Gun Control

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saxmaniac1987
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Gun Control

Postby saxmaniac1987 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:04 pm UTC

As referenced in News & Articles, I figured I'd start a Gun Control Thread.

Just last night there was a report on NBC that actually got me thinking about this. Go here and scroll down. Watch the video called "Should U.S. civilians carry M-16 rifles?" Essentially, these are versions of the famed M-16.

My first thought when I saw this on the news last night is "whaaat that is so unnecessary." And I still think that. While I'm not opposed to guns in general--handguns and hunting rifles--I feel that assault weapons like these are pretty ridiculous. Leave the milspec weapons for the military.

What are your thoughts on assault weapons and other gun control issues?

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jfarquhar
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Postby jfarquhar » Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:25 pm UTC

You can't uninvent guns. Stricter gun control will simply make it harder for responsible people to get a gun, which they might use to save many lives.

I am sure the majority of times a gun has been used for a violent crime, it was not purchased legally from a hunting store down the road. There is a black market for everything.

I think there is a Simpsons episode on gun control actually... also a Family Guy episode...

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skeptical scientist
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Postby skeptical scientist » Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:27 pm UTC

Have you seen Penn and Teller's Bullshit episode on gun control? Gun control, in general, is bullshit. There is a naive assumption that many people make that more gun control equals fewer gun crimes, but in fact the reverse is true. The problem is that all the gun control laws in the world will do little to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Criminals don't follow the law (I know, a shocker) so gun control laws generally don't affect them, given the flourishing black market in guns in this country. Cracking down on street purchases of firearms would no-doubt do a lot more, but that is a matter of enforcing existing laws rather than enacting new ones. In fact, gun control laws are a good thing for criminals, since it assures them that while they still have little trouble obtaining a firearm, the law abiding citizens they rob won't be armed.

Want evidence? Do you know what city has one of the toughest gun control policies in the nation? Washington, D.C. - it's illegal to take a handgun into the city, to buy one, or even to possess one unless it was registered prior to 1977. Do you know what city has one of the highest crime rates in the nation? Washington, D.C. Of course I wouldn't be naive enough to commit the old "post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy and claim that its high crime rate is due to the gun control laws, but it certainly shows that tough gun control laws do little to stop criminals in D.C. from using handguns in crimes.

The second amendment isn't some stupid historical leftover which is no longer needed in modern times. It is what grants everyone the right to self-defense. Because face it; in this day and age, it's frequently impossible to defend yourself without a gun. What, you're supposed to try and pull a Trinity move on someone pointing a loaded Smith and Wesson at your chest? I don't think so. Of course you can always call the cops, so they can defend you with their guns - but waiting for the cops to show up often isn't an option.

But suppose that we somehow were able to keep guns out of the hands of all citizens other than the military and the police, so that no criminals would have guns. Would gun control be a good thing then? The answer is still no. Because it still denies people the right to self-defense. Sure, if the criminal is also gunless, you'll have a better chance with your baseball bat, but if the criminal is a 180 pound thug and you're a 120 pound woman who's about to be raped, the fact that the thug doesn't have a firearm is small consolation when you don't either. But who would want to try that rape if there's a 50/50 shot that the intended victim is carrying a concealed handgun?

Perhaps gun control would be a good thing in some idyllic future utopia where crime has become a thing of the past, and I'm sure that's the world where gun-control advocates would like to live... but gun-control legislation won't get us any closer, and will make matters worse in the meantime.
Last edited by skeptical scientist on Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:28 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Tractor
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Postby Tractor » Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:28 pm UTC

See also: http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?t=4275
Even has the same title :wink:
9 x 6 = 42

Note: Randall kicks ass.


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