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Guns
Posted: 09 March 2012 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Oops, you shouldn’t have divulged that.  If any of the brainiacs on this forum are ever out to get you, all they have to do, now, is challenge you to a game of chess. 

Ah, to that I reply P-K4 and a challenge is hereby accepted from all! Or as our chess club motto states,“kick some brain”! cool grin

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 09 March 2012 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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VYAZMA - 09 March 2012 12:05 PM
Rocinante - 09 March 2012 08:47 AM

Florida Father of 3 saves his life by shooting back at 3 armed attackers.

Utah Homeowner Shoots Home Invader Who Broke into 20 Houses

Utah Mother Shoots Home Invader To Protect Her 3-Month Old While on Phone with 911

Idaho Man Shoots Woman’s Knife-Wielding Abductor 

Tennessee Man Shoots Armed Robber on Street

Florida Clerk Shoots Robber Who Grabbed 1-Year Old

Armed Assistant Principal Stops School Shooter

Two Armed Students Stop School Shooter [Note how most media reports purposely left out the fact that the two good students in this case used their firearms to stop the bad guy.]


Then there are the countless cases we don’t hear about where an armed citizen brandished their weapon, stopping the crime and went unreported.

All in all there are about 2.5 million cases of armed citizens stopping crimes each year.  But like the planes that don’t crash, the vaccines that work and the drivers who don’t drive drunk, they rarely make the headlines.  Thus the Fallacy of Misplaced Vividness causes even intelligent skeptics to make conclusions based on emotions.

I own a wide assortment of guns.(pistols and long arms.  NO Assault-weapons though….that’s kids stuff!) And I agree with Doug wholeheartedly.  The above are anecdotes that prove nothing.  I have never carried weapons for protection.  I don’t believe in it.  I do know that carrying guns, or even having one to defend one’s home is pretty useless.  Often it invites more trouble than it’s worth.
I think guns should be legal.  I wouldn’t be upset if assault-weapons and high capacity magazines for pistols and rifles were outlawed. Seems the only succesful use we have seen for hi-cap mags are in school shootings, bank robberies, and other mass-murder events.
This whole gun thing is a wedge issue. It has very little value in terms of intelligent debate.

  surprised  I’m confused, how is using a gun to defend oneself useless?

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Posted: 09 March 2012 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Rocinante - 09 March 2012 08:47 AM

Then there are the countless cases we don’t hear about where an armed citizen brandished their weapon, stopping the crime and went unreported.

And further there are the non-incidents one may speculate about if it were the case that all guns were illegal.  One would be speculating but one may also consider statistical evidence.

dougsmith - 09 March 2012 09:22 AM

Anecdotes, much?

He’s just fighting anecdotes with anecdotes.

StephenLawrence - 09 March 2012 01:26 PM

Can you explain what you mean by doing good with guns.

I’ll give that one a try:  How about shooting someone who is doing bad things with guns?

But I’ll give you another.  I took my pistol with me camping many years ago.  Not for any specific reason, I just felt a bit vulnerable alone in the woods.  (Actually I was with my brother and his g.f. but you get the picture.)  I’m hiking back a mile or so to retrieve some forgotten supplies (specifically a bottle of Bourbon) when several apparently feral dogs begin tracking me.  They were definitely acting predatory and so, gripping my pistol I turned and stared at the lead dog.  After a minute he broke the stare and led the pack off.  I went about my way.  I later found out that this pack of dogs has been preying on my Uncle’s cattle.  I’m quite confident that had I run or shown fear they very well may have attacked me.  Again this is but an anecdote and an incomplete one at that as I speculate about what might occur had I not had the pistol.

But I argue from this anecdote that I have the right to carry that pistol when and where I choose within certain reasonable bounds.  I certainly have the right to own it and carry it on private property with the permission of the owner.  That right is not granted by the constitution but rather is acknowledge by the constitution.  I still assert that right if owning the gun becomes illegal under the law of the land and I will continue to carry it where packs of dogs (some in human form) may be a threat.

I would add one more point.  If it were not a matter of principle but of practical danger, I would think gun control advocates would be far more up in arms about the much higher number of deaths and injuries resulting from automobiles.  As a matter of principle, the constitutionally acknowledged right is the current law of the land and shall remain so for the foreseeable future.  There will continue to be “horror stories” of troubled children shooting up their schools as there will be (though less likely to make prime time news) of young drivers killing themselves and others in horrific automobile accidents,... and stabbings and beatings and other types of violence and mayhem.

I’ve seen nothing new in this thread that hasn’t been hashed around in bars for the past 200 years (and I’ve probably added nothing new). so I’ll quietly go away now.

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Posted: 09 March 2012 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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TimB - 09 March 2012 10:34 AM
mid atlantic - 08 March 2012 06:17 PM
Thevillageatheist - 08 March 2012 04:31 PM

I’ve been watching this thread to see in what direction it would go being curious to see if fellow atheists are gun owners and after Darron mentioned it in another thread I wanted to see if it would stir someone up to reply. I’ve been around guns my whole life and am a gun owner, one of the two conservative tenets I follow. the other is fiscal, teaching salaries being sparse. Gun ownership and hunting is common here and there are several shooting ranges for target shooters, which is what I am. Personally, I have no problem with responsible people owning firearms if used properly. However, there should be parameters to this, namely registration, restricted ownership due to past criminal behavior, mental illness, and a total ban on all military type weapons for civilian use. I know this is a heretical position for a gun owner but who needs to hunt deer with a grenade launcher or an automatic weapon? The NRA,s position on this is that all citizens should have the right to collect and use these antipersonnel weapons and BTW that’s what they’re for, but spotrsmen/women, have no need for them. They are very expensive, use tons of ammunition and are usually used by collectors to blow up derelict trucks. So, I have no problem with restricting auto or semi auto weapons. Also, each state’s gun laws vary as do laws in cities, many of whom ban handguns all together. You can’t hunt squirrels in Central Park. So my question to a gun owner is what is your motivation for gun ownership? If you trust the local police then you don’t need one for protection. Put a ball bat beside your bed. 99% of the sounds you here at night are your house settling, and the Mayan calendar isn’t signaling the end of the World as we know it so you don’t need that Uzi to protect the wife and kids. Besides, who wants to spend a thousand dollars on a gun?


Cap’t Jack

I also was curious to see how many freethinkers here are gun owners - because I don’t want to piss them off and have them hunt me down! LOL

I doubt that gun owning freethinkers would be any more likely than non-gun owning freethinkers to get angry and hunt you down. And if a person of either group did hunt you down, you would be more at risk of mind-numbing debate than any physical harm.

I know, just being a goofball.

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Posted: 10 March 2012 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Rocinante - 07 March 2012 08:42 PM

For.

Guns are inanimate tools.  Too many people commit a form of the Anthropomorphic Fallacy by thinking guns are somehow inherently evil. 

Same arguement can be used for religions, they are merely tools.

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Posted: 10 March 2012 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Mid Atlantic-

surprised  I’m confused, how is using a gun to defend oneself useless?

Those weren’t my exact words, but it’s close enough.  Obviously the act of using a gun is a pretty good method of self-defense if the situation warrants it.
My point was that keeping a gun in the house or carrying one around for defense is almost if not equal to not carrying a gun in terms of security. 
We can go round and round here if you disagree.  So by all means get that warm sense of security and keep a gun close by if it makes you feel safer.

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Posted: 10 March 2012 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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traveler - 09 March 2012 01:08 PM
VYAZMA - 09 March 2012 12:05 PM

It has very little value in terms of intelligent debate.

That’s ridiculous. Intelligent debate has great value when it involves anything with a strong impact on a society.

The problem is that the result of intelligent debate is diminished thanks to lobbyists.

That’s the thing!  Varying views on how strong an impact guns have on society.
It’s a wedge issue!  I myself could go either way on it.  Yes guns do have an enormous impact on society.  No guns don’t really have a huge impact on society.
I don’t support the NRA.  I believe the Constitution is good enough.  The NRA would have you believe that the powers that be are just a hairs breadth away from taking guns away.
In fact that has never, never been the case.
But if they wanted to start taking all of the guns away I’d be ok with it.  Who cares?  Eventually in a few generations I think there would be a massive decrease in gun violence and crime. I’m sure there would.  Would that mean a massive decrease in overall crime?  I doubt it.  That is a direct result in our political-economic system of inequality.
Guns could be eliminated from society.  It would take 25-75 years. Start now. I just hope I get fairly reimbursed for my guns monetarily.

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Posted: 10 March 2012 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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VYAZMA - 10 March 2012 01:43 PM
traveler - 09 March 2012 01:08 PM
VYAZMA - 09 March 2012 12:05 PM

It has very little value in terms of intelligent debate.

That’s ridiculous. Intelligent debate has great value when it involves anything with a strong impact on a society.

The problem is that the result of intelligent debate is diminished thanks to lobbyists.

That’s the thing!  Varying views on how strong an impact guns have on society.
It’s a wedge issue!  I myself could go either way on it.  Yes guns do have an enormous impact on society.  No guns don’t really have a huge impact on society.
I don’t support the NRA.  I believe the Constitution is good enough.  The NRA would have you believe that the powers that be are just a hairs breadth away from taking guns away.
In fact that has never, never been the case.
But if they wanted to start taking all of the guns away I’d be ok with it.  Who cares?  Eventually in a few generations I think there would be a massive decrease in gun violence and crime. I’m sure there would.  Would that mean a massive decrease in overall crime?  I doubt it.  That is a direct result in our political-economic system of inequality.
Guns could be eliminated from society.  It would take 25-75 years. Start now. I just hope I get fairly reimbursed for my guns monetarily.

OK, Vyazma I’m confused by your statements. Here’s the deal - you write:

1.) I myself could go either way on it.  Yes guns do have an enormous impact on society.  No guns don’t really have a huge impact on society.
2.) Eventually in a few generations I think there would be a massive decrease in gun violence and crime. I’m sure there would.

Given number 2, how can you say number 1?

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Posted: 10 March 2012 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Traveller-

OK, Vyazma I’m confused by your statements. Here’s the deal - you write:

1.) I myself could go either way on it.  Yes guns do have an enormous impact on society.  No guns don’t really have a huge impact on society.
2.) Eventually in a few generations I think there would be a massive decrease in gun violence and crime. I’m sure there would.

Given number 2, how can you say number 1?

Because.  Will the number of people being killed or injured from crime go down?  I don’t know.  If you do know, and tell me it will then I’ll believe you.  Cool.
And also yes, because I have guns, I guess I’m a little biased.  After all, I’m not a criminal!!  You see?

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Posted: 10 March 2012 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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2.) Eventually in a few generations I think there would be a massive decrease in gun violence and crime. I’m sure there would

I know that others who read Steven Pinker’s latest book panned it but his argument is cogent and compelling and I believe that he showed his thesis in historical context (“Better Angels of Our Nature”). He specifically addresses the decline in violence and it’s his contention that we are becoming less violent as we become more cosmopolitan, at least that’s my take on it. However, I don’t see the end of gun ownership in America as long as it makes a profit. BTW the NRA is one of the most powerful lobbies in America and the gun manufacturers are regular contributors. This tie will probably keep guns in the stores for many years to come.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 10 March 2012 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 10 March 2012 02:34 PM

I know that others who read Steven Pinker’s latest book panned it but his argument is cogent and compelling and I believe that he showed his thesis in historical context (“Better Angels of Our Nature”).

Thread HERE. I didn’t pan it. smile

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Posted: 10 March 2012 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Doug, somehow my reply got rerouted through your quote! Strange.


Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

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Posted: 10 March 2012 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 10 March 2012 02:53 PM

Doug, somehow my reply got rerouted through your quote! Strange.

Weird! Anyhow it’s probably best that we separate the responses that way. This isn’t a thread about Pinker.

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Posted: 10 March 2012 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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VYAZMA - 10 March 2012 02:15 PM

Traveller-

OK, Vyazma I’m confused by your statements. Here’s the deal - you write:

1.) I myself could go either way on it.  Yes guns do have an enormous impact on society.  No guns don’t really have a huge impact on society.
2.) Eventually in a few generations I think there would be a massive decrease in gun violence and crime. I’m sure there would.

Given number 2, how can you say number 1?

Because.  Will the number of people being killed or injured from crime go down?  I don’t know.  If you do know, and tell me it will then I’ll believe you.  Cool.
And also yes, because I have guns, I guess I’m a little biased.  After all, I’m not a criminal!!  You see?

I think this is a language issue. You say here that you don’t know, but you made it pretty clear in #2 that you do know. Since you clearly cannot mean both, I have to assume language is getting in the way.

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Posted: 10 March 2012 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 March 2012 01:26 PM

Can you explain what you mean by doing good with guns.

Out of fear of being accused of using anecdotes,  wink  how about a woman using a gun to stop a would-be rapist?  I would call that doing good with a gun.  And as I did before, taking it out of the realm of the anecdote, it is important to point out that of more than 32,000 attempted rapes, 32% were actually committed. But when a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of the attempted rapes were actually successful.*

I disagree with those on the left who say when confronted with a rapist a woman should put up no defense and give them what they want.  I would much prefer the woman use her gun to stop it. 

*U.S. Department of Justice, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Rape Victimization in 26 American Cities (1979), p. 31.

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