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".
"it has not happened yet"
That is the point. I don't think we should test out my hypothesis of guns in the hands of pilots causing more plane crashes. The last persons I want to have gun access when I'm flying are those in the cockpit as murder-suicide is a larger risk than hijacking.
As a side note, EgyptAir captains still smoke in the cockpit with the crew...
I thought smoking is illegal on all commercial aircraft now? WTF?
As a smoker on a 3 hour flight, it was hard not to envy their freedom. ;)
You are so intelligent - why are you a smoker and why the *f don't you quit?
All Europeans smoke, you know this. ;)
It's my worst vice, but luckily none in my family has ever had cancer of any type. It developed as a bit of a crutch to get through military service, a soothing way of satiating an oral fixation I guess. ;)
My hiking buddy owns a gun and I don't, but I can relate because I have a Rottweiler. In the US some states want to decide what kind of dog you own. Or more into immediate reality, a hotel that allows dogs says they allow dogs as long as they are not Shepherd, Pitt or Rottweiler. So it does hit home even if states can't quite yet do it.
Just look at that face (my Avatar for this site). Does she look like a dangerous creature???!! She's a big love and not a threat. No sense of power here. :)
If someone ever threaten you, she will become a lethal weapon if not trained to restrain herself. Dogs instinct is to protect the Alpha, and rotts are fiercly loyal creatures which is why they are preferred by canine units (same with shepards). Pitts are hard to control and illegal in a number of countries.
I hike where cougar and black bear are common. I have thought about packing, but I'm a trail runner as well so I would have to put it in the pack. By the time that I got it out either of those creatures would be on me, so what's the point? I carry a ridiculously sharp knife and fantasize that I'll live long enough to take out some lungs and a throat.
Arguing with your avatar's smile would be tough. "Yes, you can slobber on me." I don't have any issue with any of the "dangerous" breeds. I have a Ridgeback that is super sweet. I would say that people should really research the breed before they get a dog. I know three Ridgebacks that I would consider aggressive and in all three cases, the owners aren't dominant. If you want a Lab, get one. But don't pick up a Pit and simply hope that you don't have to be dominant and they'll be perfect automatically, even though most are. What would you say to a "dangerous breed" handling class prior to getting the dog? Honestly, I would toss Dachshunds and Chihuahua's in that group too.
Bottom line: banning guns would only result the access of guns to criminals. Criminals will always have guns and have them illegally and off the black market. Responsible people don't use guns inappropriately. They have safety locks so that their children can't access their guns along with other safety precautions in the upcoming years such as guns that will only be able to fire with the properly registered owner of the gun through fingerprint technology. Unfortunately the culture of the United States is one that encourages violence - but it starts with the death penalty (which should be illegal except in the case of terrorists). Banning guns will only increase violence and will never come into fruition.
"Criminals will always have guns and have them illegally and off the black market."
They wouldn't always have them in the same numbers. I would wager that the bulk of illegally owned firearms owned in the United States were manufactured legally and intended for legal purchases. In Canada, the two major sources of illegal firearms are weapons smuggled in from the United States and weapons stolen off of legal owners. I think in the United states, straw purchases from legal vendors is one of the larger sources. Non criminal firearms markets are an issue in this equation. That's where the supply chain starts.
If, hypothetically, a nationwide firearm ban went into effect in the United States, would all firearms disappear overnight? No. Criminals (excluding the crime of illegal firearm possession itself) would likely be the biggest hold out group for relinquishing firearms, and it's likely that some minority of the criminal population would always find a source no matter what measures were taken. Sure, that seems like a reasonable enough assumption. That doesn't mean i agree with your statement. Banning firearms may not eliminate the possession of firearms by criminals, but it would reduce it considerably over time.
I've often encountered this attitude of 'criminals are always going to have guns so we might as well just keep making guns anyway'. Well, I think that's shitty reasoning when one of the factors in why criminals will always have guns is because guns keep being legally made within national boarders.
You are yet another person that proves the point of the discussion. No one said anything about banning guns. "We have a right to guns in the US. I don't deny that" I don't even think that a ban would be possible in my lifetime. The response immediately turns to defense rather than discussing the points made. The response made is the same exact one that my grandfather would have made when I was a child. It's only true in your head because you've heard it over and and over. Repeat the lie and it becomes truth.
Guns being out there increases homicide rates by a demonstrable 66% within our borders. In societies where they are not accessible, the homicide rates fall off a cliff. Eastern Europe, 16 per 100k Western Europe 1.5. Canada 1.6 per 100k US 5 per 100k. As a low number, we are talking about a 300% difference just by adding guns. You might cite cultural differences, but you'll find the same is true in Hawaii. Source
You are absolutely right that they aren't going anywhere. The entire rest of your argument is not backed up by any data and is emotionally based on decades old arguments. I, for one, would rather have an educated public and refute these points that are not supported.
Fingerprint technology will soon come into fruition so that only the person who owns the gun legally will be able to fire it.