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The Pros and Cons of Gun Rights

The Bill of Rights gives us the right to bear arms. But guns are getting in the wrong hands. Is it really a good idea?

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    Jul 30 2012: You don't allow all arms or weaponry to be available to citizens.
    No nukes.
    No tanks.
    It's probably appropriate to consider where the line is drawn.
    Military rifles? Automatic weapons?
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    Jul 30 2012: Here is a short cut to a conversation I started earlier on a similar topic regarding controling access to ammunition rather than the guns themselves. http://www.ted.com/conversations/12846/an_alternative_form_of_gun_con.html
  • Jul 30 2012: From what I have seen, the logic for less gun-control has been rather weak. The idea of "if you take away a citizen's access to guns, he will not be able to defend himself from criminals who do have such guns" seems rather flawed. There are two scenarios that I would like to look at. The first scenario is the unexpected assault. If one does not know that there is danger, they are most likely not going to be carrying their firearms. (If they do, then a sizable amount of the population will be carrying firearms almost constantly. This seems like a bad idea.) It would not matter if one owns a large firearm if they don't have it on them. The ability to own such a large weapon wouldn't help in a case of unexpected assault unless one carries a weapon.

    In the case of an expected assault, a law abiding citizen shouldn't be using firearms at all. If one know that someone is planning on attacking him/her, he/she should go to the authorities. The police should be the ones to handle the situation. If one needs to go into witness protection, that seems to be a much better option than being attacked. I just don't see the logic behind the argument.

    It seems like controlling assault weapons wouldn't be very hurtful. If assault weapons were not able to be kept in houses, I actually think tracking gun smuggling would be easier. Right now, if someone has a certain weapons, they could be acquired legally (as was the case in the horrible event that happened lately). The police can't simply look at it and know if it is a legally owned weapon. If they removed these sort of weapons from a civilian's household, it would be simpler to tell. If someone had a banned weapon, it would be illegal. It seems like it would take out some of the gray area. Of course, law enforcement would have to go through proper search warrants, and criminals would be clever about gun smuggling. Overall, I think that a certain amount of gun control is helpful and beneficial.
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      Jul 30 2012: People are smart, and access to just about anything almost is made possible and easy. We won't be able to stop the access of guns. It just isn't possible without taking away the rights of others. So there just needs to be a smarter, more effective, and more feasible way to attack the problem. A lot of people have concluded that we need to fix the people themselves, not the guns or lack thereof.
  • Jul 29 2012: This is a very complex debate, but I personally would not mind some stricter gun control measures.

    I'd first like to note that gun control is not the removal of all firearms but rather the regulation of firearms. When most people support gun-control, they are normally not trying to deny people from owning any gun but from owning especially dangerous weapons that have very little helpful purpose.

    That being said, I don't think we should limit activities like hunting. Hunter should be able to hunt, but normally they use rifles or hunting shotguns. That's totally fine in my opinion as long as they go through the proper gun ownership process. Self-defense weapons are another type of firearm which would be excluded from gun control laws. Normally these would mainly include hand guns.

    However, assault weapons are a different story. In my opinion, assault or rifles really are not needed by any person other than military combatants. There is no functional use for them in society. They are not effective in hunting (or more effective than a regular hunting rifle) nor are they necessary to defend one's self. If they are necessary to defend one's self, that person is probably in a very serious situation in which they should contact the authorities and get them to protect him/her. It really seems like the whole point of owning these guns is either 1) to cause harm to others or 2) simply have them for the "fun" of having them. I see neither as a legitimate reason to have them in society. It seems like a much better way would be to allow people to own these sort of assault weapons, but they should only be able to store and use them in the context of a police/military armory.
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    Jul 29 2012: I find this entire debate an interesting one!

    The real, true problem is much deeper then the rights to bare arms. The people committing these terrible crimes have something that is wrong with them, that is either not being treated or has never been noticed. Instead of a look at whether guns are the problem, why dont we look at better being able to identify possible perputraitors of these crimes.

    Lets look at this another way. There are millions of people within the United States that own and use guns responsibly. Whether it is recreation or hunting, there is really no need to take this right away from people, especially not because of a few incidents a year.

    Now I think the biggest reason why people are so ready to blaim the core reason on guns is because of its shear power and the amount of force that can be used with it.

    Well think of it this way. There are millions of people who own and us cars/trucks responsibly. There are a certain few who like to drink before they drive. Those drivers end up killing people. A car has a ton of force behind it. But, everytime we hear about a drunk driver killing someone, there is not a huge wave of people saying we should ban all cars from the road; they say we should stop drunk driving.

    THen, what we really should be saying is we need to stop irresponsible use of weapons!
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      Jul 29 2012: While I agree with pretty much everything you said, I just want to point out that the difference between guns and cars is that, cars have more beneficial uses than killing people. So what is a beneficial use for guns?
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        Jul 29 2012: There are many benefits, but I think they are often hidden behind this issue. Many people, especially in the rural and farming communties use them for hunting. Hunting is not only a huge recreational sport, it is also a source for food, clothing and various other materials.

        There are other hobbies in which guns are included, but in terms of thier actual use, I think this is pretty good picture of the scenario.
        • Jul 29 2012: I do believe that you have a good analogy with your cars scenario Matt, but I share James's stance. While you point out hunting as a good example, there are relatively few other positive functions of firearms. That also being said, when people talk about gun control, they normally a referring to the removal of high-power assault weapons. The productive uses of those weapons is very very limited. It seems like the only person who would need the use of these kind of firearms would be someone who was involved with a police force/SWAT team. I see what you are saying about hunting, but there are very few other beneficial uses of firearms.
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        Jul 29 2012: ONe nothing in the game of life between the opinions of james and maxx

        It comes as no surprise that maxxie is American. I have to respond- why not do both?. Let some legislate guns away (OH wait - that will not work because Charlton Heston and his NRA plants and buddies will not allow their profit margin to decline) and others like you can work to pass legislation for help those who are criminals - (Oh wait, it appears there is no will for THAT!)
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          Jul 29 2012: Debra,

          In all reality that is what, in my guess, what will happen. I think the legislation around guns is tricky because even if they are passed and enforced, they are likely to cause more problems then they solve. The medium is already there, so if you try and take a part of the medium away people will still want it, and thus having to break the laws to get it.

          I agree with your second point, the entire process of criminilization could be reformed to help the criminals with the problems that got them there in the first place.

          Thanks for another great contribution Debra!
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          Jul 29 2012: Guns in general are designed to kill. When people think of guns, they don't think of paintball guns, water guns, or glue guns, etc. They think of the ones that kill people.

          Pencils are designed to write. But little do people realize, it can also be a killing tool too. Oh no, pencils are everywhere in school! We must ban the pencils or else everyone will stab each other to death!

          So my point is, there can be a few ideas I just got:
          1) Make safer guns
          Guns that don't kill but get the job done for self-defense purposes. That way insecure people can get these safer guns for self-defense but won't do the more permanent damage of killing others.

          2) An gun for a good cause
          There was another forum post around here where there was a gatling gun on a helicopter or something that can shoot seeds to replant deforested parts of the world. It was a gatling gun for a good cause. I can't think of other ideas to make guns a benefit of society, but I'm sure there's much more.
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        Jul 29 2012: Wow a gatling gun for reforesting - now that is an idea worth spreading! It is a double whammy! It takes a murder weapon out of circulation and plants trees! What's not to love?
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          Jul 30 2012: I know right?? It sounds pretty fun too imo
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    Jul 29 2012: I would recommend reading this article: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/04/23/120423fa_fact_lepore?currentPage=all. (It's a long read, but well worth it.) The Second Amendment is interpreted differently now than it has been in the past... as is the case with almost any statement (religious texts, books, quotes, etc.)
    • Jul 29 2012: That is a very informative article that brings up many ideas that are very helpful in understanding this topic. Thank you for your contribution. I found it incredibly interesting that many guns have been historically held in armories as compared to individual's households. Also the article brings up a very valid point that the guns of the 1700s were much different than the guns of today.
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    Jul 29 2012: The biggest con I can imagine is DEAD PEOPLE!
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    Jul 30 2012: if hamburger causes heart failure, should we ban hamburgers? if we have a lot of car accidents, should we ban cars? if alcohol causes crazy behavior, should we ban alcohol? can we simply look at statistics, and establish the "right" way to live, and then impose it on everyone? do you want to live in such a world?

    it is my decision. if i want to own a gun, on what grounds can you claim to know better? you want to take my gun just because some stupid guy was reckless, and his 5 years old kid shot himself with his? you want to take my gun because criminals rob banks with theirs? you want to take my gun because you believe i will not be able to defend myself with it? who are you to make that decision? it is my gun. get off.
  • Jul 30 2012: Sadlly, people murder other people or kill or mess up other people. There are so many issues. For instructional purposes in the US How could we catch killers without guns. or at least consider who did it if they Aren'g holding a smoking gun. That sick guy in Colorado would have killed more with gasoline or as many with a good sword. No this is not as weird as it initially sounds There is a ceremonial or whatever quality to this. Consider suicide by a Japanese on Mount Fuji. a tea ceremony? Some foreigners took outt three of the U.S.'s tallest buildings and several thousand people with box cutters.but consider that their goals transcended just murder.What am I trying to say ? No Man is an Island, and we are all interconnected. It's a dangerous World Charlie Brown and maybe more so than it should be or is intended to be. We talkers and listeners may have a blueprint for the others, but they tune out so quickly.