I have gun permits for the state of Nevada (or at least I did before I moved overseas. Not sure if they are expired or something now, though...)
In California, I seriously wouldn't trust myself with a gun. I would kill someone from my car. I get this rage problem when driving on the freeway.
My husband is British. He's never even held a handgun.
When we lived in Thailand, I got him a sorta-9mil-replica-airgun thingie to teach him basic safety (and scare off the neighbors tom-cat that kept harassing our kittens.)
Just to be fair, I had him shoot me in the leg to make sure it wouldn't break the skin of the tom-cat and potentially cause real injury. It was fine. A little bruise and a welt. Nothing major.
But then accidents started happening. He discharged TWICE in the house trying to reload, and once caught me with a ricochet while target practicing.
I've come to the conclusion that some people should not own guns.
Maybe with a whole lot of training.....but just being able to walk into a store and make a purchase?
Hmm... I'm pretty torn now.
I feel that it is our constitutional right to own firearms, but for my own self preservation (and those around me) I also think that there needs to be a basic skill or safety test.
That now puts me in the gun control camp, doesn't it?
I need to explore my own opinion a little more first. No worries. Until I do, I won't be voting on the issue at all.
Whether individuals have a right to own firearms is debatable.
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Unless they are part of a well regulated militia. It is an awkward phrase that is left up to interpretation, but I can't simply ignore the first words in that sentence and happily go along with whatever the NRA declares.
And you are right, some people should not be allowed to handle firearms. I saw many in my conceal and carry class. I have heard about scores of others in friends' and co-workers' conceal and carry classes. All these people are incompetent with firearms, but were issued permits to carry them concealed.
Scary shit. I've since come to the conclusion that having the gun on me actually increases the danger to myself, rather than protects me. There are many reasons for this that have nothing to do with accidental discharge or my own competency handling weapons.
Yeah, even our instructor, a Range Officer and 20 year police veteran, said the gun laws were a joke. We sat through a class that was not exactly demanding and then had to hit a large target 15 out of 20 rounds...from 7 yards. I could have done it, literally, with my eyes closed. And not because I am a terrific shot, either. It was a BIG target....at 7 yards.
One guy loaded his gun with the wrong ammo. He's probably carrying a concealed weapon right now. If he ever needs it, I hope that he finally bought the correct ammo.
Yours is my favorite reply on the gun issue on this post so far. I'm... well I'm a little scared of guns, lol, all these people with guns or even who love/like guns even if they don't own them is a little overwhelming at the moment. I mean I played with water/nerf guns when I was little and that was IT, my experience with guns is SO minimal lol. I haven't grown up around too many people that owned guns although one of my friends hunted deer and he had a fake deer with a target on it in his backyard so I'd see it whenever I went over there... Guns in general just seem unnecessary to me - in modern day US cities/towns where we have official agencies specifically trained to protect each other and we don't need to kill off the bears or hunt our own food, they're just excessively dangerous. From what I've gathered over the years. I've just never understood why people fight so strongly to keep their right to own a gun...
And it might explain why even atheists have this "sanctity of life" notion that is really hard to get rid of, and why that might not be a bad thing though. I mean I eat meat but I feel bad about the inhumane ways it gets to me and have considered becoming a Vegetarian/Vegan... I probably never will but I still regret some of the things humans do to animals. I argued FOR animal testing - in a pro-science/research kind of way - in 8th grade, and I recently bought a leather wallet because it was really pretty, although I kinda wished it wasn't leather, but my dad convinced me leather was good, it would be more durable and lasting lol.
I'm not sure where exactly I fall on all of these issues but in general I do think having freedom is better than not having freedom. However if that freedom encroaches upon others' freedoms then I don't know. When it comes to guns I always have thought that people having the rights to own them just makes the world more dangerous and scary and doesn't help anyone.
Oh and whoever said even what "Self-defense" means is debatable, tell me about it! Three years ago, my mother brought charges of assault against my dad and we had to argue that my dad pushed her out of self-defense - he was protecting my brother, and protecting his son should count as self-defense - hopefully. The case ended up getting dismissed while I was testifying and explaining that my mother was abusive and that's why my brother & I weren't living with her anymore... I think that scared the prosecutors and so they finally were convinced that the case had no chance of winning... but seriously the definition of "self-defense" can really vary.
I have heard many people say that if everyone owned a gun and could carry it around, criminals would cease in their criminal activities. I don't think that is how reality would play out in that situation. I would feel much less safe with a proliferation of guns with little or no regulation.