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.
I agree with you. Please see my reply below.
The Colonial Gunsmith
Yes Steph, I cannot see any useful purpose for assault rifles, having even hunted with rifles, both automatic and single shot.
Though I like how gun owners in the US have accomplished the banning of weapons from many restaurants by their own stupidity, which was something even the government failed to bring about.
Which makes me wonder if such gun enthusiasts should be considered as less intelligent than Creationists.
I agree, but it seems we are definitely in the minority on this one. Americans love guns and will not stand for any restrictions on their possession.
You're right about Americans not standing for restrictions on their possessions even though the 2nd Amendment gives the states the right to regulate weapons.
Joseph, until you add some specifics, your conclusion differs from that of another Heston: Charleton, a recent NRA officer. It also differs from current law.
You'll find specifics if you do a google search on "scotus heller" (you'll find the US Supreme Court ruling).
Most Americans are fine with restrictions on someone else's possessions. I just bought a camera equipped quadcopter. I'm thinking of buying a rifle to use on anyone who thinks it's ok to blow my thousand dollar camera out of the sky.
Allan, despite the monetary support the NRA gets from gun manufacturers, many members don't agree with its leaders' extreme rhetoric. Factor in the rest of the American people and you can be more optimistic.
BTW, I'm an NRA life member.
I think I was shocked that the ban on high capacity magazines had been lifted while I was sleeping a few years ago! I was floored that someone 'off the street' could just purchase a drum capable of holding 100+ rounds without a federal firearms license. I remember people being up in arms just after the ban when they couldn't buy a 31 round banana magazine and I remember thinking, if you don't hit the target the first or second shot, you probably shouldn't be shooting to begin with. So where's the necessity for carrying that high capacity of a mag unless you're a soldier involved in a protracted gunfight? It just makes no sense at all. I've also heard the argument, but you can hunt with it! But why would you when there are better hunting rifles, far more reliable 'for use' in hunting on the market? Are we going to be ventilating the deer to reduce drag on the corpse, or did we want to eat it after? Frankly you should be taking the animal down as cleanly, quickly and humanely as possible with 'one' well placed shot, not terrorizing and torturing the poor thing to death, besides the method of death does effect the texture of the meat! First nations people bow hunted... but I digress...
All that having been said however gun control won't stop the flow of illegal weapons into and out of our country because we've been at this ownership thing for far too long now creating a healthy black market that would only grow by leaps and bounds if we legislated a ban. I own guns myself and I see nothing wrong with 'responsible' gun ownership, if you have nothing to hide you won't mind a little regulation. So we need to consider other methods like:
Better ownership record keeping with some possible penalties for failure to register private purchases
Flagging the 'amount' of ammunition and weapons purchased in a specified time frame,
Setting purchase limits on ammunition for bureau notification like we do certain fertilizers and ag chemicals since the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building.
Frankly someone as hell bent on destruction as he was, will find a way even if guns aren't available to them. He seemed to be a rather proficient bomb maker as well, I shudder to think it, but it's probably a good thing he had a penchant for guns or we'd have likely seen a great many more fatalities than we did.
Hahaha SB I have a very unusually shaped cucumber that I should take a photo of... it's a tad racy, I'll just leave it there!
I was taking small animals for food with bow & arrow by the time I was 5, and at 9 bought my first gun. I saw an ad in the paper, rode my bike to the address, gave the guy $10 and rode home with a .22 rifle across the handlebar. It's been about 20 years since I was last hungry enough to kill an animal, but feel no moral superiority by buying meat. The only gun I have now is Grandma's shotgun, and I'd have to file down a new nail for a firing pin to make it work again.
I don't begrudge anyone access to tools like guns, but see no reason why they shouldn't be at least as regulated as driver's licenses or building permits. The second amendment to our (US) constitution could be construed to preserve for the individual right to arms sufficient to resist or overthrow his government (via a socially moderated "well-regulated militia"). The only way today to even temporarily resist the US government's fantastic military is a rather large nuclear weapon, and those are fairly heavily regulated.
It could be construed that way, but I can't imagine why the founders would fight a four-year war to establish a democratic government and then make sure the citizens were armed well enough to resist it. There were a couple of armed insurrections shortly after the revolution (the Whiskey Rebellion and Shays' Rebellion, led by a distant relative of mine), and these were put down swiftly by the American government. Our cultural mythology has romanticized the role of militias in beating the British, but it was a trained professional army that did the job. The founders feared standing armies because the British army had become a tool of tyranny in Britain, and other professional armies actually rented out mercenaries to enrich their monarchs, such as the Hessians defeated by Washington in and around Trenton, NJ in 1776. Militias controlled by federal, state, and local governments could, in theory, alleviate the need for a standing army while still providing security against Indian attacks and external threats. A free country (the word "state" could mean a variety of political entities, not just one of our United States) could be free of oppressive military machines while still maintaining some degree of security via militias.
I don't begrudge anyone access to tools, even guns, but today's guns have range, accuracy, and destructive power the founders couldn't have imagined. I grew up in rural New York state, where most hunting was by law limited to shotguns because a rifle bullet, even one as small as a .22, can kill someone a mile away, farther than a hunter aiming at a woodchuck could ever see. I don't recall anyone, even my father, who carved, sanded and glassed a custom stock for his .270 hunting rifle, complaining about the fact that he had to hunt deer with a shotgun. It was simply a reasonable compromise between individual rights and public safety.
The NRA has been stoking paranoia for decades. The end result has been seen recently when the government tried to collect a lawful debt from a Nevada rancher, a debt 20 years delinquent that has been contested in court and confirmed lawful, but the lunatic pretending that the United States government doesn't exist refused to pay. Cliven Bundy had his day in court (many days, actually), still refused to pay the million dollars he owes, and other lunatics showed up with guns to protect his "rights." At least one man set himself up as a sniper. How many guns should a lunatic be allowed to carry in public? How am I to know when a dozen men carrying AR-15s come into a restaurant whether they are bad guys, good guys, or homicidal maniacs?
Most of the resistance to gun control is a logical fallacy called a slippery slope. The meme, older than the term "meme," is that any laws regulating firearms will lead to the confiscation of firearms. WTF? I've been hearing that for sixty years. Mr. Lapierre, tear down that fallacy! Shoot it down if you want.
The 2nd amendment references the "well-regulated militia" as essential to the "security of a free state," so it might be construed as a state's right to defend itself from the federal" government, but I am baffled as to how anyone can think that guarantees an individual's right to weapons far more powerful than anything the Founders could have imagined with no oversight allowed.
I'm glad you never shot anyone on purpose or by accident, but I'm also glad that we are not selling rifles to children anymore.