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.
Russell, I think this discussion has gone farther than reason can take it.
Emotion can take it farther, but I'm not enthused about going there.
There is little reason attached to either side of the argument. Those who feel that some popgun is going to protect them from the depredations of a decadent government with a military and armament for two million troops are not thinking rationally. Those who think that, having never trained mentally for the idea of shooting a person, they are going to be able to react to some person opening fire at them are deluded.
Thanks for you contributions to this discussion Tom. You can always click on a "stop following button" so you don't get emails with the discussion comments. I'm still seeing value in recent contributions. For example those video links provided by James pointed to some great material.
Before you opt out, there was one response I gave to you that was puzzling. I must admit to having an idea and sneaking downstairs in the middle of a dinner with visiting family then speed reading and firing away and then running back up - my wife wasn't happy. I think my point was valid, but it was not really valid as a response to the points you were making. Sorry for that.
If I further explain my point that would draw you back into this discussion and I can see you have had enough.
If this guy didn't have such a large following (several hundred thousand) it wouldn't be such a concern. He sounds rude and quite crazy.
Now wait just a minute. This is the guy who thinks President Bush planned 9/11. How can you call him crazy?
This has been basically a civil discussion - a little emotional at times.
I have trouble believing that this gentleman is being accused of being involved in a government hoax, and the recent tragedy might be a manufactured event to move the people in the U.S. on gun control.
What is the problem with these people??????
Forgive me if this has already been cross-referenced: I find that this is the very first time I stand wholly behind Sam Harris on something important:
Sam Harris Blog: The Riddle of the Gun
Listen to this morning's Day 6 (politically correct CBC radio)
Sam Harris on The Riddle of The Gun, RIGHT NOW!
Interesting article. Happy to see this quote from Sam Harris in the piece:
We could do many things to ensure that only fully vetted people could get a licensed firearm. The fact that guns in the U.S. can be legally purchased from private sellers without background checks on the buyers (the so-called “gun show loophole”) is terrifying. Getting a gun license could be made as difficult as getting a license to fly an airplane, requiring dozens of hours of training. I would certainly be happy to see policy changes like this. In that respect, I support much stricter gun laws.
Also it was a little ironic to see gun rallys backfire a little at gun shows across the U.S.
I struggle with the gun control issue. I mean, you can ban all guns but with millions of them already out there, how sensible is that and what would it achieve. Same is true for assault weapons. It appears to me regulating the use of guns is very unlikely to be successful. Maybe our time and money would be better spent on educating children and adults about how to recognize a person who may need help. Focus on mental health issues. Put mental health professionals in schools. Educate the public on how, when, why and where to report suspicious activities or behavior. Gun control may not be the best way to stop these tragedies.
On the issue of weaponry I'm mostly for unregulated ownership.
back round checks, continual education and registration with the city are practical and necessary.
anything beyond that is going overboard.
guns are and will be for a time to come the standard weapon for defense. like it or not governments can go crazy and when that day comes it would be good to be armed. I'm not saying that our gov is crazy. I'm saying that it's happened to every country in the entire world several times over that some people abuse power. the bottom line is the less armed the populace is the more vulnerable they are.
i don't think it's that big a deal whether it's regulated heavily or not considering we have more urgent matters to attend to like our economy, education standards, transportation problems and the NDAA that still exists for some reason.
The NRA has long plumped the idea that guns are required to keep a government afraid of its people.
Do you really think with the most powerful weapons on the planet, our government is afraid of a few wingnuts with peashooters?
And for self-defence they also plump. Let's see: it's dark, there is rummaging around in the front of your house, you decide to get a gun to scare away/shoot an intruder.
Do you turn on the light so you can see? Intruder sees you, he is already ready to fire, you're dead.
You fire in the dark. Pow. You hit your neighbour who came to check on you, or the cop who is after the intruder. Or your teenage son sneaking in after a hot date.
You know why you almost never read about anyone defending their home against an intruder in the paper? Because it is so rare it is national news. Likewise, the reason they never print articles (except locally) about intruders in homes is because it is so common.
If guns were an effective deterrent against crimes in homes, there would be no crimes in homes.
I think we might, hopefully, be seeing the beginning of a shift in American culture wherein we grapple with yet another social illness, and our civilized nature, over time, again wins out.
I’m thinking about how we eventually got tired of smokers blowing smoke in our faces, how first there were “smoke free zones” established in public places, and eventually, when the political will reached the tipping point, it resulted in the legislation we have today. We now see the smokers huddled outside, banned and ostracized from the majority of the non smoking public. I am of the notion that it will take a while, but gun toters will be similarly banned from ordinary civilized life in America.
Sure, you can still buy cigarettes, but you can’t smoke them anywhere you wish. Eventually there will be fewer and fewer smokers as smoking increasingly becomes a stigma that is simply socially unacceptable. And so it will be with guns. As we apply to malls, theaters, stadiums and other civil venues, LaPierre’s advocacy of keeping gun carriers out of our schools, gunners will become like the most severely addicted cigarette smokers among us . . . social pariahs, they and their stench unwelcome anywhere. The number of the gun addicted will plummet, and “concealed carry” will become a silly issue of our dark past. There is no other direction for social evolution to take, dystopian gun fantasies not withstanding. Social evolution happens, whether you like it or not. All the guns in the world won’t prevent it.
If we did reach that tipping point on December 14th, I don’t expect to see us accomplish the ultimate, logical outcome in my lifetime. (I’m a pretty old geezer). Then again, I never expected living long enough to see racism decline to such an extent that America would elect a person of color as our President.
We will, in the future, see society elevated out of the sewer of violence and obsessive weaponry, the gun toters and the arsenal accumulators become dinosaurs of the past, and American “exceptionalism” will no longer be measured by body counts, but by the life values we Americans share through our common human decency.