Be sure to vote, I am curious where most atheists stand on this issue.

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I feel that as human beings we have a right to arm and defend ourselves against any outside aggressors, be they enemies from other nations, or enemies from within our own borders. That said, I can't see any logical reason for a civilian to own a bazooka, or a Vulcan gun, or even an AK-47. I believe firmly in removing threats entirely. If someone comes at me with the intent to do me harm I will ensure that they never do so again.

I'd like to elaborate a bit. For starters, I do not think that the mentally handicapped, or those convicted of violent, alcohol, or drug related crimes should be allowed to own handguns, or shotguns, or even rifles. I am firmly against any and all attempts to outright ban firearms, because such a ban only matters to people who obey the law. Those who claim the ban would remove all guns from the nation are naive. Those who believe violent crimes and death will decrease are even more naive. When you want someone dead, you will find a way to kill them, and it's not that hard. If you ban guns, where does it stop? Do you ban knives because people kill each other with knives? What if we start clubbing each other with Baseball bats?

I find the argument of "Guns kill people" to be a pathetic one. It's the response of someone who is trying to force the responsibility out of their own hands, or out of the hands of those who commit Gun Crimes. It's like saying "The gun made me kill that guy, I didn't have a choice! The gun was there, I HAD to use it." Guns are inanimate objects. They have no will, no sentience, no thoughts whatsoever. When someone is killed with a gun, it is because the one holding the gun pulled the trigger.

As far as gun crime goes, most of the anti-gun people propose laws that would only be obeyed, for the most part, by law-abiding citizens. Laws that would only have the effect of concentrating firearms in the hands of the people we would most like not to have them.

Why otherwise bright people—who recognize the failure of the prohibition on alcohol and the way it propped up criminal enterprise in the 1930's—believe that a prohibition on firearms will have a different result is very puzzling to me. Can anybody help me understand this?

A neurotic believes that persisting in behavior that has a history of failure will somehow magically work the next time. Why should a prohibition on guns work any better than the prohibitions on alcohol or drugs?

Laws that would only have the effect of concentrating firearms in the hands of the people we would most like not to have them.

What concerns me, too, is that guns would be concentrated in the hands of those with money and connections, as luxury items. Right now, it is legal to own certain fully-automatic weapons ("machine guns") and things like suppressors ("silencers"); all that is required is a special tax paid to the ATF for each item, on top of the price of the gun (normally in the tens of thousands) and the obligatory background check. Even if gun control measures are passed, I'd bet that most "banned" items will always be legal in some form to those with enough money. It would be a shame if the general public were priced out of the self-defense market.

I didn't read all the responses, but I think it's a ridiculous and severely outdated amendment. The way I read it is regular Joes should be allowed to carry weapons in case there's a need for a militia to help defend the country. I'm sorry but if ever the state of the world was in such dire straights that the biggest army in the world needed to recruit militia, I think nukes would put the problems to rest long before the draft ever happened.

my 2¢

A lot of people feel the militia are needed against a dictatorial Federal government, not so much to defend the country from outsiders. This may seems ridiculous, but our Founding Fathers felt that periodic revolutions would be necessary to preserve the liberty of the populace, so that interpretation is very defensible.

the 2nd amendment has less to do with your hunting rights,and more with your self defense rights. And no offense, but this common idea I hear from hunters and sports shooters about how we should ban assault rifles, but keep our hunting rifles is a selfish one, more rights should enjoyed by law abiding citizens not less.

Technically, it has to do with the national defense. The founding fathers were obviously concerned that the British might return. 

...more rights should enjoyed by law abiding citizens not less.

Okay, why then shouldn't "law abiding citizens" be allowed to possess guns? You seem to define someone who has a gun or wants one as ipso facto not law abiding. 

Originally it had nothing to do with "self defense" rights and everything to do with the defense of the State, state here referring to an actual state and not the nation. Self defense was a later popular interpretation.  Likewise, the notion that the Founders who wrote the Constitution wanted to keep the door open to armed revolution by the population is ridiculous. It was trying to put down Shay's Rebellion in 1786 that they threw out the Articles of Confederation in favor of the Constitution, which provided a stronger federal government (well one at all, really) to do things like put down rebellions. It proved it could do that in 1791 with the Whiskey Rebellion.

More importantly as I see it, part of the reason these militias were seen as necessary was because they were used by Southern slave-holding states to put down slave revolts.

Here are some links, in progressive length:
https://www.amherst.edu/aboutamherst/news/faculty/node/454141
http://truth-out.org/news/item/13890-the-second-amendment-was-ratif...
http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/bogus2.htm

I believe that people should have the right to say, handguns, even rifles and shotguns, but machine guns and shit, there's no reason for a civilian to have that. And of course, I believe in universal background checks, and I don't think you should be able to purchase a firearm if you are on the terrorist watch list.

Just for people's information (perhaps you already know this futilethwinds, but I'll tell anyone else who doesn't know), although machine guns are technically legal in the US you have to go through a raft of paperwork and pay a $200 tax to get one (it's a funny tax that you have to beg the government for permission to pay!).  Some states outlawed them entirely, and it turns out your chief of police has to sign off on the paperwork and can just refuse for any reason at all.  Then, because it's been illegal to make one for that market since 1986, the gun itself will more than likely cost several thousand dollars.

This does not stop the media from showing film of people firing fully automatic weapons while discussing the AR-15, which (though it looks like the full-auto M16 or M4, is only a semi-automatic) just to try to mislead you into thinking the AR-15 is a "machine gun" that needs to be banned.

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