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

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But on the other hand, since they've shown a disregard for the law once already, they will probably get their gun anyway.

Contrary to popular belief, Canadians own a lot of guns - both long and side arms.  I feel the difference in behavior is that Canadians view gun ownership not as a right but as a responsibility.  No one here would talk about shooting an intruder in their home without being completely ostracized as a nutcase by all their neighbours.  Anyone who drives around with a gun in their glove box is considered a total whackjob.  We sure as hell don't bring guns to our kids' soccer games.

I am always amazed when I see Youtube vids of Americans pulling out pistols to settle disputes.  There is just something built into the culture and this idea of gun ownership being not just a 'right' but a right that one is obliged to practice that commits many Americans to an entirely uncivilized view of firearms.

In some States carrying mace, pepper spray or a stun gun is illegal.

When I collected money at a race track during an NHRA event I carried mace and a stunner, all tools have their place. A Bowie knife, handgun or an RPG would have been the wrong tool choice for that situation

It's too late for America - there is no way they are going to get rid of their guns - or even control any sort of gun ownership, background checks, whatever, ain't goin' to happen. The NRA is strong, vocal and has the money to scare people.

One has to look at American history - American citizens had to fight the government, in that case the English - then there is the Civil War, Americans fighting Americans, it is in their being. They love their guns.

So, Americans will go on killing Americans. Combine disgruntled people, and there are a lot of those,and guns, Voila, another school massacre. Very sad.

But, I am Australian, so what would I know.

Exactly. It's not really your problem. Don't get worked up over it. As you outlined it, freedom (from England, for slaves) came from the barrel of a gun. It left a greazt impression.

As for the NRA, they are almost to a person responsible gun owners. 99% of the gun criminals who murder and rob are not going to belong to the NRA.

@Suzanne Olson-Hyde;

I have an Australian question, how many unarmed Aboriginal people have been slaughtered by armed Australians since the English first colonized the place?  Would the Aboriginal people  had a better chance if they had been armed?  It's interesting to me that the Aboriginal people are still second-class citizens in their own country...but, I am just an American and we did a similar thing to the Native Americans when this country was founded...I blame the English for everything.

The Australians collected all the citizen's guns a while back.  Here's another question for you; Why did collecting all the citizens guns (the government still has guns) not stop crimes against the elderly and the weak?  Once you have solved the violent crimes against the elderly and the weak in your country, get back to us on the gun rights issue.

Here's another question;

How many law abiding citizens have committed mass killings?

I read it as "militias necessary for the protection of the free state, citizens own guns to protect free state". It's the only one of the amendments with a preamble...

You guys keep harping about everyone, during the time of our forefathers, owning guns. You have to do more reading. Guns, in the colony's, were expensive; since they came via boat from Europe. Not only were they expensive but they were stored in magazines until needed. Most farmers did not own a gun. Those flintlocks were a pain to load and not very accurate. Bows and Arrows could do more harm to a combatant than guns. You could load and fire an arrow much faster than fiddling around with powder and lead balls. Also they were much more accurate than flintlocks. Most guns, stored in magazines, were never maintained. Most citizens did not know how to handle a gun. Like I said more reading. Try Guns, Germs, and Steel; yeah I know the gun lobby has poo pooed it but some really interesting stuff on being at the right place at the right time.

I just don't get the mentality of modern gun owners who think that they can defend themselves from our standing army. I served in the military. I've loaded nukes. I've serviced M161A1 guns. I've watched missiles launched from Carriers. If the interpretation is to defend against your government then you guys will have to start thinking about whole squadrons of F/A 18 Hornets. Maybe a carrier or two. Guided missile destroyer will also help. If you can get your hands on one of those new fangled Stealth Bombers you'll be right as rain. Tanks! Yep, you'll need more than two of those. Not to mention who will lead the charge against such overwhelming odds. Have you thought this out or are you just as happy about owning an AR15 or Bushmaster as I am about owning a new set of speakers for my surround system?

@Noel;

Depends on the speakers.

Noel, after my hitch in the US Navy during the Korean War, America's zillion-dollar military has not done well against guerillas and non-state actors.

Why are there non-state actors?

Because during the Cold War America gave foreign aid to any tyrant who opposed the Soviet Union, and those tyrants treated their own people so badly.

Since WW2, America's foreign policy has been on a collision course with Americans' civil rights.

Our CIA overthrew an elected government in Iran. We installed and supported a tyrant (the Shah) and trained his secret police (Savak). In short, America created the conditions that resulted in the religious government Iran now has.

You might not like the idea, but America can and has done wrong.

Oh, I forgot. A Democratic administration lied us into a war in Viet Nam and a Republican administration lied us into a war in Iraq. Do you care?

Hells to the yeah, yeah! I care.

Do some reading, General Smedley Butler. Invaded and helped install most of the despots in Latin America, in the early 1900's only to come to the realization that his government sent him to all these exotic places, like Panama and Guatemala, at the behest of U.S. company's with interest in those countries. In his book "War is a Racket", he lambasted our political system and it's  being at the beck and call of companies who got us into, what he called, The Banana Wars.

My argument, in my previous post, was not to lob praise on our countries military exploits in other countries but to demolish the argument that several thousand or even several tens of thousands, armed with AR-15's against our standing Army, Navy, Airforce, and Marines, Coast Guard, CIA, etc, do not stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting their way.

My argument is not to destroy the 2nd Ammendment to the constitution. The same way we regulate medicine, which can be deadly, regulating plutonium, regulating most crap that kills us; we should at least know who the fuck the asshole was that bought that Bushmaster, with the 1,000 round clip, and forgot to report it stolen after it was used to kill several hundred people at a movie theater, or a school, or an old folks home…. To those who feel that owning an assault rifle is the best thing since, well apple pie, I gotta' ask, what's next? Grenade launchers?, guided missile battery's? F/A-18's? How about a few Howitzers on our front lawns? The argument that regulation is imposing on gun owners freedoms is pathetic when some gun owners care more about hoarding arms than of mine and my children's rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If I'm shot dead their argument is "he should have had a gun". If I'm shout dead and had a gun their argument is, "he should have spent more time at the range". When the argument should be, "Why was he shot dead?" Without all the circular nonsense.

But how long do most of these installed dictatorships stay in power. Rarely do they last for very long. How many can you name?

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