TED Conversations

Bob Dohse


This conversation is closed.

What gun-control or gun-rights reference is YOUR preferred source of factual information on the subject?

What published gun-control or gun-rights reference is YOUR preferred source of factual information on the subject?

Everyone, it seems, has an OPINION of guns and the limits of their legitimate use within society (if any). But upon WHAT is your opinion based? And WHY is that referenced source important for YOUR opinion.

Please share a published source of your choice, so others might better understand why you chose YOUR opinion.

And please share WHY that information is important to YOUR opinion.

The conversation is in English, but not limited to only the current debate within the United States.

Facts from around the globe are welcomed, but please don't presume that every nation or citizen must accept YOUR nation's laws, culture, or political process.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation in a considerate exchange of information. :-)


Closing Statement from Bob Dohse

It was interesting to read the different opinions people have on issues related to guns, and also their perspectives which help shape their opinions.

While we might not all agree on every point, I think we demonstrated that it was possible to have an agreeable discussion. That could possibly change in a situation where winners and losers were picked, but we avoided that problem with a TED "question" and not a TED "debate".

Perhaps there's a lesson in this ... that we might possibly be more agreeable citizens if we can somehow (as much as possible) search more for agreement and less for victory. Granted that this is not always possible, it's still a thought to ponder.

If I can keep a gun and find a way to keep my neighbor (who is not a gun advocate) happy, then we both end up happy. Conversely, if I can easily and willingly do something that addresses my neighbor's concerns (perhaps a gun safe to insure safety for children), then we are also both happy.

As a parting comment ... many thanks to Matt MacBradaigh, who provided links to other articles he's written and, thus, shared yet another avenue to exchange information.

And thanks to all for a pleasant dialog without rants and rages.

Warm regards.

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    May 3 2013: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
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      May 3 2013: That's a GREAT place to start, Ed. Thanks.
    • May 3 2013: Hi Ed,

      I agree that is and should be the foundation for American discussion of gun control.

      It is also why I believe the SCOTUS rulings are so relevant. For instance, one sometimes sees gun control advocates reference the "well regulated" part as justification that more laws (i.e. regulations) are constitutional. However, the Supreme Court states in Heller in the context of providing the historical context of the words as they were understood at the time of ratifcation that "well regulated" means:

      "the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training." (p. 23)

      This enlightens us to know that the words "well regulated" as they can be used today, didn't have the same meaning then, and therefor the basis for the rationale that gun control laws are constitutional *because of* the words "well regulated" is unfounded. It's not a caveat, it's state of being.

      This is just an example. But it highlights the importance of deep understanding of the law and the historical context for the law.
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        May 3 2013: A very complementary thought ... the original text and the relevant Supreme Court decisions that focus like a laser upon the parts that society misunderstood, providing explanations and definitions on the Constitution's meaning.

        Thank you both, Ed and Matt, for your contributions.
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        May 3 2013: Thanks Matt. I very much appreciate your thoroughness. I assume your references are accurate and properly cited. I am amazed that anything other than exactly what the words say can be put forth as a valid argument against the right of citizens to own firearms. I understand the morphing of meanings over time is what is happening, but, still, it seems 100% unambiguous in the original wording. I am better prepared for the next argument because of what you have shared regarding the meaning of "well regulated". Shame on me for not knowing that before, but thanks again! Be well.

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