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Tag Archives: guns
July 25, 2012Posted by on
Alright, here’s the deal. I understand this is a hyper-polarizing issue, so please keep the comments clean and mature, and above all else, productive. I mean no disrespect to anybody affected by a gun-related crimes. But I sincerely want to make my position known, and yearn to help improve the human race through thought reason and rationality – NOT fear.
We do NOT need stricter gun laws, nor would they result in less crime. Actually, making owning guns illegal would just make more upstanding citizens suddenly become criminals… Crime would increase instantly, intrinsically, because of this simple fact. Seriously, if guns were illegal in my country, I’d be a criminal because I would still find a way to get them. And I’m not a crazy murderous fuck, now am I?
I do not have this opinion out of blind partisanship. I am a registered Democrat, and mostly Liberal in my opinions on world politics. I always form my opinions through a process of deducing logic from careful thought, research, and evidence. In most cases this tends to align with liberal Democratic views, hence that’s my party, but I (unlike most) do not tow the party line “just because”, nor do I absorb and regurgitate other people’s words because I was lazy to do my own homework.
And I know that sounds a bit condescending, but it’s the truth. Don’t label me condescending just because I’m pointing out a sad truth – I wish desperately I were being truly condescending, because that would mean most of the world thinks rationally, and I’m just full of myself. But no, most of the world are followers. The blind leading the blind.
Another truth: Americans (and the world) tend to overreact to isolated incidents of mass crime. It’s because we as a species are fearful creatures. We saw this after 9/11 – Some bad people used airplanes – ONCE, ever in history – to commit a heinous crime, and what did we do? We racked up exorbitant costs creating agencies and placing travel regulations that further restricted our freedoms, and threw our nation into fear and turmoil. Let’s not get too far off-track, though. But I’ll pose a rhetorical question: Was there ever even an attempt of a similar crime since then? Did all this security successfully prevent a single thing? No. Not once. It was 100% a complete waste. You so much as raise your voice on a plane these days, and passengers will subdue you before letting something like that happen again, no TSA needed.
But back on track….
Every time there is a mass shooting, the world revisits gun laws. Should people own guns? Just how easy is it to purchase guns? The problem is, most of the people that talk about this issue have no idea what they are talking about, yet their voices are heard, and influence perceptions just as much as those who are informed. It leads to this terribly counter-productive degradation of rational thought that is then passed down generation to generation, and represents a measured de-evolution of society. It’s scary, way scarier than the chance I get mowed down by a maniac with a gun, let me tell ya’.
I don’t mean that in an arrogant way either. Allow me to explain: I just got done arguing with a person who believes gun laws should be more strict. Earlier today I had one with a person who thinks that nobody should own a gun, and they should be made completely illegal. Both of these people actually believe their words, despite the fact that both of them have never owned a gun, and have no idea what the purchasing process is like, nor had any idea what classifies a “military grade” weapon. They both thought “seni-automatic” means full-auto for crying out loud. So they were arguing for something they actually knew nothing about. How could those be their own thoughts? It’s not possible. They, like many others, were simply reciting someone else’s rhetoric.
First, let’s go over what I have to do to buy a gun:
- Must provide proof of residency in the county in which I am purchasing.
- Must have a valid photo ID issued in the state I am purchasing and have residency.
- Must submit to and pay for a background check upon every purchased firearm.
- Must submit my fingerprints upon every purchase.
- Must wait 10 days from point-of-sale, to actually picking up my firearm.
- Restricted to only one firearm purchase per grace period.
- Cannot purchase magazines with capacities greater than 10 rounds.
- Cannot have detachable magazines on rifles (must use a “bullet button”).
- Cannot purchase fully-automatic weapons without special permit (this is true of most states).
Now you tell me (perhaps in the comments below) – How exactly do you suggest we make that process more strict, aside from making it illegal altogether? And just how long and how much energy should we spend trying to figure that out?
People who argue gun laws should be more strict often times don’t understand just how strict they already are. It’s illegal to carry a loaded firearm in public in many states. It’s illegal to carry a loaded weapon concealed in all (or almost all) states without a special permit. It’s illegal to carry an UN-LOADED weapon in the open in some states (and/or just plain stupid, a good way to get shot by a cop with an itchy trigger-finger).
Now, in Aurora, CO, what Holmes did was very illegal. He still did it. You can’t purchase fire bombs in stores, they are very illegal. It didn’t stop him from finding a way to get or make them, did it? Why do people think had guns been illegal, he wouldn’t have just found some other way (on the black market, for example) to obtain what he wanted; the same way he got materials for his bombs? Do you really think what happened wouldn’t have happened the same exact way?? Just follow your own logic here; if that’s what you believe (guns being illegal would have stopped him from going on a shooting spree), then fire bombs should have never been rigged in his apartment. But there were… By your own logic, you have just contradicted yourself (“you” directed only at those supporting the argument I am referring to here).
Crazy people will be crazy, regardless of the law. Criminals are notorious for breaking the law. Why would you think bad or crazy people would abide by the law if it said “You cannot own guns”? Who could possibly argue or believe that?
But people do. They rely on “statistics” and “facts” as word of God, and throw logic to the wind in the process. Like studies that show gun-related crime rates in other countries are far less, per capita, than the United States. Many people think “It’s because they have stricter gun laws, or guns are illegal.” But they aren’t taking into consideration that their conclusion is inherently flawed. Maybe it’s not their strict gun laws; maybe it’s the better healthcare they have to treat mentally ill people. Maybe it’s the lower unemployment rate, so less of their citizens have to resort to crime to survive. Maybe it’s the environment in which they are raised (different media, different multimedia, etc). Maybe it’s a combination of all those things, and more. There are so many variables to consider, that no one study has ever (or ever will) adequately cover.
So to think that stricter gun laws – alone – would suddenly make America’s gun-related crimes decrease is an incredibly presumptuous idea, one backed by no truly scientifically sound data. It’s no better than a hunch at that point. I’m not willing to sacrifice freedoms for a hunch.
Now at the risk of sounding like a radical, I want to mention the most basic, fundamental fact that motivates me the most: It is my right and responsibility to bear arms. It is how my country was founded; citizens taking up arms against an oppressive government. Hell, by all indications, my current-day modern government may be encroaching dangerously on oppressive territory yet again. What if one day they are as-oppressive, if not more oppressive, than Great Britain used to be back in the 1700′s when they owned America? How will I secure my childrens’ futures if I sit back today and allow my government to systematically disarm me and my fellow citizens?
It would be terribly irresponsible of me, wouldn’t it? Can you definitively say the United States will never have a period of revolution ever again? I know I can’t say that. Imagine if back in the 1700′s, Great Britain made owning firearms illegal. Boy our world would be different today, wouldn’t it? Or would it… Maybe we’d have still found ways to get our firearms, and revolt. Whatever you believe in this regard, I’ve made my point!! Think about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a crazed fanatic screaming out for revolution against my government – I am specifically *not* saying that. I am simply trying to make a point. Both on a practical level (bad people will continue being bad, even if it means breaking the law to do so), and on a less practical level (I may need to revolt against my oppressive government one day) – in both cases, the argument seems pretty logical here. Restricting gun laws are counter-productive, and only serve to hurt us, with very little chance of helping in the big picture.
Now, for some statistics since advocates of stricter gun laws seem to like to cite them so often….
Add up the aggregate gun-related deaths across America, including mass shootings, all-time. And it still doesn’t even come close to other deaths caused by much more common, more easy-to-obtain substances. Alcohol and Tobacco DEMOLISH the # of deaths by several orders of magnitude (add several zeroes on the end of the Gun deaths, and you’ll get Alcohol and Tobacco). Apples and Oranges you say? Alcohol and Tobacco aren’t violent crimes, those deaths are almost always accidental so it’s different. Okay then: There are almost as many Knife-related murders in the U.S. each year as Guns (I mean it, look it up). It’s like ~10,000 knife deaths, ~12,000 gun deaths annually, according to several reports. Should we outlaw knives, too? What about forks and spoons?
I am intentionally not sourcing my statistics for two reasons. One: I am trying to encourage positive behavior reform. If you want to argue with me, look up the facts yourself. You’ll find out your assumptions are probably wrong, and I succeed in improving your contributions to society’s current affairs. And two: No one report has it all, and every report tends to contradict another. The people who create the reports do it for a reason, and very few independent studies are truly independent (if you see where their funding comes from, you can get an idea for their agenda).
Nevertheless, I don’t want to be publicly humiliated by stating wrong things, so I’m not just blowing smoke here despite not citing sources.
Yes, people will do bad things. But do you really want to live your life in fear? Just how much freedom are you willing to sacrifice under the tattered veil of safety? Do you really believe making guns illegal (the strictest form of gun law) will stop bad people from being bad people? Why would that make you feel safer? I feel safer because I am armed. If I were in that situation, I’d have been able to fight back against the crazed gunman and save lives – possibly my own. That makes me feel safe. The real crazy thing here is, if I were carrying a concealed weapon illegally and killed Holmes before he murdered a dozen people in that theater, I’d be the one going to jail right now the way our gun law is currently written. To make that law even stricter would just mean to make that circumstance even crazier.
So that said, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Did I change anybody’s mind with this post? Please, I beg you, don’t dig your heels into the ground stubbornly just because your parents think something, or because you heard it on CNN, or because you’re a Liberal (which I am, by the way). Please think about what I’ve said here, do some research of your own if you don’t believe me, and really think rationally about this issue. Do you really believe more reform to gun laws is what we need to be laser-focused on right now? Of all the issues in our country (and world), is that the thing that needs our primary attention? Or any attention, for that matter, before the rest?