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".
Further, Let's look at the states that have the highest gun violence rates.
|[hide] United States||Sources||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||Most
|District of Columbia||||43.9||40.3||46.4||44.7||35.7||33.5||29.1||30.8||31.5||24.0||24.0|
|Georgia (U.S. state)||||8.0||7.1||7.1||7.6||6.9||6.2||6.6||7.7||6.7||5.8||5.8|
Note that in the first 17 states, it would be fair to characterize them as Republican and by default, pro-gun with Illinois being the only exception. 16-1 is the score for just a small statistical difference yet it holds so very consistently. Guns are dangerous for society and it's a delusion to say otherwise. Again, not calling for a ban, just shunning the non-sense arguments.
I don't know what the actual prevalence of gun possession is in D.C., but it's always ranked high even while having some of the most stringent gun ownership laws in the country, if I'm not mistaken.
I guess cities offer a target rich environment for criminals, and people suffering from a mental breakdown can do some substantial damage before being halted.
Would be interesting to see gun violence rates correlated with population density, urbanization, income disparity, and quality of education.
Criminals will always have easy access to what is easily accessible in society. By extension, they have less access to things that are difficult to access.
I'm sorry, but guns are for idiots which have no safety training.. I have all the benefits a gun offers without any of the drawbacks by having my ass covered by multiple levels of intentional security measures. If I ever wanted to use violence as an offensive method, I know of much more effective tools than a puny gun.
Give me one scenario in which civilian use of a gun would solve a problem without adding to it.
It depends where you live - where I live now, I don't need a gun. But if I were to live in a different area - I would want to have a gun, particularly if living alone.
And I agree - proper training and certification should be required. And soon with fingerprint technology - only the properly registered gun owner would be able to fire the gun.
A lot of cases in which a criminal has broken into someone's home (to answer your question).
I think it is "pie in the sky" to think your actually going to stick a fingerprint widget/gadget on a gun that would thwart someone besides the owner from using it. Guns can be easily manipulated and modified. It would work about as well as the non adjustment feature of the carb the EPA forced companies to stick on my weed eater. The manufacturer told me I would have to drive to an authorized service rep and have the carb tuned. That was hilarious to me. About 10 minutes later my die grinder had completed the necessary mods to allow me to work on the weed eater. Just sayin......
Ed, technology is increasing exponentially. I think in the near future such a device will be available and operational - the question is, can the politicians implement it against the potential lobbying of the gun industry?
Never underestimate the skills of a backwoods good ole boy. While you have good intentions the reality is those kind of widgets would be the first thing to go after getting the new firearm home. I mean who really wants to buy a firearm, invite his buddies over for some non-alcoholic beverages and target practice and no one else can fire the damn gun. It ain't gonna fly with those of us living remotely. It might be OK for city folk but I can see reasons they wouldn't want it also.
Sorry country folk, I also grew up isolated on a farm without the ability to hang out with friends much for the first 15 years of my life, and you are dead wrong.
Handguns are as useless in the wild as they are in the urban jungle.
I understand what you say about the attitude growth for those that carry a gun. Your stats are a proof of the use of guns, is there a study to confirm these deaths other than accidental would not have happened anyway, to confirm your feelings?
People kill people, what weapon they choose is irrelevant, therefore I feel the only correct statement other than which I just stated is people with weapons kill people but even that is a stretch as there is arm to arm combat that has always existed...but I agree if that is all there was there would be less murders.
Of course guns don't kill people. Bullets do. :D
The problem, as I see it, is not the guns themselves. It is the culture and societal views that surround them. In the old days it was swords, in the future it'll be portable disintegration belt packs. Even if guns were to vanish overnight, if the underlying attitudes stay the same we'll have the same problem just with a different weapon. Change the attitudes, however, and the guns become just another tool.