Javert Rovinski, on Jun 4 2003, 09:26 AM, said:
Further, more are killed by swimming pools each year by guns. And fists. And knives.
And cars. Don't forget cars.
John- That still doesn't mean I think it's a great idea, in a modern context, to allow the proliferation of devices whose only real function is to kill people...
Well, like Bossy pointed out, there's a lot of guns that their sole function is hunting for subsistence. I own guns whose sole purpose is target shooting. Others can be used in shooting competitions. So I don't really see "only real function is to kill people..."
You can use a hammer just as easily to kill. Does that mean we should outlaw them?
A gun is a tool. No more, no less. And, like Rov said, tools can be misused for good or ill.
But in the case of guns that are used in crimes, I'm forced to note that most of them were obtained illegally anyway. So, the question becomes, why do we need more laws restricting lawful ownership when we can't enforce the ones we have?
John- In the specific case of an bedridden man, as we see here, I can understand owning a gun. Lacking the option of flight, he has a pressing need for protection.
As a practical matter, who ascribes "need"?
John- For most of us, who could probably just as easily run away in a life-threatening situation... well, I respect your right to make a different choice, but I can't say I understand it..
For me, it's a simple matter of not running away. I have a right to feel secure in my own house. I have a right to defend my family. Running away while someone rapes or murders my family isn't really an option in my case. I'd rather stand and fight and die trying than the alternative, and I need the tools to make that choice effective.
Something to keep in mind throughout all of this is that many states don't allow the use of lethal force to defend property. Meaning, if there's a burglar in your house, you don't have the right to shoot him, unless
he threatens physical harm on you or your family.
What about the case of a New York man, who’s child was being raped in the other room? He was too small to confront him physically, and obviously the child wasn’t in a position to stop it. The man in question took the only course he could, and shot the bastard to death.
I do think we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals...
Agreed. But how do you do it? It's already illegal for felons to own firearms. In California, certain violent misdemeanors are disqualifing offenses. What more do we need? One gun per month and fingerprints and ballistics testing and waiting periods and ownership permits are like band aids on artery wounds. Instead of targeting the lawful gun owners, why don't we target the people that use firearms in the commission of crimes?
Rov: And as for relying on 911, we saw the consequences in that case: By the time 911 answered, this man would have been dead.
Every time I've called 911 I've been on hold for at least
5 minutes. 5 minutes is an eternity in this type of scenario, especially when these things are decided within 10 seconds...
There's also the issue of police response times. In every case I've been in, it's taken the police 30-40 minutes to respond, sometimes more.
Rhea:I often think the Founding Fathers would be appalled to know what the right to bear arms means now.
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." -Alexander Hamilton
"The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun." -Patrick Henry
"Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" -Patrick Henry
"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms..." -Samuel Adams
"The issue is not war and peace, rather, how best to preserve our freedom."
--General Russell E. Dougherty, USAF