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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I'm going to go out on a limb here since this hasn't happened to my knowledge outside of wartime. But wouldn't all the President would have to do is declare a national state of emergency and activate the National Guard under his/her command shortly thereafter?

Cherry-picking one phrase out of a lengthy sentence is unreasonable.  The founding fathers didn't want a standing professional army of the type that had been tools for tyrants in Europe for centuries.  A "well regulated militia" is a citizen army, yes, but it's also an arm of the government, to be called upon in times of need so we wouldn't need mercenaries.  Even in the Revolution, though, the militia was ineffective.  That war was won by a paid professional army.  Today, a citizen army, with each man keeping and maintaining his own weapon (hence the need to keep arms), is an anachronism, totally impractical, and that role has been relegated to the National Guard since the 1930s.  The militia was considered "necessary to the security of a free state," i.e., it was to protect our country from foreign invaders, to keep our country secure, so we wouldn't need the mercenaries and soldiers kidnapped into service that powerful nations like Britain had deployed all over the world.  Without an army, the state isn't secure; with a standing army loyal to a king or president, it isn't free.  A well regulated militia, a force that trained regularly and obeyed officers (often elected), was supposed to solve that problem--but that was long before jets and nukes and flame throwers and smart bombs and drones.  An F-16 costs thousands of dollars an hour to operate and requires constant practice to master, and one non-nuclear Stinger runs in excess of $30,000.  As well armed as the government?  Yeah, right. 

Cherry-picking comes naturally to people who wave bibles.

Don't you mean cruise missiles in the place of stingers? lol

Today, a citizen army, with each man keeping and maintaining his own weapon (hence the need to keep arms), is an anachronism, totally impractical, and that role has been relegated to the National Guard since the 1930s.

Doesn't Switzerland manage this approach (at least the each man keeping and maintaining his own weapon) quite successfully?

The existence of powerful new weapons (jets missiles etc) doesn't nullify the deterrent that an armed citizenry presents to those who would like to subjugate them. Consider the existence of guerrilla warfare. A town or city is of limited use to an invader if it has to be bombed flat to secure dominance.

In the event of an invasion, yeah, it would be helpful~ but who is going to invade?
Despite it usually not turning out well, invasions do happen now and then. The existence of an armed and trained citizenry in Switzerland was named in Nazi records as one of the factors contributing to the decision not to invade (Source: Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II).
I always hate having to find myself arguing this point, but he's right. If you take the language apart, the 2nd Amendment says that the right to bear arms is a precondition for the militia; because a militia is necessary so is the right to bear arms.

Not that it matters because the 2nd Amendment isn't incorporated and so the states have more or less final say on who gets to own what in the gun department.
Not that it matters because the 2nd Amendment isn't incorporated and so the states have more or less final say on who gets to own what in the gun department.
A true statement and the reason why gun issues rarely get to the SCOTUS The ruling on the DC gun ban was limited to ONLY Washington DC where the dysfunctional city government and federal government live together in their own little fishbowl of chaos.
I also hate (and generally refuse) to engage with the extremes on either side of the issue - it's as bad as dealing with a fundamentalist.
A sensible balance can be found between the right to own and use firearms with reasonable regulation, and unreasonable unrestricted ownership without prior restraint. Gun ownership is indeed a "right" , but all rights have attendant responsibilities. With responsibility comes the interests of society to ensure that guns are used safely and are used by those with proper training, licensing and who are mentally stable. Also, the firearm should have a legitimate civilian use or collector value
Further, the responsibility also lies with the manufacturers and dealers to prevent gun trafficking into other countries (specifically the Mexican drug cartels) by using straw purchases to obtain large number of guns . Guns that also go into an unrestrained black market, predominately providing criminal elements.
There is, I believe, a balance that would satisfy all but the fringe – but that fringe has some large money with an interest in making and selling lots of guns.

Louis, when you say that the 2nd amendment isn't incorporated, did you mean it was not ratified by every state? This is news to me, if true.  I thought that the entire constitution had been ratified by all the states that then existed.  Please educate me on this.

On the intent of the writers, I think it is pretty clear that one reason, in addition to defending against invasion,  that the citizenry should be armed, was so we could rise up and overthrow the government if it were to become tyrannical.  When our petitions to the government for redress of grievances are met with inaction or  retaliation, for example.  Like when peaceful protesters are attacked or arrested, or when they are herded into what I call "free speech cages"  made of highway barricades.  That, by the way is what Tampa is planning to do to the protesters who attend the RNC convention.  That is what the police in D.C set up for the counter demonstrators at the Reason Rally.   

Free speech cages... yep,  that's the only kind of free speech we know in Canada. And even those aren't 100% safe.

I believe strongly in everyone having the right to own firearms. I think they should be handed out with every new savings account that is opened.
i got nothing against firearms, but aside from hunting purposes i oppose lethal ammunition

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