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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Attributing actions of people entirely to mental illness or personality characteristics instead of situational factors is called the fundamental attribution error.

If the only explanation we give for unusual acts is that the actor is crazy, we can overlook crucial contributing factors such as the availability of firearms or the unavailability of help.

Right, so let's forget all this mental illness hoo-doo and blame the culprit:  guns.  We don't want to push some sort of knee-jerk agenda, now do we? :)  Blame the guns!  Baaaad bullets.

You seem to be attributing to me an argument I have not made and your sarcasm suggests you lack a cogent argument of your own.

And one would note no one has come forth and said "he is my patient and he was under treatment." Or "he was my family member and he had thus-and-such."

Slinging around the mentally-ill argument with no evidence of it is dangerous to the mentally-ill, the most assaulted group of people in the USA. More than blacks. More than gays. More than children.

Yes, blame the guns. The experiment has been run. In the civilised world, where gun restrictions are much greater, the murder rate is much lower. Do all murders end? No. Have they been significantly reduced? Yes.

Beyond comparing culturally different countries, and irrelevant numbers, the thing to look at as atheists, is long term graphs of trends. Trend charts simply fail to demonstrate that anti-gun have any significant effect. Shouldn't atheists be concerned with statistically numbers and not ideological opinions? Yes armed people kill, No anti-gun laws are not effective. As countries, we're different, because we're culturally different. 
Here's a graph showing TRENDS in homicides, demonstrating that since 1990, they're falling faster in USA than Canada, yet our changes in laws is not the cause. This is the only type of graph that is valid, comparative trends over time.

There are problems with your graph and comparisons between the United States and Canada.

1) Homicide is a general term that includes both firearm homicides and non-fire homicides. Your graph seems to deal with all homicides and not just firearm homicides.

2) In the U.S. firearm homicides account for about 2/3 of all homicides while in Canada, they account for roughly 1/3. Consequently comparing total homicide rates for the two countries gives a false impression.

3) The firearm homicide rate in Canada is about 1/5 th of the rate in the United States.

You've not presented a valid comparison at all, but chosen one that you think favorable to your argument.

Sorry to repeat myself... Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn... about HOW they die, I care about how many die in total, and how many are maimed in total. I hate cherry picking, and insisting on counting only gun homicides is cherry picking.

The gun homicide rate in Canada has always been lower than in the USA, no laws have changed that. My argument is not about whether guns are cool or not but whether making laws to remove then are effective. I hate guns, but I don't let my personal sentiments get in the way of numbers and rationality.

After going through the list of school shootings, I have come up with a solution to the problem.  Let's prohibit men from owning, buying, or selling guns.  Female mass murderers are awfully rare . . . .

The ancient Israelites are to blame.  They decided that when life got shitty (as it often did with wars against the Philistines, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, etc.), it was because the bad apples among them had turned away from Yahweh, so the nation deserved punishment.  Sheer genius, really; it gave the priests control over people's behavior.

Anyone want to put Ray Comfort in charge?  He's just a hop, skip, and a jump from Kirk Cameron. With video link on Dobson's comments, and the claim his mother was killed. I do note I am having trouble finding another reference for it. I cannot find an obituary for Myrtle Dobson (mother of Dr. James).

I don't think you should shoot someone over a microwave.

There was a case in Texas a year or two ago when a citizen called the police because burglars were in his neighbor's house.  He said he had a shotgun and offered to "take them out."  The police dispatcher told him repeatedly and firmly not to take action, but to stay in his house.  When the burglars came out, he went outside and shot one of them, while the other got away.  A grand jury refused to indict him.

To me, this is similar to recent cases in which the police have shot down fleeing suspects who pose no threat.  Judge, jury, executioner.

I say there are better ways to protect yourself.

I agree with you, Craigart 14. Shotgun Slade isn't going to get a job with the PD, so he should have done what he was told and just get a good description and directions that they went, etc.

I don't always agree with cops however. Recently a friend of mine was driving around at 2 AM. The local cops stopped him, questioned him, and made him go home. They said he had no business being out at that time. The proper way to handle this is to have put all the information in a dated notpad that the officer should carry daily and let him go. PD doesn't supply you with one but all good cops should carry one.




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