Social Question

marinelife's avatar

How can people be opposed to gun control?

Asked by marinelife (57389 points ) January 9th, 2011

Yesterday six people died—one a child—because a nutcase could legally get a handgun.

If he had had a knife or a bludgeon, six people would not have died before he was stopped.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

53 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

Guns are safe. place a gun or other firearm, on a table and leave it there for ten years. no one was injured, no one was killed. the firearm is not the problem. the problem is a deranged persons trigger finger that’s attached to a sick mind.

coffeenut's avatar

Untied States + Gun Control = lol, not going to happen

they love their guns too much

last year 9,000+ people died by guns in the US

zenvelo's avatar

@john65pennington or the child who picks it up and looks down the barrel.

guns are designed solely for killing things. they do not have any other purpose. And their use is swift and terrible. A knife or a bat left alone for ten years will not kill anyone either. but they at least have other non-lethal purposes.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@john65pennington In that case heroin, crack and any other drug you care to name should be legal too. It’s not like they can cause any harm unless people actually use them.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

People like guns too much to be for gun control.

marinelife's avatar

@john65pennington Why would a person pick up that gun except to shoot somebody? Guns are not safe. How many cops commit suicide who would not have if they did not have a gun at hand?

Cruiser's avatar

I agree with @john65pennington, this nut job was out to hurt and kill and would have done so if it meant making a bomb, arson or using a butter knife.

marinelife's avatar

But, @Cruiser, with a butter knife he could not have killed six people before being taken down by the crowd.

As for a bomb, not so easy and he is just as likely to blow himself up.

It is the gun that makes killing easy. And there is no reason for people to own handguns except to kill other people.

Cruiser's avatar

@marinelife I do not disagree with you but a better question to ask is what could have been done for this man to help him not want to kill or hurt people in the first place. The gun in his hand was a last ditch effort in IMO a long series of missed or failed opportunities to help this man feel less threatened in his mixed up life. The gun didn’t kill and hurt these people, it was his hatred towards a system that failed him. IMO fix these problems first and you could openly carry guns on you hip and nobody would get hurt.

J0E's avatar

@john65pennington The problem is it was too easy for the “deranged persons trigger finger” to be on the trigger of a gun. Yes, it’s the persons fault for shooting, but if they didn’t have a gun we could eliminate the chance of them using it to kill people.

marinelife's avatar

@Cruiser I don’t disagree that the system failed him as it does so many with mental problems. But it was the gun that killed those people and they would not be dead had he not had a gun.

J0E's avatar

@Cruiser I think it’s much more realistic to have stricter gun control, rather than hire a psychologist for everyone so they don’t want to kill people.

kenmc's avatar

Straight up banning guns wouldn’t solve anything. It’d turn into another drug trade. Everyone that you don’t want having guns (bank robbers, 1st degree murderers, ect) will still have access to them and still use them to kill.

We do not need more tax dollars being spent to control another uncontrollable trade.

Cruiser's avatar

@joe I prefer to get all the facts first before condemning a major freedom we enjoy in this great nation of ours. My gut tells me there are a lot more dropped balls and missed opportunities to prevent tragedies like this than restricting the freedoms of millions of other Americans who can keep their shit together,

Axemusica's avatar

I’m on the fence. We need guns to keep us safe from the people with guns. It’s a double edged sword. My father was a gun dealer when I was a child so, I, for one, am not afraid of guns and can see @john65pennington‘s view. Although, I can also see the side of the deranged person with their finger on the trigger since I don’t actually own a gun. I like guns, but I don’t like guns in the hands of crazy people.

Arbornaut's avatar

In 1996 in australia, some guy went nuts and shot a hell of a lot of people. The government at the time went nuts and basically disarmed the entire public. So now were fucked when the fascists come to town. You guys in the states have guns for a reason. Don’t forget that.

TexasDude's avatar

Oh boy, here we go again. I’ve hurled myself into this argument a dozen times before, so I’m going to just post a link that nobody will read in hopes that someone will be educated.

Yes, it has an obvious agenda, but the information within is up to date and well cited by outside, reliable sources.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at this from a cold, scientific perspective without the “zomg babies dying” aspect.

1. Guns are inanimate mechanical devices. They are neither inherently good or evil and have no moral capacity of their own. I can load, cock, and take the safety off a quality handgun, and leave it on a desk for a thousand years and it will not get up and shoot up an elementary school, blow up in a child’s face, or assassinate any political leaders. It will sit there until a human picks it up and uses it for good or ill. I’m pointing this out because a lot of people who are opposed to guns, in my experience, seem to believe that they have some sort of inherent mind of their own that makes them do terrible, terrible things. A

2. There are a metric shit-ton of guns in the United States, and millions of them didn’t hurt a fly today. Many of the statistics about gun killings in the United States include justified self-defense shootings, suicides, and the deaths that occur when gangs kill each other off. In order to “get rid of all the guns,” what exactly do you plan on doing? Going door to door? Do you really thing Billy the Crip is going to politely hand in his gun when you ask for it? What about John Q. Guncollector, the law abiding citizen? Think about that for a moment. Why should John, who would likely oblige to the will of the law, disarm himself and leave himself vulnerable to Billy, a criminal already, who won’t?

3. Gun control measures typically target the previously mentioned millions of law-abiding gun owners and do nothing or little to prevent gang violence and that sort of thing. Laws that ban guns based on arbitrary cosmetic features like bayonet lugs or barrel shrouds only hurt me and the millions of other responsible gun owners and only serve as a feel-good measure.

4. As I mentioned before, logistically, guns aren’t going anywhere. That said, the world is a dangerous place, and they level the playing field. Bad things happen. There are people out there who will kill you for your TV whether you want to believe it or not. That is a cultural and socioeconomic issue that has yet to be addressed effectively. As previously mentioned, these same people who have no value for your life are probably always going to be armed anyway. Should the law abiding citizen have to learn karate to defend themselves from them? What about the 100 lb woman? Or the elderly man? Or the wheelchair bound? Or the working mom who doesn’t have time to invest in years of martial arts training? Unless you go door to door with guns of your own and confiscate every single gun in the US, the bad guys are always going to be armed. So why should the good, the frail, and the law abiding be denied a monopoly on violence against potential attackers?

5. But Fiddlebastard, guns are only meant for killing!

First of all, no.

Secondly, why does that matter? Like I said, millions of guns didn’t kill anyone today. Instead, they punched holes in paper and clay pigeons, or sat safely in safes, or hung over fireplaces, or sat gathering dust in closets, or brought joy to collectors like me.

Again, why does it matter if they are also capable of being re-purposed constructively? The Jeep, the GPS, nightvision, and thousands of other devices were originally designed with military purposes in mind…. to help people kill more efficiently. Does this mean we should not use them?

6. Ok, Fiddlebastard, well we all know that gun owners are just scared freaks who sit in the dark and stroke their guns and are overcompensating for something! Haha, I told you on that one!

Nice ad hominem/strawman/sweeping generalization/etc. First of all, Freud is pretty much a sham. Secondly, how do you account for millions of female shooters, or people who buy small guns?

7. Alright then, FPCB, what’s your last word here?

Liberty is a hard pill for some to swallow. A free society is often not a safe society, and that is something you just have to deal with. You can’t ban every single thing that is potentially harmful or that you are morally opposed to. History has pretty much proven that it doesn’t work that way.

I live in the country. Everyone out here has a gun. Kids learn to shoot when they are 5 years old and none of them that I know of have ever shot anyone. In fact, hardly anyone gets shot out here at all. Guns are a part of life. We respect them, and treat them with care, and they take care of us. There is no mystery surrounding them because children are educated about them from an early age and they don’t let curiosity get the better of them. This is much different from the city, where many of my fellow Flutherites happen to dwell, where kids get killed all the time in accidents and gang violence. I wonder why that is? Could it be a cultural thing? Could there be something about the poverty, gang culture, and fearful “hands off” attitude of the urban areas that somehow causes guns to be used differently there?

Perhaps education, not prohibition is key. Guns aren’t going anywhere. Instead of talking about them like they are evil monsters in ways that make kids curious about them, how about we all learn about how they function, and their history. Shooting is fun and safe. It doesn’t have to be scary and nobody has to die every time a gun is picked up. Instead of stereotyping gun owners and waxing poetic about an idealistic society free from violence, or proposing ridiculously impractical and liberty-stifling bans, how about we all try and learn something for a change?

Alright… phew… Forgive me if I came off as sarcastic or caustic or anything like that. I’m a tad sick and a bit tired, but my goal here is to educate. I want you to cast aside your preconceptions for a moment and try and really learn something about the so called “gun culture” before making claims about it. As a very active member of said culture, I’m happy to answer any questions you have whether through private message or right here in the open. Please, open your mind and ask me anything you want to know and I’ll try and educate you. Nobody typically does :-(

Seaofclouds's avatar

Do we even know for sure that he had the gun legally? Even if there were stricter gun control laws, the people that want to get them illegally will still get them.

zenvelo's avatar

@Seaofclouds the gun was bought legally back in November. Another handgun was bought at the same time. There are no mental health checks to buy a handgun.

I understand there are millions of guns out there. Getting rid of 99.9% would still leave thousands. But that still does not change that guns are meant only to kill things, and are very efficient at doing so. And saying there are so many guns out there that we can’t control them is defeatist; no way should Loughner been allowed to buy a gun, but the gun lobby has fought every restriction on buying guns.

In my opinion, you have a record for anything more than a traffic ticket, you don’t get a handgun.

TexasDude's avatar

@zenvelo And saying there are so many guns out there that we can’t control them is defeatist

So do you want to volunteer to be the one who goes out and confiscates every single one?

zenvelo's avatar

I’m not saying we can go out there and confiscate every one. But that doesn’t mean we should not make it extremely difficult to get a handgun tomorrow.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@zenvelo I never said we couldn’t control the guns that are out there, my point was simply that there are ways to get guns which aren’t legal, so making it legally harder may not deter a criminal. I was honestly asking if he had bought the gun legally because I had not heard one way or another.

TexasDude's avatar

@marinelife, And there is no reason for people to own handguns except to kill other people.

Whoa, I missed that one on my first read-through of this thread.

Do you honestly believe that?

Does that mean I’m a ticking time bomb?

What about her?

Or him?

No offense, but saying that the only reason people own handguns is to kill other people is sort of absurd.

kenmc's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard You’re going to be a murderer whether you like it or not. Just get used to the idea and start going crazy.

TexasDude's avatar

@kenmc, lol guess I better start letting all of my hate and discontent start to build in preparation for my inevitable shooting spree.

Oh look, cute puppies!

kenmc's avatar

And their lined up like cans on a log… Where’s my slingshot?

Axemusica's avatar

when they’re gone you can get these guys off my lawn next.

TexasDude's avatar

rage building inside me…. Gonna go listen to some Marilyn Manson in a minute. He makes people kill, ya know? brb

Cruiser's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Don’t throw Marilyn Manson under the bus like that…. we all know it is Melanie that causes all this strife!

incendiary_dan's avatar

Both because it doesn’t do shit except increase violent crime, and because it’s our right as free individuals to take whatever means we deem necessary to defend ourselves and our loved ones. It’s also widely regarded as racist and sexist. Also, increasingly restrictive gun control, and in particular outright bans, have often preceded mass killings and genocide. One of the most lasting quotes I remember when reading about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was one of the few survivors wishing only one thing had been different: “I only wish I’d had a submachinegun.”

There’s also the fact that if someone in the crowd had been armed and trained, as I had originally thought/heard, the killer probably would have been stopped after shooting only a few people. Not exactly great either, but better.

Also, zombies.

TexasDude's avatar

@incendiary_dan, great links, but why did you link to this thread under the “racist” heading?

incendiary_dan's avatar

Oh, and while I actually do support the idea of keeping mentally disturbed people from being able to procure firearms, I’m highly suspect of the ability of it to be carried out. I studied psychology for five years in school before getting so sick of it that I quit (luckily I had another major to fall back on). The psychological institutions quite regularly find ways to clinicalize and medicalize people who simply think differently or even have unpopular beliefs. Some doctors recently decided to medicalize children not going to school (as if it’s a mental problem not to want to be lied to and forced to act like a drone). There are numerous entries in the DSM that could and are regularly used to label political dissidents as mentally ill. It’s very easy to use vagueries to disempower “undesirable” elements of society.

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Oops, that was supposed to go to here. The copied address I had put in had no http:// so I guess it rerouted it back here.

TexasDude's avatar

@incendiary_dan, awesome, thank you.

Also, you raise a really good point about the use of psychiatry as a weapon and how that could be exploited in a gun control situation.

marinelife's avatar

1. Handguns are designed to kill people. That is their only purpose.

A handgun lying loaded on a table is an invitation for it to be picked up and shot at someone.

Saying a gun lying on a table is inert is disingenuous. If I picked up something else in the room I could not kill a large number of people with it (a chair leg, a vase, etc.)

7. People living in the country don’t need handguns for any legitimate purpose like hunting.

2. Just because there are a lot of guns out there already is no reason not to enact legislation to make handguns illegal. They could be gathered up in community drives.

By the way, I grew up with guns in the house. (In a locked down box on the floor of my father’s closet.) I am even a decent shot myself.

I don’t think anyone in this world needs to have a handgun except the police.

coffeenut's avatar

@marinelife what about the zombie factor…
“The right to bear arms” and fear are the only reasons people have guns anymore…..you never know when some evil force decides to invade the country…..or the street you live on…...

TexasDude's avatar

@marinelife, People living in the country don’t need handguns for any legitimate purpose like hunting.

Once again, no offense, but your ignorance of the subject you are discussing is showing.

Lots of people in the country use handguns for pest control. Specifically handguns loaded with snakeshot or ratshot rounds. Also, though a shotgun is more ideal for self defense, handguns are more effective tools for people that lack the strength or dexterity required to use a shoulder arm.

@coffeenut, “The right to bear arms” and fear…

What about collectors? And target shooters? Are we wallowing in fear? I must have missed the memo about how the only reason I own guns is out of fear and insecurity and not just because I think they are interesting.

marinelife's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Handgun hunting is just trumped up. You can hunt just fine with rifles.

Collectors don’t “need” guns. Neither do target shooters. And both of those groups could go through a special permitting process to get guns.

coffeenut's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Create_Bastard If fear isn’t a factor than why do people take their guns to church with them….to the mall….the grocery store….to school…. all the places where having a gun with you is pointless…..

TexasDude's avatar

@coffeenut you are mistaking fear for preparedness.

Malls, grocery stores, schools, and churches have all been targeted by mass killers before. Those with concealed carry permits bring their weapons to these locations (except for public schools, because that is illegal) because they are aware of this fact.

For instance, if you had two malls that sat side by side, one with a sign that said “No Guns Allowed” and one that said “Legally Armed Citizens Welcome,” which do you think a potential mass murderer would target? Being caught up in such an event is unlikely, but not impossible. What’s so wrong with being prepared? You have a fire extinguisher because you are prepared for a fire, not because you fear it. What’s so horrible about taking responsibility for your own safety and being prepared for the off chance that someone wants to make you a victim? Personally, I’d rather be in the mall full of “paranoid whackos” as opposed to the one where I know that nobody can shoot back.

@marinelife, nobody “needs” anything other than food, water, and shelter. And what type of “permitting process” are you suggesting here? Also, what is it about police officers that make them so infallible that it’s okay for only them to possess handguns? You do know that most police officers only qualify with their handguns once or twice a year, right?

marinelife's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard OK, let’s disarm the police too.

TexasDude's avatar

@marinelife, do you really think that would be a good idea? Remember how the Bobbies (sic?) in the UK were famously unarmed? These days, a lot of them are walking around with submachine guns. Britain has some of the tightest gun laws on the planet. Do you not sense a little irony in that situation?

Anyway, this is slightly off-topic and more to satisfy my own personal curiosity than anything, but I have a bit of a theoretical “whatif” question that I want you to answer for me that frames this gun control issue in terms you may or may not be able to relate to better.

Say that the “Faux News watching Teabagger Rethuglicans” staged a coup in the US, suspended elections, and started rounding up gays/Wiccans/Democrats/whatever to be put in camps or what have you (a lot of liberals in the blogosphere thought this was actually going to happen between 2001 and 2008, so I’m not being too obtuse here).

Anyway, pretend that this has happened. Moving to Canada isn’t an option and your gay/liberal/non-party line touting neighbors are getting shipped off to death camps or something. How do you react? Do you comply? Do you sit idly by? Or do you fight? If you chose fight, how would you expect to do so?

Keep in mind that I’m talking real tyranny here. People getting rounded up tyranny, not Tyranny-Lite™ that we debate-ably experienced during the Bush years. Burning flags, smoking pot, and singing kumbaya is barely going to make these oppressors bat an eyelash. ...so what do you do?

Again, this is as hypothetical as hypothetical gets, but there is a reason why I’m asking you this and using specific terms and scenarios. It frames the gun control issue, from a “resistance to tyranny perspective” (which hasn’t been addressed much in this thread) in terms that liberals (who make up the majority of Fluther) would possibly be more apt to relate to. Your response would be greatly appreciated.

@coffeenut, and one more thing. If self defense is good enough for politicians, why isn’t it good enough for us?

Lightlyseared's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard obviously there are police officers in the UK that are armed, however the vast majority are not. In 2010 there were 6,868 officers authorised to carry fire arms out of a total force of around 150,000. Your statement that “a lot are walking around with submachine guns” is therefore a somewhat inacurate unless you call 0.04% alot.

incendiary_dan's avatar

So I have no reason to have a weapon I can carry even though I have a legitimate threat to my life and safety? This isn’t theoretical, I’m a potential target for my writing and political activism, as some of the people I associate with have been attacked and threatened for our work. Don’t be presumptuous. It would be impractical and impossible for me to carry my rifle (as much as I’d like to), and unrealistic to think police are going to save me (or, for that matter, shoot at me themselves, as between four and six people are killed each day due to their encounter with police). I’m not even going to bother to be polite now; it’s really ignorant and frankly offensive to people who have legitimate concerns for their safety to say that nobody needs handguns for defense.

I’m not a Constitutionalist, and I don’t really care about the words on some moldy piece of paper. I live in reality, where shit happens and sometimes life is dangerous, and pretending otherwise can get me and my loved ones killed.

@Lightlyseared You’re also statistically more likely to get shot by one of those SMG toting thugs than by anyone else in the UK.

“The premise underlying my session was that many people on the left demonstrated and irrational aversion to firearms based upon an abject ignorance of – and consequent intimidation by – the technology itself. Worse, they were intent on glossing over this experiential/skills deficiency by proclaiming such weakness to be both a “moral virtue” and a political dynamic. To my mind, and Sipe’s, this translated into a posture of deliberate self-disempowerment on the part of oppositionists, the only possible result of which would be a virtual monopoly of firepower by the very institutional/ideological status quo we radicals were supposedly committed to abolishing. To call such practice self-defeating is to dramatically understate the case.” -Ward Churchill

flutherother's avatar

If you were the only one who carried a gun you might feel safer. When everyone else has a gun you are less safe.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I don’t know where you’re getting you’re statistics from but again you are incorrect.

coffeenut's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard um…correct me if I’m wrong…but doesn’t your link support me? The congressman is only having a gun….because of 1— a death threat he received 2— The shooting of the other congresswoman after death threats she received…. Are not both fear related…?

TexasDude's avatar

@coffeenut, it could go either way, but you asserted that the only reasons for gun ownership are:

1. Fear

2. The Right to Bear Arms

Your fear statement is a huge generalization. Can you even quantify that?

The word “fear” has a decidedly negative connotation to it.

@Lightlyseared, what are you referring to aside from what I said about British cops? Even if “a lot” wasn’t the best word to use, my point still stands in relation to what @marinelife said about disarming cops (implying _all cops).

TexasDude's avatar

….and is anyone even reading @incendiary_dan‘s responses besides me?

incendiary_dan's avatar

I hope they were, but I suspect not. Or there is some feigned deafness.

I suspect @Lightlyseared (maybe mistaken and quickly looking at the entry) might have been referring to my statistic about being shot by the SMG carrying paramilitaries, which, by the way I got from a study performed in the UK. Unfortunately, I can’t find it, because the website I linked from initially has been shut down by the government there, as it was the website of a British gun rights activist who they have arrested on claims of suspected terrorism (can we say bullshit?).

Anyway, since I know that people with irrational beliefs often cling even more strongly to them when presented with contrary evidence, I’m not going to bother debating any more. I’ve presented both logical and real-world arguments. That’s all I can do.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Oh, and on the handgun hunting thing: I’m working on getting my furtrapping license. Many fur trappers use a .22 pistol to dispatch animals in their traps. I hate traps that hurt but don’t kill outright, but I still intend to use one of these, because trapping isn’t perfect.

mattbrowne's avatar

The pioneering mindset created more than 150 years ago in the American West when there were no roads, no cars, no phones, no 911 number to call, no police stations nearby. Parents have kept passing on this mindset to their children whether or not there is a 911 number or not. That’s my explanation. But I think there must be other factors as well.

flo's avatar

How many unnecessary gun related deaths have there been since the last post in this thread?

Just today http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-florida-shooting-20140113,0,3840242.story

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