Opinions and musings on religion, philosophy, science, politics, and life from a conservative Catholic neurosurgeon.
The guy's a bit longwinded, but I get it. TRISH
The author is right; there are too many guns already in circulation for an assault weapons ban like the last one to have any real effect for decades. Any new assault weapons ban should make illegal all assault rifles and large capacity magazines already in private hands. We should institute a generous buy-back program and steep fines or and jail time for anyone who refuses to surrender their weapons designed for mass killing of humans.“Sport shooters” that get a thrill by letting lose with magazine after magazine while fantasizing about being Rambo should be allowed to use guns otherwise banned in a tightly controlled situations with guns provided by licensed shooting ranges. That way nobody can complain that we’re taking their fun away.We need to say, “Sorry gun nuts, turns out we are coming for your guns”.-KW
"Sorry gun nuts, turns out we are coming for your guns"And just imagine-- a hundred million gun owners exercising their Second Amendment constitutional rights, now made into felons if they don't hand over guns that they have an explicit constitutional right to possess.Not a prescription for violence, eh?
Liberals like to tell you that they have no plans to confiscate anyone's guns. And the KW spills the beans.Ben
It is quite possible that more guns decrease the odds of a home invasion. I'll grant the NRA that point. It is quite possible that armed teachers would shoot armed maniacs faster, and would act as a deterrent wherever the teachers went with the kids. Given the data, it is quite possible that arming college students will reduce the body count in a Virginia Tech incident. It appears the data supports such conclusions. As an example, look at Kennesaw, Georgia, where home robberies and invasions dropped dramatically when the town mandated that every homeowner have a gun.It is also true that more guns increase the rate of neighbor shooting neighbor. It is true that much of the elevated suicide rate in states like Alaska, Montana and Wyoming is because suicide with a gun is vastly easier, faster and more likely to succeed with a gun than with a blade or poison. And it is true that guns in the home dramatically elevate the stakes in domestic violence. As an example, look at Kennesaw, GA, where they're burying a police officer shot while trying to break up a domestic dispute in a well-armed household.Finally, it is true that no reasonable amount of home-ownership of guns would make the slightest bit of difference if our governments military forces were turned on us. Our military no longer uses the same military hardware that private citizens use. And it is certainly true that a smartphone camera and youtube are more effective at fighting tyranny by our police force and military than any guns we might be carrying.The NRA has an argument and the anti-gun people have an argument.So, it comes down to this: What kind of America do we want to live in? One where everybody carries a gun and is ready at a moments notice to kill their fellow citizens if the situation calls for it? Or the kind where we willingly surrender the ability to depersonalize killing someone, surrender our Rambo/Wild West fantasies and choose as a nation to stop the guns at the border? We're very good at changing our society and achieving what was once thought impossible. That is one of America's greatest strengths.So the atheist on this thread supports the peaceful route - the surrender of the individual right to own an efficient people-killing tool.What do the Christians have to say?
It has nothing to do with being a Christian and I'm not going to allow you to frame the debate this way. The real question is, why on earth should we violate the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens in order to strip people of their ability to defend themselves. The atheists have not chosen the "peaceful" solution. They've chosen a "solution" that doesn't work and is a violation of our rights. Joey
Joey,OK, so if we're not happy with the status quo, then you choose the "more guns" route to change, yes? Note, I too am making a liberty-based argument - but from the point of view of the liberty of 26 people from a school 15 minutes from my house. Remember, the inalienable right to life and liberty came well before the 2nd Amendment. And in America today guns are more often used to strip people of their life and liberty than they are used to defend it. Gun usage in crime, gangs, domestic disputes, accidents and suicides far outnumbers gun usage in defense.But thank you for your feedback. That's one Christian voice in favor of more people carrying more guns. Any others?
"That's one Christian voice in favor of more people carrying more guns."Make it two.
Obviously, with the huge number of guns in America, it's not going to be possible to confiscate all of them, or to even have a gun buy back.Perhaps, there could be a compromise? 1. All firearms have to be registered by law, with a legislative recognition that private ownership is recognized as a right by law. 2. All firearms not under the direct personal control of the registered owner have to be stored in a secure locked gun safe. 3. Owners of guns not safely stored in a gun safe should be lible for crimes committed by third parties with the gun. If a murder is committed, then the gun owner is prosecuted for at least manslaughter.So, by law, a gun owner has to have the gun on him, or under some control, if he's teaching an offspring to use it, or locked away, or he's liable to prosecution. And having an unregistered firearm is also liable to penalty.Whether there should be a compulsory register of individuals of concern is another matter. Whether counsellors should be required to report individuals they're concerned about committing violent actions, and prediction is difficult, so that it can be checked whether the individual has access to firearms, and having access removed, if necessary.I found it ironic that the linked article noted that in gun-free China, a maniac attacked 22 school children with a knife. And didn't note that NONE of the children were killed.Even assuming putting armed guards in schools reduces the number of deaths in an incident. Even assuming that allowing teachers in elementary schools and kindergartens to carry concealed guns stops them completely. You still won't be able to safeguard children from a deranged maniac, if he gets it into his mind that he wants to kill multiple children. If I were a deranged maniac, I'd think of other areas where school children are concentrated but otherwise unprotected. Such as a school bus. I'd shoot the driver then walk down the aisle shooting each child as I went. If I were a homicidal maniac. Which I'm not. But perhaps, you'll also be needing to place an armed gun in each school bus too?
Oops, I meant 'putting an armed guard in each school bus too?'
@bach:Perfect solutions are not the issue here. Armed school guards would have curtailed most of these school shootings and would have saved many lives. They likely would have entirely deterred many of the shootings. The government of the US cannot protect us adequately. It probably never can. We need to allow citizens to protect themselves. It is the way free men do things, and this is ultimately about freedom, which is the predicate of the Second Amendment. As for gun regulations, I have no problem with reasonable ones, but I do not believe that they will make a difference and they will not stop mass shootings. We need to get real. Newtown was a clear failure of gun control. Why continue further along the idiot path?
Bachfiend, Your compromise isn't so far from what already exists. I don't own a gun and so I'm no expert on the lattice of state, federal, and local laws, but let's break them down:1. All firearms have to be registered by law, with a legislative recognition that private ownership is recognized as a right by law. Status quo. All guns do have to be registered.2. All firearms not under the direct personal control of the registered owner have to be stored in a secure locked gun safe. I think that varies a lot from state to state. I have some qualms with this because plenty of people own guns for personal protection, in case an intruder comes into their homes at night. Intruders don't usually wait patiently for the owner to open his gun safe and get his gun. Some people do keep their guns in a safe, though usually by choice.3. Owners of guns not safely stored in a gun safe should be lible for crimes committed by third parties with the gun. If a murder is committed, then the gun owner is prosecuted for at least manslaughter.As far as I know, that's also basically the status quo. People have to take reasonable precautions to make sure that their guns aren't stolen. And to be sure, Adam Lansza's mother does bear some blame here. It was her gun and she suspected her kid was crazy and yet she failed to secure it. The poor woman is dead and that's why people aren't saying that too loudly. It sounds like blaming the victim, which I suppose it is. It's also the truth. If she had survived this massacre, I believe she would have been found criminally liable, as she should be. I agree with one and three. I have reservations about number two. But the kind of gun control that some people are demanding in the wake of this tragedy goes far beyond these measures, to include gun confiscation (!) The governor of New York has floated the idea. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2012/12/22/page-a29-nyt-dull-headline-cuomo-says-gun-confiscation-could-be-optionBen
And school guards will stop school bus shootings? If in 5 or 10 years, and there's a massacre on a school bus, will you then be arguing for armed 'bus marshals' similar to the sky marshals produced by 9/11? Or, how about shootings in public swimming pools? Are you going to be arguing for armed guards there too?'It is the way free men do things'. I wonder, sometimes, what free women generally think about the way free men do things.
Ben,All my suggestions might be the law now, I don't know if it's true or not, but the important thing is to actually enforce them. There should be periodic surprise inspections of gun safes of registered gun owners to check that the gun safes are secure and that all the guns are registered. In a similar way that in Australia safety fences surrounding private swimming pools are periodically inspected that the self locking gate still works and that unsupervised children can't gain access to the pool.'Under personal control' means on the person, under direct visual view or in a bedside drawer for example if the person is home. If the gun owner (or spouse) isn't home and the gun is, then it must be secured within the gun safe.
@bach:Mass shooters target gun-free zones. Stop making gun-free zones.
Michael,Well, we know that churches are no longer gun-free zones. How about hospitals? Perhaps you could autoclave your handgun so you can take it into the operating theatre. And how about school buses? It isn't going to be of much good arming the driver, when he could be shot first. Perhaps the eldest and/or most responsible pupil could be armed temporarily? And how about public swimming pools? Patrons would find it difficult keeping their guns dry under their bathing trunks and life guards might find it a conflict of duties if they're required to carry a gun and also to enter the water to rescue someone in difficulty.The trouble isn't having gun-free zones. It's keeping them gun-free that's the problem.
Mass shooters target gun-free zones.Except they don't. Columbine had an armed guard present on the high school campus. How successful was that at preventing the shooting? The event Congressman Gifford was shot at did not occur in a gun-free zone. How useful were armed bystanders in that situation?
"Liberals" and other leftists have no qualms about lying "for the cause" ... even when the facts that prove their lies are readily available.Leftism is truly an amazing mental disease.
Except that the purpose of a gun, unlike a car, is to kill people.
The porpose of having a mind is to think, but like most anonymice, this one has no trouble doing otherwise.
"... And in America today guns are more often used to strip people of their life and liberty than they are used to defend it. Gun usage in crime, gangs, domestic disputes, accidents and suicides far outnumbers gun usage in defense."Ah, an alternate-reality-American.Vastly more Americans die of others' carelessness -- which carelessness, being a choice, is ultimately intentional -- behind the wheel of an automobile that die of others' intentional killing of them with a gun. Also, people *do* deliberately use cars to murder others, both individual murders and mass-murders.Ergo, *no one* except government officials should be allowed to own or operate motor vehicles ... especially those big, scarey-looking earth-movers and semi-truck rigs.