I know we're all different thinkers, but I'm just curious if there is a consensus view among atheists regarding firearms?

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I can't be held responsible for the mistakes of others. Education is the key, if they choose not to educate themselves and an accident happens the only one to blame is themselves.
Fair enough.
Its depressing to hear that kind of statement in a forum of atheists. One would hope that reason would prevail over paranoia and violence as an automatic response to threat.

If you are really concerned about self defense, take a martial arts course, or move to an area where gun violence is rare. If neither of those is possible and you have a high likelyhood of being attacked at any given moment by gun wielding assailants, vote to improve your local youth centers and counselling efforts. Get involved in your community and turn it around from the grassroots. Guns are the dumb persons answer to violence. Rational, intelligent people understand that violence begets violence. Thinking, logic, ethics, empathy, and reason are the only ways to stop the cycle of violence.
by that reasoning, martial arts would only be effective as a defense if you painlessly subdued the attacker. slim odds of that if you really are being attacked. I do live in a place where shootings on the corner of my block are common. I find it rediculous to think that martial arts are what I should use when citizens are shooting hollow-point bullets out of moving cars. your idea of extreme passivism seems almost dangerous if you ARE in a dangerous situation. So police shouldn't carry weapons, and our soldiers on post in a war-zone should all be trained in martial arts, eh? because on post they are purely defensive. I like your "rational, non paranoid view."
I do live in a place where shootings on the corner of my block are common.

Excellent reason to be in favor of banning all guns in all civilian areas - Britain doesn't have gun crime for a reason.
Because guns arn't the popular culture. it has nothing to do with gun laws, we could outlaw guns here in teh US but that wouldnt change a thing.
Most of the guns out here are illegal. a study done proposed that if all gun crimes were committed by legal carriers, there would be virtually no gun crime at all.

its the poverty out here that makes it so prevalent. its the culture, the rampant drug trade, and lack of social support and availability of jobs that drives this. thats the difference between poor areas and middle-class, affluent areas. culture and opportunity.

guns won't go away. its making them available to people who will use them responsibly that will make things better. a balance between the two.
You're right that poverty and the drug war are major contributors, but the point I'm making is that if people keep on stealing guns, just make it so that there aren't any guns to steal. As I've said elsewhere on this thread, Prohibition and the drug war has failed mostly because those things are easy to produce and conceal. Guns aren't something you can just build from scratch in your basement. There are plenty of countries that have banned guns -consistently- and when they do, guns mostly disappear. Does violence in general go down? No, but the violence isn't as bad. Just pointing this out.
Never gonna happen. You would have to go door to door and ask for peoples guns, and, since it's unconstitional to search and seize without probably cause, you could only get the registered ones, not the unregistered ones which are still legal.

Plus you have yet to address what to do about the culture? The people who have grown up in the US gun culture will find any way possible to get a hold of a gun.
i understand what you mean, but its not stealing legal guns thats doing it. there is an entire market for illegal weapons, its not osmotic. they have serial numbers filed off, or they are brought from south america, or come from other places. thats the thing that makes firearm regulation so difficult~ its not the people who follow the rules that are creating the problems. its not that hard to find a weapon for sale that is either stolen or unregistered unnumbered or otherwise untraceable.
if you were correct, then yes, taking guns away would seem the make the problem better... unless you consider the fact that once the gun was stolen, that person who had it would be defenseless. if they were illegal, either it would turn to black market weapons, knives, or whatever. crime will always find a way, its just a matter of making sure non criminals can keep up and protect themselves.
Can't forget about the disturbing ease with which a gun can be made.

Nothing fancy, just a tube with a firing pin at end will do.
I like chris rock's idea to make bullets expensive~ that way if you get shot, at least you know you deserve it lol (joking here)

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