When debating guns, it seems impossible to not hear the saying, "Guns don't kill people." If you toss out a statistic about gun deaths, you will hear this retort.
I'm a gun owner. I own them simply because I come from a law enforcement family. I don't have any interest in them at all. Grew up around them. You point, they go bang. But that's not all that guns do, now is it?
Guns give people a sense of power. A command over many. They make men make rash decisions. They embolden people to do things out of arrogance and self-righteousness. If you were walking by a group of three young men whom were clearly out looking for a fight in a downtown area, you might decide to cross the street if you were unarmed. If you were armed, you might say,"Fuck it, I have a right to be here." and take on that path of resistance. A notable example of this being caught on video is the DC detective taking on a crowd for throwing snowballs. He drew his service weapon rather than walking or driving away. Link
There are other things that give people a sense of power and cause them to act as if human life doesn't matter. Cars. How many cases of road rage could we find? Cars are another thing that emboldens people to do stupid things. I had a guy attempt to run me down once while on a motorcycle. I waved him into a parking lot, got off the bike and he disappeared. As soon as I went to get back onto the road, he came at me. Being on a sport bike he had no chance and I was gone. But without a weapon, he wanted nothing to do with me. (Sremmed from him wanting me to pull out into the intersection that was blocked. Bad idea in the US, especially on a bike.) but you know what is rare... Murder in the first and second degree in cars. Killing someone in another car with the first car is difficult. We don't have enough interaction with pedestrians to get that provoked. Guns, however, allow that personal interaction along with the quick and easy solution that will give you that sense of power we have grown to love.
You can say that guns don't kill people because they are inanimate objects and be factually correct. What you ignore is that in a culture like ours where violence is regarded as being manly. Where winning a fight will get you patted on the back for years. Where people crave power over others from sports as a kid to watching movies and fantasizing yourself in the shoes of the successful violent character (Batman, Rambo, Kick Ass). Guns provide that sense of ability to easily win the fight and deliver justice when we feel wronged rather than letting the emotion settle. Gun ownership is the leading cause of homocide, 2 to 1. Nothing else compares.
We have a right to guns in the US. I don't deny that. But denying the reality that without guns we would not have nearly the same number of murders is denying reality. Without guns, people would take that extra second to think rather than simply react. There are anecdotal cases where the right gun owner wins and yeah, let's write that down. But don't forget that each year, there are 10,000 other cases where the outcome didn't have to be what it is. Guns cause people to act in ways that they wouldn't normally act. This is why I reject the claim that "Guns Don't Kill People".
lol , I got your joke ... and I laughed. But you're still wrong about guns = more suicides. :P
"Even with a bomb using materials that you likely could never get your hands on"
I can quite easily buy tons of fertilizer if I take over the family farm and diesel at any gas station. I also partially own a gun and have thousands of hours of firearms and even a bit of explosives training. A 10t fertilizer based bomb can do some substantial damage, I believe McVeigh used around 3t and ABB probably .5-1t.
Bombs are much more effective in mass killings than firearms. In fact, a concussion grenade is a much more potent self defense tool than a gun. Anyone carrying a gun would be (at least should be) hesitant in shooting someone holding a live grenade.
Your family has a farm?
The point is that most people can't buy that stuff without raising a lot of questions. Obviously, some people can. But, they are also people not likely to use it for bombs. Meanwhile, guns are much more readily available.
Again, look at Oslo and how many died from the bomb compared to the guns. At Columbine, the bombs failed to detonate. The OKC bombing was a success, in a sense, but just look at how many people die from gun violence or accidental discharges each year in the United States. Do you think that bombs kill more? This isn't about hypotheticals where ubiquitous madmen are taking over farms to buy fertilizer in their quest to kill millions. This is about real life and what is actually happening.
Absolutely agree. Explosives materials usually require permits such as a farm or explosives handling license to purchase. Few would dare to build a bomb because of the inherent dangers of it literally blowing up in your face. While bombs definitely have the highest potential for large case destruction, guns are more efficient. Unregulated guns seem less dangerous for most, but their actual impact as measured by the number of victims is substantially higher.
(Note that a farming license is a bit of a misnomer. What is required is registering a sole trader entity with farming as the industry code. Also, farms require government approval and consent of those in the inheritance line to be sold out of the family, so they are not readily available.)
What? You can't agree with me! We are arguing here! ;-)
I can only counter with:
We can't fight in the war room!
Haven't seen that brilliant piece of art in many years, I have to rewatch it. Thanks for the inspiration! :)
I'd like to add that there is really no valid reason to own a gun, anyway.
I agree. Also, owning a gun is, in one way, like driving a car and thereby polluting the environment. I can't control what others do, but I can decide whether I add to the problem. There's one less handgun in existence because I've chosen not to buy one. Same with cars. Atheists have no moral values? I beg to differ. :)