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

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There are (as far as bombs being illegal) in some parts of the country, farmers and others that use blasting caps and dynamite to blow up tree stumps and whatnot. Perhaps in most of the country you might need some sort of permit to have and use them. Also fireworks manufacturing have stuff that can blow up really well. 

The use of explosives is highly regulated and scrutinized by the ATF, and building an actual bomb on one's own is almost certainly a felony. Exceptions might be bombs built for testing purposes by law enforcement and, of course, bombs with military purposes built under contract by the Dept of Defense.

@Arcus;

Maybe I need to be a bit clearer for you, I will try.

When a person dies by gunfire it is the bullet that causes the damage which results in the death, the gun is the mechanism that fires the bullet.  The underlying cause is whatever it is that motivates the finger that applies pressure to the trigger.

The cause of death is bullet impact and damage.

The underlying cause is the motivation of the shooter.

Now Arcus, of your claim of 20,000, do you know the reasons that motivated those shooters to pull the trigger?

What motivates a shooter in justified homicide?

What motivates a robber to shoot the person he is robbing?

What motivates a 13 year old boy to shoot another person in his hood?

I could go on, I won't.

Ethical reasoning is a lot more difficult then simplistic one line comments.

Answers to complex social problems are not simplistic, given the recent event in Boston, will banning pressure cookers eliminate the underlying cause of that act?

Arcus, of your 20,000 how many were committed by the owner of a legal gun?

It's a very small percentage isn't it?

Will penalizing law abiding citizens have any meaningful effect on the larger percentage of gun deaths committed by the non-law abiding shooters?

The 2nd Amendment is Prime Law today, it has been violated by individuals in government positions since 1934 (when the NFA was passed).  If one accepts the concept of Law and Order, one cannot pick and choose when to respect that concept.  Every citizen has the Right to own and carry arms of common usage.

If enough citizens feel it is time to change the 2nd Amendment, then they should follow the proper procedure and change it.  Passing new laws that violate Prime Law is illegal and an affront to our hard won system of Freedom and Liberty.

I was referring to another discussion in which it was claimed to be unethical to fight world hunger due to overpopulation and resource exploitation. If so, the same arguments can be applied to the gun control debate as they both achieves the same end - death - by different means. In addition, an American will expend more resources than the typical person prone to starvation, so it would be even more unethical to promote gun control.

It's a silly argument, but I didn't actually originally make it, I only applied it to a different scenario with the same outcome. 

I am an ex con. Yep, I committed a felony in my failed youth and was locked up by the state. Now the state saids that I can never own a gun. I can't even own a bow and arrow. Not that I'd want to. I have lived in the confines of New York City most of my life and have never carried a gun. Matter of fact I've shot a weapon several times in my life; once during my failed youth, gang fight, and in the Navy at boot camp. I've gone to a range and shot off several rifles but I don't see what the big deal is. I can handle myself pretty well in a fight, I know some martial arts and can box. I rarely ever lose a fight that I'm in.

I have had guns drawn at me. I took the gun off a guy who said he was going to shoot me, because I kicked his ass in a bar fight. Took it away from him. Gave it to the bartender. I have seen people, dear to me, get shot. All during my wild and crazy youth. I lost a friend who was jumped by five teenagers. We were all teenagers. Right outside our Junior High School in the Bronx. The kid was going to shoot me with his shot gun and I grabbed the muzzle. Gun went off and friend Mike was killed instantly. Kid fled and left me still holding the muzzle of the gun. I had a friend, Spanky, who loved to toy around with guns. He loved to get high. One day we're sitting around, partying, and Spanky points his weapon at one of the guys that was there. I told him to cut it out and he pointed the gun to his head and said, "it's not loaded asshole". One in the chamber. You haven't lived until someone tells you that you were picking up pieces of your friend's brain and tried to stuff it back into the hole in the side of his head.

I think that it's too easy for people like me to get guns. I can go out right now and buy an arsenal all illegally. It's just so freaking easy for me to get a weapon. And if it's easy for me, who doesn't really want one, then how easy is it for some crazed reprobate to get one? Can we make it harder for criminals and ex criminals like me to get our dirty mitts on a gun? I don't think that not allowing me to get my hands on a gun is trampling anybody's right to legally get their hands on a gun. I can go to a gun show right now! No questions asked I can buy a shit load of guns. Guys are so worried about their right to bear arms but can give less than a crap about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Rant over...

** The Senate and the 2nd Amendment belong together as tools for exploitation

The Constitution was not written by libertarians. It was written by white, late 18th century deists, men with a strong interest in seeing that the Republic was not democratic not representative, not equal; that “we the people” would rule in name only.

In particular, the 2nd amendment was not based on an ideology (Ayn Rand's) that has no 18th century counterpart. Even the explicitly stated reason that “arms” are needed by state militias only hides deeper requirements for weapons to enforce states’ rights.

The Constitution favored the landed Southern "aristocracy" over incipient Northern industrial capitalism. It is the ideology of deeply flawed "founding fathers" like Washington, Jefferson, and Madison -- who created a secular nation state, but who would not renounce slavery -- the foundation of their wealth.

States with small white populations needed great equalizers -- first the US Senate with its two members, who until just 100 years ago in 1913 were chosen directly by state legislatures, provided a body which would in fact work against the will of the people just as it has always done.

The second great equalizer, of course, was weapons made for killing. Arms were needed 1) to control the "means of production”-- vast slave populations in labor intensive agriculture -- tobacco and cotton and rice. Slave holding enjoyed perfervid support of xian denominations throughout the South.

Also 2) weapons needed to be used to open lands for commercial exploitation like mining and logging which required "ethnic cleansing" -- killing and forcibly relocating native populations, getting rid of the red savages.

Controlling, terrorizing, brutalizing, and murdering in the name of maximally profitable production -- that notion united the United States -- old planter slave holders and incipient corporate labor exploiters alike.

Social reforms -- the end of slavery -- the not yet completely realized end of racism -- voting rights for women -- the 5 day work week, the 8 hour workday, abolition of child labor, free universal education -- emerged, not from government but from humanitarian individuals, groups, and institutions. As true today -- unfettered capitalism and xian fundamentalism have no social conscience.

Rick, ever since I read (in Max Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 the words of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and others) I've been saying much of what you said here.

Having read the history of the US Supreme Court, I've added that for much of America's history the federal government has been at war with working people.

FDR and Earl Warren's Supreme Court reduced this war's violence. Reagan and the borrowing he began has increased the violence.

I get to choose between Dems and their soft heads and Repubs and their hard hearts. Lucky me!

Third parties won't fix what needs fixing; only more democracy will.

I always found it interesting that the Southern "aristocracy" that influenced the formation of the Republic also called for succession when they didn't get their way in the territories. Not the best idea to embark on a war without a decent cannon factory. Down here we were taught the war was all about state's rights and that is true, but they gloss over the fact that right they fought about was to posses people as property just to get cheap labor.

Hey, folks, suppose we let a bit of realism penetrate our beliefs, if only long enough to reject it.

Was it psychologists or sociologists who showed us that crowded animals become hostile?

We too are animals. Can it be that we are overcrowding our earth?

Can it be that our crazies are telling us what we don't want to know?

@ Rick Povero and Tom Sarbeck;

It was refreshing to read what you both wrote.

I am unsure what the futures holds for this country, I am sure the future will come, good luck to us all. 

Indeed, I wonder also. I have seen so many people here with different takes on the subject, like others. I have had a theory that everyone has their own bubble of opinions and perceptions, no two are identical although they can be close. We will never agree completely, and that's just the nature of the beast (although some seem to be so far fetched from this camp as to give me a headache). Best to all and have hope for the future, things will change, hopefully for the better one day.

"Some seem" meaning like our views on religion and other subjects outside our group is too far away from my own opinions of things. I didn't mean to imply that people here give me a headache - just to be clear.

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