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 reminded of the quote by Voltaire on free speech. "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

I personally do not own a firearm, but I have no wish to take those weapons away from those that do. I collect knives and swords, and would not wish for the state or federal government to tell me I can't keep those. I feel it would be hypocritical of me to condemn one form of lethal weapon ownership and participate in another.
Since I started this, I suppose I should throw in my two cents:


I guess it's that part of me that doesn't like anyone telling me what to do that makes me very pro-gun. I agree that times have changed and SOME sensible gun laws might be needed. However, many politicians know nothing about the operating cycles of firearms. Many assume that "semi-automatic" is the same as a machine gun. In reality, the term semi-automatic simply means that the next round is automatically fed into the weapon's chamber. The operator still has to pull the trigger for every round fired. You can't just simply "spray and pray".

Anyway, if people were more informed about firearms and how they actually work, what is already legal and illegal, and how to properly use/store them, there wouldn't be this fear. A firearm is a tool. However, if the person behind it is also a tool (hahaha), you have a problem.

I keep a Smith & Wesson model 686 .357 Magnum revolver in my home. Being a former soldier, I can tell you that my home is way to small to maneuver a shotgun or other long-barreled weapon in the event of an emergency or home invasion.

What bothers me is when people who claim to be freedom-loving want to ban all firearms. If you read any history book, you'll realize that banning something doesn't make it unavailable. The cop who replied earlier is right. Criminals who misuse weapons won't care if they're legal or not. In fact, if they're illegal, it makes them that much more valuable.

Anyway, I am certainly not a fan of fringe groups who believe they're waiting for the apocalypse or a massive race war so they can "exercise their rights." To me, exercising your second amendment rights means three things: Hunting, home defense, and honing skills.

Good discussion, guys.
"What bothers me is when people who claim to be freedom-loving want to ban all firearms. If you read any history book, you'll realize that banning something doesn't make it unavailable. The cop who replied earlier is right. Criminals who misuse weapons won't care if they're legal or not. In fact, if they're illegal, it makes them that much more valuable."

You mean there are still guns on the streets of Chicago?!?! You mean there are still shootings there almost every weekend despite it being illegal to own a handgun there?!?! You mean prohibition of commodities drive them to an unregulated black market? Oh my, what is this world coming too!
I'm for regulations, especially when it comes to criminals. I also feel that owning a gun should be like driving a car, you should be licensed and take a gun safety class and prove that you are mentally competent. I hate the idea of any moron yielding a deadly weapon. My dad was robbed at an ATM at gunpoint a few years ago, and a friend of mine Micah Reitz here in Erie, PA was shot three times in the back randomly, luckily he survived but his life isn't the same.http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080918/NEWS02/80... There was also a guy here in Erie a couple weeks ago who had mental illness (and a gun!), he shot and killed his wife and two girls. http://yourerie.com/fulltext?nxd_id=146706 He shot his infant son as well but the bullet grazed the baby's ear. On my street there have been two drug related shootings in the last year, I have two children so it's kinda scary! My views have really changed because of personal experiences. I'm afraid to go out of my house at night or to let my kids play in the front yard. Everyone shouldn't have guns.
I just have one more thought on the mentally competent stance. My husband's grandfather who had dimentia pulled a loaded shotgun out on a male caregiver, the family thought that they had gotten rid of all his guns but he had one hidden under his mattress!
It's things like that that are wrong with how guns are regulated; people who have no business owning a gun being allowed to keep guns. I don't care about the blind guy who owns a gun, I don't care about the guy with no hands who owns a gun, I care about the guy bought a gun when he was sane and subsequently lost his mind.

I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with compelling people to register a gun. We have to register if we want to protest, we have to register if we want to petition, hell, even religions have to register for tax exempt status; what makes gun ownership rights more special than those? Why don't we have a system to take firearms away from the deranged? Why don't we have a system where, "Oh, I see you've beaten your wife. We're taking your guns away."

Sure knives can kill, pencils can kill; but you can probably walk away from a stabbing a lot easier than you can walk away from a gun shot.

If you just want to look at the context of 2nd Amendment, it was written in a time when guns didn't have a fraction of the destructive power that they have now. Guns in the 18th century had one mode of firing: slow. If you shot someone you had to wait 30 seconds before you could shoot again; semi-automatic and fully automatic were witchcraft. Rifling was a new concept and accuracy was something hoped for, not standardized.
Luis, where are you from? It's NOT OK that some municipalities try to require protesters and petition collectors to register. These are two infringements on the rights to assemble and to petition the government enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. I hate it when those who don't care about their rights, are so eager to sacrifice MY rights. Christians always tell me that they don't mind being required to say a prayer as part of the oaths used in courtrooms. Don't be too quick to squander our civil rights. Next time they may come for you.
Luis, you say,"We have to register if we want to protest, we have to register if we want to petition"
This quote comes to mind.
"They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."
Lets not compare this with the Holocaust.
Susan, why is it politically incorrect to compare anything else to the Holocaust? We say, "Never again!". How can we prevent injustice, cruelty, and barbarism, unless we recognise the human urges and attitudes that would allow it to happen again? It HAS happened again and again and again. All over the world. The writer, Singer (**I.*beshevis sp.? Singer) not the exact quote, "In their behavior toward animals, all men are Nazis." When we don't see tyranny and injustice except toward our own group, it wiil happen again. Look at the Sudan. Pol Pot. What happened to the Armenians by Turkey (and denied).
Why is it politically incorrect to compare anything else to the Holocaust? We say, "Never again!" but, unless we see the similarities in all injustices and brutalities, it will happen again. And it has. Pol Pot, Sudan, the Armenians in Turkey. And yes, always, to animals.
Isaac Bashevis Singer wrote, "In his thoughts, Herman spoke a eulogy for the mouse who had shared a portion of her life with him and who, because of him, had left this earth "What do they know - all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world - about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka." - "The Letter Writer" from The Seance and Other Stories
Because Hitler owned a dog and therefore you're evil.

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