I've heard ridiculous arguments that because guns and knives and whatever else you may want to mention can kill that they should all be treated the same.

(Interesting that cars also can kill, but nobody uses them as an example because they're licensed and registered.)

They're not. There's a huge difference. I've never heard of a drive-by knifing. Or someone killing thirteen people in a school with knives. (I'm not going into some sort of "save the children" routine here - just trying to point out that the gun is a better enabler than a knife) If someone walks into a bank armed with two bowie knives, sure, it's not a nice situation, but not nearly the same as someone walking in with two AK-47s. The physical proximity requirement makes quite a difference.

I've never heard of a knife, or a baseball bat, or a rock accidentally going off and killing someone. Sure, accidents happen with anything that can kill, whether it be a gun, knife, rock, electricity, or even a stepladder. It's a lot harder to accidentally kill someone with a knife or a rock.

Probably the closest thing to a gun that's not a gun would be a crossbow. It has the ability to hit from a distance. But it's not nearly as concealable.

Next time someone wants to compare the fact that both knives and guns kill, ask them if they'd rather defend themself with a knive than a gun. Somehow, I doubt they'd agree.


DMan - I'm not trying to draw children and school violence here. I know the violence levels have declined in reality. I know there's a big overreaction by countless people. And I agree that Courtney Love's argument is wholly flawed. They are all irrelevant to what I'm talking about here, and to be honest, I think your whole writeup is also irrelevant.

Ok, fine, but here's the thing:

Guns, knives, cars - all these are dangerous as hell if used improperly, and totally safe if treated with the respect they deserve. If you disrespect the blade on a knife, you're gonna get cut. If you're not careful with your car, you're gonna get in a wreck.

Guns are the same way. Not exactly the same, but similar enough to draw the comparison. Maybe we should require licensing for guns - I haven't really thought that one out enough to decide. Trigger locks? Also a good idea. I don't have a problem with requiring training and safety features. I do have a problem with anti-gun nuts who insist that if we get rid of guns, all our problems will go away.

You've never heard of accidental knife deaths? I hate to tell you, it happens all the time. Someone's fucking around, tossing a knife, and they get cut bad enough that they die. If you fuck around with a knife, you'll get hurt. Same thing with a gun.

Of course Saige. They're all different weapons. Does it make a difference though? It's all about responsibility of use of those tools, and herein lies the entire argument for the right to bear arms. Responsibility. You have the privilege to own a gun, and you have to hold responsibility for owning it.

Don't spout numbers at me. Do you think recent schoolyard shootings are representative of the nation? Of course not. Violence, believe it or not, is dropping, despite the liberal media's best efforts to shock us with bloodshed. Unfortunately, some people have fallen for it and actually believe that America is a country rampant with violence, and clamor for tighter gun control.

I hate it when people bring up "children" in an argument. It makes it sound like adults have less rights than they do. That's exactly what the "million mom march" is doing right now. Yes, it's the mean streets in the suburbs right now, Courtney Love, you limosine liberal. Guess what her argument is? "My child will never see her daddy, because of guns." Talk about stupidity. Do you think Kurt Cobain wouldn't have killed himself without a gun? There are plenty of other methods to commit suicide.

For example, in Australia, crime was not really a problem, and people owned guns and used them responsibly. Since the Port Arthur massacre, when a schizophrenic nut killed 35 people, the entire nation has been clamped down with tight gun control after the media had a field day blowing the whole thing up. And crime is now skyrocketing, including homicide, rape, and robbery, and people have all their guns taken away. Not that statistics mean much, but since gun control advocates like throwing them around, I'll do it as well.

I don't care if you own a 9mm or a M249 SAW. If you use it responsibly, it's all good. Counter to popular belief, weapons categorized as "assault weapons" are not that easy to procure. More liberal media mumbo-jumbo used to scare people.

Sidenote: Haven't people realized that much of the media is full of crap? Shock value has a higher priority over truth in American media today, and if you believe everything they say, then you're a true moron.

Let me repeat:

Responsibility

It's something that comes with rights.


Actually Saige, it is totally relevant. Since the topic is in regard to gun control, the issue of responsibility has a place here. I'm arguing the distinction between weapons is irrelevant if everyone was responsible. In fact, if everyone was really responsible, then there wouldn't be any argument on gun control, and the world would be that much closer to utopia. But then again, that's wishful thinking.

The problem with DMan's argument about responsible use is that the only responsible uses for an assault weapon are those that are not germane to a stable society when performed by citizens. If I use an MP5 to raid my local crack house, I may be doing the right thing (and putting the gun to the urban combat application for which it was designed), but I'm still going to be arrested for being a vigilante. As I stated in another node, the issue is how much killing power we as a group are willing to grant to individuals not answerable to the community.

Additionally, arguments about the ease of procurement of assault weapons are generally meaningless, no matter who uses them. Gun control advocates gloss over the fact that stricter gun control laws usually punish people who are already abiding the law. Gun control opponents who say that assault weapons are already difficult to procure are glossing over the fact that the weapons are usually procured by criminals anyway. The M-16, for example, has become a favorite among drug smugglers, not that American gun laws can control this.

A few writups here are trying to show that guns, knives and cars are still safe if used responsibly, and then drawing the conclusion that the difference between the items is irrelevent, and hinges completely on the responsability of the user.

This is pure BS.

We are a tool using species. We either have a need and develop a tool to help solve the need, or we develop a tool and find a need for it to solve. A car is a tool which was developed expressly for the purpose of transporting people from one place to another. A knife was developed to solve a wide range of needs, from self protection, to food preparation, to aid in building a shelter, etc. A gun was created to kill human beings, and continues to be, for hand guns, its sole intent. If you were to take a statistical study and correlate the number of guns in a given region and the number of gun deaths in that same region, you would find it would be significantly higher than a similar study on cars/car death and knives/knife death (You might be able to do planes/plane death, but that is another comparison which is shady at best). You could even take the numbers out which represent people using these items improperly (so the study only reflects those who know how to use, are trained in and (if required) licensed) and the results would be substantially similar.

I'm not saying "Let's outlaw/license/restricts guns/gun types/gun usage" (That's another argument entirely). What I am saying is that the arguments presented on this writup to refute the original writeup are fundamentally flawed (even though the original is flawed as well, that doesn't mean you should use flawed arguments to further your propaganda).

In fact, don't use comparisons at all. If guns are good then you should be able to say so, and make a complete argument that stands on its own without having to reach for the "X, Y and Z are also dangerous if used improperly" crutch which too many fanaticists teeter on top of.
Another Opinion

A similar argument against gun control, made by a Libertarian, is that if someone used a stapler as a bludgeoning weapon to kill someone, gun control advocates would suddenly want to start requiring license to use staplers as well.

His argument was based upon the fact that guns, and all weapons, are tools. This argument conveniently ignores logic. As many of you have said, a gun is a tool used to kill, maim, cause harm, or impair another living creature. Guns have no other purpose. Guns cause fear, damage, and can if used improperly, result in accidental death. A stapler, on the other hand is designed to hold sheets of paper together, and if used improperly, results in papers held together shoddily, or with the wrong sheets put together. A staple remover easily fixes this (a gun's damage can not be so easily repaired).

Further:

  • A knife, though designed to cause damage as well, makes killing much much more difficult. A knife also can be used to do many other things (like cutting carrots - go ahead, try to use a gun to do something as mundane as cutting carrots). Also, a knife is more easily defended against.
  • A car is a vehicle, used to carry people from location to location.
  • A crossbow must be reloaded after every shot. An AK-47 is semi-automatic (in one common US variation), and far deadlier.

You may have heard this argument before, that guns are tools. They serve a purpose, just like a hammer or a drill.

Yes, but they are tools of death, they were designed to kill and their only purpose it to kill. They serve no other need.

Perhaps. In fact, I shall say that this statement is very true of assault rifles and machine guns. They were designed to take life with the greatest potential efficiency. They can, however, be quite fun to use, even just blatting rounds into an empty field can be fun, but this is incidental. They were designed for killing, so you are going to say that their possible purpose of "fun" is irrelevant. Okay, remember that.

Let's move on to hunting rifles. Yes, their purpose is "death", but not of people, but of game. Their role is to provide food. This role may be somewhat negligible in this day and age, but it's what they're designed for, right? So shouldn't their possible violent use be considered irrelevant?

Now what about target rifles? I have seen and held in my hands a target rifle worth more than I earn in a year (which admittedly is piteously little, but the point still stands). Thousands of pounds worth of "tool", designed to punch holes in targets, and who's engineers would never have dreamed of it being used to take life. It's purpose was sport shooting. Yet nothing is stopping someone killing someone else with it, anymore than we are stopping someone beating someone else to death with a phone book.

If we say that the primary use of the assault rifle is death, then shouldn't we also see that the primary use of other types of firearms is merely sport?

I am, at least in part, playing the devils advocate here, however if you are to make the argument that "guns are designed for killing", you should really be made aware that that isn't necessarily true.

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