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.

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Kathy, your Q about politicians living in bubbles reminded me of some research I did decades ago and inspired some new research.

In the 1970s I read of the pro-statehood people in Arizona who wrote a state constitution. Many had lived in Eastern states and wanted to prevent the kind of political corruption they had seen. They wrote an article that gave voters:
1) the power to enact laws without the legislature (initiative), and
2) the power to reverse laws enacted by the legislature (referendum).

A short answer to your Q is "Politicians can live in bubbles where voters do not have direct initiative and referendum power."

The US Constitution does not give Americans those two powers, so US senators and congresscritters can live in a bubble.

I googled for "states that have initiative and referendum", and quickly found < > and lists of states whose voters have, or don't these two powers.

Kentuckians and voters in 23 other states do not have these two powers. Califorians and voters in 25 other states do have these two powers.

Refreshing to hear Lawrence Wilkerson former  Colonel and Cheif of Staff for Colin Powell saying he owns 17 guns and sees no need for anyone to own a semi automatic weapon. He said he needed that type of weapon when he was overseas at war, but did not need that type of gun at home.

He also said he uses his guns to hunt. He does not need a weapon to defend his home. He has law enforcement for that job. Someone said to  him, what about the ten minute wait time for a police response. He replied that he was 71 years old and in all that time no one has ever broken into his home.

I would add - in the rare case when someone breaks into your house - 99% of the time it is to steal something with no interaction with the home owner - not to murder or torture you. Your life is not worth confronting the intruder over an expensive stereo.

Aw, Russ, your having a cheap stereo says nothing about the price Wilkerson paid for his stereo, or about the price I pai\d for my stereo.

Was sent this by a relative. In support of truck control

My reply:

I can’t believe you fall for that NRA inspired logic that is so weak.

In 2013 the statistics in the U.S. were:

11,208 deaths by homicide (3.5 per 100,000), 21,175 by suicide with a firearm, 505 deaths due to accidental discharge of a firearm, and 281 deaths due to firearms- ...

What are the truck deaths by a maniac in 2013? 

 When the planes went down after 9/11 – did they not go to great lengths to impede that ever happening again. Are you allowed to take a simple bottle of wine through customs?

You have veterans like General Petraeus, General Stanley McChrystal starting to question the sale of weapons of war to citizens and guns in the hands of vets who commit suicide. They point to California gun restrictions as a better model. What hunter or target shooter needs an automatic or semi automatic weapon?

 I wonder what policemen think of open carry laws. They said the ones in Dallas didn’t know who was a threat and who wasn’t a threat when those policemen were shot.


What you sent me fits the classic definition of a specious argument.

Hey Russ, go back to sleep.  That wasn't NRA inspired crap.  I, and probably several thousand others, said the same thing within 3 minutes of seeing the horror.  I turned to my wife and said, "Nobody needs a truck that big.  We're going to have to limit the size and speed of big trucks.  They're just too dangerous at that size."

For all of you gun owners who thinks the NRA stands behind you and works for you, I have one word..BULLSHIT. Stop and think about it this way.

IF the NRA was really backing your right to be part of an organized militia, they would be fighting for there to be NO restrictions on ANY type of weapons. Would you like fully automatic weapons and maybe a nice anti-tank L.A.W rocket? you should have them! Want some land mines, some C4, and some detonation cord? you should have that too! Do you and some of your rich buddies want to pool your money and buy a Humvee with a roof mounted .50 cal rifle? by all means the NRA should be fighting for you to them as well!

When the day comes that the government forces come calling, they're not just going to show up with hand guns and a few rifles like YOU have, nooooo they're coming with fully automatic weapons, .50 cal rifles, artillery, tanks, some fighter jets, and if you live close enough to the coast, you get the extra special Navy bombardment package. Your "citizen militia" doesn't stand a chance. Even your state national guard will get shredded.

The NRA may have started out as a group for citizens gun rights, but that fell by the wayside years ago. All they are today is a lobbying group for the gun manufacturing industry. The manufacturers keep making and selling the guns (more and more every time there's a shooting) and it's driven by the fear the NRA sells by the proclamation of "they coming to take our guns". So, call the NRA and ask them when you'll be able to legally purchase that .50 cal rifle, some land mines, and a L.A.W rocket, I'm betting they aren't planning on helping out all of the "militiamen" around the country anytime soon.

Excellent point! You make good sense. 

Brian, take a look here:


Although it is a lot about the 2nd Amendment, there is more to it than just that.


While I admit that I didn't know the history of the NRA in full detail, reading the article doesn't change my mind one bit. They should stick to the education part of gun ownership. They're already the exclusive trainer for police and I'm sure that they train a lot of people through affiliated trainers / ranges throughout the US.

I would think that the police that they're training wouldn't be very happy with the outright rejection of even the most common sense proposals for reigning in the selling of guns to people who shouldn't have them, specifically the gun show and private sales loop holes. Who knows how many guns that have been purchased this way have went on to be used in crimes.

My example may have been a little over the top, but it is in reality a truth. The NRA's backing of the 2nd amendment argument for each individual being part of a militia is nothing but a straw man argument that would be quickly exposed as such if the government forces ever did come calling. Yes, they do gun training and safety, and that's great, but they need to drop the false pretenses and start supporting reasonable gun control measures. Their main interest is protecting the gun manufacturers ability to sell as many guns as they can. Any proposed legislation that would cut into that number (and the money they get in return) is vehemently opposed, and that needs to change.

P.S. I am a US army veteran. not some pacifist who has never held a gun. I have no beef with hunting and hunting rifles, people wanting a handgun for protection, or even those who just want to shoot competitively, but the requirements for owning a handgun need to be much higher than the current standards. Loop holes need to be closed and more stringent requirements need to be put in place, or we're just going to see the same shootings over, and over and over again (kind of like we are now).

All those massacres, all those depressing statistics of gun death compared to other developed countries. And the NRA come out with the most ridiculous arguments.

Trump muses about assassination of Clinton to protect right to bear arms. Unbelievable!




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