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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Finally....a comment  I can agree with...Thank you  Craig for  writing  such an eloquent  essay.......Especially  from someone  who  actually  knows  a lot  about guns and and  realizes  that  guns  are  dangerous weapons  that need  more  regulation not less.....I respect you so much.......

I agree with your assessment, Freethinker. 

Craig, as usual, you make a lot of sense. I am afraid of guns, and I do not deny it. I do not own one and will not because I don't want to have a gun near me or others to have guns who live with me. I can live with your recommendations. Your rationale for registration, background checks, mental health exams, and insurance acknowledges the concerns I have and provides reasonable safeguards. I realize that gun lovers may not agree with this, however, if I can compromise this far, there should be some give on the arms-owners part.  I realize illegal guns continue to exist; that is beyond my control and probably beyond the government's ability to control. 

I would like to have a drone to two and hone in on some nasty characters in town. 

Joan,

Do you want those drones armed?

:-D~

Yes! Armed with cow chips and turkey droppings with a little bull pee, just to cause it to have a good splatter effect! If I miss my target, at least I will be contributing to the quality of their sand. Perhaps I should put some seeds in the bomb as well. Start a little garden. 

I agree with you. I grew up in a "gun culture" household and used and handled guns frequently. Quite frankly, my family's love for guns is just as batshit as their love for their invisible friend in the sky.

A. Noni's "right" to own a dangerous weapon ends at the point where my personal safety is concerned. A Christian's "right" to be a bigot ends where the rights of homosexuals and minorities begin. A Muslim's "right" to wear a burqa ends at the entrance of the local bank. A person's "right" to smoke ends at my nose and mouth. Your "rights" end where the public's right to safety and equality begin. 

At this point, no one would advocate the right to keep and bear RPGs. We already agree upon that limitation to the second amendment. All I would ask is that we considering expanding those restrictions a bit more. A competent hunter doesn't need huge clips or certain types of ammunition. That would be a logical place to start. 

We are told that driving a car is a privilege because of how dangerous cars can be. They are not designed to kill people, but can still cause great bodily harm. We go through extensive training and must pass driving tests in order to gain and retain the privilege to drive, but due to America's quasi-religious gun culture, any yahoo can simply walk into a store and buy a gun, an instrument designed to cause bodily injury. State laws vary, but it's still easier to gain access to a gun than it is to get a driver's license.

Due to the religiosity of gun nuts, I think we're likely to see gun control in America roughly the same time we see peace in the Middle East. It's that same non-thinking adherence to tradition, just in another form.

@Moose, re facts:

The AR15, AK47 civilian model, and similar weapons have big clips that can be changed quickly.  Semiautomatic hunting rifles are loaded through the receiver into an internal magazine, usually 5 rounds.  So yeah, you can shoot them fast, but you can't do that much damage per second.

Also, the calibre of the bullet is only part of the damage equation, and you know it.  

I support gun rights, and agree that your guns are your business, but please don't spread misinformation among the scared ill-informed populace.

Larry, I have an AK-47 civilian model, and I can use it for hunting.  The clip I have for it holds about 10 rounds, but I was offered a clip (drum style) that holds 100 rounds from a friend.  I also have a lever-action hunting rifle that loads into the receiver as you stated.   I can use both for hunting, and if I were mentally ill, I dould do a lot of damage before the police arrived. with the semiautomatic hunting rifle,

Much belated applause. Reason, not knee jerk liberal party line is needed in understanding the problems. I would like to see much more publicity for the statistics on positive gun use in all its many forms.

I would especially like to see an end to the"us vs them" attitude between pro and con gun control factions. The bald truth of the matter is that every single tax paying citizen in this nation is a gun owner and supports potentially lethal force to achieve certain ends. Unless one completely rebels, refuses to be taxed or to benefit from any social system services, and suffers the consequences thereof any citizen of this country (all countries?) supports lethal gun violence.

Tax dollars support armed police, more and more becoming paramilitary. Tax dollars support weapons of mass destruction ranging from automatic weapons to planet busting nukes. Tax dollars support national guard, coast guard, military forces, federal and state investigative forces all armed to the teeth. They function on taxpayer's behalf and wield their force on taxpayer's behalf. They wield firearms to enforce laws and to maintain the civil, social and national expectations of order held by the the citizens.

Citizens all,, are responsible for legal armed violence which occurs much more frequently and on greater scales than relatively rare illegal firearms crimes (sadly including insane mass shootings).

Every taxpaying citizen, regardless of lip service pro or con gun control, simply hires someone else to carry and use weapons on their behalf. The reality is that there is no ethical stance to be had either way as long as one lives and supports such a system. It is a defenseless denial of responsibility for reality in my mind. People are simply buying a clean conscience rather than personally being responsible for that armed violence.

It matters little to that some are fearful of individuals owning weapons but trust "the authorities" to do so.

Is reason the opposite of a "knee jerk liberal party line". What is so bad about liberal reasoning? Until Bernie Sanders came along that reminds me how an American would win an argument by saying the word Socialist with the implication that it meant Communist and all Americans knew that would not do. Of course that would ignore the very happy people in Socialist countries who had universal health care, low tuition, and still had a competitive business model.

Positive gun use statistics? What is wrong with the statistics that show when a developed country makes gun ownership more difficult the murder rate is way lower. That sounds convincing to most of us outside of the U.S.  A gun is a tool that uses violence to achieve an end. Does everyone need a gun? An atomic bomb was used as a tool that used violence to achieve an end. Does every country need an atomic bomb?

What is wrong with a professional police force with weapons? The question is - how well trained is that police force. If you compare countries, some police forces are not shooting their citizens with a hair trigger. Unfortunately some are. Maybe those police are a little nervous because so many people are walking around with guns. Or maybe it is just poor training and poor screening of applicants.

In the U.S. there is a distrust of the system. I sympathize with the Bernie Sanders calling out of big money and the rigged Democratic primary. There is no evidence that the actual election will be rigged. Donald Trump is saying if Hillary wins Pennsylvania then cheating occurred. That ignores what the polls are saying but fits in with his second amendment gun carriers who have bought into the use of guns to right a so called wrong. He also made a reference to stopping an elected Hillary Clinton making a supreme court nomination.  If i were an American, I would feel safer with less guns being available in my country being used for personal or misguided political ends. This article is chilling - more so because so many crazy people have easy access to weapons.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Israeli Prime Minister Yitzh...

Russell, I'm a progressive, way out to the left of liberals.

Because I want employees to own the companies they work for, I tell people I am a collective capitalist.

About liberals?

I see those I know best as between progressives and conservatives. They've tended to be socially progressive and economically conservative. and politically rather naive.

Tom, as usual, I confess to being naive. I also am a dreamer thinking of the kind of world I would like to inhabit. Foolish? Yes! Useless? I don't think so, at least I have a vision of what Homo sapiens can do that is at a higher level than other primates besides being able to invent and use atomic weapons and every other device created by humans.

I like you giving me a reality check now and then.

Using the term, "collective capitalist." sounds good to me. I'll try it on to see how it fits me. Yes, I like the feel of the term.

I am decidedly an entrepreneur. I also do not want to gain wealth by the efforts of others. Exploitation is a dirty word for me. I like the idea of working with others to make a living that is comfortable for each one.

I abhor those who exploit the slave labor of other countries even though I benefit greatly from those who work for $2.00 a day so that I can buy their products cheaply.

My utopian dreaming again, I look for the day when people who produce goods and services share in the profits generated. My regret is that I will die before that happens.

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