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".
A couple of points. It's commonly stated that it's criminals with illegal guns that commit the crimes. It would be fair to state that most of those guns were originally sold legally, no? So with 20,000 gun laws on the books, what law would we need to keep those guns out of the criminal market? Of course, it would be fruitless, but the point is, it's the gun industry and legal owners whom are getting these guns into the hands of the criminals. Responsibility in guns goes much further than being able to hit a target. Let me ask a fantasy based question. Would you accept a gun that would only fire when your fingerprint was on it? How about a ballistics database for easy tracking?
I don't accept the point that people would try to kill you with a knife just as quickly. As Doubting Thomas points out, Canada has strict gun laws. We are very similar culturally, yet, the homicide rate in Canada is 1.8 per 100k and in the US it's 5. I know that if someone were attacking me with a knife, chances aren't very good that they'll hit me with it more than a couple of times before they are on the ground without a knife. If they have a gun, they can keep their distance and make it very difficult for me to get a hold of them. That distance is critical to the attackers safety.
I certainly agree that the need for a gun to make a point makes it a weak point. People just let their emotions get in the way of using logic, or the calm of time passing, to realize that it's a weak point. (it's a simplified point... hopefully not oversimplified)
"I know that if someone were attacking me with a knife, chances aren't very good that they'll hit me with it more than a couple of times before they are on the ground without a knife. If they have a gun, they can keep their distance and make it very difficult for me to get a hold of them."
A bit of criticism: Why stand and fight when you can run and hide? The best strategy when faced with any type of weapon, including fists, is always run like hell and hide as well as you can. If the perp can't follow or find you, it's unlikely you will get hurt.
My father knows how to build a gun from scratch. He was a machinist in the navy for 13 years and owns a huge collection of firearms.
First off , the guns that are already in houses , bought legally will still be there. Confiscation of personal property , including guns would infuriate me and I feel I have the right to hold a firearm to defend myself in case someone attempts to harm my family or break into my home.
Second , drug laws don't keep drugs from being dealt and shipped into the country. They can also be home grown. This is the same for guns. Outlaw guns and criminals who wish to get a gun will still be able to do so. Get one from a friend , break into a house or car you think holds one or learn to build one yourself and sell them to other criminals or just people who wish to own one.
I don't think people would try to kill you with a knife just as quickly ... I think that's a terrible argument. It sounds like the slippery slope , but in opposite effect. Take away knives , scissors ... take away scissors , baseball bats ... etc
Ever see deliverance? A bow and arrow can kill as well. My father can build mini crossbows as well and poison the tips.
I say a limited restriction of who and how many and what type of gun is rational. Banning guns or the extreme ... confiscating already legally purchased guns from private owners is an entirely different story.
I want my right to defend myself. If I am not allowed to own a gun because of legal restrictions , there is a criminal that will find one and break into my home and keep me defenseless. I won't let that happen.
"Confiscation of personal property"
It's not confiscation to demand the guns being locked away in a remote location like a gun range for which the owner does not have a key. Many of the guns used to commit murder are stolen from owners which considered it their private property. Locking them away would make it much more difficult to procure a gun. In addition, it's easier to get a gun license than a drivers license most places in the US. Apparently guns require less training than cars...
"I feel I have the right to hold a firearm to defend myself"
The point is that you would probably end up dying because the logical response from an armed burglar is to shoot anyone who resists. Being a "tough guy" who protects the family property and honor will make you end up dead. Better to cower in humiliating fear for a few minutes than an eternity of death.
"Outlaw guns and criminals who wish to get a gun will still be able to do so."
If guns are outlawed only outlaws and police will have guns. Makes me think that it would be pretty easy to separate outlaws from non-outlaws.
"I want my right to defend myself."
You have it, but why do you need the right to defend yourself with a weapon? If you are afraid, put in a burglar alarm, steel shutters on the windows, and a reinforced door. Most burglars will just move on to an easier target.
"I won't let that happen."
If it happens it happens. If an armed burglar catches you by surprise he will kill you if you reach for a gun. Much more likely to survive if you sit still in a corner.
Yeah and that guys Rolex could have been stolen as well. It's still MY personal property and I should be allowed to keep MY personal property in my house that I paid for. How would someone defend themselves if their gun is locked at a gun range!!??
That's the stupidest argument I have EVER HEARD to say an armed robber would shoot me. That's the damned reason I have a gun , so they DON'T ROB ME. I want to keep my belongings , thanks. I also want to shoot anyone who breaks into my house.
I can almost guarantee that I will get the first shot off and it will be more accurate than theirs. Proper training does wonders.
The guns in people houses are also protection against the government ... you might not like the argument , but in a few hundred years , we don't know what the government might do. Even Thomas Jefferson said it's best that a country has a revolt every now and then.
I agree with him. I want my protection. If someone is after me to kill me for whatever reason ... I stole their girfriend from them maybe or I called their momma fat , I want to be able to defend myself. If police knock down my door , I want to be able to defend myself if they don't have a warrant. I want to be able ot defend myself if an inquisition comes knocking on my door asking me if I support 'such and such political or religious party' , etc.
If not a persons house , then there are other methods of getting a gun....
"I also want to shoot anyone who breaks into my house."
Hey Dustin. This can be seen as premeditation. If you ever do shoot someone, this statement can be used against you in court. Not very smart.
And not that I need to say it ... but if a burglar hears gun shots after they enter a house , you REALLY think they are going to stick around or run away as fast as possible?
No one advocated taking your guns here. Why bring it up?
Some people , on the extreme end , would want this. But it wouldn't stop criminals from getting guns if they want one. So the argument about criminals breaking into houses to get them is a lame point in my opinion
"if someone were attacking me with a knife, chances aren't very good that they'll hit me with it more than a couple of times"
In a face to face attack It only takes one cut to the jugular to kill a person, and if he's bigger than you you won't have a chance, a nutjob with a gun will hit his target maybe once out of a whole magazine of bullets, a trained gunowner could take him out in one or two shots, when there's no place to run and hide it's better to be prepared.
"it's the gun industry and legal owners whom are getting these guns into the hands of the criminals"
Only by theft, shall we take all knives off the market so no one will get stabbed? all cars off the road to prevent road rage deaths? remove all tire irons so no one will be clubbed by one? it's not the weapon we need to worry about, it's the criminal element that is the problem here.
"That distance is critical to the attackers safety"
That distance is also critical to the safety of the victim.
I say if you catch someone using a gun in a crime, remove their trigger finger, if they use a knife, remove their thumb, we need to punish the criminal, not the law abiding public. If you disarm the law abiding public then only the criminals will have guns.
One hit to the juglar... That's a pretty fantastic hit unless you attack from behind. And the size of a person isn't terribly relevant. BJ Penn (155lbs) fought Lyoto Machida (205) to a tight decision even though they both ended up being champions of their divisions. Fedor at 230 has fought guys over 400 lbs. Skills and ability overcome size.
This isn't about disarming the public. That wasn't my intent.
High availability of guns is surely one of the major reasons many get killed in gun fights!
To reduce the killings simply restrict the gun laws - it really is that simple.