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Trillian's avatar

So where do you draw the line when the potential for harm to others is increased?

Asked by Trillian (21116points) September 1st, 2010

We’ve had a few rousing conversations/debates today about guns and rights.
Can we safely all agree that an individual should not have access to things like, oh..dynamite. Any type of nuclear weapon. Biological or chemical agents that could cause harm to others. And I do not mean household chemicals.
We agree, I think, that the individual rich man who can afford a scooped out volcano should not be allowed access to a team of scientists who can invent and create a weapon that could harm others. We’ve all seen the James Bond movies, and others in the same category, like XXX. This is why we have government controls. We can’t have that much potential to harm others resting in one person’s hands. Or the hands of a small group of people with an axe to grind, and that answer to no other authority.
So what about these anti government nut cases that hole up somewhere with a huge stash of weapons and ammo. Or the religious whak jobs? Remember Waco? How did these people manage to acquire such a large amount of hardware? Should they have been allowed to do so?
Where should the line be drawn? Or do you believe that there should be no line?
Where do the rights of the individual to own a firearm end, and my right to be safe from nutcases initiating standoffs with the police begin?
People who think that the government should be aware of the activities of these potentially dangerous groups, how do you suggest they do so? Should they respect the rights of these individuals not to be investigated?
Just curious to see which way the wind blows on this aspect of the whole gun control thing.

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23 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Trillian We have? See what happens when you miss a day…

Dewey420's avatar

I don’t really get it at all. except for demolition I don’t see why anyone would need dynamite. I don’t see why anyone even a government would have biological or chemical weapons.. that’s just asking for it to fall into the wrong hands. Gimme my right to bear arms ( a gun ) and that’s it.

SeventhSense's avatar

Oh just don’t tell this to the NRA. They feel it’s a God given right to have access to anything up to rocket launchers. If infants become target practice well they are just the collateral damage.

Trillian's avatar

@Dewey420 Ok, part of my question, and I may not have made what I was asking very clear, was about proportion. The groups that are waiting for the counry to fall apart, the apocalypse, or whatever, the groups who, for whatever reason, collect a big stash of weapons that are fairly serious type like; armor piercing, automatic, large caliber that would need to be mounted on a stand, ground to air missiles, that sort of thing.
Should this “collecting” be allowed? Should there be a limit? Should there be weapons that no civilian should have, period?

MissA's avatar

@Trillian It seems that whenever or wherever a line is drawn, there are those that cannot live with lines. In fact, with weapons, I’m not sure whether the ones vocal are really for or against control…I’m wondering whether it is another case of being an attention whore…or some derivative of.

TexasDude's avatar

I’ll tell you where they didn’t get their hardware.

That’s gun shows.

No matter what anyone tries to tell you, you can’t buy grenades, rocket launchers, and machine guns (well, non NFA machine guns at least) at gun shows.

Secondly, since everyone knows I’m probably the biggest gun nut on fluther, I’ll give my views at where I would personally draw the line, and I’ll base my judgment on the actual wording of the second amendment, which uses the word “arms.”

In an 18th century context, arms meant “man portable” weapons.

I think that civilians should be able to own any man portable small arms they can afford. This includes everything up to 20 mm anti materiel rifles.

I don’t think that people should have access to things like AT4 rockets and tactical nukes. Even if they were legal, the market would be so crazy that none of us could afford them anyway.

Also, I might add that part of living in a free society is that you should be able to do what you want, but you have to be prepared for the consequences.

If Billy Ray wants to go on a rampage with his M-60 E3 because Jesus told him to, then he shouldn’t be surprised or shocked when he gets mowed down by a SWAT team. However, if Billy Ray wants to buy said M-60 and shoot dirt piles or have it as one hell of a living room conversation piece, he should be allowed to.

Like I said, that’s the give and take of living in a truly free society.

SeventhSense's avatar

And if Billy Ray’s baby shoots his head off with his daddy’s hand gun well he probably just woke up on the wrong side of the crib.~

Trillian's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard So, but you haven’t taken into consideration my idea about potential for harming others. How many peole would Billy Ray hurt before a SWAT team were ble to take him down. How much damage could he do in a metropolitan area? What if it isn’t Billy Ray but Achmed? What if it’s a group of them and they all have an armory hanging from their belts like they were in The Matrix?
Do you see what I’m asking? The harm potential varies greatly with each weapon. So, a shotgun as opposed to an M-60, you see? A 22 as opposed to a 50 Cal.
I just want to hear the idea adressed in that context by the people who want guns and no control.

TexasDude's avatar

@SeventhSense, I understand the point you are making, but you are raising an issue that is really about our culture more than anything else. Yes, preventable deaths are tragedies, especially when children are involved, but If we eliminate every possible way for someone to get accidentally killed, it’s not long before everyone is walking around in bubble wrap. I admit that I am an idealist when it comes to my views, and my ideals probably wouldn’t work at this moment in our culture because of how goddamn stupid and irresponsible people are. That said, I’d prefer to live in a more free society with risks and hopefully more responsible citizens. I don’t want to neglect to mention that for every child that has been killed or hurt with a gun which again, is a horrible tragedy, there is an elderly, infirm, or weak person who has successfully defended themselves or family with one.

I know that I’m not going to convince you of my viewpoint, and you probably aren’t going to convince me of mine, but I do hope that you understand, at least partially, where I am coming from here, because I certainly understand your concerns.

@Trillian, it usually takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with one And hopefully that would be the case with crazy Billy Ray. You do know that it is very possible to legally acquire fully automatic, silenced, and even squad based and crew served weapons, right? Only two of these types of weapons, when legally owned, have ever been used in a crime, and one of those instances was by a cop.

When you use the word control, I must reiterate that I would prefer to live in a society where people controlled themselves and suffered the consequences if they didn’t, as opposed to the government.

Trillian's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Thank you. I hope you notice that I carefully did not use the word “control”.
I did not know, nor do I know what a “Squad based, or crew serviced” weapon is. Like I said in another thread, guns don’t interest me.
They bore me the way watching golf, or nascar on tv would bore me. I just have a curiosity about how people feel about the issues I mentioned.
You did not fully answer the questions I raised, but I think that I can extrapolate from what you say that you do not feel that it would be a problem for individuals or groups to own large caliber weapons in large amounts. That’s all I really want to know. I still would like someone to address the increased capacity for harm but I may not get an answer. That’s fine too, and I appreciate you taking the time and speaking rationally, without heat. I know this is a hot button issue for some people.
I don’t really agreee with you but that’s ok with me, and I hope you don’t mind too much. I also don’t care enough to try to stop gun ownership either. And I may need you to save my non-gun owning ass someday! Lord knows, I’ll probably say something or roll my eyes at the wrong time and get Billy Ray all pissed off at me. ;-)

Neutral's avatar

Everyone should have a right to properly defend themselves in any given situation without having to rely on nonchalant police officers or the such. You never know when danger strikes, thus, having any sort of weapon of yours choosing would be a life necessity. Murder is allowed in self-defense and times of war.

augustlan's avatar

My personal line:

For the average citizen, rifles, shotguns, and basic handguns are ok. (Not a huge fan, but I wouldn’t try to stop someone from owing one). Anyone who owns a gun should have to be safety trained/certified.

Any gun beyond that, say automatic weapons of any sort, you’d need to be a collector or some other specialty (I don’t know what terminology I’d use). It would require a special license, including extra safety training/certification, and a deeper background check. You’d have to prove you have proper (read: safe) storage methods, and that you use them. In other words, it would be hard to qualify for ownership, but not impossible. Though honestly, I’d prefer no automatic weapons in civilian hands. I doubt very highly our founding fathers had any clue we’d eventually have the types of weapons that are available to us today.

Explosives, rocket launchers, etc. should not be available to any civilian.

Full disclosure: I am an ‘anti-gun’ kind of girl, married to a gun collector. He stores them in a gun cabinet, ammunition locked up seperately.

ucme's avatar

On balance, after careful & considered deliberation. I’m going to say that in all probability, i’d more than likely excuse this

MissA's avatar

@ucme What did I just view???? hmm.

ucme's avatar

@MissA Gee I dunno, you tell me? I view it as a piss take on gun culture. You can of course interpret it any way you please :¬)

MissA's avatar

@ucme That was my initial take on it.Thanks.

TexasDude's avatar

@ucme, so you support zen_’s right to seek vigilante justice against men with large man boobs, panda bears on rocking horses, Arnold Schwarzeneggar swinging around dildos, and other assorted weirdos?

@Trillian, and thank you for being respectful as well. I apologize if I didn’t adequately answer your questions or outline my views for you. I’m really not the best debater in the world. My communication skills in recent years have been declining for some reason. Feel free to private message me if you want more specific answers to any specific questions you. I usually do a little better in a private conversation than in the public forum.

Also, I know that you claim to be dispassionate about this entire debate. Even still, I’d encourage you to take a look at this pdf file about common gun control myths. It uses statistics and adequate citations to explain my own viewpoints much more adequately than I can on my own.

Thanks again.

ucme's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Well i’d taser them at the very least. All except the panda, coz dey cute.Yeah, old zenny boy does seem to have gotten out the wrong side of bed this morning doesn’t he? Must be a mid-life crisis, sshh, too much too young if you ask me

TexasDude's avatar

@ucme hahahahahahahaha

SeventhSense's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard
You said:
“I know that I’m not going to convince you of my viewpoint, and you probably aren’t going to convince me of mine
Interesting way of putting it.
I’m so confused.
Don’t make me come over there and make you understand your point of view. :)

TexasDude's avatar

@SeventhSense, whoa, major typo. Sorry about that. My proofreading skills suck, too, apparently.

Trillian's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Hehehe Maybe you’ve snorted too much gunpowder. ;-) Shut up trying to convince me of my point of view! (That was hilarious)
I may PM you later for a coupe specifics. @westriverrat PM’d me and said he’d give me a thorough answer at some point. I look forward to at least one gun advocate addressing the specific points I brought up just so I can put my curiosity to bed.

TexasDude's avatar

@Trillian, alright, I look forward to hearing from you.

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