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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I don't understand assault weapons myself - why would someone need a gun like that?

I am still researching these issues and trying to decide on them.

It's for all those mutant deer that shoot laser beams out from their antlers. Obviously. x.x

The argument is not who "needs" that gun. It is who "wants" that gun. I have friends with AR-15 rifles. They are not full auto weapons. You cannot just buy a full auto weapon as a normal citizen. So, what a gun looks like is not a crime. That is the problem with gun control activits, they know nothing about guns. An AR-15 is a .223 caliber semi-auto rifle. My deer gun is a .308 caliber rifle. Any one with math skills knows that .308 is a larger number than .223 . In other words, my deer rifle does more damage than an AR-15. Also, semi-auto is semi-auto. 1 bullet is released with each trigger pull. An "assault weapon" fires no quicker than any other semi-auto rifle that you can pick up from Wal-Mart. People don't want us buying them because they look like military weapons. That is all.

All that being said, here is the issue to me: it is not about what I "need", it is about my right to have anything I want as long as it does not hurt others. I have been around guns all my life and have never shot anyone, robbed anyone, etc. And, what about this: I have never killed a deer with my rifles. I use them all for target shooting only. That is what I enjoy doing with them and that is my business, not some scared ill-informed activist.

It seems that we, as atheists, should always want to be on the side of freedom. My gun is my business. NOW< if I rob or shoot someone then I should be prosecuted. That is where this country drops the ball. We don't make it a deterrent to commit crimes..we only use the crimes to make our own politcal statement.

I agree. 

Right on, A. Noni.

How many atheists, who like to say we think more clearly than many others, are interested in the reasons for violence in America?

We could also be interested in the reasons for our using more presently-illegal drugs per person than any other nation.

What is it in America that explains those behaviors?

Rise to the challenge: theism won't muddle our thoughts.

Tom, you asked what is it in America that explains those behaviors.  I wrote a book "It's Time For a Talk", and one of the chapters was on abortion.  Here is an excerpt: 

"If the woman has an abortion, it means she doesn‟t want the baby. If she were forced to carry through with the baby, she would be raising a child she does not want. The chances of there being a bonding between her and the child are questionable. Think of everything you‟ve heard of serial killers; it seems to me that almost everyone of them, if not all, said there was no bonding with their mother when they were children. I am not saying that every unwanted child born will turn into a serial killer, but it seems to me that if women are forced to carry through with an unwanted pregnancy to term, it will increase the number of dangerous misfits in our society.

I want to put in a side note here. Roe v. Wade was decided early in 1973. About 18 years later, the crime rate (percentage-wise), in all categories started a decline that continues to this day. Does this fact verify my point? I‟m not qualified to say, and I‟ve never heard anyone try to explain the reason for this decline. I think it is worth looking into."

Until 1973, America had the most stringent laws against abortion, and we had the highest crime rate of any country.  We abolished the abortion restrictions, and 18 years later the violent crime rate dropped in all categories.  It is continuing to drop to this day.  You hear about high murder rates, but suicide is included in this murder rate.  And, if you take away the gang murders in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles  we are about equal to most other Western Countries.

I read your book, Donald, and liked it.

I have long favored leaving to women the decision of whether to bear children and have seen that statistic. I think the correlation is valid.

I used to occasionally vote Republican and in 1974 even ran in a party primary for a legislative seat. When Reagan invited the xians into the Party, I resolved to not vote Republican again.

A week ago I heard that Franklin Graham, son of Billy, has given up on getting what he wants--a white supremacist America.

If he and the rest of the Party's religious fascists quit, it will recover from the half-century-long insanity that began when the Birchers and other far right members started expelling moderates.

Sic Semper Insanum.

Thanks, Tom.  As an experiment, I ran for president last election. I wanted o prove that it takes a lot of money to run.  I made matters worse by starting out saying that I was an Atheist.  All of our friends are Christians, so you now how that went. It was fun, and I found who the intelligent ones were.

My kids wanted things that I could not afford to get them. "Do you need it or want it? I asked them. When we sorted out need from want then we began a problem-solving exercise to discover options for getting the needed items. They were on their own for wanted things.

I find many of my grandchildren's and great-grandchildren have friends who do not know the difference between want and need. It might be candy before dinner or a new bike. I listen to the kids talk and I hear an awfully lot of "want" talk. 

Some of you may have grown up in families that provided your children with everything they wanted or didn't show them the difference between need and want. I was born at the end of the depression and everyone I knew was poor. The whole town. Why was a whole town poor? Because the financial sector siphoned the money they earned away from them and gave it to the wealthy through policies and practices of the government. Change the policies and practices, and a middle class grew and continued to grow until the 1970s. 

What has this story to do with guns? Some people need guns and some want them. Are we, the citizens and our children, to tolerate this over-indulgence? Not if people die and families suffer because it is so easy to get guns. 

Remember the Texas Tower shooter, Charles Whitman's "Post-mortem autopsy of his brain revealed a glioblastoma multiforme tumor the size of a walnut, erupting from beneath the thalamus, impacting the hypothalamus, extending into the temporal lobe and compressing the amygdaloid nucleus (Charles J. Whitman Catastrophe, Medical Aspects. Report to Governor, 9/8/66).

~ Charles Whitman: The Amygdala & Mass Murder, Rhawn Gabriel Joseph, Ph.D.

His rage can be explained by the glioblastoma brain tumor. Whitman begged for help, from medical and psychiatric sources, he even called the police department but he had committed no crime, only had ugly thoughts. 

How many others have a medical condition over which they have no control? 

What about those who use guns recklessly without recourse. Should it be a crime to misuse a gun?

How many shooters exhibit signs of fear that escalates into out of control fury?

There are  several aspects to this subject: The Constitution says we are allowed to have weapons.  If we take this right away, then what will be the next right to lose?

Freedom of speech?  The freedom of religion? Once you eliminate one Amendment, it will be easier to take away the rest of them.

In spite of what it seems, the murder rate in the U.S. has gone down steadily since about 1990.  In fact, the rates of all violent crimes have gone down since then.  (Just a side note..isn't it interesting that the violent crime rate started dropping about 18 years after Roe v. Wade?)

Here is another interesting fact:  they include suicides in the murder rate.  Suicide accounts for about two thirds of the murders in this country.

I think it was in this thread that someone mentioned the knife attacks in a chinese school on the same day as our Sandy Hook muders.  A response to that was that none of those children died.  Go to google, and enter "knife attacks in China".  It seems to be more rampant than our mass shootings, and with more deaths.

Now, if we take guns and knives away from the mentally deranged, we can always go to Timothy McVeigh for inspiration.  He used a home made bomb with fertilizer and killed almost two hundred people (including a whole bunch of clhildren) in Oklahoma City.  He did that all by himself. 

Folks, we have some evil people in this world.  We can't know who they are ahead of time, and even if we did, we can't do anythhing about it until they do something bad.  We could put them on a list to prevent them from buying a gun, but then how are we going to prevent them from stealing one?  And if you could, then they would go to knives as we've seen in China. 

Now, with ISIS growing in numbers, and spreading their murders around the world, i.e. San Bernardino among others, I'm all for keeping my weapons.

And for you who want to control guns......Don't say it too loud.  You're selling more guns every time you open your mouths.  President Obama must own stock in a weapons company.  Every time he says, "gun control" the sales of guns goes up by the thousands the next day.  One of the local gun stores said that Obama is the best salesman they've ever had, and he's not even on their paryoll.

Just sayin'.

It's hard for me to believe that we have a right as citzens to own every gun that ever came along, and that almost anybody could buy the weapon of choice without a good background check. Right now that's all that's being asked for, and they might limit the sale of certain guns, or eliminate them entirely. Fine.

Too many people want to go into that "come and get it" style of thinking involving guns and prying them out of your cold dead hands. I don't see this happening, don't see Obama or others doing it, and don't think it's coming soon. How in the hell would they enforce that?

I'm also ex-military, trained in weaponery and demolition.


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