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.

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Hats off to the voters in CO and WA... beacons of justice imho; for the nation for the world. ~NORML

The main obstruction I see to effectiveness of gun control legislation—besides the devotion of those who worship in the First Church of the Second Amendment—is the fact that the country is now saturated with guns, an estimated 270 million. It will take new laws and new efforts at enforcement a long time to overcome the presence of so many firearms, but the effort can be marginally successful and should be undertaken.

The question the NRA would ask:

What gun would Jesus buy?

I would note the Roman Catholic Church in this village closed some years ago. The building was purchased by a resident who turned it into a guns and ammo shop. We call it the Church of the NRA.

Pseudo-historian David Barton (author of the lying The Jefferson Lies) is out preaching his message of hatred again on his radio show. He claims liberalism destroys virtue, and is a mental disease.

And he came up with this gem:

When tolerance is a sin and hate is a virtue.

I throw that out because we're getting to the point where tolerance is a bad thing and hate is a good thing. And let me define that: we're told in, I believe it's Proverbs 4:13, it says "the fear of the Lord is to hate evil." Which means that if I'm going to stand for what God stands for, there's some certain things I have to hate: I have to hate evil, I have to hate murder – well no, you can't hate, that's a bad thing … no, hate is a good thing!

I mean hating Nazis, that's a good thing. And people say "well, you hate their philosophy, you don't hate the people." No, I hate people who want to kill other people and I'm sorry that they're killing others but the guys who were on the Nazi trials at the end, I'm sorry, I just hate what they did. Alright, I love them as a person, yes Jesus died for them, I understand, but I hate certain things.

So we've got to get to the point where tolerance is seen as a sin because we're tolerating a lot stuff that destroys our families, that destroys our own character and we can't tolerate that stuff. We have to get back to the point where hate is a virtue, at least certain kinds of hate. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil and we need to have a hatred of things and get off this fence of having no passion about anything.

What concerns me is when the haters also have guns. It is not too much of a stretch to go from "hate is a virtue" to "kill in the name of the Lord."

Now we have a gun in the house. We also live sixteen miles from the sheriff out in the country, and have wild animals (including wild dogs because travellers dump their pets out here thinking they can survive). But we don't need enough armament to supply a small infantry unit.

Russell, I think this discussion has gone farther than reason can take it.

Emotion can take it farther, but I'm not enthused about going there.

There is little reason attached to either side of the argument. Those who feel that some popgun is going to protect them from the depredations of a decadent government with a military and armament for two million troops are not thinking rationally. Those who think that, having never trained mentally for the idea of shooting a person, they are going to be able to react to some person opening fire at them are deluded.

Thanks for you contributions to this discussion Tom. You can always click on a "stop following button" so you don't get emails with the discussion comments.   I'm still seeing value in recent contributions.  For example those video links provided by James pointed to some great material.

Before you opt out, there was one response I gave to you that was puzzling.  I must admit to having an idea and sneaking downstairs in the middle of a dinner with visiting family then speed reading and firing away and then running back up - my wife wasn't happy.  I think my point was valid, but it was not really valid as a response to the points you were making.  Sorry for that.

If I further explain my point that would draw you back into this discussion and I can see you have had enough.

If this guy didn't have such a large following (several hundred thousand) it wouldn't be such a concern.  He sounds rude and quite crazy.

Andrew Jones on Gun Control with Piers Morgan

Now wait just a minute. This is the guy who thinks President Bush planned 9/11. How can you call him crazy?

This has been basically a civil discussion - a little emotional at times. 

I have trouble believing that this gentleman is being accused of being involved in a government hoax, and the recent tragedy might be a manufactured event to move the people in the U.S. on gun control. 

Conspiracy Theorists call him a Satanist and a Pedophile

Man who helped Sandy Hook kids is harassed by conspiracy theorists

What is the problem with these people??????

Forgive me if this has already been cross-referenced: I find that this is the very first time I stand wholly behind Sam Harris on something important:

Sam Harris Blog: The Riddle of the Gun

Listen to this morning's Day 6 (politically correct CBC radio)

Sam Harris on The Riddle of The Gun, RIGHT NOW!

Interesting article.  Happy to see this quote from Sam Harris in the piece:

We could do many things to ensure that only fully vetted people could get a licensed firearm. The fact that guns in the U.S. can be legally purchased from private sellers without background checks on the buyers (the so-called “gun show loophole”) is terrifying. Getting a gun license could be made as difficult as getting a license to fly an airplane, requiring dozens of hours of training. I would certainly be happy to see policy changes like this. In that respect, I support much stricter gun laws.

Here is an informative graphic on the issue

Also it was a little ironic to see  gun rallys backfire a little at gun shows across the U.S.

I struggle with the gun control issue. I mean, you can ban all guns but with millions of them already out there, how sensible is that and what would it achieve. Same is true for assault weapons. It appears to me regulating the use of guns is very unlikely to be successful. Maybe our time and money would be better spent on educating children and adults about how to recognize a person who may need help. Focus on mental health issues. Put mental health professionals in schools. Educate the public on how, when, why and where to report suspicious activities or behavior. Gun control may not be the best way to stop these tragedies. 

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