View Poll Results: Your view on private gun ownership in America
Guns are positively good 22 18.18%
Guns are a necessary evil 24 19.83%
Guns are bad, period 21 17.36%
Other answer 54 44.63%
Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 11-08-2019, 11:23 AM
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Views on private gun ownership (4 categories)


This would have been better suited to GD, but polling can't be done there:

AIUI there are four categories of people when it comes to the private ownership of guns in America; feel free to select as you see fit:

  1. Guns are a positive good. Gun ownership, and gun rights, should remain as robust as they are, or even expanded all the more freely.
  2. Guns are a necessary evil. This would describe everyone, for instance, who says "I don't like guns, but the Constitution grants gun rights, so we have to abide by the 2nd Amendment and tolerate guns." A good portion of the gun-control crowd would also fit in this category.
  3. Guns are outright bad, period. This would describe people who want to significantly curtail guns or even ban their private ownership entirely.
  4. Other: For all categories of people not included in the top three.
  #2  
Old 11-08-2019, 11:25 AM
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I voted #1 (no surprise there)
  #3  
Old 11-08-2019, 11:30 AM
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I voted "other," since I'm somewhere between 1 and 2. but not quite either. I don't think they are a necessary evil, and I don't think gun right should remain as robust as they are (or even expanded).

I think people should be able to own regular guns (hand guns, rifles and shotguns) for their homes, for sport (including hunting) and to make them feel more secure. I'd be fine with bans on "assault weapons."

Last edited by Procrustus; 11-08-2019 at 11:33 AM.
  #4  
Old 11-08-2019, 11:32 AM
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I voted other. In certain contexts, guns are necessary and useful. Outside of those contexts, guns cause more problems than they solve.

I don't think the language about good and evil adds much to the discussion.
  #5  
Old 11-08-2019, 11:38 AM
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Guns are outright bad, period. This would describe people who want to significantly curtail guns or even ban their private ownership entirely.
There's a big difference between "I want to curtail private gun ownership" and "Guns are outright bad, period."

So I vote other.
  #6  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:00 PM
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Outright bad, but with exceptions. If you're a rancher who might sometimes have to shoot a snake or a coyote, sure carry a pistol. If you're an hour from a police station, maybe having a pistol or shotgun is necessary. If you're hunting, sure you need a gun for that purpose. But if you think you should have assault weapons, then you lose me.
  #7  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:05 PM
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I would have phrased the poll as you did in the OP rather than as it was, but given the explanation, #1.

Owning guns for target shooting or hunting is a positive good. Owning guns for defensive purposes is more of a necessary evil, but therefore gun ownership for the average citizen - i.e. not a felon nor adjudicated mentally ill - should be expanded and gun ownership for felons and the mentally ill should be restricted to the degree possible.

By "a necessary evil" I mean it would be better if there were no violent crime, either where the criminal used a gun or where the strong preyed on the weak, but that is not going to happen anytime soon.

FWIW.

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  #8  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:08 PM
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Other. All 3 options seem comically and extremely simplified.
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
This would have been better suited to GD, but polling can't be done there:

AIUI there are four categories of people when it comes to the private ownership of guns in America; feel free to select as you see fit:

  1. ...
  2. Guns are a necessary evil. This would describe everyone, for instance, who says "I don't like guns, but the Constitution grants gun rights, so we have to abide by the 2nd Amendment and tolerate guns." A good portion of the gun-control crowd would also fit in this category.
  3. Guns are outright bad, period. This would describe people who want to significantly curtail guns
There's clearly a lot of overlap between #2 and #3, since the whole point of gun control is curtailing guns. Might want to ask a mod to close this poll down, and open up a new one with categories with more minimal overlap.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 11-08-2019 at 12:11 PM.
  #10  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:11 PM
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I'm in favor of gun control; in the sense that, if there is a gun around, I want to be the one in control of it. More seriously, Shodan has already said it better than I would have.
  #11  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:14 PM
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Other. Guns are tooled metal devices.
  #12  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by kevlaw View Post
I voted other. In certain contexts, guns are necessary and useful. Outside of those contexts, guns cause more problems than they solve.

I don't think the language about good and evil adds much to the discussion.
Seconding all parts of this.
  #13  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:39 PM
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Guns need to be highly regulated. Right now, automobiles and the right to drive them are significantly more regulated than guns and gun ownership, and there is something very wrong with that.
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  #14  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
Right now, automobiles and the right to drive them are significantly more regulated than guns and gun ownership
Are you sure about that? Can you expand on this and give examples?
  #15  
Old 11-08-2019, 01:01 PM
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Guns need to be highly regulated. Right now, automobiles and the right to drive them are significantly more regulated than guns and gun ownership, and there is something very wrong with that.
I'm not sure that first part of your second sentence is even true. Yes, rules vary by state, but all across the country, convicted felons can own automobiles, but not guns. Same goes for those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes or those who have a restraining order issued against them. An 18-year-old can buy a car from a dealership but not a pistol from an FFL. And those are just some of the federal regulations. Some states, like Illinois, are MUCH more restrictive of gun ownership.

But even if you were correct, why is "something very wrong with that"? The right of the people to keep and bear arms is listed in the Bill of Right. It says nothing about automobiles.
  #16  
Old 11-08-2019, 01:09 PM
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But even if you were correct, why is "something very wrong with that"? The right of the people to keep and bear arms is listed in the Bill of Right. It says nothing about automobiles.
Automobiles are a necessity in America as it presently exists: if all motor vehicles in the nation magically disappeared tomorrow, we'd be screwed. If the same thing happened to guns, we'd be much better off.

The Constitution may say what it says, but if it doesn't fit well with the reality we live in, that's a real problem.
  #17  
Old 11-08-2019, 01:15 PM
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I voted other. In certain contexts, guns are necessary and useful. Outside of those contexts, guns cause more problems than they solve.

I don't think the language about good and evil adds much to the discussion.
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Originally Posted by snfaulkner View Post
Other. All 3 options seem comically and extremely simplified.
Pretty much these two. It's not really a useful poll in that respect.

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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
I'm not sure that first part of your second sentence is even true. Yes, rules vary by state, but all across the country, convicted felons can own automobiles, but not guns. Same goes for those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes or those who have a restraining order issued against them. An 18-year-old can buy a car from a dealership but not a pistol from an FFL. And those are just some of the federal regulations. Some states, like Illinois, are MUCH more restrictive of gun ownership.
Conversely you need to pass both theory and practical examinations in order to operate a car and (AFAIK in all states) must renew that operator's license regularly, which is not the case with guns. Cars must be registered with the state if you want to be able to use them and must meet stringent safety standards as verified by regular inspections (requirements vary by state), which is not the case with guns. You are required to purchase third party liability insurance in most if not all states to mitigate any damage, injury or death caused by the improper use of cars, which is not the case with guns. Use of a car while intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated is illegal, even if no detriment occurs or other laws are broken - I'm not aware of any similar laws for guns. And that's just off the top of my head.

Last edited by Gyrate; 11-08-2019 at 01:16 PM.
  #18  
Old 11-08-2019, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by snfaulkner View Post
Other. All 3 options seem comically and extremely simplified.
Also Other. Guns are tools.
  #19  
Old 11-08-2019, 02:06 PM
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... Use of a car while intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated is illegal, even if no detriment occurs or other laws are broken - I'm not aware of any similar laws for guns. ...
At least on this point, you are mis/uninformed.

Quote:
We found three types of laws in 26 states that restrict firearm use by intoxicated people: sales or transfers are restricted in six states, carrying of concealed weapons is restricted in four states, and possession or discharge of a firearm while intoxicated is restricted in 20 states.
source
  #20  
Old 11-08-2019, 02:17 PM
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At least on this point, you are mis/uninformed.



source
Except his point was that cars are more regulated. 50 states is more than 20 or 26.
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  #21  
Old 11-08-2019, 02:19 PM
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Voted other.

They definitely aren't a pure poistively good,
they also aren't generally necessary, as many societies seem to do just fine (better) without them, so that rules out necessary evil.
and finally I also don't think that they are wholly evil.

They are a tool that we would probably be better off without, but which many people seem to gain pleasure from having around, and aren't going to be willing to give up. So I accept that we are stuck with them, but wish that the damage they cause could be mitigated with legislation.
  #22  
Old 11-08-2019, 02:23 PM
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Other. All 3 options seem comically and extremely simplified.
Quite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
Guns need to be highly regulated.
The context of the 2nd was that no citizen would be denied the right to bear arms in defense of the nation, contra the British practice of excluding classes of subjects from the military. "A well-regulated militia" would consist of firearms owners meeting regularly (like monthly) for training and discipline. Non-militia-members carrying firearms in public would face severe punishment. Militia members would need reason to carry in public.

IMHO private firearm ownership can't effectively be banned in the US. Too many are out in the wild already, and 3D printers can fabricate weapons stealthily. But carrying in public CAN and MUST be controlled. Otherwise we all, cops and civilians alike, MUST assume that everyone is carrying. Do you feel threatened? Shoot first, or you die.
  #23  
Old 11-08-2019, 02:32 PM
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This from West Wing pretty much sums it up for me:

TILLINGHOUSE
Honest to goodness, John, this isn't a political maneuver.

HOYNES
I know.

TILLINGHOUSE
I'm voting my conscience.

HOYNES
I know.

TILLINGHOUSE
You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. Two hundred and forty million
guns out there. How're you gonna get them back?

HOYNES
You can't.

TILLINGHOUSE
Of course not. And as long as they've got a gun, I want my wife to have a gun,
I want my daughter to have a gun, and damn it, I want one too.

HOYNES
Makes perfect sense.
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  #24  
Old 11-08-2019, 05:17 PM
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Voted other.

They definitely aren't a pure poistively good,
they also aren't generally necessary, as many societies seem to do just fine (better) without them, so that rules out necessary evil.
and finally I also don't think that they are wholly evil.

They are a tool that we would probably be better off without, but which many people seem to gain pleasure from having around, and aren't going to be willing to give up. So I accept that we are stuck with them, but wish that the damage they cause could be mitigated with legislation.
Huh, I just realized that although the issues involved are very different, my view on guns pretty much exactly matches my views on drugs and alcohol.
  #25  
Old 11-08-2019, 08:06 PM
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I'm a gun owner who would be happy with East Asian levels of regulation.

I'd be fine with a society where guns are as rare as bazookas in civilian hands.

However we'd never get the current guns off the street.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 11-08-2019 at 08:06 PM.
  #26  
Old 11-08-2019, 08:20 PM
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I voted Other.

Guns can be used for good or bad. But overall, guns cause more problems than they solve.
  #27  
Old 11-08-2019, 09:19 PM
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I clicked "Other Answer", Guns are neither good nor evil in themselves, the good or evil comes from the person holding them
  #28  
Old 11-08-2019, 09:58 PM
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Conversely you need to pass both theory and practical examinations in order to operate a car and (AFAIK in all states) must renew that operator's license regularly, which is not the case with guns. Cars must be registered with the state if you want to be able to use them and must meet stringent safety standards as verified by regular inspections (requirements vary by state), which is not the case with guns. You are required to purchase third party liability insurance in most if not all states to mitigate any damage, injury or death caused by the improper use of cars, which is not the case with guns. Use of a car while intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated is illegal, even if no detriment occurs or other laws are broken - I'm not aware of any similar laws for guns. And that's just off the top of my head.
All that aside, motor vehicles have VINs stamped all over them, referred to by a certificate of title. If you sell your car, you damn well better make sure you send in that part of the title where it says that you no longer have anything to do with that car, lest you face possible liability issues if the new owner misuses or abandons that car.

There is no corresponding mechanism with firearms. If you sell your gun to that guy over there, you need do no more than take his money. There is no record of your transaction or any was to find out about it, and gun rights advocates consistently oppose any form of database for keeping track of the movement of guns.
  #29  
Old 11-08-2019, 11:06 PM
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Other. All 3 options seem comically and extremely simplified.
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
Other. Guns are tooled metal devices.
Yep.

Next topic: 'Hinges: Inherently Wish-Washy?'
  #30  
Old 11-09-2019, 03:01 AM
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Guns are positively good. Don't be silly.
Guns are a necessary evil. Neither evil nor necessary.
Guns are bad, period. Policing, self-defense, hunting, hobby ... Where's the "period"?
Other.

Only a crackpot could answer anything but "Other." (Present company excepted, of course. )

It's not guns that bother me; it's America's gun culture that bothers me.

* Some Americans sacrifice their family's other needs to save up for an AR-15.
* A Black reaches for his driver's license in response to police order? Shoot him dead; he might be reaching for a (non-existent) gun.
* Someone cuts in line at the fast food joint? Kill him before he kills you.
* Alex Jones makes up some lie about a pizza parlor? Show up with your AR-15.
* Glock by the bedstand? Keep a round in the chamber to save a jiffy when the bad guy appears. Never mind toddler boy who might pull the trigger like he saw in a movie.
* Wife wants a nice vacation in Europe? "Can't go honey: I'd feel naked without my handgun."
* Discussion on the topic is impossible, especially when one side goes all crapola about "natural rights."
* Et cetera, et cetera.

Some Dopers are confused by my posts because they think I'm trying to prescribe: "Oh, you're gonna take away my AR-15, hunh? 2nd Commandment blah blah."
No; I'm just Describing what I see as a deeply flawed culture.
How could we even hope to look for solutions if we're not willing to understand and agree on the problems, while remaining sensible and clear-headed?

Last edited by septimus; 11-09-2019 at 03:03 AM.
  #31  
Old 11-09-2019, 04:13 AM
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Stupid poll. Objects aren't evil. Why not try again with a smarter poll?
  #32  
Old 11-09-2019, 10:54 AM
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Other.

I own 10 guns. All handed down to me. Couple of .22s, couple of shotguns, couple of large caliber lever action rifles, a .45 1911 and and .357.

I used to target and skeet shoot a lot back when I was a kid. So I'm very comfortable around them.

I do live remote, and get black bear sniffing around. Have used a gun to scare them away with a shot into a tree near them. When yelling at them and making noise just makes them more curious, it's pretty clear that other motivation is needed. I would never shoot one except as a last resort. I feel I live in their territory, not the other way around. Had to replace the shed door for the third time last summer because a bear ripped it off. Again. Oh well. It's what ya gotta do.

And as said, we do live remote. LEO's might make it here in 5-15 minutes. Haven't had to test it though. It would have to be the County or State Patrol. It would depend on where they are on their routes. If it's winter we could be pretty much boned unless the LEO in question is in a 4x4.

Lots of moose too. But they are friends as long as we respect each others space. They are natural grass mowers, for whatever 'grass' you could say we have (the Rocky Mountains are named that for a reason).

As I do like target shooting, I invested $1000 in a very accurate air rifle (so I have purchased an unconventional gun). Just started with that last summer. It's great. I was shooting from our deck and didn't even disturb my wife's nap.
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  #33  
Old 11-09-2019, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post

* Some Americans sacrifice their family's other needs to save up for an AR-15.
* A Black reaches for his driver's license in response to police order? Shoot him dead; he might be reaching for a (non-existent) gun.
* Someone cuts in line at the fast food joint? Kill him before he kills you.
* Alex Jones makes up some lie about a pizza parlor? Show up with your AR-15.
* Glock by the bedstand? Keep a round in the chamber to save a jiffy when the bad guy appears. Never mind toddler boy who might pull the trigger like he saw in a movie.
* Wife wants a nice vacation in Europe? "Can't go honey: I'd feel naked without my handgun."
* Discussion on the topic is impossible, especially when one side goes all crapola about "natural rights."
* Et cetera, et cetera.


No; I'm just Describing what I see as a deeply flawed culture.
I agree that the police have a propensity for unjustly shooting black men. Also, Edgar Madison Welch was a nut who shouldn't be allowed to handle anything more dangerous than a crayon. Guns should be secured out of reach of children.
OTOH, I'd like some actual examples of the other things you claim to be simply describing.
  #34  
Old 11-09-2019, 11:35 AM
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Guns as a sports item, as a hunting tool, as a collector's item, all of owned by someone who respects and keeps them properly, I'm fine with. I sure wouldn't think of telling any of the farmers or sports hunters I know to "leave the bunnies be". I'm more likely to say "cool, we've got half of lunch!"

Guns as The Symbol Of Freedom, scary, because the idea of violence equalling freedom is just fucked up.

A gun is no more a problem than a pair of scissors, a butcher's hatchett or a kitchen's oven. What can be a problem is the people using them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
* Wife wants a nice vacation in Europe? "Can't go honey: I'd feel naked without my handgun."
"... and am too stupid to find out whether carrying is legal where you want to go", apparently. I know we've had posters who believed that ownership of personal guns was just banned in all countries except the USA, but it's not the case.

Last edited by Nava; 11-09-2019 at 11:40 AM.
  #35  
Old 11-09-2019, 03:47 PM
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Other. All 3 options seem comically and extremely simplified.
This.

Although I did get into an argument with someone calling those who want people to own guns 'ammosexuals' and claiming that in absolutely NO WAY would privately owned weapons work in fighting against a government force [in the case of overthrowing the US or other government if it got froggy] until I pointed out a number of things ...

with the right machine shop equipment any competent tech can make all sorts of weapons and with access to my barn and the various plumbing supplies I can make quite sophisticated zip guns, many people including mrAru and myself can crank out 'ghost guns' til the cows come home.

there are privately owned weapons previously used in war - I saw a Lahey Mountain gun for sale with the right FFL licensing reasonably inexpensively, I know a number of people who love canons in the SCA and start battles with a ceremonial firing as a starting gun - and I propose that a 5 pound solid iron ball at terminal velocity would put a serious crimp in the day of anybody riding in an armored personnel carrier ... and any bunch that can hurl a punkin a mile and distribute seeds can just as easily toss a punkin full of IED downrange.

Any ammosexual who needs 30 rounds to mow down 5 guys is no match for someone with a sharpshooter tag that can take my russian sniper configured 91/30 and reach out and touch someone accurately at 750 meters ... and we have enough ammo to make any bunch of yahoos with less range time and actual range very uncomfortable.

And last bit - you know how many retired/demobilized military there are out there knocking around that have no shit shoot someone and see the splatter experience? My brother was in a hunting group that would go out and snipe their deer tickets into completion and never failed to make their quota ... it would be quite easy for any of them to turkey shoot a column of enemies with very little issue. These guys are not ammosexuals, they don't open carry an AR15 into a McDonalds, they don't need to prove how dangerous they are - they *know* how dangerous they are, and how dangerous weapons are in the wrong hands.
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  #36  
Old 11-10-2019, 11:00 AM
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Other - guns have no moral value and it's entirely on the owners.

Having said that, and noting that I'm not American: I favour relatively open ownership (so a very limited list of who can't own a gun - stuff like convicted violent offenders, people with restraining orders, the mentally ill, kids, the blind...) , but very strict controls on both ownership- competence testing, home security checks, regular relicencing, mandatory insurance etc. - and sales. Basically on par with what we do for cars, planes etc.
  #37  
Old 11-10-2019, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Guns are positively good. Don't be silly.
Guns are a necessary evil. Neither evil nor necessary.
Guns are bad, period. Policing, self-defense, hunting, hobby ... Where's the "period"?
Other.

Only a crackpot could answer anything but "Other." (Present company excepted, of course. )
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Other - guns have no moral value and it's entirely on the owners.

Having said that, and noting that I'm not American: I favour relatively open ownership (so a very limited list of who can't own a gun - stuff like convicted violent offenders, people with restraining orders, the mentally ill, kids, the blind...) , but very strict controls on both ownership- competence testing, home security checks, regular relicencing, mandatory insurance etc. - and sales. Basically on par with what we do for cars, planes etc.
What they said, mostly. Some people are a danger to themselves with rubber bands, others could own anything this side of Napalm and clusterbombs yet I'd be safe around them; if you have been trained and certified competent to handle firearms and adjunct devices safely and responsibly, and the people selling them to you have vetted you and left a reliable paper trail from factory to user, I am not particularly hung up on whatever tacticool options your weapon has or if you want one or six.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 11-10-2019 at 11:53 AM.
  #38  
Old 11-11-2019, 05:36 AM
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At least on this point, you are mis/uninformed.

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Except his point was that cars are more regulated. 50 states is more than 20 or 26.
Still, useful to know.
  #39  
Old 11-19-2019, 10:53 PM
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Guns are guns. Only people are evil.
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ashtura View Post
Guns are guns. Only people are evil.
Accordions don't play LADY OF SPAIN; people do. It's difficult on harmonica.

Firearms don't kill people; projectiles do. Outlaw RPGs, not their launchers, right?

Yes, people are more evil than their tools. But tools multiply the evil. A homicidal looney with a dull butter knife can commit less evil that one with an AK-47 with a few dozen full clips. My US Army M203 (M16 full-auto rifle with underslung grenade launcher) projected more firepower than a medieval army. Take THAT, crusaders!
  #41  
Old 11-20-2019, 09:33 AM
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I grew up in rural East Texas, and not even that long ago. I don't think I am old yet - 36?

Anyway, when we were growing up, guns were a tool. They weren't toys. As part of our high school curriculum there were two paths: Home Ec and Ag. In ag, which I took, we all had to get a hunting license and demonstrate that we could be responsible with some sort of fire arm. If I remember, it was a bolt action 3030. Nobody tolerated a jackass with a gun. We never thought about guns much, and when we wanted to go pig hunting or something, we went and borrowed the appropriate gun. I still have my 12 gauge Savage from the 50s that I inherited. The savage 12 gauge is the perfect tool for destroying a 5 gallon bucket, I think that is the thing I used it for last in 1999.

Now guns seem to be something different. They seem to be a replacement for Jesus or a penis or self confidence or something. They now seem to be a status symbol of some sort. They are now an item to build your identity around, which is mildly disturbing. Us rednecks used to build our identity around things like old Chevy pickups and Clint Black tapes.

I always thought of a gun like a Snap-On Digital Torque Wrench. They seem to now be substitutes for testicular supremacy, or a pacifier for people feeling "under attack". I was taught that you never ride a motorcycle angry, you never talk to anyone you love on the phone angry, and you certainly never held a gun or a chainsaw or any other dangerous tool when you were angry. Is there a category for that? I picked other.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:35 AM
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Other. Guns are tooled metal devices.
And they are manufactured consumer products, which means that money changes hands at some point in the manufacture and distribution. To me, the fact that our constitution enshrines a manufactured consumer product is a hurdle. The money making aspect, and subsequent marketing (the NRA is at it's foundation about marketing - attitudes about gun ownership have been marketed to the public), distorts any discussion about ownership and usage.
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  #43  
Old 11-20-2019, 11:18 AM
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I voted other. In certain contexts, guns are necessary and useful. Outside of those contexts, guns cause more problems than they solve.

I don't think the language about good and evil adds much to the discussion.
Pretty much this.

The fact that people are collecting into groups at either extreme is making the situation worse.

Banning guns isnít going to make a difference if the culture doesnít support it. And if the culture changes to support it, it wouldnít be necessary.

On the other hand, itís incredibly naive and self destructive to ignore that many essential aspects of gun culture are toxic and dangerous , and something needs to be done about it.

Government overreach isnít ideal, but neither is there being no standards. Ideally, gun enthusiasts should take the issue seriously and police their own, like media did during a certain period.
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