I read all of what you wrote. What about knives, bows, slings, metal pipes, ice picks, axes, swords, etcetera? Just because we ban guns, doesn't mean killing goes away. I'm still going to ask you again, do you really want to entrust your personal safety to the state?
Violence doesn't go away, it's just not as bad without guns as it is with them. I'm just pointing out a fact that in countries with strict, consistent gun laws, there's very little gun crime.
I don't see what you mean about my "trusting" the state or not - it's not a matter of trust, it's a simple matter of statistics. Obviously the government isn't going to be able to prevent all violence before it happens. That's not the question. The question is, "Do consistently-applied, strict gun laws have an impact on gun-related violence?" and the answer is a clear yes.
That's not the real question we should be asking. The question should be, "do consistently applied, strict gun laws reduce violent crime?" If the answer is yes, then I'd see some validity to your argument. However, if the answer is no, you are taking away the law abiding citizens ability to provide safety for themselves. I have a hard time believing that violent crime would go down if we banned guns in the U.S. If you look at the states where they issue CWP's violent crime has actually gone down consistently or hasn't increased. I think if you banned guns in the U.S., violent crime would actually do the opposite, and go up.
All of that aside, our right to bear arms is protected by the constitution. We've already seen enough erosion of the constitution.
I agree with you that violence wouldn't go down - I'm simply pointing out that if there aren't any guns, you can't bring them into fights, and you have no Columbines, it's a hundred times harder to rob a convenience store, etc. Yes, it *can* be done - Britain's gun laws have, at least in part, stopped people from owning guns. Most people (especially your garden-variety nutjob, gangster, or bullied school kid) can't just smuggle something across the border. Trafficking does happen, but that's still a huge hurdle for criminals to get through, one that's too high for the vast majority of them to leap.
As I said, the problem in the USA is that our gun laws are weak, poorly enforced, and scattershot with loopholes. Obviously outlawing guns in NYC isn't going to stop much gun crime if you can just drive to a gun show next county and buy whatever you need - that's why if you're going to have gun laws (which obviously I'm in favor of) you need to do it consistently. Otherwise, the arguments that pro-gun advocates make are pretty much spot-on: you're not preventing crime, and if you're changing anything, it's probably the behavior of law-abiding citizens.
As for the U.S. Constitution, as far as I'm concerned the 2nd amendment should be repealed. It made sense when it was written, but that was 250 years ago and the reasons it was put in there either no longer apply or are moot. It wouldn't be the first time we've edited it, and for that matter the Founders themselves never expected it to last forever - Thomas Jefferson was happy to go on record to say that it should be completely rewritten on a regular basis. So, seeing as how it no longer serves the purpose it was designed for, I think a change is almost a hundred years overdue.
It's part of the Constitution so, yeah, keep 'em. However, I don't see a reason to have them(over say a taser or pepper spray), unless you're a hunter or live in a rural area. We have two guns in my house, they were given to us. They stay unloaded with the ammunition kept separately. I'm far more worried about someone stealing and using them, than I was about my safety before they showed up in my apartment.
There are plenty of places where people get along fine without them. I wouldn't be sad to see purchasing/transport permits contingent upon some sort of safety course/ hunting license.
I think a bunch of 1/2" thick steel plating, 2-3' thick concrete and an underground bunker fully alarmed and surrounded by trenches and barbed wire fences is the way to protect yourself. If what they have is going to penetrate that kind of reinforcement, there isn't gun you can buy that would offer any defense.
Besides, a gun doesn't protect, it is an offensive tactic that can be used to threaten or actively harm, and effectively draw attention to yourself as a potential danger in a community. Not only that, but they can be quite easily turned on the owner in a panic situation.
As a rational thinker, I don't think gun ownership is compatible with intelligence, and atheists tend to be atheists due to an intelligent, skeptical, and logical approach to life's big questions.
Your assertion that firearm use is always offensive is blatantly false. There are plenty of examples of defensive firearm use that occur in the U.S. every year. Explain how using a firearm against an armed intruder into your home is an offensive move. Also your assertion that people who own guns aren't intelligent is also blatantly false.
I'm being technical. "Defense" in the strictest sense is making a "sheild" or protection from attack, guns could only be used as defense in a fight if they were welded together to form some kind of armor. When you shoot an attacker, you are attacking them back, IE retaliating.
I'm not saying its never justified to retaliate against an attacker, but I think using the words "self defense" as a means of making gun ownership appear more ethical and intelligent is a smokescreen that obfuscates the real motives for the gun lobby. Again, any rational person can see that, and that is why we see lower gun ownership among educated, rational populations, and higher gun ownership among paranoid, religious populations.