I know we're all different thinkers, but I'm just curious if there is a consensus view among atheists regarding firearms?

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They're not forced per se, however I still feel the requirement is way too low. I also feel that if you can get a license to legally carry firearms then you should be able to get one for illegal knives.

What are the laws regarding firearms in Canada? Or is this the domain of the provinces? In that case what are the laws regarding the use and possession of weapons in BC?


Can you legally shoot a home invader or someone who threatens you with violence? I am totally not clear on the laws regarding self-defense/defense-of-others


Ok! Seriously now, what they should teach in school, in addition to reading and arithmetic is: democracy, driving, permaculture, cooking, law, and taxes. They say ignorance is no defense, but honestly in the real world it is -  but the law is harsh this way, you can be breaking the law and not even know it - the law is too fracking complex and often absurd - they don't even enforce a lot of it. The legal system is no Justice system, but a murky gray pool of precedents decided by judges appointed by officials distant from the people. 

Diver's Ed was mandatory in my High School.  I wouldn't have taken it otherwise since I have no interest in driving.

Use of deadly force varies by country, state, and situation.  In my state, I have no duty to retreat if I am somewhere I am legally allowed to be and I am in fear of my life or the life of others.  I am not allowed to use deadly force for simple assault, but as soon as a weapon is involved, so long as I'm in fear of my life or for the life of others, precedent shows that I'm allowed to use deadly force.  The weapon also only needs to be one that could cause great bodily harm or death.  For example if I'm attacked with a knife, bat, tire iron, whip, crossbow, etcetera, I would be able to use a firearm to protect my life. 

People would still commit murder without guns, but guns sure are a lot more efficient at killing people than fists are. Looking through the stats, whether a country has legal/high gun ownership or not doesn't seem to have a definitive effect on the amount of firearm homicide. In switzerland where EVERY adult male is required by law to have a gun, the homicide rate is a lot lower than the USA. In south Africa, where gun ownership is a lot lower than in the USA, firearm homicide is much higher.


Having a gun and choosing to use it are two different things. The problem in the US seems to be that a lot of people are choosing to use them. If you didn't have a gun and murdering people had to be up close and personal, would fewer people want to get their hands dirty? I don't know but Less guns would certainly lower the accidental death from firearms rate, which the US has one of the highest in the world.


"You know a gun never killed nobody
You can ask anyone
People get shot by people
People with guns" - Freddie Mercury.


Highest rate of accidental firearm deaths per year.  RATE.  In 2009 the firearm accident death rate was at an all-time annual low, 0.2 per 100,000 population, down 94% since the all-time high in 1904.  That is 1 person out of every 500,000 people.  Falling accounts for more accidental deaths then firearms.  Let's make falling illegal.  It certainly kills a lot of people.   



You seriously have to resort to argumentum ad absurdum to make a point?
Well, it's pretty absurd to claim we have a huge issue with accidental firearm deaths.  I suppose I could have made my point better, but it's still a valid point.  1 death per 500,000 people is not a significant number.  That's 0.0002% of our population that die due firearm accidents.  I'd also like to point out there is no such thing as a firearm "accident" outside of an extremely rare mechanical failure of a firearm, there are no accidental discharge of firearms.  What the statistic should read is that that 1 out of 500,000 people die from negligent discharge of firearms.

i'm glad the numbers are dropping.


firstly, the term they used is "unintentional" and perhaps that includes other things that "accidental" doesn't, I should have written unintentional. secondly my figures were from 1993 which is a while back, but the figure then was 0.59 per 100,000 population, and that is the same figure as the amount of homicides per capita in Greece, and there are a LOT of countries (including Australia, Britain, Poland and many more) who have a lower gun homicide rate than the US had for unintentional deaths. So I thought the figure was significant enough to mention.


Regardless of how many people actually die unintentionally from negligent use, it would be ZERO if there were no guns. People would still die from falling unless we could eliminate gravity. We can't.

We could say that there would be no automobile accidents if people didn't drive, and that if everyone was a vegan we'd probably all but eliminate cononary disease, but it's not going to haapen.


Gun ownership is a choice, just like almost ever other thing on earth that's likely to kill us.

Hi Noah,


your missing my point, my earlier post before this was concluding that gun ownership may not particularly lead to more homicide overall (without guns people kill in different ways), and that the only thing that would radically change if we got rid of guns would be unintentional death. Travis then pointed out that the amount of people killed in this way had dropped to a point where it was negligible and I pointed out in retort that it would still be less if there were no guns. Valid argument, yes, useful argument, not really.


the reason they can own lots of guns in switzerland and not kill each other, but the US has a very high homicide rate out of all developed nations is in my belief down to social disparity, gun ownership may have an effect but its social issues that cause the homicides.


I would make an observation though that most Americans seem to feel gun ownership is their right, in England where gun laws are very tight I can't think of anyone I know who has ever expressed that they need a gun for protection... who's right? either or niether, but its interesting that the opinion may be based around how you are brought up, and if they had decided to write on the constitution that no man may own a firearm opinions may be very different in the US today... who knows!

I believe in the right for sane adults to buy and own a gun, provided they have no criminal or potentially dangerous mental health issues on their records. We need sensible gun laws, but not the banning of them altogether.



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