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.
If his mother had kept her guns locked up . . . .
If she had gone into his room and torn down all his mass murderer posters . . . .
If she hadn't taught him to shoot . . . .
It's very difficult for a parent to recognize that her child might be a danger to society. Could there be some way of getting a more objective observer to assess the danger? Adam Lanza didn't just snap; he was stretched to the breaking point over a long period of time.
I too would not feel comfortable with other professors carrying guns.
In college long ago I began saying, "You wanna see emotion in action? Go to a faculty senate meeting."
I still occasionally say it.
BTW, I don't understand the fewer-guns-owned-by-law-abiding-people-will-solve-everything mantra.
When even atheists cling (and deny clinging) to the xian fable that humans are better than the descendants of pond scum, I'm not surprised that some of us cling as well to the idea that fewer guns owned by law-abiding people will solve everything.
Yes I agree. And I figured atheists to be more libertarian than leftists, but i guess i was wrong. If you want your rights stripped away every time there is a tragedy well......be my guest, we as Americans have lost more rights in the last 20 years than in the entire history of the country. And it's only getting worse. We have UNEMPLOYED VETERANS that would love to have a job protecting children.
Knee-jerk law-making was made into an interesting book called the Shock Doctrine. Knee-jerk reactions is what gave you USers (and Canadians) the ugly Patriot Act, and a whole bunch of useless self-protection regulations, and bank and insurance Cies bailouts.
Knee-jerk legislation is never as good as long term well studied legislation.
Those of us old enough to remember the golden years of care-free international travel are mourning that future international travel will be reserved for those with big enough budgets to buy doubles of needed baggage upon arriving at destination (I used to bring my bicycle to all countries I travelled to, no more, same for sports gear) and lawyers to untangle the mess of paperwork. Now our Canadian airline is increasing the seat density on planes to make more profits, which will mean that my already tightly fitting ass may no longer be able to sit comfortably in the already cramped spaces in coach, and I certainly can't afford that other section!
The Patriot Act was pretty ugly, all right, but since then we have had a string of mass shootings by a variety of individuals for a variety of causes. New legislation would hardly be a knee-jerk response. It will most likely be a stupid response because it will have to get through the US Congress.
Not gun-free zones; soft targets. Unless we make everyone start packing heat, there will always be soft targets.
I’m enjoying this debate but let’s get back to the original topic: what is Atheist Reasoning on the issue of gun control. To my mind, I blame organized religion for most of the problems in the world. The notion of afterlife undermines the beauty and wonder of this life. People wouldn’t be shooting and bombing one another if they realized that this is all there is; we only go around once and we’re so lucky to be alive.
People wouldn’t be making babies like crazy either. There’s no doubt in my mind that overpopulation engenders violence. WWII is a perfect example: Japan’s 1930s invasion of Manchuria, Germany’s intrusion into the Poland and Russia both had lebensraum (living space) as a primary cause. There’re countless other examples throughout history: the Cimbri incursion into Italy, the Viking exploitation of Europe, the American manifest destiny. Overpopulation was at the root of all of it.
Consider Nigeria, a country of 80 million living in the area the size of Texas. No wonder they’re throwing bombs in churches, drafting children into rebel armies and hanging gays. I don’t think strict gun control laws would help alleviate the country’s problems. How about using oil money to reform and foster education, installing planned parenthood centers on every block in Lagos, enacting draconian anti-corruption laws to punish politicians who cause untold poverty and misery, and above all bodily throwing the Catholic cardinal out of the country and making every priest, mullah and rabbi in the country get a job like everybody else.
If my proposals work in Nigeria, they might work here as well. We have to get to the root of the problem and that’s overpopulation, hence religion.
Richard, don't you sometimes ask how intelligent the xian intelligent designer was?
Rich, I like your strategy; I think it will bring more peace than war, and fewer children born into a country already overpopulated offers one option. I wonder if permaculture could take hold there?
"Herders migrating into the savannah and rainforests of the central and southern states are moving into regions where high population growth over the last four decades has heightened pressure on farmland, increasing the frequency of disputes over crop damage, water pollution, and cattle theft. In the absence of mutually accepted mediation mechanisms, these disagreement increasingly turn violent."
Without proper management, bringing flocks into farmland does offer the potential for fertilizing soil, however, it also has the potential to destroy otherwise fertile soil.
For any atheists capable of critical reasoning following critical reading of graphs, we should all be able to see that shooting trends were on the decline before various states/countries passed their various anti-gun legislations, and that rates did not drop faster immediately after such legislation, and have continued to drop at globally similar levels since such legislation. Furthermore comparing countries of different cultures is pretty useless.
A more valid comparison is between Canadians kill rates and USA kill rates, which have been getting closer through the years, even though one would expect them to stay at the same difference from each other.
There is an issue which is always silenced EVERY time there a crime spree and there are crime sprees in all countries, no matter the country... it's always religious males (well nearly always). Religiosity is a mental illness, combine this with "boys will be boys" parenting techniques, and you get rampaging males killing more females and children, because men feel entitled to dominate all around them, because they're boys.
This listing provides the top 15 rampages in each category and in each country, you can go beyond each top 15 and look at each list individually. Have fun counting the females, you don't need many fingers.
If being atheist is at all relevant in this topic, it should mean being able to look at stats critically instead of listening to media fear hype. Hopefully, atheist breeders don't use the "boys will be boys" parental technique.
Speaking of guns in schools - I wrote this a couple of years ago. A brief moment of intense fear, a confessional to a wimpy response in the face of a perceived danger and how I made my daughter really paranoid.
Growing up, my parents were friends with a couple a couple of villages away. We'd visit each other on weekends. Their mom and my mom are both high anxiety, but I'm a rebellious kid by nature, so I always scoffed at my mom. But the other mom's anxiety levels were sky high. She had two daughters, the eldest has become a nut case, the second one is a stereotypically normal human being.
We can only hope that your daughter is the kind of person who has the ability to resist parental fears.