Atheists are a small minority in the U.S. Advocates of gun control might be a minority in America as well. In light of the recent shootings in Aurora I am curious as to how atheists in this network view the lack of gun restrictions. There are probably divergent views.
I have trouble believing that both presidential candidates are steering away from any call for reform after the horrific mass shooting. In my opinion it is insane to allow citizens access to assault weapons that can kill scores of people in a few minutes. It was even more shocking to hear on a news show that a family had to raise money to pay for the immense hospital bills for one of the victims while they were already crippled with medical bills from the mothers fight with breast cancer.
As a Canadian I came to stand with my U.S brothers for the reason rally and freedom from religion. I would be willing to come down to the capitol and march for two other important causes. Gun control and universal health care.
I was taking small animals for food with bow & arrow by the time I was 5, and at 9 bought my first gun. I saw an ad in the paper, rode my bike to the address, gave the guy $10 and rode home with a .22 rifle across the handlebar. It's been about 20 years since I was last hungry enough to kill an animal, but feel no moral superiority by buying meat. The only gun I have now is Grandma's shotgun, and I'd have to file down a new nail for a firing pin to make it work again.
I don't begrudge anyone access to tools like guns, but see no reason why they shouldn't be at least as regulated as driver's licenses or building permits. The second amendment to our (US) constitution could be construed to preserve for the individual right to arms sufficient to resist or overthrow his government (via a socially moderated "well-regulated militia"). The only way today to even temporarily resist the US government's fantastic military is a rather large nuclear weapon, and those are fairly heavily regulated.
It could be construed that way, but I can't imagine why the founders would fight a four-year war to establish a democratic government and then make sure the citizens were armed well enough to resist it. There were a couple of armed insurrections shortly after the revolution (the Whiskey Rebellion and Shays' Rebellion, led by a distant relative of mine), and these were put down swiftly by the American government. Our cultural mythology has romanticized the role of militias in beating the British, but it was a trained professional army that did the job. The founders feared standing armies because the British army had become a tool of tyranny in Britain, and other professional armies actually rented out mercenaries to enrich their monarchs, such as the Hessians defeated by Washington in and around Trenton, NJ in 1776. Militias controlled by federal, state, and local governments could, in theory, alleviate the need for a standing army while still providing security against Indian attacks and external threats. A free country (the word "state" could mean a variety of political entities, not just one of our United States) could be free of oppressive military machines while still maintaining some degree of security via militias.
I don't begrudge anyone access to tools, even guns, but today's guns have range, accuracy, and destructive power the founders couldn't have imagined. I grew up in rural New York state, where most hunting was by law limited to shotguns because a rifle bullet, even one as small as a .22, can kill someone a mile away, farther than a hunter aiming at a woodchuck could ever see. I don't recall anyone, even my father, who carved, sanded and glassed a custom stock for his .270 hunting rifle, complaining about the fact that he had to hunt deer with a shotgun. It was simply a reasonable compromise between individual rights and public safety.
The NRA has been stoking paranoia for decades. The end result has been seen recently when the government tried to collect a lawful debt from a Nevada rancher, a debt 20 years delinquent that has been contested in court and confirmed lawful, but the lunatic pretending that the United States government doesn't exist refused to pay. Cliven Bundy had his day in court (many days, actually), still refused to pay the million dollars he owes, and other lunatics showed up with guns to protect his "rights." At least one man set himself up as a sniper. How many guns should a lunatic be allowed to carry in public? How am I to know when a dozen men carrying AR-15s come into a restaurant whether they are bad guys, good guys, or homicidal maniacs?
Most of the resistance to gun control is a logical fallacy called a slippery slope. The meme, older than the term "meme," is that any laws regulating firearms will lead to the confiscation of firearms. WTF? I've been hearing that for sixty years. Mr. Lapierre, tear down that fallacy! Shoot it down if you want.
WOW Craig...You are so eloquent I wish you would go into politics....This country needs more people who think like you and can articulate their ideas as well as you....I would vote for you......
The 2nd amendment references the "well-regulated militia" as essential to the "security of a free state," so it might be construed as a state's right to defend itself from the federal" government, but I am baffled as to how anyone can think that guarantees an individual's right to weapons far more powerful than anything the Founders could have imagined with no oversight allowed.
I'm glad you never shot anyone on purpose or by accident, but I'm also glad that we are not selling rifles to children anymore.
Do you have a clue what "semi-auto" means? The only option to that are single-action revolvers, or bolt action rifles. EVERYTHING else is semi-auto. A Springfield model 1911 is a semi-auto pistol..and as the name indicates it was release in 1911. That is how long guns have been semi-auto.
If a person breaks into your house at night and you have a weapon, you are likely to miss them due to adrenaline, fear, lighting, time constraints. Odds are that you are likely to miss your first 2 shots. But, I guess you will just hide in your room and call the cops anyway. Well, my children will get my best until the cops get there..Odds are your kids will just be killed as you cower in your closet.
"when vital seconds matter, the police are just minutes away"..
That is a scary one.
Someone breaks into the house and your kids are killed before the police can get there.
How often is that happening - because it would get into the news. It is not happening too much up here in Ontario where most households do not have guns that can get off quick multiple shots - or any type of gun. I suspect it is not a regular occurrence south of our border because that is the type of news that travels easily.
It is amazing how fear can be manipulated by special interest groups like the gun lobby to get a society to have an irrational social policy.
A lot of horrible things have been done by people and nations because of irrational fears.
Has it happened alot? Don't know. Could it happen? Definitely. There was a story in the news a couple of years ago..some psychopath broke into a home and killed all except the father that was tied up to watch as his family was massacred. I believe his wife may have been gang raped before they finally put her to death.
"It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have."
For me, it's about freedom. I will NEVER commit a crime with my gun. no matter if it holds 6 rounds or 30. Whether it is a revolver or an AK-47.
The premise that "no one NEEDS that weapon" is foolish. The speed limit on most roads in the US is 55mph., Some go as high as 70-80 on Interstate highways. So, by that logic no one NEEDS a car that does over 100mph. Should we outlaw Porsches? That would just be stupid, right? No one can own a car that does over 80 because you don't "need" it. Well, I WANT it because I think it is a nice car and I like the way it looks, handles, etc. No one's business but my own.
Just out of curiosity, should there be a line drawn that states a citizen cannot own a particular type of weapon? And, I'm including everything in here from a slingshot having surgical tubing with a metal ball bearing, up to and including a nuclear device. Where is the line drawn? And, in drawing the line, if there is one, who draws it, or where is it drawn? It's going to be an arbitrary decision by someone. So, who gets to decide? By the way, I'm a gun owner also.
I guess that is the hard question. Some items are certainly not meant for public consumption. A nuclear device is not something that can help you protect your family. if someone breaks into your house you are not likely to use a flame thrower either. BUT, if I want a flame thrower to play with in my yard, then that is my business. If I do nothing to hurt you or your property, then who are you to say otherwise. NOW, when I am being negligent and burn down your house, then I should be punished accordingly. For me, I get the "prevention" aspect of taking away those things, but I prefer the harsh punishment angle instead. Should I have a full auto AR.? Probably not, but if I have one in my gunsafe that never sees the light of day, then how dangerous is it? Taking away rights does not prevent crime. I can kill you with an ax all the same...do we disarm the lumberjacks int he name of all that is good and holy.??
I tend to agree in some respects. My arbitrary line would be narrower than yours; but again, I understand both are arbitrary. As to a flamethrower, I'd say no. And here's why. You may be willing to assume the risk of burning your own house down. However, as your neighbor, I'm not willing to assume your risk for my house. And, it's not just a matter of "Oops, I tripped while spaying it. Sorry about your house, car, and wife." Those things can explode, through negligent use or a manufacturing defect. And, the consequences of a misfire in an fully AR is quite a bit different that a burning and expanding cloud of combustible material. I see those in the same vein as a hand grenade, C4, shoulder filed rockets, Claymore mines, and TOW missiles.
As to how dangerous a fully auto AK-47 is. Realistically, probably as dangerous as a 3/4 ton truck going the wrong way on an interstate highway with a drunk at the wheel. And no, we're not going to ban cars, trucks, and highways.
Like I said, it's arbitrary. Someone has to draw the line, and whoever does is assured that there will be those that rail against where it is drawn.
It's a little known fact that the DC snipers failed on their first attempts to murder unsuspecting strangers because they simply couldn't throw their axes half a mile. So they switched to an AR-15 and the bodies began dropping. Why should anyone have the ability to blow your head off from 1,000 yards away?
Why should the line be arbitrary? Some things are more dangerous than others. I don't care if you set off a few firecrackers in your back yard on July 4, but I would be very upset if you started lobbing grenades or setting off dynamite.
Let's all just get swords. Oh, and be sure to get that flame thrower rider on your homeowner's policy.
I'm suspect your scenario is rare. Here is an actual case (not hearsay) that shows a more common tragedy involving guns
How often are guns used when people know each other?
The societies that have more restrictions on gun ownership have significantly lower death rates due to guns. I'm fine with Porsches that go over 100 mph - not so happy if my whole neighborhood was armed to the teeth with revolvers and AK-47's.