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 with you.
Sure, have guns, as long as you only have them to hurt and kill unarmed, defenseless fellow earthlings who have done you no harm. As long as you only intend to kill innocent animals. But to use one on a threatening, armed, violent, brutal human - Oh, NO! That's a sin! What a bunch of bullies!
Who has been saying that?
People have the right to own guns, and thats just peachy keen. But I don't think the second amendment gives, nor should it, the right to carry your guns around with you in public. Hunting, home defense, and shooting at designated areas is all fine, but the last thing we need is a bunch of morons running around with their rifles in busy public areas (not calling all gun owners morons, but there are morons who own guns). Guns are dangerous and shouldn't just be carried around willy nilly, and don't give me that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" crap: People with guns kill people.
Statistically, places that have strict gun laws have higher crime. Don't take away my right to protect myself. The police cannot always be around. If you don't like guns, don't carry one. However, I do believe that gun owners that carry should be required to take a class yearly to brush up on laws, handle, clean and shoot properly as well. Much like the class you take for conceal carry. It doesn't hurt to brush up and be reminded of the huge responsibility gun owners carry along with their weapons. And required reading should be In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection by Massad F. Ayoob.
I totally agree about the class requirement but then you fall into the "shall not be infringed" language and things get messy fast. In CA there was a huge shit fit about two week waiting period and another about registration.
Good point!
Statistically, places that have strict gun laws have higher crime.

Are these places more populated, or higher crime areas to begin with? Just curious.
I reminded of the quote by Voltaire on free speech. "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

I personally do not own a firearm, but I have no wish to take those weapons away from those that do. I collect knives and swords, and would not wish for the state or federal government to tell me I can't keep those. I feel it would be hypocritical of me to condemn one form of lethal weapon ownership and participate in another.
Since I started this, I suppose I should throw in my two cents:


I guess it's that part of me that doesn't like anyone telling me what to do that makes me very pro-gun. I agree that times have changed and SOME sensible gun laws might be needed. However, many politicians know nothing about the operating cycles of firearms. Many assume that "semi-automatic" is the same as a machine gun. In reality, the term semi-automatic simply means that the next round is automatically fed into the weapon's chamber. The operator still has to pull the trigger for every round fired. You can't just simply "spray and pray".

Anyway, if people were more informed about firearms and how they actually work, what is already legal and illegal, and how to properly use/store them, there wouldn't be this fear. A firearm is a tool. However, if the person behind it is also a tool (hahaha), you have a problem.

I keep a Smith & Wesson model 686 .357 Magnum revolver in my home. Being a former soldier, I can tell you that my home is way to small to maneuver a shotgun or other long-barreled weapon in the event of an emergency or home invasion.

What bothers me is when people who claim to be freedom-loving want to ban all firearms. If you read any history book, you'll realize that banning something doesn't make it unavailable. The cop who replied earlier is right. Criminals who misuse weapons won't care if they're legal or not. In fact, if they're illegal, it makes them that much more valuable.

Anyway, I am certainly not a fan of fringe groups who believe they're waiting for the apocalypse or a massive race war so they can "exercise their rights." To me, exercising your second amendment rights means three things: Hunting, home defense, and honing skills.

Good discussion, guys.
"What bothers me is when people who claim to be freedom-loving want to ban all firearms. If you read any history book, you'll realize that banning something doesn't make it unavailable. The cop who replied earlier is right. Criminals who misuse weapons won't care if they're legal or not. In fact, if they're illegal, it makes them that much more valuable."

You mean there are still guns on the streets of Chicago?!?! You mean there are still shootings there almost every weekend despite it being illegal to own a handgun there?!?! You mean prohibition of commodities drive them to an unregulated black market? Oh my, what is this world coming too!
I'm for regulations, especially when it comes to criminals. I also feel that owning a gun should be like driving a car, you should be licensed and take a gun safety class and prove that you are mentally competent. I hate the idea of any moron yielding a deadly weapon. My dad was robbed at an ATM at gunpoint a few years ago, and a friend of mine Micah Reitz here in Erie, PA was shot three times in the back randomly, luckily he survived but his life isn't the same.http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080918/NEWS02/80... There was also a guy here in Erie a couple weeks ago who had mental illness (and a gun!), he shot and killed his wife and two girls. http://yourerie.com/fulltext?nxd_id=146706 He shot his infant son as well but the bullet grazed the baby's ear. On my street there have been two drug related shootings in the last year, I have two children so it's kinda scary! My views have really changed because of personal experiences. I'm afraid to go out of my house at night or to let my kids play in the front yard. Everyone shouldn't have guns.

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