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

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It might turn out to be useful to have a gun for when the Christian Taliban come knockin'.

I say that as a joke, but then again....

Ahh but it also means an unarmed populace can easily be oppressed by a military government.  Think of it from an 18th century political viewpoint.  The founders felt that a potentially abusive government must always be mindful of armed revolt.....the kind the peasants of feudal Europe were powerless to mount.

As a libertarian and hunter I am in favor of guns but have no problem with reasonable and necessary gun control laws and waiting periods/background checks.  I am not paranoid that the government will take my shotgun if they enact laws to keep city streets safe, where innocents die needlessly every day, or keep automatic weapons out of the hands of crazy hick teenagers.

I always find it funny that my Australian and English friends online make fun of us "Americans and our guns", and how our crime rates are so high...  I think that since it's so easy for the "bad guys" to get guns, I'm grateful for it being easy for us "good guys" to get them, as well.  Legally.  Not to say I wouldn't have one to protect myself as well if it weren't legal and all the thugs had them already. 

It's a chicken/egg thing, I guess.  I wouldn't care if I had one if I didn't know all the criminals on my street/in my neighborhood had one.  But, would all the criminals have one if it weren't so easy?  I don't know, do they get them legally or illegally? I'm sure the mindset of criminals has more to do with than just gun laws.

sorry if I'm not making a whole lot of sense.

It's always seemed so obvious to me.  We have the 'right' to 'bear arms' , whether for protection or hunting or keeping it in our house for defense our neighbours, government or if another country invades us.  

For those that say that outside invasion or civil war won't or can't happen again, all I can do is just roll me eyes - I feel like that 'argument' doesn't even warrant a response.

It's always seemed so obvious to me.  We have the 'right' to 'bear arms' , whether for protection or hunting or keeping it in our house for defense our neighbours,

It isn't really obvious though.  If I recall correctly, even the Supreme Court ruling on D.C. v Heller stated that the individual right to bear arms is implicit, not explicit.  It's not like that was a snap judgment.  

The Supreme Court isn't a Supreme Being is it???

9 people can be wrong.

If you review Supreme Court decisions you will find it hard to agree with every decision, you will also find that there have been very few unanimous decisions.

Yes, the Supreme Court can get it wrong--think of Plessy v. Ferguson.  That decision enshrined segration for three generations.  It was supposed to be separate but equal.  The separate part was gotten spot on, but the equal not so much.

That decision was in 1896, it was not overturned until 1954 in Brown v. The Board of Education.

@Dustin, that is perhaps true.

The problem that I see with it is the notion of militia.  Colonial militia trained together, regularly.  Individuals in the colonial militia had ranks and an established chain of command.  They were "called up" by the elected governor of the state.  They also had a full range of modern arms:  there were colonial militia and merchant marine with cannon and explosives.

By contrast, some dude with an AR-15 is not the same thing.  He's not engaged in regular military training; in fact, odds are he has very limited civilian training, so he'd be incompetent when facing a sudden situation requiring armed action.  He hasn't practiced with his neighbors, so he'd just be a hindrance when facing a genuine invasion.  He's not part of an established chain of command, and he's too lightly armed to effectively resist a modern invading force.

The notion that a bunch of random, untrained, disorganized, leaderless guys with guns are an effective resistance force is malarkey. 

If some people really feel the need for such a force in the modern era, then they should step up and take responsibility.  They should get real law enforcement or military training, and maintain regular proficiency at that level.  They should register and participate as a reservist or auxilliary so that they're part of an established chain of command under elected civilian control.  In short, they should demonstrate the maturity, responsibility, and honor that comes with bearing arms.

Sighs. Such a difficult topic.

As a pragmatist I feel that enough of this country has interpreted and feels that this "right" given to the citizenry in the second amendment entitles gun ownership in some form and that should be respect. Having said that I feel that guns should be heavily regulated. Gun show loop-hole should be gotten rid off. Licenses and registration of all guns mandatory. I feel assault rifles and machine guns have no place in our society.

Now the idealist in me thinks otherwise. I think the second amendment was meant for a militia which is now is our national guard, and they can and do arm themselves as much as they would like. I think a handgun was invented to kill a person and should be completely illegal. I think if anything, hunting rifles could be allowed but again, heavily regulated with licensing and registration required. As an idealist, I would hope that like religion, we will outgrow war and violence and weapons.

That's my two cents. For what it's I've thought a lot about this issue for a long time. Glad you brought it up.

Robert K., a difficult topic indeed.

I remind idealistic atheists that our long-ago ancestors were (take your choice) blue-green algae / cyanobacteria / pond scum and the big strong ones ate (or engulfed) the small weak ones.

Many millenia later, enough of the small weak ones presented the big strong ones with a choice: "If you won't tyrannize us, we won't assassinate you." In some parts of the world, the contest continues.

1. Self defense -concealed weapon permit for when away from home; training and background check mandatory plus the yearly permit fees.

                         -home invasion; asking the invader to wait til the sheriff get's there doesn't work real well.

2. We have the right to replace our government when it no longer serves the common good of the people. Having an armed citizenry will make that goal more possible if it ever becomes necessary. Are we getting close?

3. It's none of the government's business what firearms I own. I pay my taxes and haven't been convicted - that's all they need to know. 

4. Mandatory firearms training for a hunting license is extremely helpful.  Education is a good thing when it comes to high speed projectiles.

1. When seconds count the police are only minutes away.

2. Getting closer everyday, thru out history ALL empires have failed.

3. Contained in the 4th Amendment.

4. All tools are dangerous in the hands of an untrained or poorly trained individual.

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