Why guns are bad.

There often seems to be gun control threads going on in this forum. But when you look at the pro-gun arguments, they don’t stand up to scrutiny. The best pro-gun arguments you generally see are:

  1. Legally, if your life is threatened then you are allowed to use lethal force in your defence. Self-defence is one of the allowable defences to a murder charge. So, since you’re legally allowed to kill someone anyway (in certain circumstances) why not let you use the most efficient means of doing it - a gun?

  2. A gun evens the playing field, it could be the biggest guy in the world against a tiny girl but if the girl is the one with the gun - she wins.

  3. Gun crime has risen in countries like the UK where there are tight gun control laws. So therefore there is no evidence that restricting gun ownership will have any effect on the amount of guns in criminal hands.

  4. Hi Opal! (I understand that is the convention here).

  5. An armed civilian population is ultimately the only effective defence against an evil government. This could be your own government or a foreign one - maybe part of the reason Hitler was happy to leave Switzerland neutral was because he didn’t fancy trying to take over a mountainous country in which almost everyone has a gun.

However all these arguments are ultimately flawed (except number 4 of course).


  1. The fact you are allowed to use lethal force doesn’t mean you should. If every Joe has a gun then everyday drunken bar-room arguments and long-running meaningless feuds become potentially fatal. Rather than being punched, you stand a chance of getting shot.

  2. The answer to the problem of crime is to try and reduce it by a combination of solving the conditions which breed crime and, of course, catching the criminals. The aim is to reduce the crime level to such a low point that it’s not considered necessary for every Joe to own a gun. The solution would be out of proportion to the problem.

  3. Gun crime has risen in the UK it’s true but then that would be expected because

  • guns are more readily available these days generally. The point is that gun crime would have risen even more sharply if the UK hadn’t put it’s gun laws into place 6 years ago.

  • as populations increase so does general crime, like everything else.

And, although the UK crime rate has risen, it’s still remarkably low for a densely populated (60 million), highly urban, modern wealthy society. People in the UK can afford guns but neither the criminals nor the good guys seem to want them (as a general rule).

  1. If your government turned bad they would presumably have the support of the army. Do you really think that a scattered frightened population would be able to defeat the highly trained armed forces with all their weaponry?

It would be a longer, fiercer battle, I admit, but the army would win in the end even if all the population were armed. The army are better equipped, better trained, better organised and more experienced.

The idea that having guns would somehow protect you from the government and it’s army is just an illusion. A fair proportion of the Palestinians seem to be armed but what good does it do them against the Israeli army?

Sorry for the rant, I just wanted to get that off my chest, carry on.

Um, guns are bad because they kill people. Duh! (OK, just waiting around for this to get moved to the pit…)

Classic logical fallacy.

How can an inanimate hunk of iron be “bad”? (Or “good” for that matter?)

People are bad, or good, or whatever.

You have to ask yourself why it’s better for law abiding citizens to be unarmed and the criminals and other assorted human trash be armed, though.

Convention has shown that “Hi Opal” should be the third item in a list. There is a thread on this.

Your arguement is flawed because guns don’t kill people, bullets do.

Do I really have to reply to this? I should be doing my homework and reading for class. But no. I come into GD and find a thread that I really wish would be moved to the Pit so I could unload a bit.

Lets take these one at a time I guess:

Are you really saying that one should be forced to flee one’s own home if threatened by an armed (or just plain bigger) intruder? If you don’t want to use lethal force in defense of yourself or a loved one, then no one is going to force you to. But I will. Every time.

The answer to this assertion is unintelligible, so I didn’t bother reprinting it. I suppose you would abandon this “tiny girl” to all of the muggers, rapists and abusive men in the world. How can you say this and still claim to be trying to preserve life? What in the world are you thinking? Sure, I know tiny girls that can toss me around a room all day, but why should a woman have to learn to do this just to stay alive? Doesn’t she have a right to life?

  1. No one in the IK wants a gun? Where did this come from? How can gun crime rise if no one wants a gun? This doesn’t even make sense.

Actually, an armed and determined populace can do quite well against an army. Ever heard of a little country called Viet Nam? They did it to the French, the Japanese and the US.

In short, you should think before you speak.

–==the sax man==–

I couldn’t toss anyone around the room all day, nor do I carry a gun, and I’ve managed to survive thus far. You must live in a very dangerous and violent country if a woman like me would be unable to stay alive. I suppose I’m lucky to live in America.

While there are certainly many arguments designed to convince gun opponents that there are reasons to own guns. However, legally, there is only one argument: The ownership of guns is provided for in the constitution. The abstract argument is that, by removing the second ammendment, you are A) establishing a pattern of the US government to abridge the rights of the people and B) removing the last recourse of the free man to take up arms against an oppressor.

Because we both know that that has never happened before, right? An upstart group of loosely organized people has never defeated the most powerful empire on earth (even if it was a close call). Your own argument falls apart right here.

Furthermore, I believe the framers of the constitution envisioned a system where the average citizen had access to the same weapons as the army. (Though, I admit, it’s been a while since I read the Federalist papers.) In such a system, a group of citizens would in fact stand a good chance against the oppressor in question.

Whether or not it’s a good idea for people to own guns is a valid question. But, I disagree with the notion that it’s a good idea to allow the fundamental freedoms provided in the constitution to be eroded based on a little hysteria. Got criminals? Punish them, but don’t restrict the freedoms of the entire society.

Bullets don’t kill people, lack of oxygen to the brain does.

One reason guns are good is because they saved an innocent person’s life*. My wife’s grandfather got attacked in his home by a couple bastards that were looking for one of my wife’s less than savory relatives. Grandpa was completely innocent and had nothing to do with the conflict between his shithead grandson and these two thugs. Anyway, were it not for Grandpa’s gun and his willingness to use it, he’d definitely be dead right now.

On another occasion, I used my rifle to chase off a couple “bad guys” who attacked my neighbor. I don’t really know if my intervention on this occasion saved a life or not, but it’s certainly possible.

Then there’s the Second Amendment and all that, but there’s a lot of other people around here who like arguing the Constitution more than I do, so I’ll leave it to one of them.

Plus, without guns, it would be a lot harder to prove that you’re a real man by killing Bambi. :slight_smile:
*I know, guns don’t save lives, people save lives.

Generally I don’t weigh in on GD’s because frankly I ain’t no good at it. I however would like to say that SMUsax summed up my feelings rather nicely, except I would like to add:

If I am correct, which would be surprising, then I would like to add to #5. Didn’t America’s milita take out the army of england in a little skirmish in 1775?

Yep, they did. And in much the same fashion IIRC.

Lamia, I’m glad that you have not been put into a situation in hich you would have to defend your life. With luck you never will. But if you do, wouldn’t you rather be able to defend yourself?

–==the sax man==–

Well, I live in America too. While most of the time we can consider ourselves safe, you cannot ignore that crime is happening all the time. There are many in our country that do not put the same value on life that most of us do. These are the people that will kill you for the few dollars in your pocket, and not think twice about it. Every day people who were just going about their everyday lives have those lives ended by violent means.

Let me tell you one story that happend on Dec 7, 1998.

A man was on a business trip to FL. He was staying at the Holiday Inn in Gainesville right across the street from the U. of FL. Presumably a nice, safe area with students and other “normal” people about on the streets. After doing business, playing golf, and having a nice dinner, he was returning to his hotel room. As he was taking some stuff out of his trunk in the well lit, security guarded parking lot, a young black man in a ski mask jumps through a hedge and puts a gun to the man’s head and demands his wallet. He gives it to him, thinking that since there is a gun against his ear there is little chance of fleeing, fighting back isnt a good option since all the guy has to do is pull the trigger, plus that since he is wearing a ski mask he PROBABLY doesnt intend to kill him since he is making sure he cant see his face. Now you have turned a normal, happy secure feeling person into a victim of a violent crime. It can happen to anyone, anywhere.
While it is true that a gun probably wouldnt have helped prevent the crime from being committed (other than if the criminal believes there is a reasonable chance his victim is armed his likelyhood of committing the crime is decreased) a bullet in his back as he ran away would have prevented some other victim from the same fate at a later date. However such a thing is not possible as it is extremely difficult to travel with the means to protect yourself. Our laws today allow us to defend ourselves primarily in our homes, but not once we venture outside.

An earlier poster mentioned that if we were all armed that bar fights would turn into gun battles. In the old West, just the opposite seems to have occured. While popular perception has cowboys shooting it out over every slight, actual historical stuff I have read tells that actual shootings were very rare. No one is going to pull a pistol when everyone else has one too. Maybe we have changed as a people and no longer think things through, I don’t know.

This last bit is a hijack, but here it is anyway. When the guy was robbed in FL, the police arrived on the scene in a couple of minutes. After giving a description of the thug and his accomplice (a lookout), a description went out over the radio to be on the lookout for two black males in a dark 4 door 80’s sedan. A couple of cars with occupants matching the description were pulled over and searched. Yes, they were “profiled”. But should the cops not have pulled over the second group because they had not yet searched a car with old Asian ladies in it or two white guys with long beards?

So Lamia I suppose I was gang raped because I live in a dangerous country that you’re glad you’re not in, and therefore because you don’t live here it’s just a shame that it happened and I shouldn’t cry too hard that the law deprived me of the means to defend myself from an unavoidable horrible attack?

At the time I lived in a quiet, peaceful, very low crime area where attacks like the one that happened to me are quite rare. I was minding my own business going about my normal life when 3 criminals attacked me. Thus they proved that even in a ‘safe’ area, bad things can and do happen and that nobody is immune to an attack.

You’ve got blinders on if you think that only women who live, work, walk, exist in ‘dangerous’ places can be attacked. Your post also implies (at least to me) that because I live in a ‘dangerous’ place, I should’ve expected something like that - unlike you, being that living in such a ‘safe’ country makes you immune to the will of a determined criminal.

I have a smoke detector. It is extremely unlikely that my house will ever catch on fire, but I do not suffer the delusion that it is impossible because a house like mine is fireproof and only people who live in dangerous houses experience fires. Because the possibility exists, I have prepared for it.

Same with knowing how to use a gun to defend myself.

There was an old saying,

When having a gun is a crime, only criminals will have guns

Personally, that thought scares me…

I suppose it is my own fault I was misunderstood, as I am well aware that it is the fate of all who use rhetorical irony.
SMUsax stated that depriving women of the right to carry firearms was depriving them of the right to life – that denying someone a gun was in effect a death sentence. That is ludicrous. It is ludicrous in the modern US, and would be equally ludicrous in any civilization at any point in human history. The only situation in which SMUsax’s claims would be true would be one in which a governmental and social breakdown led to a state of violent anarchy. There are places in the world where this is the case, but I’m pretty sure they don’t have Internet access.

I have been the victim of violent crime, at least once in a “nice neighborhood”. And you know what? Even if I’d had a gun, and even if I’d known how to use it, it wouldn’t have done me a bit of good. Guns are excellent long-range weapons, but they’re not very useful if you are unaware of any danger until the moment your attacker grabs you. They’re worse than useless if your attacker manages to get your gun away from you. If I carried a gun, I may well have been the one to end up getting shot with it.

To all those who have told stories about people protecting themselves with guns, well, I’m always glad to hear about people escaping being the victims of violent crime. On the other hand, I’m always sorry to hear about people being the victims of mistakes or misunderstandings. My father (a Marine) used to keep a gun in the house “for protection”. He never had to use it, because no one ever broke into that house or any other one I’ve ever lived in. But he did almost shoot me with it when I was two years old, because he mistook the sound of a toddler wandering into the living room in the middle of the night for the sound of an intruder with criminal intent.

But Lamia, why should your personal choice not to own or carry a gun mean that they’re useless to those of us who do carry them?

I am a person who was deprived of the life I used to have before I was gang raped because a law, an arbitrary age limit, denied me the right to carry a tool with which I could defend myself.

I said before and will say again that there’s no guarantee a gun would’ve gotten me out of that situation totally safe, but at least I would’ve had a chance.

A ‘reasonable restriction’ denied me the chance to defend myself. And that is a shame.

Then again, 2 years later a criminal running from the police tried to break into my apartment, presumably because it would’ve made a good place to hide from the cops. Thanks to being armed, I will never know what events would be had he actually gotten in there. I chased him off while he was trying to crash through the front door.

So just because you personally don’t find a gun useful, you can’t presume to tell me how useful it would be to me.

Cite? If an extremely restrictive gun ban took place in 1996, then why does it follow that guns are more readily available?

True. However, my point in the other recent thread discussing this issue is that gun crime has not been reduced because of a ban. The rising gun crime rate could be because of a number of factors, but the bottom line is that a ban had either no effect, or an adverse effect.

He didn’t say that. Denying a person a gun is not a death sentence. It does, however, deprive that person of the use of a very effective tool they can defend themselves with.

I’m sorry that you were attacked. However, I don’t think you can accurately say that if you’d had a gun and knew how to use it, the situation would have turned out the same. You can’t know that because you didn’t have a gun or training. Maybe it would have played out the same, maybe not, but you can’t be absolutely sure.

Either way, this is your opinion of your own circumstances. Your experiences will not be the exact same as another person’s in a similar circumstance. If another person thinks the risk of their weapon being taken away is worth the chance of protecting themselves from assault, then why should you deny them that?

There is more to defending yourself than just owning a gun, which is why most states that have concealed carry laws require you to posess a minimum level of proficiency with a gun before a permit is granted.

I’m sorry you were frightened. You were, at least, not harmed by this mistake. Other people have been the victim of a loved one’s mistaken perception, tragically. Too many people don’t have enough respect for guns and don’t bother to educate themselves on proper safety. The fact that your father was a Marine has no bearing; I know several stupid Marines, and several bright ones.

I’ve answered the door extremely late at night several times while having my pistol, and I’ve never “almost shot” anyone. Why? I don’t point my guns at anything that I’m not immediately intending to shoot, and that includes unknown sources of sound that may or may not be an intruder or toddler.

Ehm - bad example. Ever heard of a little country called Afghanistan ?

While a lot of people liked to sell the Vietnam war with a David vs. Goliath spin, describing the opponents as people with nothing but AK-47s and courage, the Vietcong didn’t win that war - the NVA did. And the NVA was an army, hence the acronym.

The American revolution, another example cited, was fought at a time when the difference in combat efficiency between the man with the hunting rifle and the soldier was infinitely smaller than it is today.

Even in the last 20 years, the gap between the armed civilian and the professional soldier has widened. Armour, fire support weapons, thermal imaging sights, light amplification - all of it subtracts from the power of the civilian with a firearm.

In short, you should think before you speak. Couldn’t agree more.

Have I said anything about you carrying a gun? No. I was merely responding to SMUsax’s claim that any woman who could not carry a gun (and who could not throw a grown man around the room by herself) would need to be in constant fear of her life. If you feel that your life would be in danger if you did not have a gun then that is one thing, but it is ridiculous for anyone to suggest that this is a common or reasonable way for all women to feel.

A good case can be made in support of gun ownership, but “You could be murdered at any moment if you don’t carry a gun!” is not it.

Read his post again. He clearly links the “right to life” with the right to carry a gun.

Pro-gun argument # 6:
Plinking strawmen.

Jojo, you could have more quickly dispatched all of your pro-gun arguments (save the misnumbered 4) if you had just shot them.