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Why snipers?

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Hi all AvsimmersAs a reasonably long time member of Avsim, I realise that maybe this is not the correct place to ask my question -- but I do so because I find most Avsimmers to be of a temperate disposition and I am not keen to ask it elsewhere.Watching the unfolding tragic events in New Orleans, I have become aware of something, which as an Australian, I find to be quite incomprehensible. I realise that civilisation is really only a thin veneer and mankind can be savage, I understand that poverty and drug addiction exist, I appreciate that people can be simply bad or crazy. But, can any of my American friends give me any kind of thoughts as to why snipers would be taking potshots in the midst of this turmoil? Mostly , I have found that when a disaster occurs, the best part of people comes forward -- I guess that a small number may take advantage of a bad situation and hence I can kind of understand why some may murder, rape, pillage --- but why snipe?? What advatage does that give the sniper? Is it just sickness? Sorry for this -- Regards Barry

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Either mad from the heat, mad from pure hatred, or mad from being forgotten about for 4 days.I would have airdropped water and instructions for next steps into the inner city Tuesday morning. They would have known that America cared by Tuesday evening.btMr. Monday Morning Quarterback

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Look no further than what you see portrayed in Hip-Hop and the glorification of Gang violence... Being an outlaw for the sake of being an outlaw is more attractive to the youth of America than education. Now this can go for

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>Look no further than what you see portrayed in Hip-Hop and>the glorification of Gang violence... Being an outlaw for the>sake of being an outlaw is more attractive to the youth of>America than education. Now this can go for

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Simple - when there is no law and order (no one able to enforce law and keep the peace) some people will behave the way they've always wanted to. In areas where there is little police presence, you have shootings and murders every day. Now you have a whole city in that situation. I'm afraid that could happen in just about any large US city under those circumstances. A major contributer to this are the points that Dillon brought up. It's why so many of the good guys carry a gun wherever they go.

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Could it not be argued that the fact that US society is awash with legally available firearms is actually a major cause of the problem?Ian

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The mayor of New Orleans blames a lot of the violence drug addicts that are crazed after many days without a fix. Don't know about the snipers, but maybe he has a point.-

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>Could it not be argued that the fact that US society is awash>with legally available firearms is actually a major cause of>the problem?>>IanWhat do "legally available" firearms have to do with rape, looting, burning and destruction of property? The "sniping" could have been done with a hunting rifle, which are legal in just about any country.I read recently that there was a suggestion in the UK, that due to the fact the pointed end kitchen knives have been used in a number of recent stabbings, and that they are readily available in just about any kitchen, that they should be outlawed in favor of blunt ended knives. In Japan, some nut case killed a bunch of kids in a school, with a Samurai sword. In other parts of the world you see this king of wanton violence meted out with machetes, etc. Where there's a will, there's way.You can't blame the instrument for the behavior of the person wielding it. Yeah, there are too many repeat offenders with guns, but the major cause of that is a pitiful justice system that keeps letting them back out on the streets instead of putting them away for life, where they belong. Bob Klemm

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That area of Louisiana near New Orleans is a hunters paradise - ducks, birds, small game. Many, many people hunt and have guns in their homes. For those who live on the outlying areas - a pistol or a shotgun for the occasional posionous snakes or alligator is very useful.What the television did not show, because even reporters are not completely brainless, was much of the early looting was of gun stores and the hunting departments of larger stores.A lot of the people knew that the city would become completely lawless - didn't take a genius to figure that one out - and went after "protection".However, many of the weapons shown / described are illegal at all times in the US. The automatic weapons are imported from Europe to the countries which produce cocaine and other drugs. The guns are then smuggled into the US.The gangs described above obtain these guns and have armories better than the police. This is happening world wide.At this point even the worst thugs are despirate.The people who get on the bus for evacuation are those strong enough to push themselves, their children, their 65 year old mother - to the front of the line.If a gun makes a 15-30 hour difference in getting water for a crying baby - they use it - anyone would.Some of the early shooting at rescuers was probably rationalized along the line "They've passed by us a dozen times, my babies are dying. If I shoot at the helicopter, the Army is going to come and get me - but at least they will take me and my family out of this ####."

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>What do "legally available" firearms have to do with rape,>looting, burning and destruction of property? >In the words of Philip Marlowe: "Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. You're the second guy I've met within hours who seems to think a gat in the hand means a world by the tail."-

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Well you've sort of made my point.."Many, many people hunt and have guns in their homes.""Much of the early looting was of gun stores and the hunting departments of larger stores."We don't have gun stores in our towns and - apart from farmers with a shotgun licence - we're not allowed to keep guns in our homes. Yes, we have armed criminals of course, but the number of guns in circulation is miniscule by comparison to the US - simply because we can't legally own them. So if the same disaster was to occur in a British city they'd be far fewer desperate or criminally motivated people wandering around with a gun - of whatever type - in their hand.That was the point I was trying to get across.Ian

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>So if the same disaster was to occur in a British city they'd>be far fewer desperate or criminally motivated people>wandering around with a gun - of whatever type - in their>hand.I hope you never have to prove that, Ian. When there is no law enforcement presence, anarchy will rear its head. It doesn't matter what you use for weapons. My area 'experienced' hurricane Andrew. Picture Katrina without the water. After Andrew, there was no law enforcement or National Guard presence for some time. The police were in the same boat with everyone else who lives in the area - trying to secure their homes and families. There was some early looting of damaged/destroyed stores and homes, but that didn't last too long. The home and business owners protected themselves, their families, and what was left of their businesses and homes, with guns. After a few run-ins with looters, (in which the looters lost) the looting stopped. At night, people in my neighborhood took turns standing guard out on the streets. That gave the rest of the folks some peace of mind while living in homes that couldn't be secured. We had no issues with security on my block.If criminals who use guns in the commision of a crime were dealt with the way they SHOULD be, we wouldn't have these problems. There will always be debate, and both sides have their issues, but it's just too easy to blame the weapon instead of the person using it.And remember Ian, the right to keep and bear arms was born during the American revolution, so it's Britain's fault that so many Americans have them today! ;)Bob Klemm

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"If criminals who use guns in the commision of a crime were dealt with the way they SHOULD be, we wouldn't have these problems."Oh I'd agree with you there Bob. I'm just glad that here in the UK most of our criminals - and indeed most of our police - don't carry guns. I fear for the future though.. If I had to defend my property, I'd have to dig out my cricket bat from the shed!All the bestIan:)

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>If I had to defend my property, I'd have to dig out my cricket>bat from the shed!But, you see - if that happens too many times, you'll have calls for bat control! :) However, you have one choice for what your bat is made of. We have to decide between aluminum (aluminium?) and wood. :-lolBTW - I carry a gun every day on the job, where I'm also a pistol instructor, so my views may be a little 'jaded'. All of the armed people that I know personally are the good guys. But it is a little scary to know what's out there, and who may be carrying it. Bob

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Thank you to all who have replied to my post. In 1923, Australia had its first and only Police "strike" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1923_Victorian_Police_strikeVigilante groups were eventually formed and the resultant lawlessness was stopped.So opportunism is nothing new - not restricted to any time or place. Possibly in this particular time and place, it has been accentuated by the modern availability of weapons and drugs and also by the clear difference between "haves and have-nots" (note that I didn't say poverty) I do believe that there is a sickness in our western civilisation. I have no idea what the answer to it is - probably nothing that can be thought up my man. We are after all imperfect - really we are just intelligent animals, but animals nevertheless. Our problem is that we don't understand this and think that we can control everything, including nature and our own selves. The next thousand years of human history will be very interesting - just a pity that none of us will know what it will be. Barry

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Barry the only thing I can say now is Brisbane Australia is looking very attractive these days...I sure wish I was ware you are right about now. You guys don't have a third of the problems we have in the US...

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Yep, we are basically animals cursed or blessed (most likely both), with self-reflective consciousness. Western civilisation encourages us to deal with that concept alone and as individuals.Is that right or wrong?., as you say Barry who knows, who knows?Dan

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>Could it not be argued that the fact that US society is awash>with legally available firearms is actually a major cause of>the problem?>>IanNo, you can't state that.Most of the people guilty of things like this had those weapons illegally anyway.Those same people living in other countries would also have illegal weapons.Take my own country for example. We have some of the strictest anti-weapons laws in the world (basically anything is illegal unless locked in a safe in a vault at a gunclub or with special dispensation for transport to a match elsewhere or from a store to a point of storage and even then you need a police license to not only own the gun but to buy it and to operate it as well).Yet just about every criminal has access to a gun, often weapons way more powerful than anything the regular police have (there's several assaults on armoured trucks a year here using rocket propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles, several times a week someone is murdered using a pistol or machine gun, etc.).If law abiding citizens on the street were armed a lot of those crimes would be stopped or at least the criminal stopped before he could ever commit a crime again.Take the Columbine kids as a classic example. The anti-gun lobby uses them as their prime case to call for stricter laws (which under the US constitution are actually unconstitutional, something that may well come to bite some states if they arrest the wrong guy for keeping a gun around the house for self defense).But those kids broked 21 state and federal laws to obtain their weapons and build their bombs (which were made from materials openly accessible to anyone, household chemicals and the like using plans from the internet).They broke more laws using those guns. They also broke several school rules and state and local laws taking those guns to school.Had those laws not existed and some other students and or teachers been armed they'd have been shot and killed or disabled after firing their first few shots and only one or two people (apart from them) would have died instead of over half a dozen and the thing ended in minutes instead of dragging on for most of a day.In New Orleans it's a tad different now. The law abiding part of the city population has mostly left the city by now, those who still remain being those whe were woefully illprepared despite several days of warning and evacuation orders.That leaves the goons and gangsters who remained explicitly to exploit a situation where there are hundreds of thousands of empty homes full of expensive stuff and no police on the scene to hamper their operations (iow, burglar paradise) in control of the city. They tend to stay in control and to do that they have to make sure that law and order are not restored.That's why they shoot at aid workers and national guard helicopters.The same would happen anywhere where there's a strong gang culture (UK comes to mind though it's less organised there than in the US) no matter how severe the anti-gun laws are as those guns are obtained illegally across borders anyway.

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Glad to see Bob and others understand that anti-gun laws don't work, and that criminals are criminals no matter what the books say. Countries without guns have a big problem that is starting to show itself in the UK, and will in time in Australia as well. Nevertheless, Dillon hit the nail on the head with most of it. Also, almost half of the police in N.O. walked away from their job soon after the hurricane troubles hit. At least 2 committed suicide. Others were seen looting stores, carrying CDs, computers, and toys that have no use in disaster recovery. The violence and sheer chaos was felt in the Superdome as well, as people gathered in the thousands to seek shelter from the high floods. One tourist from England reported a 7 year-old girl was raped, and the total number of rapes was at around 20 at last count. Several murders and other crimes took place in there too. Reports of one jail where the criminals got out and were holding their guards captive also surfaced. Many of these criminals took the police weapons and scaterred throughout the town looking for trouble. Most, if not all store were looted beyond belief. Some of the weapons were taken from places like Wal-Mart and homes, where looters stepped over dead bodies to take whatever they could. Unfortunately, the majority of the problems are a reflection of the culture in NO.Also, someone commented on illegal weapons making their way into the streets. While I'm sure some people stole weapons that look like military weapons, and a few of them coming from law enforcement (jails), the truth is the medai has no clue about firearms or what's legal. A gun to the media is an AK-47 or M16, but those are NFA weapons in the U.S., and require strict control for each owner. Not to mention they cost thousands of dollars just to purchase. A real full-auto M16, similar to the military version is at least $10,000 and requires a federal tax stamp of 200 dollars. This accompanied by serious background checks and paperwork. You can't even loan these guns to friends for a day at the range. Machine guns, as people like to call them, make up an elite group of firearms owners in this country and you won't find them in very many gun shops, if at all. It's an extremely expensive hobby and only 1 crime has ever occurred with a true NFA machine gun, and that was a police officer who commited the crime. Machine guns used in crimes like the LA bank robbery were illegally configured/modified to shoot full-auto by people who were already criminals and didn't care about laws.These so-called assault weapons shoot the same bullets as many hunting rifles. Some hunting rifles actually shoot bullets that are far superior in wound trama than a .223 or 7.62 round. The anti-gun lobby loves to disort the facts about guns, and 99% of the BS they spew is just that, BS.

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>If I had to defend my property, I'd have to dig out my cricket>bat from the shed!>You're allowed to have one?Here in the Netherlands you can be arrested for posession of an illegal weapon if you keep a baseball bat (or cricket bat I presume, the sport isn't much played here) in your home in such a way it could be used as a weapon...If criminals know they're likely to be shot at, they will usually think twice.If a hood comes at you with a gun he's not going to be scared by your cricket bat, he'll just shoot you before you get in range to clobber him. Had you a gun you'd have had a fighting chance.And in the UK too the criminals DO have guns. They're top dog in their area precisely because noone else (including the police) has the firepower to stop them.

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There is no sickness in western civilisation.It's the nature of the beast which is Man, without the inhibitions against selfish and destructive behaviour imposed by western (or most Asian) society he reverts to his animal self, caring only about his personal survival and the spreading of his genes to as many females as possible.This is no different from say baboons or most other wild animals. When group structure breaks down it's a free for all with the strongest male taking top place and breeding all the females.

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Well said. Gun ownership stops or prevents several million violent crimes in the US each year. Only in a small percentage of those cases is the weapon actually fired.Of the 200 million (estimated) firearms legally owned by US citizens that means less than 1% each year is used in anger and 10% or so at most is actually fired in anger.The rest are effective in preventing crime simply by existing and are used for recreation, sports, and hunting, and as collectibles (a good percentage of those weapons are WW2 vintage and older weapons in private collections, kept in working condition and sometimes taken out but not meant for daily use).The criminals get their weapons anyway. With weapons outlawed here and in surrounding countries on all sides, criminals still have an uninterrupted supply of everything ranging from .22 pistols to anti-tank missiles.But law enforcement and the population at large have no means to counter that arsenal.Police have some Walter P.8 pistols, the average citizen has to make do with a Swiss Army knife or a letter opener...As a result many people are afraid to go out after dark, entire areas of major cities are effectively off-limits to law enforcement officers or anyone else who doesn't have permission from the local gang.

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Jeroen,A cricket bat can hardly be classed as an "illegal weapon". It's a piece of sports equipment for Christ's sake. I have a full bag of golf clubs in my house, and I can guarantee you that any one of those irons could potentially kill someone. Does that mean that those golf clubs should be confiscated ?Chris Low.

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These are disturbed individuals. Rap and Hip-Hop may have some small part in it, but I doubt it. This type of thing has been happening in the U.S. for years, and has been occuring way before these types of music even existed, or even the video games of today that much is blamed on. I remember people shooting at firemen and garbage men back in the 60's. It is a display of power and authority. He who has the gun is in charge, IN THEIR MINDS. Their power is the weapon, as most would not be confrontational without the gun. The man in the tower on an Austin, Texas campus MANY years ago (1966) was not listening to rap at the time he was shooting students crossing the campus. It is convenient for the lawyers to blame their defendants actions on music and videos today, but if one looks back a few years, these actions occured in a time where todays "tools of corruption" didn't even exist.Don

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When we saw law and order break down in Asia after the disaster of 26 December 2004, we saw people pulling together, helping each other. I was listening to the BBC reporters that had covered both disasters talking about the huge differences in what they found in the aftermath of these terrible disasters.In the US, I see the opposite... people fighting each other, looking after themselves only.This disaster has brought these sub cultures in to the spotlight for all the world to see.I find the US a very money orientated society with very little sense of social values and community spirit. This may not be true for all areas, but I have seen it in several areas I have spent time in.. Paul

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