I can quite understand. Shame we can't do the same thing against our politicians these days; it would be good to keep them on their toes and not sell us out at every turn.

    And to another post that says you have a guaranteed right to defend yourself.. Well, technically yes.. However, you could still so easily end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit if you even try, and banged up for an awful long time in the "Bubba Boudoir".

    But still so true that England is turning so namby pamby with the 'ban this, ban that' attitude.. Banning things won't make the blindest bit of difference if we still keep breeding the thugs that'll simply wield something else to cause hurt.

    I just find it weird that a church is giving away a gun, what with Christianity being more of a peaceful religion these days. I tend to see it as about as comforting as a mosque doing just the same thing in the middle east. Both make me just a little antsy.

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could...

    ...one of the many peace loving God fearing Americans explain the difference between this church arming new young recruits under the guise of a youth conference and a Taliban madras doing the same thing?

  99. Peyton
    Flame

    All I've gotta say is

    Poor Sarah Bee - first the obesity thread, now religion! Certainly is a good way to get everyone worked up on a Monday - The Reg journos must have it in for her today. Almost makes one want to go and find a tame article and post a comment with a misspelled word :p

  100. Ash
    Stop

    Religious gun owners.

    All you religious types (Christian or Muslim, fundamentalist nutters are all the same) with your wacky black and white, good and evil simpleton views of the world aren't going to make anything better by turning a human being into a pile of minced flesh and hair.

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Philip Kroker

    "find it increadibly amusing when those who preach tolerance are themselves the most intolerant people I have the misfortune of coming accross."

    Great. And when you come across intolerant people such as myself, or the gun-bearing god-fearing religious nuts, which would you rather share a neighbourhood with?

    To get rid of me, all you have to do is turn off the computer or go to a different website, (and I'll eventually get bored, and do some work, that ive been avoiding). Im unlikely to erect a congrogation point in your town, and amass people to convert to my views, and hand out guns to them.

    X

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Omar Little

    Jesus christ man. you missed the point.

    We dont have KKK in england.

    It is *not* like that over here.

    As Lukin Brewer said....

    "The low probability of getting shot at on London’s streets makes me feel a lot safer than the ability to shoot back would."

  103. J
    Pirate

    Assault or not, who cares...

    "I hope that they give some sort of competency test before doling out the rifles"

    Yeah, I can see it now...

    Pastor (closet homosexual pedophile): "Do you swear on this Bible not to injure anyone with this God-given gift, hallelujah?"

    Inbred moron who happened to win the gun (and has been harassed by said pastor years back): "m-kaay" [drooling]

    And to the idiots who think they can defend themselves against their government by having guns, and all that stupid 2nd amendment story... (what about the "well regulated" part, eh?) Just open your eyes, will you? Take a look around, maybe get a little perspective?

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I for one welcome

    Our gun-toting, scripture-rewriting overlor.... oh, wait. We used to be the gun-toting overlords.

    Ah well.

    Look, everyone. The point is it's legal for them to do this. No laws broken. Now while the law isn't always "right", in the 'states this law is generally accepted to be okay. A little more vetting of potential gunners would be useful, maybe allowing them to be kept at home in secure boxes unless you've got a good reason to have it out would help a bit too. Though it gets rid of the deterrance factor.

    And according to the article it IS just a single AR-15. Not a whole case of them, or just handing them out to anyone who turns up. That's probably less dangerous than giving them a car, so long as they make a point of doing a little vetting on the winner first.

    @Omar Little

    We want to be like the French?! For a start, that's bollocks. Except in the case of Gordon Brown and a few southerners.

    And how can you say that being like the French is a bad thing when your own country's liberty was a result of Froggy intervention in your rebellion against the British, your Statue of Liberty is French, and so on?

    Also, you've got a similar war-record to the French. Except shorter. And don't you forget it. You beat the Brits once on your home turf, got your asses kicked in 'nam, the Cold War doesn't count as it wasn't a war, and you arrived late in a couple of world wars. And you've got a legendarily inaccurate- yet expensive- Airforce.

    We controlled 1/4 of the globe. With wooden ships, cannons, muskets, etc. Invented the Tank.

    And so, Omar, Fuck You.

    To the rest of you Americans, please accept my sincerest sympathies for having to live with Omar. Your gun laws, though alien to me, are clearly okay for you. And as this story doesn't contravene them, I'm going to end the post there.

  105. Barry
    Go

    Pass the Bullets

    As an Atheist (non-practicing) I say praise the lord and Pass the Bullets. Buy the way the Youth being not of age to own a firearm would have to have a parent accept it in there name.

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Best. Comments. Ever.

    (Disclaimer: author is a self described 'gun-nut' living in Arizona)

    AR 15 rifles no not have to be scary black: This one's scary pink:

    http://blog.riflegear.com/archive/2007/12/26/hello-kitty-ar-15---evil-black-rifle-meets-cute-and.aspx

    If you'll excuse me, I need to clean the rest of the armory now. Mines the powered exoskeleton with the phased plasma cannon in the 40 watt range out front.

  107. Matthew Barker

    Christians

    There's a thing that Christians refer to as their "Holy Book". In it, there's a statement to which they often refer: "God is Love". And their Saviour has said one should never even speak harshly to another person or they were in danger of judgement.

    I guess guns are implements of love rather than hate.

  108. John Pate
    Stop

    Thus saith the Lord Jesus...

    Luke 22

    36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it,

    and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment,

    and buy one.

    Bible (KJV)

  109. David

    As a Christian

    I'd like to point out an order of importance on rules

    What Jesus Said>What the Old Testament Says>Everything Else

    Which means loving thy neighbour, and letting God take revenge for you (and treating everyone nicely even if they screw you over) is the right thing to do, and this overruled the prior slightly sadistic side of Christianity/Judaism.

    But in all cases, the second amendment and the right to bear guns may be ok, but if the guns are ever used, in any circumstances (including being robbed, or being attacked) then one would be breaking christian law.

    Anyway, the point - anyone who cites their rights to bear arms is forgetting that to a Christian the bible is the only set of rules to follow, and in a case like this, there's no real leeway to argue for the ownership and inevitable use of weapons. The exception is where a weapon can be used as a deterrant, in which case that's ok, because it's not being used.

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Geez...

    Absolutely hysterical - people wetting their panties at the mere mention of a firearm. I guess that's caused by both ignorance and envy, but what can you expect from a country when even a British home-owner who tackles a burglar is himself arrested?

    I'm a Brit living in the US, and I've never felt as safe in my life as here (contrary to what you might see on TV). I was raised with guns in the house, own a good number of them (including "Evil Black Rifles") and compete in shooting competitions almost on a weekly basis - practical pistol (IPSC & IDPA), 3-gun, skeet and sporting clays. My ex-country has become a nation of weaklings, cowards and snivellers - how dreadful. Is there even going to be a British shooting team at the Olympics anymore?

    "Gun! Booga-booga-booga!"

  111. Jim Noeth

    I don't see anything wrong with it

    Giving a gun (of any type) to a youth doesn't make them a killer. In fact, in this setting, they can be taught gun safety. If one of these youth really want to murder someone, I'm sure they can find a way to obtain a gun. Most murders, using a gun, in the United States utilized an illegally obtained gun. I own multiple guns, and have not shot, nor even attempted to shoot, a person. A church that I attended in the past had regular trap/skeet shooting events. Many a clay pigeon lost its life, but, no harm ever came to a person as a result.

    By the way, the Bible doesn't say 'Thou shalt not kill', it says 'Thou shalt not commit murder', although some translations do state the former. If you look at the Hebrew text, it definitely is the latter. There is a difference between killing and murder. Also, the new testament mentions that there is a time to kill and a time to let live.

  112. Adam Pearson
    Linux

    Luke 22:36

    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    ...shall not be infringed

    "I have no problem with these religious "nutjobs" owning guns... because I know they'd be the first to stand up and fight against tyranny."

    They are the same ones who elected Bush!

    Is it just me who thinks this guy is suggesting that he is about to start an uprising with a group of kids:

    "If Congress, back when our country was fighting for its independence could give engraved muskets to the fifteen or so eleven year old boys that their teacher, Mr. Akins, led into battle against the British, then we can give away a firearm still today, especially since our Supreme Court just re-emphasized our Second Amendment rights."

    I have just one question about the second amendment. Do the bear arms have to be attached to the bear's torso, or can they be separate?

  114. Russ
    Alert

    Ouch!

    Wow! Sounds like you Brits are still holding a grudge - Y'all seem to be a bit miffed that personal gun ownership in America sent you packing back to your small, overtaxed island 232 years ago - Might want to pour a nice cuppa tea, go back to the telly and wait for the Doctor to come save you from us gun totin' loonies

    It seems that the UK has a higher crime rate than the US even though you can't own a gun - perhaps this gives the criminal types a wee bit more self confidence knowing you can't hurt them back

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_tot_cri_vic-crime-total-victims

    Proud gun owner (8 at present count) 6 of which are antique but still quite lethal

  115. Chris
    Joke

    You may someday take away our right to bear arms......

    But you will never take away our right to cheeseburger.

  116. Richard

    @UK – you guys can't have weapons, so shooting doesn't exist as a sport

    Umm, don't tell these UK guys then ...

    http://www.basc.org.uk

    http://www.gunsite.co.uk/

    and many other gun clubs that Googling for "uk gun clubs" will tell you. Plus the UK has a good track record of winning Olympic medals for shooting.

    However, due to a handful of incidents in the UK that have gone in to recent history with single word associations such as Dunblane (1996) and Hungerford (1987), we have much tighter gun controls but it is still fairly straightforward to get hold of a shotgun licence (fill in some forms pay £50 for a 5 year licence and get vetted by the Police - probably easier then getting to work with children!)

    And as for the allusion to not being able to shot people attacking/breaking in to your home in the UK ... well the notorious Tony Martin (of Norfolk 'farming' fame) killed a 16 year old lad as he was running away from a break in ... "shot him in the back at a range of about 4ft." And he, quite rightly, was prosecuted and jailed (a bit) for it.

    Yes, guns don't kill people (except when mounted on RoTM robots 8-), people do .. but not very often in the UK. From the 2005 published crime figures firearm offences in the UK were record at 10,979 which represents 0.0046% of the total number of violent incidents recorded in 2004/2005 (2.4 million).

    With all its faults I'd still rather live here than anywhere else. We have a good track record of not being able to deliver government backed IT solutions so I have high hopes for the lack of ID card rollout 8-) Anyway, the Tory's will be in power in 2 years time and so they will cancel all the money wasting projects in order to give tax cuts!

  117. Philip Kroker
    Thumb Up

    @Jesus Puncher

    "And when you come across intolerant people such as myself, or the gun-bearing god-fearing religious nuts, which would you rather share a neighbourhood with?"

    Hmmm...I think I`d have to go with the red-neck religious nuts as at least they would just shoot me as opposed to impressing upon me how backward I am until I feel the urge to do them grievious bodily harm, at which point they then stand back, condemn me all the more and feel self rightious because they feel that they have just proved their point.

  118. foo_bar_baz
    Flame

    @ Adam Pearson

    You're misinterpreting or purposefully misusing the words just like the disciples Jesus is talking to there. When the disciples use the swords to defend Jesus, he tells them to stop. Luke 22:49-51.

    See http://www.freebiblecommentary.org/pdf/EN/VOL03A.pdf page 280 for starters.

    It's dismaying to see what a bunch of fuckwits so many "Christians" are, too lazy or stupid to think. So easy to pick sentences out of context to defend any arbitrary position. Just what atheists do to show how the bible advocates evil actions.

  119. JT2008
    Dead Vulture

    @Ash

    "All you religious types (Christian or Muslim, fundamentalist nutters are all the same) with your wacky black and white, good and evil simpleton views of the world aren't going to make anything better by turning a human being into a pile of minced flesh and hair."

    Too right ...it won't make it all better ...

    but it sure is neat to watch ...

  120. JT2008
    Dead Vulture

    @Jesus Puncher

    "Great. And when you come across intolerant people such as myself, or the gun-bearing god-fearing religious nuts, which would you rather share a neighbourhood with?"

    The religious nuts, because -

    "The low probability of getting shot at on London’s streets" does not make up for the high probability of being accosted by roving thugs in Burberry.

    See how ridiculous both arguments are yet?

  121. JT2008
    Dead Vulture

    @Matthew Barker

    "There's a thing that Christians refer to as their "Holy Book". In it, there's a statement to which they often refer: "God is Love". And their Saviour has said one should never even speak harshly to another person or they were in danger of judgement.

    I guess guns are implements of love rather than hate."

    Yep ...guns are indeed implements of love.

    I love my country, and the freedoms that are mine by right.

    I won't be speaking harshly. Really.

  122. Greg Stovall

    Grandma and her 410

    Reminds me of my Grandma back in the Great Depression. She and her family lived down in a hollow here in the Ozarks, about a mile off the road. Grandpa had left to work for the WPA to earn money for the family, leaving her home alone with 8 little ones.

    She was little (under 5 foot, but she was tough). She kept a 410 (a small double barrelled shotgun) near the door, to deal with varmints, human and otherwise. When a drifter would come to the house and would threaten, as they would sometimes do to women without menfolk around, she'd grab the 410 and say, "The first barrel is loaded with salt, the second is loaded with buck-shot. I suggest you leave." She never had to use the buck-shot barrel on a human...

  123. Legless
    Flame

    @ Omar Little

    "If your for gun control, your a racist. Plain and simple."

    Wow. That's a new one on me.

    I've suddenly become a racist and it must be true as a black man has said it.

    You're an idiot.

    Cheers

  124. Liam
    Coat

    another essay...

    @ Boondock Saints - are we the only people to have seen this film? great movie!

    yeah - give killing weapons to mentally deranged god botherers... cos america really needs more guns eh?

    @ Mr Fury - "Anyway, it's always amusing to see pig-ignorant views on gun ownership by my fellow Brits, nothing like a bit of ex-colonial arrogance to wake me up - its that kind of thing that made Britain what it is today!" - yes, keep up your arrogance making the USA one of the most dangerous countries in the world... the fact is that the US citizens seem to like nothing more than spouting religion whilst killing kids in schools.

    NOWHERE ELSE does this happen! this is why we think its so odd... the fact that people in the home of the free seem to think they need to be armed 24/7 just seems ridiculous to the rest of the world! its not like you live in bloody israel is it?

    " its that kind of thing that made Britain what it is today!" - what ? you mean a place where the residents arent scared of their own shadow, dont feel the need to carry guns and dont have kids randomly killing kids in schools? wow! that sounds horrible. england really needs columbine <sigh>

    on a side note i have the documentary jesus camp to watch tonight - scary looking film about the christian fundaMENTALISTS in the USA...

    @ "232 years and the Redcoats are still complaining about how we realized that the right to own guns is granted by God and not the Magna Carta. This, my friends, is why (and how) we won that war." - hehe - yes a whole nation against an armed army miles from home. make the most of it - isnt that the first war you won by yourselves? oh no - the french helped you! :) i think between the USA and france they might have won 1 war between them...

    im not anti USA - they make some great movies and games... its just this odd thing that you seem to be enfatuated with guns (like all small boys).

    @ "You complain that a church is giving away guns. You complain that a car dealership is giving away guns. Yet you hide in fear because your own government, the once great British Empire will arrest the tax payer for defending his own property while gangs of youths pelt the home with rocks for over two hours. You have outlawed knives, and even wooden swords in your plays. Is your crime less?" - ERM... yes, yes it is! in fact its WAYYYYY less than america/5 (roughly 5x the population i think).

    mine's the kevlar one!

  125. E_Nigma
    Stop

    Dear Allan

    The fact that some practice is legal in a country does not mean that it is right, even less that it is not subject to debate. A lot of things were just fine in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime, for example.

    And there are several things that can be argued about here. Some of them, in no particular order are:

    - giving guns to young people;

    - a religious organization giving away valuable things as a means of attracting young people;

    - guns being given away by a religious organization whose top values ought to be love and mercifulness.

  126. Steen Hive
    Joke

    I own a couple of guns

    And have never had to contemplate using them to support a concept of defence as skewed as it's spelling. That the amount of guns in circulation in a country has no definitive causal link to the amount of measurable violence (see Switzerland, Canada) is neither here nor there. The causal link to violence is exposed only when you sample a population of juvenile latent psychopaths with an idiotic dichotomic worldview, and an inherited, over-inflated self-image coupled with severe adequacy issues.

  127. Richard

    @Ouch

    Hmm ... what about, from the same site, the following statistics (all from over 6 years ago of course) ...

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-crime-murders-with-firearms

    Big difference there eh?

    Or even ...

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

    Still if you catch them you can lock em up ...

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_pri_per_cap-crime-prisoners-per-capita

    Does not stop the notion that guns are dangerous in human hands though ... give them to the machines instead 8-)

  128. steogede
    Alert

    Reality Check

    There aren't many details in the story, but it seems they are holding a rifle shooting competition, for which the first prize is a rifle.

    This is Oklahoma, most of these kids (rightly or wrongly) have probably owned a rifle since a young age. Those who don't already own their own rifle probably won't even be in the running. So basically they are giving one more gun to a kid who probably already owns several. They aren't just handing out guns to anyone who shows up at the conference. As to what the relevance is to a Christian Youth Conference, I couldn't say. Then again it is no more irrelevant than the other sports competitions they are holding. It could be worse, they could be running a boxing competition.

  129. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Assault vs hunting Rifle

    So the massive difference between an 'assault' rifle (military grade M16 etc) and a hunting rifle (AR-15) is the number of times you have to pull the trigger. So - range, ammunition type, stopping power, bullet velocity, target effect - all the same.. but you can only fire 15 rounds per minute rather than 60+

    And I understand you can't replace the one simple machined sear of the trigger mechanism that allows full auto fire. ever. right.

    And we need these on the streets cos you can't get a deer with a bolt action or cos you need to put a full clip into a beast or cos you need to kill 30 of them in quick succession (or are you shooting a lot of little birds in a tight airborne formation)?

  130. Seán

    Jesus wept

    Guns are for people with tiny malfunctioning cocks and religions are for people with tiny malfunctioning brains. That country is a Jim Davidson joke, crude, sexist and unfunny. Give them all guns and let them clear the place out for the new owners.

  131. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank god...

    People in the UK are only being killed in droves by people with knives, eh?

  132. Russ

    @Richard

    Individual stats on one item are not really relevant. I was pointing out that the UK has a higher crime rate overall than the US - even with the extreme governmental controls on gun ownership. Taking guns away from people who are already law abiding citizens does nothing to prevent a criminal from being a criminal

    I've owned a firearm of one type or another since I got my first .22 at age 8. Outside of my military service, I have never killed anyone intentionally OR accidentally. I have dropped a buck here and there as well as successfully defending my home from an intruder once.

    Can you explain what the world gains or how it becomes a better place by having my right to keep and bear arms revoked?

  133. RW
    Linux

    @ Juillen

    Quoth Juillen: "The why of [the American Revolution] was simply to stop getting taxed without being represented."

    Sorry Mack, but it was _much_ more complex than that—like any historically significant event, and most that are historically insignificant. True, the slogan "no taxation without representation" was used to justify some aspects of the Revolution, but that was a smokescreen to disguise the real issues.

    But rather than drive our Divine Moderatrix wild with a discursive rant,, let me suggest an action plan: find, and read, any six *serious* histories of the American Revolution. Each author will point to a different set of factors as "the causes of" or "the reasons for" the Revolution. Having read six, you will then understand that such historical events are really not susceptible to elementary analysis, but in fact are exceedingly complex complexes of causative factors, motivations overt and concealed, consequences, and consequences of consequences.

    I recommend for starters "Origins of the American Revolution" by John C. Miller, publ. Little, Brown & Co, Boston, 1943. (There are over 300 copies at alibris.com.) Not that this is the end-all and be-all of such histories, nor that it is a shining beacon of historiography, but rather that even such a straightforward analysis reveals an extremely tangled web of motives and causative factors.

    It is folly to single out any one factor as the sole (or even principal) cause of the American Revolution.

    Precisely the same remarks can be made anent the Russian Revolution, the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Cromwellian Commonwealth in 1649., the French Revolution, the collapse of the Soviet Union, or the attempted secession of Abkhazia from the Republic of Georgia.

    As James Yourdon was fond of quoting, "everything is deeply intertwingled."

    Tux because quoting Yourdon gives these remarks an inarguable air of IT-relevancy, the better to soothe the nerves of our frazzled Moderatrix.

  134. Daniel B.
    Dead Vulture

    I have to say it...

    PRAISE THE LORD .... AND PASS THE AMMUNITION!!!!!!

    The Vulture was mistaken by an infidel.

  135. Nanki Poo
    Coat

    Oh dearie me...

    It's all going haywire here. Oooo, some points...

    "Right to bear arms"/"protection from the government": Could we have a quick count-up between the Americans how many F111's and Abraham Tanks you have in your garages? The government will always have bigger guns than you, why do you think there are restrictions FFS!?!?!? They're feeding you the crumbs so you wont want the cake.

    "Little Britainers": I think the true bigotry and cultural misunderstanding is actually being predominantly displayed by (some of) the Americans on here. If you think we're all cowering in our sheds waiting for the burglar to break in and go away, you've been looking at the wrong stories. That was the blitz. And it stopped around the mid 40's, you know, just after you joined the war... Actually our laws cover us perfectly adequately, and cases of people being prosecuted for 'defending' life and property are very few. As it happens we don't just pat people on the back if they shoot someone, we investigate it, and no further action is taken if it is reasonable. Over here your mother-in-law can visit safely (I didn't recognise her, officer, but you have to admit she does look threatening), and you can knock on a door for directions without being scattered in every direction.

    Remember, your misinformation is just the same as (some of) the British here, you believe what you read in the narrow avenues you choose to see. There is far more of a realisation here that we are being lied to. Unfortunately, America does not have the same problem, the 49.9% of questioners are outweighed by the 50.1% of sheep. It's all a distraction!! Read, learn, disentangle your Thinker from your Prover! Otherwise all the guns in the world wont help you.

    Over here in Blighty this understanding is currently manifesting as apathy, but the anger is building. The revolution is near. Listen Gordon and Dave. As we march on the streets, the blood-obsessed section of American society will be picking up their guns just as the USAF wipes out the whole neighbourhood cos they couldn't tell where the shot was coming from.

    "Do you hear the people sing. Singing the song of angry men"

    Incidentally, I know that all Merkans are not dumb, there are thinkers aplenty (at least 49.9%), and I appear to have met quite a lot of them.

    Incidentally, there's more chance of me being gay-bashed (and have been) than shot or stabbed on London streets. Now, THAT must be a difficult one to call for some on here. "Damn, who should get it... the crim or the faggot?"

    PS. "I guess guns are implements of love rather than hate." - best make sure it's not loaded first, eh...? ;)

    Yeah, the one with the barricade in the pocket, thanks...

    Nk

  136. Is It Me...?
    Coat

    You don't say...

    "the event featured 21 hours of preaching"

    ...after 21 hours of preaching, i'd be ready to go out and shoot someone.

    Probably the preacher.

    Now where did i put that gun i got from the Mormon's?

  137. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    RE: Civil War Rev.1

    So I take it that that Titor guy is correct and China will try to conquer the world soon, yes?

    Thumb, get me out of here into a passing spaceship, now!

  138. pctechxp

    Whenever I read one of these stories

    I can't help but get an image of Yosemite Sam

  139. NT

    What's actually the point here?

    I've been reading El Reg long enough to know not to ask about the IT angle for a story. But here the question is, what's the point of the story?

    Having read through the article and the comments I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be getting irate about. As many have already pointed out, the church isn't doing anything illegal. Odd, in the eyes of many of us Brits, and probably those Americans who aren't obsessed with guns - but "some Americans love guns more than life itself" isn't exactly news, is it?

    The incongruity of a church giving away weapons...? Yeah, I can sort of see that - religion of peace, and so on, yeah, sure. But again, it's hardly an earth-shattering development. Michael Moore pointed out a bank giving away guns to people opening accounts a few years back. It seems a bit bizarre, but companies - and presumably churches - need to offer things that people actually *want* if they're hoping it'll be an incentive. Many people in America like guns, which puts us right back to the point above. Can you own a gun and still follow a religion of peace? Or does owning a gun make you violent and supportive of violence? Seems that's not so much a debate about religion as the central question of the gun control debates.

    The only thing I can really see this article's achieved is to give the "we hate religious people" Dawkins wannabes yet another excuse to chuck up all their usual worn-out bile and preen themselves on their intellectual greatness. And no, before they jump on me, I'm not a Christian.

  140. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Good grief...

    I'm baffled how anyone can believe that mere possession of an object can magically turn a sane, law-abiding person into a homicidal lunatic. Do your kitchen knives make you run out and slash at people in the street?

    Paris - because even she has more common-sense than that.

  141. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    the right to arm bears... whateverthefuckyouwanttodo

    Garth - You get humour, you get sarcasm and you can take it too... welcome to the land of hono(u)rary Brit mate... nice to have you aboard.

    KWAK - I sure the "thou shalt have a firearm" line is in there mate, although in my version it seems to be written in crayon.

    Omar Little: "if you had have a clue to the number of arms I posses, you would wet your pants".... lm(f)ao... oh dear, there appears to be a criminally orientated individual attempting to gain entry to my home. I must defent myself. Now then, shall I use the barretta, or the colt, or maybe that nice crossbow I've been keeping for a rainy day. Ah yes but then of course there is the uzi, and that lovely old hunting rifle with IR scopes that I got from the kids last Easter, or the 4-10 shotgun, or the 12bore, or the double barrelled 12bore, or ma 20guage, or the elephant gun, or the sawn off, or the anti-aircraft cannon emplacement out back... Mind you, I haven't touched ma AK47 for a while either; then of course there's the unopened box of mix-and-match M16's, but if I use one of them should I go for the yellow one, or the green one, or the pink one? Certainly can't use the blue one, it would clash with my slippers... oh I really don't know... there's just soooo much to chose from.

    Yeh, I wet my pants alright !!!

  142. Scott

    Guns don't kill people, people do

    With guns. Bill Hicks once described the UK as a socialist f***ing nightmare, but by my reckoning my chances of ending up prematurely on a slab are four times lower over here (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita). Interesting that Canada combines a 22% level of gun ownership with a UK-level murder rate, so it's not necessarily the guns that are dangerous, but the culture.

  143. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Water Kills indiscriminately...

    ... so lets have some balance here and ban H2O. Returns [column 15] Daily Mail to [9inch] pocket.

  144. Jack Burrows

    Trying not to Brit bash here

    As a proud legally gun toting Texas (a higher form of American). I have read through the comments on this article with interest. First allow me to clarify a few items for our brothers and sisters on the other side of the pond.

    First, our Constitution guarantees those of us in the U.S. the right to keep and bear arms and clearly states that the government cannot restrict said right. A recent decision by our Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment refers to the right of the individual and not the state thus echoing the intentions of our Founding Fathers (treasonous rebels to you Brits). This right was important enough to them to ensure that, if necessary, the people would have the means to revolt against the government as well as provide for their own security. History at that time showed a definite need for the ability to revolt against a tyrannical government.

    Now to quote a few great Americans:

    "Those who give up liberty for the sake of security deserve neither liberty nor security" Benjamin Franklin

    Secondly, mentions of us turning to the French for support during the Revolution. Yes we did, and they were a great assistance to us at the time. A debt we repaid during two world wars that were fought largely in Europe. And lest we forget, the U.S. also aided the U.K during those wars by providing troops and supplies.

    A person note to Anonymous Coward: for his post "...and you arrived late in a couple of world wars." Late? For what? We declared neutrality less than two months after the beginning of WWI. It was only sympathy for the Brits that brought us into a war that had nothing to do with us.

    In WWII, we once again provided arms and supplies to the Brits in order to assist them in staving off the terrible Huns. Our entry into that European war was a direct result of Japan attacking us and aligning themselves with the Germans who declared war on the U.S.

    Your statement is a simple illustration of the British mentality that the U.S. needs to come to your aid when the chips are down.

    And to clarify another statement of yours "You beat the Brits once on your home turf". Actually it was twice The first was the American Revolution, the second was the War of 1812.

    A few of my favorite quotes from history:

    "The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."

    --Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.

    "One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."

    --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796. ME 9:341

    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the Body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind . . . Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."

    --Thomas Jefferson, Letter to his nephew Peter Carr, August 19, 1785.

    "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements)."

    --Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution with (his note added), 1776. Papers, 1:353

    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

    --Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria in On Crimes and Punishment (1764).

  145. NT

    @ Jack Burrows: Not Trying Too Hard, Though...

    << As a proud legally gun toting Texas >>

    'Texan', I presume you meant. Or maybe you meant you were a gun, and you were toting Texas? But then the 'legally' gives us a problem... I'll go with 'Texan'.

    << First allow me to clarify a few items for our brothers and sisters on the other side of the pond. >>

    Please do. We're always happy to be corrected by 'higher forms of American'.

    << First, our Constitution guarantees those of us in the U.S. the right to keep and bear arms and clearly states that the government cannot restrict said right. >>

    Yes, we know.

    << ...our Founding Fathers (treasonous rebels to you Brits) >>

    No, not *us* Brits. Maybe the Brits in the 18th Century (back when the treasonous rebels considered themselves Brits, too - you do know Paul Revere never said "the British are coming", don't you?)...

    But not us. Believe it or not, by 2008 most of us have pretty much come to terms with the fact that USA is now a country in its own right. The ones who haven't are imperialist throwbacks. I think it's fair to say that most Americans have a grip on the modern situation too. Not all, apparently, but most.

    << This right was important enough to them to ensure that, if necessary, the people would have the means to revolt against the government >>

    Aye. Dread to think what sort of government you think would warrant that, though, since the current shower apparently don't.

    << Your statement is a simple illustration of the British mentality that the U.S. needs to come to your aid when the chips are down. >>

    The US *needs* to do nothing, and I don't think the British expect anything of the sort. I could go down the line of asking you to name the countries that stood by you (at least, whose politicians stood by you) when you decided to go conquer Iraq. I know a lot of Americans - the higher form, usually - like to think of the US as being above global affairs. They're the sort of people who make big noise about how they don't care what other countries think. Maybe they don't - but some of them seem to put a great deal of energy into making sure everyone knows it...

    The thing is - and since I'm a Brit you can take my word for this - empires rise and fall. When our empire fragmented, we ended up in a reasonably good position. We still had - and still have - fairly good relations with most of our former territories. Sure, there's a bit of rivalry and even a little resentment in some quarters even now - but by and large we get on pretty well. The existence of the Commonwealth is testament to that.

    The USA might not need anyone right now. You might be above the rest of us. You're rich. You're powerful. The world looks up to you. No-one's the Boss Of You, we know. But things change. And it might be worth considering an insurance policy. If the Sun does ever set on the American Empire, you might be thankful that you kept a few people on side.

    << A few of my favorite quotes from history: >>

    It pains me that I can't remember who to thank for one of my favourite quotes from history, any time I'm confronted with an insecure American on an anti-British rant. The quotee, whoever it was, was a woman lecturing a similarly puffed-up American on the War of Independence as a great British victory. When he sputtered his indignation, she explained that since the War was fought by British colonists against a German king employing German mercenaries, it was difficult to see what else it could be called.

    Heh.

    Anyway, methinks the 'higher form of American' here doth protest too much. I think most of the people here who've stopped to think about it have acknowledged at least that the actual ownership of guns is entirely legal in the area in question. The American right to own guns isn't at issue, so probably didn't need this fervent a defence. The American *attitude* to guns (or rather, the attitude of some Americans to guns) is an issue - but that's because, for a lot of other nations, that attitude is so utterly alien. For an alarmingly large number of you, they're not merely essential tools to ensure the people's control over the government: they're *idols*. I think that's what worries a lot of Americans and foreigners alike.

    Now, since I've said before I can't really understand what makes this article 'news', I'm not going to start telling you what the point is here. There really isn't one other than, like I said, giving the anti-religionists yet another feeble excuse to bash. I certainly don't think the point is to denigrate Americans. Just, maybe, a certain type - perhaps a 'higher form' - of American.

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