If you think that a bat or a knife is as lethal as a pistol, I think I've got a bridge in New York I'd like to sell you. Yes, people can kill people with their bare hands. It just takes a lot of work. Let's take a scenario, like a verbal fight between two men in a parking lot.

  1. It is legal to carry concealed weapons: It is possible that either man has a gun. So they get really angry at each other, one of them opens his car door and pulls his pistol out of his car and shoots the other man. Perhaps dead, perhaps just critically injured. Man 1, the heat of the moment over, has now realized he just killed/nearly killed another man over a simple disagreement.

  2. It is illegal to carry concealed weapons: They get really angry at each other, one man pulls out a tire iron and hits the other in the back with it. The heat of the moment over, the first man realizes he has physically assaulted another man. But in this scenario, the second man is still alive, and only gets a bad bruise or a broken rib.

Yes, this is a specific case. But this is what people are talking about when they say guns kill people. Gun control advocates don't think that guns leap off of the table and shoot people. We think that it makes it more likely that at the end of an argument or a robbery, someone ends up dead. And that's what I meant in my first version of the writeup 1: to deny this fact is stupid.

 

1: "see also: stupidity, ignorance, and you'd better take another look at stupidity in case you didn't get it the first time."

1st Claim: If Guns kill people, then we must get rid of guns.

2nd Claim: But guns don't kill people, people kill people. Therefore we do not have to get rid of guns.

Either we have justified killing people or strongly implied that we should get rid of people.

1. People kill people.
Problem:
Either
2. killing people is O.K.
Or
3. Killing people is Bad.
But if 3., then
4. People are bad, because they kill people
So,
5. We Should Get Rid of People.

Either way, I, as a person, am in trouble.
Couldn't we just blame the guns?
"Gun control is for wimps and commies. Listen, let's get one thing straight. Guns don't kill people... I DO!"

- Earl Ramsey, President of the local chapter of the American Gun Association

From "UHF"

While I can understand the simple logic of the statement, this debate is better suited as being called something like "Weapons vs. Mindset". The weapon of choice is somewhat moot.

Sure, firearms are quick, efficient and impersonal. Let's say that firearms were never invented. That still leaves lots of room for using other possible implements of harm. Hardware and grocery stores are full of them.

A band of bank robbers could likely use knives, slingshots or even rocks for that matter. Those with rudimentary knowledge of basic chemical interactions might even don gas masks while mixing ammonia and bleach.

It still goes back to the question of why humans act violently. Power is a prime component.

Conversely, why do basically non-violent people carry weapons? In the time before modern-day "civilization" this was first and foremost, to hunt. Then came the need for protection against other tribes and so forth.

It is interesting to note that there are still communities around the globe that legally require that its citizens and visitors MUST carry a weapon. Is it a surprise that these areas experience generally lower crime rates? I think not. (I will provide statistics on this when I ever get the time!) In cases like these it seems that crime is easily dissuaded since it is common knowledge that an area's residents consciously protect themselves.

Again, why the need for these types of laws? Over the centuries has there been such a proliferance of violence-prone people? It would seem so.

In response to all those bold anti-killing-people writeups. I agree with you 100% that murder is bad and should continue to be illegal. There is a tradeoff between freedom and security. If we're serious about safety, we shouldn't stop at guns. Let's ban every single dangerous or potentially dangerous object. If the public is divided over whether something is dangerous or not, let's regulate it into oblivion just to be on the safe side.

Pity we have that pesky Constitutional Ammendment designed as an ultimate safety valve against The Man taking too much control. Along with a bunch of other inconvenient ammendments and clauses. Why does that Constitution thingie insist on being outside our comfort zone? We're a mature Nation now, can't we put all that revolutionary silliness of our history behind us and get with the program?

"An armed republic submits less easily to the rule of one of its citizens than a republic armed by foreign forces. Rome and Sparta were for many centuries well armed and free. The Swiss are well armed and enjoy great freedom. Among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible. It is not reasonable to suppose that one who is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed; or that any unarmed man will remain safe among armed servants."

-- Machiavelli, "The Prince" (1532)

Brought to you by f1r3br4nd-- a corporation hating, pro-choice, gender role questioning, Linux using, long haired, vegetarian, atheist, transhumanist, ARMED AND DANGEROUS geek... because we need good people to shoot back at the right-wing kooks when the revolution comes.

There are three basic cases:

1. Crime/Self defense:

In this case, gun control makes it worse, because the criminal will not obey the law, but will be deterred by availability of guns. Also, total lack of guns disadvantages women / weaker people.

2. Social Struggle:

The gun is sometimes called an "equalizer" because it /somewhat/ ameliorates the historic "might is right" argument. If two people have a gun, they are basically equal. For physically weaker groups, guns improve their chances (usually, from nothing to something.)

2. Argumentative or Confrontational violence:

This is where values come into play most:

If you think people are basically intelligent animals, you will (normally) be for gun control in this case, for the same reason that dogs which fight are not to be punished, just risk-managed. (Social engineering to solve social problems.)

If you think people have moral responsibility regardless of their "nature" and "nurture", you will be against gun control in this case, and normally will be for stronger punishments. This is where "guns dont...." comes from, the point is that violence is not a social engineering problem, but a moral breakdown.

(I am against most gun control myself. Fully automatic weapons should be illegal, but they already are.)

A widely misconstrued slogan which did more harm than good to the Second Amendment advocates (aka "gun nuts") that widely declared it for a number of years. Over a short period of time, it came to be widely misunderstood and misconstrued both by its political opponents and laymen advocates, leading to such anti-gun arguments as "But it's much easier for the person to kill someone with a gun" and pro-gun arguments as "If you put a man in a room with a gun, the gun will not leap off a table and kill him". Neither of these arguments address the intended meaning of this poorly worded and woefully inadequate slogan.

The original intent of the slogan was to get the point across that a gun is no different from a kitchen knife that can used to cut a steak or cut open a human being, or a crowbar that can be used to open a shipping crate or break into someone else's house. It is a tool, and just like any other tool, it has both legitimate and criminal uses. Thus, the idea behind the slogan is that the fault for a crime lies in the person committing it, not in the tool that he or she used to commit it, and that guns should be just as legal as any other tool because of their legitimate uses, such as enabling innocent people to defend themselves and their families from criminals. This idea, unfortunately, is obviously not conveyed very explicitly in the slogan "Guns don't kill people. People kill people".

In fact, this slogan was such a disaster for the pro-gun/pro-Second Admendment side of the gun control debate that it effectively removed the entire "tool" argument from the debate while giving the gun control advocates tons of ammunition (pun intended) to use against their opponents.

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