These Things I Believe – Gun Laws

As with my previous posts on Energy and US Politics, today’s post is essentially just a random list of beliefs I hold on a specific topic. There really is no specific purpose behind this post, other than it happens to be an idea I had to collect some thoughts for a more thorough article some time later…

  • When I was younger, I did shoot guns, and was “in” to weapons (as many of my toys from childhood could attest during my teens).
  • I will almost certainly never own a gun, or allow a gun into my home.
  • Based on the US Constitution, I believe that citizens have the right to own guns, and I have no desire to take away that right for those who choose to own them.
  • But there should be certain limits (I have a few specifically in mind).
    1. Armor piercing bullets should be banned
    2. Automatic weapons should be banned
    3. Those convicted of gun related crimes should NEVER be allowed to own a gun again, and those convicted of other violent crimes, it should be up to the discretion of a judge (those convicted of drug crimes or other non-violent crimes should not have their ability to own a gun taken away)
    4. Gun locks (and/or gun safes) should be mandatory
    5. If a minor has access to and uses your gun to commit a crime, you should never be allowed to own a gun again

If you have an argument for why a citizen (not military or police) should need armor piercing bullets, or a gun that can fire of dozens or hundreds of shots a minute, or an argument against locking up weapons when not in use, feel free to contribute

  • Citizens owning guns does NOT help reduce crime.
  • Citizens owning guns DOES occasionally lead to violence that otherwise would not have happened.
  • The slogan “if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns”, while catchy, is ignorant.
  • The idea that citizens need guns in order to form militias so that the US Government (i.e military) does not get “out of control” is asinine. If every (non-military) citizen of the US using every gun currently available tried to take on the US military in a coup/civil war, there would be 300 million less Americans after the fight, and the military would win. Get over the concept that a militia could stage an effective coup in this day and age…
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About Rodibidably

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
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6 Responses to These Things I Believe – Gun Laws

  1. jonolan says:

    One – all the statistics show that citizens owning guns does help reduce crime. Violent crime rates have dropped in every state that allowed Concealed Carry Permit.

    Two – statistics also show that citizens owning guns DOES occasionally lead to violence that otherwise would not have happened. It’s just that those numbers are fall smaller than overall decrease in violent crime.

    And, of course, a few of those incidence of violence were when abused women used those guns in their own defense against their abusive husbands or boyfriends.

    Three – that catchy slogan is accurate. Very few criminals buy their weaponry legally. Almost none of those armed with automatic weapons (a shockingly large number) did so. A gun ban would not eliminate their armaments; look at Mexico as an example.

    Now, to some of your other points:

    Gun Locks and Gun Safes essentially make a firearm useless for home defense. You’re done for before you can ready the weapon.

    The way you secure your firearms from misuse by children is by educating your children in firearms. I think that should include pointing out the bullshit in a lot of modern cinema where bullets fly and people get back up.

    • Rodibidably says:

      all the statistics show that citizens owning guns does help reduce crime. Violent crime rates have dropped in every state that allowed Concealed Carry Permit
      Compare violent crime rates in the US vs those in countries that do not have the guns we have (England, Denmark, Sweden, etc…

      t’s just that those numbers are fall smaller than overall decrease in violent crime
      Again, compare the US to other countries. The stats are not even close. We have horrendous stats on violent crimes compared with other “first world” nations that do not have the prevalence of guns that we have…

      And, of course, a few of those incidence of violence were when abused women used those guns in their own defense against their abusive husbands or boyfriends
      I would not consider self defense to be a crime. And I’m pretty certain that the US Government does not consider it a crime either if it’s shown to be self defense. Examples like this are already taken out of national statistics, and yet we still compare quite unfavorably to other industrialized nations…

      that catchy slogan is accurate. Very few criminals buy their weaponry legally
      I have yet to hear any politician or anybody else arguing for a complete 100% ban on all guns. The slogan would imply a 100% ban, which has never, and likely will never be a position that anybody in power is realistically arguing for. It’s known as a straw-man argument.

      Gun Locks and Gun Safes essentially make a firearm useless for home defense. You’re done for before you can ready the weapon.
      How long does it take you to unlock a door? 2, maybe 3 seconds? How long does it take to open a lock, roughly the same?
      To claim that gun locks makes owning a gun useless in home defense is absurd.

      The way you secure your firearms from misuse by children is by educating your children in firearms.
      Education is obviously not enough. The two Columbine shooters (as well as most other school shooters) were taught by their parents HOW to fire a gun. Education is obviously good, but it’s also quite obviously not enough. Kids should not have access to guns without adult supervision. Period.

      I would argue that “the way you secure your firearms” is to actually secure them, with a lock (or safe).

      I think that should include pointing out the bullshit in a lot of modern cinema where bullets fly and people get back up
      This is true for young children, but by the time people are high school age, such as Kleibold and Harris (sp?), typically this is already well understood.

  2. jonolan says:

    Ahhh, you’re comparing violent crime rates between the US as whole and European countries with total or near total firearm bans that have been in place for decades.

    I was comparing states with active support of lawful gun ownership and usage (Carry Permits) vs. those without.

    We were not actually engaging each other and both of our statement were factual.

    You’re also focused more on what teens could do with the firearms than I am. I was thinking of keeping children from hurting themselves or other accidentally or through ignorance. You seem to be thinking more of what harm they could cause by deliberate evil.

    • Rodibidably says:

      Ahhh, you’re comparing violent crime rates between the US as whole and European countries with total or near total firearm bans that have been in place for decades.
      I was comparing states with active support of lawful gun ownership and usage (Carry Permits) vs. those without.
      We were not actually engaging each other and both of our statement were factual.

      I look at the US crime rate as a whole. While some individual states may be better than others, as a country, we suck compared to other countries that would be considered our “peers”.
      While there is not a direct causation between gun ownership and this increased level of crime in the US, the correlation certainly does imply that gun ownership at the very least does not REDUCE crime.

      The idea of carry permits vs owning but not allowed to carry is to me a secondary issue. I would personally put stringent rules on gun safety that must be followed by those who carry (perhaps some sort of test, much like a drivers license; but for all I know this is already the case).

      You’re also focused more on what teens could do with the firearms than I am. I was thinking of keeping children from hurting themselves or other accidentally or through ignorance. You seem to be thinking more of what harm they could cause by deliberate evil.
      IMO strict use of gun locks (and/or safes) will drastically reduce the accident/ignorance issue associated with firearms and kids. If they can’t get to them (or use them) then it’s gonna be REALLY hard to accidentally shoot themselves.

      But I think the idea of kids who are taught how to use guns safely, and then use them to intentionally harm others would be drastically reduced if guns were required to be locked when not in use. Sure somebody could potentially pick a lock, steal a key, etc; but at least it is one extra deterrent between those wanting to harm others, and their ability to do so.

  3. DavidBrewer says:

    IF anyone spends a couple of hours to look at the statistics they will see that there is a direct correlation between the laxity of gun laws in a country and the amount of violent crime and the difference is the amount of crimes committed with firearms. Other countries do not have a huge percentage of crimes committed with sledgehammers, icepicks, or snowmobiles. The difference is the firearms. Only a tiny percentage of the people who can get CCW licenses actually do and, as a former CCW licensee, I can attest that your behavior changes when you have a firearm. You put yourself into situations where you would normally defer to the police or walk the other way. Many more innocent people die in the home from firearms than are used to prevent a crime. Finally, where to all the illegally obtained firearms come from. Illegal manufacturers? They come from legally obtained firearms which are stolen and then resold.

    • Rodibidably says:

      While I agree with what you’re saying, I don’t believe that realistically we can “ban” guns in the US. The Constitution is quite clear on the subject, so even if one supported a 100% gun ban, it’s never going to happen, and to argue for that position is a waste of time, and allows those who support things such as assault weapons and armor piercing bullets to argue against a false position instead of having to respond to the realistic options put forth by those who want stricter laws on weapons, and not a ban of weapons.

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