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Debate:Gun Control; what do you think?

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What do you think of Gun Control, and your reasons for it?[edit]

An open floor debate on Gun Control. No set agenda besides being willing to explain why you are for, or against, and be willing to engage with others respectfully, as promptly as you honestly can, and being as honest as possible. If you wish to challenge a reasoning someone has put forth, please respond to them in their section, rather then making a new one.


Revolverman[edit]

I am against Gun Control, for two key reasons.

  • 1)I feel that Gun Control, by its nature is a knee-jerk "closing the barn door after the horse is out" solution. By the time someone is looking for a gun to commit a crime, something deeply has gone wrong long before for said individual. Money spent on gun control could be far better spent on social assistance programs that help youth, or at risk people find ways out of cycles of crime and violence rather then just hoping a lack of a tool to commit said crime will keep them from committing it.
  • 2)Gun Control laws, to me at least, seem to speak of deep paranoia of our fellow person. They assume that anyone who has access to a sufficiently powerful weapon will always use said weapon to harm others. Only the strict control of them can prevent us from shooting each other in the streets at will. A very negative vision of humanity I am strongly against.
--Revolverman (talk) 23:55, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
As a hunter and gun owner, I can say that banning fully automatic weapons is a perfectly sensible idea. I could also get on board with banning hi-cap semi-automatic weapon, if you need that many bullets you are a crappy shot and every game animal is now spooked. statementword 03:20, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

100% gun control. I think part of the problem is confusion over the nature of gun crimes. Mass killings are responsible for just 1-200 deaths per year, out of the 36,000 gun deaths per year. So what are the rest? Well, most are impulsive shootings on the spur of the moment, and fully half are suicides.

"Gun Control laws, to me at least, seem to speak of deep paranoia of our fellow person. They assume that anyone who has access to a sufficiently powerful weapon will always use said weapon to harm others." Well no, not always, but the statistics do seem to show that it often makes their anger a risk for others, and their despair a risk for themselves.

People who commit gun crimes are, largely speaking, not sociopaths who have planned it months in advance. The sociopaths will get guns regardless of whether they're legal or not. But the majority of crimes are not premeditated, and could be prevented by keeping guns away from the public.

Two common objections:

What about self defense? People tend to think that they keep themselves safe with guns, but they don't. When it's studied, we find that those with guns in the home have a three times higher chance of homicide than those that don't.

Won't people find other ways to commit suicide? Well, no. Suicide has about a 85% success rate with a gun, and no more than 10% for most other easily accessible methods. Most people will try multiple times, but if they fail once with a less effective method, then they can receive treatment and be less likely to do it again, but if they're dead, they're dead. — Unsigned, by: 69.181.254.128 / talk / contribs

Misunderstandings of the Right to Bear Arms[edit]

Many people consider the Right to Bear Arms a constitutional right. But what they do not understand, or refuse to acknowledge, is that it was an amendment to the original Constitution of 1791, not a part of it. It was in fact the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights as a result of public outcry. Thus it is no different than the 14th amendment that gave us the right of citizenship in 1868, 77 years later. Therefore the constitution, despite what the far right believe, was designed to adapt to changes in society, and if the majority of states decide to make a change on citizenship or voting rights, etc., then the right to bear arms can be changed as well.

The only thing preventing a change in regard to the right to bear arms is that the requirements for such a change are based on the majority of state governments ratifying such a change rather than on the majority of the country's population. Thus the constitution's Connecticut Compromise gave a minority of the population (small mostly rural states) power over the majority that live in larger states that form the bulk of the population. And as the country grew more small states were created than large states. Gun ownership played a key role in the War of 1812 when foreign troops invaded rural farms. As a result, areas that benefit from gun ownership in order to provide security and food in areas with less police coverage are forcing their will on those areas with a serious crime problem in densely populated areas that would prefer gun control. It gets complicated when Connecticut police reports indicate that a criminals from as far away as Virginia rob affluent homes in southwest Connecticut, on an overnight excursion. So one state having no gun laws effects the safety of a state that does. So not having a national solution to the problem unfairly affects states that need a solution.

The amendment also was applied in a time when the country was primarily rural and the bulk of the land comprised of self-sustaining farms since the Industrial Revolution was in its early stages. So it made sense then, but that is no longer the case for the majority of the population.

This problem needs a solution from the gun owners themselves. Why can't gun owners limit the number of guns they own in order to keep them from being stolen or accessed by their kids, or used by someone in their home in a domestic violence situation, or taking guns to school or work? Why not keep the guns in a secure public facility away from the kids, in a facility that requires gun owners to sign the guns in and out? Why not require all gun sales be through a registered dealer with background checks? I am not asking you to not own guns, but rather to compromise and give us the right to live in our cities free of gun violence. So what stops you from compromising? If you expect us to protect your right of gun ownership, then protect our right to not have to live in fear of your guns.PragmaticStatistic (talk) 14:37, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

They like you fearing their guns, as far as I can tell. Ikanreed (talk) 14:38, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
The second amendment, IMHO, is there to ensure we have a supply of people that at the drop of a hat could be recruited into the army. So, if you aren't capable of being drafted into the army, if we would never trust you as a soldier even if the Limeys Frogs Krauts Ruskies Trr'rsts were at our doors, you don't get to have a weapon. And the people than parade around town with AR-15s on their back? TERRIBLE soldiers. Oh, and handguns? All but useless in war, real soldiers go to war with rifles for a reason, so we can restrict those all we like. Never heard of a mugging with a rifle. More importantly, the "well regulated militia" means that the people with guns are properly TRAINED; I'd prefer mandatory safety courses for guns, basically what we do for cars but with guns. CorruptUser (talk) 15:16, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

To understand the Second Amendment, we need to go back well into history. First, you had the history of militias in Britain which basically required all "able-bodied" men to own firearms and ammunition to defend their town. Within America, we adopted the British militia organization because at that time, we were British colonies. So, the right of the people to defend themselves and their location (typically towns) is deeply rooted from the inception of this country. Second, the British attempted to disarm the Americans in 1774 and 1775. To the Americans at that time, there was inordinate amount of distrust of a central overall government (the King) and a standing army (the British Army). Not surprisingly, this all fed into the American Revolution. After the war, the standing army was reduced to handful of men and we see this throughout US history that the US Government all the way up to WW 2 never really had a large standing army unless actually at war. Many of the key leaders of the early time of our country disdained a standing army and felt that was liberty was jeopardized with one so that is why the opted for the continuation that all able bodied men should be armed to ensure liberty itself. The Second Militia Act of 1792 required all white males between 18 and 45 to have a rifle and ammunition. This was changed in 1862 to all males and between 18 and 54. The Dick Act of 1903 revoked the Militia Act of 1792 split the militia into two parts, the "organized" militia which is today's National Guard and the "unorganized" militia which is still all other able bodied men. Far as I can determine, there has been no law eliminating the unorganized militia portion of the Dick Act or defining requirements of that program. So, within this legal context, gun ownership is a legal right. Within the historical pretext, the founding fathers were deathly afraid of a strong central government with a standing army as that give the government the power to take away hard won liberties. The compromise was the allowance of the citizens to be armed to give the federal government pause in any decision to use the force of a standing army against its own population. Hence the saying, "He who has the guns, rules." If you don't think that saying holds, Hitler even said as much as about subjected races. However, where there should be limitations is within the context of "able-bodied". Those with criminal records of certain offenses and those with certain mental health issues obviously do not fall within the scope of "able-bodied" and gun control in this context is obviously prudent.

However, control over quantities and types of weapons, IMHO, is against existing Federal Law and against the desire of the Founding Fathers for an armed populace to protect Liberty itself from the government. Class III firearms are for a different discussion. The second amendment was not to provide a source from the military as there were legal questions all the way into the early 1900's about the Federal Government even being able to use the National Guard outside of the borders of the U.S. Several laws were then passed that actually gave the Federal Government the ability to federalize NG troops and use them abroad. As far as requiring training, again, this is also prudent and the Civilian Marksmanship Program's existence today is part of the legacy of the Militia Act and the Dick Act. Also, the requirement of training, as long as its not done in a way to hamper ownership, is also prudent and relevant to the historical and legal context of Federal law surrounding the Second Amendment and the resulting Militia Act and Dick Act. Having a well trained population in the use of fire arms would give even greater power to the people and significantly reduce an already small chance of a tyrant assuming control of this country and ensuring the continuation of the greatest government (even with all of its flaws) that the world has ever known. Going beyond these two things categories (limiting to able-bodied and requiring training) is nothing short of erosion of 2nd Amendment. Now, what about carry laws? Well, that is a tough discussion because in all fairness the initial amendment was written at a time when this country did not have professional police forces and the militias were also used to enforce the law. However, with the advent of professional police forces, one could argue that negates the need for citizens to carry. Unfortunately, it doesn't completely negate the original intent for the the militias to provide law and order, and as the unorganized militia still exist in law, this does lend credence to ability to carry firearms. When one considers that the police is a reactionary force (an event happens, they react) that can take several minutes to arrive, augmentation could be beneficial in certain circumstances. However, as one who has done shoot/no-shoot simulator training; just getting a permit, IMHO, is by no means enough for someone to carry a handgun. Again, additional training that is not burdensome, would be a prudent requirement to carry firearms for self defense. My final issue with gun control is it is a feel good band-aid, it is not a solution. Use the 5 Whys when it comes to gun control. Unfortunately, gun-control enthusiasts normally stop at "Why did he get killed?" "Because the other guy had a gun.". They never ask "Why did the other guy shoot him?" That is called motive. If you really want to address "gun violence", first, stop thinking of it as "gun violence" but as "violence", and keep digging with the why questions to find the true root cause(s) and fix that. Motive drives the individual to kill, the object (hands, explosive, sword, gun, chainsaw, car, screwdriver, hammer, knife, machete, baseball bat, scissors, etc.) is just the means. Yes, solving "violence" is hard, but taking an easy way out by saying "control guns" doesn't solve the problem, it just makes you feel good while people will continue to suffer due to the true root causes. The final nail in the coffin against gun control is Switzerland. Depending on the report, it is either the second or third most heavily armed nation per capita. Unknown to most is that until 2007, every able bodied Swiss male was required to keep a rifle and a sealed box of government ammunition in their home (sound familiar?). However, their murder rate per capita by firearms is significantly lower than the U.S. The Swiss aren't the only example that disproves gun ownership causes more deaths by firearms.

For all of those that want to control guns even more, answer this: to drive a car, you need hours of drivers ed, hours of practice driving and then take a test to get a license to drive a car. To consume alcohol, you need a valid state id issued that says you are 21. Even with all of that regulation, and in all fairness, that's more than required for guns in most states, why hasn't all of those controls and training stopped drunks from killing way more people each year when driving than guns but there is no where near the fight to eliminate cars and alcohol like there is for guns? Why is it okay that the current acceptable solution for deaths from drunk driving is to punish the person responsible for the drunk driving incident but not responsible drinkers who don't do it or the bars, car manufacturers, and alcohol companies but the acceptable solution from so many when it comes to deaths from firearms is to focus on the guns and responsible gun owners but not the person responsible for the shooting incident?

Regulation != Ban[edit]

I'm all for more regulation on gun ownership, though oftentimes it seems even the tiniest bit of extra oversight is seen as a complete removal of all guns everywhere, which is absolutely not true.

For a start, I'd love to see guns at least get the amount of oversight that cars get. To be legally allowed to drive a car, you have to demonstrate that you know the rules, you know how to operate the vehicle, and can physically demonstrate both of these. To own a car, you have to further register it with the state, and get it tested annually to ensure it continues to hold up to basic regulations. Different classes of vehicles have different regulations, too. Trucks and truck drivers have to do other things, as do buses and bus drivers.

Translate that over to guns. To legally be a gunowner, you'd have to demonstrate knowledge of the rules, proficiency with the class of gun (maybe caliber and handgun vs rifle), and physically show your ability to handle said gun. To own one you'd need to register it with the state, and get annual inspections of storage, safety, etc. To own and operate a handgun would require different licenses from owning and operating a semiautomatic rifle, just like you can't legally drive a bus with a standard drivers' license.

Ideally in the licensing stage there'd be background checks to ensure you're not letting people with a history of violence or mental issues have access to lethal weapons.

These wouldn't make guns illegal, nor would it be particularly hard to get a gun any more than it's particularly hard to get a drivers' license. These steps wouldn't restrict a sane, stable, law-abiding person from owning as many guns as they want, and passionate dedicated gun aficionados could still build collections.

And no, it wouldn't end all gun violence, just like idiots and drunkards still get in wrecks. But it would decrease accidents just as letting anyone with $1000 drive a car without checking whether they're capable of doing so safely would increase car accidents. Storage safety checks would limit domestic accidents. And when lunatics go on rampages, there'd be the paperwork and trails to better investigate the crime. Who's gun was it, where did they get it, where were they licensed, did the licenser skimp on background checks, when was the last safety inspection for it's storage and handling, etc.

It just boggles my mind that lethal luxury weapons are less scrutinized than necessary tools. -- Onychoprion (talk) 17:23, 21 June 2017 (UTC)