I was recently in Alaska doing some work. The crew that I was working with was the stereo-typical conservative god fearing crowd. Something struck me about them. They pack guns. On the job site there were guns. When they went fishing, there were guns (makes some sense since bears are common on the rivers). No matter what they were doing, there were guns. A thought occurred to me. Do atheists carry guns? I have four firearms, but only bought one of them because an uncle needed some bucks. The others were given to me as family gifts. The thought of bringing one never occurred to me. We don't have kids, so I really would have to think about the location of them all and the bullets for them. I just don't have an interest in guns. I'm not afraid of anything, so why would I care? 

So the real question that occurred to me is, do any atheists carry firearms? I do know of one. The largess of those that pack in my life are religionists. What are you afraid of? Why do you pack? If we live in the "greatest country" as Americans, why do you have to pack heat? Once in my 36 years do I recall a use for a weapon, but it may have made the situation much worse. If in most countries people don't feel the need to pack, doesn't that refute the greatest country claim on it's face? 

I have no judgement of those that want to pack. I defend that right as closely as the next. I'm not bothered by it. In the Czech Republic I was in a bar with three pistols on the table because we had just been target practicing. I enjoyed that true freedom that we don't have here. But does a transgression like stealing my wallet warrant death? Short of abuse of my child or wife, I don't know when I would pull the trigger. I'm quite capable of damage to anyone without my wrestling background. So why would I pack? If you are an atheist that packs, why is that, and can you justify it without fear? This is a new thought, so I'd love to hear all positions on it.  

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"No, Martial Arts is a huge waste of time other than simple exercise. :)"

Not sure if you're serious or not here. Martial arts training has saved me from death or serious injury on at least three occasions, in situations that were not of my making.

"But to your core point of knowing self-defense, I think that it does"

Here is where I'd have to agree. Learning to be an effective martial arts practitioner requires investment - effort, time, discipline. These lead to a sense of empowerment that is more "real" (I guess that's the right way to put it) than owning a firearm which only really requires a bit of money.

Having said that, a person with real professional firearms training - someone who has invested time, effort and discipline - would be justified in having that same sense of empowerment.

Owning a gun without sufficent training and discipline akin to taking 2 karate lessons at the local community centre. Any feeling of power one might have from either is illusionary.
I keep a gun beside my bed and in my car on long trips. I hunt wild game every year as well. I have rifles, shotguns and pitols. Having a gun is no big deal, how well you know the weapon is a very big deal and what you do with it. If you think guns are the reason people kill each other look at some sword battles. People kill one another regardless of guns. I must say "I hate people that love guns for the sake of guns though". Those idiots that use them as a political platform or a way to start crap. It's a tool and should be treated with respect. It is dangerous and not a thing to take lightly. I take deer every year and squirrel, but I also fish and without these food sources I would be alot thinker in the waistline. I'm just glad I have the right to own them. Having the right doesn't make it less of a responsability.
Seriously. Guns are illegal in the U.K.
I've worked in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Scotsmen are just as efficient at stabbing themselves to death as Americans are at shooting themselves to death.
Hell, I've seem people attacked with a baseball bat with nails driven through it.
Ancient peoples had a name for that type of weapon.
Morning star.

I'll take a nice clean bullet wound any day, thanks.
Hey, there are some people who really believe they'll be able to fight the US government with their guns! That's how ridiculous it has become.

Yeah, these people live in a fantasy. I know many like that who believe that Obama is trying to disarm them so that he can personally shove socialism, communism, gay marriage, Marxism, fascism, gay sex, evolution, more gay sex, and a dildo down their throat.
Yes, and you'll need lots of guns to protect all your orifices.
I own a S&W sigma series 9mm.

that being said, I have the legal ability to carry it for protection, but I rarely do. I've been raised around guns my whole life, every male in my family has a collection. I used to go hunting with my father and grandfather, but I'm not really interested it that anymore.
I still have a few shotguns and hunting rifles but they are hardly ever shot. The only shooting I do is target shooting. pretty much just as a hobby, and to know that if I had to protect my self or someone else, I could.

The only time I carry my concealed weapon is if I am going somewhere that has a reputation for being rough, or if I go camping for the weekend.
I never had to use it and hope that I never will. I'm not really afraid of being attacked or anything so I don't carry it with me often. I mostly got it as a target gun.

As far as the government is concerned, it is registered and could easily be taken away.

we have the right to bare arms but lets face it, if we ever got up the nerve to over throw the government, we wouldn't stand a chance.
I think you're overreacting, Jean. Jon was probably commenting on the second amendment where one of the reasons given for having the right to bear arms is so that the people could deal with an opressive government. Nothing to do with anarchy.
I love you.
OOH! Rhetorical statements! I like these. Lemme try... Have you ever heard someone say "Gee if I only had my gun on me I'd be alive"?

Me neither... In both cases. =D
But, you know, he has a point. People that carry usually say they do so for protection. We can assume from being robbed, attacked, or harmed by a criminal. How many people have had that happen to them? And if so, would a gun have helped them?

And how many fatalities really would have been avoided if a gun were in the victim's possession?

This issue is so politicized that it is hard to find statistics that have not been cherry picked or biased by one side or the other. What I crave is unbiased data.
we live way out in the country, down a dirt road. Late one night my wife was coming home when two cars suddenly pulled in front of her and blocked her path. One of the drivers got out with something in his hand (possibly a tire iron). My wife grabbed her pistol and told him if he came one step closer, she'd shoot. He and his associate beat a hasty retreat.


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