Atheists are a small minority in the U.S. Advocates of gun control might be a minority in America as well. In light of the recent shootings in Aurora I am curious as to how atheists in this network view the lack of gun restrictions. There are probably divergent views.
I have trouble believing that both presidential candidates are steering away from any call for reform after the horrific mass shooting. In my opinion it is insane to allow citizens access to assault weapons that can kill scores of people in a few minutes. It was even more shocking to hear on a news show that a family had to raise money to pay for the immense hospital bills for one of the victims while they were already crippled with medical bills from the mothers fight with breast cancer.
As a Canadian I came to stand with my U.S brothers for the reason rally and freedom from religion. I would be willing to come down to the capitol and march for two other important causes. Gun control and universal health care.
Matthew T: numbers from other countries are not numbers in a void. They are the statistics of other nations' experience with such regulation.
Tom Sarbeck: I would not argue that the case is weakened by my selection of arms. In the XVIII Century cannon and explosives existed. Explosives were permitted for private ownership until the Bath School Massacre in Michigan. (That massacre occurred some forty years before I went to school, just south of my home. The massacre was perpetrated by a tax protester who packed the basement of the school with explosives purchased from hardware stores all over central Michigan, resulting in the worst school massacre to this date. The result was the banning of private ownership of explosives without a permit.)
Since SCOTUS has already determined certain kinds of weapons can be controlled/denied/regulated, then all the government needs to do is show how its regulation/control would fit that precedent.
Requiring the actual registration of guns/gun owners no more would lead to confiscation or repression of rights than actual registration of drivers/autos, or registration for voting leads to suppression of voting rights. (The Constitution does not require registration for voters, either. That doesn't mean it prohibits registration of voters, in the same manner it doesn't prohibit registration of guns or gun owners.)
What would lead to confiscation is actual attempts at confiscation.
@James - I think you meant TNT, but I agree with you nevertheless.
@TNT - I think we'll have to cite "irreconcilable differences". It's clear to me now that I believe treating other nations as a template is a worthwhile endeavour, while you do not. There's not much else to say - at least on this particular topic - but I'm sure we'll speak again!
@Tom - I could be mistaken, but I'm given to believe that with the proper paperwork, an individual can procure almost any firearm under the sun so, if this is true (again, I'm not entirely certain), I don't think this weakens James' case at all. Please advise.
Matthew, with the proper paperwork, with the sufficient cash bribe, or with the sufficient physical violence or threat of physical violence, an individual can procure almost any arm under the sun.
The reliance by gun regulation proponents on a very few numbers that point to correlation but not to causation weakens their case.
Their refusal to consider the ease with which criminals can procure guns destroys their case.
Gun control is one of the emotion-laden issues that long ago persuaded me of this: on election days I choose between the candidates of a party controlled by "soft-headed" liberal folk and those of a party controlled by "hard-hearted" conservative folk. Lucky me.
Those two parties, with their winner-take-all rules, have shut out third parties whose candidates want to run.
James, as you point out, the Constitution does not prohibit registration of guns or gun owners.
If American politics were not so corrupted by money, we the people (the less wary of us at least) would have little reason to fear attempts by the military to take over the government.
During the 1930's Depression, a few very wealthy Americans did plan a military coup. They might have succeeded, but the retired Marine officer they chose to lead the coup "betrayed" them. For details, search Wikipedia for "Smedley Butler". Terms such as "bonus army" or "Roosevelt administration military coup" might lead you to the same info.
Before you conclude that the American military wouldn't kill American citizens, consider the Viet Nam War-era killings of UNARMED Kent State University students by ARMED Ohio National Guard troops.
Buying an election, as a few very wealthy people tried to do a few months ago, is but a step away from a coup by paid mercenaries. The first people they would recruit would be high-ranking military.
tax more on gun biz. international commerce of firearms for that matter; fund mental health and deprogram of populations on vioelence shitty fams etc.. peace
please educate on guns.. it's the only way. need license to drive a car right?
fuddy duddies can't handle the speed at which a child is brainwashed to violent tendencies..
look what happend in New Mex w' that 15 year old. his father was calvary chapel chaplain at one point. into some other while he killed his own w/rifle while wearing fatigues. it's not supposed to be like that. hello.
What I would really love to hear is actual poll numbers on where atheists as a group stand on gun control. I wonder if that has ever been done? Here is an excerpt that shows that I'm more in synch with Catholics (never thought I would be saying that) and some other people here are more in synch with the white evangelical Protestants (don't worry I'm only being facetious). Here are the poll numbers:
A poll released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, found that among the roughly two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants who say the term “pro-life” describes them very well, 64 percent are opposed to stricter gun control laws, while 33 percent favor them.
The picture among Catholics is the opposite. The poll found that of the 4 in 10 Catholics who say that “pro-life” describes them very well, 61 percent support stricter gun control laws and 33 percent oppose them. The survey was taken in January and included more than 1,000 respondents with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Well that's really no surprise, the number one life skill sold in the Catholic Church (and old religious Humanists) is meekness and obedience, whereas for Protestant Churches, the number one life skill sold is how to get rich and create your own Church.
For atheists it would be likely go something like this: Secular Humanists would vote the Catholic way and libertarians and Marxist and anarchists and environmentalists would be all over the place, according to their degree of anthropomorphism, and of course there would be numerous non-followers of that pattern according to if they were raised in environments pertaining to either religion.
Since Secular Humanists have nearly taken over the atheist movement, I suspect you'd get a majority of atheists who'd answer: How dare we even consider taking another person's life? Humans are precious.
We could also start a betting pool... I'd place my bet on 72% of atheists being for absolute gun control. ;p
That religious info and comparison was tongue in cheek TNT - glad you could find a deeper joke in it. At least I hope you aren't being serious. If most Secular Humanists happen support gun control I wouldn't characterize them as meek and obedient.
Your 72% figure surprised me. That makes you in the minority. And here I thought I was in the minority in this particular topic where I originally said "In my opinion it is insane to allow citizens access to assault weapons that can kill scores of people in a few minutes."
I don't remember a torrent of replies agreeing with that point.
I wonder if there could be a poll done within Atheist Nexus.
It would be interesting.
I once conducted a "fun" poll on another atheist forum.
Go to Surveymonkey.com It's free and real easy to use.
Think out the options and question style, think it out well, really well, cuz the way you ask your question will affect the answer percentages. In my opinion, having the "answer" is not a sufficient poll strategy... you want to know also what are the voters' philosophical affiliations, in order to get an interesting study that can lead to further informed conversations.
Then add a discussion here pertaining to solely that poll. I let mine run for a few months, in order to try and get a better sampling. And people will discuss the poll itself... keeping this discussion on the content.
TNT, polls of voters' philosophical affiliations are not enough.
Their political activism levels will tell us if politicians will pay attention.
Of course, there is never too much information in a poll!