Gun Control - a discussion
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25-07-2012, 09:36 AM
Gun Control - a discussion
Given the recent happenings in Aurora (which isn't a new phenomenon) I thought that it was worthwhile having a discussion about gun ownership. This was enforced (to me) after I read (most of) the thread in which we provide photos of ourselves. Some of which included pictures of people posing with guns... and they made me a little sad inside, each time I saw one of them.

Now, this is a non-American who is mainly speaking to Americans, but citizens from other countries will have their own input. Feel free to share.

Imagine 2 societies, unimaginatively named A & B.

Society A has restrictions on gun ownership. They can be used in shooting-ranges, but must remain there.
Society B has no restrictions on gun ownership. Constitutionally, there is a right to own guns.

It is understood that 1 in 10,000,000 people are unstable enough to (on occasion) act with violence against their fellow citizens. Given that both societies have 100,000,000 people, we can roughly estimate that each will have 10 such people.

Which society will have more mass gun killings?

Saying that a gun is just a tool and that it is the person who does the killing rather underestimates the increased ability for that killing to take place if they are freely able to access guns.

What are guns for? They send a projectile (or very many projectiles) from one point to another point. There are very few applications for such devices that don't involve death. They are designed to kill things. That is their purpose. I mean, sure, you can find pleasure at a shooting-range, but both society A & B have that option. So it's just the killing thing, then.

Why kill? Well, let's assume (for now) that we're purely talking about the killing of non-human animals.

So, there is some neural-activity that can be equated to pleasure when you go hunting for mammals and birds? Does that neural-activity outweigh the life of that non-human animal? I'd suggest that it doesn't.

If it's for the resulting food... go to a supermarket, FFS. I mean... it isn't as if there's any shortage of dead things that are available for consumption. We kill fuckloads at an industrial level. We really don't have a need to add to the numbers by going along to some woods with a gun; especially when the problems of gun ownership allow for such tragedies as Aurora.

“But it's in the constitution, so we have a right!”

Amongst a group of atheists, is it going to be a hard-fought position to establish that rules written a long time ago should not be viewed as some divinely-held truths that should not be questioned? The right to bear arms is a very bad idea. I mean, what justification can you possibly have?

As a non-American citizen, it baffles me when I hear such arguments as "well, it allows us to fight back against tyranny!" Does it, really? Let's try and imagine a situation whereby you would ever be in that position.

Your democratically-elected government decides that it will tyrannically remove some of your rights? Well, that recently happened with the Patriot Act, but nobody got out their guns. When moves are made to reduce your freedoms, democracies have political ways to counteract that. Petition your politicians. It's a representative democracy and if they're not representing you, then they have no mandate. Failing that, vote for someone different next time. Or run for office, yourself.

But let's assume that there's a tyrannical move to strip your rights from you that actually involves the US Military arriving at your door.

1) It's the US military. How effective do you think you'll be against them?
2) The US military consists of US citizens... like you. How many would be willing to help your government kill you?
3) Standing up to a tyrant doesn't need door-to-door shooting exchanges.
4) World opinion matters. Take a look at what was achieved thanks to the Arab Spring.

Your constitution is fucked. Change it. Join the rest of the civilised world.

Touch the obelisk and evolve, people.
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25-07-2012, 09:53 AM
RE: Gun Control - a discussion
I gave you the benefit of the doubt until your last two sentences.

You don't live here; therefore, you don't have the right to demand or tell people who do live here how to think or live. Just like America doesn't have the right to do what we've been doing in the Middle East for decades.

I also noticed that you left out the actual, realistic use for guns: self defense

We don't live in a utopian society and we'll never live in one. A utopia is a silly pipe dream - simply contrary to human nature.

Gun laws will not prevent gun violence. Gun laws will prevent law abiding citizens from obtain guns because the law abiding citizen respects and obeys the law. Outlaws, by their very name, give 2 craps about the law and will continue to gun violence in spite of gun laws. All gun laws will do is disarm the law abiding citizen and make it easier for outlaws to be outlaws.

Guns have been a part of American society since the beginning. Because of that, Pandora's Box was opened and it can never be undone.

The VAST majority of gun owners in the US are responsible owners who hope to never have to use their gun. On the rare occasions that we have a person like James Holmes, gun laws are not going to prevent him from fulfilling what he wanted to do.

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25-07-2012, 09:59 AM
RE: Gun Control - a discussion
(25-07-2012 09:53 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  I gave you the benefit of the doubt until your last two sentences.

You don't live here; therefore, you don't have the right to demand or tell people who do live here how to think or live. Just like America doesn't have the right to do what we've been doing in the Middle East for decades.

I also noticed that you left out the actual, realistic use for guns: self defense

We don't live in a utopian society and we'll never live in one. A utopia is a silly pipe dream - simply contrary to human nature.

Gun laws will not prevent gun violence. Gun laws will prevent law abiding citizens from obtain guns because the law abiding citizen respects and obeys the law. Outlaws, by their very name, give 2 craps about the law and will continue to gun violence in spite of gun laws. All gun laws will do is disarm the law abiding citizen and make it easier for outlaws to be outlaws.

Guns have been a part of American society since the beginning. Because of that, Pandora's Box was opened and it can never be undone.

The VAST majority of gun owners in the US are responsible owners who hope to never have to use their gun. On the rare occasions that we have a person like James Holmes, gun laws are not going to prevent him from fulfilling what he wanted to do.

What KC said! Drinking Beverage

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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25-07-2012, 10:01 AM
RE: Gun Control - a discussion
(25-07-2012 09:53 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Guns have been a part of American society since the beginning. Because of that, Pandora's Box was opened and it can never be undone.

So was slavery, but you did OK with that. Saying that "something has always been this way" and using it as an excuse not to change... and saying it in an atheist's forum... is simply remarkable.

(25-07-2012 09:53 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  The VAST majority of gun owners in the US are responsible owners who hope to never have to use their gun. On the rare occasions that we have a person like James Holmes, gun laws are not going to prevent him from fulfilling what he wanted to do.

Uhm, yes it will. Look at society A&B. If James Holmes lived in a country with gun controls, do you think that he'd have managed to get guns? I haven't a clue how to get hold of that kind of weaponry and if I did, I'd have a very hard time trying to get it. By which time, I'd have someone like MI5 watching my every move... and justifiably so.
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25-07-2012, 10:08 AM
RE: Gun Control - a discussion
(25-07-2012 10:01 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  
(25-07-2012 09:53 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Guns have been a part of American society since the beginning. Because of that, Pandora's Box was opened and it can never be undone.

So was slavery, but you did OK with that. Saying that "something has always been this way" and using it as an excuse not to change... and saying it in an atheist's forum... is simply remarkable.

(25-07-2012 09:53 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  The VAST majority of gun owners in the US are responsible owners who hope to never have to use their gun. On the rare occasions that we have a person like James Holmes, gun laws are not going to prevent him from fulfilling what he wanted to do.

Uhm, yes it will. Look at society A&B. If James Holmes lived in a country with gun controls, do you think that he'd have managed to get guns? I haven't a clue how to get hold of that kind of weaponry and if I did, I'd have a very hard time trying to get it. By which time, I'd have someone like MI5 watching my every move... and justifiably so.

Owning a person and owning a gun are quite simply different morally.Drinking Beverage

Do you not have a black market that sells prohibitied items? Holmes also had homemade grenades, are you less dead from a grenade?

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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25-07-2012, 10:08 AM
RE: Gun Control - a discussion
I would disagree slightly on hunting as is can play a role in helping to preserve biodiversity by capping populations of animals that have less fighting against them thanks mostly in part to our other activities.

The fact is there is no real purpose whatsoever that a sane human being has for owning an assault weapon other than as a "toy". They're fun, I'll admit. There is an adrenaline rush that comes from shooting them which is what I would assume the majority of people who own them cite as their real reason. The losses seem to outweigh the gains heavily here though. The Aurora shooting you're speaking about involved a heavy assault weapon.

It is not very hard at all for a mentally unstable person to purchase a gun in the United States right now, even if there are certain factors clearly deeming that they are not in the right mind to buy one.

"A man who dares waste an hour of his life has not discovered the value of life." - Charles Darwin
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25-07-2012, 10:14 AM
RE: Gun Control - a discussion
(25-07-2012 10:01 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  Uhm, yes it will. Look at society A&B. If James Holmes lived in a country with gun controls, do you think that he'd have managed to get guns? I haven't a clue how to get hold of that kind of weaponry and if I did, I'd have a very hard time trying to get it. By which time, I'd have someone like MI5 watching my every move... and justifiably so.

Drugs are illegal as are very large amounts of drugs, yet they are still in our country. I'm not sure how to get meth, but if I wanted it bad enough I could find it. (I could probably just ask my brother, apparently he is/was/is a baker.)

Same idea with weapons. Wouldn't be easy, but if someone wanted it bad enough, they would find a way. It may not be a gun, but what would stop someone from making an explosive if they wanted to hurt people?

I'm not claiming to know the answer, but people who want to hurt other people will find a way, regardless of how many laws we have.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein
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25-07-2012, 10:21 AM
RE: Gun Control - a discussion
(25-07-2012 09:53 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  I gave you the benefit of the doubt until your last two sentences.

You don't live here; therefore, you don't have the right to demand or tell people who do live here how to think or live. Just like America doesn't have the right to do what we've been doing in the Middle East for decades.

I also noticed that you left out the actual, realistic use for guns: self defense

We don't live in a utopian society and we'll never live in one. A utopia is a silly pipe dream - simply contrary to human nature.

Gun laws will not prevent gun violence. Gun laws will prevent law abiding citizens from obtain guns because the law abiding citizen respects and obeys the law. Outlaws, by their very name, give 2 craps about the law and will continue to gun violence in spite of gun laws. All gun laws will do is disarm the law abiding citizen and make it easier for outlaws to be outlaws.

Guns have been a part of American society since the beginning. Because of that, Pandora's Box was opened and it can never be undone.

The VAST majority of gun owners in the US are responsible owners who hope to never have to use their gun. On the rare occasions that we have a person like James Holmes, gun laws are not going to prevent him from fulfilling what he wanted to do.
You have a good point that most gun owners are responsible citizens who will never use them to harm another person. They're also more than likely able to pass mental stability screenings or background checks or not buy humongous assault rifles, no?
(25-07-2012 10:14 AM)Spivey May Wrote:  
(25-07-2012 10:01 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  Uhm, yes it will. Look at society A&B. If James Holmes lived in a country with gun controls, do you think that he'd have managed to get guns? I haven't a clue how to get hold of that kind of weaponry and if I did, I'd have a very hard time trying to get it. By which time, I'd have someone like MI5 watching my every move... and justifiably so.

Drugs are illegal as are very large amounts of drugs, yet they are still in our country. I'm not sure how to get meth, but if I wanted it bad enough I could find it. (I could probably just ask my brother, apparently he is/was/is a baker.)

Same idea with weapons. Wouldn't be easy, but if someone wanted it bad enough, they would find a way. It may not be a gun, but what would stop someone from making an explosive if they wanted to hurt people?

I'm not claiming to know the answer, but people who want to hurt other people will find a way, regardless of how many laws we have.

It's not the same idea. Drugs are a hell of a lot easier to reproduce as an amateur in the black market and never raise any red flags as to what you're doing. Look into the ingredients for meth and then the parts used to make a gun. It's different. This isn't a black and white world where things all fit the same bill.

"A man who dares waste an hour of his life has not discovered the value of life." - Charles Darwin
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25-07-2012, 10:22 AM
RE: Gun Control - a discussion
(25-07-2012 10:14 AM)Spivey May Wrote:  I'm not claiming to know the answer, but people who want to hurt other people will find a way, regardless of how many laws we have.

Uh... ergo we should have gun shops? I mean, yeah people will hurt other people, but supplying guns seems rather... odd ? I mean, if they're gonna find a way we shouldn't make it *harder* to find that way? Such that only the really determined can do it?
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25-07-2012, 10:33 AM
RE: Gun Control - a discussion
(25-07-2012 10:21 AM)HDT Wrote:  It's not the same idea. Drugs are a hell of a lot easier to reproduce as an amateur in the black market and never raise any red flags as to what you're doing. Look into the ingredients for meth and then the parts used to make a gun. It's different. This isn't a black and white world where things all fit the same bill.

I know how different they are. What I am saying is outlaw guns entirely, and those who want them will still get them. There may not be as many, but they will still be there.

Again, if someone wants to hurt people bad enough they will find a way. Obviously we can't stop people from making explosives either.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein
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