Social Question

Ben_Dover's avatar

Are you in favor of banning handguns?

Asked by Ben_Dover (4203 points ) September 2nd, 2010

Not a complete ban of weapons, just handguns…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

135 Answers

Seek's avatar

Yes.

I think any home can be more than adequately protected with a dog and/or a shotgun.

Small children are less likely to injure themselves or others with a long-barreled firearm, and they are much less likely to be used in suicides or violent crimes.

bippee's avatar

No. I like guns, especially handguns. I have several in my home. I am a responsible gun owner. They are registered and I have a gun permit. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to have them?

blah_blah's avatar

Absolutely. I own a rifle for hunting too. Handguns are made to be easily concealed and kill humans. I think they should be banned.

It is sad that people feel afraid in their own home. I live in the middle of a million people and I don’t lock my doors.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@blah_blah it may be sad, but that doesn’t make it any less of a reality for many of us.

And my answer is no, I would not be in favor of banning handguns.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

No. There situations where they have legitimate use.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Yes,especially if you live in ‘unsocialized ’ places where guns could be toys for children and it’s common for citizen to walk around with a gun. I don’t see the serious problem why one should own a gun. OK,some authorized people can have gun for more serious purpose (or for entertainment,such as bear hunting),but not for the citizens.

blah_blah's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie :: So you buy a gun. Why not spend the time to figure out why people would be breaking into your house to steal your stuff? And why is your stuff worth killing for?

faye's avatar

In Canada, it’s the police and the criminals who have hand guns. I don’t even know anyone who owns a rifle. On the farm, my dad had a rifle on nails over the porch door. We didn’t bring it into town when we moved.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@blah_blah what do you mean to figure out why? I can spend all day listing reasons why someone would break into my house, but that doesn’t change the fact that they do. Some areas are safer than others. That’s just how it is. Maybe my “stuff” isn’t worth killing for. But my life or the life of my children or my spouse might be.

I don’t own a gun, personally. I don’t particularly like to shoot guns. However, I do like that I have the right to own one if I should choose to do so.

TexasDude's avatar

Nope

No

Nein

Jolly good no, chap

Celebrate diversity :-)

Austinlad's avatar

I’m in total favor of banning people who want to own them, because, as the pro-gun folks like to say, it’s not guns that kill, it’s people.

ucme's avatar

Not an issue here in good old England town. They’re about as rare as hen’s teeth.

Austinlad's avatar

Take it from a toothless avatar, @ucme, teeth make a pretty damned good weapon… and there’s no gun powder involved.

Seaofclouds's avatar

No. I like shooting recreationally with rifles and handguns.

ucme's avatar

@Austinlad Hmmm, puts me in mind of something. I wonder…. yup yes siree that be it :¬)

Austinlad's avatar

@ucme ... HAHA. Love it.

And with that, I’ll bid adieu to this, the latest of many threads on this topic. I’m never able to get much traction with my anti-gun views.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I do most of my hunting with my handguns. I definately would not support a ban on them.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

I read the question as “Are you in favor of banana handguns?” :(

Ben_Dover's avatar

@Beta_Orionis…Okay, are you in favor of those kind of guns?
@Doctor_D I don’t believe you will do much except to upset the bear if you use a handgun when hunting bears.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Ben_Dover I have a bear skin rug in my living room that was taken with a handgun. He ate good too.

Ben_Dover's avatar

@WestRiverrat You killed Winnie the Pooh?!

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Ben_Dover Nah, I only hunt grown up bears.

valdasta's avatar

No.
The only ones who would have them taken away would be the responsible gun owners.
Plus, I live in the Detroit area. Both my wife and I have CCW’s for protection.

woodcutter's avatar

no. If we ban handguns we might as well ban pot. ..no…wait.

Seek's avatar

@woodcutter

Funny. I’ve never known someone who died due to marijuana, no matter how far you stretched the word “influence”.

woodcutter's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I was being sarcastic, sorry. The point I failed to make is that marijuana is and has been against the law for a long time yet, anyone who wants to get high is going to do so whether or not it is legally available. So in essence the “ban” on pot was merely a legal gesture, same as handguns would end up being only in that instance only the lawbreakers would have them. I’m just not comfortable with only the law breakers having them, are you?

Ben_Dover's avatar

@woodcutter I think you are supposed to use this: ~~ when attempting sarcasm.

However, I chuckled when I read it!

Winters's avatar

No.

I’m going to have to agree with @valdasta. If we were to have handguns banned, only the registered ones would be confiscated immediately. And then we’d have a painfully long drawn out time of trying to confiscate the handguns that were illegally obtained. And plenty of handguns get snuck into the US anyways, so the people we wouldn’t want to have handguns for the most part would still have them.

woodcutter's avatar

@Ben_Dover I’m still trying to figure out how to do that here as well a whisper but I get nowhere with it. Anyway I thought the reply would have been easier to tell it was as such, my bad.

Seek's avatar

@woodcutter I know you were being sarcastic, but I felt my point was worth making, anyway.

And yes, I’m more than comfortable with the idea of criminals and police being the only ones with handguns, as that would drastically cut down the number of 3 year olds thinking Daddy’s pistol is a Wii accessory, and 10 year olds mistaking a Glock for an Airsoft.

If someone feels so unsafe in their own house that they need “protection”, a good 30–06 ought to do just fine.

woodcutter's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr someone will probably beat me to the punch here but the main reason a pistol is a better SD weapon is that it won’t go through ALL the walls in your house to include your neighbor’s and produce embarrassing collateral damage. A 30.06 is for outdoor play only

Seek's avatar

@woodcutter Well, jaysus, you don’t need a fucking sniper rifle. Isn’t the idea to be a “deterrent”? Get some bird shot or something. A .22. Anything with a long barrell. Or get a goddamn dog. That’s the best possible deterrent for a home invasion.

TexasDude's avatar

@woodcutter, to do a whisper, put two hyphens on each side of your text.

@Seek_Kolinahr, with all due respect, every time people bring up the “someone must be crazy to feel unsafe in their own home” mantra, I feel the need to mention that home invasions do happen and plenty of people live in really bad areas where they really might need protection. Cops are under no obligation to protect them, and if someone broke into my home with the intent to harm me or my family, which does happen- it is not a paranoid fantasy, I would want to have every possible advantage against them.

@woodcutter is right. A 30–06 is not a suitable home defense weapon. It would penetrate the bad guy, your walls, and your neighbor’s walls and keep on going. Most 30–06 rifles are too big to be useful in a house anyway. Personally, I think that a shotgun is a much better home defense weapon than a handgun or rifle, for the reasons @woodcutter raises, and for others, but what about someone in a wheelchair, or someone who is too weak to rack the pump on a shotgun, or disabled in some way where they cannot use a long gun as defense?

woodcutter's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I see your point but to a person cranked on crack all birdshot is going to to is piss him off. And besides it’s a safe bet the intruder is packing something more substantial than “birdshot”

Seek's avatar

(I hope you’ll both forgive me – it’s been a while since I’ve been around my dumbass redneck family, and I was thinking a 30–06 was a shotgun. Is that a 410? some damn number thing)

woodcutter's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr That’s cool ,but even a shotgun with its very violent recoil would be too much for most women to use or disabled people, these are among our most vulnerable people and who are easy prey to intruders. Give an old lady a 9mm and some lessons she will fare better.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard you beat me to it. GA

Depending on the house layout a long gun (rifle or shotgun) could be more hinderance than assistance.

@woodcutter – give her a .38 or a .357 instead, if she has strength issues, clearing a missfire on a 9mm might be too much. With a DA revolver she just has to pull the trigger again.

Seek's avatar

That makes me feel all kinds of safe. Disabled, scared old ladies waving a pistol around.

woodcutter's avatar

@WestRiverrat Hey , I didn’t suggest giving her a HighPoint! Some of those DA revolvers have some hella trigger pulls. I had a .357 and the kick was annoying, great pistol but too much gun. Good house gun- PA-63 9×18. it never jambs and it’s small enough for granny to hide in her knitting bag. Odds are though an incident will end with the perp getting the hell outa Dodge once granny points any gun at them, which is how most encounters end.

TexasDude's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, don’t they have a right to self defense?

Seek's avatar

In my house, it would end with the intruder wondering whether the dog swallowed his nose, or if he’ll trip over it on the way out.

Winters's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I wouldn’t be too confident in your dog if I were you, back in my hometown, there have been several thieves who were very good at handling dogs, or fast enough to kill the dog/dogs before they even laid a paw on the thief.

Seek's avatar

@Winters My old Bub proved himself well. I’m only sad he’s gone now. Lived a good ten years after ripping an intruder’s face off, and always seemed to know who was trustworthy and who wasn’t. (For some reason, he hated the UPS guy.)

Winters's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Just wondering, what kind of dog was Bub?

Seek's avatar

¾ pit bull, ¼ Rottweiler

rooeytoo's avatar

I would like to know statistics on how many hand gun owners have actually effectively used their gun to defend their home against an intruder?

I don’t really think they should be banned but I think they should be a lot more difficult to obtain and laws regarding how they are kept should be stringent. You would have to buy a lock box to keep it in when you purchase the gun. Of course that would make it more difficult to use it in the defence of your home but as @Seek_Kolinahr says, it would help to keep them out of the hands of children.

Winters's avatar

@rooeytoo

About that whole things with children, more children drown in backyard pools every year (nearly 4,000) than have a shooting accident (around 500). So then wouldn’t it be even better if no one had a backyard pool?

I’m just saying that the issue with children being involved with accidental shootings, though serious, is blown ridiculously out of proportions when compared with other things (like the pool) that are also easily preventable but for some odd reason are not common issues to be brought up.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Winters – that doesn’t surprise me, but I would also guess the same is true of people defending their home with hand guns. I just don’t think it happens that often. That said if your kid is one of the 500, it then becomes a major issue or cause.

iamthemob's avatar

No. I’m in favor of draconian gun registration laws, and an associated increase in the liability for violations of those laws.

I believe that anyone should be able to bear arms, as guaranteed under the 2d amendment. If a gun is chosen, it needs to be purchased on the open market. The manufacturer must equip it in a manner that would allow for it’s tracking at any time. An original purchaser is thereafter responsible for keeping the weapon in a manner that it cannot be stolen or lost. Such a weapon may not be resold. If for some reason it ends up on the black market, the registered owner and the manufacturer would be jointly and severally liable for civil damages based on the damage caused by the gun or because of the gun, based on a statutorily mandated minimum and increasing and split based on the parties level of fault for how the gun made it onto the black market. Should for some reason the original owner be judgment proof, the manufacturer would be responsible for paying the unrecouped damages. If the gun made it onto the black market because of knowing or reckless actions on the part of either party, then criminal liability should also be imposed.

If that were the case, I’m pretty sure that we wouldn’t even have mandatory legal waiting periods or other registration regulations. The private sector would surely regulate themselves for fear of losing everything if the guns got out of the intended hands.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@rooeytoo Not everyone who owns a handgun wants to use it for self defense. So if you really wanted reliable statistics, you’d have to find a way to not include the people that don’t believe in using them for self defense. We have guns for hunting and recreational shooting, they are not for self defense. They stay locked up at all times when they aren’t being used.

Seek's avatar

@Winters A pool has a purpose other than to make things dead, or to scare someone into thinking they may soon be dead.

Winters's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr As a swimmer, I know that. As a gun owner, I also know, as @Seaofclouds pointed out, that guns aren’t only for killing or scaring the hell out of people either. It was just the first example of something that has a higher accidental death rate than guns that came to mind.

TexasDude's avatar

@rooeytoo, according to the FBI, guns are used 3 to 5 times more often to stop crimes than to commit them.

Source: Gary Kleck, Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter, 1997, p. 160; FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Crime in the United States, annual reports.

@Seek_Kolinahr,

Today (gun deaths) are at an all-time low among the entire population and among children in particular, and account for only 1% of fatal accidents. More common are fatal accidents involving, or due to, motor vehicles, falls, fires, poisoning, drowning, choking on ingested objects and mistakes during medical care.2 Since 1930, the U.S. population has more than doubled, the number of privately owned firearms has quintupled, and the annual number of fatal firearm accidents has declined by 74%.3 Among children, fatal firearm accidents have declined 84% since 1975.4

Sources:
1. National Safety Council, Accident Facts: 2001 Edition, pp. 40–41.

2. National Center for Health Statistics.

3. Population: Bureau of the Census; firearms: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; accidents, National Center for Health Statistics.

4. National Center for Health Statistics.

Self defense, concealed carry, and gun rights are being liberalized across the country, especially since the DC vs. Heller decision. Still, (and even according to this article from MSNBC) the number of gun deaths are declining. According to your logic, shouldn’t gun deaths be on the upswing?

TexasDude's avatar

Additionally, @Seek_Kolinahr, since statistics say that motor vehicle accidents and drowning in swimming pools are many times more dangerous to children than handguns, then if you really cared about children, wouldn’t you rather ban the thing that does them the most harm rather than the thing you just consider the most repugnant?

Ben_Dover's avatar

Instead of banning swimming pools, perhaps we should erect fences around them.

TexasDude's avatar

@Ben_Dover, there are many laws and ordinances that require fences to be built around them. Doesn’t stop kids from drowning.

Ben_Dover's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I’m sure it has prevented multitudes of deaths by drowning had the fences not been there.

TexasDude's avatar

@Ben_Dover, I’m sure they have. But even with the restrictions, it still happens, and swimming pools are still more hazardous to the health of children than guns, statistically.

Ben_Dover's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Since not all swimming pools are fenced in, than you cannot say that swimming pools are less safe than guns even though they are fenced in (the pools).
As a matter of fact, you cannot state that pools made safe for children by fencing them in are more hazardous than guns.

The statistics simply aren’t accurate.

TexasDude's avatar

How are the statistics not accurate?

Ben_Dover's avatar

Because they don’t have statistics for fenced in pools vs. unfenced pools.

TexasDude's avatar

@Ben_Dover, but even with the existence of both fenced and non-fenced pools, more kids are still drowning than getting shot or shooting themselves, and that’s in a world with rapidly liberalizing gun laws.

iamthemob's avatar

If your child is shot by your gun, you go to jail – if that’s the law, the guns will be put away where they are safe (more often).

Also, the family will have a lawsuit against the manufacturer for faulty product design. Then there will be better safety mechanism.

Let the suits get easier. The industry will then figure out how to make it safer, and the consumers will be more responsible.

TexasDude's avatar

@iamthemob, the family will have a lawsuit against the manufacturer for faulty product design. Then there will be better safety mechanism.

The courts have continually ruled otherwise. Why should the manufacturers be held responsible for negligent misuse of their products? You mention that if gun manufacturers were “more easy to sue” that “there will be better safety mechanism (sic).”

Nearly all guns are completely safe when used properly. They don’t just “go off” without first being loaded, chambered (and/or cocked), and having pressure applied to the trigger- all deliberate actions carried out by the consumer. Most safeties on guns are completely adequate as is and additional (court clogging) lawsuits would hardly have any effect on making them safer.

In short, the courts have recognized that firearms are no different from many other potentially dangerous products. They are legal, every reasonable person knows that if misused they are dangerous (the general opinion of the courts could be summed up as “everybody knows that guns are dangerous”) and their sale and marketing are regulated by federal and state governments. Indeed, with more than 240 million firearms in circulation, accidental firearms injuries and deaths are far from “foreseeable” (as claimed in the New Orleans lawsuit) when compared to problems caused by other products in common use.

Source

iamthemob's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard

I’m not saying what the courts have done. I’m saying up the ante for users and the manufacturers. Guns are easily transportable, which makes them very problematic. So why shouldn’t we say to manufacturers and owners “if you can’t figure it out, you have to pay the price?”

Then we have a presumption in favor of fault. If the industry or the owner can prove that they did everything possible to make sure it didn’t happen (which bar should be set high) they escape the majority of the liability. But let’s make the presumption one of fault rather than one of none. That’s generally the case when we’re dealing with inherently dangerous material tort actions.

iamthemob's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard

What is the proper use of a gun? I feel like that’s what separates it from other inherently dangerous products.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@iamthemob by that logic, I should be able to sue Ford because I broke a leg when I was off roading in my F150. It wasn’t Ford’s fault I misused my truck, but they should pay because they made the truck?

Just like it isn’t Colt’s fault when someone’s child gets shot because they improperly stored their firearms.

TexasDude's avatar

@iamthemob, it depends on the gun. Some have more than one function. Some are designed for hunting, some are designed for target shooting, some are designed for offensive or defensive purposes, and some are designed for any combination of the previously listed uses.

@WestRiverrat is right.

iamthemob's avatar

@WestRiverrat

(1) People are able to sue car companies for defective manufacture or design. That’s why they get safer much of the time. Also for forseeable misuse – in fact, companies have been sued for off road use that was forseeable when there wasn’t a safety mechanism built in. Reasonably forseeable misuse is a basis for lawsuits, and an acceptable one (that’s the logic behind the pool fences too).

(2) Again, portability – there’s no such thing as a “concealed car” and you can’t injure someone with your car in your home.

(3) Again, the purpose of a cat is to transport. What’s the purpose of a gun? The dangerous uses of a gun are not, unfortunately, inherently misuses.

That logic doesn’t suggest your point at all.

iamthemob's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard

So the first gun was designed for what purpose? Can you reasonably say it was for any other use than as a weapon meant to harm another or kill another whatever the reason may be (defense, etc.)?

Underlying all of them is that purpose.

TexasDude's avatar

@iamthemob, you specifically said that people sue car companies for defective design, which is true, but how is someone shooting themself a result of a defect in the gun? Catastrophic gun failures and safety malfunctions are extremely rare.

And the first gun was meant to be a weapon. So what? What does the original intent of something have to do with it’s misuse? I have several military surplus guns that were originally designed by nations to defend their borders, kill their enemies, expand their empires, or all of the above. Do I use them for that purpose? Of course not. They serve as beautifully engineered pieces of historical and functional art that I occasionally use to punch holes in paper or blow up cans. I’m not alone. Several million other gun owners are out there just like me, and very, very few of them have ever intentionally or unintentionally killed anyone.

So what if guns were originally designed to kill. According to the statistics, they still save more lives in the civilian arena than they take, and they are still safer statistically than dozens of other things that weren’t designed to kill, which says more about swimming pools, cars, kitchen knives, or whatever than it does about guns.

Think about it. A particularly vilified type of weapon is statistically safer than numerous recreational and utilitarian objects that have no intended purpose to kill. Ironic, isn’t it? So why is this semantic argument over the purpose of guns so important then?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Your odds of convincing someone on the other side of the arguement rank right up with abortion issues. You’ll never change their minds

iamthemob's avatar

(1) but how is someone shooting themself a result of a defect in the gun? – it’s not, but that’s a forseeable misuse of the gun, and a forseeable victim. I don’t think that there should be responsibility in a suicide context though – so thanks for bringing that up.

(2) the fact that it was a weapon means that it’s a thing of a different type than any of the products it’s compared to. That’s why it deserves different types of liability, and that’s the faulty premise I’m addressing in your argument. If the basic purpose is to injure and kill, why shouldn’t it get more liability? That’s like saying I’m going to design a bacterial agent meant only to kill people, but it should be regulated the same as tylenol because if it’s used to kill people, that’s forseeable, and tylenol can be misused too…

(3) Statistics are difficult to validate, because you can’t really say how many deaths would have resulted had there been no guns anyway. Has everyone that’s been killed by a gun been included in the statistics? Victims in war? Soldiers? Why not? I’m not saying they should be banned. I think they should be made a particular liability because they’re unique.

What’s wrong with that? Why shouldn’t a fiscal liability attach to the questionably moral production of product designed to kill?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@iamthemob if there is a defect in the design, then you have every right to sue a gun maker. However, when something that is designed to kill works as intended, how is that a defect in manufacture?

Every winter I read stories of people being hospitalized or killed because they left the car running in the garage and carbon monoxide infiltrated the home. Or of someone working on the car in the yard and the jack stand slips. More people are killed and injured in accidents with cars than with guns.

iamthemob's avatar

@WestRiverrat

See my response regarding something designed to kill. It’s really ironic to say that you don’t have to worry about design because the thing was designed to kill. That is, well…sleazy.

Sure, put it out there…but know that you have some things you’re going to pay for, and that’s your cost of doing business.

(that cost, of course, will be built into the price of guns – more expensive guns, you really need a reason to get one).

And again, stating that more people are harmed by things with a common alternative use is a nonstarter. Guns are different not because they cause harm, but because that’s what they’re designed for. Cars would benefit society at any point. The only real benefit associated with guns is because we already have guns. If no one had guns, why would we need them?

WestRiverrat's avatar

Banning guns would not stop them from being made. How many countries have developed or are developing nuclear weapons within the last 30 years? After the nuclear proliferation treaty was signed there were supposed to be no more countries developing nuclear weapons. That has worked well.

If all the law abiding people gave up there guns, who would stop the bad guys from building and using guns? The police can’t do it…they have been trying for decades to stop the production of moonshine, marijuana and other drugs in this country. What makes you think they would have better luck with guns?

iamthemob's avatar

@WestRiverrat

I think you’re right. That’s why I’m all about making the manufacturers and consumers liable for the criminal use of firearms a legal presumption, and then the liability significant.

The producers and consumers are generally better at regulating themselves in this context.

Winters's avatar

@Ben_Dover around 68–81% of accidental drownings involving children involved pools that were regulated by pool fencing ordinances. In other words, around 2,720–3,240 children die every year in the US from drowning in pools that had fencing that fell under current pool fencing ordinances. Still think the pool statistic is really all that inaccurate?

A fence is not going to stop a 4 year old determined to get into a body of water, it didn’t stop me when I was 4. And if it weren’t for my best friend at the time’s older sister a cutie I might add I would’ve been part of that statistic.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob By consumers, are you strictly talking about the people that buy their guns legally? If so, how would holding the consumers responsible for the criminal use of firearms stop the people that aren’t getting them legally from continuing with the criminal use?

iamthemob's avatar

@Winters

There are 100 pools. 99 of them are governed by pool fencing ordinances. In the pool that’s not, with no fence, one child drowns. 49 drown in the 99 others. 50 deaths total. 2% of all drownings are associated with pools with no ordinance. 98% are associated with ones that do.

However, another way to look at it is to say that the fences prevented 50 additional deaths, and therefore is over 100% effective. On the other hand, without a regulation a pool with no fence will kill a child 100% of the time.

“There are three kinds of lies…lies, damn lies, and statistics.” :-)

Percentages, in a vacuum, don’t give any information regarding causality or lack of causality. You need to sample unregulated and regulated areas, and consider that in both there are pools that will and will not have fences, control for that factor, control for the number of children in the area, the age of the children, etc. Then, you might get an idea.

Otherwise, you’re not saying nothing.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

It would potentially increase the likelihood that an owner would ensure his or her gun would not make it on the illegal market, knowing that there is liability attached.

And if the manufacturers know that there’s responsibility, they might include tech that would allow tracking in suck a situation (gun lojacking).

There’s no guarantee in either case, but it’s the preferable method to banning it as far as I’m concerned. In many ways it’s the issue with alcohol. You ban it and there’s an underground black market. If you have an open market, you can regulate the sale and ownership.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob I don’t think that’s a preferable method at all. Things like that lead to why people don’t have any personal responsibility these days. The only person that should be held liable for criminal activity is the one that did it. I can have my guns locked up in a safe, that doesn’t mean someone isn’t capable of robbing me and taking my guns from the safe if they are able to get in it. How is it my fault that someone robbed me?

Winters's avatar

@iamthemob about that gun tracking statement, you may find this interesting, it isn’t gun tracking, but…

The Australia based company ‘Metal Storm’ has developed a system in which the gun will not fire unless within a few centimeters of a device worn on the owner’s hand, which can easily be disguised a plain band ring, so like one’s wedding ring or something like that. And if the gun and ring have been stolen, both the ring and the gun can be deactivated remotely.

Personally I don’t like the gun tracking idea, it could easily be considered to be an invasion to our right to privacy.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@iamthemob There is an open, highly controlled market for distilled spirits in the USA. So why are there still so many stills producing moonshine?

Why should only the wealthy be able to buy a legal firearm?

iamthemob's avatar

@Winters

That’s a really interesting solution. I understand your tracking issue – but there’s a lojack option on a car (not mandatory) and I think people prefer it.

You could say that there’s no right to activate it unless the gun is stolen. Legally, then it is functionally the equivalent with registration laws (already in place).

However, if you don’t want to be tracked, don’t by a gun. If you do buy a gun, it’s because you want one more than you care about tracking. The right to own a gun doesn’t mean you HAVE to have one, or have whatever kind with no trade off. I mean…then they should be free. :-)

Really, really good points!

Whitsoxdude's avatar

@iamthemob I’d rather not sacrifice one right for another.

EDIT I don’t really understand the last part of your comment. Are you saying this tracking option would be optional?

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

I think it’s exactly the opposite. People can sell and own a gun now without being held responsible for the consequences. Criminals would still be responsible – this doesn’t take it away from them. It’s just saying to people “If you don’t make it or keep it so that it’s not going to harm another, you get to deal with the consequences.”

In the current system, the criminal deals with their responsibility…but often are judgment proof. Therefore, it’s the VICTIMS and FAMILIES that have to deal with the uncollectible fallout. And if they can’t, it’s the rest of us as taxpayers.

This is a system calling for increased accountability.

Besides, if you’re concern is having to pay despite being careful, the presumption is not rebuttable per se – you can reduce your percentage of fault by proving your care. And you buy gun insurance. I guarantee you that if there was this liability, you’d have services sprout up to protect against it.

This is the essence of accountability – if you want a gun, be ready to pay for the consequences, knowing what’s likely and how to prevent it and what might happen if you get screwed anyway. I for one, am tired of gun owners and sellers being able to shift cost to us.

Winters's avatar

@iamthemob but we legal and registered gun owners already have given up so much! No automatics… hahaha I want to go and shoot a M240 downrange so badly now. But yeah, unwillingly sacrificing one right for another is a no go to me.

iamthemob's avatar

@Whitsoxdude

I’d rather not have to worry about someone with a gun having it stolen and me being shot by some junkie and being in a wheelchair for the rest of my life and saddled with the associated medical cost because the guy who had it stolen kept it in an unlocked nightstand and didn’t have enough security in his house. You want a gun, you pay the price. Not me.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob I don’t think it’s right to blame the person that was robbed. They were a victim of the robbery. Now, if a parent leaves their gun out where their child can get it, yes they should be held responsible because they left it were their child could get it. But if someone breaks into my home and steals anything of mine and uses it for a crime, I’m not responsible for that. They could steal my kitchen knives and use them to slash your throat too, does that mean it’s my fault that they stole my kitchen knives?

iamthemob's avatar

@Winters

The victims of gun violence have given up more. Just because you don’t want to doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have to. It’s your responsibility. If you say you don’t want it, why is that okay? All I’m saying is if you protect yourself appropriately, you’re probably going to be good. And if you are concerned still, you buy insurance (like you’re legally mandated to do for your CAR, as people are fond of that analogy). Therefore, it will be unlikely you will have a gun stolen, you will have an amount that you can safely monitor, and if something happens your liability insurance will cover it, and your penalties will be reduced since you’ll be able to demonstrate the extreme care you took with your weapon that any reasonable person would take knowing the harm that could be caused by it.

Winters's avatar

@iamthemob niether of us are going to be able to get the other to see things more from their angle, hahaha. But if the Constitution were amended so that gun tracking were the case or whatnot, I guess I’d have to accept it, after all, I swore an oath.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

Guns are far more dangerous, and they’re not used to cut dinner meat. That’s where the comparison isn’t appropriate. The level of harm associated with gun violence mandates that the harm be taken by those who desire to own the harmful item. If for some reason there was a rash of illegal kitchen knife crimes where the knives were not purchased but stolen from someone’s home who was a registered kitchen knife owner, I might be with you. :-)

Again, if you can show that you did what you could, and there was nothing else to do to protect from the gun being stolen, then you have a reduced liability that is covered by insurance. Therefore, it is the people who are careless who get punished, not the ones who are responsible gun owners.

All this does is redefine the standards of negligent gun ownership based on the amount of harm associated with the consequences of the negligence. If you want to be a negligent gun owner, fine…but pay the price.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Knives have been used as weapons far longer than firearms.
They were initially manufactured as weapons to kill food and enemies.
Knives have killed far more people than guns.

By your own logic on guns, they should be highly regulated and the manufacturer should pay for every knife injury or death.

iamthemob's avatar

@Winters

It doesn’t need to be amended though – the amendment has already been interpreted to allow some forms of regulation. This would not be mandated by law. I’m saying that the heavy liability associated with the sale of a non-trackable gun would be incentive for the manufacturer to install the technology. If they don’t want to because it’s more lucrative to sell without, they don’t have to. But once the gun is traced to the manufacturer, they have hefty liability to pay.

Nothing here mandates any kind of behavior. It just says – here are the risks. Every right carries with it a responsibility, an none is absolute. The first amendment is limited by speech inciting dangerous harm (the fire in a crowded theater). Religious freedoms are limited by many criminal laws (you can’t sacrifice an infant child even if your god demands it). This doesn’t even require ANY government involvement. It allows the citizens to determine for themselves what to do, knowing the risks.

iamthemob's avatar

@WestRiverrat

What’s funny is that your example proves my point…if knives were used in the manner described to cause such harm on a massive scale, if they were the weapon of choice to kill indiscriminately from a safe distance, if knife violence had the effect that gun violence did now…you better believe that they already WOULD be. People would already have sued over it, sued repeatedly, people would keep knives safely, they wouldn’t be sold to shady individuals, etc.

They’re not, though, because guns ARE different. If we didn’t attribute liability based on the potential for harm caused by a product…selling morphine would be no different than selling vitamins. Storing toxic waste wouldn’t require different methods than storing furniture. But they are because we know that one is more dangerous than the other, and therefore should be done more safely. This is often done through presumptions of liability (storing an inherently dangerous compound means that if something happens and there’s a spill and people are harm, the company is responsible for paying for it even IF it can show that it did everything possible to store it because that’s part of its cost of doing business).

This is a step below harmful material storage. To say that we as a people do not recognize that guns are different than knives…well, it’s an assumption, but I feel secure in saying anyone would say that guns are more dangerous. I got a knife to keep at summer camp. I had to leave the guns at the firing range. Because as you show that knives aren’t regulated by the company in this manner, it’s evidence that they won’t be. I’m advocating for an almost complete deregulation of guns in much the same manner of knives, and saying that if something goes wrong, you get to pay. Or protect yourself from that.

DFM's avatar

@iamthemob
I think you’re fundamentally missing the point of keeping a firearm for self defense. Say I go through some insane amount of effort to make sure nobody else can ever get to my guns but me. Keycards hidden throughout the house unlock a mile long passage leading to a door with biometric locks, etc… By the time I get to it, a meth addict will have carved out my liver with a harmless little switchblade in his quest for a nice little TV to pawn.
Same thing with the increased safety measures. Safeties on modern firearms are pretty damn good, but can be undesirable in some applications. In any action requiring the use of a firearm for self defense, your body is going to be under an extreme amount of stress, and high adrenaline levels will decrease fine motor control. This would be perfectly fine if most safeties didn’t require fine motor control to operate. You’re saying that we should make a safety that is deliberately harder to operate, to be used in a time when our bodies don’t have as great an ability to operate it?(Glocks, for example, do not have manual safeties because of this. They have a trigger safety that prevents accidental discharge.They were primarily designed as duty pistols, and they work well for that. LEOs don’t need to develop the muscle memory required to manually disengage the safety under extreme stress, so training can be devoted to other areas that do more to increase gun safety, such as proper shooting technique and general situational awareness. Not to mention the fact that going into a gunfight with your safety on can get you or someone else killed if you don’t know about it)
Same goes with protection such as the metal storm and remote gun shutdown features. Adding electronic components to a deceivingly simple mechanical device makes them much more likely to fail. The quality of the components and assembly would have to be amazing (and therefore highly expensive) to offer some reasonable assurance reliable operation, but at the end of the day, it is still less reliable and therefore less desirable for use in a self defense situation. This doesn’t even begin to explore the moral implications of giving one person or one organization what would basically be a kill-switch to our ability to defend ourselves.
Everything that you’ve suggested will lead to exceedingly expensive and less reliable firearms. Some people could stomach that. I mean, I guess I could pass up on that nice little used car so I can get a gun that I wouldn’t trust to save my life. What about that guy who works nights as a janitor to support his already poor family in a bad neighborhood? He certainly won’t be able to afford a super computerized gun (or even a normal gun after a manufacturer has to increase cost to pay for the lawsuits before the tech is developed to avoid them). It sounds like you’re saying that only the rich should be able to afford to protect themselves (because that will be the end result of your proposal), and this is a disgusting form of classism that I sure hope you don’t support.

Winters's avatar

@DFM good point and GA.

TexasDude's avatar

@Winters, agreed. I considered bringing that up, but got sidetracked. Great answer, @DFM.

iamthemob's avatar

@DFM

That was a solid point – but the self-defense argument is always slightly iffy. Most violence happens in public. Who says you would have to lock it up at all times? If you are home, and it is kept near you, how is that being irresponsible automatically? If you have to ensure it cannot be found and or stolen if you are not home, isn’t that a good thing?

And I don’t think I ever mentioned safety measures built into the gun. Your points are really solid I think. I’m concerned more with making sure it’s not in the wrong hands…not what happens in the hands of the responsible owner.

And the expense argument I don’t think flies. Again, if you want a gun, YOU be responsible for the costs associated with potential gun ownership. I don’t have a car because I don’t want to deal with the associated gas, parking, insurance costs, etc. and because I don’t have to own one. If you have to own one for travel for work, that’s unfortunate.

However, you never have to own a gun unless it’s part of your job. If you want to, pay for it. You’re assuming a whole bunch of ad ons I’m not thinking would be part of it, but if they are, that’s the company’s choice. But it’s because all of you should pay for your gun ownership…not me.

That’s your right, your responsibility. Please, tell me, why I should have to pay for your guns. If you can, I would please act that in return, you pay for my rent. :-)

Again, it comes down to cost spreading amongst the most responsible individuals. If you can show why non-participants should shoulder the costs, I will tip my hat to you.

If you can, I’m surprised that so many conservatives in favor of deregulated gun ownership are anti-welfare and universal health care.

iamthemob's avatar

@DFM

PS – thank you so much – I think that point added a lot…

DFM's avatar

@iamthemob
I would love to see statistics of violent gun use in public. I would assume that the majority of these incidents occur with illegally obtained firearms (or ones obtained through loopholes in the current laws, etc..), with a minority being purchased legally for use in premeditated criminal activity. The reason for this is that criminals do not want to commit a crime with a gun that can be traced to them. If government records show that gang member A purchased a gun in .40S&W, and rival gang member B was killed with a gun firing .40S&W, that is one more piece of evidence that could cast suspicion on them.
If costs on legally obtained guns were to increase, through, say, increased regulation and unavoidable lawsuits, this problem would actually be a lot worse. Cheaper guns would, by definition, be the illegal guns, since something would have to be done to avoid the new laws, such as unregulated manufacturing or smuggling of weapons from other countries. Guns don’t need to be made in elaborate factories (Hell, the YP45 was made during WW2 for about .25$ worth of metal and labor iirc, and it sure is enough to kill someone), and not every container coming into the US can be checked.
(Also, current guns would most likely be grandfathered in the bill, meaning you have millions of them literally everywhere that would have no additional legal restrictions on sale. The country would have an endless supply of firearms, so any new laws that don’t grandfather older guns would have literally no effect. I don’t mean for this to support my argument, since I don’t want to mix legality and morality, just want to point out a logical flaw preventing implementation)
On the other hand, law-abiding citizens would have a much harder time defending themselves due to the cost of firearm ownership. You may not think that will affect you, but it very well could. If the general population cannot defend themselves effectively, how do you think the criminal population will respond? They will not simply laugh at our misfortune, they will step up their criminal activities. Armed citizens serves as a deterrent, so while you may not have a gun, you are less likely to be robbed/attacked because of the possibility that you may have gun.
The car example is irrelevant. A car serves no purpose for self defense. If someone attacks you, a car will usually not help your situation (I mean, I guess you can stab them with a key or something, my old Mazda key was a vicious one). Also, the alternatives to owning a car are comparatively cheap. Bikes are only $200 for a decent model. A few hundred more calories is going to cost you .50$ a day. Walking and biking cost as much as your time is worth. Self defense, however, is expensive no matter how you look at it, and the price is not increased convenience, but life or death. How much do you think it costs to be trained to effectively combat an attacker several times your size when they have a knife? Probably just as much, if not more, than a decently expensive pistol (also, if they have a gun, you’re pretty screwed anyway). Guns remain the cheapest form of effective self defense, and I see it as completely immoral to limit access based on cost (within reason).
Universal health care and sort of welfare supporter here. I will gladly help my fellow man if I know that my help is needed as a result of chance and not the inability to accept personal responsibility. You get hit by a drunk driver and can’t work for a while, yeah, I don’t mind helping you pay your bills, because I know that someday I might need the same kind of help. If you need welfare because you “can’t work,” insert trollface.jpg, or if you need health care because you chain-smoked for 20 years whilst aware of the danger, then I will not pay for that. Unfortunately the current systems aren’t terribly good at weeding out welfare leeches, which is why I don’t care for them now.

iamthemob's avatar

@DFM

First off…I kind of love you. Totally serious. These points are strong and making me work whoa hard.

Regarding the right to defend oneself in the home – a gun has saved lives in the home. It has taken them. Many children have died because the family was careless with the gun. Or they weren’t and the child was clever. The thing is, criminals are like any other person for the most part – they want to make money as quickly and easily as possible. Many aren’t stupid either – burglarizing a home is simple. Waiting till it’s empty is better. Going while there’s someone there increases your chance of getting caught. Bringing a gun means that if you’re caught there’s a penalty increase potentially. Using that gun may make everyone involved guilty under felony murder laws.

Street gun crime is indeed mostly criminal on criminal. I get concerned with the argument that we need to defend ourselves from the criminals because it’s built off of a paranoia that there is objective proof that having a gun in the home has prevented more deaths in the home than not having any. If I know that people in an area have guns normally, and I need money enough to rob you, you better be sure that I’m bringing a gun myself just in case. And if I have one, and the owner doesn’t, if all I want is to rob you, I might knock you out but I feel safer. If you pull a gun on me…you best be sure I’m going to react and kill you if possible.

The thing is the violence just escalates based on this. There’s nothing that can say your safer with or without a gun except for anecdotal evidence, since you can’t link a causal inference between crimes that aren’t prevented by a lack of guns and how many crimes are committed where guns are plentiful. If a town has guns, and the crime rate has declined, maybe it’s because of the guns. Maybe if people got rid of them, the crime rate would stay the same…but the amount of crime resulting in death would decline. Who knows? This site is interesting though…both sides, lots of arguments.

You said also: The car example is irrelevant. A car serves no purpose for self defense. If someone attacks you, a car will usually not help your situation (I mean, I guess you can stab them with a key or something, my old Mazda key was a vicious one). Also, the alternatives to owning a car are comparatively cheap.

However, if you look above, people are more than willing to compare cars and guns. I wasn’t using it in that context…I was saying that sometimes you DO have to own a car. If the commute mandates, you need a car. Some jobs require a car. There is no alternative there. Self defense assumes that one day, you will be attacked in a manner where a gun will automatically make you safer. You can’t assume that. I’m not saying that there are times when I would want a gun. But then, be willing to pay for that feeling of safety. I live in new york city, formerly new orleans where people were really crazy post Katrina. I would rather there be more police than more homeowners with guns. Self defense suggests that we need to defend our homes against crime. Nope – that’s what we have law enforcement and the law for. The Second Amendment was so we could defend ourselves against the government.

The cost for self defense as pointed out above cannot be measured. You cannot assume more safety with a gun because it could cause more harm. If there was proof that if you had a gun, you were more safe, this debate wouldn’t be occurring.

And your assuming also that access would be limited based on price…why should it necessarily be? Some cost would be passed onto the consumer. However, if there were proper insurance packages, that could absorb some of the up front costs. And I’m sorry, how is it MORE moral to make the gun owners shoulder the cost of crime committed because of a gun they owned (again, you’re assuming that this is inevitable) than it is to make a victim pay for it. Someone has to…why shouldn’t it be you all?

Beta_Orionis's avatar

@Ben_Dover re: banana handguns. Yes please! Then violence becomes one long improv game.

DFM's avatar

@iamthemob
You know, this is the first sane and rational debate I’ve had about the firearms. I definitely respect you for keeping it civil and logical.
I completely agree with you about accidental deaths involving firearms. That is a direct failure on the part of the owner, and shows that they are not responsible enough to own a firearm. Clearly, every gun owner needs to find the optimal point where a gun can be safely stored but still effectively used in their situation. Ideally, only one gun needs to be accessible at any time though, the rest should be stored in a manner that deters theft and prevents unauthorized access.
I know for a fact that having a gun with me in my own house makes me safer. Step 1. Hear noise (breaking window, door, alarm etc.) Step 2. Lock bedroom door. Step 3. Get gun, load gun. Step 4. If anyone attempts to open door, make it known that I am armed and will shoot to kill if they attempt to enter that room. Step 5. Call police. For the most part, nothing I own is worth my life. Nothing I own is worth the life of someone else. Yes, they made a terrible decision (more than likely a long string of them), but chances are they don’t deserve to die for them. In the event of a home invasion, I wouldn’t grab a gun and sweep the house, I would act to preserve my life in the most effective manner possible, by not being defenseless and not seeking more trouble than what already exists. The exception would be if I had to go across the house to get a family member or friend visiting, etc..
Most people, however, can be dumbasses when it comes to scenarios like this. That is their right. If they get killed trying to defend their TV, they chose to act in that manner and they must accept the consequences. Still, I would rather be armed and fortified against an unknown assailant (because, how do you know that someone will not harm you if you are unarmed? How do you know that they won’t sexually assault your spouse, or harm your children? An attacker could be there for that specific purpose) than completely defenseless and waiting for them.
The good thing about technology these days is that there are less than lethal methods to defend yourself in this manner. A good tazer or similar device can, in most cases, be adequate for a fortified defense because the threat of any force and a call to the police will deter people who just need to pawn your gold off for some quick cash. However, firearms are still needed for the irrational attacker. Someone jacked on PCP will not care that you plant roses in front of nursing homes all day and believe that we should all hold hands under a rainbow. They will kill you if they want to. A tazer will not subdue someone jacked on PCP. You can not defend yourself in hand to hand combat against someone jacked on PCP. 00 Buck to the face will bring them down. every. time.
Most studies that cite guns per capita v crime per capita are very skewed (on both sides). Due the the prevalence of weapons of all kinds, I don’t think accurate statistics are possible. Most studies however cite countries that completely ban firearms (Japan, etc.) or have very limited ownership rights (U.K) in comparison to the US. It’s impossible to determine a correlation between the data due to the differences in populations and cultures. Personally, I would love to believe that a gun free society is a crime free society with a perfect government that respects us as individuals and doesn’t need to fear revolt to keep us free. That would mean that my pessimism regarding humanity is not justified, and that we can all live sane lives. I don’t think this is the case however. People have been killing other people since there were more than two of us, with whatever they could get their hands on. Our very existence is the end result of a long line of violence that has shaped our species. Banning one tool of that violence will not end it. If people can’t kill each other with guns, they will kill each other with swords, spears, bows, sticks, and fists. The only difference is that the weak will be targeted exclusively because they will be the ones that cannot defend themselves.
The way I think of it is that, carried to the logical extremes (only the government has guns or everyone has guns), either would be terrible. If only the government had guns, than nothing would stop them from oppressing the population (I know people are going to say “But this is ‘Murrica, nobody takes our freedom!” Deal with it. Throughout history, the unarmed population has always been the subjugated population. I’m no advocation revolution, but the fear of it is a powerful deterrent against significant government abuse in any system, and as you pointed out, the second amendment was created for that purpose by some of the smartest men that this country has ever seen), and if everyone had guns, well, like you said, anyone desperately needing to commit a crime would almost be forced to kill someone to do that and it could lead to a severe escalation in violence. The ideal mix, therefore, has to be somewhere in the middle. I think our current system deals with everything pretty well as far as civilian ownership is concerned. Law enforcement definitely needs to be better equipped to deal with gun crimes, penalties need to be increased for the use of guns in violent crimes, and some loopholes regarding private sales need to be closed. But for the most part, our current laws prevent the majority of people who shouldn’t have firearms from being able to legally obtain them.
As for the car, yes, people up there were comparing the, However, the whole “cars worse than guns ban cars instead herpa derp” is seriously.. just… no.. They are completely different tools, intended for different purposes, with very unique and separate shortcomings. I thought you were directly continuing that line of though in your last response. As far as law enforcement goes, I don’t see that as a valid reason to not own firearms. You can increase the number of officers all you want if you can find the money, but the fact of the matter is that they are not legally required to protect you. Also, if you can cut the current response times in half, that would still be too long in most situations that require the use of deadly force.
I’m not seeing your point on insurance I’m afraid. You’re saying that the gun owners should have liability insurance, or the manufacturers? Both would increase costs to the end user. Also, most insurance is based on a monthly payment system, which could make continued ownership of a firearm a problem for some people. If the insurance is legally required, than a less responsible gun owner might “lose” (sell) their gun when they can no longer afford to keep it covered, or they would just not insure it. This would defeat the purpose of having the insurance, since responsible owners who maintained the insurance would not be the ones who needed to use the insurance for the most part. This would also have the unintended side affect of making gun ownership less safe. More money in monthly insurance costs means less money for ammunition and training. Ironically, it would be like making someone buy car insurance that they would have to buy a car without anti-lock brakes to afford.
Radical idea; make the criminal pay for the crime. If the gun owner was negligent in storage, or knowingly transferred the gun to someone with the intent to use it in a crime, then yes, they should be held responsible for that. Other than that, the criminal needs to be the one who is held responsible. Make them work in prison, pay the wage to the victim or their family. Maybe if people knew prison was a shitty 10 year long day at work, instead of a 10 year vacation with exercise facilities and cable, they would be less likely to commit crime in the first place. If they learned a useful trade than that might be one more step towards rehabilitation as well.

DFM's avatar

Also, 1 AM, I’ll respond when I wake up later today (much later…)

iamthemob's avatar

@DFM

I think we’re in agreement about the purposes of ownership for self defense – I wish that your step system were the standard.

So I’ll get behind that. Really, I’m a full believer in the right to own guns. I don’t think that they’re the problem in a responsible society. Law enforcement, I agree, is not a reason to prevent home defense options. I just always cringe when I hear people give examples of the worst kind of home invasion and say that’s why you should have a gun, and keep it close. That argument is fear based and leads to gun ownership plus a trigger-happy mentality. Scary.

I’ll admit that the problem is always the illegal guns that are already out there. But I think that anything where the costs are transferred to the manufacturers, sellers, and owners will make people more responsible, and reduce the flow to the black market. That’s why I think it needs to be aimed at all levels too…if the manufacturers have to make sure that their product is secure while being made, transported, and sold, then it seems likely that the ability to get a gun on the black market will be restricted. I don’t know if it’s actually cheaper to get a gun on the black market now…I think it’s likely that there’s a premium on the price because you’re paying additionally to get one that isn’t registered to you, with no wait, and in discretion. So if the open market price goes up, the black market may be priced out completely. Who knows?

Radical idea; make the criminal pay for the crime. If the gun owner was negligent in storage, or knowingly transferred the gun to someone with the intent to use it in a crime, then yes, they should be held responsible for that. Other than that, the criminal needs to be the one who is held responsible

That’s what I’m saying – but I’m saying the presumption should be negligence, and you can rebut it by showing that it was reported stolen to the police and manufacturer immediately, that it had been stored in a safe and hidden place while you were out of the house, that you had attended firearm safety classes, etc. And if you satisfy a proof of reasonable care, you pay a statutory minimum (I think this should be a requirement, and I’m talking about a low minimum, such fine being paid to a victim’s compensation fund or something and waived only if it would result in financial hardship but absorbed as a debt to be paid later). I think we definitely need to keep manufacturers AND sellers on the hook, though. I still want them to make it less possible for there to be a black market for guns. Plus, in terms of cost-spreading, they are always more likely than an individual to have the funds to pay.

Finally…yes…I think that the criminal should always be primarily responsible – but keep owners on the hook. Nothing even close to a crippling fine – again, a predetermined statutory minimum. Unfortunately, in terms of the monetary costs associated with long-term care or loss of income from gun violence…most violent criminals don’t have the funds to pay, and would not be able to earn it in prison (even with a good job). Therefore, you’d have to release them with an outstanding debt to the victims that was probably insurmountable – including all parties spreads the cost effectively to those who should pay as well as those who can pay.

Also, saddling them with massive debt – and I’m being slightly polly-annaish – is detrimental if we would ever like to move toward a rehabilitative prison model.

Rest well.

woodcutter's avatar

IMHO expecting law abiding people to endure the burden of damage that is caused by others is more of a punishment than a remedy. People who choose to defend themselves are trying to NOT become a victim, which is to include being victimized by mandating extra costs to own firearms. They are not the problem. What anti gun politicians all know is the kind of people in the US who make up the bulk of gun owners also shop at Walmart. Most are not rich by any stretch. It would be too easy to price gun ownership right out of existence by loading up these people with additional fees, taxes,other requirements that add up to them having to fork over more hard earned money.
Now add to that a declining gun owning population as they would be just too burdensome to own. Gun makers stay in business because they sell alot of guns. The lucky one’s get fat govt. contracts to include the military, Barreta, Colt ,and other suppliers. But gun makers cannot survive on Govt. contracts alone. No, they all need regular Joe’s to keep them in business all along. They figure that more gun manufacturers will have to shut their doors if the business falls off too greatly. The more gun makers fall by the wayside, the more gun stores will close. It’s a chain reaction. Do we really want other countries to make ALL the weapons our troops use? The plan is not to go door to door to get guns away from “the people”. It is to make them too expensive and hard to own using economics to do the trick.

iamthemob's avatar

@woodcutter

How would they be too expensive to own? I just think they should be more expensive to own, reflecting the cost of the choice made.

You’re assuming this would price them out. Requiring auto insurance, making companies liable for defective designs, holding car owners responsible for injuries caused by their children if they let them take the car, or by anyone else if they lend their car out to someone in a careless fashion – all of this hasn’t priced the auto industry out.

Again, this is meant to spread the cost to all responsible parties in the chain. You can be law abiding and still be stupid, and make decisions that contribute to harm, and still be responsible. Being law abiding doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be held responsible for your choices.

Someone has to pay the costs. If it’s spread out over all the gun owners, and all the manufacturers, then it shouldn’t be significant to any of them. If they do something stupid, then they get hit with a big amount of the cost, and the leftovers are absorbed in the industry.

However, if you don’t want to pay for the effects of a gun culture, don’t buy a gun. It still allows choice. But if you want to own a gun, you pay. This is a standard in any inherently dangerous product industry. The costs of ownership go up because someone inevitably is going to get hurt.

It’s worked with all the other industries, but people seem to think the second amendment relieves them of responsibility of the harm the industry causes. But in the end, you are looking someone who has no part in wanting a gun and saying “I want to own a gun to defend my home, but if someone gets that gun because I was stupid and shoots you and ends up putting you in a wheelchair…I don’t want to have to pay for that.” I know that’s simplified, but that’s kind of what the “It’s not fair to make me pay more” argument comes down to.

Gun ownership has skyrocketed in the past couple decades, so it’s a growing industry with a healthy market. You mention anti-gun politicians, but they’re not really part of the argument after the initial change in policy suggests. After that, you have booted the government out in essence. After that, it’s regulated by the market. I trust that the manufacturers will be able to spread the cost in a way to make sure that they can still sell guns. Or, they will absorb costs in a manner to keep sale costs down. Remember, this is letting the market decide. So, if they want to keep selling cheap guns, buy tons of insurance or not so much, and cross their fingers that the guns won’t get traced back to them, they can. If they get hit…they have to pay.

Allow them assess the risk, and price accordingly. I bet they’ll find a way to make sure the guns are still available to the Walmart contingency. If the costs associated with gun violence are so high that they put all the gun manufacturers go out of business and no one wants to buy a gun because they’ll always get sued…well…then the problem is too big for guns to be sold at all. But, I bet again, that it would work out fine.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@iamthemob That would be fine if it wasn’t so simple to make guns yourself. I have made functional spud guns with simple PVC pipe and hair spray when I was 12–13. It would be a short step from launching a potato to launching a rock or metal sphere.

You would have to ban the sale of plumbing supplies in order to effectively stop anyone with a little knowledge and inclination. When I was in Europe, I even saw a working cannon made out of wood.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob You said “Requiring auto insurance, making companies liable for defective designs, holding car owners responsible for injuries caused by their children if they let them take the car, or by anyone else if they lend their car out to someone in a careless fashion – all of this hasn’t priced the auto industry out.”

If a gun owners lets their children use their gun or leaves it where a child could get to it, they are responsible. If they lend their gun to someone else, they are responsible. But, like with cars, if someone steals it, they shouldn’t be responsible. If someone steals your car, you aren’t responsible for what they do with it.

woodcutter's avatar

@iamthemob I don’t understand he “fairness” part of your argument. Everyone in “the chain” needs to chip in? really? If a gun goes off because someone was pointing it the wrong way by accident or on purpose the gun did exactly what it was made for. The bullets are dumb. There would be no liability for the maker of the gun as it worked perfectly. Personal responsibility is the key. It’s sometimes frustrating to compare transportation modes and firearms. The two are purpose designed. What say everything you suggest there comes true and the violent crime rate still does not change ( because it won’t). Just keep jacking up the premiums for gun ownership more till something happens? You will start to really deny protection from some of our people because they cost too much…it will get to that point eventually. If someone does stupid or bad things while using a gun it’s their burden alone to rectify. That’s why there are personal injury lawyers and Distinct attorneys to make just those responsible make restitution to victims or go to jail or both. Also, let’s not forget there are already lot’s of gun laws in place to cover every possible scenario. There is no gun show loophole,by the way, Just a bad attempt to keep friends from selling their gun to each other without any govt.transfer fees/ involvement. The govt. gets enough money out of us don’t you think?
The “industry” isn’t the one doing the “harm”. We really need to get off that tangent, unless there is a rash of guns that come of the assembly line and explode in people’s faces there should be no product liability. Guns have been around long enough for everyone to know, or should know by now, extra care is need to even touch one. Guns are a no fault deal, always have been.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

As I argued previously though, sometimes you are required to own a car (to commute if its necessary, for example). You are never required to own a gun unless you are in law enforcement. Therefore, owning a gun is always a choice.

A car is different also because it is often LEFT out in public TO be stolen by necessity. It is also not an inherently dangerous item in use – it is generally dangerous only when it is being misused.

Also, there is no such thing as a concealed car. It can’t be brought into a private place, or in secret, to do it’s harm. And the harm is not something that can be done immediately.

This is why it is appropriate to separate cars from guns in this sense. I use the example not to show the similarity, but rather how requiring insurance and assigning blame doesn’t necessarily destroy an industry. Your assumption is that it can’t be done. My question is how do you know?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob I’m not assuming it can’t be done. I’m saying I don’t think it should be done.

iamthemob's avatar

@woodcutter

If a gun goes off because someone was pointing it the wrong way by accident or on purpose the gun did exactly what it was made for. The bullets are dumb. There would be no liability for the maker of the gun as it worked perfectly

Again, you’re saying that because a gun is supposed to do harm, we shouldn’t hold the manufacturer responsible in the slightest when there is an unintended victim.

In the case addressed, however, you don’t seem to understand that joint and several liability means that responsibility is allocated as to fault. Here, the fault is mostly with the stupid gun owner. His insurance covers the damage. The manufacturer is responsible for the additional only if it exists, and a small statutory fine. Yes, that is appropriate, because it is the cost of doing business. Inherently dangerous materials generally have a more significant STRICT liability attached to them – so even if you manufacture or store something the best way possible, because it is something that you know will cause unintended harm at some point part of your cost of doing business is paying for that harm. If we do it with toxic waste, pollutants, etc., that have no completely safe use, why shouldn’t we do it with guns, and as I argue even giving them a break?

The two are purpose designed. What say everything you suggest there comes true and the violent crime rate still does not change ( because it won’t)

This is a little hard to decipher. But if the crime rate doesn’t change, that’s not the purpose…that’s a peripheral benefit. I’ve already admitted the effect is not certain. There are too many other factors to know how this would work. However, what it would do is make sure that people in the gun industry are paying for harm caused by guns, which are different in general, and unlike most other inherently dangerous items now in that they are not required to automatically pay (see again dangerous waste storage).

You will start to really deny protection from some of our people because they cost too much…it will get to that point eventually.

That already happens. Some people can’t afford food…can they afford a gun? You’re assuming again that everyone should be able to get a gun if they want to. If that’s a case, it should come with your social security card. You can’t assume that this will happen at a rate that makes it unworkable.

The “industry” isn’t the one doing the “harm”

Because the industry inevitably causes harm (you can’t argue against that, no matter how safe it all is) then they need to take some of the blame if that’s how they’re making money. It’s the same in every single other industry as I’ve mentioned.

TexasDude's avatar

this is never going to end

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

And I say that’s you not being personally responsible because you want a gun. Guns, on average, cause harm. Eventually there will always be an accident, because people aren’t perfect. It is more true for guns than other items where the intended use is for something other than causing an injury of some sort. If you make a gun, you pay for some of the harm it causes. Don’t make the public do it, because not all of us want it. That is giving essentially the gun industry a power to spread costs to the entire U.S. taxpaying base without them actually being part of the government. You choose to sell guns, you choose to make guns, you choose to pay some of the harms.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob I’m personally responsible for myself and my children. No one else. It’s my responsibility to make sure my gun isn’t used for criminal activity. If I mess up, I pay for it, not until then. If someone else uses their gun for a crime, they are responsible. I shouldn’t have to pay for their negligence. Plain and simple.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

Businesses are always held responsible for the negative effects of their products where it is reasonable to do so. A manufacturer is held responsible for defects for putting a dangerous product on the market because they are the ones to best absorb the harm. I would like you to say to a victim of your gun when it was stolen that you don’t think you were part of the reason why they were there, and you shouldn’t have to pay like $100 to a fund for gun victims. If you can do that, that’s you. I don’t think that’s acceptable.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob There is a difference between businesses that make the gun and people that own them. That’s two different levels of responsibility.

If my gun was stolen and used to kill someone else, I would feel bad about it and I would do what I could to help that person, but that’s different from having some kind of regulation or insurance that I have to pay because of someone else’s negligence.

Ben_Dover's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I can’t believe this question has generated 125 responses. This is really a hot topic for some!

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

But just as a business has responsibility because a gun can’t be made where it’s guaranteed not to do harm, so does an owner because it can’t be owned in such a way either. The most responsible person may have a gun that is used to do harm. This reduces what they should pay, not that they shouldn’t at all.

I agree that the situation is different for the most responsible individual. I think that should be respected. But it’s a disrespect to the rest of us to say the person didn’t weigh the chance that because of them, harm might be done, and decided that it was worth the risk to buy what they did…and regardless, that person doesn’t bear some responsibility if the harm occurs. On average, it is the negligent that will bear the greatest cost. The responsible will bear the least. The victims and people who don’t own guns, I’m saying, should bear none.

This will motivate more responsibility among gun owners who don’t want to pay. If more people are careful about where their guns go, less should be available for violent crime. Less crime, less overall cost. Less cost, lower liabilities. This should make owning a gun cheaper as time goes on, but ownership more responsible.

The problem is, people generally won’t worry about the costs, as you say, unless there’s a risk they will personally have to pay. This is the essence of the lack of personal responsibility infecting American culture. If there’s a system making people pay for the risks they have been allowed to push off onto others, I’m all for it. Stating that they shouldn’t have to pay for risks they should reasonably be aware of, and require them to take all necessary precautions if they don’t want to pay for them, inspires ignorance and cruelty. It gun ownership is like sex – you don’t have to do it, but it’s your right; you can be as careful as possible, and you probably won’t get hurt or hurt another; but the only way to be sure that you aren’t contributing to overpopulation, the increase of welfare dependents, increased health care costs, and getting and spreading disease (or for guns, increasing the amount of illegal guns on the street and the deaths or injuries associated with guns), is to abstain.

The difference with guns is that we have a more direct opportunity to assess costs because it is a commercial industry.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob We won’t ever agree on this, so let’s just agree to disagree.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

If you want to stop, that’s your decision. But if you can’t be convinced that, however the system is set up, that it is fundamentally unfair to allow a group of people who want to buy and sell a product that will cause harm to push any part of the cost onto the rest of us, I’m at a loss. If you have a better idea, though, I’m open. Because, to be honest, if that’s going to be how it is, I’m actually drifting in favor of now answering the original question: yes, I am in favor of a handgun ban.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob You do realize that when you say the rest of us (meaning all of the citizens that pay taxes and contribute towards the community) that that also includes gun owners. Right? I get what you are saying and if you switch to be in favor of banning handguns that is your choice. I stand by personal responsibility and I don’t believe we (gun owners) should have to pay any additional fee or insurance because of the irresponsibility of other people. If something happens in regards to my guns, I will handle it at that time because it’s my responsibility. I shouldn’t have to pay extra for someone else just because they aren’t responsible.

I’m not following this anymore, so if you respond to me, I won’t see it. I’m not interested in discussing it anymore because I can’t make my point any clearer than I already have. You are in favor of it, I’m not. Neither of us is going to change the others mind.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

The terminology is a bit mixed up, but of course I do. I know that gun owners do pay for some through that kind of cost spreading.

But the fact that someone not owning a gun is paying at all is unfair. And the fact that it is caused because a private group is appalling when you think about it. If a private group states they don’t want to have the responsibility of paying for the ill effects of its actions to the highest extent possible, and therefore shifts the cost to the public in general, who pay through an increase in taxes…the rest of them can’t say anything about it because they aren’t consumers or shareholders in the corps responsible.

Doesn’t that sound like taxation without representation.

So, when you say, “I shouldn’t pay extra for someone else just because they aren’t responsible” you’re telling me that I SHOULD, even though I never wanted a part of it to begin with. YOU did. I do not want to pay car insurance so I don’t own a car. But car owners do. Because some are irresponsible. And the essence of insurance is that even if you’re responsible, you know that not everyone is. It’s the price you pay to drive. But the more responsible of a driver you are, the older you are, the longer you have an accident-free record, the less you pay. But in the end, I’m not paying for your insurance. And if you hit me and it’s an accident, you’re covered by the insurance for damages because you were responsible (ideally). If you were being negligent, reckless, etc., you are subject to additional penalties. Because cars, although not meant to be, can very well be dangerous and inevitably will be.

Therefore, why should it be any different for guns, which have a dangerous purpose?

To take your stand mandates that you take the stand that drivers shouldn’t be required to drive with insurance.

woodcutter's avatar

it’s just a relief to know that sportsmen will NEVER have to pay any such insurance covering the mishaps of crime gangs killing for drug turf. If we could stop just those killings alone we wouldn’t be having this discussion probably. We should automatically put all crime gang members in prisons forever no questions, no appeals. Would anybody really care except Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson or ACLU? These people will never conform to the standards of polite society. This vermin is nothing more than domestic terrorists gone rampant and getting worse every year- screw them. Rant over…out.

iamthemob's avatar

@woodcutter

If we got rid of violence, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. And yes, I think a lot of people would care if people were imprisoned for life based solely on their membership. If we want to rehabilitate people we need to stop (1) allowing them to get that way and (2) actually figure out how to rehabilitate them.

I really, really hope that’s how you felt during the rant, and not what you think. I’m certain it was just a rant, though.

woodcutter's avatar

@iamthemob You have more faith in humanity than most when it comes to the hard core criminals who have no feeling for those they are hurting. They are a waste of money when it comes to rehabilitate them….ok maybe one in a thousand might come to their senses if there was some kind of counseling. I think you know they are a waste of time and to put hard earned tax payer dollars into anything like that would turn into a black hole.They will re- offend and be right back inside after they hurt or kill another person. It’s been tried before. Some men you just can’t reach. They are hopeless.The benefits to society would be felt over night. These people have more rights than you and I in some areas. I’m sick to death of society getting the blame for these failures as the vast majority of people do well and become productive. These individuals are weak and need to be separated from the rest of us before they bring us all down. Round them all up. Do it tonight.

TexasDude's avatar

—You know… I think I’m gonna go buy the Luger I’ve been looking at this weekend just because of this thread. Thanks for the push in the right direction guys….-

…aw hell, I’m still $700 short. Nevermind

iamthemob's avatar

I’m sick to death of society getting the blame for these failures as the vast majority of people do well and become productive. These individuals are weak and need to be separated from the rest of us before they bring us all down. Round them all up. Do it tonight.

Alright. So once we’ve swept the streets clean of people we’ve never actually tried to rehabilitate…you’d be good with the costs of gun accidents being spread among gun owners, right?

valdasta's avatar

If my wife had to give up her pistol she would go back to carrying a can of Raid (with the stream tip). If I had my choice, I would say, “please shoot me with the gun!”

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